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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Guest opinion

By MEAGAN HUME
Program Assistant
Center for Poverty Research

While I appreciate Mr. Collins’ attempt to lightly interpret masculinity in the opinion piece, “Scruff, Rough and Ready,” I believe that he is sadly misguided in the true meaning of No-Shave November, or as it has come to be called, Movember.

No-Shave November is not, as he suggests, emblematic of a rite-of-passage for the testosterone-challenged — it is a month in which those who wish to grow facial hair do so for awareness and charity.

Movember began in 2003 with a group of 30 Australian men who agreed to grow facial hair in the month of November in order to raise awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate health. Since then, it has grown worldwide and now covers a broad range of men’s health issues. There are even Mo Sistas, women who work to promote the issue of men’s health throughout the month of November.

What saddens me about Mr. Collins’ opinion is that he somehow makes a cursory correlation between facial hair and masculinity without getting at the root of the issue: Men are less likely to visit a doctor for health reasons and men are less likely to engage in proactive health measurements.

The correlation between facial hair and Movember is deeper than bravado and superheroes, it is through the societal masculine marker of facial hair that Movember hopes to spark conversations about something not traditionally masculine — health.

I hope that Mr. Collins and those students growing facial hair throughout the rest of the month of November take this to heart and start growing with a cause and not just to lightheartedly perpetuate archaic norms.

To find out more about Movember in the United States, visit us.movember.com.

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