Don’t get me wrong – I love mustaches. If Movember existed before I got married, I would be ALL up in the bushy faces of Movember boys, stroking their plaid-bedecked arms and nodding in agreement about how underrated Redman is as a rapper. I love the cause and vibe and enthusiasm behind Movember. Because, really, f-ck cancer.
Cancer. We all know somebody who has battled it, win or lose. So much so that when I hear about a new diagnosis, I’m surprised but not shocked. Like when The Big Bang Theory wins another “comedy” award. (Yes, that is an awkward tie-in, but C’MON. I hate a world where “nerds are hilarious!” and Community is not recognized for its brilliant work every single f-cking episode.) My beloved Gramma got hit twice by cancer’s deadly kiss and her loss I feel every day. Every single day.
I preface my real targeted thought because I don’t want it to appear like I’m shitting on Movember, at all. My good friend Alexis is raising money with amazing themed accessories, and I have a handful of brave friends sporting some terrific upper lip creatures for the cause. What I do want to add to the conversation is a thought. An amendment to the movement, I guess. And that is this. Every participant should have to hand in, along with their money and envelope of shorn hairs, a certificate that declares they had a prostate exam.
I get it. As awkward as it is to ask strangers, and even family and close friends, for pledge money, it is triple awkward to have a stranger root around in your asshole. (That is by no means a medically accurate description of a prostate exam. But ask the boy to your left and that is how they will describe it.) The boys I know, hardly Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor stereotypes, don’t have GP’s and would not go to a clinic unless both arms were sheared off in some kind of farm machinery accident. And even then, they’d finish their beers or the game, whatever came first, before reluctantly piling into a car to get professional help. Boys just can’t be bothered to see a Doctor in a world where tensor bandages and scotch exist over the counter
Yes, girls are lucky. Our cancer detecting exams can be easily performed by handsy boyfriends or even by ourselves in a sudsy bathtub with Sade playing in the background. I get my boobs rubba dubbed twice a year by my Doctor, in an office I frequent about once every two months. Yes, that often. Girls go to see Doctors, yes plural sometimes, because from the day we can turn a magazine page, we are hammered over the head with articles and headlines screaming “Why that twinge in your foot means YOU CAN'T HAVE BABIES!” or “Brushing your hair – luxurious scalp massage OR DEADLY RADIATION LURE?” When I was growing up boys got Goofus and Gallant, Air Jordans, and Pamela Anderson, and girls got deep-rooted paranoia and fear.
I’m sure the biggest obstacle keeping prostate exams off the It List is the butt. For straight guys, butts are strictly for pooping. They don’t think it’s fun to watch gay porn and they especially don’t want to spend a millisecond of free time bent over in an office, clad only in half a bedsheet, humming NWA and praying for a fire alarm.
Really though, it’s a few seconds and it’s done. That’s not so bad, right? I could pull the “I had a kid wrenched out of my vagina” card here, but I won’t. I truly understand the submissive shittiness of the whole scenario. But (butt?) it's a fact: the quickest and simplest way to detect prostate cancer is to have your prostate given the whole 'how do ya do' by the gloved lubricated finger of a Doctor.
So, Movember and the girls who support it, here's where we can come in and make an even bigger crazier difference. Let’s make butt-probing f-cking cool! Boys, what if we encourage Doctors to dress up as aliens for the month and probe with green gloves? What if strip clubs gave out free lap dances to each group of patrons who bring in proof of exam? How about Super Bowl tickets to the family of men with a clean butt bill of health?
If there’s anything I know to be true of a boy, a good incentive will get you everywhere. Maybe even into a Doctor’s office. So, go forth brave boys. Your butt, and all the supportive girls who love you, will thank you.