Movember: men’s sad attempt to compete with breast cancer awareness month. If you haven’t heard of this movement it is when men grow mustaches through the month of November to raise awareness for men’s health issues. Really, the only way to know about this is to ask someone who is participating in it; and they really want you to ask. I guess it makes them feel good but I think it just makes them look stupid.
The term “Movember” was coined by a group of friends in Adelaide, Australia in 1999. Not much is known about these men except that they used the popularity of the phrase to raise money for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty. I say not much is known about these guys because their idea was stolen by a group of 30 men in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 who turned it into a very lucrative worldwide phenomenon. If you look on their website, the Movember organization will give you a very detailed history that begins in 2003 and completely leaves out the poor 1999 guys who must be pissed now, stupid or probably both. Anyway, that’s all in the past. Movember is a big business that does good things, don’t get me wrong, but most of it is a bunch of fluff.
Enough “awareness.” Movember is supposed to increase awareness for men’s health issues such as testicular and prostate cancer. To me it looks like a bunch of men, tired of being clobbered on the head with a pink hammer throughout October, trying to get attention. The problem is that in today’s “PC” world, no one wants to hear about men’s problems. So you all end up looking like members of the Village People fan club. Frankly, I’m tired of being reminded of cancer every time I watch anything or look at a person’s face. We all know too well about the disease and seeing a pink towel hang off the ass of a 300-pound offensive lineman isn’t helping.
Instead of donating to awareness, let’s donate to research. The problem with organizations like Komen and Movember is the majority of their income is spent on advertising, administration and running the organization. After all this expense, their contribution to actual research becomes minimal and secondary. Instead of having the NFL spend all the money they do on pink equipment, have them donate that cash to a lab working on treatments and cures. Instead of giving money to Movember and walking around looking you should have a warning sign in your yard for a month, give money to a hospital that specializes in treating men’s cancers. In fact, studies show that only 5% of the revenue generated from the “NFL Pink” merchandise is donated to cancer research. How abysmal. These organizations feel to me like unnecessary middlemen.
I’d like to ask men to stop defending their facial hair like it’s some beloved pet. For some people, mustaches are their adult security blankets. Members of the Boston Redsox are going to shave their beards for charity after rallying the team behind them to become World Series champions. Oh! What a sacrifice. What is next, shaving your legs for God and Country? This month I’m cutting my fingernails for charity; I was going to do it anyway but I need the attention. Larry the Cable Guy wrote a $5 Million check to a hospital in Orlando in 2010, but you didn’t hear about it. He could have gotten away with donating a lot less if he had shaved a body part, ridden a donkey in a Speedo and sent the pictures to US Weekly.
Some women grow mustaches too; can they participate? It is supposed to be “brave” for men to wear pink in support of a cause; can’t a woman sport a stache? The DMV is full of female employees who can probably out-Movember me. The people at Movember have greatly limited their contributions by focusing their campaign only on men. Somebody, quick, get Chaz Bono on the phone.
Kidding aside, it’s time to end the cancer hierarchy. Unfortunately, everyone is aware of cancer because it affects us all in some way. I’ve had both family and friends die from it, so I’m all too aware. If people want to get together with their friends and grow mustaches that’s their business. But if you want to contribute to cancer research, cut out the middleman. It takes a little effort to find organizations that donate the majority of their contributions to research. Their names aren’t flying by on a wide receiver, but they are out there.