Thursday, November 28, 2013

Man up! Movember versus Decembeaver.

I always have a bunch of tabs open in my browser. I keep some tabs because they are articles I still want to read or a video I want to watch, or because I want to write something on that topic, like the next two video links:

I have had them open for almost 2 weeks now and I have been thinking about what it was really that bothered me so much about decembeaver. Even if it is a joke to raise awareness for Movember I know there will be a lot of people who will take it seriously. I mean, there are people who thought they had really found mermaids.

And then I found this link:

And that's when it hit me. I realized what this was about: male emancipation. There is such a thing? Well, there should be. We're working on it, but it's a very slow process. The reason being that most people think we don't need it. People think that men have always been the dominant, and therefor privileged, gender. We are supposed to be the stronger sex. But are we? Do we not bleed if you cut us? Why yes, we actually do. We do have feeling and we do get hurt but we are not allowed to express that. Showing sign of weakness means you are not a real man. The pressure is huge and depression among men is much more common then people think. Men are not likely to get help because this means admitting you are weak. Even admitting this to yourself is a huge challenge for most.
The ironic thing about humans is that they invented the word inhumane. It applies to humans only. Animals are not inhumane. They are simply animals. But humans are capable of cruelty beyond compare. In the meantime there is a quality that is widely spread in the animal kingdom. It's called compassion. It's quite an amazing thing. What you do is you protect and support an individual that is weaker then you are. I'm pretty sure people are capable of it too. They call it acting humane then. It's pretty much the opposite of bullying. Pretty cool huh? But what do men get when they show weakness? They are told to Man Up! And with that they are denied compassion, something I believe to be a primal need for a social species like ours.
The reason why I like the Movember movement so much is that it shows men that it is okay to talk about their health in a way that wasn't possible before. Admitting there are serious health risks in men's lives is admitting that men are not untouchable. That they do have weakness and they do need to be cared for, by themselves and by others. This is a huge step. Even the way Movember came into existence is a clear example of how difficult it is for men to talk about these kind of things. Prostate cancer kills about just as many men as breast cancer kills women and not a single man has had (excuse the pun) the balls to stand up and battle this publicly, raising awareness and creating support. Because men's illness is something you don't talk about. But now we finally do. About bloody time.
And then what happens? Ladies, don't get me wrong. I'm totally okay with you not shaving what ever part of your body you want to. I really don't care. But this counter move pisses me off. Men finally have something that helps them talk about serious life and death issues and it is trivialized by making it about growing hair in a place you don't like. The mustache is becoming a symbol for men's health. We are finally able to talk about these things and you are making us feel stupid by saying: oh we can grow hair too if we want. Let us have this! We need this. And you can say men already run the world and we owe you but this is serious. We are talking about human lives here that are at risk. Show some respect, please. If you want to grow hair somewhere, by all means, go ahead. It's your body and you can do with it what ever you want. Just let us have Movember.

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