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Jul 18 2005

Buffing The Teen Beaver

Brazil_1

Brazil: birthplace of the glabrous clam

At Feministing, my one-stop feminist-outrage-shop, I read about a Missouri state Senate bill that would prevent 13-year-old girls from getting Brazilian bikini waxes without a note from Mummy. [Here’s the source article, written, it turns out, by my old boss Randall Roberts--hi, Randy!--who writes “[The bill] will take immediate effect–so expect teenagers to soon be racing to waxing salons in time for the summer nookie season.”]

Without question, state senate bills that focus their greasy attentions on the pubes of adolescent girls always have some putrid patriarchal ulterior motive. Enviously noting that last spring the colorful Texas State Senate made the Daily Show by passing the beyond-idiotic Sexy Cheerleader Bill (in Texas, teen pregnancy and VD are always the result of sexy cheerleading, and by gum, we’ve put a stop to it!), sleazebag Missouri legislators are obviously looking for an excuse to sit around and shoot the breeze about nubile pudenda, possibly parlaying their prurience into face-time with Stephen Colbert. They should totally shove this bill up their ass.

But Jesus Christ! What 13-year-old girl needs a Brazilian? The whole point of the procedure is to make old bats’ pussies look like they’re 13; what does this do to a girl who’s already 13? Turn her into a zygote?

I am adamant that people be free to shave, chop or otherwise alter themselves to their hearts’ content. But everybody would benefit from an examination of the motives behind the alterations. Because, according to my extensive clinical research, 99.9% of the time the motivation for painful or tedious or time-sucking bod-mods is the appeasement of patriarchal authority.

Which is the last thing we should be encouraging 13-year-old girls to do.

In fact, nookie season or not, the notion of 13-year-old girls sprinting around town getting waxed on the sly is icky. Like, how about hygiene? Who exactly is doing the waxing? And who but a perv could be pro-adolescent-beaver-buffing? Yififififif!

Personal sovereignty is a fine thing for adults, but pubescent girls require the gentle parental hand to lock’em the hell up when necessary. They aren’t mature enough to enjoy unbridled liberty, at least not while they are the fetishized objects of a misogynist culture. With the Brazilian, they’re mimicking adult behavior, but how can they possibly grok the fullness of all the submissiveness and conformity and capitulation to white male supremacy that the behavior entails? In other words, the full horror of their situation as members of the sex class has not yet sunk in. They don’t have all the information to make intelligent decisions. If intelligent decisions are even possible when you’re 13.

Did I really just write “grok the fullness”? Jesus H. Next thing you know I’ll be sporting around in a Klingon suit at a fucking Star Trek convention.

47 comments

  1. Steph

    Fuck, one more thing to worry about parenting a young girl. I must get my 6 year old to practice blaming the patriarchy more often.

    Your post is right on the mark. Why the hell does a minor need to rip off all her hair anyway?

    I did notice the article does not discuss the rise in nasty bacterial infections that has accompanied this trend. Seems all those little hair folicles can get really infected. An outbreak of a strange “flu” in a college football team was traced back to their hair removing practices–they figured less hair was more hygenic.

  2. Mistress

    Bacterial infections? I’ve been getting my Brazilian done regularly for nearing a year now & the worst that’s come of it is a few nasty ingrowns. But hell, I’ve seen worse from shaving.

    As for 13 year old girls, where the hell would they get the money? It’s an expensive habit. Anywhere from $35-100 depending on who does it.

    And are my waxing habits still patriarchal if I’m a lesbian? Thoughts?

  3. Nikki

    I was initially outraged about yet more legislation saying what women can and can’t do with their bodies, but I see what you’re saying. This is all a result of patriarchal objectification bullshit. Women aren’t valued for their age and experience, especially if that experience happens to include their vaginas (thinking childbirth, and, well… sexual experience, too) so we’re made to believe that younger and sexier is better. We then rip the hair off of our bodies in an attempt to conform to the hegemonic ideal of womanliness… and now the ideas have trickled down so that young women aren’t even valued for their youth.

    Disgusting. Makes me proud to be a spinster aunt who has her nieces over to party like rock stars without the bullshit of men.

  4. Winter Woods

    Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! I’m sorry (no I’m not actually), but allowing 13 years olds to get waxed without their parents’ consent is pushing a very insiduous and dodgy agenda in my view. As you rightly ask , why would any 13 year old want or need such a thing? What, is she a child prostitute, or working in the porn industry, or wandering round in pubic area revealing clothes? As one one of my more upfront friends screamed at me, “That sounds paedophilic!” Ok. maybe that’s a bit extreme, but it certainly sounds like it would soften girls up for all the painful, tedious, and expensive body maintenance practices expected of women. Really, they probably just want to exploit girls – get their pocket money – but it has more even sinister implications than that. I guess my friend also meant it’s yet another effort to impose sexualised adult practices on children. I really don’t like the whole encouragement of pubic waxing, cos not only does it hark to pornorgraphy, it seems like an aspect of the bigger patriarchal drive to reduce women to little girls.

    I’m not sure what I’d make of lesbians having Brazilians! I guess I’d just say, well, if you’re a grown up woman it’s your body, you can do whatever you like, but it wouldn’t sit right with me.

  5. Twisty

    Mistress, I’m all for everybody doing whatever the heck they want with their hair; wax away, if that’s what bangs your box. Some of my best friends have Brazilians!

    But I firmly believe–and of course this view is controversial, because it implies that we are all more mind-controlled than we’d like to think–that it is absolutely impossible to live entirely outside the heterosexual porn paradigm. If it tells us a crew-cut cooter is hot-hot, then a crew-cut cooter is hot-hot.

    Fans of the Brazilian should heave a sigh of relief that the Twisty Revolution is unlikely to succeed anytime soon, since if I have anything to say about it, hotness will be a lot hairier, be entirely painless, and require no maintenance whatsoever.

  6. Samantha

    Think about all the places on your body hair congregates and consider the role hair plays in keeping dirt and other schmutz out of the sensitives like eyes, ears, and genitals. Even your lungs have tiny hairs called cilia to help keep them clean.

    I read an incredible book about the socialization of women into “Americans” via baby delivery practices, “Birth as an American Rite of Passage”, that had a lot to say about the harms, physical and mental, of shaving women’s pubic hair before delivery. I always come back to this amazing book when thinking about the recent trendiness of genital waxing.

  7. Steve Pick

    I’m no parent, and I’ve had very little close experience with teenage girls. But, I think it is a given that teenagers in general will go ahead and find ways to do things that are forbidden to them. Did you know that it’s illegal for teens to smoke, drink, get tattoos, and have sex? How is it going to be any more likely that they’ll obey a bikini wax notification law than all these others?

    I think it’s been an interesting ride to watch the evolution of the shaved groin over the last ten or so years. It’s a fad, fueled by the patriarchy of course, but no more than make-up, clothing, or hair-style fads have been. I do think, however, that it’s always wiser to attempt to inform children and teens of the existence of the patriarchy itself, thus allowing them to make their own choices as far as participating in it, rather than trying to forbid specific outcomes of the paradigm. Besides, everybody knows women can’t resist forbidden fruit. Wasn’t that in the bible?

  8. Twisty

    Well, you’re right, Steve. Of course you can’t keep a teenager from doing jack. But can we at least try to get’em to absorb a little critical thinking of the anti-establishment variety? If it were me, I would hope to raise a kid for whom the idea of waxing her pubes would seem the height of sexist stupidity, but of course, I am child-free, so I content myself with telling other people how to raise their kids.

  9. Rene

    Here’s an interesting irony regarding the original presentation of Randall Roberts’ story about the underage-waxing legislation; I’m sure it will come as no surprise to Twisty or anyone else familiar with the New Times corporate ethos. The story was paired with another writer’s shortish feature about some insane perv who was stalking a newscaster. The issue’s cover featured a photo of a model’s disembodied (and, naturally, perfectly nubile) torso in a bikini — cropped from maybe the collarbone to the upper thighs. The story began on a two-page spread (insert Beavis and Butthead chuckle here) that was laid out (another B&B chuckle) in the form of two tits and a bikini bottom. Way to pander to that coveted dude demographic, New Times! Publish two stories about the patriarchy, and surround ‘em with patriarchy-affirming photos of disembodied titties; make sure the editors douche away any subtextual vestige of that dick-wilting NOW shit that sometimes afflicted the old hippie-dippy give-a-shit regime. I don’t blame our beloved old boss, Randy, but I do blame his bosses, who are misogynes and fools. — Rene

  10. deja pseu

    One has to wonder if there’s really an epidemic of tween pudenda exfoliation, or if this is more of a manufactured crisis. Like a friend of a friend of an acquaintance of a state congresscritter discovered her daughter had waxed poetic without permission, so to speak?

    Agreed though that if this is indeed the new Hello Kitty, that some patriarchy blaming is definitely in order.

  11. michelle b.

    The scary thing is, I can totally see a mother encouraging her 13-year-old daughter to get her pubes waxed. It’s only a few steps removed from teaching your pubescent daughter to pluck her eyebrows, shave her legs, bleach her moustache, wear a bra even if she’s just an A-cup, and all those other stupid female grooming practices that we learn before we know better. My mom used to roll my hair in hot rollers every week for church until I was in my early teens. It f*cking hurt. Now my motto is: if it hurts, it’s not beautiful (still pluck between my brows tho – seem to have lost feeling there.)

    I shave my pubic area because it feels reaaallly good. Ahem. Waxing’s never going to happen. On the other hand, I stopped shaving my legs during the summer this year (never felt a reason to during the winter, but I’m in the minority there with my coworkers). Sometimes I feel like a freak when I wear a skirt to work, but it’s getting easier. No one’s said anything. The fact that I have to make a conscious decision about it is a daily reminder of the patriarchy.

  12. Tony Patti

    “And are my waxing habits still patriarchal if I’m a lesbian? Thoughts?”

    No, it makes a huge difference if you decide to wax or shave yourself in the full knowledge that you might have been influenced by porn fashions – and all that entails culturally – but you still want to; for any of the thousand other reasons that might make you feel good about it.

    It’s one thing to walk around, a total blind fool in complete denial about the sexist power structure of the entire planet, and another thing to do things that please you while able to gauge, or at least acknowledge, the cultural influences which might have something to do with your actions.

    This is the rationale behind my whole approach to learning about feminism from different viewpoints. I feel like though my behavior might not be as correct as someone else might wish at all times, my willingness to consider my actions from the viewpoint of a woman who doesn’t cater to male dominance makes me able to temper my behavior and consider how to improve myself in ways that maintain my essential happiness and joy.

    Here’s the part I liked – Michelle bringing it back into reality’s bleak flourescent light:

    “The scary thing is, I can totally see a mother encouraging her 13-year-old daughter to get her pubes waxed. It’s only a few steps removed from teaching your pubescent daughter to pluck her eyebrows, shave her legs, bleach her moustache, wear a bra even if she’s just an A-cup, and all those other stupid female grooming practices that we learn before we know better.”

    My wife, a fair-skinned red head with no visible hair, still shaves her legs all the time, much to my confusion. In so many ways, she has never bought into the idea that she needs to cater to the male gaze when she presents herself, but this central issue is still a big one for her. It’s all about what the consensus deems fitting, and if it even gets close to a consensus for the shaved pube, we will all have to deal with it.

    Hopefully we won’t go so far as to invent some cruel style that requires bare labia to ensure the lack of hair for everyone to see. Then we will surely have reached a bizarre new world I hope I never live to see. Not that I mind looking at shaven labia – I’m more afraid that I will like it just a little too much, and as for those with less control over themselves than I, well, there you go.

  13. Andygrrl

    god. When my mom was twelve she was still making clothes for her Barbie doll. She’s a pediatric nurse now and came home from work once asking me why some of her patients were shaving their pubic hair. I’d never heard of it before then.
    It’s just more evidence of the sexualization of girls. It’s disgusting, but legislation won’t do anything. They’ll just shave.
    I keep telling myself, “only two more months and I’ll get out of this godforsaken state, just two more months…”

  14. Steph

    Steve said: “I do think, however, that it’s always wiser to attempt to inform children and teens of the existence of the patriarchy itself, thus allowing them to make their own choices as far as participating in it, rather than trying to forbid specific outcomes of the paradigm.”

    I always worry that my patriarchy-blaming ways will actually create a rebellion in my daughter toward the patriarchy–with all its “beauty rituals” and the things you discuss here. That she’ll wax and preen and decide that she’ll do anything for a boy–just to get him to like her–to prove that I am wrong and her way is right.

    I’m not really worried that she’ll want to rip her pubic hair off at 13, but I am worried about all the patriarchal “beauty” crap that is constantly being created and the discourse of “choice” that comes with it–for a young person in the midst of forming her adult identity it can be pretty compelling stuff.

    And while I knowingly participate in many patriarchal grooming practices, I love your hotness without maintenance beauty ideal Twisty.

  15. sassycat

    The girls’ pubes debate brings back the same thing as the last post–no vagina is safe so long as there are men actively policing women’s bodies. You know, if some 13 year old really has been made to feel that ashamed of her body hair that she wants to go through a near act of torture, what does that say? And now a bunch of old white guys want to make rules about what she does with her pubes? Eeeeeewwwww. Seriously, what’s going to happen? Are there back alley, black market, pubescent aestheticians out there, just trying to score off of a poor innocent girl who misguidedly wants her pubes off without asking mom and dad first? Are girls letting any old creepy herpes-infected dude rip off their body hair with dirty, molten wax?
    WTF?

  16. Crys T

    “And are my waxing habits still patriarchal if I’m a lesbian? Thoughts?”

    Well, yeah. Just because you don’t see men as your sexual thing (or at least not your primary one), you still live on the same patriarchal planet as the rest of us, and you’ve still had a lifetime being indoctrinated by patriarchal culture.

    Last time I checked, sexism wasn’t only something that affected straight women.

    I agree that people should be allowed to do what they want with their own bodies. But when we do those things, we’ve got to be honest about where the desire to do them comes from.

    I’m not trying to point any fingers, because as many feminists wiser than myself have said, there’s not a one of us who hasn’t made a deal with the patriarchy. Not one. But when we do, we gotta own up to it. I personally shave my legs. Partly because I do enjoy that smooth-skin feel, but also because I’m too weak not to….except in the winter, of course.

  17. Sylvanite

    Personally, I think everyone should shave their underarms. Makes for less stinkiness and, um, dripping. (yes, I know – can’t make people’s grooming decisions for them! :)
    I don’t understand the pube wax, though, or shaving, but then the one time I had to do it for medical reasons, I hated it. I’ve known a couple of guys who trimmed their pubic areas – I’m not sure why. It’s been a while since I saw any porn; are guys in porn shaving now, too?

  18. Lauren

    My ex is a tattoo artist and body piercer and his shop has a “nobody under 15″ rule that applies to all of their work, even if a parent is present. Even if a parent brings a 15+ kid in with the proper identification and proof of guardianship, the artists have the right to refuse if it seems there are unhealthy reasons for being there.

    Seeing Brazilians as a sort of body modification, more similar to a piercing than a tattoo however, all of which are frequently done for sexual reasons among certain populations, this parental notification law is a-okay with me.

    Some parents are just fucked up. Whoever wants to let their daughter get her girlybits waxed at thir-fucking-teen needs to engage in a bit of patriarchy shedding. Anyone willing to take the money to wax a thirteen year old ought to be waxed themselves. And I ain’t talking about the “beauty” procedure.

  19. ae

    But Jesus Christ! What 13-year-old girl needs a Brazilian? The whole point of the procedure is to make old bats’ pussies look like they’re 13; what does this do to a girl who’s already 13? Turn her into a zygote?

    Thank you. Just f*cking thank you.

  20. ae

    P.S. Will not be able to work for the rest of the day because I am laughing too hard (through the tears) at “crew-cut cooter.”

  21. ae

    Though it’s a worthy discussion generally, what women/girls “choose” to do w/ their bodies is not what’s toasting my tits here. The deeply icky patriarchy-blaming aspect of this for me is the goddamn attention the salivating pervs are giving to prepubscent pubes. Um, yeah, wanna help girl children? How about we don’t rescind Title IX? That’d be a start. And how about some sound science in our classrooms or reliable health information? And then maybe we can work on protecting their families’ interests re: fiscal responsibility, a sane foreign policy, and workers’, bankruptcy, and environmental protections. Start there, pantysniffers. Pigs. [With apologies to pigs.]

  22. Winter Woods

    So many good points here! I agree that we can’t actually stop teenage girls doing anything they are determined to do, including ilegal backstreet brazilian waxing. I also agree that the whole furore is hyped up by people who are indeed perving at the thought of young girls having themselves waxed. I think the overall point, as others have argued, is that we need to keep on fighting male control over female bodies. Both sides – those trying to sell teenagers waxes and those trying to stop them – are presuming the right to dictate to young women what they should or should not be doing with their bodies. This is bad.

    Personally, I would find it impossible to reconcile waxing with my feminist position, because I refuse to subject myself to any beauty practices that hurt and because my pubic hair in particular plays a part in signifying my adult female sexuality. Like some of you, I do shave legs and armpits in the summer because I don’t really like the feeling of sweaty hairy legs and underarms! But I’m not proud of it and I don’t think anyone “should” ever have to do it. When we cut ourselves shaving my best friend and I always laugh that we’re victims of our own oppression, becasue as feminists we do know better!

    I briefly dated a woman who waxed herself all over. At first I thought I could be be non-judgmental, but she just went on and on about it. It was all “I need to get a wax,” “I don’t feel sexy,” “I feel really hairy” etc etc. Tell you what’s not sexy? – a woman who goes on about her depilatory (can’t even spell that) practices all the time when I couldn’t care less. I’m rather ashamed to say I didn’t return her calls after a few dates. Since then I have tended towards hairier types.

  23. BritGirlSF

    I’m generally against parental notification laws, but it does worry me that any 13 year old would be getting waxed. When done by an incompetent aesthetician, of which there are many, waxing can be both painful and cause problems such as ingrown hairs etc, not to mention the hygeine implications. I’m not sure what to make of this one. My instinct is that parental notification is pointless anyway as surely most kids are going to have to ask their parents for the money, at which point the parents can interevene if they wish to. If I was the parent I would take this as a great opportunity to get into some patriarchy-blaming.
    Personally I shave, not wax, because I like the feeling better, especially in the summer because I live in California and seem to feel cooler that way, I get uncomfortably sweaty if I don’t shave. Ironically enough my SO hates the shaved look. To quote, “it feels kind of cool but it looks wierd”. I don’t much care for the look either to be honest, I just do it for the comfort factor, but I can’t understand how anyone can wax. That shit hurts! I think brazilian waxes should probably be forbidden by the Geneva Convention.

  24. larkspur

    I’m against parental notification laws. I’m in favor of people like that tattoo artist who says “No” to anyone under 15. I’m against mommies who completely neglect teaching their daughters about grooming or girly-stuff (I had such a mommy) and I’m against mommies who teach nothing but the girly stuff.

    I’m in favor of parents having strict rules for their children, assuming the motivation is love and responsibility. For one thing, it teaches kids that there are things that matter, a lot. For another thing, it provides a boundary to push against. And omg children need that. They need to rail against you for forbidding them to get their ears pierced at age 9, for going out on couple-dates at age 12, for drinking beer at 15 (“But mom, you drink beer, you hypocrite!”), and for getting their pubic hair removed.

    Will the world end if they have to wait until they’re 13 to get their ears pierced? Of course not. It’s arbitrary. But it reassures them that what they do matters, that their parents care enough to make and enforce lame, annoying rules.

    PS: I shave under my arms. I haven’t shaved my legs for years, and oh my, they are soft and touchable. Fluffy, yeah, but stubble-free! And the pubic hair? Braided.

  25. Mistress

    “I can’t understand how anyone can wax. That shit hurts! I think brazilian waxes should probably be forbidden by the Geneva Convention.”

    Jeezus. So much for people doing whatever the fuck they want with their bodies . . . . and to whoever else saying that an incompetent aesthetician would cause pain and ingrowns? Neither of those can be avoided. Though exfoliating the waxed area can reduce your chance of getting ingrowns.

    I love being hairless because it feels extremely clean & pretty. I love waxing because the hair stays away longer, and over time, the follicles are weakened & take longer to grow back. When you shave, it just grows back faster, thicker & ickier. It’s itchy, too.

    But yeah. I wax, I shave my legs & underarms. [I wear make up, too! Gasp!] I don’t mind if my womenfriends are hairy as long as they’re clean. Clean is what counts.

  26. Crys T

    “So much for people doing whatever the fuck they want with their bodies”

    Oh, bullshit. No one is saying anything about banning these practices or ostracising those who participate them or anything other damn thing. The “Geneva Convention” thing was a bit of HUMOUR.

    “I love being hairless because it feels extremely clean & pretty”

    And where did you learn to associate hairlessness with either “cleanliness” or “prettiness”? Despite the social conditioning, there is NOTHING inherent in either of those associations, you LEARNED them via cultural messages.

    Like I said, do what you want, but be freaking honest about why you’re doing it.

  27. WookieMonster

    I just want to say that some people don’t like mouths full of hair and leave that one at that.

    I didn’t shave legs/armpits for years, then when I tried, I can’t anymore without some serious irritation. I now use a depilator (remember the old epilady? Newer and less painful version). It really doesn’t hurt after the first time and it lasts longer (I care about hair visibility rather than actual hairlessness) and isn’t prickly growing back. Other bits just get trimmed, because you can’t pay me enough to justify having hair growing back in down there.

  28. SassyCat

    heh heh “toasting my tits…” that’s a good one.

    All this talk of pubes has brought to mind a story…
    When I was a kid, all my female relatives had the full-on 70s bush thing happening, which I would notice when we were changing for something, or in the locker room at the pool. One day, I asked my aunt why. Here’s how she explained it:
    “All that hair down there is so that when you go skinny dipping, no one can see anything. It’s nature’s bikini.”

  29. Crys T

    “all my female relatives had the full-on 70s bush thing happening”

    See, this is what’s bugging me here: it’s as if having your pubic hair the way it actually grows is some sort of fashion, and therefore unnatural.

    Do what you will with it, but come on, see that the waxing/shaving/whatever is the artificial look, and the “full-on 70s bush thing” is actually what’s natural.

  30. Twisty

    On the other hand–just to be argumentative–just because a thing is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s automatically the best possible version of the thing. I’m thinking, of course, of a raw coffee bean vs. a highly-processed and unnatural cup of delicious espresso, but there are 421,879 other examples.

  31. Crys T

    No, it doesn’t. I don’t let the hair on my head just grow and grow, either.

    But if nobody else ever cut their hair, I doubt if having my own long would strike me as odd.

    There is just waaaaaaay too much weirdness and sick attitudes around sex and bodies, especially women’s bodies, and it creeps me out when people take the “pubic hair is soooo ICK!” line, because this is pretty much a recent, media/porn created phenomenon. Though I’m sure someone will drag out examples of ancient cultures where people did weird things to their pubes…I’m talking about Western culture in the past century or so.

    I can say for a fact that having regular, untouched pubes wasn’t a big deal for most people up till at least the early 90s. Not that everyone had them, but at least no one screamed or vomited upon seeing them when you dropped your panties. Now I’ve got the feeling that anyone who started fucking after that date sees hair as some sort of freak phenomenon that labels the person who’s got it as some sort of scary mutant (with cooties, probably, too).

    It’s like fake boobs: they didn’t bug me half so much when they were a relatively rare thing. Now, when it’s nearly expected of women to have them, if it’s becoming normalised and unquestioned by most people, it bothers me a LOT.

  32. Michael

    I just don’t like getting hair in my mouth. I’m willing to reciprocate, as well. Is that fair?

  33. crella

    ‘ What 13-year-old girl needs a Brazilian?’

    Exactly. I would think that legislation to stop it would be in line with your view that young girls shouldn’t be doing this.

    ‘I was initially outraged about yet more legislation saying what women can and can’t do with their bodies, but I see what you’re saying. This is all a result of patriarchal objectification bullshit.’

    Which? The waxing or the legislation??

    ‘I’m sorry (no I’m not actually), but allowing 13 years olds to get waxed without their parents’ consent is pushing a very insiduous and dodgy agenda in my view.’

    So the legislation requiring parental consent is a good thing, right?

    ‘ It’s a fad, fueled by the patriarchy of course, but no more than make-up, clothing, or hair-style fads have been.’

    Funny, it’s that same patriarchy that is enacting legislation to stop it…odd.

    ‘ the idea of waxing her pubes would seem the height of sexist stupidity’

    Seems a bunch of legislators also think so…

    ‘inform children and teens of the existence of the patriarchy itself, thus allowing them to make their own choices as far as participating in it’

    Wait, wait…the patriarchy (according to the first post) has an interest in stopping young teens from getting Brazilian waxes,which would seem to say that the patriarchy doesn’t approve, but getting one is participation in the patriarchy?

    ‘toward the patriarchy–with all its “beauty rituals” and the things you discuss here.’

    Of course, women do these things expressly for men, not because ‘all the other girls are doing it’ or to look better than other women. Nope.It’s only to please men. Uh-huh…

    ‘no vagina is safe so long as there are men actively policing women’s bodies.’

    I thought this law was about making those of 13-year-olds safer?

    ‘Are girls letting any old creepy herpes-infected dude rip off their body hair with dirty, molten wax?’

    In my experience with salons, it is usually women who perform this procedure. If made illegal for under-13s, why will it suddenly be ‘herpes-infected dudes’ who will be doing it?

  34. Twisty

    Well, Crella, while we are now apprised of your dissatisfaction with nearly every idea expressed by previous commenters, we remain unenlightened as to your own point of view.

    Meanwhile, the legislators in favor of the teen pube bill are not, as you suggest, motivated by their distaste for patriarchal authority, but are in fact seeking to appease nervous voters who believe that only the Government is bad-ass enough to keep their daughters virginal until the happy day when daddy gives her away to the next male authority figure to be reamed as Jesus sees fit.

  35. easy

    Just shoot the men. Its easier and it saves a lot of words.

  36. wax job

    Metrosexual nancy boys are getting body waxes these days to keep happy the females with hairless body fetishes. Wounder how long it will be before the motherly matriarchal oppressors send their boys off to get their back, sack and crack waxes.

  37. Terry C.

    This bill is just a way to allow adult males to think about adolescent girls’ pubic hair without being called the perverts that they are in reality. The sooner the legislature gets out of my bed/bathroom and gets to work on things like maintaining the fucking infrastructure, funding better schools and enforcing environmental regulations I think we will all be better off.

  38. greer

    The menfolk need a girly version of Germaine Greer’s book of scantily clad and essentially naked pre-pubescent and adolescent boys on the mainstream bookstore shelves… of course, just to appreciate the innocent, untainted beauty of these creatures before society buggers them up. You know, a modern day pictorial anthropoligical study. Funny how nobody called greer and the proud ladies at her book launch in Perth, Australia “the perverts that they are in reality.” Silly men, they should take a page out of that texan brainiac failed oil entrepenuer’s book and learn that form is everything and that a good dose of double thinking newspeak can overcome any substantive reality.

  39. Glenn

    I teach at an urban middle school, and I would have to say that the major influence is the music video. My girls are looking for role models, and they primarily see women in bikinis being objectified. One of my girls was sent home because of her clothing (or lack of). She argued that her mom bought her the clothes after they watched this one video, so it was okay to wear the clothes to school.

    When the school counselor tried to explain to her that the videos were objectifying women, the student told her that ‘the counselor had no idea how to get a man.’

    The issue isn’t the legislation or the bikini wax. The issue is how to educate, either in the home or the school, young girls to respect themselves.

  40. l object to sex

    It takes two to make a sex object. Nice to see someome advocating teaching the objectified to take responsibility and be accountable for their self objectification. Now maybe we can teach the boys to stop embracing the idea of the protector/provider/sir lancelot object. But l suspect that they will say “that’s no way to get a woman.”

  41. Twisty

    Hey, Object, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Sexism is women’s fault! Men are only trying to protect them! Thank god that mystery is solved!

  42. no one's fault

    twisty,

    its not about fault, its about responsibility and accountability. l, as a man, accept how my behaviour can effect others. Accountability is the first step toward empowerment.

    Why do you insist on misrepresenting my intent? The point is that sexism effects BOTH sexes. l know women think men have nothing to contemplate in this regard, afterall, its a mans world and what have we got to complain about. However, l doubt that you would be able to handle even one day of being a man in a man’s world as men aren’t allowed to blame and are expected to ‘shutup and take it like a man.’ Which is the essence of your last post.

    l as a man have been well schooled over the last 40 yrs to look at my own behaviour and show compassion for women. It just gets a bit frustrating that anytime a man emplores women to do the same, we are just met with manipulative intellectually dishonest argumentative deflections. The biggest obstacles to overcoming personal discontent are the ones we build in our own heads.

    The point is that men are responsible for sexism towards women and women are responsible for sexism towards men. They both exist. One is hidden and anyone who brings it up is summarily dismissed and ridiculed. The other has become a political science, the subject of university courses of study.

    There are two sexes. Is it surprising that sexism effects both. Again, l take responsibility, for how l contribute to women’s sexist behaviour to me as a man, when l accept and empower that sort of conduct toward me. Why is it so repugnant when one suggests that women might give that modus a go.

    Anyway, lm sure that l am wasting your time trying to extend an olive branch in the hope of open honest mutually respectful contemplation, so l await your wittily veiled maliciously condascending response.

  43. Anonymous

    “I just don’t like getting hair in my mouth. I’m willing to reciprocate, as well. Is that fair?”

    Actually, I think this is fair. I feel likewise and me and my guy both groom (though I think totally bare in either case looks just plain weird).

    I don’t think pube grooming is the height of sexist stupidity. I think crappy jobs at unequal pay, violence against women, unpaid child & house care are the height of sexist stupidity.

    Also all you moms who don’t teach thier kid to pluck, paint and primp. Thats fine–I agree you shouldn’t push it on them. However, the fact that my mom didn’t and refused to caused me substantial unneccessary torture in Jr. High. obviously the torture was the problem, but mom didn’t have a great solution for that either. Would plucking my eyebrows back then really have been such a horrible sell-out? I certianly dont feel like it is now.

  44. Kaya

    I totally understand the need to feel clean, pretty and smooth. I don’t like wookie bush and maintain as smooth a kitty as possible along with encouraging my boyfriend to do some manscaping as well. I prefer less hair/no hair to 70′s afro playgrounds. But when I was 13 I may have had six hairs. Why in the world would you pay to have those waxed? Grab the tweezers, smooth lovin’ girls of the U.S.A., and avoid all the parental & legislative fuss!

  45. David Heath

    Patriarchy what? I think it should be up to the teen to decide what they want to do with their body, since it is their body to experiment with. It is healthy for a teenager to explore their bodies and to experiment with such things as pubic hair. I know I’ve done it, and I’ve turned out healthy and worldly wise because of it.

    Go out girls, wax those bikini lines. Oh yeah, did any one stop to think that they get it done so they dont get spider’s legs when in a bikini? Nope, no you didn’t, SEX ,SEX, THEY’RE HAVING SEX!

  46. Twisty

    It sounds to me, David Heath, as though you’ve turned out a perfect ass.

  47. Rocio

    i ran into this article when i googled ” why should women shave underarms?’ i am a 14 year old girl, and some of you might not be aware of it but there are many 14 year old girls that are sexually active and trying to be adults a bit too fast. I blame the media for being so uptight about body hair and it affects every age group.I’ve decided its pretty silly to shave underarms and i’ve never gotten a bikini wax and never in my life has it occured to me to get a brazillion wax..ouch. this is a very interesting article.

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