conjures up nostalgic
images of Thanksgiving
feasts and Black
Friday mobs. But recently,
thoughts of facial hair have
floated into the mix of November associations.
Walking along the streets,
one will quickly notice the increase in
bearded and mustached men. But this
flux of facial hair is not simply due to
the colder weather, nor is it a coincidence.
Instead, it is in celebration of
No Shave November.
The idea for No Shave November
has only become a fad in the past few
years, but, in the opinion of The Hawk
Eye, it is already losing its meaning.
The official website of the non-profit
organization, no-shave.org declares
that their mission is “to grow cancer
awareness and supportive funds, which
go towards preventing the disease, saving
lives, funding research, educating
and aiding those fighting the battle.”
All of which is accomplished by abstaining
from shaving for the month of November.
More specifically, No Shave November
is supposed to raise awareness
for testicular and prostate cancer and
is intended to operate much like October
does as Breast Cancer Awareness
Month. The American Cancer Society has
found that, in 2013
alone, there were
8,820 cases of testicular cancer.
However, the excitement of excessive
facial hair often overshadows this mission
to raise awareness, and participants
forget that they are not shaving
for a cause.
No-shave.org reasons the money
saved from not buying materials like
razors and shaving cream is intended to
be donated to cancer research and patients.
Despite this noble cause, many
participants don’t end up helping cancer
patients at all. Rather, they end up
going without shaving simply to get attention
or as a bonding experience.
The mission of No Shave November
doesn’t only get eclipsed by the fun of
growing facial hair, but also by a new
controversy rising: whether women can
participate or not. This has become a
feministic debate dealing with whether
women have the right to abstain from
shaving just like men.
It seems that No Shave November
would allow anyone to participate,
since its purpose is to raise money and
awareness for cancer. But some men
and women regard unshaved women
as “gross” or the fact that they are not
shaving as unnecessary.
Women who have
heard these comments
have retaliated in a
surprisingly efficient way: by actively
participating in No Shave November.
It is sexist to say that girls are not allowed
to participate in something that
boys can, simply because of the stigma
associated with women not shaving. If
men have the right, so should women.
But what is being overshadowed by
this feministic fight is the original altruistic
purpose of No Shave November:
to raise awareness of testicular and
No Shave November should be the
equivalent to Breast Cancer Awareness
Month, in which everyone participates
for a common cause without argument.
By debating about who has to
shave and who doesn’t, neither group
is paying attention to the reason this all
Participants should be focusing on
raising awareness and donations in every
way possible. By not allowing people
to take part in No Shave November,
participation decreases and ultimately
fewer lives can be saved.
4/4 managing editors agree