Working for the Cure: Challenging Pink Ribbon Activism [Book Chapter]

Abstract

In accordance with the critical women’s health literature recounting the ways that women are encouraged to submit themselves to various sorts of health “imperatives”, I investigate the messages tacitly conveyed to women in “campaigns for the cure” and breast cancer awareness efforts, which, I argue, overemphasizes a “positive attitude”, healthy lifestyle, and cure rather than prevention of this life-threatening disease. I challenge that the message of hope pervading breast cancer discourse silences the despair felt by many women, furthers a tacit blaming for disease infliction via a rhetoric of personal responsibility, underemphasizes other cogent health determinants like environmental toxicity, and undermines legitimate critiques of current biomedical practices like widespread mammography. While finding a cure for breast cancer is a laudable and worthwhile healthcare goal that can understandably be shared by women’s health activists, corporate sponsors, and the medical community, this paper resists the current formation of campaigns for the cure and “pink ribbon activism” in general.

Download options

PhilArchive

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2010-10-29

Downloads
2,090 (#2,221)

6 months
73 (#10,103)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references

Similar books and articles

Women, Wellness, and the Media.Chris la Barbera & Melissa Meade - 2010 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 3 (1):158-164.
Beyond Reproduction: Women's Health, Activism, and Public Policy.Amanda R. Clarke - 2011 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 4 (2):159-164.
Beacons, Breasts, Symbols, Sex and Cancer.Domeena C. Renshaw - 1994 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 15 (4).
Breast Cancer Genetic Screening and Critical Bioethics' Gaze.Lisa S. Parker - 1995 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (3):313-337.
Bathsheba's Breast: Women, Cancer and History (Review).Mindy A. Schwartz - 2006 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 49 (1):147-149.