Movember in an Age of #MeToo

It’s day three of Movember, the month in which I join millions of other men in wearing a moustache, in order to bring awareness to men’s health issues. But I’ll be honest: there’s something that seems really off this year about this, especially so soon after the Kavanaugh hearings. There’s something that just seems wrong about focusing on men’s needs right now. Over the last few years, I have learned more and more about what privilege is, and just how much privilege I myself carry. And through the deliberations and media carnival around Dr. Ford and Justice Kavanaugh, it was crystal clear, both tragic and loathesome, just how much privilege malehood still carries in our country.

Women deserve better. It’s that simple. Women deserve better than they are getting right now. And now is a time to let them speak, and for us to just shut up for a while. That’s why I’ve been refusing to vote for white men for any office at all for several election cycles right now. (Although, I’ll be honest, I intend to break my vow this week — this election is just too important for me to undervote. So on some votes between two white men, I will probably vote for one of them.)

So focusing on men right now smacks to me of asinine questions like, “Hey, when is White History Month?” (The answer to that question, of course, is, “Every month is White History Month. Just look at the pictures on the money in your wallet, jackass.”) How can I justify focusing on men right now?

Well, I guess it’s because this one doesn’t feel (at least to me) like a zero-sum game. It seems to me like encouraging men to take care of their health doesn’t in any way take away from women’s health. In fact, if anything, it shows that men are foolish: we need to be reminded, cajoled, persuaded, to actually take care of ourselves! Something that women are much better at. So Movember doesn’t feel to me like zero-sum, and it also doesn’t seem to be focusing on how “important” men are.

But that’s just the thoughts of me, a man. I’d be very curious to hear what women have to say about it. Please, consider commenting here. Let me know if Movember does feel like a slight against women. If you tell me it does, I will very seriously reconsider my support of it.

 

5 thoughts on “Movember in an Age of #MeToo

  1. It doesn’t feel like a slight against women. I feel like we live in a culture that just assumes men are ok and if they aren’t, they should just man up and deal with it. We need to acknowledge that men struggle with self care just as much as women do and it’s ok to not be ok.

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    1. Thank you for this. “It’s ok not to be ok” is exactly where The Mighty is going this month, and I planned to write about that later this week. Thanks for affirming that it’s ok to write about this stuff now!

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  2. This is an interesting post. I didn’t expect a man to have that opinion. I agree with Lisa. There’s nothing wrong with having a month devoted to concern over prostate cancer. It doesn’t erase womens issues at all, in my opinion. If there is to truly be equality, then mens problems need to be seen as valid. Not to mention there are trans women who get prostate cancer as well, so this isn’t only a problem for men. It’s nice to see that you are an ally though! So many men don’t take our concerns seriously. They think they are living in dangerous times, yet they are not the ones who are the majority of rape and harassment victims.

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    1. Thanks for mentioning trans women. I hadn’t thought of that angle of this. And cis men, like myself, are most certainly not living in dangerous times. For God’s sake, we’re on top of the heap in every possible way. It’s terrifying when people with privilege and power think they’re victims, and lash out. I am so sorry for all that you, and so many other people, have to live with at the hands of idiot straight white cis men. I pray that things change, and maybe tomorrow’s election can be the beginning of that change.

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