Now that the lovely month of Movember is upon us, I feel the rant vein in my forehead starting to bulge out. Pulsing to the rhythm of my elevated heartbeat, it urges me to spew vitriolic bile onto my keyboard in the form of semi-coherent ramblings.

So why does Movember make me so poetic? Mostly because I reject the notion of charity requiring a gimmick; be it growing a ridiculous mustache, riding a bicycle for X number of kilometers, or shaving your head. Yes, I understand that having a “month” dedicated to whatever chic disease is at the forefront of popular discourse raises awareness for that already over-saturated illness, but adding that gimmick says to the world, “I might be inclined to be a compassionate, generous human being that cares for my fellow man, but first, what will you do for me?” Even something as hokey as growing a mustache makes charity a transaction, rather than a donation.

The repetitiveness of these months is also an issue. It’s prostate cancer every single year. What about other diseases or issues? Lou Gehrig is rolling around in his grave. I have a good friend that was diagnosed with Lupus, and one suffering from alcoholism. I’ve cared deeply for women who have been sexually abused. I know and love people with brain injuries, Crohn’s disease, brain tumors, diabetes… Why would I ever donate to prostate cancer? Where is all the love and charity for Lupus?

Having a prostate cancer awareness day would be fine, where those who are willing could panhandle for donations. Why does it take a whole month to see how gross some asshole’s face gets to inspire people to do something compassionate? Having a day, or a week at most, would give more opportunities for other social needs to be addressed, rather than focusing only on a select few.

Does society need our gimmicks? Lupus, for example, actually has a month: October, for those of you wondering. But nobody grows any facial hair. Nobody rides their bike halfway across the country. Popular culture has not adopted Lupus as the new, fashionable, ghetto-fabulous disease of the season. Is it not marketable enough? Is that really what charity is based upon? Do we have to rely on the popular opinions of tweens or whomever it is that dictate market policy for a disease to have a chance at getting substantial funding?

In all honesty, we probably do. Hence the bile.

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