No Shave November is a furry time of year for men. It is a month of exceptions in which untrimmed beards, twirling mustaches and unkempt body hair are not only acceptable but encouraged. Unfortunately, this is not an exception made for women.

This American Cancer Society intended for this movement to raise awareness for prostate cancer. It was encouraged for individuals to donate the money usually spent on their hair grooming to cancer research. Thus far, it has been a movement carried out nearly exclusively by men, but women should be able to participate in raising awareness as well.

There is an expectation of women to maintain a smooth and hairless physique. No bumps, no bruises and no fur. When women choose to deviate from this standard — whether it be by not shaving their legs for a few days or having some hair underneath their arms — it is considered “disgusting” and “unladylike.” Some even find themselves offended at the sight of an unkempt female body.

Like most stigmas or double standards, the belief is not solely maintained by men or specific generations. Many women over many generations favor the concept of a hairless female body and perceive it to be an expectation they have of themselves as well as one to be projected onto others.

When I was in high school, there were a couple of girls who chose to push the envelope and participate in No Shave November. They would post photo updates on their social media of their progress, mostly regarding their underarm hair, and would flaunt their flapper-like movement proudly.

This was different, even a bit strange. In a society where young girls are expected to conform into this hairless figure that is considered normal, it was uncomfortable to witness someone break that trend — as it often is. My friends would discuss how repulsive the images were, how unladylike they were, because of the hair under their armpits. I was even taken aback.

That is the normal reaction to any one or group of persons acting outside of a social norm. However, it brought to light the underlying issue that existed. Men and women both grow hair all over their bodies. Why is attractive on one gender and disgusting on the other?

The answer to that is simply societal expectations. What we, as a collective group of people, have deemed appropriate for men differs from that which we have deemed appropriate for women. Many will argue that, because men and women are biologically different, they should be treated differently; that their expectations should differ.

However, when it comes down to something as fundamental and natural as body hair, it seems a tad ridiculous to say biology is the reason that it is gross for women to have underarm hair.

During the month of — Breast Cancer Awareness month — many (male) sports teams will rock bright pink socks to show their support. While there is a resting stigma towards men and the color pink, the judgement has lessened as people have understood the positive intent of this deviation from “normal.”

Hopefully, No Shave November follows suit and we are able to break down those gender barriers and embrace the women the hairy legs.