Welcome to Decembrow.


You may have heard of “Movember”, a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for prostate cancer and other men’s health issues, such as depression. The event was conceived in 1999 by a group of Australian men from Adelaide.

While the event is a great way for men and people who can grow moustaches to get involved in raising money for an important cause, it has heretofore been lacking in opportunities for women who have trouble growing moustaches to get involved (or at least opportunities that didn’t involve sleeping with moustached men for the cause)

Thus, inspired by an article on the popularity of the unibrow in Tajikistan sent in by reader Jess (thanks, Jess!), I hereby declare that the current month shall heretofore be known as….DECEMBROW.


Decembrow is, of course, all about the brow. Specifically, the unibrow.

While women in the U.S. generally rock two groomed brows, I say let’s be inspired by Movember and take this opportunity to let our facial hair grow…for a cause.

This month, I encourage you to grow in your unibrow, or, if you don’t have one, use an herbal remedy or a pencil to fake it (as they do in Tajikistan), for the cause of your choice. (Need ideas? Check out last year’s feminist holiday gift guide for some great organizations and charities.)

Challenging cultural norms about women’s facial hair while raising money for a good cause? Now that’s just the kind of thing that gets me in the holiday spirit.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is Executive Director of Partnerships at Feministing, where she enjoys creating and curating content on gender, race, class, technology, and the media. Lori is also an advocacy and communications professional specializing in sexual and reproductive rights and health, and currently works in the Global Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A graduate of Harvard University, she lives in Brooklyn.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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  • http://cabaretic.blogspot.com nazza

    Interesting. I have to say that I’ve often found darker bodily hair on women quite attractive. It’s authentic, for one thing, and I appreciate authenticity.

  • http://feministing.com/members/thedelphiad/ Dom

    Damn! You can’t just grow a unibrow like a mustache! Will I have to pencil it in?

    On the plus side, there, nazza, I’m authentic in other parts.

  • nicolechat

    Does anyone have any stats on how successful the Movember movement actually is at raising money? Because I’ve noticed that it’s basically just an excuse now for guys to grow “dirty” mustaches and go all “har-de-har, I look like a pirate!”

    I think a majority of the guys I’ve hung out with in the past month have been participating, and I don’t think a single one of them donated a penny to cancer research or even spread the word – it was just “It’s Movember! Grow a mustache!” I mean there’s nothing wrong with growing a mustache for kicks, but I wonder if the people running this event feel like it’s being derailed a bit by “bros” and their comaraderie.

    As for Decembrow, it’s a neat alternative but sadly won’t work as well for most people – if I stop plucking my eyebrows right now I won’t have anything near a unibrow by January. :(

  • http://feministing.com/members/haergar06/ Nathan Hansen

    Wow. I participated in Movember and while all my friends are poor college students and I didn’t get any donations from them, I donated five dollars to my Movember account. I can’t answer for other people, but I know several of my professors were actively participating this year and they did a great job raising money and awareness. Plus, I found the statement that women can only participate by sleeping with a Mo Bro’ sexist and offensive.

  • http://feministing.com/members/damagectrl/ Medeine B.

    Perhaps it would be more effective for women to grow out their leg or armpit hair, since we’re more likely to get shamed for that…

    • http://feministing.com/members/ejdoyle/ Emmett J Doyle

      I know that this is done by some of the students of U of M Duluth, from what my ex tells me. Though, I could have misinterpreted her- it seems they don’t shave their pubic areas, and I’m not sure whether this is in addition to the legs and armpits, or replaces them. If the former, I’m not sure whether that’s empowering or just puts the focus on women’s genitals in exclusion to the rest of them.

  • http://feministing.com/members/ejdoyle/ Emmett J Doyle

    Movember? Around here it’s called No-Shave November, and men are expected to grow their full beard out. I usually miss out on the fun because I already wear a full beard year round (it’s a family tradition), and because, due to my involvement in the theater department, they can shave my beard at any time for any purpose (as they did this year, trimming it down to only noticeably longer- as opposed to much longer- than that of my fellow students for a musical revue). In the dorms, they even hold beard contests. Very few people are aware of the prostate cancer part of it, though- most just treat it as a celebration of the beard and an expression of brotherhood.

    It does raise questions, though, for people like myself, who are on the one hand deep admirers of the beard and appreciators of many aspects of brotherhood and brotherly bonding, and on the other hand critics of gender roles and the sexist, misogynistic, and homophobic attitudes that still permeate ‘bro culture’.

    I wonder, sitting here in the halls of one of the last all-male campuses in the US, in a school segregated by gender into two campuses- is it inherently a defense of power and privilege, to celebrate one’s beard-y identity, and to partake in bonding with fellow men? In what ways can the bonding of men and the celebration of manhood be made compatible with a vision of gender liberation? Can the idea of responsibility and strength be celebrated, without envisioning women as weak and in need of protection? Can the idea of camaraderie among men be shared, without excluding women and gender-queer people?

    Is masculinity itself, as an identity of gender, inherently oppressive, keeping women in their place and men in theirs with gender roles and expectations? Is it ‘manly’ to speak out against patriarchy and oppression?

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  • http://feministing.com/members/april/ April Lukes-Streich

    A contributor to my blog, Warren, wrote about Movember. He also provided a lot of great links: http://ethecofem.com/2010/12/04/pappas-got-a-brand-new-stash/