On Movember and Prostates

Ah, November.

The time of the year when the leaves burst in vibrant colours as they begin to fall. Out come scarves and sweaters, and, for many men, the mustaches for the cause: the fight against prostate cancer.

Now, in my community I’m what you would call a ‘power bottom’. To the power bottom, there is no greater friend and treasure than the prostate. So can you can see I have a vested interest in Movember.

Not just because it is corridor after corridor of guys looking cute sprouting their manliness, as they strut about with a sense of pride over their awareness for the cause. Nothing gets my juices flowing like Movember, where we men all get along in an orgy of brotherhood of joy and pleasure for our prostates.

Except Movember does not unfold in this way. Rather, Movember is a celebration of hegemonic, patriarchal, heterosexist masculinities.

Movember, which has so much potential for educating men regarding not just sexual health but also sexual pleasure, could become something all-inclusive, but it is not. It serves the purpose of reducing men back to their rigid roles as pawns of patriarchy.

Firstly, it should be noted that prostates are not solely the province of men and masculinities—women have them, too. Second, that thing called the prostate can be the source of great sexual pleasure.

As a gay male who is also permanently disabled with spina bifida, I find very little information and very little that appeals to me about Movember, in spite of how many questions I have regarding it, and indeed, concerns.

In fact, I feel alienated from the whole thing. Most likely because, rather than serving as informative and inclusive, Movember becomes just another all-heterosexual male club. Just its semiotics alone, the mustache is in itself a reproduction of exclusive masculinities.

While I am one who knows the benefits of facial hair as a means of accessorizing, I would not suggest that this is an inherent trait of all men. Indeed, not all men can grow mustaches. And when was the last time, for example that Movember made outreach to transwomen?

I will be sporting my moustache this November, and when asked if I am a supporter of Movember, I will reply “Yes. My prostate is my best friend, and it can be yours, too. Let’s dismantle patriarchy together!”

—Hector Villeda-Martinez,
BA Women’s Studies

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