Three reasons I wish I could quit you, Susan G. Komen!

Yesterday, Lori  blogged the then-breaking news that the Susan G. Komen Foundation would stop funding Planned Parenthood’s breast cancer screenings, bowing to pressure from ironically named “pro-life” groups and their ironically named “pro-life” new Vice-President, Karen Handel. Handel unsuccessfully ran for Governor of Texas Georgia on an anti-Planned Parenthood platform, saying “Let me be clear, since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.” Since the Foundation’s cuts will mean a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars that would have gone to breast exams, these organizations and this Handel, are less pro-life and more anti-life, pro-cancer and, ultimately pro-death.

Of course, people are encouraging folks to donate directly to Planned Parenthood, or other great organizations. Sure, not having women die in back alleys is great. Giving women who otherwise couldn’t afford lifesaving breast cancer screenings and breast health education is great too. But the truth is, I don’t know if I have the budget for any donations, because then I would have to dip into my monthly allotment for Susan G. Komen products. And I’m not sure I am prepared to take that radical step.

How could I live without The Foundation’s “Promise Me™ Eau de Toilette? It’s:

An alluring floriental fragrance that combines classic elegance with a modern twist. Introduced with breezy aldehydes and sparkling citrus notes, the initial impression is fresh and uplifting. As the fragrance becomes one with your skin, the floral bouquet blossoms in the heart, revealing sensual femininity. The background lends warmth and opulence, enveloping the scent with a long lasting trail.

Actually, I probably should live without the perfume, since, as Breast Cancer Action explains, the perfume has chemicals that are “a) categorized as toxic and hazardous, b) have not been adequately evaluated for human safety, and c) have demonstrated negative health effects.”

And I can’t do anything without these amazing pom pom tipped gloves. OK, maybe I can’t do anything with my hands when I wear them but the number of compliments and high fives I get when I wear them makes it soooo worth it.

And I’ve been saving up for my  for my pink M&P9 JG Smith and Wesson gun! It’s not just because I love guns, or because approximately 700 American women are shot and killed by intimate partners each year. It’s because Smith and Wesson donates a portion of its proceeds to the Susan G Komen Foundation! This is actually THE perfect product for Susan G Komen, because nothing says “anti-life,” more than a gun? Well, maybe the Susan G Komen Foundation.

But in all seriousness, please do check out this list, compiled by Nona Willis Aronowitz, of ways you can support Planned Parenthood and similar organizations. And sign this petition, urging the foundation not to throw Planned Parenthood under the bus.


Born and raised on the mean streets of New York City’s Upper West Side, Katie Halper is a comic, writer, blogger, satirist and filmmaker based in New York. Katie graduated from The Dalton School (where she teaches history) and Wesleyan University (where she learned that labels are for jars.) A director of Living Liberally and co-founder/performer in Laughing Liberally, Katie has performed at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Culture Project, D.C. Comedy Festival, all five Netroots Nations, and The Nation Magazine Cruise, where she made Howard Dean laugh! and has appeared with Lizz Winstead, Markos Moulitsas, The Yes Men, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Hightower. Her writing and videos have appeared in The New York Times, Comedy Central, The Nation Magazine, Gawker, Nerve, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, Alternet and Katie has been featured in/on NY Magazine, LA Times, In These Times, Gawker,Jezebel, MSNBC, Air America, GritTV, the Alan Colmes Show, Sirius radio (which hung up on her once) and the National Review, which called Katie “cute and some what brainy.” Katie co-produced Tim Robbins’s film Embedded, (Venice Film Festival, Sundance Channel); Estela Bravo’s Free to Fly (Havana Film Festival, LA Latino Film Festival); was outreach director for The Take, Naomi Klein/Avi Lewis documentary about Argentine workers (Toronto & Venice Film Festivals, Film Forum); co-directed New Yorkers Remember the Spanish Civil War, a video for Museum of the City of NY exhibit, and wrote/directed viral satiric videos including Jews/ Women/ Gays for McCain.

Katie is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and New Yorker.

Read more about Katie

Join the Conversation

  • Christine

    I think she ran for Governor of Georgia, not Texas.

  • Tasha-Rose

    this is fabulous.

  • Katie

    Thanks! And you’re right. I will change it now :)

  • Margo
  • Natalie

    I agree that some of the things the Susan G. Komen Foundation has their name on is ridiculous. There are times when I truly believe it is more of a marketing ploy, and I question how much of that money goes towards cancer research. But I do have this to say. Be careful what products you’re knocking. I am a feminist. I am also a proponent of my right to bear arms. I understand that 700 women were shot by intimate partners, but it was not the guns that killed those women. It was the intimate partner. If the partner hadn’t had access to a gun, s/he would have most likely beaten her to death. A death wish is a death wish. You can impulsively beat the shit out of someone just as impulsively as you can grab a gun and shoot.

    • Candice

      Not that all feminists have the same views on gun control, because they don’t, but feminism is to the left of the political spectrum. The left tends to support gun control. You should expect a mainstream feminist website to have reservations about guns, even if you disagree.

      • Erin

        That’s rather ridiculous to expect a site to align with all things generally left. It is more effective to take the analysis a little farther, which is what Natalie was pushing for. I’m glad she made the comment that she did, pushing back is part of creating effective dialogue.

    • F.Toth

      Absolutely. It boggles my mind that there are those who self-identify as feminists who do not believe that the right to bear arms is a feminist issue the same as right to control your own body.

      I’ll add to Natalie’s post: it was not the guns that are at fault but the domestic “partners.”

    • liv79

      Well said. I’m not much of a gun proponent, but I appreciate your point that it is the individual who chooses to kill the partner, irrespective of the choice of weapon.

    • Erin

      Thanks for making this comment, you beat me to it! I like women to have the option to bear arms for self-protection. In North Carolina, if a court finds that a women is a victim of domestic abuse, they will expedite a concealed weapons permit for her, within 24 hours. I own and maintain a weapon of my own, but I don’t wear it on my sleeve or put a sticker on my car.

  • Jacqui

    Hi guys, great to see another good feminist website! Just wanted to comment about this article though to say that women are not being told the whole truth about breast cancer. Check out what the Nordic Cochrane Centre/Institute has to say about the whole deal. It makes for some very interesting reading. The scientists from the NCI have done lots and lots of study on breast cancer, and the “business” of breast screening. They have brought out a book that everyday people can read and understand, called “Mammography Screening: Truth, lies and Controversy”. Of course the breast screening associations and doctors are up in arms about it, but it is about time that women the world over are told the whole truth about things like breast cancer. The whole gyn industry is another area that women who can think for themselves need to be looking at too. If you are interested, check out the NCI, and also check out some articles by Dr. Angela Raffle regarding cervical cancer and the whole industry surrounding that. It makes for some very disturbing reading. Feminists and all women need to start demanding some truth, some informed consent, and some respect from the cancer screening associations, the governments, and the medical industry. Feminism got us the care that we need, but now we need to start taking back our rights to informed consent, equality, and bodily dignity. Thanks for your time.

  • F.Toth

    PS I loathe the Breast Cancer Industry and everything pink.

    I have friend fighting breast cancer who did everything one does to get cancer (apart from smoking). She heavily uses cosmetics, eats the documented bad for you American diet, and has the sort of career which depends on both those things. Now she is swathed in pink and it just makes me angry that the very items that may have lead to her illness are now profiting from it.

  • wisewoman

    Although, even gun-totten’ feminists don’t necessarily need pink-handled M&P9 JG Smith and Wesson guns to defend themselves. I personally prefer 1911 pistol in 9mm – no pink handle there. And it stays securely locked up in my gun safe.