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Local pogonophobes look to enforce beard concealment policy

Photo: Rémi Yuan

Movember is in full swing at the University of Ottawa, with hundreds of students helping to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues.

But this year’s festivities have brought about controversy, as on-campus beard aficionados are butting heads with the U of O chapter of the United Pogonophobes Alliance (UPA).

Pogonophobia is the scientific term for an extreme fear or hatred of beards. The UPA believes the Movember crowd is infringing upon the civil rights of local pogonophobes.

“November is always the worst time of year for me and other pogos,” said UPA co-founder Sebastian Tipton. “Beards and long moustaches are everywhere now. I can’t even walk from class to class without experiencing violent panic attacks.”

This kind of facial hair anxiety came to a head when self-diagnosed pogonophobe Casey Brown accidently brushed up against a fellow student’s bushy ducktail beard in the cafeteria. Brown is currently in a beard anxiety induced coma, and doctors aren’t sure when he will fully recover.

In order to prevent further incidents, the UPA is demanding that U of O students with easily identifiable “heavy whiskers” should be forced to wear concealing neck warmers or balaclavas in public for the remainder of the month.

This call to action has been met with overwhelming resistance from the pro-’stache community on campus.

“Asking me to tone down my man bristles is utterly ridiculous,” said Carter Harris, a sociology major who sports the classic Van Dyke goatee. “I mean, it’s who I am. You might as well tell Liberace not to be gay or ask Bill Maher not to be smug.”

Since the on-campus pro-’stachers are showing no signs of budging on the issue, the UPA is organizing a protest that will aim to get the university administration to officially adopt their proposed beard concealment policy.

To increase their numbers for this planned protest, the UPA and its supporters have partnered with the Ottawa anti-beard organization known as No-shave-vember. This group consists of local disgruntled girlfriends and same-sex partners, who are using this protest as a platform to speak out on their own unique struggles during Movember.

“Every November, my boyfriend’s beautiful face disappears behind a mask of disgusting facial hair,” said No-shave-vember supporter Beverly Troy. “Not only does kissing and cunnilingus get taken off the table during this time, but I can’t even eat a meal with him anymore. Half of the food just gets stuck to his face.”

In response, U of O pro-’stachers are teaming up with facial hair sympathetic groups like Ottawa-based lumberjacks and Tom Selleck look-a-likes in order to launch an effective counter-protest.

“We need to show up in force to show the U of O admin that beard concealment is a slippery slope,” said Harris, who is helping to organize this counter-protest. “Next thing you know, they’ll be outlawing bushy eyebrows and rogue nose hairs. Where will it end?”