November is officially over halfway gone, which means that Movember and NaNoWriMo have also moved into their latter halves. Haven’t heard of either one? Let us enlighten you so that you can fully delve into them come next year! ; )
November is an amazing month! We can spend time with our families during Thanksgiving and give thanks to our veterans for fighting for our country and our freedoms. (Plus, we can get in some much needed relaxation if we get any time off work for either of those two holidays.) Not only that, but it is also National Novel Writing Month and “Movember”, a time to highlight health issues that affect men. Although we think everyone should grab a laptop or a pen and join in on the NaNoWriMo creativity, we obviously think it’s even more important to be cognizant of the health of your loved ones. This is what Movember, through the growth of mustaches big and small, hopes to achieve.
The founders of this movement, pronounced 'Mow-VEM-bur' for those who were wondering, wanted to help bring men’s health issues such as prostate cancer and high suicide rates to the forefront of people’s thoughts. Of course, everyone is encouraged to participate by doing any number of things from growing to a mustache to making health goals such as running or cycling a certain amount of distance in November and having people donate to the cause through that. Although issues such as cancer and mental health are profoundly personal issues and, so, are rarely spoken of and usually hidden by those suffering, they most likely affect several of the people around you – and many of those are men. The people behind Movember are hoping to give men’s mental health a chance to improve by removing the stigma of talking about things perceived so negatively, especially as it has historically been not culturally acceptable to discuss these issues in the United States. It'll be a challenge, but they seem more than willing to tackle it.
In a world that is finally beginning to see gender issues as what they really are – problems that need to be confronted head on, not laughed at or shrugged off as people being weak, whiny, or ‘just how they are’ – we are very excited that the men in our lives have a strong spokesperson who will fight for them in public forums so that their voices will not be stifled.