October is a great month. I think we can all agree that Pumpkin Spice flavored anything is better than the original. I’m still waiting to hear back about my suggestions for pumpkin spice toothpaste and pumpkin spice vodka. It’s looking good.
October is also fantastic in terms of the weather gods. Here in Florida, we get a lot of hot and wet, and not a lot of cool and enjoyable. There is a reason they call us the “armpit of America.” This analogy rings true, especially during the hot summer months.
But in October, things get better. The exact right combination of sunshine, “cool” weather and lack of rain make for the most enjoyable weather that us Jacksonvillians could ask for (besides my birthday. I have more than eight years’ evidence that my birthday is the crème de la crème of perfect weather days in Jacksonville). Ugg boots get broken out in October, even though afternoon temperatures can still reach the 90s. We can’t help it, the chilly mornings get us all excited.
My über holiday is also an October celebration: Halloween is the perfect combination of fun costumes, candy and drinking, without religious obligations.
On a more serious note, October has turned pink. It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and everything I own/buy/rent/support has transformed into a Pepto-Bismol hue. The people at Susan G. Komen have hired themselves some brilliant marketing people, because their corporate sponsorships and their “pinkwashing” of all material items has made them synonymous with one of the most visible and supported causes.
A couple thoughts I just want to throw out into the universe:
- Can we pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top stop referring to breasts as “ta-tas” and “boobies“? It is tacky and icky, and makes a very real and serious illness seem silly. It also just gives me the heebie jeebies. We are all grown-ups here.
- Why are we, especially as women, not pissed off? We are “racing for the cure,” “walking for the cure,” “shopping for the cure.” But where is the indignation? Us women are experts at seeing injustice, getting pissed off, and marching in the streets. But, as Jonathan Kim, a film critic for ReThink Reviews states in his review of the documentary Pink Ribbons Inc.: “the pink ribbon movement and the culture around it has “drained and deflected” the anger and militancy of the original breast cancer protests and replaced it with something cute, positive and toothless that lets those who may be responsible for this epidemic off the hook, right down to the use of the color pink, which female focus groups said was the friendliest, most feminine, least threatening color.” Drinking from a pink water bottle is cute. Wearing a pink ribbon is sweet. Running a 5K in a tutu and a hot pink bra is funny. But where is the suffragette-level anger? Where is the feminist bra-burning spirit?
This brings me to my original topic for this blog post.
October is a great month. Amidst the pink frenzy and pumpkin spice takeover, a small and silent awareness day occurs. Today is World Sight Day, a small leaf in the huge oak tree of Things That Need Awareness. Almost 300 million people are visually impaired in the world. 80% of them don’t have to be. The leading cause of blindness in the world, specifically in third world countries, is cataracts. Cataracts, the clouding of lenses, require a simple, quick, inexpensive and nonevasive procedure. But most people do not recieve this procedure, either due to lack of money, experienced opticians, or both.
It doesn’t have a ribbon, or a color. There are no tacky rubber bracelets or tutu-clad runners in support of the Great Fight for Sight. But that doesn’t make it any less important. In fact, the lack of awareness makes it even more important to become educated about sight health and protection.
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