I remember some years back flipping through Men’s Health —a magazine to which, at the time, I was subscribed despite a poor diet, lifestyle, and a severe disinclination to do anything about either— spotting on the back cover a full-page advertisement for prostate cancer.
Not that they were selling me prostate cancer, just trying a raise awareness. More Australian men die every year of prostate cancer than women of breast cancer, yet it receives only one tenth the funding (source). People like breasts. I like breasts. Nobody dislikes breasts. You need look no further than the massive media coverage of Kylie Minogue’s breast cancer scare to see a global preference for breasts in action, but nobody really likes the prostate. It’s like the gall bladder, or the pancreas… nobody gives a damn until something goes wrong.
And who can blame them? The prostate isn’t exactly glamourous, but somebody has taken up its cause. For the last two years, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia has been organizing Movember: a national prostate cancer awareness-building and fund-raising exercise. Blokes sign up, they coerce their family and coworkers to donate money, and they spend the entire month of November cultivating a luscious moustache for the cause.
To be honest I didn’t know until three days ago that it was a charity event —I thought Movember was just a goof that an unusual number of university students participated in— but it turns out that it’s a great opportunity to grow a ridiculous moustache that no girlfriend, wife, or employer could possibly object to: it’s for a good cause, after all.
For those with itchy credit cards and a desire to encourage this kind of thing, head on over to the Movember Sponsorship page and donate some funds (my rego number is 1459), or sign up to grow one yourself. You know you want to.