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Author Topic: to shave, or not to shave
Nes
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7535

posted 30 November 2004 02:53 PM      Profile for Nes   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thought that this article was worth a look:

http://www.trentarthur.info/archives/000243.html

It was taken from my University's newspaper - Trent University is known for its share of queers and femminists and so forth. So, I am certainly far from the first of its now-alumni that haven't touched a razor for a while.

I quit shaving in Feb of 2004, and am quite delighted. My leg hair went from being stubbly to soft and fluffy when fully grown-in, much like boy leg hair. Much the same happened with the armpits. I stopped quite suddenly, after having a semi-epiphany in the shower: why am i doing this, anyway?

So, what do you think?


From: Ontario | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 30 November 2004 04:12 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wonder why shaving is always structured as a solely women's issue. As a man I have three choices:

1. Shave my face
2. Don't shave, but merely "groom" my face (same difference)
3. Go "natural", which I don't believe many women like. In fact, I'll bet more guys would overlook a hairy leg than gals who'd overlook this:

What is it that (so many) women find unattractive about a "natural" man like the two handsome fellas above?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 30 November 2004 04:45 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Because men who have facial and body hair do not receive the same kind of social sanction that women do. I thought that would be pretty obvious, but maybe not.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 30 November 2004 05:06 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's obvious so long as I'm willing to either shave part of my face, or trim part of my face. If I go for the "natural" look of doing neither, I end up like ZZ Top. Or Father Time. And outside of the biker community, I think I would receive massive censure for that... much more than a woman who skips shaving her underarms.

And Gord forbid that a guy have a hairy back at the beach.

Just out of curiousity, do you find a totally "natural" man attractive? Would you prefer a man who shaves or trims in some way?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
token right-wing mascot
Babbler # 4226

posted 30 November 2004 05:08 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Edited 'cause I should learn my place.

[ 01 December 2004: Message edited by: HeywoodFloyd ]


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
writer
editor emeritus
Babbler # 2513

posted 30 November 2004 05:09 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Getting back to the focus that inspired this thread, I have to say I found the article limited. The idealization of female hairlessness isn't specifically western.

As the writer saw in the German film she watched, many women in that country aren't particularly bound by it.

In the Middle East, waxing, plucking and threading are common methods.

Hair removal through the ages isn't a particularly deep site, but gives you an idea of how old the obsession is, for both men and women.

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

I have a lot of long dark leg hair, and I just can't convince myself it looks good with a bathing suit or skirt in the summer.

But the thought of Brazil waxes makes me kinda light-headed. Yeg.


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1448

posted 30 November 2004 05:13 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm with writer on this one. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I don't feel right in a bathing suit when I'm too fuzzy.

I know some women who feel able to dispense entirely with shaving. Thing is, none of them are brunettes...


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Klingon
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posted 30 November 2004 05:31 PM      Profile for Klingon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
K'pla! It's hard to think of shaving (be it male or female) becoming a high priority political issue. But alas, here it is. Interesting.

BTW, before I say anything on this, folks might be interested to know the irony of the band ZZ Top in the photo is that the name of the only shaved-faced guy is the drummer Frank Beard!

Most women I have met don't have much hair on their legs, except mainly around the ankles. But they do shave, including their armpits.

When I saw this post, I thought I would ask my wife and daughters about it. They said removing hair from their legs, although they don't have much to start with, and their arm pits makes them feel more attractive (I agree it makes them look more attractive), cleaner and healthier and more comfortable, especially when wearing stockings or hosiery.

One has taken to using a lotion in the shower that is designed to remove light hair on the legs. The other two want to try it. She says it is easier on her skin and less time consuming than shaving it.

Women don't have much body hair, other than the obvious places, so it seems that removing the hair would be more suitable for women than for men.

My wife doesn't not like it at all when I forget to shave. She does not like beards or mustaches at all, and neither do my daughters. So, I don't wear one. I don't like moustaches either, and I certainly can live without a beard if my dearly beloved doesn't like it.

Is that oppressive? I don't think so. I don't really think it is that much for women either, from what I can see and have been told. Even if shaving is oppressive, then there are certainly far more relevant and severe forms of oppression to worry about.


From: Kronos, but in BC Observing Political Tretchery | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Klingon
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posted 30 November 2004 05:33 PM      Profile for Klingon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
K'pla! PS: Now that we're on this subject, I am a bit curious as to why the human body needs an accumulation of hair on the armpits. doesn anyone know of a scientific explanation of this? I can see why we have hair in other places--but the armpit seems strange.
From: Kronos, but in BC Observing Political Tretchery | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 30 November 2004 05:36 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Klingon needs to be from Ontario to know that armpit hair is necessary when placing extremities in our partner's pits to keep them from freezing off!! It's even worse in the winter.
From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Doug
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 44

posted 30 November 2004 05:52 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by HeywoodFloyd:

Epilady. It's not just for women anymore.


1. Ow!
2. I think I'd find it hard to reach some parts of my back with one.


From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
token right-wing mascot
Babbler # 4226

posted 30 November 2004 05:56 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Edited because I hadn't learned my place yet.

[ 01 December 2004: Message edited by: HeywoodFloyd ]


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
writer
editor emeritus
Babbler # 2513

posted 30 November 2004 06:02 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Okay. I'm going to ask the guys who want to talk about their hair issues to start a thread somewhere other than in the feminism forum.

Please.


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 30 November 2004 06:03 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
'topherscompy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2248

posted 30 November 2004 06:40 PM      Profile for 'topherscompy        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Okay. I'm going to ask the guys who want to talk about their hair issues to start a thread somewhere other than in the feminism forum.

Please.


damnit, and i was just gonna mention the razorba. oh, well. i guess i'll just wait for that other thread then.


From: gone | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 30 November 2004 06:42 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm going to ask Klingon to stop beginning every post in the anti-racism and/or feminism forum with a variation of "this isn't an important topic to discuss".

Why is female armpit "unclean"? What the jeezly sense does that make?

Anyway, I haven't used a razor since 1997.

[ 30 November 2004: Message edited by: audra trower williams ]


From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 30 November 2004 06:47 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
They said removing hair from their legs, although they don't have much to start with, and their arm pits makes them feel more attractive (I agree it makes them look more attractive), cleaner and healthier and more comfortable, especially when wearing stockings or hosiery.

Whenever I hear someone say its "healthier," I get more than a little angry. Its nonsensical, particularly in light of the hazards associated with many feminine beauty rituals (how many razor cuts, carcinogenic chemical applications, wax burns, etc. does it take to make someone think this might not be done for "health" reasons???)

And the "cleaner" is usually fairly out there as well - most people in western society are overzealous in this area, and if you are bathing regularly, a little hair isn't a big deal.

I've kept the fuzz everywhere, gotten rid of it everwhere, and done most levels in between. I prefer the aesthetic of smooth legs and underarms for myself, particularly due to the above mentioned brunette issues, but can't be bothered most of the time, particularly when I'm not wearing skirts or tank tops regularly.

I've had partners with preferences, but haven't felt a need to bow to their wishes once we've been together for a bit - its a damn nice leg, hairy or not. In a relationship, when I shave or otherwise remove it, its because I prefer it (it does feel nicer to slip into silk sheets with smooth legs - also after removing callouses from feet).

And I'll admit - never in all of my life has the presence of my body hair ended a physical encounter with a man. Even with underarm hair, naked girl is a pretty good deal.


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4650

posted 30 November 2004 07:31 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Klingon:
K'pla! PS: Now that we're on this subject, I am a bit curious as to why the human body needs an accumulation of hair on the armpits. doesn anyone know of a scientific explanation of this? I can see why we have hair in other places--but the armpit seems strange.

One of the main theories for the persistence of facial, genital and underarm hair is to 'collect' the secretions of scent glands (both 'obvious' scents and hormones that we react to without knowing it) to aid pair bonding, mating and family recognition.


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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Babbler # 1448

posted 30 November 2004 07:36 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Whenever I hear someone say its "healthier," I get more than a little angry. Its nonsensical, particularly in light of the hazards associated with many feminine beauty rituals (how many razor cuts, carcinogenic chemical applications, wax burns, etc. does it take to make someone think this might not be done for "health" reasons???)

And the "cleaner" is usually fairly out there as well - most people in western society are overzealous in this area, and if you are bathing regularly, a little hair isn't a big deal.


To be fair, Klingon didn't say it WAS cleaner or healthier, just that his wife and daughter feel that way after shaving. It doesn't need to have a basis in fact.

Personally, I do feel better groomed when I shave/trim my body hair. I dunno about healthier, but hey, if that's how they feel, who am I to argue?


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Klingon
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Babbler # 4625

posted 30 November 2004 07:41 PM      Profile for Klingon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'm going to ask Klingon to stop beginning every post in the anti-racism and/or feminism forum with a variation of "this isn't an important topic to discuss".

P'Tachk! Hey, lighten up there Madam Moderator. Maybe it's the bad translation from Klingonaase to English, but I certainly don't recall starting all of my posts with various claims that the topic isn't important. I think if it really wasn't important, I wouldn't bother to comment.

Anyway, I do recognize that every topic here is important to some folks, otherwise it wouldn't be here in the first place. I will request Khut lutch Shavim dach (understanding or reprieve) from those of the Rabble if I offended anyone and offer quv bey'qop (truce/friendship).

Like everyone else here, I have my views and experiences to contribute to the discussion. And I do get my back up when I see something I think is really objectionable.

But the truth is the main reason why I read the threads on the feminist forum is to check out and learn about what those much wiser than I on the subject have to say. The fact I may disagree with some of what different folks say is secondary.

Anyway, I don't mean to offend anyone by saying the shaving issues isn't as important as others. For my, and the impression I get from those I work and live with is that it's not a high priority for their attention.

quote:
Why is female armpit "unclean"? What the jeezly sense does that make?

I donno! I don't think there's anything unclean about it. I just reported that the women in my family said shaving makes them feel cleaner and they think it's healthier. I didn't ask them why and they didn't tell me. Would you like me to ask them and then report back?

quote:
Anyway, I haven't used a razor since 1997.

MajQa! But the warrior in me must ask: do you mean you haven't used one on yourself as a maintenance tool, or haven't used one on someone else as a weapon?

The former is to celebrate. The latter means, well, you need to get more excitement in your life.


From: Kronos, but in BC Observing Political Tretchery | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
BLAKE 3:16
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posted 30 November 2004 08:54 PM      Profile for BLAKE 3:16     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Klingon, this stuff is not cool. This kind of stuff just comes off as abusive, whether you want it to or not.

Maybe, as a guy to another guy, we should try to refrain from posting stuff about women's issues unless we have something significant to say? Body issues for women are huge huge huge, and the last thing women need is a guy telling them how to discuss them.


From: Babylon, Ontario | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1448

posted 30 November 2004 09:21 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, come on, Blake... Leg hair is NOT huge. If it is, and bear in mind that this is an actual woman talking, somebody desperately needs a hobby.
From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 30 November 2004 09:58 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm with Blake on this (again, actual woman talking). At 25, with a healthy level of self esteem and a good level of security in who I am, which includes being willing to stick out from the crowd on things that are important to me, leg hair isn't high on the list of priorities. Ask 16 year old me, or my best friend's ultra "proper" late 40s mom, or a lot of other women I know who feel revulsion and shame at body hair that it isn't important. Talk to those women who don't want to associate themselves with those man hating, hairy legged feminists but. Its not important to me, and I don't get it,

quote:
but hey, if that's how they feel, who am I to argue?

From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1448

posted 30 November 2004 10:25 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In the list of body issues that women deal with, think about, etc, I would say that leg hair is very probably at the bottom of the list, or near it. Even for my ultra-proper 60-something mother who wouldn't go with unshaven legs or pits.

To make this out to be some sort of taboo subject for men strikes me as fairly silly.

I think it's okay for men to comment on this. I'm also fairly certain my mother would agree.

[ 30 November 2004: Message edited by: Zoot ]


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4650

posted 30 November 2004 10:48 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by swirrlygrrl:
I'm with Blake on this (

How are you with Blake on this? Sounds more like you're with Zoot.


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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Babbler # 2170

posted 30 November 2004 10:53 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't think we should classify women who view this subject with seriousness as in desperate need of a hobby, unlike "us" enlightened women who know how little it matters. I'm not going to lose sleep (or sex) over it, but also I'm not going to denigrate women who do.
From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Klingon
rabble-rouser
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posted 30 November 2004 11:04 PM      Profile for Klingon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
MajQa! To the warrior goddess Zoot. Your courage and wisdom on these matters is truly commendable and inspiring! You must have Klingon blood.

Beware ye weak and timid! Zoot fears no censorship or cultural taboos. Let ye learn from her bravery.

Blake: cut the guilty liberal baloney, will ya. It gets really arthritic after a while. I for one learned to respect women from an early age, and tend to treat them at times with a modesty and delicacy that sometimes approaches old style chivalry (or so I have been told).

But I also respect them enough not to treat adult women with condescension and kid gloves, as I feel more comfortable addressing them as equals.

This feminist forum is as open and public as all the others are on the Rabble. I assume this is because the issues presented here are intended to be discussed in such an open environment.

There are all kind of private/members-only subscription sites where folks can discuss things in exclusive groups. This site clearly isn't one of them.

While I may take issue with some folks say here, I am glad and thankful that such forums exist where people, regardless of who they are and what they do, can openly discuss topics that at one time were considered taboo.

For example, I had no real idea that something as every-day as shaving could be such a powerful issue for so many people. But I do know this now, and I'm thankful, because now I'm yet a bit wiser to the ways of the world.

I guess I should take this opportunity to thank Nez, who started this thread for giving me a chance at developing new perspectives on something I normally take for granted.

Blake, don't you think it's pretty hypocritical in our corporate-dominated capitalist economy that fashion and personal hygiene firms can spread their wares in the form of multi-billion-dollar ad campaigns across the universe, yet average working class consumers, who drive the whole industry and pay for it all aren't supposed to discuss these matters with one another?


From: Kronos, but in BC Observing Political Tretchery | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Nes
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7535

posted 30 November 2004 11:12 PM      Profile for Nes   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Klingon:
[QB]Most women I have met don't have much hair on their legs, except mainly around the ankles. But they do shave, including their armpits.[QB]

My legs and pits are pretty much mannish. The only place I don't have much hair is on the thighs.


From: Ontario | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Nes
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7535

posted 30 November 2004 11:18 PM      Profile for Nes   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:
Just out of curiousity, do you find a totally "natural" man attractive? Would you prefer a man who shaves or trims in some way?

Magoo, I'm the type of gal who is attracted to both sexes, but I think I lean more towards women than men. But as far as men go, I do not find facial hair atractive. But that's more for personal reasons than aesthetic: my father has always had a full beard, and I've associated beard kisses with being six years old, which is not the type of thing I look for in a boy of my own.

But I will admit that my prefference is entirely a personal thing. A lot of males do look better with facial hair than without. I don't have any problem with beards, I just have a hard time finding bearded men sexually attractive.

Pretty much the only kind of hair I have a hard time dealing with, in a friend, bedmate, or otherwise, is the unibrow. Otherwise, any other kind of body hair doesn't phase me much.


From: Ontario | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
writer
editor emeritus
Babbler # 2513

posted 01 December 2004 01:21 AM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Klingon:
[QB]M I for one learned to respect women from an early age, and tend to treat them at times with a modesty and delicacy that sometimes approaches old style chivalry (or so I have been told)

Hey, I've got an idea: let's change the feminism forum to "All About Us Men, And How Great We Are Around Women And Their Silly Issues."

The chivalry part makes sense. It's a pretty form of oppression.

quote:
But I also respect them enough not to treat adult women with condescension and kid gloves, as I feel more comfortable addressing them as equals.

Yeah, you respect them so much that you don't listen to a fucking thing they have to say about respecting their space! Yay you! Please, do go on lording your views, spewing them without pause all over this forum! I can't get enough! In fact, I feel no more need to contribute to the feminism forum! You've said it all, and will continue to say it all, really! I especially like your helpful dictation about what's worth discussion! And then your willingness to chronically interject on topics you:

a) know nothing about and;
b) say are a waste of time!

Again, yay you!

quote:
This feminist forum is as open and public as all the others are on the Rabble. I assume this is because the issues presented here are intended to be discussed in such an open environment.

Jesus, get a fucking clue. Yes, it's open. But when you see that men are dominating a thread, taking it down a "Yeah, girls, but what do you say about us guys and our needs / wants / insecurities / helpless drive to take a subject and make it All About Us?" and then an actual live feminist asks, politely, for dudes to take that stuff elsewhere, you might want to, I don't know, listen and, I don't know, respect that request.

Call me crazy.

quote:
There are all kind of private/members-only subscription sites where folks can discuss things in exclusive groups. This site clearly isn't one of them.

Lordy, I give up.

quote:
While I may take issue with some folks say here, I am glad and thankful that such forums exist where people, regardless of who they are and what they do, can openly discuss topics that at one time were considered taboo.

Oops, I guess I don't give up.

I find it rich that you celebrate the exploration of taboo subjects here, yet in your first post you chastise us goils for wasting our time on such a silly-willy subject.

In fact, this specific forum exists to explore subjects from a pro-feminist perspective. And I'm tired beyond what you can know of seeing boys pull pouts when women ask 'em to back off and maybe absorb the exploration, or start their own threads in other sections if they want to explore their own takes on the issue.

I mean, is it really so hard? Is it so impossible to understand that you're snuffing out the very thing you claim to be supporting?

quote:
For example, I had no real idea that something as every-day as shaving could be such a powerful issue for so many people. But I do know this now, and I'm thankful, because now I'm yet a bit wiser to the ways of the world.

And you would have learned this if you had sat back, taken a deep breath and watched this thread unfold through women's posts. Instead, we once again have a feminism thread entirely derailed by the demand that women / feminists must first and foremost Educate The Sensitive Men Who Are Unable To Stop Themselves From Pontificating / Holding Forth On Subjects They Know Shit About.

quote:
I guess I should take this opportunity to thank Nez, who started this thread for giving me a chance at developing new perspectives on something I normally take for granted.

Such a chivalrous pat on the head!

Don't forget, it was also a new chance for you to dismiss and belittle! Always so charming for men to do in the feminism forum!

That's what we're here for, to have you shit on us and our issues, then thank us for plowing through that shit, regardless!

No, the pleasure is all ours, really.

quote:
Blake, don't you think it's pretty hypocritical in our corporate-dominated capitalist economy that fashion and personal hygiene firms can spread their wares in the form of multi-billion-dollar ad campaigns across the universe, yet average working class consumers, who drive the whole industry and pay for it all aren't supposed to discuss these matters with one another?

This is too too rich. Where did Blake say the subject shouldn't be discussed? In fact YOU were the one to say there must be more worthy things to talk about.

What Blake 3:16 suggested is that you might be open to the possibility that women might be able to discuss it without you chiming in with your Uninformed Opinion all the fucking time.

What I *do* find hypocritcal is your dismissal of Blake as some guilty little weinie, followed by your high-and-mighty blah blah blah, framed by the grand assumption that your (and other men's) domination of this thread is really okay and exactly what babble and the feminism forum is all about, really, and none of us can possibly be in a position to call you on your bullying, domineering, preachy grandstanding ways.

Part of being a sensitive pro-feminist guy is to actually be, you know, sensitive. And that might mean just being quiet and letting women talk about stuff in the feminism forum without having to put in your 2 cents. Especially when you come to the subject with no change.

I promise, it won't hurt.


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 01 December 2004 01:42 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
That's what we're here for, to have you shit on us and our issues, then thank us for plowing through that shit, regardless!

Okay, for starters, I'm not exactly sure how men discussing shaving qualifies as you being shat upon.

More to the point though, either I'm wrong about the nature of this forum or you are.

I can appreciate the need for me and the other lads not to dive in feet first and offer "our experiences" of menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, what it's like to be harrassed in the workplace, abortion, sexual assault and menopause.

I can appreciate the need for me and the other lads not to dive in feet first and offer our "experiences" of watching the women in our lives experience those things.

And I can appreciate the need to have one single forum that never again has to endure the debate over whether feminism ruins society, whether feminists need to do something different or whether there's even a need for feminism.

But I think it takes that "safe space" concept just a titch too far to start assuming that anything in this forum, purely by dint of being in this forum, immediately takes on a "specialness" that includes an implicit hands-off policy for anyone with a scrotum. Especially the need to shave body hair, something men have been socially pressured to do since long before there was a Lady Schick, and which most men do every day, to their face. Did I mention every day?

So can you or anyone else tell me, since we all shave, since none of us necessarily wants to, and since we all know the various types and degrees of social censure we'd face if we just up and put our feet down one day and quit... why is this a "women's" issue? What, specifically, makes this an area of which men apparently have no first-hand experience to offer? What makes their comments an intrusion on this "safe space"?

If the answer is "well, because a woman made the first post" then the rest is, at worst, common thread drift (and not anyone shitting on anyone else, nor forcing them to wade through said shit), and if the answer is "well, because it's the Feminism forum and so whatever we say goes" then I'm calling nonsense on that. What next? "Womyn only" foodie threads?

[ 01 December 2004: Message edited by: Mr. Magoo ]


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
writer
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posted 01 December 2004 01:45 AM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
either I'm wrong about the nature of this forum or you are.

You are.

That was easy!

[ 01 December 2004: Message edited by: writer ]


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 01 December 2004 01:50 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No, you are.

Hey! You're right! That's as easy as... well, just saying so!

Seriously though, I can't seem to validate your claim with anything from the FAQ or the Policy Statement. All I can see is "Discuss feminist issues from a pro-feminist point of view."

Which views in this thread have not been "pro-feminist"?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
writer
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posted 01 December 2004 01:53 AM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mr Magoo, I believe I answered that question in my response to Klingon. If you don't get it, you don't get it.

I don't really feel like repeating myself.


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 01 December 2004 02:15 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If only the infinite supply of male entitlement could be harnessed, we'd solve all our energy needs.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 01 December 2004 03:14 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Men or no men present, the subject does strike me (a long-time straight female and late, slightly jaded and disillusioned feminist) as... well... um... just the teensiest bit trivial.

Why does/should anyone care whether anyone else shaves which part of their body?

The question of body image, self-perception, self-presentation and social identity is interesting, relevant, worthy of examination and discussion, but that's a whole lot bigger subject than the removal of hair.
The question of how much our perceptions of self are influenced by people who want to sell us something, and why we let them define us, is interesting enough to discuss.
My armpits are not.


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 December 2004 09:42 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I liked swirrly's first post (especially the concluding spirit and sentiment -- right on!). She's recognizing that some of us have settled some discrete issues and moved on to more general political thoughts about them, whereas a lot of others may still find some particular issues to be toe-stubbers.

There are some [censored] things that I'm still self-conscious about, even though both gaining the confidence of independence and settling into a happy and exclusive relationship dispelled lots of others.

Hair is not one of my toe-stubbers, mind. But I have a few. [censored]


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 01 December 2004 11:03 AM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Good gawd, we're really riding the second wave this week...

quote:
Hey, I've got an idea: let's change the feminism forum to "All About Us Men, And How Great We Are Around Women And Their Silly Issues."

While you're ranting on about Klingon and Magoo, could I please point out that I, too, have noted that this is a trivial issue, and silly to boot? Yup, li'l ol' me, with the fully functioning female reproductive system, and a self-identified feminist. I'm probably, though, a Bad Feminist™, because I actually thought that the guys weren't hurting anything, and even worse, actually got a kick out of their posts. At worst, they've been harmlessly clueless. I can't imagine why this is worth getting all worked up over.

Fer gawd's sake, LIGHTEN UP.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Puetski Murder
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posted 01 December 2004 11:19 AM      Profile for Puetski Murder     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I also very much liked swirrly's post. When doing my regular hair removal sessions, I always wonder how I got so brainwashed. I remember when I first started growing leg hair I was desperate to get rid of it.

Hair removal requires constant maintenance and is time consuming. I am especially vigilant about my eyebrows, because it really annoys me if it grows in and ruins the perfect job I just did a few days ago.

My boyfriend says, "I don't see why you do all that stuff, you'd be beautiful anyway." This applies to everything from hair removal to makeup application to hair styling. His quote, while seemingly nice, is total bullshit. If he really thought that, he wouldn't have been attracted someone as high maintenance as I am in the first place.

Remember the fuss a few years ago when Julia Roberts didn't shave her armpits and went in a sleeveless gown to a premier?


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 01 December 2004 11:23 AM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:
More to the point though, either I'm wrong about the nature of this forum or you are.
You are. Trust me. This is our forum, we make the rules, we decide what's cool and what isn't, and if you don't like that, think that's somehow unbalanced or unfair, you can go hang out in the 90% of the universe where you guys get to make the rules.

quote:
I can appreciate the need for me and the other lads not to dive in feet first and offer "our experiences" of menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, what it's like to be harrassed in the workplace, abortion, sexual assault and menopause.
Again, you don't get to decide what's on the list of "women's stuff". It's not up to you. It's up to us. And if you don't like that, think that's somehow unbalanced or unfair, you can go hang out in the 90% of the universe where you guys get to make the rules.


quote:
I can appreciate the need for me and the other lads not to dive in feet first and offer our "experiences" of watching the women in our lives experience those things.
No you can't, because you keep doing it.

quote:
And I can appreciate the need to have one single forum that never again has to endure the debate over whether feminism ruins society, whether feminists need to do something different or whether there's even a need for feminism.
No you can't, because you keep telling us what we should and shouldn't take on as an issue. The sanction against women not shaving goes way beyond aesthetics or choice. You don't get that? Can't understand why Klingon pisses us off? I don't care. I don't have to explain here. Because this is my forum. MY forum. And Michelle's forum, and Audra's forum, and Andrean's forum, and we decide what's cool here and what's not. Don't like that? Think that's somehow unbalanced or unfair? Feel free to go hang out in the 90% of the universe where you guys get to make the rules.


quote:
But I think it takes that "safe space" concept just a titch too far to start assuming that anything in this forum, purely by dint of being in this forum, immediately takes on a "specialness" that includes an implicit hands-off policy for anyone with a scrotum.
Once again, it's not up to you. This place is special. It would be nice if we women didn't need it, but there you go.

quote:
Especially the need to shave body hair, something men have been socially pressured to do since long before there was a Lady Schick, and which most men do every day, to their face. Did I mention every day?
This forum isn't about how men feel oppressed. It isn't about you at all. But you will never understand this, because you live in a world where men make all the rules and are catered to on the basis of their gender.

quote:
So can you or anyone else tell me, since we all shave, since none of us necessarily wants to, and since we all know the various types and degrees of social censure we'd face if we just up and put our feet down one day and quit... why is this a "women's" issue? What, specifically, makes this an area of which men apparently have no first-hand experience to offer? What makes their comments an intrusion on this "safe space"?

If the answer is "well, because a woman made the first post" then the rest is, at worst, common thread drift (and not anyone shitting on anyone else, nor forcing them to wade through said shit), and if the answer is "well, because it's the Feminism forum and so whatever we say goes" then I'm calling nonsense on that. What next? "Womyn only" foodie threads?


Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah....more of the same crap. You are nothing if not persistent in your entitlement.

From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 01 December 2004 11:32 AM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Because this is my forum. MY forum. And Michelle's forum, and Audra's forum, and Andrean's forum, and we decide what's cool here and what's not. Don't like that? Think that's somehow unbalanced or unfair? Feel free to go hang out in the 90% of the universe where you guys get to make the rules.

I'm so glad you defined that for us, Rebecca. Because gawd knows, some of us other women who might be tempted to disagree with you can now reference this to know where we stand. You get to help make the rules, but only if you're in sync with Michelle, Audra, Andrean and you.

I'm not the only female who has posted that this isn't a big deal. Honestly, HAIR REMOVAL is worth all this energy? Give me a break.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 01 December 2004 11:41 AM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Zoot, I'm sorry you feel there's an elite hierarchy of women here. That would be worthy of discussion in this forum. I'm sorry you feel excluded, and have no problem discussing why you might feel that way.

I could do without the sarcasm, for sure, but hey, if it makes you feel better addressing me that way, go ahead.


From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 01 December 2004 11:50 AM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't feel excluded. I feel ignored and discounted, actually. I think there's a lot of unnecessary nastiness going on over a small thing. As for the sarcasm, well, you know, I was half-serious. On feminist issues, I often feel that you can't be a Good Feminist™ and still appreciate the input of men. I find that limiting. I don't like limits much.

Let's face it, leg-shaving IS a trivial issue. What harm is being done by men commenting?


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Charles
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posted 01 December 2004 11:59 AM      Profile for Charles   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As a man, I sometimes find a thread interesting reading in the feminism area (including this one as my wife and I have had many discussions around the issue), but rarely will I post here. When the topic of circumcision came up I chimed in but even then waited until it became a thread elsewhere to truly engage. Why in God's name do so many men feel the need to come in on these issues? If women want an area to discuss issues of importance from a women's perspective why the burning need to jump in? Why can't the more tesosterony among us leave some space for someone else. I know what we have to contribute is always meaningful and important to all, but of all the threads here why can't we back off now and then? Even on a recent abortion thread when a part of me really wanted to come in, as some of the posts regarding the role of men in the pro choice movement really pissed me off, I bit my tongue, (or in this case, my fingers) and decided: this is an interesting issue. I think I will ask some of my feminist friends what they think of it and engage in a discussion spawned by the thread instead of trying to impose myself on the thread itself which exists ina forum created so women can talk about issues that affect them? I don't think anyone is saying we can't ever post here (exhibit A - this post ) but that we should step back for a change and not try to set the direction here. Why is that so freaking hard to respect?
From: Halifax, NS | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 01 December 2004 12:02 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Zoot:
I don't feel excluded. I feel ignored and discounted, actually.
In what ways?
quote:
I think there's a lot of unnecessary nastiness going on over a small thing. As for the sarcasm, well, you know, I was half-serious. On feminist issues, I often feel that you can't be a Good Feminist™ and still appreciate the input of men. I find that limiting. I don't like limits much.
I like the input of men too. I just hate it when they insist on framing arguments and issues that effect us, as women. I hate it when they insist on owning every single fucking space on the planet. I hate it when they try to justify wanting to own and control every fucking space on the planet by undermining the arguments of women who say they shouldn't and can't.

Yes Zoot, I realize that this does not apply to all men.

quote:
Let's face it, leg-shaving IS a trivial issue. What harm is being done by men commenting?
Yes, I realize this is your opinion, as you've stated it. And I disagree with you for a number of reasons, reasons that others have already put forward. That's neither here nor there. And it's not about men commenting. It's about how they have a huge amount of room to comment, to frame everything from the male perspective in every corner of babble.

Trust me, we're not going to miss out on the male perspective. It's everywhere. And I know you don't agree with me on this, but I would just like to have one place on this board where I don't constantly have to justify my position to a man. Or to an anti-feminist woman for that matter (and no, I most certainly do not mean you, Zoot). My reading of the Feminist Forum guidelines supports this. If I am misreading those guidelines, I have no problem being corrected by those who created them.


From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 01 December 2004 12:02 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, what charles said!! *breaking my usual vow of staying off hear unless I have something to say from research and not merely opion, that and staying away from the ME forum*
From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 01 December 2004 12:46 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thank you, Charles and Bacchus, for your support and understanding of the goals of this forum. I suspect that you must find much of my language very exclusionary - and ineed it it - but I for one really REALLY appreciate your willingness to recognize this space for what it is.
From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 01 December 2004 12:51 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
My reading of the Feminist Forum guidelines supports this.

Where is the link to these? I've looked in the FAQ and the Policy Statement about 5 times each.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 December 2004 12:56 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Magoo: Go to the homepage, and look to your left.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 01 December 2004 01:13 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Surely you don't mean "Discuss feminist issues from a pro-feminist point of view."? Those... er, that's... the "guidelines"?

Or am I really, really blind and missing a link?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 December 2004 01:15 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think that's pretty much it, Mr Magoo.

Unless some sister wishes to correct moi?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
shaolin
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posted 01 December 2004 01:20 PM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Honestly, HAIR REMOVAL is worth all this energy? Give me a break.

quote:
In the list of body issues that women deal with, think about, etc, I would say that leg hair is very probably at the bottom of the list, or near it. Even for my ultra-proper 60-something mother who wouldn't go with unshaven legs or pits.

I have so much to say about this topic and it certainly isn't irrelevant or at the bottom of my body image list. When I saw the thread title when I logged on the site I was excited to read what had been said so far and weigh in. Predictably though, within a few posts the topic is being derailed and now it doesn't even seem worth commenting seriously about something that is important to me.


From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
exiled armadillo
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posted 01 December 2004 01:21 PM      Profile for exiled armadillo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Back to the topic:

I shave because how do you put deoderant on otherwise? Have some of you smelled some of the european persons? I also shave because my clothes would rub and annoy the hell out of me, especially sleveless shirts that come right up in your pit.

I prefer men with facial hair, because I have intensely sensitive facial skin and kissing a guy with a three o'clock shadow makes my skin swell and get inflamed looking.

I think it has to come down to how comfortable people are with themselves and personal preference. Its just another way to be individual and your own special combination of things that make up who you are.


From: Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and for the same reason | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 December 2004 01:26 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
shaolin, you come right back here this very minute! Please?

I'm interested, anyway.

And exiled:

quote:
Have some of you smelled some of the european persons?

That made me laugh so hard. Yes, exiled, I've smelled quite a few of them. Married one, even. (Oh, dear, I'm still laughing.)

I don't think this is just a cultural thing, even vis-a-vis Europeans; it is also a generational thing. I know some young Europeans who are every bit as neurasthenic about body odour as North Americans. So ...


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 01 December 2004 01:26 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Armadillo, I'm surprised at you. This is very ethnocentric, and very, very offensive:

"I shave because how do you put deoderant on otherwise? Have some of you smelled some of the european persons?"

Beyond that, I do agree with the feminists here who remind us that this topic is not gang rape or FGM... or ethnocentrism.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 December 2004 01:28 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, lagatta -- didn't you think it was funny, though?

It is an old, ah, stereotype ... and I think that the Europeans can take it.

(I'm still laughing.)


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
exiled armadillo
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posted 01 December 2004 01:39 PM      Profile for exiled armadillo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, it is an old stereotype, and I don't mean to offend with it, but my question still stands how to you put deodorant on with hairy arm pits? How do you put skin lotion on hairy legs when they dry out in the winter?

Arm pits smell because of the bacteria that is secreted. If not covered up or washed frequently you start to smell. I know only a few people who shower everyday and most people don't realize how they smell (as we are usually the last person to notice how we smell).

Because some of us don't use deodorant (cause they say it causes cancer when put on razon cuts for years) we have to wash a lot more, but I'd swear few actually do. It only takes 24 hours before you get bacteria secretions in your arm pits. and when you sleep at night your skin releases toxins in a form very like urine.

It doesn't take much or long and it would seem to me to be higher maintenance to have all that hair.


From: Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and for the same reason | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
shaolin
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posted 01 December 2004 01:42 PM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Of course it isn't gang rape and I'm not of the opinion that men shouldn't be commenting on the topic at all, but it gets very disheartening when you read thread after thread on this forum dominated by men before those who would have liked to comment on the original intent of the thread have even had a chance to take a look at it. A couple of weeks ago when Audra got outraged over that thread and eventually closed it, I didn't really understand where her reaction came from - I definitely get it now.
From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
shaolin
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posted 01 December 2004 01:43 PM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Yes, it is an old stereotype, and I don't mean to offend with it, but my question still stands how to you put deodorant on with hairy arm pits? How do you put skin lotion on hairy legs when they dry out in the winter?


Are you really serious? How many boys do you know that have hairy arm pits and wear deodorant? It really isn't rocket science - apply as usual. The same goes for the legs.


From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 December 2004 01:49 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
About deodorant: there is aluminum in much of it, yes? Is that what you mean, exiled, when you say that someone thinks it may be a carcinogen?

I know that when you go for a mammogram, you are firmly instructed not to apply any kind of deodorant, and I believe that aluminum in deodorants is the problem -- it confuses the machines.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
exiled armadillo
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posted 01 December 2004 01:52 PM      Profile for exiled armadillo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Are you really serious? How many boys do you know that have hairy arm pits and wear deodorant?

Hell, yes, I'm serious. The only guys I know that use deodorant are health nuts who shower regularly and are clean shaven. I've only ever known one guy with hairy pits who used the stuff, but he showered regularly.

quote:
It really isn't rocket science - apply as usual. The same goes for the legs.

but how do you know its getting on your skin where the bacteria is and not just on the hair, where it would flake off or get rubbed off on your clothes?


From: Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and for the same reason | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
paxamillion
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posted 01 December 2004 01:55 PM      Profile for paxamillion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by exiled armadillo:
but how do you know its getting on your skin ...

Totally blind faith.


From: the process of recovery | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
shaolin
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posted 01 December 2004 01:58 PM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have never met a man who didn't use deodorant or anti-perspirant. Perhaps you end up using slightly more if you're using a solid kind as it is applied to your skin and some might end up in the hair, but that's the only difference I can see.

As for leg hair, you simply rub the lotion or moisturizer in. I don't know how else to explain this. It's extremely straightforward. The hair doesn't form an impenetrable shield.


From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 01 December 2004 01:58 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by shaolin:
Are you really serious? How many boys do you know that have hairy arm pits and wear deodorant? It really isn't rocket science - apply as usual. The same goes for the legs.
Perhaps we should develop a manual for such things.

I recall being called a dyke once, in reference to my hairy pits. What on earth, I wondered, does body hair have to do with sexual orientation? And how are either of these things insults?

Anyway, from an aesthetic point of view, I prefer the hairless mode - I tweeze, I pluck, I shave my legs (feels good too, smooth legs). I would shave my pits on a quasi-regular basis too if it didn't give me a nasty itchy rash. Just isn't worth it, for the most part.

The fact that I remove some of my body hair shouldn't make me more girly or feminine, but the general perception is that women who don't shave are somehow threatening to the social order. Such bollocks, but we know where those ideas come from. From narrow and restrictive ideas of what constitutes "womanlyness".


From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Panama Jack
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posted 01 December 2004 02:04 PM      Profile for Panama Jack     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Nes:

Pretty much the only kind of hair I have a hard time dealing with, in a friend, bedmate, or otherwise, is the unibrow. Otherwise, any other kind of body hair doesn't phase me much.


I've noticed this is fairly constant object of ridicule by both sexes.... I wonder why? Is it the association with the neanderthal? Can it offset if the "unibrowed" individual has a full beard?

People certainly are strange. . .


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 01 December 2004 02:04 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm kind of sad to see the exchange between Zoot and Rebecca because I think it's stemming from a misunderstanding. I don't think Rebecca meant it as an exclusionary list when she said the forum belonged to the four names she mentioned. I think she was using those names as examples, probably the first babble women's names that came to mind, as a way to illustrate that the forum is primarily for women.

Also, Zoot, I don't think the main criticism of the men who took over the thread was that they were making light of body hair issues. The problem was that they (starting with Magoo) decided to take over a thread about WOMEN'S body hair issues and turn it into a thread about MEN'S body hair issues. And then into a thread about their opinions about whether it's okay for women to stop shaving, etc.

So the fact that you also consider body hair to be a trivial issue doesn't mean that your views are unwelcome. I think there can be a good discussion and sharing between women about how important (or unimportant) this issue is to them, and how it affects them and how they feel about it. And your feminist viewpoint on the subject is just as valid as any other feminist viewpoint. There are lots of women who feel that it's no big deal one way or the other.

What I think is pissing some of the women off here is that a few guys came along, totally turned the thread into THEIR issues with male body hair, and THEIR issues with female body hair, and THEIR opinions about female body hair, which really wasn't supposed to be the point.

And then when attention is brought to that, we get the men being all defensive, claiming that we're being childish (e.g. the "girlz only club" picture - that's real cute), and writing huge long posts telling us why we should all listen to them expound on the subject of female body hair.

I also like the contribution of men to feminist discussions - if they're respectful and they don't try to turn the whole topic into, "You think YOU'VE got issues! WE'VE got issues! We should talk about OUR issues! Oh, and here's how you should be talking about YOUR issues. Except that your issues are kind of stupid anyhow, and that's why you never get any respect as feminists." It's tiring.

And I think it's really sad when these kind of posts from certain men who only come into the feminism forum to be shit disturbers become a bone of contention between feminists like Zoot and Rebecca who likely agree on a lot more than they disagree about. All Rebecca was asking is that men respect this space, and that the focus of the topic remain on women, not that all men leave the thread and never come back. And I'm certain that she never meant to exclude Zoot from the conversation.

I know I don't want to see any feminist women discouraged from contributing to the forum. Unfortunately, when they have to put up with bullying from men who just can't stand for there to be one place where their issues don't reign supreme, that's exactly what happens.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 01 December 2004 02:13 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
post moved to "Body and Soul"

[ 01 December 2004: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]

[ 01 December 2004: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2

posted 01 December 2004 02:14 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As a rasmus-hugger, I'd like to go on record as saying he smells just great.
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
dillinger
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7346

posted 01 December 2004 02:18 PM      Profile for dillinger   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm a guy and I shave my pits (well, not fully shave really - more a close trim with the clippers). Purely practical reasons, as it cuts down on BO. The ancient Egyptians of both genders did the same thing for the same reasons.

Of course this doesn't have anything to do with health, but then neither do most personal grooming traditions. One could say there is a tangential connection, in that if someone is unable or unwilling to follow basic personal grooming (in the broad sense), they might not be following person hygene either, but that's up to the individual.

I don't think there's anything natural or unnatural about shaving per se, but the market has taken this tradition and built an entire industry around it along with reams of advertising directed at our insecurities in order to justify and promote its own existance. Now that women seem to be getting wise to the scam they've started the same nonesense on men.


From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
exiled armadillo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6389

posted 01 December 2004 02:25 PM      Profile for exiled armadillo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Now that women seem to be getting wise to the scam they've started the same nonesense on men

Sorry, I didn't understand that. As someone who gets stuck on the transit system, in a over crowded bus or skytrain, in the heat of summer, regularly, I feel that personal hygiene should be more important to people.


From: Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and for the same reason | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 01 December 2004 02:31 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The problem was that they (starting with Magoo) decided to take over a thread about WOMEN'S body hair issues and turn it into a thread about MEN'S body hair issues.

Uh, actually I responded to a post regarding an article entitled "The Politics of Body Hair" - no gender specified.

The original poster described her own choices with regard to body hair, and finished with:

quote:
So, what do you think?

... and I responded with my belief that shaving and the politics around it are not actually limited to women, taking care to respect what now appears to be the sole "rule" of the forum: discuss feminist issues from a pro-feminist point of view. I believed that since I'm not questioning or criticizing any woman's experience, nor taking anything away from their experience, my post was pro-feminist (or at least not anti-feminist). My point was also that insofar as we all have body hair that society seems to insist we shave in order to be good citizens, this isn't solely a "feminist" issue, although I'm starting to believe that "feminist issue", at least in this forum, means "anything any woman wants to call a feminist issue for any reason without risking being called on it." I certainly wasn't attempting to "take over" the thread, as though such as thing were even possible.

The original poster was presumably not incensed at my intrusion, since she went on to answer a question I posed. If my response were really so inappropriate, I'm sure she'd have said something, no?

quote:
and writing huge long posts telling us why we should all listen to them expound on the subject of female body hair.

For the record, I don't think you should listen to me expound on the subject of female body hair, not that I'm about to expound. But I stand by my assertion that describing body hair as a women's phenomenon is needlessly divisive. Can I even suggest that here, or is it anti-feminist to so much as suggest that maybe issues that affect pretty much every adult don't really benefit from being divided into Male Body Hair, Female Body Hair, Gay Body Hair, Lesbian Body Hair, Filipino Body Hair, etc?

Writer and Rebecca seem to be our foremost scholars on the exact meaning of "Discuss feminist issues from a pro-feminist point of view."... could we get an exact "official" judgement? And maybe some suggestions about what, exactly, constitute "feminist issues" as opposed to issues that affect everyone who owns a razor?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
miles
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7209

posted 01 December 2004 02:35 PM      Profile for miles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am still waiting for someone to state that they (male or female) do not shave because they do not want to contribute to the capitalistic monopoly of the razer companies

Mrs. Miles and I were talking about this thread last night as we made our weekly shopping list that included blades for me and her.

She suggested that to see the proper effect of shaving versus not shaving that for the winter she will only shave her left leg and left pit. The right ones will not be shaved....

That way i can judge for myslef the differences in smell, texture and the like and we can decide which is better.

Now I know that their was no sarcasm in that exchange at all.


From: vaughan | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
dillinger
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7346

posted 01 December 2004 02:40 PM      Profile for dillinger   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by exiled armadillo:
Sorry, I didn't understand that. As someone who gets stuck on the transit system, in a over crowded bus or skytrain, in the heat of summer, regularly, I feel that personal hygiene should be more important to people.

Sorry. I meant that the whole body image industry was a big scam, not personal hygene, which I am a BIG fan of (hurra hygene!). Advertising is all about convincing people they're not good enough the way they are and then selling them a whole bunch of crap they don't need to make up for their "faults".

[ 01 December 2004: Message edited by: dillinger ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
exiled armadillo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6389

posted 01 December 2004 03:05 PM      Profile for exiled armadillo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Very good point dillinger. This industry has actually made a large number of people phobic about how a normal, healthy, clean body should smell.

What some people don't seem to get is that with all these competing smells from hair spray, perfume/ cologne, make-up, deodorant and air fresheners, you can smell just as offensive as someone who doesn't bathe regularly.

We've lost that healthy balance (like in so many areas), but where is the fine line? SHould someone who lives a sedentary life (doesn't jog or sweat regularly) be ok with going two or three days between showers? Or does it have to be every day? Once a week?

Maybe its that if you don't shave people think you haven't had a shower in a week or two?


From: Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and for the same reason | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4722

posted 01 December 2004 03:14 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My ex-wife used to use rubbing alcohol as anti perspirant, especially in the summer. She claimed it killed the bacteria there and stopped offensive sweat odor.

As for perfume, I tend to make my own body sprays using distilled water with a small amount of alcohol and essential oils. And I love the smell better. When I used to go to summer wiccan camping festivals, I would make up one call "Fire dancing body spray" and I couldnt keep enough on hand (it was also good to cut down on sunburns and anti-mosquito).

My present wife prefers to shave though not on a necessarily regular basis (she usually lets it slide during the winter and Im the one that shaves her anyway)

Naturally I post this simply because of the research/fact based nature of the info, not any pro-male basis *ducks*


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
exiled armadillo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6389

posted 01 December 2004 03:37 PM      Profile for exiled armadillo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Any chance you'd be willing to share your anti-mosquito spray recipe?
From: Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and for the same reason | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4722

posted 01 December 2004 04:01 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually I would be more than happy to!

When I get home from work, I will look it up and post it for all!

Its really quite nice!


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
exiled armadillo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6389

posted 01 December 2004 05:01 PM      Profile for exiled armadillo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What a gem you are! I'd prefer to do everything naturally but sun screen and mosquito repellant are two things I haven't found.

Blessings be!


From: Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and for the same reason | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 01 December 2004 05:06 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

100% organic!


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4722

posted 01 December 2004 11:53 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As promised, here it is(though Magoo's works too):
Fire Dancing Body Mist

2 cups distilled water
3 tbs. vodka
5 drops sandalwood essential oil
10 drops bergamot essential oil
10 drops cassis essential oil

Mix all the ingredients together in a spray bottle, shake well. Allow to
settle for at least 12 hours. Store in a cool dry place.


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
dillinger
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7346

posted 02 December 2004 09:57 AM      Profile for dillinger   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Bacchus:
My ex-wife used to use rubbing alcohol as anti perspirant, especially in the summer. She claimed it killed the bacteria there and stopped offensive sweat odor.

I'd warn against using rubbing alcohol. The body does absorb some of the chemicals that then accumulate in the liver. I've heard zinc cream has the same effect and works for quite a long time. The things you learn listening to the CBC.


From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
writer
editor emeritus
Babbler # 2513

posted 02 December 2004 01:59 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What Michelle said.
From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Doug
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 44

posted 02 December 2004 02:08 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Bacchus:

2 cups distilled water
3 tbs. vodka

Just don't mix up the right amounts of water and vodka, then go dancing by a fire.


From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
exiled armadillo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6389

posted 02 December 2004 02:14 PM      Profile for exiled armadillo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thank you, thank you, thank you, (does the snoopy dance). Its hard to work a fly swatter when mucking out horse stalls. (or chicken coops for that matter)
From: Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and for the same reason | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Candace
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3380

posted 02 December 2004 02:42 PM      Profile for Candace     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The original article from the first post cited 1915 at the date that Gillette started advertising shaving as feminine to women... Apparently, this had something to do with the war. Lotsa men were overseas, so they needed a North American market.

I don't shave my legs, but I'll shave my armpits once in a while when it gets itchy.

I don't wear anti-perspirant either (nor does anyone else I know from my close circle of friends). I don't because it causes breast cancer. Your pores are supposed to sweat. That's why they're there.

I have a girlfriend who's an esthetician. She says that she has as many male clients as she does female, so it's not strictly a feminist issue. More and more, guys are being suckered into this trap that hairless=beautiful.

I really liked the book "Days of Love, Nights of War," by the Crimethinc Collective. They really send powerful messages through Guerrilla Grrrls-style art on the absurdities of most "hygienic" products.

Humans are animals. Perfumes 'n such that are designed to mask our animalism make us better consumers. Animals don't need stuff wrapped in pretty plastic packaging... This is shit we're taught through advertising.

A friend of mine once told me: "People who wear deoderant are afraid of sex." To a certain extent this is true. Just like no one will want to kiss you if you don't suck on the right breath mint, or use the right hair volumizer, and no one will want to fuck you if you have hairy legs or a hairy back or whatever.

David Suzuki, in a talk he delivered in my city last year, had to remind us that we are indeed animals. It's something that is increasingly shoved at the back of our minds, as we type at computers in a virtual reality, take elevators up skyscrapers, eat genetically modified foods, drive in plastic bubbles.

Yeah, shaving your legs or not, and buying hygiene shit or not, is totally political. Such choices can shape the meaning of your life.


From: Fredericton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gupe
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4757

posted 02 December 2004 02:57 PM      Profile for Gupe   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is an interesting thread. What Im wondering is if people who contribute to this think that if you shave thats bad or if you like shaved legs then thats bad.

Use some leeway into this question but you know what Im getting at?

When I hear someone say I dont shave or I stopped shavingetc is that solely reflective in a personal choice or preference, or do you view people who continue certain practices negatively?


From: Ottawa | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Berlynn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2630

posted 02 December 2004 03:23 PM      Profile for Berlynn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I logged into this forum expecting to read some insightful posts about women's self esteem, rants about corporate control of women's bodies, and the like. To my horror, I see a women's forum dominated by male attitudes and teachings. As a result, I would urge babble to consider a women's-only forum in the future.

I have a teenaged daughter who recently succumbed to societal and peer pressure to shave her legs and armpits. I did not argue with her decision, but helped her to research what razor and lotions she would use despite the fact that I haven't shaved for more than 20 years now. As mother, what else could I do?

As a feminist, I wonder, now, what other messages my daughter is receiving from her peers, from our misogynist world, that are forcing her to act in ways I think she ultimately knows are detrimental to women's overall wellbeing. Shaving is but the tip of the iceberg.

I used to be able to shelter her from all that, but now, I guess, I need to let go, to hope that all I've given her -- the values, the teachings, the strong sense of self -- will eventually shine through.

Nancy White got it somewhat right in her song, "Daughters of Feminists." Interestingly, my girl hates pink frilly dresses...

B-)


From: Regina | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Budd Campbell
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7019

posted 02 December 2004 03:57 PM      Profile for Budd Campbell        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Zoot:
Oh, come on, Blake... Leg hair is NOT huge. If it is, and bear in mind that this is an actual woman talking, somebody desperately needs a hobby.

No kidding.


From: Kerrisdale-Point Grey, Vancouver | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Budd Campbell
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7019

posted 02 December 2004 04:10 PM      Profile for Budd Campbell        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rebecca West:
And if you don't like that, think that's somehow unbalanced or unfair, you can go hang out in the 90% of the universe where you guys get to make the rules.
...
Feel free to go hang out in the 90% of the universe where you guys get to make the rules.

.... you live in a world where men make all the rules and are catered to on the basis of their gender.



I find it alarming that some people actually believe this kind of thing to be an actual, literal truth. It's kind of like running into a religious fundamentalist who seriously believes the universe was created in six days, or a traditional Marxist who really believes that history is pre-ordained.


From: Kerrisdale-Point Grey, Vancouver | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Gir Draxon
leftist-rightie and rightist-leftie
Babbler # 3804

posted 02 December 2004 04:25 PM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Berlynn:
I logged into this forum expecting to read some insightful posts about women's self esteem, rants about corporate control of women's bodies, and the like. To my horror, I see a women's forum dominated by male attitudes and teachings. As a result, I would urge babble to consider a women's-only forum in the future.

Exlcuding males from the conversation doesn't do well for changing any sexist attitudes they might have.

I think Michelle puts it quite well:

quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:

I also like the contribution of men to feminist discussions - if they're respectful and they don't try to turn the whole topic into, "You think YOU'VE got issues! WE'VE got issues! We should talk about OUR issues! Oh, and here's how you should be talking about YOUR issues. Except that your issues are kind of stupid anyhow, and that's why you never get any respect as feminists." It's tiring.


In regards to your daughter I think it depends on her motivations. If she is doing it out of her own volition, then why should we not respect her choice? Making a choice does not make her any less of a feminist. The trouble is if she feels somehow obligated to do it in order to feel acceptable. But hopefully, she will put your teachings of self-respect to use.

And, it is the opinion of this male that a little leg hair never hurt anyone.


From: Arkham Asylum | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
exiled armadillo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6389

posted 02 December 2004 04:28 PM      Profile for exiled armadillo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
or a traditional Marxist who really believes that history is pre-ordained.

What its not?


From: Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and for the same reason | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
shaolin
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4270

posted 02 December 2004 06:43 PM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I started shaving when I was 11 years old, in grade six. I used to really like my leg hair - I can remember rubbing my hand across it in gym class and really quite enjoying the softness of it. In the same gym class a little while later I heard some of my peers commenting on it, disgusted and taunting because I hadn't gotten rid of it. A little while later I found myself locked in the bathroom, running a sharp blade down my dry leg trying to get rid of it. Despite it being summer I spent the next few weeks wearing pants to hide the gashes from my mum and I've still got a large scar across my shin to show for it.

I certainly didn't start shaving of my own volition. I'm not sure I know many people who did. By the time I was thirteen there was only one girl left in the class who didn't shave and she was getting daily pressure from both the boys and girls to get rid of her fine, blonde leg hair. She was quite adamant about not doing it at first but by spring she had begun as well. One of the popular guys had told so-and-so who had told her that he liked her but wouldn't go out with her unless she shaved her legs.

When I started shaving my arm pits I couldn't have had more than two or three hairs there, but again, it was what you were supposed to do. In highschool the volleyball team shared out razors before every game, running them quickly under the tap - better to have a sore red rash then (gasp!) the shadow of stubble.

The first time I decided to stop shaving I was sixteen or seventeen. It had been about a month and my family all got together at my grandparents' lakefront place. My much older sister gasped in shock and my uncle and cousins poked fun at me for it most of the day. I started again.

I stopped shaving again about a year ago. It was very much a decision based on my feminism and politics. For ten years - longer than I'd been menstruating - I'd been ritualistically removing any trace of my body hair. I'd hide my legs under the table or consciously keep my arms lowered if I'd run out of razors or just forgotten.

No, it isn't the most pressing women's issue of our time but for me it definitely represents another of the societal expectations and norms that are piled upon us. It was something I hated seeing myself do in order to be the normal, acceptable standard of beauty. Would any of us start removing our body hair, deciding that we'd look better without it if we weren't taught by our peers and by advertisers and by society as a whole that this is what a female should do?

I'm not saying that if someone wants to shave/wax/tweeze/pluck - whatever it is that they do, they shouldn't. If it makes you happy: awesome. For me though, I don't think it ever made me feel good, it just made me feel bad and wrong if I didn't, and that's not okay.


From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2170

posted 02 December 2004 07:10 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm glad you decided to post shaolin.
From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
writer
editor emeritus
Babbler # 2513

posted 03 December 2004 11:09 AM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Great post, shaolin.

My first experiment with shaving happened when I was 5 or 6. I was convinced that my arm hairs weren't normal, and felt a lot of shame. I still remember the sound of the bathroom fan as I dragged a dry razor down my arm, leaving a trail of cuts and blood.

One day in grade 8, I was wearing shorts and getting something out of my locker. One guy, who was big and hirsute, told the boy on the other side of my locker, "Hey, she's hairier than you!"

The other boy looked at the back of my legs and agreed.

I felt sick to my stomach. And started to shave soon after. At the time, some girls in class were being physically abusive to me. I think I was in part worried about what the big guy might do to me if I let myself have more hair than a boy.


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Budd Campbell
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7019

posted 03 December 2004 11:49 AM      Profile for Budd Campbell        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by writer:
My first experiment with shaving happened when I was 5 or 6. I was convinced that my arm hairs weren't normal, and felt a lot of shame. I still remember the sound of the bathroom fan as I dragged a dry razor down my arm, leaving a trail of cuts and blood.

One day in grade 8, I was wearing shorts and getting something out of my locker. One guy, who was big and hirsute, told the boy on the other side of my locker, "Hey, she's hairier than you!"

The other boy looked at the back of my legs and agreed.

I felt sick to my stomach. And started to shave soon after. At the time, some girls in class were being physically abusive to me. I think I was in part worried about what the big guy might do to me if I let myself have more hair than a boy.


A trauma of the adolescent years that is so severe it's almost impossible to imagine for those who have not personally experienced it.


From: Kerrisdale-Point Grey, Vancouver | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Nes
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7535

posted 03 December 2004 12:42 PM      Profile for Nes   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ahoy. A lot of people have been going off on a rather silly tangent, and the question of hair has turned into a boys vs. girls debate of sorts.

This all started over the matter of HAIR. It's just hair! Chill


From: Ontario | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 387

posted 03 December 2004 01:04 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was also pressured into shaving by my peers. The situation was rather brutal and I was physically assaulted over it when I was 11 years old and the only girl with this problem in my class. My family considered me too young to begin hair removal then. It is a very big deal within the entire popularity framework at a young age. Girls who matured early (about 10) were considered different enough without the added stigma of being hairy, which was considered back then as a sign of abnormal masculinity in a female and therefore a reason for suspicion and exclusion.

The battle as to whether body hair is a feminist issue or not will continue but I think it should be strictly each person's choice. Whether or not that choice is combined with the preferences of people we care about is up to the individual. I personally feel cleaner without underarm hair but leg hair is more asthetic for me. I don't like the way hair looks or feels under pantyhose.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nes
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posted 03 December 2004 04:26 PM      Profile for Nes   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Trisha, i agree with what you and a lot of others have said; the pressure to shave is often a jarring experience. You are made to feel so terrible about your body hair, that you don't know of any other course of action except conforming to the "norm". It isn't until much later in life that some women begin to question the point of it all. Most don't, or do not change their behaviour because of it.

This summer my family saw the leg hair I sported, and it was recieved with mixed results; mostly that of shock. These same family members were the ones who pressured me to shave in the first place when i was 11 or 12, so of course it was a proverbial kick in the teeth when I stopped complying. My own mother cannot even look at my armpits.

But the reality is that, intentionally or not, my family made me feel badly about myself, and compelled to change elements of my body in order to not appear abnormal. Now that I am defying these preconcieved notions of normalcy, I feel ten times better about myself. If my sudden boost in self-confidence, and brazen self-image are a source of discomfort, then so be it.


From: Ontario | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Berlynn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2630

posted 03 December 2004 04:46 PM      Profile for Berlynn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gir Draxon:


In regards to your daughter I think it depends on her motivations. If she is doing it out of her own volition, then why should we not respect her choice? Making a choice does not make her any less of a feminist. The trouble is if she feels somehow obligated to do it in order to feel acceptable. But hopefully, she will put your teachings of self-respect to use.



It's not that I don't respect her choice. It's that she freely admits that she is shaving "because everyone else does." But that's the nature of adolescence and yes, I will support her through it and hope it all comes out in the wash.

As to the bit about changing the attitudes of sexist males in a feminist forum, well, that's not my job. As a feminist woman, I deserve a place on rabble, in babble, where I can speak without fear of being bitched at by men who think they know what women do or do not need, most particularly when it involves my body and what I do with it or to it.

With all due respect,

B-)


From: Regina | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
gula
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Babbler # 6474

posted 03 December 2004 05:32 PM      Profile for gula     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
It is an old, ah, stereotype ... and I think that the Europeans can take it.

(I'm still laughing.)


Well, this one can. I was amazed though when I first came to Canada that all the women seemed to shave their armpits. I just couldn't understand why. I didn't notice the legs thing until later. I guess it is cultural.

Also, might I suggest that the reason some Europeans stink has more to do with their lack of washing than with body hair. I now shave my pits in summer when I remember to do it and once in a while in winter and my legs never and I don't think I stink.

Nes, Shaolin and Trisha, that is just so horrible, words fail me.


From: Montral | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Berlynn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2630

posted 03 December 2004 06:11 PM      Profile for Berlynn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Nes:
Ahoy. A lot of people have been going off on a rather silly tangent, and the question of hair has turned into a boys vs. girls debate of sorts.

This all started over the matter of HAIR. It's just hair! Chill


As one who has endured verbal abuse and ridicule because of "just hair" I find your comment rather rude, very inconsiderate and reflective of the general sexism of this supposedly "pro-feminist" forum.

B-)


From: Regina | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Nes
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7535

posted 03 December 2004 06:53 PM      Profile for Nes   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Berlynn:

As one who has endured verbal abuse and ridicule because of "just hair" I find your comment rather rude, very inconsiderate and reflective of the general sexism of this supposedly "pro-feminist" forum.

B-)


hrm. Good.

Speaking as a big, fat, hairy dyke (which I am): I cannot change past events. There isn't a woman alive who hasn't been mocked for body hair, myself included. Lets try and be grown-ups, here. And if you think I am being complacent or dismissive, you should see my armpits


From: Ontario | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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Babbler # 4790

posted 03 December 2004 07:52 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I like it when women shave. It is not a make it or break it issue, but that is something that turns me on, physically.

That is the truth about that.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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Babbler # 1873

posted 03 December 2004 08:00 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I, personally, could care less about whether men and women shave, don't shave, keep their hair short, or long, or anywhere in between. I don't care what brand of deodorant they use, or if the use any at all, and I don't care whether women pluck their eyebrows, go braless, or whether men tuck their dick down the left side or the right when they pull their pants on in the morning.

What I do care about, deeply, is whether people, especially women, are shamed, ridiculed and marginalized because of a superificial aesthetic and personal choice. And it bothers me enormously that anyone would try to frame that concern as "caring about shaving". It's not about that. It's really about the stupid sexist things that oppress us. The body hair issue is just one small example of that larger thing.


From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Budd Campbell
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Babbler # 7019

posted 03 December 2004 08:13 PM      Profile for Budd Campbell        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rebecca West:
What I do care about, deeply, is whether people, especially women, are shamed, ridiculed and marginalized because of a superificial aesthetic and personal choice. And it bothers me enormously that anyone would try to frame that concern as "caring about shaving". It's not about that. It's really about the stupid sexist things that oppress us. The body hair issue is just one small example of that larger thing.


I agree. I think it's a growing obsession in a more urban and more white collar society that everyone absolutley must be fashionable. Failing that, one needs to have a correct opinion on fashion, even if you can't afford the fashions, or even fit into them!

A few weeks ago I was reading a column, intended to be humourous (I think) about "fashion crimes" in The West Ender, a weekly shopper distributed downtown. The columnist is gay, but the column was a much a "queer eye for the straight guy" as anything. I can't remember all the terribly gauche clothing crimes he ripped into, only half joking it seemed, but one of his biggest peeves was wearing socks with sandals. My attitude was basically, for Christ's sake, why am I even reading this drivel?!

But then I asked my wife about it, ... and to my horror she agreed that wearing socks with sandals was pretty horrible! So I just kind of gave up.

[ 03 December 2004: Message edited by: Budd Campbell ]


From: Kerrisdale-Point Grey, Vancouver | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1873

posted 03 December 2004 08:44 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Budd Campbell:
I think it's a growing obsession in a more urban and more white collar society that everyone absolutley must be fashionable. Failing that, one needs to have a correct opinion on fashion, even if you can't afford the fashions, or even fit into them!
It goes beyond mere fashion when it becomes a gendered thing. If removing body hair, for women, were simply a fashion thing, we could all pretty much laugh it off for the superficial thing it is. But for women, it stands as something that identifies us as either "feminine" or "masculine", "heterosexual" or "big hairy dyke" (to use Nes's term). That something as mundane as naturally occurring body hair could be used against women, used to judge them as women, not people, but women, is so offensive, it defies rationality.

From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nes
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Babbler # 7535

posted 04 December 2004 02:40 PM      Profile for Nes   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Rebecca West: Agreed!

Pretty much everything we do or encounter is gendered in some way, most of which is now antiquated or highly irrational, once you consider the source.


From: Ontario | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
writer
editor emeritus
Babbler # 2513

posted 04 December 2004 03:13 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From the personal testimonials here, much of the trauma -- and "decision" to remove hair -- is rooted in childhood and adolescence.

While women might be able to "get over it" and see that it isn't a "big deal", girl children are still walking around in fear for their physical well-being and social status if they choose not to remove their leg hair. That seems to be a big deal to me.

What is feminism about if we ignore the subtle crushing pressures the status quo is imposing on those who are moving towards womanhood?

For me, now, shaving is not such a big deal personally. Having said that, the global pressure for women to pluck, pull, shave, wax, thread, sugar, electrocute and otherwise remove or hide their hair is significant and, at times, oppressive.

And we haven't even started to talk about chin and upper-lip hair on women, have we?

[ 04 December 2004: Message edited by: writer ]


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 04 December 2004 03:54 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Now, that I have never seen addressed on babble.

I am semi-ignorant, semi-experienced on the subject of women's facial hair.

The experience comes from being my age, which is 59, and all that that entails. One of the things that post-menopause entails is that one does begin to develop a bit of a moustache. Plus, one gets these li'l ... sprouts ... here and there, especially from moles.

For me, this was new, and yes, it bothers me. It bothers me as no other hair ever has. I realize as I write about it that a lot of other people are going to be having the same reaction that I am having to myself, which is, Ewwww, gross. Shave right now!

I've never been especially aware, though, of facial hair on younger women. Is that naive? Do younger women worry about this problem? My hair is mostly pale and fine, even now and even on my legs, so I was mostly able to ignore the issue for a long time.

But I can't have a moustache. I just can't.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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Babbler # 2534

posted 04 December 2004 04:18 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've always had a moustache, at least since puberty - yes, I do remove it and always have. Frida Kahlo had a lot of guts and nerve not to. I suspect with very dark hair, eyebrows and lashes also have a bit of a shadow over their lip. I'm starting to get the odd stray chin hair as well, and pluck those out with a vengeance. And yes, I would have electrolysis to cure that if it got worse - I don't care about leg or underarm hair but I do find that looks utterly disgusting.
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 04 December 2004 04:24 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ah, Frida.

I've been looking for images, and this is the best I can see:


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
writer
editor emeritus
Babbler # 2513

posted 04 December 2004 04:41 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's not that you are naive, skdadl. It's that you were a lucky young woman. The reason you were not aware that other young women had facial hair to deal with is because they dealt with it quietly, with shame and self-loathing. Women with facial hair simply do not talk about it. Because, as legatta says, it is perceived by so many as disgusting.

I'm 40, and have plucked eyebrows for 27 years, on and off, and removed dark chin hairs for about 20. I am only recently getting a few lip hairs I need to escort out of my skin. Hairs out of moles, I seem to have always had, but they generally don't worry me too much.

I've tried electrolysis on my chin, and found it too painful, expensive, and not much use. Permanent my ass.

Eyebrows I do out of habit and asthetics. The other hairs, out of what I see as necessity. I don't find these hairs repulsive, and under other circumstances would live happily with them, I think. Especially since they've proliferated over the decades, so now, rather than an occassional hair to deal with, I am plucking almost every day.

Last year at the ROM, Lori Millan and Shawna Dempsey mounted a video performance about women and history. In that piece, Millan made a surprising confession about her fear of her own facial hair.

Millan is best known for her often hilarious explorations of her identity as a bull-dyke feminist. That facial hair haunted even her in the same way it haunted me was somehow liberating.

I do wish we could all feel free to embrace our own inner Kahlo. She's so sexy!

[ 04 December 2004: Message edited by: writer ]


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4722

posted 04 December 2004 05:15 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmmm watching "The Swann" this season there were at least 2 woman chosen because of the anguish they felt over facial hair. True, lasting, self loathing over it, let alone what they faced from others
From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
andrean
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 361

posted 04 December 2004 05:30 PM      Profile for andrean     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I've never been especially aware, though, of facial hair on younger women. Is that naive?

skdadl, I had a classmate recently, a woman perhaps in her mid-to-late twenties, who sported chin whiskers that would be the envy of any adolecsent boy. She was very fair, and so was her hair - you had to be standing quite close to her to notice it - but it was abundant. Though it unsettled me at first (I did find it hard not to stare), she seemed to be at peace with it, as if it were perfectly natural. Which, of course, it was. Though the hair itself didn't appeal to my aesthetic, her nonchalance towards it was refreshing.


From: etobicoke-lakeshore | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Budd Campbell
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7019

posted 05 December 2004 12:33 AM      Profile for Budd Campbell        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Last nite I talked with my wife about this subject over dinner. I was hardly in a mood to be making precise notes, as I was also enjoying a rare sirloin, salad, and scotch (Johnny Walker Red - not one of those high price single malts). So I am probably not doing her case full justice, but here goes.

My wife makes a sort of sometimes big deal out of not shaving her armpits or legs, and as for her armpit hairs, she calls them her "silkies", and likes me to stroke them appreciatively, and then compliment her on just how silky they are. I, ... er, ... ah, ... tend to go along with this for motives of my own, ... if you know what I mean.

Her friends and her sister all shave and wax, and she doesn't, something I have always found a bit odd, but hardly important.

She told me that her reasons for not shaving were partly physical and partly social/political. When she had shaved as a teenager ... and to my surprise and dismay she confirmed the stories about major pressures being brought to bear on her by her teenage peers to do so, .... her fairly delicate skin had reacted badly, lots of cuts and rashes and discomfort. So she really didn't want to be doing it.

When she went to France for her first year of college she happily stopped, and felt culturally and fashionably safe to do so since in Europe the practice was far less common. Most women there did not shave or wax, at least by her count.

Summing up, she said her social and political reasons for not doing so were a bigger influence than the physical discomfort ones, the exact opposite of what I would have expected. She said she objects to the amount of shaving creams and razors being sent to landfills, etc., and to the pressure to conform.

Yet I was struck by the notion that she only felt free to stop following North American fashion in this regard when she came across European fashion, and could take that as has her lead in this area instead.

As for my own personal shaving issues, I have had a moustache for the past several years which I kind of like to have as a small substitute for all the hair I have lost on my head. But I think it's going to have to go because it's causing my scuba dive mask to leak, even when I coat it with vaseline, and that ruins the dive. So I will part with fashion for function, but not with out some regret.

[ 05 December 2004: Message edited by: Budd Campbell ]


From: Kerrisdale-Point Grey, Vancouver | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
writer
editor emeritus
Babbler # 2513

posted 05 December 2004 02:51 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Reena Virk, who attempted, or least was perceived by some, to transgress the boundaries of these various communities paid for these transgressions with her life...
The mainstream media have generally described Reena's life as one fraught with difficulties because she was "caught between two cultures;" or because she did not "fit in" primarily due to her colour, weight, and facial hair. Yasmin Jiwani has aptly responded to this assertion that Reena was marginalized due to her failure to "fit in," by asking the question "fit into what?"

A Guilty Verdict against the Odds:
Privileging White Middle-Class Femininity
in the Trial of Kelly Ellard
for the Murder of Reena Virk


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Budd Campbell
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7019

posted 05 December 2004 10:39 PM      Profile for Budd Campbell        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by writer:
A Guilty Verdict against the Odds:
Privileging White Middle-Class Femininity
in the Trial of Kelly Ellard
for the Murder of Reena Virk


A very, very nteresting article, thanks for the link.

However, I found it a bit unsatisfactory that there was no actual explanation of the social status of either Glowatski or Ellard. The writer claims that Ellard is middle class, Glowatski not, but on what basis? A couple of hot tub parties doesn't imply an inexhaustible source of income.

As for appearances, Ellard, whatever her parents' income and wealth may actually be, certainly does not act like a "well-brought up, middle-class young lady". On the contrarty, she has always come across as a trash-talking bad girl, the very kind of kid judges and jurors can picture as being violent and dangerous.


From: Kerrisdale-Point Grey, Vancouver | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Gryphon
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7672

posted 10 December 2004 08:22 AM      Profile for Gryphon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
First, I'd like to say that I do think this is an interesting subject. Guys can be interested in these things. you would be surprised about how much some men think about these things. I also think that men don't have a monopoly on sexism. Exclusion is not progressive, ladies. don't ban/suspend us because our genitalia don't make it broadway.

I don't think we're trying to dominate discussion here. we're only trying to participate. If you find it strange that there are a lot of men discussing women's issues, shouldn't think of it as a good thing that men are taking an interest?

I read the entire thread up to this point, and I wouldn't be messaging if I thought it was uninteresting or irrelevant. I've thought about whether I'm conditioned to believe that soft skin is a feminine quality, and I don't think that's the reason.

I think the reason why, is that skin in other places, where women don't tend to have hair has the same appeal. One thing guys (well, I for sure) find really attractive is how soft womens' hands are usually. The other day I got a warm hug from a girl that I asked out, and how soft her cheek was gave me a shock. I can't speak for everyone, but these things tend to make me melt inside.

So I think that maybe it's not that we're conditioned to think that it's a feminine quality. I think that it's done to artificially enhance one's feminine qualities, like corsettes were, at one time, or make up is now. It's so ubiquitous in this part of the world, that I think it has become an expectation. I think that's why there's a stigma associated with not shaving.

like the rest of us second class rabble rousers here, I shave because women like it as well. i personally, like the way i look with a five o'clock shadow. It makes me look less baby-faced.

If you disagree with my opinion on why we (both sexes shave), lets consider something else. Why do people clip their fingernails? If you've ever tried to pick up a coin, scratch an itch/lottery ticket, or open a pop can without them, you'd know it's more useful to have them. I happen to know though that most girls abhor guys with long or dirty fingernails.

Nes said:

quote:
...I'm the type of gal who is attracted to both sexes, but I think I lean more towards women than men. But as far as men go, I do not find facial hair atractive. But that's more for personal reasons than aesthetic: my father has always had a full beard, and I've associated beard kisses with being six years old, which is not the type of thing I look for in a boy of my own.

That's interesting. I'd be curious to know what you think about women removing hair? more attractive? less so? neither? it's good that you can give an unbiased opinion on the matter, since no one could accuse you of being patriarchical on the one hand, and no one can say that you're conditioned to be attracted to it on the other.


From: Guelph | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged

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