Education
mustache. Photo: AFP/Getty Images/Frederic J. Brown mustache. Photo: AFP/Getty Images/Frederic J. Brown  

Movember declared ‘sexist, racist, transphobic’ at Canada’s sorry imitation of Harvard

The health and education editor of the student newspaper at one of Canada’s most prestigious universities has advised the world that Movember — the month-long pledge by men to grow hair above the upper lip to support men’s health awareness —  is “sexist, racist, transphobic, and misinformed.”

In his 1,120-word essay in The McGill Daily, Ralph Haddad calls “the idea of suggesting that men show solidarity with each other by growing moustaches” to raise awareness about prostate cancer and other issues “completely absurd.”

“Moustache” is the over-lettered Canadian spelling of the word mustache, by the way. And McGill is generally ranked with the University of Toronto as among the best universities in the world.

Haddad’s complaints about Movember are many. To begin with, he says, the concept discriminates against transgender people by linking masculinity “to secondary male characteristics, including having a prostate” and the ability to grow facial hair.

“To be completely clear, you don’t have to be a man to have a prostate, and you don’t have to have a prostate to be a man,” Haddad proclaims.

The English and cultural studies major argues that Movember “implies an archaic view of gender that implies that only a male/female gender binary exists, and that you aren’t really a man if you don’t necessarily identify with that binary.”

He asks: “How are people who do not identify with that binary and have a prostate supposed to partake in this cause?”

Haddad claims Movember is also racist because black males are “twice as likely to develop” prostate cancer than white males yet most people celebrating Movember are white. Somehow, this is apparently racist.

Movember is also sexist, according to Haddad. After lamenting a bunch of unlinked, unembedded tweets which allegedly chastise women for wanting to grow leg and pubic hair to celebrate either Movember or No-Shave November (a competing thing, apparently), Haddad charges that the act of not shaving some hair “has been twisted into a misogynistic tool by its own users.

Finally, Haddad aggressively claims that “campaigns like Movember help perpetuate” micro-aggressions–which he defines as “interactions between people of different races, genders, sexualities, and cultures that represent small acts of non-physical violence.”

“Do some basic research, educate yourself on the issue, and think twice before growing a moustache this, or any other, November,” Haddad implores.

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