I fully believe that when John McCain nominated Sarah Palin to be his Veep, he thought he would be viewed as gawd’s gift to women’s empowerment, never mind that he gets a flunking grade on the issues that most impact women’s lives. We totally heart the Daily Show’s Sam Bee for calling out McCain for being the misogynistic patriarchal prick that he is after his air-quoted denigration of women’s health:
For the last several years, I have been spouting off about the hyper-commercialism and crass profiteering that has pinkified the month of October for the supposed purpose of finding a cure for breast cancer. No doubt about it, pink products galore are available at any retail establishment but it seems that things have been a bit less absurd this year than in the past. Maybe it’s the economy or the election or just that even for a a good cause there is so much pepto pink schtuff we can be expected to buy.
While I haven’t had a chance to write about it, this year’s women’s mags were far more temperate in their coverage, a bit more realistic in talking about causes and there was less framing of breast cancer as a young pretty white girl’s disease. Here’s hoping that trend continues.
I was also pleased to see Rita Arditti’s piece in the Boston Globe discussing the relationship between chemicals and breast cancer. She points out that,
“Since World War II, the proliferation of synthetic chemicals has gone hand-in-hand with the increased incidence of breast cancer. About 80,000 synthetic chemicals are used today in the United States, and their number increases by about 1,000 each year. Only about 7 percent of them have been screened for their health effects. These chemicals can persist in the environment and accumulate in our bodies. According to a recent review by the Silent Spring Institute in Newton, 216 chemicals and radiation sources cause breast cancer in animals.
Nearly all of the chemicals cause mutations, and most cause tumors in multiple organs and animal species, findings that are generally believed to indicate they likely cause cancer in humans. Yet few have been closely studied by regulatory bodies. There is concern about benzene, which is in gasoline; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are in air pollution from vehicle exhaust, tobacco smoke, and charred foods; ethylene oxide, which is widely used in medical settings; and methylene chloride, a common solvent in paint strippers and glues.
There is also broad agreement that exposure over time to natural estrogens in the body increases the risk of breast cancer, so it is important to consider the role of synthetic estrogens in breast cancer development. Many other chemicals, especially endocrine-disrupting compounds – chemicals that affect hormones, such as the ubiquitous bisphenol A, which is found in plastic bottles and cans – are also thought to raise breast cancer risk. Endocrine-disrupting compounds are present in many pesticides, fuels, plastics, air pollution, detergents, industrial solvents, tobacco smoke, prescription drugs, food additives, metals, and personal-care products including sunscreens.”
Bisphenol A or BPA is the chemical that the EPA continues to claim is safe while other countries are moving to ban it. It is also important to note that automotive companies are big donors to organizations like the Komen Foundation and Ford has created a cause-branding Warriors in Pink line of clothing while this year BMW was offering to donate money to find a cure for test driving their toxic exhaust spewing vehicles. As I have said way too many times before, as long as the organizations that claim to be helping fight this disease take money from those whose products are part of the problem, we will not be able to fully address the cause and until we do that, the ‘cure’ will just be a profitable farce that bankrupts and kills women.
Editor’s note: For whatever reason, this post is getting way more than average hits. After you watch the video, I hope that you will take a minute to check out the rest of our blog! Also as noted below in the comments, this is a video that was on You Tube and was sent by a friend and –I take no claim to authorship and also don’t know who the man and woman in the video are, but I can neither sing or act so I assure you it isn’t me but for a fan of the musical Evita, too good to pass up: