A woman wonders aloud about Movember.

I’m more MoMotha or MoGran than MoSista these days but I’m legit. as a target for Movember fundraising asks – so I do have a stake in what Movember are up to and I pay attention. Now I’ve stopped taking any notice of its own estimation of its good effects, other reservations have also begun to emerge.

Their tone.

I’m ill at ease with the one Movember sometimes adopts. Not all the content bears close examination - Exhibit A, m’Lud - “The Mo Bros and Mo Sistas of Generation Moustache are guided by wolves, protected by snakes”. I don’t grasp their point at all, but it doesn’t matter in this case as it’s meant to be larky and daft. The problem is that there’s so much of it; the larkiness takes the space where some real facts should go and it clearly appeals; just not to me.  

But there’s a little bit of aggression that creeps in every now and then –  the tone of their calls to action hint at men being oppressed or denied ….by ….something. When a bunch of men say “we will take it to the streets” and “we will be heard” it is faintly discomforting. And more.

It’s probably carelessness; or it shows intent. I’ll stick with carelessness for now. But I do see glimpses of a thin seam of misogynism. Or maybe it’s just some inept writing. Let’s hope so.

If you read elsewhere on this blog you’ll know I am unsure of the widely assumed advantage to all women and their health that the breast cancer lobby represents. I think it has been great for women with breast cancer, which is not the same thing.

I wave a little warning flag for them though, in more sisterly vein than usual. We know Movember see the lobby on women’s health by women as a model worthy of  reproduction. “The moustache is our ribbon” as they say. Or “By leading the charge in their own health movement, women have led by example.” I’m wondering if their tonal misadventures are tilting subconsciously at the breast cancer lobby, whose space in public consciousness they must really covet – and it is largely made up of women.

This is the last bullet point on a page of instructions to recruit women to Movember as MoSistas. 

“Smile at a mo bro, compliment his mo and recognise his commitment to the cause. Give respect, get respect.”

Smile at him, compliment him. Then give respect, get respect. This respect is conditional on the first two demands. Demands..... It reads rather like behavioural ‘advice’ an abuser might give their abused partner; just before a punch in the head and “Now see what you made me do”.

Tonally concerning.

Then there’s ‘No mo, no mercy’. I will never have a Mo. And so, I suppose, I will never be shown mercy. Nice.

“Fight the good fight.” It’s not a religious analogy, unless Movember is a cult and that seems unlikely. So it must be a military or moral one. Who is fighting whom?

O, ho-ho, Movember! My, how we laughed. Not me, not quite.

P.S. 20/10/13. Checking links, I find that the 'Smile at a mo, compliment a mo' appears slightly differently here in the bullet point list near the bottom of the page. Perhaps someone else wasn't sure about the 'Show respect, get respect' bombast either, so moderated it.