“Which was not a healthy situation for the wicked witch”
It’s breast cancer awareness month. Saturday was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure here. Awareness is good, and i fully support putting an emphasis on womens’ health – something that has not been paid enough attention historically. However, i also have beef. Komen, like many very large non-profits, tends to spend the majority of it’s money keeping itself famous rather than on actual progress on the issue.
Mostly, though, i hate the framing of most breast cancer awareness stuff. I think the whole idea of “the cure” is terribly misguided. The problem with “the cure” is that until you actually find it, you are making no progress, and there’s no way of knowing if it is even possible until you have found it. It’s possible you are simply throwing your money down a scientific hole (as much as i love funding science…fuck that). Treatment i do support; it is some sort of progress, at least. But why the hell aren’t we talking about prevention? No, i don’t mean mammograms. Mammograms are important, but they don’t prevent cancer (though they often do prevent its getting worse). I mean that there is a vast body of research on the things that cause cancer, and woefully little public education or concern about it. Cigarettes are apparently it. Just think how much prevention could be done with the sums that are put into finding “the cure.” And i can’t help but think, when i walk into the grocery store this time of year, “how much of that sea of pink shop for the cure stuff is actually carcinogenic?” I guess i’m just crotchety.
Coming Out Day was also Saturday. Which is cool; i dig visibility and pride. On the other hand, i don’t entirely get it. Generally, it seems that coming out is so circumstantial; what’s the likelihood of this one day being the one where it makes sense? Personally, the whole concept of “coming out of the closet” wasn’t really relevant to my life. But, hey, i hear it helps some people, so right on. Except it also it makes me a wee bit nervous on one count. There is now a major emphasis on coming out as the ultimate thing that you can do to support your rights – and in many ways it is. But i think in some cases it adds a sense of guilt to all of the other negative emotional effects being closeted may have. And i think it results in a (queer) societal pressure for people to come out, when that may in fact be a bad thing in their particular situation. I am thinking here of youth who may be subjecting themselves to mental or physical abuse, or the loss of their home, though there are as many situations as people, i am sure.
I suppose all i’m saying is that it is awfully important to temper our “come out, come out, wherever you are!” with acknowledgment that there are more important things. Celebrate and educate, by all means, but please don’t pressure or judge.
the munchkin song – The Wizard of Oz