Komen shitstorm open thread

Friday, February 3rd, 2012 · 7 Comments »

Before this week, my basic opinion of the Komen Foundation was that they’d lost the plot. They’d become a charity that raises money to raise money, all too often in surreally offensive fashion. Pink fried chicken, pink guns, jesus fucking christ. Are we aware of breast cancer yet? Here, buy some fried chicken and look at the pink bucket.

But then the Planned Parenthood thing happened and I started reading. Like everybody else who’d never really looked into Komen, I was surprised to discover that (as someone somewhere said), “they didn’t cave in to the right wing; they are the right wing.” Ain’t that the damn truth. Did you know that they’ve actually lobbied against Medicaid coverage for breast cancer treatment and against the Patient Bill of Rights and against research into environmental causes of breast cancer? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. My opinion of Komen tipped over to the dark side of the Stupid/Evil meter. I went from being upset about the Planned Parenthood thing to being almost glad, because now the mask has been ripped off. Time to boycott the fucking pink ribbon (how convenient that it’s so easy to spot!) and get the goddamn wingnuts out of women’s healthcare.

As Joan Walsh said, “The Komen Foundation just destroyed its brand, and it’s going to be very, very sorry.”

In fact, they’re already so sorry that just now, as of this minute, they’ve reversed themselves. Yep. So sorry, please don’t stop buying the pink crap. Linking to Jezebel for hilariousness: Breaking: Komen Reverses Decision on Planned Parenthood Funding, Is Still Likely Full of Shit.

Of course they’re still full of shit. This is about Yoplait and Energizer and all the other pink “Partners for the Cure” raining crap down Nancy Brinker’s phone line. She’s a corporate hack and she’s trying to salvage her brand. Which she has destroyed.

UPDATE: A close reading of the release from Komen suggests that they haven’t actually “reversed” anything. But Cecile at Planned Parenthood made nice about it, so I’m not sure what’s going on.

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7 Responses to “Komen shitstorm open thread”

  1. Siskatz says:

    Via RH Reality Check, also on Komen’s board is Jane Abraham, the General Chair of the Susan B. Anthony List and its PAC.


  2. falstaff says:

    In addition to all the political things this is — which you’ve nailed — it is also the new world champion case study in speed and completeness of brand destruction.

    Many will cite the Internet as an important cause, but that was ancillary here. This was entirely self-inflicted, and stunning in its hermetically sealed stupidity. You really have to be totally untethered from reality not to have seen what this would do — especially if you’ve spent your existence doing the dance you describe (i.e., pretending to be woman-friendly and sidling up to the left, when you know you’re really a corporate hack). They took one of the pink guns they’re promoting (http://gawker.com/5881982/susan-g-komen-foundation-kicks-off-pr-rehab-by-promoting-pink-handguns), pointed it at their forehead and pulled the trigger.

  3. Coises says:

    Probably not the worst thing about them, but Komen are also trademark bullies.

  4. purplefinn says:

    Violet, thanks for the additional exposure of Komen. My mild repulsion at pink ribbons everywhere need not tweak my guilt strings anymore.

    You really have to be totally untethered from reality not to have seen what this would do ….

    falstaff, I think that’s it. These abortion opponents were not listening to the opposition and thought that nearly everyone wants to destroy PP because they do.

    The overwhelming negative response to the defunding is very heartwarming.

  5. falstaff says:

    Though I don’t like linking to Big Cheeto, this post does provide useful info: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/01/1060885/-Behind-the-Pink-Curtain-Komens-Political-Agenda.

  6. Ciccina says:

    As someone with way too much insight into the PP family, I can explain why Cecile is making nice (in fact, I think all of her statements about Komen have been exceptionally gracefully worded).

    The national office doesn’t receive money from Komen; affiliates do. Those affiliates need that money for services. And, like typical long suffering do gooders serving marginalized women, they will put up with a lot of crap in order to get the resources they need.

    Cecile is in no position to make enemies of Komen, because it could jeopardize those funds – funds the affiliates will have to reapply for next year. Now, an affiliate president could decide to tell Komen where to stick the money that her own affiliate would have received – that would be her prerogative, since its her affiliate. But its not Cecile’s place to interfere in that relationship.

    Besides, if Cecile had been anything *but* gracious, we’d have had to suffer through headlines about the ‘cat fight’ and the ‘claws coming out’ – and how both sides were to blame, both harmed their brand, yada yada.

    At PP, services are the bottom line. Decisions are made – and positions are taken – based on whether they will help or hinder the ability to provide services.

  7. Mary Margaret Hansen says:

    Well said. I too never liked Komen and didn’t exactly know why. Now their pink mask is gone. Best thing that could have happened.