Léa Pool’s documentary about the breast cancer industry, Pink Ribbons Inc (clip below), premiered at the Toronto International Film Fest last month. Cancer has touched all of us, and it has probably inspired in all of us an urge to “do something”, too, but this film challenges us to think a lot more about what kinds of things we should do if we really want to stop this disease. Pool’s film was inspired by Samantha King’s book Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy.
Breast Cancer Action Montreal (BCAM) is an organization that really is working towards preventing breast cancer. They recently launched a campaign, in this spirit, asking for a recognizable symbol or label to be placed on all consumer products in Canada that contain carcinogens. But doesn’t a labelling campaign (see Femme Toxic‘) just shift the onus (and the risk!) onto individual consumers – mainly women – who will vary dramatically in their capacities to make use of that label? We at the National Network on Environments and Women’s Health argue that this “precautionary consumption” is undeniably women’s work.
Read my exchange with Patricia Kearns of BCAM here.