Contraception,  Women's Health,  Women's Rights

Don’t Think, Wear Pink!

I’ve been visually assaulted this month by proliferation of pink popping up… everywhere. The grocery store, the gym, my favorite coffee shop… I swear, if I get a pink-foil wrapped burrito at Chipotle, my head is going to explode.

Now pink is my very favorite color, it’s true. So why the rage? Why did the mere sight of that blushing, bubbly white-zinfandel colored wrist band on the NFL ref during last week’s Broncos game cause my blood pressure to spike?

Well, for the same reason that other women are experiencing elevated levels of blood pressure. And increased risk of strokes and heart disease. And skyrocketing risk rates for breast cancer:

The Pill.

The very same Pill that so many of these merchants tout as the panacea to the problems of the modern world, particularly to those faced by members of the fairer sex. The Pill, our culture proclaims from every magazine spread, television broadcast and billboard, is the answer to our over-populated, under-sexed and insufficiently satiated appetite for more.

But it’s delivered a whole lot more than we could have expected. Which brings me back to the infuriating “think pink” campaign which has somehow replaced our collective conscience for the time being, (giving the tiresome ‘go green’ mantra a break) and opened up a marketing opportunity for everyone from Safeway to Starbucks to the National Football League to show how much they care.

Except, they don’t.

At least, not enough to stop marketing or manufacturing that very same substance which is largely to blame for the skyrocketing increase in breast cancer rates over the past several decades.

Breast cancer is a terrible scourge, a vicious disease. It is heartless in its selection of victims, aggressive in its course, and cruelly demanding of its victims.

But what is far more terrible and in fact much more insidious is the idea of a collaboration of industries whose monetary interests far outweigh their humanitarian concerns.

But when you’ve got companies like Subaru and Wells Fargo funding Planned Parenthood, when you’ve got Ortho and Depo and Yaz and the like being pushed over the counter at Kroger’s to teens and middle aged mommies alike… you start to wonder. How much do these companies actually care about those customers of theirs – girls and women like you and me?

Sure, there are races for the cure, posters saluting fallen heroines who lost their battles, pink sleeves for coffee cups to show that one stands “against” breast cancer.

Because doing something, anything, in the face of overwhelming evil feels better than doing nothing at all. But the funny thing is, after all those dollars are collected at the checkout counter, after all the fundraisers and campaigns for a cure are safely in November’s rearview mirror… will those same companies and indiviudals who proclaim their concern so conspicuously still be speaking out? Will they continue to let their wallets talk for them, reconsidering purchases which might benefit the manufacturers of the Pill in an effort to “fight the good fight?”

Or will this be sufficient? Is it enough to wear a little pink for 30 days? Is no further action required to curtail the epidemic that is stalking our generation? Are we not, in fact, compelled by justice to inform women honestly about the risks associated with consumable, injectible and insertable hormonal contraceptives?

Such an inconvenient truth, this link between cancer and the Pill. It couldn’t possibly be true, could it? No, no… it’s little more than a “right wing scare tactic” or a “dogmatic religious falsehood,” a pro-life “myth”… that’s what the media continually reassures us in soothing tones.

“Don’t worry, nobody’s going to take your contraception away. You don’t have to fret; there are no consequences, and nobody is going to get hurt. Here, put on this pink hat. Affix this bumper sticker to your vehicle. Shhhh, now, doesn’t that feel better?”

I’d argue, no.

So rethink pink, my friends. And ask yourselves who the real losers are when lies become so oft- repeated they become the truth.


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