Pink porta potty–too much of a good thing?

There is a construction site in my neighborhood. I drive by it often.IMG_1053 It’s like most construction sites — three or four houses at different levels of completion. One, I believe, is already sold.

As builders go, these appear to be conscientious about keeping the surrounding area as free of debris as possible. I’m grateful for that as I imagine are the neighbors nearer the site than I.

There is one thing, however, that makes this site different from any other I’ve seen. There are two Pepto-Bismol pink porta johns. As you can see in the photo there’s a pink ribbon painted on the front.

I can’t say why, but each time I drive past these eyesores I feel a bit more disconcerted, maybe agitated, than the previous pass. In writing this post I’m not having a knee-jerk reaction. I’ve had months to contemplate the possible reasons a person might be compelled to promote breast cancer awareness via outdoor toilets.

For the personal/emotional reasons I have a fairly high degree of empathy and understanding. Those who have lost a friend, mother, sister, wife, husband, etc., to breast cancer feel helpless and want to do something to save others from suffering. I get that.

The organizations that promote breast cancer awareness (Susan G Komen and Planned Parenthood come to mind.) have done an admirable job of putting that little pink ribbon and its meaning in the minds of almost all Americans. I have some pink ribbon pins I wear during October, if I remember. October is breast cancer awareness month, of course. But the ubiquitous pink ribbon has made most of us aware during the other eleven months as well. That’s a good thing.

Maybe it’s the ubiquity that has caused my discomfort. I think perhaps it has a down side. Maybe it brings out the charlatans. I seldom go shopping anywhere for anything without seeing a pink ribbon decal and a message telling me that if I buy this item the company presenting it will give a portion of the proceeds to a charity promoting awareness. But do they really? How do I know that? Do I sound cynical? I suppose I do. But I prefer to pick my charities and check them out before donating.

I would appreciate your comments. Tell me how you feel. Kindly, please. I’m especially interested in hearing from people who have or have had breast cancer. Do you like the pink toilets? You may have guessed by now that I don’t.


8 thoughts on “Pink porta potty–too much of a good thing?

  1. Is there a chance they rented a pink to be used as a ladies porta potty? My sister does this because men don’t tend to keep it as tidy as the ladies prefer when tailgating.


    • I don’t think that was the case. This was a construction site. As we know, women are underrepresented in construction jobs. I was just making an observation. I have a number of friends who have had breast cancer. Most of them are sick of the pink because some companies use the pink but don’t make the donations they say will. Thanks for reading and for your comment.


  2. I would not like the pink port-a-potty. I don’t like the pink shoes athletes wear. Breast cancer is indeed a horrid disease and I have friends who have died from it. But the truth is that heart disease is the number one killer of women, more than the next seven causes combined. Based on the profusion of pink ribbons one would think breast cancer is the biggest threat to women’s health. The truth is that while one in 31 women dies each year from breast cancer, one in THREE dies from heart disease. Would that women knew these facts as well.


    • Thanks for the info, NCMW. I knew that heart disease was a much bigger threat than breast cancer but I didn’t know the stats. One in three is scary. One of my best friends recently had a heart attack. Her prognosis is good but it scared the heck out of our girlfriend group.


  3. That toilet makes me laugh but I don’t want it in my neighborhood. Course, I don’t want a grey one either. As a breast cancer survivor, I like the idea that a construction site (probably men) would go to these lengths to promote awareness. So I guess I do like it – but keep it in your neighborhood. Thanks for the post.


    • Thanks, Brenda, I like your perspective. It tells me to lighten up a bit.

      So you’re a NIMBY. We probably all are in one way or another. Actually these are not really near my house. I just drive by them coming in to the neighborhood. I’m glad for that.


  4. I don’t believe we REALLY know where our money goes.
    Did you know that when you give a dollar to THE MARCH OF DIMES that only
    1 dime, yes, ONE DIME, goes to the charity and the rest goes to other stuff like postage????


    • I think you’re right, Chickie. And no, I had no idea that only a dime per dollar went to helping people. I don’t think March of Dimes has always been that way. When my sister had polio back in the 50s, they paid her entire hospital bill and it wasn’t just because we were poor. They did that for all patients of polio at that particular hospital. Ah, well. Change is constant and not always for the better.


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