NOVEMBER: Men’s health awareness month

-Akanksha Mahajan

Today I found my social media accounts were all so saturated with the posts about “NO SHAVE NOVEMBER”. But what’s this fuss all about? I wondered. 

And to satiate that curiosity, I looked it up and found about the significance of the month of november which is observed as men’s health awareness month. Movember and No-Shave November are basically two movements dedicated to raising awareness for some of the most common health challenges faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental illnesses. 

The concept behind these movements is to go shave-free for the entire month of November and by the end of the month, you are supposed to donate the money you would have spent on shaving towards those organizations that educate about men’s health, cancer, suicide prevention and aid those fighting these battles.

Did you know, according to CDC reports, women are 33 percent more likely to visit the doctor than men, and women are 100 percent better at maintaining screening and preventive care?

So, what’s preventing men from seeking help?

According to a study by Harvard and Rutgers, men who self-report traditional views on masculinity are also less likely to get consistent health care. There seems to be a correlation between holding the belief that men should be strong and self-reliant and resisting routine exams.

Many men also report a fear of diagnosis. In a 2016 survey by Orlando Health hospital system, more than 20% of respondents said being nervous to find out what could be wrong was a roadblock to scheduling an annual exam. Unfortunately, waiting for the symptoms to become worse is not a good health plan.

In the same survey, men reported being uncomfortable with certain body exams. In particular, rectal exams and other invasive tests are often apt to prevent men from seeking preventative care. This issue could be related to the idea of “masculinity” as well. After all, some intimate exams might make us feel vulnerable.

So, there’s nothing wrong in concluding that “the patriarchy is at least partially to blame.”

If you try looking at your own families, you might observe a similar trend there as well, especially the families which might not be so well-off; obviously, the man of the house cannot afford to waste a single penny on himself, his duty is to earn for the sake of the rest of the members, isn’t it? Because if he does, that might hurt his masculinity?

And I guess, a physical exam is just a drop in the ocean, what about a mental health examination? Obviously, that man who seeks help for his mental health has no right to live or show his face to the world. He should just drown in a handful of water because he is a disgrace to masculinity.

But what is this masculinity, anyway? Masculinity in worldly terms is just another toxic word which isn’t just harming the men but is also derogatory towards the women. When you say, “men don’t cry”, do you mean that women should cry? If a female ends up being the potential head of a family, you call her “THE MAN OF THE HOUSE”, why? Because a woman can’t be good enough if she’s a woman. If a man isn’t good enough, you just tell him to wear bangles and stay at home, why? No matter what, a husband must earn more than his wife does! Right?

Are you aware that the Male:Female ratio of age-standardized suicide rates globally is 1.9. In 2019, there were more than 41 thousand female deaths due to suicides in India, while the incidents were more than 97 thousand for males. In western world, suicide rate in men was found to be 3 to 4 times greater than the women.

What could be the possible reasons behind these values? Isn’t that obvious? The world keeps making men suffer silently with those shackles filled with toxic masculinity. But now is the high time to break away those shackles because enough is enough!





“You’re not a girl, you can’t cry!”

“Suppress it all, hide it all or at least fake it with a lie”

How couldn’t they even let him shed one tear at least?

Because how could he dominate if he wasn’t a stone-cold beast?

And what made a girl earn this right?

How could they just let her cry it out & give up the fight?

When will equality be this world’s cup of tea?

Will they ever remove that blindfold and finally see..

Although so different yet they were born the same,

None was born brave and none was born to be tame!





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