November is almost ending, and that is a good thing. Why? You will probably wonder.
Well, this means December is almost there. December equals wearing mittens, drinking hot cocoa in front of the fireplace, enjoying the Christmas lights and hopefully watching the first snowfall.
But there’s another important reason for pointing out the end of November, namely, the wonderful charity event Movember which I want to give some special attention in this blogpost.
What does Movember stand for?
Movember wants to change the face of men’s health.
How does it work?
At the beginning of November, and thus the start of Movember, men can register with a clean shaven face on one of the websites of the charity. The Movember participants are called Mo Bros and their female supporters Mo Sistas. The Mo Bros have the remainder of the month to grow and groom their mustache, or Mo as it is called in Movember slang. Along the way, they raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues.
At the end of the month, the Mo Bros and their Mo Sistas can show off their Mo’s at the Gala Partés. At these glamorous events, there will be a contest to take home the prestigious Man of Movember title.
Growing the mustache and going to the parties all sounds like good fun, but the reason for participating in these events is quite serious.
Men’s health still seems to be a bit of a taboo subject. Although equality of the sexes is strived for these days, men are still expected to be strong and indestructible. That’s bullsh*t. Men, however strong they are, can become the victim of awful diseases or depression just as much as women can.
The life expectancy of men is still lower than that of women and female health issues are much more “out there” than men’s health issues are. This should change. Awareness should be raised in order so save as much male lives as possible.
By using a typical male symbol, the mustache, to raise awareness, Movember is trying to give men a fun, but masculine way to show that they care.
But how can we, women, help? We can’t grow a moustache ourselves so what should we do?
Here are some tips for Mo Sistas from Toby Godman, the spokesperson for Movember in Brussels:
“Without wanting to sound patronizing, one of the areas where women can get involved is to support the guys because they are doing something that is bizarre. When the wives or girlfriends of potential Mo Bros say “o no you’re not”, I think “o go on, let him, why not”. But women have a lot to teach men as well. Women have a much greater health awareness than guys do and a greater experience of sharing and the ability to talk about things they know. I’m really stereotyping here, I want to be careful, this is not the absolute, but women are more able to talk to each other about things whereas guys would tend to bottom things up and to have more of a head in the sand attitude. I thinks that’s partly so because of education and the way society works. We’ve grown up with a lot of stuff on TV about checking your breasts and having smears and general women’s health issues and it’s considered part of the norm. For men to take responsibility for his health check-ups is something that is relatively new to us. And it’s very simple things as well. Like when I look at the way my wife talks to her friends – and I’m not saying that guys should be exactly the same – but when my wife hasn’t seen any of her friends for a while she’ll make an effort to get in touch with someone. Whereas in the case of guys, when they haven’t seen someone in a while they tend to just go “o well, ok, whatever, I can’t see him”, and they just sort of shrug it off . I think that that is a very simple thing that guys can learn from women, to share more with each other. And I’m not talking about “let’s all have a big group hug and a good cry”, but it’s more about looking out for each other more. In particular in the case of depression, which is an important part of Movember. This is something men are not always prepared to talk about whereas it should be something they are prepared to talk about to each other. One of the best cures for depression in young men is getting out there and doing a bit of sports. What’s better than getting a bit of five-a-side football going on with your mates? It might not be the same as having champagne and chocolates in a bar, but it has the same effect. And I think that that is what we need to learn from Mo Sistas: communication and responsibility. So that’s what women can do: learn us these things. And of course encouraging us”.
So girls, we can raise awareness and funds, support our men (by not making fun of them for example), and teach them a thing or two about sharing and health issues.
Visit the Movember website for more information and don’t forget to donate:
Here’s some help from Nick Offerman (also known as Ron Swanson from one of my favorite shows Parks and Recreation):
How to grow a Mo:
How to get a fuller Mo: