October 31, 2014

No-shave November a shame for the male gender

By Thomas Williams
Staff Writer | news@osocdaherald.com

Posted 11/6/12

The month of November has been designated as and perpetuated by the Internet as No-Shave November in order to recognize and combat prostate cancer.

Now, I hate shaving as much as the next guy. My sensitive skin usually winds up bloody and itchy if I shave more than once every three days, but I don’t think this is an effective method to raise awareness of any kind of cancer.

I understand the need to make men aware that this disease claims thousands of lives. I know most American men should be checked for this disease in order to catch it quickly and prevent it spreading through their bodies and eventually killing them. I just question this method of spreading awareness of the need for prostate exams.

I am further embarrassed that this is our only nationally recognized method of spreading awareness considering what our nation has done to promote awareness of breast cancer.

There are national organizations committed to combating breast cancer. They hold events all year long like Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and whatnot in order to raise funds to fight that disease. They go out of their way to encourage mammograms for those with the insurance to cover them and fund the procedure for those who cannot. 

The players of the NFL, a bastion of maleness in our society, turn their uniforms and accessories into swaths of pink for at least the month of October to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Herald changes its banner to promote the awareness.

When I was in college, the local BMW dealership let me drive all of their models around town in return for a donation (or a story) and I was happy to do so. 

As men, we recognized what these women had organized and realized there was a health hazard we faced as well. What was our answer? Let’s just be guys.

Great effort fellas. Women organize bake sales, 5K events, and a whole slew of chances to make sure everyone is aware of and can raise money to fight a disease that may affect them or someone they love, and we decide to be slobs.

That is it. All we decided to do is simply make up an excuse to not shave for a month. It just so happens that our event occurs a month after Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it seems like we just said, “Oh, they did something, let’s do something as well.” This is what we came up with.

Congratulations guys. We decided not doing something most of us do not like to do anyway is our version of doing something. 

If we really wanted to do something to support cancer research, we would spend the month of November shaving our legs, cramming ourselves into nylons and walking around in heels to show we are willing to sacrifice to make people aware of our health issue, not being mistaken for bums.

I am not trying to belittle those working to raise awareness of breast cancer, but I am trying to belittle those who are trying to raise awareness of prostate cancer merely by not doing anything. Guys, we learn a lot from our mothers while we are growing up. Maybe it is time to learn another lesson.

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