Sunday, April 15, 2007

Anti-Feminist Bingo!

Two bingo cards have recently sprung up as a way of 'spotting the trolls' or anyone who doesn't actually give a shit about feminism or they would not be saying these things. The first one, concerning 'general anti-feminism' is from Hoyden About Town:

The second one, concerning the more specific subject of anti-feminism in comics, is at Girls Read Comics (And They're Pissed):

Click each one to go to their respective blog posts. And before you say something daft because you can't be bothered reading the actual posts, I'll say it here: Some of those entries may not be anti-feminism in and of themselves. Case in point: the 'Patriarchy hurts men too' square in the first card is actually part of the feminist philosophy, and has been discussed many times all over the place. However, if spouted along with several other phrases there, it's almost always a way of de-railing a discussion and is basically another way of saying 'But what about the men?!'. Remember, this is bingo - you're scoring five-in-a-row, not one.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Everyone else is talking about it....

... so I will too. Word has been getting around recently about yet another documentary that I didn't see, this time about women with body hair. Shazia Mirza's 'Fuck Off! I'm A Hairy Woman' was about her experiences when she, a self-confessed hairy woman, ditched the razor and began to grow out all her body hair. Unsurprisingly, she was met with complete disgust.

I didn't see it, though, so I can't say much.

However, I can say that we still have hope, for there are men out there who neither fetishise nor demonise body hair. When I shaved under my arms recently (I decided that the top I was wearing was the only one in my wardrobe that I preferred with bald underarms due to a need for antiperspirant to make full contact with the skin and thus make handwashing slightly easier), I got two reactions. One from an old friend who I had talked into ditching the razor a few years back, who said that she now had boasting rights about her fluffiness until mine grew back. The other was from my boyfriend.
He was a bit disappointed. He preferred the fuzzy, like me.
Damn, that made me feel good.

Anyway, yes, fluff. Personally, I hope that I'll see the day when people don't actually debate it anymore, because they won't really notice. At least, not in the way they do now. I hope people won't be saying that hair on a woman (apart from on her head) makes them feel physically sick and that it's somehow 'not right'. Hell, nobody really seems to see it as a moral outrage if men do or don't shave, beards or elsewhere - it's just seen as personal preference (or in some cases, a religious thing). It's just 'guys have hair. Sometimes, they don't.' Whereas a woman who doesn't shave risks being seen as irrational, lazy, even (paradoxically) unnatural. What woman in their right mind would see her natural fuzz as anything but abhorrent?

Well, put it this way. To all the men out there who just don't get it, imagine the razor burn you get after shaving your beard. The itch when the stubble's growing back. Bit irritating, isn't it? Painful at times, for some. Now imagine that itch in your armpits, all over your arms and legs, between your legs and round the base of your penis, where clothing is CONSTANTLY RUBBING. Imagine being told that this itch is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to being seen as attractive to anyone. Imagine being told that having even a little bit of hair down there is enough to make others want to throw up. Imagine feeling compelled to go out and buy bleaching products and lots more shaving cream than you currently do, book appointments at the barbers every few weeks, waste ridiculous amounts of your money to ensure that all those extra hairs remain invisible. It's time consuming, it eats all your cash and you're getting really insecure about those hairs. Now can you see why some women are saying that enough is enough? If not, I say you try out the 'beauty regimes' that you insist we undergo for a year, then come back and I'll ask you again.
To all the women who don't get it, and are already going through all of the above... well, basically I'd rather spend my money on (and time doing) other things, and it's all to do with personal choice. You wanna, I don't. Stop sneering at me in changing rooms. I'm as female as you are. No, I don't care what people might say, or I wouldn't be in this situation.

Thank goodness that I'm surrounded by less judgemental people.