I told myself I was done with the Susan G. Komen® foundation. I didn’t really want to write about this organization any more. I’ve said my piece time and time again it seems. A few of my Komen piece links are included at the end of this one in case you want to read them. I don’t blame you if you don’t; topic Komen can be more than a bit “fatiguing”…
Another Mother’s Day has come and gone, as has yet another Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® event at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota; and here I am feeling compelled to write about it once again.
Before going any further, it’s important to acknowledge, that my “beef” with this organization is not with the walkers/racers. It is not with the local chapters themselves. It is not with the hard working individuals on the ground doing the work and raising the money.
It’s with the leadership at the top – the very top.
For the past three Mother’s Days when I watched the evening news covering this now traditional Mother’s Day event, I have found myself becoming more and more annoyed by all that smiling being done by the news anchors as they reported on this now annual make-you-feel-good event of the day.
All that smiling only adds to the confusion and the misleading, which I’m getting to…
This year I finally realized I feel so aggravated by this annual event and all that smiling because for me, it feels like a double exploitation. I not only feel as if the disease of breast cancer has been exploited here, I also feel as if Mother’s Day has been as well. When I think of breast cancer and the fact that I no longer have a mother on Mother’s Day because of breast cancer, I don’t feel like smiling. And when I think of Susan G. Komen®, I do not feel like smiling. Instead, it feels more like Komen is rubbing salt in my wounds.
The reason I decided to go ahead with this particular post on this topic is because Nancy Brinker “made me do it.”
As many of you know already, recently it was announced all over social media and elsewhere that Nancy Brinker received a 64% pay increase; must be nice, right?
Three words immediately popped into my mind as I started writing this piece – arrogance, misleading and out-of-touch.
Allow me to elaborate just a bit.
It’s beyond my comprehension how Ms. Brinker could even contemplate giving herself a raise at all this year, much less such a huge one. Generally, big raises are given for stellar, or at least good, performance. Does she not remember the Planned Parenthood fiasco? Does she not read about the declining number of participants in Komen events? Does she not pay attention to social media chatter about dissatisfaction with her organization? Does she not care how this looks? And wasn’t she supposed to have resigned from her CEO position last year anyway?
Here’s a good visual from The Sarcastic Boob about the 64%. It says a lot doesn’t it?
If I were Ms. Brinker, I’d be lying low and definitely not raising my own salary. This blatant disregard for shifting public sentiment, smacks of arrogance in my book. What else could explain it?
Some information which Komen has used and continues to use/promote is just that – misleading. This organization seems to cling to over simplified and therefore sometimes misleading information. Here is an earlier well-written piece, The real scandal: science denialism at Susan G. Kome for the Cure®. It caused quite a stir. Follow the trail to this follow-up piece called, Susan G. Komen (for the Cure) Still Overselling Mammography.
In case you missed it, author Peggy Orenstein has written an in-depth must-read piece about the failings of Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer.
The bottom line here is when you are the leading (self-proclaimed) breast cancer charitable organization, shouldn’t one of your primary goals be embracing and then sharing the latest proven scientific data/information?
When you think about it, this one goes hand in hand with the other two doesn’t it? The Komen organization appears to be out-of-touch with what most people really expect (and maybe think they’re presently getting) from the leading (again, self-proclaimed) charitable breast cancer organization out there.
What do most people want?
It’s really pretty simple IMO.
They’d like to see this organization make an entrance into the twenty-first century, offer more inclusiveness regarding the metastatic and inflammatory breast cancer communities and come up with a more balanced (more dollars for research) fiscal pie chart.
Here’s an analysis by fellow blogger Knot Telling about how that pie is presently divvied up. Do click here to take a look.
The fiscal pie issue really all boils down to one simple question.
When an organization is (or is it was?) supposedly all about cure, which will only come through research, is 80% of the money raked in being spent on other stuff acceptable?
I don’t think so.
What about you?
Okay, now I’m done. Again.
Important Note: Interestingly, Susan G. Komen no longer refers to itself as Susan G. Komen for the Cure® on its site’s home page. (The “for the Cure” part has been removed). However, elsewhere it still does. Does this organization want it both ways?
In case you’re up to reading more:
How do you feel about all these races, especially the ones taking place on Mother’s Day?
What charitable breast cancer organizations do you support?