Please distribute widely and with abandon.


PleasePayAttentionToTheWomanBehindTheRibbon is devoted to expanding and deepening the discussion of breast cancer.  We invite those who have experienced breast cancer—and our allies—to untie the pink ribbon in order to explore what lies within, beneath and beyond.  Indeed, most of us have experienced breast cancer, and nearly all of us have experienced Breast Cancer Awareness campaigns.  However, awareness comes in many colors, not only pink.


The future of PleasePayAttentionToTheWomanBehindTheRibbon depends on your interest and participation.  The goal is to have a daily entry in October 2014 and periodically afterward.

Submission Criteria

  • Criterion for Content: All submissions must reconsider the pink ribbon—or ignore it!   A contributor may reclaim it and/or create an alternative to it.  The ribbon need not to mentioned explicitly as long as this criterion is met.  The goal is to honor the spectrum of experience, unencumbered by pink.
  • While submissions from women (and men) who have been treated for breast cancer are especially encouraged, all are welcome to submit as long as the above criterion is met.  We encourage submissions from anyone for whom breast cancer is a concern, from loved ones, and from any other thoughtful people—as well as for anyone who has thoughts about Breast Cancer Awareness as it is currently configured.  That includes, well, pretty much everyone.
  • Any form of writing is welcome: critical essay, memoir, remembrances, poetry, open letter,—even brief references to useful publications you would like to share.  A sentence, a haiku, a journal entry, a challenge.  All fair game.
  • Artworks (images, videos) of other sorts are also welcome.  With or without text.
  • The goal of PleasePayAttentionToTheWomanBehindTheRibbon is simply that: to pay attention, not to cultivate polarization or hostility.  While critique and truth-telling are encouraged, name-calling and other forms of aggression are not.  Our only goal is to expand discussion beyond its current limitations.
  • PleasePayAttentionToTheWomanBehindTheRibbon assumes no obligation to represent the appeal of or advocacy for the pink ribbon or to accommodate “talk back” in that regard.  There is plenty of that already.
  • We aim to include as many submissions as possible from as wide a selection of contributors as possible.
  • The editors welcome writing of all hues and will aim to limit editorial intervention to the extent possible.  Any significant interventions will be discussed with the contributor.  Simple proofreading and standardization will not.
  • Length is flexible.  Think of “standard blog length” as a good rule of thumb.   Shorter submissions are welcome.
  • There is no restriction on publishing elsewhere as well as here.  All contributors retain copyright to their work.  This is a non-commercial, collaborative endeavor.
  • Anonymous or pseudonymous entries are welcome.  Be sure to give contact information (which will be kept confidential) and indicate clearly how you would like to be represented.


Send submissions (and questions)  to Rosie Untied at
All submissions will receive a reply within one week.

File format recommendations:

  • For prose etc.: Word .doc
  • Shorter entires can be sent via email
  • For art and other larger files, please post in a client like Dropbox if possible (rather than sending large attachments).