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Please don’t guilt me about Movember

Posted on 1 November 2012

Today, men all over the world begin growing moustaches for Movember, to raise awareness of and money for men’s health such as prostate cancer.

Every year I don’t participate.

No particular reason why. There are charities and causes I support. There are even more I don’t. I’m guessing it’s the same for you. In fact, chances are incredibly high you don’t participate in at least a couple of the causes I do. And chances are even higher that I don’t participate in most of the causes you devote your time to.

This is because there are huge numbers of incredible causes out there. They are local, national, and international. They are devoted to disease research, mental health advocacy, animal welfare, ending child trafficking, providing access to services for sex trade workers, getting education to adult learners, and all sorts of things neither of us even knew were a problem but really, actually are.

I take no issue with Movember. I do take issue with it every time I get questions about why I’m not participating. Believe me: there is no grand philosophy behind my decision to not get people to pledge funds for me to grow a moustache every year. I just don’t. We all make decisions about what to support and participate in, and it’s not necessarily a judgement call where we are saying the things we don’t support or participate in are bad or unworthy of anyone’s time. They’re just not our causes, at this time, at this moment.

It’s awesome that so many people are doing so many things to get good stuff done. To those of you growing moustaches and raising money and awareness, awesome. Post your Facebook pics. Let us know when you are just short of your goal and would anyone want to help out. That’s fine. I don’t mind bottle drives coming to my house, either, even if I don’t always have anything for them. But I would mind if every time I told the kids at my door I didn’t have anything for them they went “why not?” That would suck. Can you imagine if every time you didn’t sign a form or put cash in a tin or buy a raffle ticket for a fundraiser you had to defend your decision as to why you didn’t like this cause?

And that’s what this post is about. If I was just ambivalent to Movember, or had no real feelings beyond “oh, that’s nice” like I do about most causes, I would leave it alone. The problem is I’ve hit a point where a tiny part of me has started to hate it.  It’s because a certain amount of the messaging has turned Movember into something where you are apparently either in or out, for or against. And I don’t think that’s the way it should be. It’s for good, but it’s not the only good, and it’s not some special event that everyone must blanketly support at risk of being questioned about it.

I don’t like not liking a good cause. So I’m just putting this out there: please don’t question me for not growing a moustache, and I won’t question your motivations for every single cause and charity you don’t participate in. Good luck with your efforts. Have a good month.

Filed under: personal

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