Movember Madness

Posted: November 7, 2012 in In Transition
Tags: ,

So I’m rowing my ass off on the ergometer this past Monday and it hits me:  all the dudes here look like skeevy porn stars.  It was more than just a little disconcerting.  Then I remembered, “Oh yeah!  It’s November”, or ‘Movember’ as it has affectionately become known in the nationwide effort to raise awareness amongst men regarding, get ready for it…prostate cancer.

Yes, so now during my regular visits to the gym for the next 30 days or so I will also have to endure sharing the equipment and space with dozens and dozens of 70’s porn star wannabe’s.  Oh Lord, just shoot me now.  So let it be known right now, far and wide:


Now, before you feel the urge to reach out and deliver me an Internet donkey punch directly in the puss let it also be known that I think cancer sucks too.  So what’s my deal then?  Well, my whole problem with this bristly epidemic is this:

What does growing a bit of lip muff have to do with prostate cancer?  It’s not like mustaches grow on prostates, so what gives?  Is it to support men’s health?  Is it because a man in his natural manly and testosterone zenith is capable of growing lush facial hair?  Or is just shaving it unnatural?  I don’t get the whole underlying message here that drives many men to willingly turn themselves into creepy-looking pedophiles.  It seems to me that the women have the overall better marketing plan for Breast Cancer by promoting a more active, healthy lifestyle with 5k and 10k runs to support their cause.  What do we guys do?  We transform ourselves willy-nilly into Dirk Diggler.  I don’t understand how that raises awareness for…anything.  All I’m wondering is if the guy rowing beside me is going to try and lure me into the back alley behind the YMCA later after our workout for some hot man-on-man action.

To me, this whole Movember thing has become more a kind of ‘Slactivism’, more about the silliness and the fun than it is about raising awareness for anything.  It’s hardly about prostate cancer.  It’s an excuse to grow a mustache, or as in many cases, try to grow a mustache while feeling like you’re doing something important.  Does this act of non-shaving share any relevant information about the importance of being screened, or where to get screened?  No.  Does it tell you how you can prevent prostate cancer?  No.  Does it tell you the symptoms you should be aware of?  Again, no!  Does it even tell you how many are affected by this heinous condition?  Fuck no.  It just tells the rest of us that you may be a sex offender.  End of story.

And before you try and suggest to me that the moustache is supposed to be some sort of starting point for more important prostate cancer conversation – a ridiculous notion if you think about it – look around.  Has Movember actually improved awareness of the disease?  Did you stop and ask the guy at the gym lifting weights why he chose to look so ridiculous between his sets?  You probably just avoided him by trying to find a bench on the opposite side of the building, right?

Take Schick as a prime example, a razor company participating in the prevalent Movember advertising.  As part of their campaign for it, they are giving out a “License to grow” if you ‘Like’ them on Facebook.  I don’t see any mention of prostate cancer on this “License” or their Facebook Page, let alone substantial awareness of the cause. The emphasis of course is on getting you to buy their products to create a moustache.  I wouldn’t even mind that so much if prostate cancer was at least part of their conversation.  Schick’s lack of messaging and awareness about prostate cancer is typical of the Movember movement.

Furthermore, the fact that we have chosen to refer to this whole kitschy action as ‘Movember’ has totally separated us from the issue at hand – namely, prostate cancer.  True, “Ass Cancer Awareness Month” doesn’t really have a pleasant ring to it, but what does it to do draw any obviously parallels as it is now?  At least ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ has its name stamped all over it.  There is no ignoring what you are doing and why.  You can avoid prostate cancer altogether with ‘Movember’ by simply focusing on the gimmick of growing a mustache and, therefore, making it more – shall we say – user friendly.  There is not effort, per se.  There’s no training to work through in suffering for your cause as would in, say, those running races put on by those chicks in pink ribbons.  So it has become a superficial contest ending with me staring at pages and pages of mustaches in various degrees of growth on my Facebook feed – and not one of them has uttered a word about prostate cancer awareness.  At the gym, it’s even weirder because they’re totally in my face and I simply cannot log off to avoid seeing them altogether.  What would happen if the girls decided to refuse shaving for an entire month and go all ‘au natural’ for their cause?  What kind of a world would that be?

So what does this have to do with triathlon?  Well, nothing.  It’s just a recent gripe I’ve decided to air in lieu of not being able to run, being cranky about it, and not exactly loving being back indoors.  ‘Nuff said.  Back to work…


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