The Hair Dare: No shave…Never.

Does anyone actually like to shave? Guy or girl, doesn’t matter. The idea of dragging a knife across my face or legs just never seemed appealing. So why do it? When did it become the social norm? Welp, I read some articles and looked at some sources (Courtesy of an awesome article from Women You Should Know) and did a little looking on Wikipedia, and what it seemed was that shaving changed with the fashions and just never stopped.

When sleeveless dresses first arrived in the 1920s, getting rid of “unsightly” hair was the thing to do, kind of like dream catcher or owl tattoos now (sorry to those of you who have meaning behind them… some college kids are ruining your swag though). But in the winter? There’s no practical reason to keep the pits all prickly– let it go!

Except… most never really do. Sure for a week or two when there’s no chance of getting any, but do men and women really just keep themselves trimmed for their love life? Like attracting someone was worth the insane itch for like 3 minutes the morning after a shower? Ok fine, maybe. But I still just don’t get why hair is so masculine.

Women have had hair forever. All women. In fact in some cultures, women commonly have facial hair. In some Sikh cultures it is considered a sin to alter your body in any way including shaving, so some women who have facial hair feel totally comfortable with it (remember Balpreet Kaur and how awesomely she called out her critics?).

I am lucky enough to only have one out-of-place stupid wirey follicle that grows once every few months on my throat, but even that one puny hair drives me actually insane when it shows up. I’ve even named it. It’s a Gertrude (sorry to any Gerties out there, it just really felt fitting). And I have no problem with facial hair… I actually really admire it. I love beards. But one hair, just one, is enough to make me pull over on a highway and pluck it to death.

In terms of men with facial hair and their significant others, I understand the difficulties of real beard burn, but aesthetically I just don’t get the boyish clean cut hairless thing as a mandate for all men. Sure, if you want to spend hours grooming, more power to you, but I am just not on that bandwagon. I think people with severely shaped eyebrows are terrifying. They look like evil Disney queens. If getting all plucked and shaved makes you feel sexy, awesome! But beards are sexy too, and flaunting them and their lack of conventional beauty-maintenance could apply to body hair of any kind. Be happy to be comfortable in your own skin, whatever that means.

In terms of our dirty bits, there are scientific explanations for our luscious locks down there. In other, clearer terms, pubic hair is there for a reason. Back in the olden days, in fact before the olden days, when men and women weren’t wearing pants yet, pubic hair was protection from whatever dirt or disease was floating around near the special bits. Now, some of us wear underwear, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t serve the same purpose. Our hair still helps us regulate heat and even feel things!

Also, it seems that every hair removal technique that goes on down there is pretty dangerous.  Chemicals, sharp metal pieces that are never shaped right to do the job, or even wax… hot, burning, wax.  I think that if 5000 years from now humans still exist and are looking back on our time, Brazilian waxes will be used as a method of torture.  Laser hair removal will take 20 seconds once every two years.  Less often than even doctor’s appointments (which will still take 2 hours by my calculations).

I understand wanting to stay the mystery of what is beneath the bikini, and I am all for keeping trim and neat, but the obsessive need to be hairless in our American culture, kind of freaks me out.  Are we trying to look prepubescent?  That’s on purpose?  Why is looking like a kid a turn on?  That’s all kinds of messed up in my eyes.

When it comes down to it, like everything regarding fashion, do what makes you feel good!  As a wise man once told me, “you’ve got to feel fly to be fly.”  So do what you gotta do, whatever that is, but remember that hair is TOTALLY NATURAL and by all means NORMAL.  So if you find yourself rushed in the shower, or just a little more turned on with some fuzz, don’t be afraid to put down the tiny sword and surrender to your body’s natural tendencies.  In the meantime, I will do my best to accept my Gertrude, and keep my eyes on the road.

x0

F.

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THE FEMME WORD LAUNCH

Hello all!

As of this Saturday, The Femme Word will be posting 2 Saturdays per month about everything from facial hair to sex toys and social issues.  Please spread the word!  Our first official post will be out at midnight on Saturday, September 21st.  Here’s a little teaser to get you excited from “The Hair Dare: No Shave… Never”

 

…I still just don’t get why hair is so masculine. Women have had hair forever. All women. In fact in some cultures, women commonly have facial hair. In some Sikh cultures it is considered a sin to alter your body in any way including shaving so some women who have facial hair feel totally comfortable with it (remember Balpreet Kaur and how awesomely the called out her critics?). I am lucky enough to only have one out of place stupid wirey follicle that grows once every few months on my throat, but even that one puny hair drives me actually insane when it shows up. I’ve even named it. It’s a Gertrude (sorry to any Gerties out there, it just really felt fitting). And I have no problem with facial hair… I actually really admire it. I love beards. But one hair, just one, is enough to make me pull over on a highway and pluck it to death…

See you Saturday!

 

x0

F.

A New Kind of Feminism. Not Just For Women.

Feminism, as defined by the latest Oxford English Dictionary, is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.”  Why do you think the vast majority of feminists are women then?  Is it because women care about their rights more than men care about women’s rights?  Maybe, though I know many men who are more for women’s empowerment than some women I know (like at a Beyonce concert vs a Chris Brown concert).  It seems to me that “feminism” is often seen as an exclusive club for men-bashing, sign-holding, armpit-hair-having women, to talk about why it’s hard to be a woman in this time and age.

I don’t know where this reputation came from aside from pictures of protestors from the 1920s advocating for women’s right to vote in America, (which I think we can all agree was well deserved) but I’ve never seen a feminist that fits that description.  Although women were “radicals” asking to be heard back then, feminism is not so far-fetched now.  If you don’t think that women and men should be paid equally, receive equal benefits, and have equal opportunity for employment, your political views probably sound pretty ancient to most Americans.  So if we in America are a culture that values women and their contributions to society, why would supporting those rights be somehow so radical that to be a feminist is to be a woman-loving, hard-headed, and downright annoying individual?  It’s hypocritical, dumb, and as far as I can tell, totally false.

Feminism is not feminine.  If it was it would be associated with painting your nails and watching Grey’s Anatomy.  Feminism as a stigma somehow emasculates men, and masculinizes women, while totally ignoring the whole point of the word; gender equality.  Everything that’s wrong with the way we misinterpret feminism in America is a mirror to what’s wrong with gender stereotypes in our culture as well.  Feminism is confusing because it makes us take a step back from the body parts and examine gender in your actions rather than your appearance.

What I have to ask is, why is that so terrifying?  Why in America is it so confusing for a woman to be butch or a man to be feminine?  I know that gay rights is a hot topic right now, but I don’t even mean who you sleep with, I mean who you are.  Why are we so terrified of reassigning our roles to fit modern times?

Once again, I don’t know.  I know that I know plenty of men who cry all the time and plenty of women who never do and are all still pretty great people.  Turns out, regardless of your mannerisms, preferences, gender, or sex, you are still a person who deserves rights, respect, and empathy from your peers.  We could judge people based on the way they check their fingernails or who they sleep with, or we could look at people for what they do for others, and the injustices they stand up for.

So just like straight men can wear pink, gay men can wear clashing outfits, gay women can do their hair and makeup everyday, and straight women can dominate in the bedroom.  The stereotypes that we assign to people are bashing individuals for their personalities.  We alienate outliers based on an outdated standard of behavior that we haven’t taken the time to push forward.  The point of all of this?  We can change it.  Feminism doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it can be a way to accept each other for who we are and what we value rather than how we look.  Feminism, like gender equality, is for everyone.  The issues that plague every she, he and they are our issues.  We are all feminists.  Wear some pink.  Get over it.

Xo

F.