No mo’ love

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We are well into the month of Movember, and its signs are everywhere. From the poor first-years struggling to make the wisps of hair on their upper lips more prominent by using Just For Men to the fourth-year philosophy students who already had huge beards complete with resplendent nose-neighbours before Movember, everywhere you look there is someone sporting a moustache.

In theory, men growing moustaches for the month of November are supposed to raise money and awareness to fight prostate cancer. In line with other such awareness campaigns as the confusing Facebook status updates to raise awareness for breast cancer, or the female equivalent of Movember – dubbed Feb-U-Hairy, in which women do not shave their legs for a month to raise awareness for breast cancer – Movember ranks among the various random things people do to draw attention to a cause they believe in.

It’s difficult to argue that creating awareness is a bad thing. Obviously, when people know more about a cause, they are more likely to become engaged in it and hopefully donate money.

What is truly irritating about Movember is not that it raises awareness for a cause, but that the event adds another layer of bureaucracy to an important issue. The website says the donations go toward Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC), but also towards the Movember Foundation. This foundation, while claiming to educate the public about prostate cancer and encourage global cooperation on research, seems absolutely unnecessary. It would be more comforting to see that money going straight into the hands of a PCC, funnelling all the donations into one organization to not only create a focus in combating prostate cancer, but an efficiency of administration that would allow more donations to go straight to research rather than dissipating in the bureaucracy of another redundant foundation.

Further, the amount of information I’ve found around Movember and participants in Movember is miniscule. I don’t quite understand how signing up on the Movember website and growing a moustache for a month is the best way to focus efforts to combat prostate cancer or erase stigmas surrounding the disease. I’m curious how many of the young men growing moustaches have bothered to go for a prostate exam. Not to mention, in the age of the Internet, raising word-of-mouth awareness for something like prostate cancer hardly seems necessary, when a quick search of Google will result in more information on prostate cancer than you will ever need. And no man has ever seen another man’s moustache and instantly thought, “I want to get my prostate examined.”

It is time to move past raising awareness and start being active. Men will grow moustaches in November to raise awareness without some sort of ridiculous bureaucracy organizing the event. Any money raised through such an event, I am sure, would be gladly accepted by PCC. We don’t need to see moustaches to be aware of the threat of prostate cancer.

Certainly donate money. Certainly encourage others to donate money. But why not just give it straight to PCC rather than the Movember Foundation? We don’t need another useless bureaucracy to dissipate our donations.

Edward Dodd
Op-Ed Editor

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