Anorak | Movember Is Gingerist, Teenist And Racist But Makes Everyone Laugh At The New Statesman

Movember Is Gingerist, Teenist And Racist But Makes Everyone Laugh At The New Statesman

by | 6th, December 2013


IT took two people – Arianne Shahvisi and Neil Singh – to crete The New Statesman’s  beyond parody troll-baiting article:

Why Movember isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

One of the Movember mantras is: “Real men, growing real moustaches, talking about real issues”. The slogan is as misguided as its campaign: Movember is divisive, gender normative, racist and ineffective against some very real health issues.

I’ve always though so what for the grandstanding if it helps. But it turn out it’s all massive cone. This from the apparently serious political magazine that asked Russell Brand to edit it.

Here are a few of the best lines about Movember:

 …virtually none recognise the pernicious gendered and racial connotations carried by the practice.

Or making men think about their health?

…what message does Movember convey to those whose moustaches are more-or-less permanent features?

More or less?




With large numbers of minority-ethnic men—for instance KurdsIndiansMexicans—sporting moustaches as a cultural or religious signifier, Movember reinforces the “othering” of “foreigners” by the generally clean-shaven, white majority.

As one reader offers: “This is why people don’t take lefties seriously. And I am a lefty.”

Imagine a charity event that required its participants to wear dreadlocks or a sari for one month to raise funds…

Well, Movember one is about the male body, so growing a ‘tache seems pretty apt. But is that beardist?

—it would rightly be seen as unforgivably racist.

Got that? Imagine something that has not happened and then call it racist.

Moustaches, whether or not “mo-bros” mean theirs to be, are loaded with symbolism. We often wonder how our fathers (both life-long moustached men) must feel each November, when their colleagues’ faces temporarily resemble theirs, and are summarily met with giggles and sponsor-money.

Do they feel that they’re cheating?

No doubt they draw the obvious conclusion, that dovetails with many other experiences of life as an immigrant: there are different rules for white faces.

 Rule 1: Laughing. It;s the best medicine. Rule 2: Moustaches are only for darker faces. Is that racist? No. But it might be gingerist.

Further, the inclusivity of Movember deserves examination. For one, only men (and even then, only some men) can grow a moustache.

Not true. Some men can’t. Some women can. Some children can. And on its goes, reading like a rant

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