Breast Cancer Campaign’s mission is to beat breast cancer by funding innovative world-class research to understand how breast cancer develops, leading to improved diagnosis, treatment, prevention and cure.
Supporters are asked to wear any item of pink and donate £2 to the charity. This can be anything from pink socks to dying your hair pink. So far the charity has raised £3.1 million for breast cancer research from Wear It Pink Day in 2007.
Question(s) for Wear It Pink day: In the official poster (see below), is the image sexist? And why? Feel free to answer in the comments, if you please…
ETA, November 3: I emailed Breast Cancer Campaign about the image, to say I thought it was sexist; to ask how it was selected and to say that I thought an image which sexualises women in this way (it’s hard not to spot echoes of the Playboy bunny in that picture too) wasn’t really suitable.
So this is the reply I got:
Thank you for your email and feedback regarding the wear it pink poster.
Throughout our design process for this years event, we have at all times taken into consideration people who have been affected by breast cancer and have therefore engaged various stakeholders throughout the process of the design. The design is in no way meant to be sexist or demeaning, so we apologise that this has offended you. We have in fact designed a variety of posters this year so that people can choose the level of ‘daring’ that they wish. Please do take a look at our generic poster, which I’m sure you’ll find suitable.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you wish and we will certainly take your comments into consideration in the future. I do hope you enjoyed this years wear it pink and I am sorry if it caused you offence.
In case the link should stop working, here’s a smaller version of that ‘generic poster’:
Okay, well first of all, I’m not a big fan of conditional apologies (“sorry if…”)
And I can’t help but feel that the fact that they can so quickly come up with the generic alternative rather suggests they might have been expecting complaints – in which case, why not just make a non-sexist poster in the first place?
The worst thing, I think, is the fact that it’s put back on to me to decide, when really, there shouldn’t even be a choice, especially when those are the only options. It’s not about “choosing a level of ‘daring'” – it’s about not perpetuating sexist stereotypes and demeaning women generally, especially when they are likely to be a large part of your target demographic.
So, Wear It Pink next year? Hmm, probably not. Not now – not again.
There are, after all, many other good causes in need of donations.