Cancer and Heroism

In examining troubling narratives surrounding breast cancer, one thing I often think about is the framing of breast cancer patients as ‘heroes,’ as though you get a cape and mask with your diagnosis. That attitude is reinforced in the language people use about going through cancer treatment; patients are ‘battling’ or ‘fighting’ cancer, and they […]

Pink, Politics, and Cancer

Earlier this year there was considerable brouhaha when the Susan G. Komen foundation withdrew funding used to provide mammograms and related services from Planned Parenthood. After only a few days of immense pressure, the organisation rescinded the decision, but the situation highlighted something interesting for me: Many people are not aware that Komen is a […]

What Are You Supporting, Exactly?

One of the things that accompanies ‘awareness’ campaigns is the idea that people need to ‘support’ the subject of the campaign in some way. People are sold things like lewd t-shirts and ridiculous rubber bracelets and bumperstickers not only because these things are said to make people more ‘aware,’ but because displaying them in some […]