A pictorial guide to why I’m over “Breast Cancer Awareness” marketing


A pink oil delivery truck? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? I was driving around Boston the other day and I saw one. Then I Googled it to get a picture and found out it was one of TWO local oil companies doing this. Then my friend Karen sent me a link to the pink recycling can. So I thought I’d put together a pictorial guide to some of the odder pink breast cancer items I could find. VOILA!

Ask yourself a question: Do you know anyone who isn’t aware of breast cancer?

pinktruckoil truck

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From my original post on the topic:

Back in the day – in this case the early ‘90s – I had many friends with HIV and/or AIDS. One of whom, a true gentleman named John Kelley, wore on his jacket a Star Trek badge (right) and a red ribbon which many people were wearing then to show they knew AIDS existed. When asked about this heraldry he would respond, “Because Star Fleet cares about AIDS.” (RIP, dear John.) Which is pretty much where I’m at with all the pink that washes over marketing each October.

Let me make one thing very clear: Like everyone else, I know many people who have had breast (and other types of) cancer. One of those is Mother CollateralDamage. So it will not surprise you to learn that I, like everyone else, don’t like cancer. Now plenty of companies have done a lot to help fund research into preventing breast cancer and to them I say, “You may stop reading now.” The other day the family was driving by the HQ of New Balance sneakers and we noticed a large pink ribbon affixed to the building. Mrs. CollateralDamage: “They’ve earned it.”

But the problem is that many companies are now just slapping pink on the product or advertising and claiming they support “Breast Cancer Awareness.” As a commenter on a wonderful NYT column about Pink Ribbon Fatigue put it, “Buying stuff with pink ribbons will send some money to research and/or outreach, but it hard to tell how much that Yoplait helps. Posting ‘awareness’ status updates on facebook does absolutely nothing – I have yet to meet a person that wasn’t aware of breast cancer’s existence."


Not very pretty in pink: Monopoly for girls

There are about a trillion different editions of Monopoly out there all of which appeal to different segments of the population. For ironists there is the Dot Com edition (yeah, I got it). CollateralDamage Jr. owns something like three different Star Wars editions (one of which is a really cool design with place on the board to hold the deeds until you buy them). Apparently the one segment not yet targeted is actually 51% of the population. Thus Monopoly in pink. Ugliest edition ever? You decide. I just hope they gave Mr. Moneybags some gender re-assignment surgery. Hey Hasbro, how about just releasing the Hello Kitty edition here in the US?


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Pink is hot color for rifles, pepper spray

As old friend Laura Browder points out in her book Her Best Shot: Women and Guns in America, weapons makers have a long history of targeting women. Smith & Wesson et al. have been making rifles and pistols with lighter frames, smaller calibers and pink coloration pretty much as long as they’ve been in business. Well everything old is new again in the weapons biz, it seems.

Remington is now selling a stylish package with a pink-grained version of its 870 shotgun and matching hat. While the hat is standard issue, I have to say that from a design stand-point I love the shotgun. Not sure I’m secure enough in my masculinity to bring it along on my once-a-decade skeet shooting expeditions but hey how many people are going to make fun of you if you’re carrying a shotgun — regardless of color?


In case you’re looking for something designed more for personal protection and less for the murder of innocent skeets consider the Avurt IM-5. As Techie Diva notes:

pepperthe Avurt IM-5 looks rather harmless at first glance, but it is actually a personal protection device in disguise, boasting compressed nitrogen that can blast out in paintball-like pellets of extremely potent PAVA pepper spray at anyone whom you feel is a threat. Features include a laser sight that help you hit your target even without any training from as far as 40 feet away.

IMHO, I’d rather have something smaller and easier to carry when it comes to pepper spray dispensers. Also I’m not to sure about the effectiveness of these pellets. I want something that can give the offender a snout full of the stuff immediately and not wait for a pellet to break.

(BTW, Staff Sergeant Big Brother Collateral Damage — who has quite the impressive collection of weaponry — says that the feminine touch is very useful in actually camouflaging weaponry. He says diaper bags, the more flowery the better, are a great way to secure your pistols when going to shooting competitions, as he frequently does. At home the weapons are secured in a non-gender-specific locked safe. In case that isn’t enough discouragement to would-be burglars, there’s the fact that the home-owner keeps one of said weapons on him. Another aside: as the larger but younger brother can I just say that giving SSG BB CD fire power is pretty much guilding the lilly. I’m four inches taller at least 30 lbs heavier and wrestled in high school and college. Didn’t make any difference.)

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