Wednesday, February 01, 2012

komen steps in it

it's not just that i disagree with the politics behind the move. putting aside my thoughts about the abortion issue, i think the komen foundation made a really stupid move. part of their success is that the organization was not entangled in partisanship or the culture wars. most people, from every corner of the political spectrum, have friends or loved ones who have fought the breast cancer. the ubiquitous pink ribbons and pink brand tie-ins made it easy for people to send money to komen while feeling confident that they were doing something good. sure, there has been criticism of komen in the past. but that stuff didn't get much attention and never sullied the organization's reputation with the general public.

this, on the other hand, will. the media is interested in the abortion issue. the "pinkwashing" allegations just don't plug into a well-known polarizing issue in the same way. so now pro-choicers will stop funding komen, both through direct donations and by avoiding those pink ribboned products (as mistermix notes the logo is so familiar with the public, it makes boycotts easy). meanwhile pro-lifers will try to throw their support behind the organization, but it won't be enough. the komen foundation benefited enormously from the fact that it was an organization that nearly everyone wanted to support. now there's a large portion of the public that won't.

(image via)

ADDING: and once again, someone else out there makes the same point i was trying to make, but better.  oh well.