Today marks the start of Movember, and those of you that know me will know how pleased I am about this.
I have had a moustache obsession for quite some time. I have moustaches hats, rings, necklaces, a clock, a jumper, a t shirt – my friends sometimes even label it a Morshtache, because I love them so. I love them on ANYTHING, but especially men. Men with moustaches and beards, yes please. You can imagine my delight when Movember then came along and suddenly the world became a brighter place. Men were actively trying to grow moustaches, and not just for fun – for a worthy cause. Fair enough by the end of the month the office looked like a criminal’s version of Guess Who, but people got sponsored and raised money for charity. It doesn’t harm anyone, quite the opposite.
So you can imagine my surprise when I came across THIS douche worthy article from the Happiest Person in the World, Brendan O’Neill (who writes for the Telegraph). After I had got over the initial shock of realising this controversial piece of drivel wasn’t taking pride of place on the Daily Mail homepage, I just tried to work out what Brendan’s aim was with this article. I still haven’t worked it out 2 hours later.
There are a few lines Brendan has written that have just confused the actual fuck out of me. Here are some of my favourites:
“God I hate Movember. Not only because growing a ‘tache for cancer encourages men to make a big, hairy, public display of their caring, charitable side”
OH GOD FORBID BRENDAN, GOD FORBID MEN SHOULD PUT DOWN THEIR CLUBS AND STOP BEATING THEIR CHESTS LONG ENOUGH TO DO SOMETHING WORTH WHILE. I have never heard of a men’s charitable, caring side being used as something negative. How is it in any way shape or form negative?
“Movember has ruined the moustache. In the past, men grew moustaches to demonstrate their masculinity, but now we are growing them to show we are “in touch” with our bodies and feelings and that we are “health aware”
I don’t get this at all. First things first, last time I checked woman didn’t grow full on handlebar moustaches. It’s not possible. SO, growing a moustache is still showing your masculinity, as it’s something a male can do and a woman, physically and socially, cannot. Next, I can’t see why it’s a problem to show that men are in touch with their bodies, feelings and being health aware. Movember isn’t asking you to cellotape your nuts to your gooch and wear a pink tutu whilst crying over the Strictly Come Dancing eviction show. It’s just trying to create awareness for men’s cancers, and hopefully raise a bit of cash towards it. IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL.
“apparently blokes have a problematic “it’ll be alright” attitude which leads to a “reluctance” to openly discuss “health issues”
It’s not really what Brendan said at this point, it’s the way he said it. All the quotation marks show that he is saying this in a sarcastic way, like he doesn’t believe this is the case at all, like it’s just something some vegetarian tree hugging woman came up with as a way to discredit men. I would say 90% of males I have come across definitely have this attitude towards health problems, and do think things will be ok and just go away on their own. Most men I know refuse to even take a bloody paracetamol when they have a headache, as it’s not manly to require assistance from medicines or doctors when feeling unwell. So now, you are saying that Movember is taking away men’s masculinity, but also saying it’s a stereotype that men are too masculine to ask for help when ill. Make your mind up please.
I am going to stop with the list here as I have just come across probably the most damaging sentence of the entire article, and one that I can’t believe he put in after everything he had written above it. He actually wrote...
“What this uber-patronising campaign overlooks is that if young men really do have an “it’ll be alright” attitude, that’s because it probably will be alright”.
Wow. Let’s hope Brendan never comes across anyone with any symptoms of anything more deadly than a cold, because his “it’ll be alright” attitude might just enable them to meet their end a lot quicker than nature intended. You can’t go through life thinking “oh I have a massive lump in my balls, but you know what, it’ll be alright” or “oh this feels weird and I don’t know what it is, but I think it’ll be alright”. Sorry, Movember isn’t patronising, it isn’t saying “OH HI LOOK AT YOU, YOU ARE SO CUTE COME AND GROW A LITTLE FURRY MOUSTACHE AND LET’S ALL TALK ABOUT IT AND THEN CARESS EACH OTHER’S NUT SACKS BECAUSE WE ARE ALL HAPPY WITH BEING FEMININE”. Movember is saying let’s all have fun, let’s all do something easy and let’s all be more aware about men’s health. There are women specific charities and fundraisers (the entire breast cancer awareness campaign is mostly aimed at women, even though this is something men can suffer from), but this is the only men centred charity. I cannot fathom how this is a bad thing.
My final parting advice is to ignore Brendan. If you want to participate in Movember, then do it. If you don’t want to participate, then don’t. It’s not the crime of the century if you aren’t interested, but don’t belittle other people that are actively raising money and awareness about men’s health. I’d be interested to know if Brendan ever found himself in the midst of a situation where he does find a weird lump, or feel a bit like something’s not right, if he’ll just ignore it to save his masculinity.
Remember Brendan, you might think this is all a load of stupid rubbish, but there’s no masculinity in death.
To learn more about Movember, check out their website here: http://uk.movember.com/about/
If you are actively supporting Movember and would like to donate some money, a few of my lovely Twitter followers are participating. Sponsor them here: http://uk.movember.com/team/556349