Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tough Enough Not To Wear Pink

Enema U is having its annual drive to help raise awareness in the fight against breast cancer; Spineless Enough To Be Coerced Into Wearing Pink Against Your Will Even Though You Damn Well Know It Is Pointless.  At least, I think that’s the name.

This is probably the point where I should point out that while I admit to being an insensitive brute, I actually do sincerely care about breast cancer.  My mother and my grandmother both died of breast cancer.  My wife, the Doc has performed countless operations for people suffering from breast cancer, both men and women.  I just object to group feel good exhibitions.

My university disagrees.  Half the administration is running around in pink t-shirts emblazoned with the words,  “Tough Enough To Wear Pink” while the rest are sporting sweatshirts that say “Cinco de Pink,”  Evidently, this is the 5th year that “we” have done this. 

I’m sure the university doesn’t mean to stereotype people, but isn’t this  blatant macho challenge to men to wear pink a little over the top?  Do we really need to stereotype both sexes?  Next year, will we ask if women are feminine enough to wear a blue jock strap to help raise awareness of testicular cancer?

A lot of the research institutions involved in finding a cure for breast cancer are equally tired of the endless breast cancer walks, breast cancer runs, and enough pink t-shirts to keep half of China employed.   As one researcher put it, “If one more pink tschotske would cure cancer, we would be there already.”

It’s not like it hasn’t been tried.  Go to and search for the words “breast cancer” and you will find 51,000 cute little doodads for sale.  You can buy anything from pink golf balls to pink bracelets, each with a cute little pink ribbon and a promise to forward a microscopic portion of the sale price to some organization claiming to be a cancer institute.  There is a lot of green in pink.

Do we really need to raise awareness of anything related to breasts?  Almost everyone I know either loves them or has them.  Short of a telethon co-hosted by Hugh Hefner and Christina Hendricks, I think it’s been done.  Hell, two of my best friends are breasts.  If a few more million little pink ribbons would do it…. No, that’s just not going to work.  And aren’t we focusing on the wrong thing?

Heart disease kills more people, both men and women, than breast cancer.  But if numbers are not the point, maybe raising awareness of cancer actually is a good thing.  But enough of breast cancer, that has been done.  Let’s pick a new cancer, one that really does need more attention drawn to it.  That is why I am pleased to announce my new campaign to fight cancer.

Are you tough enough to smell like ass?  If so, please wear one of our new brown scratch and sniff ribbons for colorectal cancer.  Are you tough enough to get a colonoscopy?


  1. You got me within the first paragraph: "Spineless Enough To Be Coerced Into Wearing Pink Against Your Will Even Though You Damn Well Know It Is Pointless" sums it all up. Perhaps your finest hour of blogging, sir.

    And no, I didn't wear pink this month (or deliberately smell of ass). I refused to join the cult of pink and I've also (quite demonstratively) called out just how absurd it is. This was to the chagrin of others, but I'm happy to say my wife is smart enough not to buy into this either.

    Good to know you're doing the same.

  2. Not quite three years later, Amazon now lists over 110,000 items designed to raise awareness of breast cancer. And several "real" cancer research foundations are asking the public to stop trivializing the problem. Not that anyone pays any attention to them.