Paper Towels Ruined My Morning

7 Feb

I don’t know about you but I am still annoyed about this whole Susan G. Komen/Planned Parenthood thing.  I am, obviously, annoyed because of the actual events as they occurred.  I think the apology issued by Komen was some bullshit.  I wish Karen Handel would have gotten fired rather than being able to resign her position.  I think it would have been great if Komen would have had better sense than to hire a woman who is not pro-woman in the first place for an organization that claims to be all about women’s health.  It would have been nice if they hadn’t played into that stereotype that we all love pink because, really, I think there are a lot of women who prefer, say, orange instead.  Forget the color, actually, how about if Komen actually gave credit where credit was due, say, to Charlotte Haley, the 68-year-old designer of the original pink ribbon which were actually peach-colored and were handmade in her dining room.  Self Magazine approached Charlotte Haley and asked her if they could join forces with her, use her ribbon, make it national.  Haley said no, they were too commercial.  So what did they do?  They took her ribbon, made it pink, and now here we are.  Here we are, stuck with pink, and all this political bullshit that now accompanies it.  Because clearly breast cancer research can’t just be about providing grants for breast cancer screening, or trying to find a cure, or at least finding a less painful, less invasive way of dealing with such a prevalent disease.  No, it has to be about a message.  About marketing.  About being the top dog.  About feeling good about yourself as a company.  About pink.

Okay so this morning I was in the bathroom, brushing my teeth, looking around when I noticed it.  There it was, a previously innocuous package of 12 rolls of Bounty paper towels and it was swathed in pink.  A giant pink ribbon covered the external packaging that held together all the individually wrapped bundles of non-recycled paper towels (see how deep the guilt goes? See what I get for not buying Marcal Small Steps or some other green version of the incredibly wasteful paper products that we all use?).  And I was angry.  Obviously, I was angry that we had decided to take the savings-route rather than the responsible-route, but mostly I was angry that I had inadvertently donated to this organization that was intentionally, and don’t let them tell you otherwise, intentionally fighting against something that I consider to be very important.  The right for a woman to make a choice.  A goddamn choice.  Which then reminded me of Representative Jackie Speier and what she said on the House floor.  (By the way, this is actually the flow of thoughts as they come to my head.  Paper towels –> not green –> bad choice –> no choice! –> Representative Jackie Speier.  Scary, isn’t it?) After listening to man after man talk about his disgust with abortion, his disgust, really, with women, which to me means his disgust with circumstance and with the fact that cost-cutting and disdain for minorities (largely by his very party, by the way) have left women, especially low-income, minority women, with few options when it came to reproductive health (options?  who needs options??) and the cost of having a child with basically no social safety net, she said the following:

“Mr. Chairman, I had really planned to speak about something else, but the gentleman from New Jersey has just put my stomach in knots, because I’m one of those women he spoke about just now. That procedure that you just talked about was a procedure that I endured…But for you to stand on this floor and to suggest as you have somehow this is a procedure that is either welcome or done cavalierly or done without any thought is preposterous.”

Bravo, Jackie Speier.  Bravo for saying something that so many of us think but either don’t have the opportunity, or the availability of words, to actually say.  I find it insulting that an organization that claims to be all about women, all about our health, would voluntarily hire someone who is so obviously against the best interest of women and think that we wouldn’t eventually find out about it.  I am also insulted that Howie Kurtz has decided that it was the media that forced the apology, bullshit apology that it was.  In fact, you know what Howie?  I will give you that lame-ass apology.  I will let you and your industry take full responsibility for that one because I hope that the rest of us can actually get something of substance.  Think about it this way:  pro-choice people are angry and are donating to Planned Parenthood instead of Komen.  Anti-choice people are angry that funding was restored and are donating to some organization involving the word “Family” in its title.  Komen is scared because the money that used to come easy isn’t coming easy anymore.  Because you know what speaks louder than the media, Howie?  Money.  That’s what.  So, as I said, take credit for that apology.  I’m still waiting for a real one. And I am also, by the way, waiting for all the Komen corporate sponsors to back out, one by one, so I can once again use my cancer-causing skin lotion and nuun rehydration tablets and listen to the New Kids on the Block and eat Beemster cheese without being thrown into fits of rage.

And finally, I am angry that my whole zen-like, tooth brushing experience this morning was completely ruined by my pink ribbon sighting and I wonder, will my morning ritual ever be the same?  At least as long as those paper towels are there?

Disclaimer:  I do not, to my knowledge use any cancer-causing skin lotion.  I only said that for effect.  I also don’t listen to New Kids on the Block while I eat Beemster cheese or at any other time.  I do, however, really like my nuun tablets and I am glad that I stocked up on them before this whole thing happened to I can justify using them because I don’t want them to go to waste.  Also, I enjoy run-on sentences.  The end.

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