My Komen Rant

Gee, they reversed their decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
And the rightwing politico vice-president of public relations is gone now too.
So, does this mean we are all happy families again?
Is it time to pull out all the pink ribbons, and start prepping for the next run?
Heck no.

The rightwing types who ran to Komen’s defense accused Planned Parenthood and their supporters of “politicizing” the matter.
Their refrain was “Komen can spend their money any way they want to.”
Komen has no money.
What they have are donations from people who gave time and money freely, believing that Komen was an honest broker dealing with a single, women’s health issue.
And anyone who gave to them has a perfect right to ask about what has been done with their donations.
So much for spin.

I think it is safe to say that no one contributing to Komen did so under the impression that they were contributing to an attack on women’s right to reproductive choice.
Even people who might contribute to to such an attack elsewhere, had no reason to believe that Komen had such an agenda, since Komen claimed to be a single-issue organization.
A place where the exclusive focus on breast cancer would allow people from all political perspectives to focus on this one goal.
A goal that was seen as non-political.
Many people contributing to Komen came to that support via Planned Parenthood,.which itself helped promote Komen events.
Planned Parenthood is the older, and – cynical political attacks from the rightwing aside – the more respected organization.
Planned Parenthood has not changed their activities.

Komen’s initial hiring of Handel is where politics came in.
A rightwing political wannabe, Handel couldn’t get herself elected governor in Georgia where she ran with an explicit campaign pledge to eliminate all funding for Planned Parenthood.
Having failed with the voters, she went for a cushy private sector job provided by corporate types who liked the cut of her jib.
And she found it with Komen, whose board looked at her and said “That’s our girl!”
They hired her for who she is and the vision she offered.
This was a politically-motivated hiring.
Handel may be gone now, but the people who hired her are still running things.
I see no reason to trust them.
Komen aren’t the only people who support research against cancer:
Komen aren’t the only people who work for women’s health issues.
There is no dearth of places to send your donations to support these causes, and trust them to be put to use appropriately, even though Komen has proved untrustworthy.

Screw them.


10 responses to this post.

  1. I have been planning to share Margaret and Helen’s post on the Komen thing (since I am not good at writing as you and they are!). I don’t want people thinking that everything is just hunky dory and we can all go back to Walking for a Cure or whatever the slogan of the week is.
    I am completely done with Komen, too, and there will be no going back.


  2. Posted by Cap'n Stephel on February 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    [this is good]


  3. Complaints about the Susan B. Komen for the Cure have come up several times over the past couple of years. I stopped participating in the Run after I left Minnesota, largely because of articles like these:

    I feel so bad for the women who are survivors of breast cancer and who received support and help from Komen. Karen Lynn, one of my ex-Vox friends, wrote a heartfelt plea to “not throw out the baby with the bath water.” She has good reason to feel the way she does, especially after going through the hell of chemo and surgery.

    (And now that I’ve posted two links, this will go to the spam folder….)

    Still, I feel like Komen has taken advantage of a very vulnerable group of people. I sent my Komen t-shirt back to the Minneapolis branch, explaining why I would never wear it again. I haven’t heard back from them.


  4. Only 15% went to research. That’s quite a few salaries and fundraising parties as well as political support. Too many others willing to do good work.


  5. I agree, any donations I have to give will be given to planned parenthood.
    I also read the essay that Butter Lover wrote… kind of sobering. I knew as soon as I could buy cheap imported made pink products like spatulas and coffee mugs (which have chemicals in the plastic that cause cancer) that the foundation became more about making money. SO sad.


  6. What a mess.


  7. Gotta love a well-put rant!


  8. Posted by geologywoman on February 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I kept thinking, Who is Koman and I know I have heard that before…then of course you explained it. (all I had to do was keep reading but I have cookies in the oven)
    How ridiculous! And as Rob said so well, What a mess!!!


  9. Posted by geologywoman on February 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    KomEn not Koman but heh heh, why not kowoman as in cow…this Handel imbecile.


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