Once again, its November. Where has the year gone? Its only the other day we were wondering how we will survive another year under this regime. Then before we figured that out it was June. Then now here we are in November. But we cannot moan about this-the windmills of times grind forwards, not backwards.
October extinguished itself in a rush of raging deluges and rolling thunders. Then November sneaked on us silently, like that sulky sister who looks up to its younger loud sister December. While November sulks that it’s only 30 days long, December struts in like a prima donna, with its glitzy festive season and carols. Before we realize, the month is gone and its brutal kid brother January comes to harass us. Take away anything from me and give me December.
Unlike October and December,the month of November comes with a few holidays. October dazzles us with Diwali and Mashujaa.December has Jamhuri Day and the hyped up Christmas holiday. November only has the Guy Fawkes Night which celebrates some deranged chap who tried to blow up the British Parliament in 1605 but was caught in the act. I dont understand why a country can celebrate such a loser but thats another story.Perhaps that’s why they came up with No Shave November to have something to mark in November.
No Shave November is a movement created in 2009 to support men’s prostate cancer prevention and research by encouraging people not to shave all month. It’s a month for men to grow their beards freely, like Neanderthals. It allows mustachioed muchachos to spot curled moustaches like 18th century explorers. Its allows those who like bushy cheeks to sport bushy manes like Karl Marx.The month also sideburns fans to sport them like soul music stars from the disco era. The silver foxes are not left behind in this too.
Unfortunately, on social media, No Shave November has become an excuse for men to skip shaving their beards and to instead post vain pictures for a month.From Instagram to Facebook to Twitter,men share acres and acres of their bushy beards without to why they are doing so. It has become a movement to self-promote, instead of promoting awareness about cancer.
By extension, No shave November promotes “toxic masculinity” because as we all know, abundant facial hair is a leading male secondary-sex characteristic. Further, it excludes women because they can’t grow that necessary abundant facial hair.
It’s disappointing that what could’ve served as a much-needed dialogue about the many ways in which men can express their masculinity without resorting to chauvinist caricatures is in danger of devolving into a pissing contest between brothers about who can grow the most facial hair to prove their manliness.Further,its disappointing that the whole movement has been reduced to a narcissistic duel about ‘my beard’ and less about cancer.
It’s the onus of every man to be a brother’s keeper. If any man is planning to observe the No-Shave November, save us the No Shave nonsense. Just get a man who is over 40 and tell him it’s important to go for a PSA test annually. Which is a test for prostate cancer. Go ahead and tell him that nowadays,PSA test isn’t intrusive as it used should be.
Next, when you see a brother light up, tell him that smoking predisposes him to cancer. If you know a brother who hits the bottle like he owns Kenya Breweries,Keroche and UDV, tell him it can lead to cancer too.Yes,if you know a brother who lives risky life, tell him its no good for him.
If you know a brother who is in hospital bed with cancer, call him up and wish him well. If you can, drop over to the hospital with some buddies and tell him: You are bigger than cancer. Send his wife some cash to keep her and the kids going on. If there is a mchango going on for a sick brother, give until you can’t give no more. In short, share the milk of human kindness with a someone affected by cancer in one way or the other.
At a personal level, read about the risk factors for cancer. Cut down on the ciggies if you are in the pyro-technics club. Go easy on the burnt meat-you aren’t a god to be feeding on burnt offering of animals every day. Go green and natural-I am yet to meet someone who died because of natural foods. The boys will chide you for feeding like a rabbit-but it’s about your health. Finally, get tested for cancer too for awareness starts with you.
After doing the above and many more, you shall have done your part in creating awareness about cancer-and happiness and joy shall follow you all the days of December.