November 24, 2013

"Movember as microaggression... characterized by too many moustaches, overarching shows of masculinity, and a general overload of testosterone."

"The pure and charitable sentiment is there – raising money for prostate and testicular cancer research, and fighting mental health problems among men – but what once started out as a harmless campaign has become sexist, racist, transphobic, and misinformed."
The idea of suggesting that men show solidarity with each other by growing moustaches is completely absurd....

[Blogger Jem] Bloomfield... remarks that, “This campaign, intended as a project by men for men, has immediately been turned into a pretext for demanding that women submit themselves and their bodies to male approval.... I don’t want to be told that a moustache makes me a man, or that my identity depends upon shaming women into being presentable to the male gaze.”
"Completely absurd" is a great phrase here. Who knew mustaches were such a problem beyond the mere aesthetics of a given man's face?

62 comments:

Rob said...

Many women are supportive of Movember, or so the prevalence of mustaches among middle-aged and older women would suggest.

Jim said...

Second time I've seen micro aggression in two days. It must be hell being a liberal and looking for ever smaller things to be outraged about.

Michael K said...

I started to read the article and gave up. Unmentioned is the fact that prostate cancer treatment usually results in impotence.

MadisonMan said...

The Movember thing bugs me as an example of lemmings-ness.

Henry said...

You really have to go to the comments of that article to get your full serving of microaggression, in all its many flavors. Who would have thought that the virtuous people would be so easily put out?

Tom said...

Mustaches = 70s Porn = Misogynistic Armageddon

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Microaggression? Man up, you pussies!

campy said...

Who would have thought that the virtuous people would be so easily put out?

Anyone who can read, see or hear?

Inga said...

What a silly notion, micro aggression because of facial hair? Since testosterone plays a role in these cancers, why not emphasize that they are male diseases? Nothing at all overarching or wrong there. Go for it hairy men.

EDH said...

How long before we hear about micro-rape?

Sorun said...

Let's declare December as Muslim History Month so we can do the mustache for two months in a row.

n.n said...

This is not how men behave. Men do not offer shallow gestures of solidarity nor squeal in protest.

Col. Milquetoast said...

a harmless campaign has become sexist, racist… Black males are also twice as likely to develop, and die with or from, prostate cancer than white males. This begs the question: who are all these white cisgender men fundraising and growing moustaches for?

Leaving aside the ignorance of question begging, white cisgender men are total evil bastards for raising money that might also help non-whites. That's racist! Or something.

lemondog said...

They can manage to fit it in somewhere......Maybe a brown faux fur ribbon?

List of Awareness Events By Month

Mary Beth said...

“Does your moustache share information about the importance of screening, or where to get screened? Does it tell you how you can prevent prostate cancer (if you even can)? Does it tell you the symptoms? Does it tell you who’s affected?”

If pink ribbons relay all this information for breast cancer the print must be awfully small because I've never seen it.

Paddy O said...

A real man doesn't need a mustache, but I have a hard time thinking a real man uses words "microaggression" seriously.

somefeller said...

The only problem with Movember is that if you have a mustache and/or goatee (as I do), people ask you throughout the month of November if you grew it for Movember. No, dammit.

Paddy O said...

This is also racist, by the way. Mustaches are important in many different cultures.

Birches said...

Cisgender.

Had to look it up. This is why higher education is failing.

YoungHegelian said...

@Paddy,

A real man doesn't need a mustache, but I have a hard time thinking a real man uses words "microaggression" seriously.

I cannot believe that any responsible dept. of Theology or Religious Studies gave you a Ph.D without beating such phallocentric & binary thinking out of your pointy little head!

Unclean! Unclean!

Tom said...

Mustaches = 70s Porn = Misogynistic Armageddon

Joe said...

I can't grow a mustache that doesn't look cheesy. Tom Selleck can.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Lots of easily punk'd people up there. And elsewhere.

Broomhandle said...

If Movember suggests lemming-ness then the whole pink/breast cancer thing must suggest the Nuremberg Rallies. Way past time men's health issues got some publicity. Regardless, cancer is cancer, and awareness/fund-raising for one form of it benefits the fight against all forms. This woman really is a goose-stepping piece of shit.

YoungHegelian said...

I think Bobbie Ray Cisgender would be a great name for a C&W performer!

Broomhandle said...

Oops, it's a dude. This guy really is a self-emasculating, goose-stepping, piece of shit.

David said...

Women can't grow stashes. Therefore they are bad.

By and large, women only can grow hair in places that remain hidden or shaven or both.

Want to compete, girls? There are some taboos to be destroyed.

There, is that mysogynistic enough?

(From a guy who could not grow a decent mustache if his life depended on it. I figured this out after I had worn one for two years.)

Illuninati said...

I am concerned that the government is discouraging PSA exams while they are promoting mammograms. Just like mammography the PSA exam has many false positives and leads to many extra diagnostic procedures with only a modest improvement in survival, but so what? It is a shame that tests which can potentially save lives are now rationed according to the political clout of the particular group which needs the test.

Most of the article by Ralph Haddad does seem stupid, like he had to write something to make his paycheck and just made up things. I do agree with him that the choice of a mustache to raise prostate cancer awareness is puzzling. It is not sexist or micro-aggressive (whatever that means)but it is still puzzling.

Michael said...

One would have to be a complete idiot not to have PSA tests done. But maybe lefties should forgo them to show the way. On every other matter it is do as I say and not as I do.

Hagar said...

What do women actually think of moustaches, especially something like a Kaiser Wilhelm, generously infused with pomade and twirled to sharp points?

Hagar said...

and bay rum

Diamondhead said...

Liberal arts education imparts an exquisitely fine-tuned sense of offense. And that's about it. Is there a more depressing way to waste your life than to spend it seeking ever more obscure evidences of racism and sexism?

Anne Cacioppo said...

What this woman thinks of mustaches.

I have dumped every man who shaved off their mustache, beard, or goatee. Every single one since 1976.

Bob R said...

Is accusing someone of microaggression a micraggression?

Rob said...

The appropriate accompaniment to a charge of microaggression is the playing of a micro violin.

Sorun said...

There must be a better symbolic way to raise prostate exam awareness than growing a mustache. How about a one-finger handshake? Women and the many quasi-genders can do it just as easily as men.

Eric Jablow said...

How much Federal funding does breast cancer prevention and treatment get? Now, how much Federal funding does prostate cancer prevention and treatment get?

Shouldn't the amounts be equal?

gemma said...

that beard thing worked for the Red Sox. Just sayin'

Cruising Troll said...

"I do agree with him that the choice of a mustache to raise prostate cancer awareness is puzzling. It is not sexist or micro-aggressive (whatever that means)but it is still puzzling."

Movember, aka "No Shave November", started without any intent to raise anything, i.e. as a goof. Seeing a bunch of other guys joining in, they cast about for a good and socially worthy excuse for not shaving in a society that treats the unshaven as a lower form of life. This is especially the case with women, who treat men with facial hair even worse than they treat other men. (Yes, I just made a generalization. Sue me.)

The article is an excellent example of the attitudes behind such mistreatment.

mccullough said...

This act of micro aggression will not stand, man.

damikesc said...

It's official:

There are no more loathsome people on Earth than racial activists.

Heck, at least the KKK is upfront with their desires.

Clyde said...

The concept of "microaggression" seems to be coming from those who are microcephalic. Just sayin'...

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I had a mustache before it was uncool.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Eric Jablow said...

Shouldn't the amounts be equal?



No! Because, women.

Chef Mojo said...

that beard thing worked for the Red Sox. Just sayin'

Just about everyone in the Majors was rocking the facial hair this past season. Didn't do Brian Wilson much good, did it, let alone the Cardinals that were sporting beards?

Baseball superstitions get a wee bit out of hand on occasion...

Chef Mojo said...

I totally get the whole Movember thing.

I sport a beard and mustache, and I have ever since I was able to grow it back after my first rounds of chemo. Matter of pride and resistance.

The second round thinned my head and facial hair a little bit, but it hanged tight. That pleased me greatly, but the second round did a job on my kidneys and I had to stop when the docs realized that the only way they were going to kill the tumor was to kill me. Well, alright. Let's shoot of some longevity, shall we?

I'm into the third round. It sucks, but not as much as the previous ones, and the hair is still hanging.

This is the thing that I think people lose sight of with something like Movember. Chemotherapy and radiation are devastating. Absolutely devastating. It can turn you into a walking skeleton or a bloated Zeppelin (Me). It is torturous, and it takes away one's pride in a heartbeat, laying waste to self confidence and normalcy like nothing else.

For guys, being able to rock the facial hair is part of the identity of being a guy, and chemotherapy often robs men of that identity. It weakens them. It emasculates them. It robs them of much they hold dear. I know now that I'll never be able to engage in my profession as a chef. Cancer has robbed me of that meaning.

Yes. I know exactly what Movember is all about. It's not about being a "lemming." Not at all. It's about knowing that there are people out there - GUYS - who know that this is important to them. And I know this silly bint who wrote the linked article can suck my dick. She doesn't have a fucking clue.

Heh. The irony of it all for me is that I have what is typically described as a "women's cancer." It's so rare in men that they don't even have a name for it yet. I'm shooting to have them name it after me.

Paddy O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paddy O said...

YH, I'm a subversive among the establishment.

It's also a reality of postmodernity. Words do not carry inherent meaning, so I can use words in Academia that ring all the right bells, but mean them in ways that leads the discussion different directions.

Being a conservative for liberal reasons is also helpful, as I share many of the same goals of helping the poor and outcast, I just disagree that handing politicians billions of dollars and endless power is actually helpful. Using their own words against them is a pretty good technique.

heyboom said...

@Chef Mojo,

I'm rooting for you. I will grow my Van Dyke back in your honor.

YoungHegelian said...

@Paddy,

... I can use words in Academia that ring all the right bells, but mean them in ways that leads the discussion different directions.

Surprisingly easy to do, as the techniques of deconstruction can as easily be applied to a PoMo's favorite unicorns & hobby horses as well as a conservative's hoary chestnuts.

I must say, however, that I'm glad that my brother has tenure in the (historical) theology biz (Patristics). In his younger years, he was quite the lefty, then Democratic for most of his younger adulthood. Now, he's got a conservative mean streak a mile wide. I wonder if he'd get tenure now, I really do.

betamax3000 said...

Found out two weeks ago that my brother-in-law has prostate cancer. Bone scans this last week; waiting. Chef Mojo: Beautifully written. My prayers are with you.

Birches said...

@ Chef Mojo

Totally get what you're saying. I don't care for facial hair, but when my dad (who sported a fine Tom Selleck stache) started chemo and lost his, my spouse and my brother let theirs grow in solidarity. It really meant a lot to him.

My male cousins all do Movember in honor of their dad who died of prostate cancer 19 years ago (he also had a very nice stache). It gives them a chance to talk about their dad and how much they miss him. Some of them don't grow very "manly" staches, but they don't really care. What's so wrong about that?

Paddy O said...

YH, it's possible. The trick is to find a niche and pursue it fully. There are places I know I shouldn't be and they wouldn't want me. The key, I think, is to be rigorously academic so that it doesn't matter. Make the other niches come to me.

I think theology and related fields have an opportunity here. Conservative schools that in the past would have drifted in liberal directions are realizing they lose all distinctives. So a lot of schools are maintaining their stances or, like the school I'm working at, actually drifting more conservative.

30yearProf said...

In college I was a liberal. Then I met some adult liberals and year by year I grew to hate them. After 19 years, I resigned from the Democrat Party. I don't like Republicans (untrustworthy) much either. I guess that makes me an American voter.

Prostate cancer is no joke. A prostatectomy messes up your life even if the operation is a success and gets all the prostate cancer cells.

/s/ Cancer-free for ten.

Scott said...

Go to the original article link. Read the comments there. Then, clean your monitor of the coffee you just spewed all over it.

Scott said...

Go to the original article link. Read the comments there. Then, clean your monitor of the coffee you just spewed all over it.

RecChief said...

Oh for Fuck's Sake!!!!

tim maguire said...

Professor, you're a lawyer. I would really like to grow mutton chop sideburns, but I can't. I get no cooperation in facial hair. I feel discriminated against by my underachieving hair follicles. Who can I sue?

Every year the Movember people remind me that I am less of a man. Can I sue them (too)?

Doug said...

What does "cisgendered" mean?

Doug said...

What does "cisgendered" mean?

Mitch H. said...

"Not trans-gendered", except turned around so as to make the "cis-gendered" the freaks by linguistic back-formation. Typical pomo horseshit.

Fernandinande said...

male gaze

I do that!

who are all these white cisgender men

Turns out "cisgender" means "normal".