The Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) has announced its second annual Shoot for the Cure next Sunday. The event will benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation as "evidence of the ISRA's commitment to help eradicate the scourge of breast cancer."
"Firearm owners are eager to help find a cure," ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson, said in a press release. "This event allows us to have a little fun while helping out the Komen organization."
According to the Centers for Disease Control, aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. It's also one of the leading causes of cancer death among women.
During October, Breast Cancer Awareness month, American consumers are often deluged by waves of pink marketing products and gimmicks on items such as pepper spray, handguns, porn sites and even garbage trucks. The practice has come to be known as "pinkwashing."
The Susan G. Komen Foundation, one of the most high-profile breast cancer foundations, has made an effort to crack down on some of the allegedly unauthorized uses of its name for breast-cancer themed products.
In response to a recent fundraising initiative from porn site Pornhub.com for example, a Komen spokesperson told The Huffington Post that, "Susan G. Komen for the Cure is not a partner of pornhub.com. We will not accept donations from this organization and have asked them to stop using our name."
And in a move that may spell bad news for the ISRA's fundraising attempts, Komen also denied partnering with Seattle-based gun retailer Discount Gun Sales (DGS). In February, the gun manufacturer advertised its pink Walther P-22 "Hope Edition" handgun "meant to raise awareness about a life-threatening predator: cancer," CBS News reported, but a Komen representative said the foundation had "no record" of ever receiving proceeds from sales of the weapon.
Initial requests for comment from Susan G. Komen for the Cure regarding the "Shoot For The Cure" event went unanswered Monday.
Recently, some organizations such as Breast Cancer Action have sought to temper the pink marketing surge with campaigns like "Think Before You Pink," which seeks to highlight "the hypocrisy of the worst pinkwashers– the companies or organizations whose pink products contribute to increasing our risk of developing the disease," CBC News reports.
Xeni Jardin, co-founder of the blog Boing Boing, is a cancer survivor and vocal opponent of pinkwashing. Last week Jardin asked her Twitter followers to tweet their most egregious and obnoxious examples of pinkwashing with the hashtag #pinknausea.
Share your vomit-y PINKTOBER breast cancer pink consumerism crap snapshots (crapshots?) with me with #pinknausea tag, I'll RT selects.
— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) October 1, 2012
So far, Jardin's tweet has been receiving a lot of attention, with many followers sending in pictures and sharing personal stories.
Over past few days, I’ve been RTing reactions of actual breast cancer patients to “pinksploitation,” profit-driven branding of #Pinktober.
— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) October 4, 2012
— EJ McKenzie-Matwiy (@mckmat) October 6, 2012
— Kira (@kiragoldenberg) October 2, 2012
Jezebel's Erin Gloria Ryan has also compiled a list of some of the sillier pink ribbon products available, including the Faith Breast Cancer Awareness Vibrator and Poo-Pourri, "the most effective before-you-go bathroom spray."