Friday, 13 April 2007

More about leg-shaving

After my previous post, I have been thinking a bit more of leg-shaving and whatnot.
I've read most of Femininity by Susan Brownmiller (I'm on the penultimate chapter).

And, now, I am going to muse about why women are expected to shave religiously, lest they be lepracised from the heteropatriarchal society for being too hairy.

Could it be simply be that the patriarchy hates women's bodies?

That seems too simple to me. There are other factors, after all.

Could it be just another constraint and form of control, under the pretext of femininity? In my mind, femininity is the socially constructed model of control over women, guidelines we must adher to. For femininity is all about contraints, all about compromises, all about submissiveness, all about accepting second class citizenship, and taking it all gracefully, sweetly.

Femininity ensures that we women are too wrapped up in the little, irrelevent and insignificant things in life, it ensures that we are vain and narcissistic, while men, being the *insert heavy sarcasm here* superior beings, are go-getters; they don't worry about insignificant, trivial things.

I mean, really. The beauty rituals of femininity. How fucking long do they take? How much time and energy, and money do they take? And we're victims of our self-esteem a lot of the time, if we adhere strictly to the rules of femininity. Even the most "confident" of women, if they're sticking to the rules of femininity, how bloody happy with themselves are they, truly? No, it is to the patriarchy's advantage that women are bound to Femininity, and that they ritualistically shave their legs, and revert their bodies to childhood.

Because, women and girls are just SO uncomfortable in their own skin. They really are. THAT'S why they shave. Because patriarchal ideology is so deep, so entrenched in their pysche, that is why they shave.
It's time consuming, but they shave. It can hurt, but they shave.

Because, the patriarchy hates women's bodies. And so, women hate their bodies. Sure they may be proud of their breasts, or their stomachs, or legs or whatever. But, as they shave, they are not rejoicing in their womanliness, they are conforming to femininity.

It takes guts to stand up to femininity. It's so entrenched in our pysche. It's hard making that decision to step outside the mainstream and not shave.

Some girls and women genuinely feel comfortable being hairless. But, I have to wonder, is that because that patriarchal ideology is so deeply entrenched? I think so.

But does any of this benefit the patriarchy?

Yes, I think it does.

Until women are free to CHOOSE to FEEL however the fuck they want, without fear of being stigmatised, without patriarchal pressure, we are still NOT liberated.
I believe that simple everyday rituals, such as female body hair removal, are indicative of an unequal society. It reflects of the compromises women have to make, what they have to do to conform. It smacks of the patriarchy's hatred of women's bodies.

Leg shaving is reflective of an unequal society. Because, the way we view male/female body hair is unequal, and it is gendered.
Biologically, both sexes produce body hair.
According to gender rules, body hair is only acceptable on one gender.
Some girls argue that they shave because bodyhair is unnecessary. We don't need it anymore.
Well, if that is true for girls, what use does it have for males?


90 comments:

Anonymous said...

do you shave your legs?

Hawaiian Libertarian said...

Could it be just another constraint and form of control, under the pretext of femininity? In my mind, femininity is the socially constructed model of control over women, guidelines we must adher to. For femininity is all about contraints, all about compromises, all about submissiveness, all about accepting second class citizenship, and taking it all gracefully, sweetly.

Femininity ensures that we women are too wrapped up in the little, irrelevent and insignificant things in life, it ensures that we are vain and narcissistic, while men, being the *insert heavy sarcasm here* superior beings, are go-getters; they don't worry about insignificant, trivial things.

I mean, really. The beauty rituals of femininity. How fucking long do they take? How much time and energy, and money do they take? And we're victims of our self-esteem a lot of the time, if we adhere strictly to the rules of femininity. Even the most "confident" of women, if they're sticking to the rules of femininity, how bloody happy with themselves are they, truly? No, it is to the patriarchy's advantage that women are bound to Femininity, and that they ritualistically shave their legs, and revert their bodies to childhood.


You feminists read way too much into some things like social conventions women have for femininity.

Femininity is the specific traits women have for expressing their DIFFERENCE from the male gender.

Some women figured out that a clean shaven female body is more attractive to males than a hairy one.

Women themselves probably noticed that the ladies that shaved seemed to get more male attention, so the competition to attract potential suitors was ON!

The "oppression" you feel is the natural competition the female gender of our species has to attract a potential mate.

It is not an artifical construct imposed by males to oppress females as you and the rest of "womyn" studies seem to think.

It is the natural order of things regarding the relation between gender.

In just about every species on the planet, the dividing line between genders has always been one specie's gender seeks to attract mates while the other gender competes for the favor of the one striving to be attractive.

You're raging against the effort to compete with your sisters over potential mates.

If you don't want to bother with going through the ritual of attracting a mate, than don't. Be a lesbian if you want to. But to foist your misplaced anger at the reality of having to compete for male attention on "male oppression" is laughably moronic.

May as well get angry at the sun for rising every morning or raging at the sky for being blue.

Amy said...

Anonymous - read my previous post.


"Some women figured out that a clean shaven female body is more attractive to males than a hairy one."

Personally, I could give less of a fuck about making myself attractive for males.

Hawaiian Libertarian, you probably won't be surprised, but I disagree with you. "Femininity is the specific traits women have for expressing their DIFFERENCE from the male gender." That's not true.
Femininity and masculinity are not about both genders expressing their differences, they are the guidelines imposed, and drip-fed as ideology, from an early age, exaggerating any natural differences, and to maintain the patriarchal status quo.

If the mindset of society was more liberal to choosing to shave or not to shave, rather than simply expecting women to be shaved, then I suspect less women would shave, and more men would be less judgemental.

You mention competition amongst women for male suitors. You do have a point there; women aren't particularly expected to be competitive, except for trying to attract males.

"In just about every species on the planet, the dividing line between genders has always been one specie's gender seeks to attract mates while the other gender competes for the favor of the one striving to be attractive."

Are you really suggesting that we are not superior to other animals? And therefore, our social patterns must follow suit?
And by the way, genders are socially constructed, whereas sex is biological, so perhaps you should ensure your terms are correct ;).

A Canadian Liberal Against Feminism said...

"Because, the patriarchy hates women's bodies."

To what end exactly? What exactly is the point of expressing so much contempt for the bodies of women?

Perhaps I'm not a member of the patriarchy, though last time I checked, I met all the pre-requisites. Maybe I just haven't quite mastered the patriarchal mindset like you have, but honestly what is the point? To sell razor-blades and shaving cream? I'd be willing to wager good money that men far outspend women in that department. Most of us shave our faces every day! When a new razor comes out it's almost without exception targeted towards men first. The patriarchy must hate men's faces too, because even in military circles, facial hair is very rare.

No, I rather think that your premise is faulty, namely the contempt for women's bodies. Why? If this is true, why do immortalize the female form in marble, and on canvas? Why did we compose sonnets and poems to the beauty and grace of women? Why do we take photo, after photo of nude women and call it art? If we hate women's bodies so much, why do we waste so much time and energy on elevating the female body? If we hated women's bodies, it would seem to me that we'd want to cover them up, yet some of us will pay perfectly good money to watch women take their clothes off! It would seem rather contradictory to me to say that we hate women's bodies while we spend vast amounts of time and energy expressing our admiration for them.

"they are the guidelines imposed, and drip-fed as ideology, from an early age, exaggerating any natural differences, and to maintain the patriarchal status quo."

Again, to what end? For that matter, what status quo? There's no such thing! Life on planet earth is always in a state of flux. Things endure, for a time, but everything ultimately changes.

Amy said...

OK, I'm really tired, so I'll make this quick.
Shaven legs are not NATURAL. They are representative of FEMININITY, they are not reflective of WOMANLINESS. There is a great deal of difference, but somehow I doubt you would be able to understand that concept. Call it a hunch.

If women's bodies are so beloved, why are they not represented in their naturalness.
The masculine form, for example David, is also immortalised in canvas.
And, even in some of these famous paintings, the body hair is "airbrushed" out. And I don't remember seeing any pubic hair on the Venus de Milo. I'm pretty sure, historically, women didn't ritually remove body hair then.

Yes, I am quite aware that men shave their faces daily. But, they can have stubble or moustaches or beards. Women have to pluck or wax their eyebrows, too. As well as removing body hair.

Amy said...

And, of course, men don't get judged or seen as repulsive for having facial hair, or even body hair...

And, a lot of guys find stubble scratchy, hence the constant shaving.

A Canadian Liberal Against Feminism said...

I must confess that I have only ever seen photos of David, I've never seen it in person, and so part of this will be based on assumption, but it seems to me, that David knew about a razor, because other than the hair on his head and a little over his penis, he's completely bald. His legs appear completely smooth. I'm not sure about his armpits, I don't imagine that was on Michelangelo's mind at the time. David is smooth, and so is nearly everything else of the time. Michelangelo's "Pieta" has smooth legs. Da Vinci's "Baptism of Christ," and "Vitruvian Man" have smooth legs. In the case of the latter, he doesn't even appear to have any pubic hair. I would wager that there isn't much body hair on the Sistine chapel either.

And you don't remember seeing any pubic hair on the Venus de Milo, because you can't see her pubis.
Apollo Belvedere has no body hair. Even Zeus himself doesn't seem to have much body hair.

As far as sculpture is concerned, I think, it's either artistic convention, or practicality that makes everybody smooth, or very nearly smooth.

So why isn't the male form portrayed naturally either? Again, to what end? Why do we do this? And aside from pressing foolish agendas, do you really think that I, or even most men care if a woman shaves her legs or not?

Here's a thought: it has nothing to do with patriarchy, or oppression. It might be some peculiar standard of beauty that our classical ancestors handed us, and we've never really bothered to think about. Or it might be considerably more recent than that. Either way, your finding patriarchy where it doesn't exist.

Hawaiian Libertarian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hawaiian Libertarian said...

First off...kudos for allowing dissenting opinion on your blog. More than a few of your fellow feminists are fascists at heart and actively censoropposing views to their pronouncements.

Ok...

Personally, I could give less of a fuck about making myself attractive for males.

Than why are you angry at all and feel the need to rage about the conventions of society that are basically in place because females are primarily concerned with making themselves as attractive and desirable as possible? And if you really don't care, than are you a lesbian? And if you are a lesbian, are not at least concerned about making yourself attractive to other lesbians?

Hawaiian Libertarian, you probably won't be surprised, but I disagree with you. "Femininity is the specific traits women have for expressing their DIFFERENCE from the male gender." That's not true.
Femininity and masculinity are not about both genders expressing their differences, they are the guidelines imposed, and drip-fed as ideology, from an early age, exaggerating any natural differences, and to maintain the patriarchal status quo.


Your indoctrination in feminist denials of the differences between the sexes couched in post-modernist gobbledy gook is complete.

Males and Females are different in many, many different ways. The differences in gender are merely the evolution of the species designed to complement each other to providing a well balanced environment for raising the next generation of the species.

If the mindset of society was more liberal to choosing to shave or not to shave, rather than simply expecting women to be shaved, then I suspect less women would shave, and more men would be less judgemental.

Here's a newsflash: Men will NEVER be "less" judgemental.

Neither will women.

Judgementalism is a trait that is inherent in us as a species. Even if NO women in the west were to shave ever again, and we men accepted and even learned to prefer it (as it is in some European countries), we would simply be judgmental about some other aspect of the female physical appearance in determining whether or not we would want to pursue any particual female. "She has beautiful leg hair, but her ass is still to fat and her boobs sag."

Judgementalism is how we ALL discriminate whether or not a person would be suitable for mating.

If more men quit working and collected welfare and got fat and lazy, do you really think you and the rest of the females in the West would be "less judgemental" about dating/marrying/hooking up with said loser? Somehow, I don't think so.

You mention competition amongst women for male suitors. You do have a point there; women aren't particularly expected to be competitive, except for trying to attract males.

You are too focused and worried about what society "expects" women to do. Much of the expecation is what you women put onto yourselves for your own reasons.

Are you really suggesting that we are not superior to other animals? And therefore, our social patterns must follow suit?
And by the way, genders are socially constructed, whereas sex is biological, so perhaps you should ensure your terms are correct ;).


I'm not suggesting that at all. I merely do not deny that the biological imperative that exists in all of us to procreate to ensure the survival of our species is non-existant or nullified simply because we are capable of abstract thought -- the trait that does make us superior to all other animal species on the planet.

Just because we can think beyond instinctual impulse does not mean such instincts don't exist, nor does it mean they do not play a powerful role in influencing our thoughts and our actions.

No matter what your feminist influences tell you, I will never agree to this idea that genders are socially constructed, as if they are some seperate entity from sex. I've observed too much innate differences with my own eyes to believe this notion.

We are different from each other because we both have different reproductive organs and varying levels of hormones that influence and control our responses to stimuli. That is why women are more prone to crying at emotionally intense situations while men are more prone to clamming up and "avoiding" or "not talking about it." You women actually feel better from "talking it out" while we men just get a sick feeling in our stomach when you tell us "we need to talk about us!"

Patriarchy IS an artificial construct. But it's NOT a system solely designed for men to oppress women for their own benefit.

It's a trade off system between men and women in which women agree to share their reproductive lives with men in exchange for men supporting them. It's a system that evolved to control female sexual desires and limit it to a lifetime monogomous arrangement, giving the male relative reassurement that the children of their marriage are his.

In exchange, he will than be motiviated to work hard and support his family, secure in the knowledge of the paternity of his children. It is a social contract.

Women's liberation movement and feminisim is all about rejecting that social contract. You feminists look at the deal and say, "I don't need you men to support me, so I will NOT allow you to control my sexuality."

When you reject the artificial model of Patriarchy, you get what we now see in modern society. An epidemic divorce rate and millions of single mothers raising men who are no longer motivated to become providers for their families that they would have become under the influence of the Patriarchal model of society.

Hence, women now outnumber men in college, and boys are failing and dropping out of high school in record, unprecedented numbers.

Why bother working hard to achieve career success when a woman doesn't need me for nothing but my sperm to whelp her children and extract child support from me while alienating my kids from me and denying me any parental rights and responsibilities?

Modern, feminist women who have the mentality you demonstrate on your blog want nothing to do with the Patriarchal contract. Fine.

So you're free as you want to be. You have the pill, you have the freedom to abortion, and you no longer have societal wide condemnation for "living in sin" or even sleeping around with multiple partners. You can even have kids from different fathers and cut them out of the kids lives, take child support from them and recieve welfare support...and yet you still rage against "Patriarchal oppression?"

You already have the means to reject Patriarchy and not suffer the consequences of ostrasization and extreme poverty of women who once did when Patriarchy was the dominant model of relations between the genders.

Walk around in your mini-skirt with hairy legs and guys will most likely avoid hitting on you - which is what you want, right?

But notice who gives you the nasty looks, snide comments and snickers behind your back about your hairy legs...your fellow sisters.

That's not "Patriarchal oppression." That's peer pressure from your fellow females - all wrapped up in playing the competitive game of attracting potential mates.

Whether society abides by Patriarchy or Matriarchy, the biological imperative to breed will still compel women to attract men, and you will still have SOME kind of social norms or "rules of the game" when it comes to competing for potential mates.

If not hairy legs, there will be some other aspect of your physical appearance that other women will find some means of differnetiating themselves from the competition in the game of mate attraction.

A Feminist's Nightmare said...

gee, you're sick of social oppression? DUMP every single one of your female friend. And you'll discover how free you will feel.
You and your likes of feminists have are not oppressed and patriarchy whatsoever. You are the ones oppressing yourselves.

A question. How old were you the first time you ever shaved? I am wiling to bet that the first time you shaved was from peer pressure ( your little girlfriends at the time). Whther they incited you to shave first or whether you started shaving before they could tell you anything does not matter, the fact is that it is women oppressing women and not men oppressing women.

By the way, if you're good in bed, half decent looking, respectful, loving and can cook a decent meal, you can have a lot of guys kneeling at you for attention even if you are as hairy as a monkey.

You know fashion, no matter what the fashion is, is imposed on women by women. Men will only take advantage of it. Stop offering it, and they will have to accept whatever is offered to them. One can buy only what the market offers, of course you can make some of your own stuff, but I can't see anyone making himself a mate. There is only one myth where such a thing happens , and it is only one myth: Pygmalion.

So stop disseminating responsibility on others, and be responsible for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Well I can give an easy answer as to why women shave. They are vain.
Have been -- herstory bears this out. Whether they are all unscrupulous, haughty, and self-assuming, I'll leave to the readers imagination.

Amy said...

"Hawaiian Libertarian said...
This post has been removed by the author.
14 April 2007 01:11
Hawaiian Libertarian said...
First off...kudos for allowing dissenting opinion on your blog."

Actually, Hawaiian Libertarian, that comment I deleted was my own!!
I accidentally deleted it then reposted it.
And yeah, even if posters say stuff I don't agree with, I will still allow them here. Unless it reaches a certain point and crosses a certain line.



But do you know what makes me laugh? How many masculine feathers I have apparently ruffled by my post. Which, by the way, is more about MUSING than it is RANTING. Maybe people are reading different tones into it.
Just because my views are polarised from yours doesn't make me unreasonable.
This is my blog, my posts reflect my views. I have every right to feel, think and say how I feel.
You may see it as whinging, or ridiculous, but from my own observations, it's really not.
Clearly, your observations and experiences are different.
And, to be honest, I haven't seen a shred of evidence that any one of you has been in the least bit open minded.
But whatev. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, the rising tide of masculinity will save you from your 50+ million babies dead, putting Stalin to shame, perfidy.

Such good mothers, and womanly wise in all their ways.

FallingStar said...

OOkkk!! You've got a lot of trolls here! Just means that you're onto something :)

I agree with you - I think women are encouraged to shave from an early age - the age that we start sprouting our natural body hair.

We are made to feel so self conscious about it, that we feel that we are entering a rite of passage by being able to shave - we are misled into thinking that shaving means we have reached womanhood when really it is a reverting back to pre-pubescence.

Personally I remember when I started to shave. It wasn't my own mother that encouraged me to shave (as she doesn't shave her legs, maybe just her underarms, but very occassionally and on her own terms). It was peer pressure and the feeling that my teenage, almost womanly body was ugly because I had hair. Advertisers and magazines are clever - they prey on our insecurities as a teen about our bodies. They push ideologies of patriarchy on us.

My friends starting talking about shaving/removing body hair around 13-14. This is way too young, when I think about it now. It's the same as being made to feel uncomfortable about weight, etc.

Also, what the hell are these jokers going on about? I have no doubt that hair removal probably originated with prostitution - that age old institution of patriarchal control (aka woman as sex object and slave to the patriarchy).

There was no 'smart woman' that decided hair removal would be more attractive to all males: it was probably something to do with fashion too. I think the media could also have created a hyper-freakout of women's body hair saying that it isn't natural - thus selling more products.

You'll probably find some vintage adverts somewhere about hair removal. Incidentally, most of those big cosmetic corporations were owned by and controlled by MEN.

I am willing to bet that this self consciousness came from men in the first place - their idea of what women's sexuality should be like - aka. all pretty, hairless and keep up this appearance all the bloody time.

Men do re-inforce the whole idea that women should look and act a certain way, in certain subtle ways (such is the nature of oppression, it tends to be so subtle that not everyone notices it).

Women's bodies are treated like SEX OBJECTS which is why they are, as a certain troll has said 'immortalised in marble and canvas'. Only a certain type of female body is represented in art. Not the real, warm, alive, imperfect female body, which has a brain and character and personality. MALE artists have traditionally done female nudes. Women's art is very different and doesn't pornographise the female body.

Just go away, trolls, MRA's whatever you lot are (complete stupid weirdos more like it).

Anonymous said...

P.S. You can come over to our side any time you want to. Very few women do, because they take a hell of alot of flack from their 'liberated' girlfriends. Just consider it.
We're not religious, just prodigious.

FallingStar said...

Amy, I think the reason they are commenting on your blog is because your post was 'dissed' (I have no other word for it, its very childish!) on that particular fred blog.

Just means that you're finally getting the recognition you deserve as a fabby feminist! ;)

xxx

Anonymous said...

PS: Yeah I had to shave my facial hair. It'd be hard for me to come up with that kind of self-entitled rant about it, but I have to shave my face every day. Twice a day if I want to go out. I fucking blame women. They were always in control.
My mates looked down on me if I didn't have a girl on my arm. And so I had to shave, and shave, and shave. I shaved my fucking face! For the matriarchy!
Gosh-blammit I'm so oppressed.

Amy said...

Thank you Falling Star!!! You added a lot of VALID points (eloquently, too), which I myself hadn't thought of, or had forgotten.

And you're right...maybe it's because I am onto something...God forbid a girl question things, and *shock horror!* speak up about it!!!
That's just not right, is it?!

Ha!

And, thanks for the offer (ha!) anonymous, but I'm a proud AND happy Radfem, hairy legs an' all.

And by the way, I am hetero. Could y'all stop using stupid stereotypes and assumptions, that because a feminist doesn't shave her legs, she must be a lesbian. Or just because she's a feminist, a woman must be a lesbian.

:)

Sorry to be such a threat an' all! ;)

Amy said...

"PS: Yeah I had to shave my facial hair. It'd be hard for me to come up with that kind of self-entitled rant about it, but I have to shave my face every day. Twice a day if I want to go out. I fucking blame women. They were always in control.
My mates looked down on me if I didn't have a girl on my arm. And so I had to shave, and shave, and shave. I shaved my fucking face! For the matriarchy!
Gosh-blammit I'm so oppressed."

Have I denied male FACIAL hair removal?!
No.

Personally, I find a bit of facial hair quite attractive on a man. (I mean, there are other factors, such as PERSONALITY.)

And some of my male mates DO have some facial hair, but they tell me that this facial fuzz, and the stubble, itches and so they shave.

Anonymous said...

You ladies know where I can go to get help for this affliction, this horrible atrocity that made me shave my face? There must be a men's shelter somewhere in the states.

Oh wait, there isn't.

Anonymous said...

Amy, FredX and Femscum owned you and have highlighted you for the whinging little pricks that you are. And Falling Star you should read Fred's piece about Pointless Witterings because all you do is cat blog.
Bwhwhahahahahahahahahahaha

Amy said...

"Hopefully, the rising tide of masculinity will save you from your 50+ million babies dead, putting Stalin to shame, perfidy.

Such good mothers, and womanly wise in all their ways."


I'm sorry, but...what the fuck?!?!

That makes no sense and is totally irrelevant and out of context, and just damn right odd!!!

And by the way, could you please find the balls to at least put some kind of initials or whatever, instead of just posting as "anonymous".

Amy said...

Then if I, and other fems, are such "whinging little pricks", why do you take the time to comment on our blogs?

Unless you feel threatened. Or something.

Seriously, if all we are doing is whinging, and if you really think it's so ridiculous, why don't you just ...not give a fuck.

I mean, I posted on an issue which pretty much is more of a concern of women, and I get a load of comments from blokey-things. And for what? "Whinging" apparently.

It's quite entertaining really. I can't help but feel almost flattered! :P

Anonymous said...

"Personally, I find a bit of facial hair quite attractive on a man."

So how much. What part of the face. On the jowls, is that too much? Should I shave it down, trim it, get the clippers out, you femarchical oppressor? How dare you!

Men grow hair on their faces, all over the place. I won't let you oppress me with your 'tastefullness' bullshit, matriarch. I'd transplant my ass hairs onto my face right now just to defy you, oppressor.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amy said...

woah, someone took THAT a bit personally didn't they?!

HAHA.

You make me smile.

(Sorry, it's got to the point where I can't take YOU seriously. Good stuff.)

I really don't care how little or how much facial hair a guy has, for the record.
So yeah, you can transplant your arse hair onto your face for all I care (how mature of you, by the way).

Anonymous said...

I already have, skank.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fanny Blood said...

Hi Amy. Laura did a GREAT piece on this last year. Have a read.

Laura's piece on this (http://notafeministbut.blogspot.com/2006/09/in-which-misogyny-inherent-in-female.html) was brilliant ...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

In which the misogyny inherent in female leg shaving becomes clear and Laura celebrates being a woman in her one hundreth blog post.
'I'm not really into feminism; I like my boyfriend paying for things and enjoy shaving my legs.'

'Mmm hmm. Well you won't wanna see my legs then.'

'Go on.'

- Rolls up trousers.

'Erghhh! That's rotten!'

'Ha. Thanks.'

-Sighs internally, knows that a diatribe on female shaving and misogyny would not be welcome at this point. Does not have the patience or the ovaries (certainly doesn't have balls) to carry on the conversation at this point.

(The conversation continues a few hours later in Laura's head.)

'And that's exactly why I won't shave my legs again.'

'What, because you like looking mingin'?'

'No - and I find it interesting that you feel able to tell me I look mingin' and rotten and expect not to upset me when if I did the same thing to you in relation to your eyes or hairstyle you would be very offended - but because as a society we find adult female bodies disgusting and I reject that notion.'

'If we find them so disgusting how come we have images of women everywhere?'

'That's the thing - we don't. We have images of femininity, of womanhood as defined by the patriarchy, but we do not have images of women. '

'What's the difference?'

(Ahh the compliance of imaginary conversation partners...)

'Femininity is a set of rules that women must adhere to in order to be accepted as "real" women under patriarchy. Femininity dictates that we must remove our body hair, smooth out wrinkles, get rid of cellulite, flatten out our stomachs. It rejects adult womanhood and aims to trap women's bodies in their prepubescent state.'

'Prepubescents don't have the kind of breasts we idolize, though.'

'True, but neither do most women. Most of us have to use a bra to push them into the right place and mould them into the right shape, others resort to surgery. As I was saying, the images we see all around us are not of real women - they are of femininity. Femininity goes further than trying to create a prepubescent body adorned with watermelons; this isn't far enough removed from natural womanhood. It also dictates that we disguise our inadequate faces with make-up -'

'- but make-up is fun! It's cool to be able to change what you look like.'

'I agree, and when more men start wearing make-up in that way I will feel happy joining in. As it is, most women wear make-up because they can't stand the sight of their own face in the mirror, because they feel naked or exposed without it, or because it makes them look good. Aside from the fact that I am sick of the intense pressure on women to look good, this brings us back to misogyny. Women - natural, adult women - are made up of all the aspects that patriarchally defined femininity seeks to hide. We have hair on our legs, arms, arm pits and pubic area. We have fat and cellulite and creases and wrinkles and blemishes. We have unadorned faces, just like men. Femininity and the patriarchy tell us that these things - only when present on a female, mind- are horrible - rotten, as you said. They are unwomanly. They are nasty, dirty, embarrassing, hideous, ugly (the worst thing a woman can be), just plain wrong. In telling us this, patriarchy and its beloved femininity tell us that women are nasty, dirty, embarrassing, hideous, ugly, just plain wrong. Being a woman - an adult female with hair and cellulite and fat and blemishes and wrinkles - is nasty, dirty, embarrassing, hideous, ugly, just plain wrong.

(Laura is now on a roll and imaginary conversation partner is reduced to astounded, captivated listener.)

And so I say screw you, patriarchy. I am a woman and I am NOT nasty, dirty, embarrassing, hideous, ugly, just plain wrong. I resent the fact that when I hit puberty I had to immediately start removing all signs of it - or distorting it, in the case of breasts - while my male friends felt proud that they were well on the way to adulthood. I resent never having been able to feel at home in my own body. I resent being constantly at war with it. And now that I'm making peace with it, now that I'm learning to love it and experience real womanhood for the first time in my life, I resent the fact that other women think I am less of a woman than them.

I will not shave my legs again, because as that razor swipes up my leg and my hair falls away into the water of the bath tub, I admit that I am nasty, dirty, embarrassing, hideous, ugly, just plain wrong. I act upon patriarchy's hatred of the adult female body, its hatred of women, a hatred that I and the women around me have internalised, a hatred that causes us to view each other as 'rotten'. I will not wear make-up to enhance my features or smooth out my skin or give me a seductive stare, because my features need no enhancing, the smoothness or otherwise of my skin has no effect upon my happiness and my identity as a woman is not dependent upon being seductive or beautiful. If I cover it up in the way l'Oreal or Maybelline tells me too I am confirming that my face is nasty, dirty, embarrassing, hideous, ugly, just plain wrong.

As my my body hair grows and my make-up sits lonely in the bathroom cabinet, I begin to embrace the womanhood that my society tells me is so wrong, a womanhood that has been denied me by that society's hatred and fear of the adult female, and I feel a sense of self worth and self love that is a result not of my adherence to patriarchal rules or my success as a representative of femininity - as a reflection of patriarchal misogyny - but of my very existence as a woman.

And that, my friends, is what we call liberation.



A little note - my comments on bras are not meant to suggest that no woman is made more comfortable by wearing one, I simply aim to point out that in many cases they exist more to create an acceptable shape (ie round, pointed outwards, lifted up, no nipple outline) than to prevent backache etc. The one I'm wearing now (yes, I find it more scary to stop wearing a bra than to stop shaving and using make-up - I'll get there!) does nothing to support me as my breasts stay pretty much where they are, and simply exists to make sure no one can see what breast and nipple outline really looks like. It doesn't fit properly and leaves marks on my breasts, I can't afford to get any more and I can never find any that fit anyway. It pisses me off.

And another one - I haven't really read much on this topic. This post is a result of my own thoughts, observations and criticisms, particularly over the last few months. My eyes open wider each day and with this come new revelations, new ideas and new ways of seeing. At the moment I see femininity and misogyny almost everywhere I look; looking at my body in the mirror is like a breath of fresh air. Those misogynists at l'Oreal may think I'm worth it, but they are not worthy of me.



x

Amy said...

Omg I read that!
T'was awesome!
:)
Good ol' Laura. <3
Xxx

Fanny Blood said...

and why are you letting people comment here who are attacking you, amy let alone responding to them?

you know who they are and what their motives are.

x

Amy said...

Because they have a right to free speech, UNTIL they cross a certain line.

Plus, they're funny.
Makes me laugh.
Ah, trolls. Funny tings.

;)

Amy said...

Woops, accident.

I believe in the right of free speech, and I believe that rights come with responsibilities, particularly the right of free speech.

So, yes, I will delete comments which I feel infringe upon that right.

But, like I said, it was an accident.

So, do get over yourself.

Feminist Scum said...

A rare comment on a femcunt blog from me too.

Amy, I'm completely to blame for the invasion by anti feminists. I was the one who brought this topic to people's attention on my blog, and then FredX made a post on his.

I'm sure you can find some way to thank me after you've been thoroughly owned in debate.

Your non-friend, Feminist Scum.

Amy said...

Firstly, as a feminist, I am well aware that there are other issues to be concerned about.

As the LFN says:

"Are you sick of the normalisation of pornography in our society? Do you find it distinctly un-funny and not ironic in any way when you see young girls wearing tee-shirts with slogans like 'Future footballers wife' or 'supermodel in training'? Are you fed up with seeing shelves full of porn when you pop to your corner shop for milk or buy a paper at the station? Do you despair when you hear that the pay gap between women and men is still around 20%? Does it make you outraged that there are more licensed lap dancing clubs in Britain today than there are Rape Crisis centres? What do you think about the fact that today only 1 in 20 rapists are convicted, compared to 1 in 3 in the 1970's? Do you wonder why we talk so much about sex in our society yet never seem to talk about sexual violence? Does it make you mad that 1 in 3 girls are sexually assaulted before their 16th Birthday? Do you wonder why nobody ever asks what right men have to buy and sell sexual access to women's bodies, rather than simply blaming women who work in prostitution? Do you think its disgusting and shameful that every night over 5000 young people go out to work on our streets in prostitution? Do you wonder why we don't criminalise those men who assume a right to buy another human being? Are you tired of seeing the same old stereotypes of women in our media and stick thin models in our clothes stores and adverts, do you think this is linked to the fact that over half of size 12 girls describe themselves as 'fat'?"

These are just some of the other issues I am concerned about.

But, just because I chose to write about leg-shaving and PONDER about it, doesn't mean to say that I'm pathetic, or that my blog is.

I have EVERY right to feel, think or say what I choose to.

Phlegmatic said...

Wow, isnt it just great to see all these sad pricks rush onto sites and get their adrenaline rush from their trolling, how pathetic. I dont know how they cant recognise what they are trying to dissect for what it is, which is the truth. These arrogant wankers are a fucking monument to what to they firmly believe feminists are making up.

Good on you amy for handling this so well, because I have no patience or tolerance for scum that are so deluded by their own sense of superiority and fucking mind boggling arrogance. And fallingstar is right, you know youre onto something when representatives of the patriarchy come onto your site spouting bullshit because they know you’ve busted them. You know you’ve hit a nerve in their cocks that they think with, when they come sputtering about how they “owned you”. Its hilarious to say the least.

A Canadian Liberal Against Feminism said...

Woah. Well, I'd still like to know just what "teh patriarchy!"(tm) gets out of forcing women to shave their legs. I'm of the school of thought that only feminists could find a link this weak, and make such an enormous issue out of it.

Though, AFN and I spoke about this last night, and there's something that I've been missing: namely that you do care very much about shaving your legs, and you care about how society sees you. For the life of me, why? If you're so liberated, why do you put so much importance on how society sees you? It makes absolutely no sense. If you don't want to put time into shaving your legs, don't. I would say, don't be surprised when you draw a few stares or comments.

But obviously you care a lot about what people at large think of you. If you want to win the war on "teh patriarchy!" (tm) why would you waste time and energy caring?

Mitch said...

Hey Amy, I see you deleted Fred's comment to you. He had some good points but you are too scared to address them. I'm glad real men like Fred exist. And a big Hi to Femscum and Hawaiian Lib and aclaf too.

Amy said...

Yeah, phlegmatic, you got it! :)

Mitch, I did address them.

This post isn't about how society sees me PERSONALLY as an individual, it's about societal pressures on women.

But whatev.

And no, I don't shave my legs. I fucking love my legs. My legs are beautiful in their naturalness. And I don't give a fuck if you or society disagrees.
And comments and stares...no, I wouldn't be surprised.
That is part of what I was talking about. Women who don't shave get comments and stares, because they are not conforming. You've pretty much proved my point. :)

But I'm getting pretty bored of y'all just re-iterating the same bullshit point again and again.

Mitch said...

Er, no, you didn't. Fred even put a post on his blog showing what you deleted.

And for the record, I saw it with my own eyes published on this very blog. And then when I came back later on it had dissappeared.

Your like all the other feminists, when challenged to debate you cower away. Why don't you go to his blog an answer? Why didn't you answer the points he put to you here?

Because your scared of being exposed you dirtbag.

Amy said...

Firstly, fuck you.
Don't you fucking dare call me a dirtbag on my own blog. That's just cheap.

You're a bit pathetic trying to be fucking hardcore with a keyboard. Get over yourself.

Secondly, I responded in a comment. Shall I repeat it? I don't see why I should bother, but I guess you might just need a bit of help.

"Firstly, as a feminist, I am well aware that there are other issues to be concerned about.

As the LFN says:

"Are you sick of the normalisation of pornography in our society? Do you find it distinctly un-funny and not ironic in any way when you see young girls wearing tee-shirts with slogans like 'Future footballers wife' or 'supermodel in training'? Are you fed up with seeing shelves full of porn when you pop to your corner shop for milk or buy a paper at the station? Do you despair when you hear that the pay gap between women and men is still around 20%? Does it make you outraged that there are more licensed lap dancing clubs in Britain today than there are Rape Crisis centres? What do you think about the fact that today only 1 in 20 rapists are convicted, compared to 1 in 3 in the 1970's? Do you wonder why we talk so much about sex in our society yet never seem to talk about sexual violence? Does it make you mad that 1 in 3 girls are sexually assaulted before their 16th Birthday? Do you wonder why nobody ever asks what right men have to buy and sell sexual access to women's bodies, rather than simply blaming women who work in prostitution? Do you think its disgusting and shameful that every night over 5000 young people go out to work on our streets in prostitution? Do you wonder why we don't criminalise those men who assume a right to buy another human being? Are you tired of seeing the same old stereotypes of women in our media and stick thin models in our clothes stores and adverts, do you think this is linked to the fact that over half of size 12 girls describe themselves as 'fat'?"

These are just some of the other issues I am concerned about.

But, just because I chose to write about leg-shaving and PONDER about it, doesn't mean to say that I'm pathetic, or that my blog is.

I have EVERY right to feel, think or say what I choose to."

Mitch said...

But you didn't respond to his points. Its laughable, he has it stated on his site. What you just did is post a string of events that weren't even referenced or researched. I think you should answer what Fred said, you know, about the rape shield laws and vawa. Just read what he said, sheesh you wimmin are hard to reason with.

Phlegmatic said...

mitch, shut the fuck up, just seriously, shut the fuck up. Ive seen all you and youre little friends moan incessantly about the same thing; "Those femcunts, they cant take an argument! Wah wah wah!". You cant have a discussion with someone who not only believes they are completely in the right ALL the time, but also repeat the same poorly worded shit over and over again. Its not possible. Its like shouting at a brick wall. Thats why you sit there on your little sites complaining about how "femcunts" wont argue with you. A) You CANT have a proper discussion and B) Your not worth having a proper discussion with! You all have spent more time whinging about how your "amazing points that own this arguemt" have been deleted, rather than trying to be reasonable and accept different points of view while trying to put forward your own. Instead of doing that, you just pull your "man hating fumcunt" shit that we have all heard ten times already!

Again, maybe amy would be more inclined to listen to some of your “reason” if you actually fucking had any. Now fuck off back to your sites and whinge about it some more will ya?

Anonymous said...

Phlegmatic in all honesty you didnt even read freds post either. Go to his blog because he replicated it. He also did an article called facts; why i'm right, and that shows why you and your other harpies are wrong.

Amy said...

Since it's my blog I can respond to whatever the fuck I feel like.

I can delete whichever comments I choose to.

So far I have been pretty damn liberal about it.

But it's getting to the point where I'm considering getting all censorship like on your arses.
Why?
Because you're just posting on here, and you're not at all open-minded or anything.
And some of you are just throwing insults or being childish, and generally using cheap tricks.
It's just not cool.

It's pathetic.

So, I wasn't specific in my response. Big fucking woop.

It doesn't matter at the end of the day, because whatever I say will be ignored by you anyway.
And that's another reason why I'm considering censoring comments.

Which I am not particularly keen on doing, but hey, if that's what I have to do, then so be it.


"Wouldn't you agree that complaining about trivial matters, such as 'shaving your legs' and blaming the 'Patriarchy', is rather pathetic?"

No, it is not pathetic.
Simple as.

You know what is pathetic?
Using terms such as Femcunts.
I mean, what the fuck.
From what I've seen of his blog, most of the posts appear to be just knee-jerk reactions to feminist posts and achievements.
I think that's because he feels threatened by feminism.

"Femcunts- just admit it- you have nothing to complain about yet your femcunt PMT forces you to whinge about utter bullshit"

Well, I think I included a list of VALID reasons to be angry about in my response.

Phlegmatic said...

Actually anon, I have seen it. The mighty Fred looks like he dismisses most points by claiming that its "no hardship" and its "not oppression". Thank god we dont all have Freds logic, in that any point ever made should be dismissed if its not top of the list in hardship and oppression.

Fred, like most of his mighty manfriends, seems to also add the idea that he is RIGHT, and thats all there is to it. That amy's post about womens ingrained pressure to shave their legs is worthless, for no other reason than because its not a world shaking problem, and simply because he disagrees with it.

He hardly brought up any hard reasons to dismiss amy's points did he? Most of his post was filled with this puerile shit "Femcunts- just admit it- you have nothing to complain about yet your femcunt PMT forces you to whinge about utter bullshit".

No, I dont think Freds point are of any significance. I think hes just some misogynistic prat, who gets kicks out of shouting out his “infallible” logic on womens issues.

Amy said...

Thanks Phlegmatic :)

You know, my mind is currently BOGGLING at just how strongly all these trolls/MRAs, whatever the kids call them nowadays, about female body hair removal. And how outraged they are at someone questioning it. And then going on about how I'm "complaining" and "ranting".

i wasn't saying "MEN ARE BASTARDS. THEY MAKE US SHAVE!!!"

I was examining some possible reasons why women might shave. Personally, I believe these reasons to be true. I don't expect most other people to believe me. Especially not any of these trolls. But we know why that is.

I wasn't saying "ALL WOMEN MUST DITCH THEIR RAZORS NOW! BE HAIRY!"

Hell, i mentioned something about freedom of choice, and how that is the way it should be, in an ideal world.

Yet, they feel so threatened.

Phlegmatic said...

"Hell, i mentioned something about freedom of choice, and how that is the way it should be, in an ideal world.

Yet, they feel so threatened."

Exacty, its deconstructing something and looking at it in a way where it would benefit everyone.

Generally I think the reason they feel so threatened is they dont like the idea that women should choose something they may not find attractive. That they would cease to become something for their viewing pleasure. The idea that if someone wants to do something they feel comfortable with, they shouldnt be dirided or stigmaized for it probably doesnt even come into their heads.

Amy said...

Exactly phlegmatic, exactly!
You got it in one!

Thank goddess for people like you :)

xxx

Amy said...

I deleted one fucking comment by accident.

And to be honest, I could give less of a fuck about you, you're a pathetic excuse of a penis-owner, and I won't dignify any of your bullshit on your hate-spouting, puerile blog by commenting on your blog.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU, FRED, ADD FUEL TO MY FEMINIST FIRE

:)

A Canadian Liberal Against Feminism said...

"And I don't give a fuck if you or society disagrees."

"That is part of what I was talking about. Women who don't shave get comments and stares, because they are not conforming."

This is a total contradiction. You do care. You care a lot. Why?

Phlegmatic said...

Well, I cant say Im surprised. Just the sort of little boys behaviour I would expect from you Fred X. And "out of context"? I merely took a peice from the post you yourself backed up in case it was deleted, and suggested maybe comments like that, and lack of any valid and reasonable points against amy's post was why your post was A) deleted and B) was completely baseless in this "discussion" in the first place.

And now you want me to go running over to your "turf" where your "posse" has your back right? Laughable since you and Fuckwit Scum (sorry that’s Femenist Scum) brought the trolling posters here with their worthless comments in the first place, many of which no doubt had to be deleted. Im merely here sticking up for amy’s blog, and the excellent points she made on the subject. Because I consider myself open to other opinions, ya know maybe because I think with my brain and not, ya know, my cock.

"LOL" - Fred X

And to answer your "challenge" no I wont go over to your blog, as I feel anything I needed to bring I have and will do here. Perhaps you’ll think me a coward, but Ill still be mature enough not to indulge in little boys games.

Amy said...

I don't care about what people think of me as an individual, hairy legs or not.

But, the concept of judging people for choosing to have hairy legs, or whatever... THAT irks me a bit.
Because, how are we a tolerant, equal, liberated society, if we judge people for their appearance, or how they choose to have it, when let's face it, it really doesn't affect other people.

So, it's a bit different, in my way of thinking anyway.

Amy said...

Actually, for the record, I have only deleted two comments here.

One, which was my own. I was a tad bit tired.

T'other, was Fred's, but I left all the other bile up. And t'was an accident. But nevermind.

A Canadian Liberal Against Feminism said...

"Because, how are we a tolerant, equal, liberated society, if we judge people for their appearance, or how they choose to have it, when let's face it, it really doesn't affect other people."

Nonsense. Whoever said we were a tolerant society to begin with? A substantial portion of how we judge people is based on appearance alone. If I shave my head, people judge me. If I walk around without a shirt on, people judge me. If I wear a swastika, people judge me (maybe I'm Tibetan...). If I put on a shirt and tie, people judge me. If I wear a powdered wig, (maybe it's Halloween?) people judge me. If I walk out of the house in all of my natural beauty (read: naked), I'll be arrested and people will judge me.

Judgment based on appearances will always be with us, at least in some form. The direction may change, but judgment is part of what we are. That doesn't make it right, but it does give me license to express my particular preferences without shame. And if that extends to a preference for shaved legs, then that's my prerogative, just as it is your prerogative not comply.
It's not patriarchy, and it's not contempt for your body. It's a preference. Just as I'm certain that you have your own preferences too.

Amy said...

Meh, I'm British, and over here we always claim to be tolerant, while our media drums up moral panics about Eastern Block immigrants, and the youth, bla bla bla...
so, I was quoting the British press with the use of the word "tolerant".

But that's what I'm saying. Over here in the West, we like to pat ourselves on the back and say, yes we do have civil rights, we are democratic, bla bla bla bla.

But the actions of our society says otherwise.

Meh.

Feminist Scum said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Lmao you and fred kick ass femscum.

Amy said...

"Amy, are you a lesbian by the way?

Oh, and Fred X says she should go and finger her best friend Phleg. "


Wow.

Now that IS mature.

(Now, since you REALLY don't come across as the most intelligent of person, ahem, I feel it is my duty to tell you that I was being sarcastic.)

And not that my sexual orientation should be of any interest to you, and is totally irrelevent, despite your childish assumptions, I am hetero.

Phlegmatic said...

Preferences and judgements based on appearances are one thing, but when people comment on them sometimes maliciously, thats completely different. You like women with shaved legs? Thats fine, all you need is a woman who likes shaving her legs. amy doesnt like shaving her legs? Thats fine too, and all she needs is a man who doesnt mind, and accepts and respects that as her own choice. I think what you have brought up there hasnt gone against amy's argument, its actually aided it. amy mentioned as you did, peoples preference for certain things, except she added that people shouldnt be judged on those preferences, which is what our patriarchal societies do. And thats what we have a problem with. And like amy said, why should we give a fuck if were judged, and even more so, why should we have to sit there and take it? Something which you found contradictory apparently.

Phlegmatic said...

Yes thats it, go on giggle like good little children on your own blogs, with your pathetic insults. As long as you stay there, we wont have to put up with your inane and idiotic bullshit which is easily dismissed in any real discussion, only your all too fucking stupid to realise it.

Feminist Scum said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phlegmatic said...

"femskanks censor us because they know we'll win."

You stupid fucking prick, the above comment is the EXACT reason why your censored you dumb fuck. Its because youre no fucking use in a discussion! Get that drilled into that cock you use as a brain, right?

Feminist Scum said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Feminist Scum said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A Canadian Liberal Against Feminism said...

"But that's what I'm saying. Over here in the West, we like to pat ourselves on the back and say, yes we do have civil rights, we are democratic, bla bla bla bla."

Well, you seem to pay far too much attention to the media. Journalistic integrity never survives first contact with the all mighty dollar.

I still don't hate your body, and neither does teh "patriarchy" (tm). It is you who appears to have some unresolved feelings that run somewhere between your desire to be free of societal pressure, and your desire to be attractive to men. You care. And you know what? You'll feel a whole lot better about yourself when you accept yourself for what you are.

You are woman, and by your statements one who enjoys the admiration and company of men, but doesn't like the trappings that go with shaving. What you don't like is that society has made it an "either, or" dilemma for you. You want their attention with no strings attached, one of feminism's biggest lies tries to tell you that you can have it both ways. It's pretty well guaranteed that you won't get the attention you crave from what you consider high-caliber men unless you comply with their particular preference-you can sacrifice your time in order to gain their attention. You could compromise, and accept a few flaws in the men you seek attention from, and you probably will receive some male attention regardless of whether or not you shave. Or you could go the feminist route, and do whatever you feel like at the moment, totally eschewing men altogether, but this will not satisfy your desires for male attention.

Whatever you choose, there's nothing wrong with men, they will still be men at the end of the day. You want out of this dilemma? Start by accepting that you want male attention. Realize that male attention comes with a price-tag. Consider what you're willing to sacrifice to get male attention. Feminists will tell you that the price is too high, and perhaps they are correct, maybe it is too high, but this will not bring you any peace. You will still want male attention, and no amount of rationalizing will make that go away. And finally, accept that there's always a cost associated with your actions, and while the choice is yours, do not blame the consequences on us. Either you can have the right to self-determination, or you can have absolution of responsibility, but you cannot have both!

Phlegmatic said...

Just like I said, its like shouting at a brick wall. There is no point in this, as you always THINK you’re right and even pointing this out does nothing. Once more for the simple futility of it: maybe if you approached these subjects with something more of an open mind, people mind be more inclined to discuss these things with you. All you’re arguments do is infuriate people with their sheer pointlessness. That all I have got to say to you on this, as talking to you is a waste of time and energy, since you’re head is up your arse you’re just surrounded by shit, and don’t even seem to care let alone notice.

Feminist Scum said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amy said...

Umm...
I don't really see it like that.
You're making assumptions about me, and telling me how I'm feeling, when it's just not true, and THAT gets me mad.

"by your statements one who enjoys the admiration and company of men". Please, this isn't me criticising or tearing your point down, but please remind me where these statements are, because I don't remember them. Really.

I do not personally CARE if I am attractive to men or not. In the past, yes I have. I suffered from really shitty self esteem.
But, no more.

I personally LOVE my body. I LOVE being me. I personally think I'm attractive, BUT I am NOT conventional looking, I don't think. I'm more of an acquired taste I guess, but I like that. It makes me feel good about myself, in a way.

I LOVE, by the way, how NATURAL my body is. Hair on legs and all. I love my imperfections, as well as the more attractive parts.

And so I am confident with myself. I have a good personality. And I don't have any problems with attracting a guy I want, hairy legs or not.

I HAVE accepted myself the way I am. So don't you tell me that I haven't.

This post wasn't so much about me. Since I choose not to shave my legs. It was about POSSIBLE reasons WHY some women DO shave their legs.

And I know that women can't exactly have it all. But that's not feminism lying. It's really not. I would go into it, but I have other stuff to say. But, it's partly because feminism hasn't achieved ENOUGH yet for women to have it all.

I'm NOT saying that there's anything wrong with men. I haven't fucking said that. Don't put words into my mouth that I didn't say.

The feminist route isn't about eschewing men. That is the seperatist feminist route. Don't just generalise.

Feminist Scum said...

Also, you've been challenged by Fred on his blog, and I know for a fact he NEVER censors. You have your freedom to prove him wrong, so go and damn well do it.

Amy said...

O, I am sorry, but "Feminist Scum"...you are REALLY beginning to piss me off now.

I will delete your comments, because you're just getting to be really nasty and childish, and I'm really not in the mood to deal with any of your bullshit.

If any of you fuckers don't like it, well fuck off.

Feminist Scum said...

You should be thankful, I'm the one who brought all of this attention to your blog.

Amy said...

Well, you and your friends do add fuel to my feminist fire.
You just make me realise how stupid some people actually are.

And I don't like deleting comments, but some of your comments really did over cross the line. And it's not as if I haven't been warning people. I've been pretty damn fair.

Feminist Scum said...

Amy, actually, you have been pretty fair, well compared to the usual femcunts who love censoring, so props for that. (Although you did not delete Fred's post by accident)

So to avoid getting banned, even though I don't like to do it, I will tone down my language. Now back to the original post of yours. You have been challenged by Fred to go over and have a good debate with him. How about you go to his blog, and have a proper debate?

Amy said...

I know how this may look, but I have decided to decline.

Like I said earlier (however, I have paraphrased, toned down the language, since that is what you have done) "I won't dignify anything of what you have to say on your anti-feminist blog by commenting on your blog." (Talk about paraphrasing!!!)

The thing is, I'm not trying to convert you, or Fred. For one thing, it is quite clear that our views are too polarised, and a debate would be futile and turn ugly. I have better things to do.

I just don't feel that you, or Fred, are being at all open-minded, or even really listening (well, more like reading, but y'know what I mean) to what I'm saying.

The thing is, my mind is still boggling as to why this particular topic has so outraged certain people, and it seems to have got to the point where the topic originally discusses is no longer the topic anymore.

A Canadian Liberal Against Feminism said...

"but please remind me where these statements are, because I don't remember them."

Perhaps I read into your comments a touch more than was immediately obvious. Since you asked, I'll elaborate.

"And by the way, I am hetero. Could y'all stop using stupid stereotypes and assumptions, that because a feminist doesn't shave her legs, she must be a lesbian."

Here, you emphasize your heterosexuality. You could have simply ignored the comments, but chose not to. This points at least in part, to your subconscious desires. Granted, I'm sure that you also wanted to accomplish what you stated, but there was more to it than that. No need to second guess yourself, but it does tell me something about you.

"and why are you letting people comment here who are attacking you, amy let alone responding to them?"

Indeed why?

"Because they have a right to free speech, UNTIL they cross a certain line."

Ostensibly true, but that doesn't really answer the question. We could happily discuss this on our own web-spaces, making the issue of freedom of speech irrelevant. Yet we are here, and you are doing relatively little to discourage us. Either way, your second comment reveals something more.

"Plus, they're funny.
Makes me laugh.
Ah, trolls. Funny tings."

So I have amused you have I? You've posted a number of comments which in their own way have encouraged further commentary. The fact that your still at it, indicates that you're enjoying the personal attention. And there's nothing wrong with that.

"Sorry to be such a threat an' all! ;)"
"Unless you feel threatened. Or something."
"Yet, they feel so threatened."

What exactly gave you that impression? I certainly couldn't care less about women do to their legs. I have my desires, but they're mine, and mine alone, and I don't feel a particular need to share them with you, or anyone. These statements would seem to be antagonistic in nature, you are provoking a reaction from us, and getting what your subconscious wants.

"I do not personally CARE if I am attractive to men or not."

Yes you do.

"And I don't have any problems with attracting a guy I want, hairy legs or not."

Why assert it if you don't care? You care. You're trying to see this as me finding fault, which I am not doing. There's nothing wrong with caring about your appearance.

"I HAVE accepted myself the way I am. So don't you tell me that I haven't."

Perhaps. I'm not so easily convinced.

"And I know that women can't exactly have it all. But that's not feminism lying. It's really not. I would go into it, but I have other stuff to say. But, it's partly because feminism hasn't achieved ENOUGH yet for women to have it all."

You've contradicted yourself in the same paragraph. "I know that women can't have it all." okay. "But it's partly because feminism hasn't achieved ENOUGH yet for women to have it all." *sigh* No matter what feminism manages to do to men, it won't happen. Feminism collides with reality. This should be fun.

"I'm NOT saying that there's anything wrong with men. I haven't fucking said that. Don't put words into my mouth that I didn't say."

I beg to differ. Do you call yourself a feminist? I assume you do, however, if you do not, then I will graciously admit that I have made an incorrect assumption, and offer you an apology.

But.

Since I'm reasonably certain that you do call yourself a feminist, then I must point out that I haven't put words into your mouth at all. Andrew Dworkin, Catherine MacKinnon, Marilyn French, Linda Gordon, Robin Morgan, and Simone de Beauvoir have all been putting words into your mouth for decades longer than I've been alive. If you don't like people speaking for you, then you should loose the label, and speak for yourself. You may not want to accept it, but they have, and this is strongly reflected in law.

"The feminist route isn't about eschewing men. That is the seperatist feminist route. Don't just generalise."

No need, the law does so for me.

I'm glad your self-esteem has improved, that's positive. But you still haven't managed to answer my question, what does the patriarchy get out of lowering your self-esteem? Compliance? To what end? What do we get out of it?

Amy said...

"And by the way, I am hetero. Could y'all stop using stupid stereotypes and assumptions, that because a feminist doesn't shave her legs, she must be a lesbian."

Here, you emphasize your heterosexuality.


I do that because I hate stereotypes, especially those pertaining to feminism and feminists. Yes, I did wonder at the time whether I should just ignore the comment, due to its irrelevence, but, the stereotype thing.

"You've contradicted yourself in the same paragraph. "I know that women can't have it all." okay. "But it's partly because feminism hasn't achieved ENOUGH yet for women to have it all."

Ah, yeh I see what you mean there. I mean, currently women can't have it all, because feminism hasn't achieved enough.

I beg to differ. Do you call yourself a feminist? I assume you do, however, if you do not, then I will graciously admit that I have made an incorrect assumption, and offer you an apology.

But.

Since I'm reasonably certain that you do call yourself a feminist, then I must point out that I haven't put words into your mouth at all. Andrew Dworkin, Catherine MacKinnon, Marilyn French, Linda Gordon, Robin Morgan, and Simone de Beauvoir have all been putting words into your mouth for decades longer than I've been alive. If you don't like people speaking for you, then you should loose the label, and speak for yourself. You may not want to accept it, but they have, and this is strongly reflected in law.


Yes, I call myself a feminist. But, there are many different strands of feminism, many different opinions. I may have some common belief with many of these feminists, but I do believe each feminist has his or her own personal feminism, which is influenced by their own experiences and whatnot.

So I have amused you have I? You've posted a number of comments which in their own way have encouraged further commentary.

No, you haven't amused me. Your responses have been mature, eloquent, and whatnot.

I have posted comments, because certain things have triggered responses from me.

I'm not condemning you for your preferences. I realise that there are some women who prefer to have shaven bodies, I just wonder whether this is because it is the norm in our contemporary society. If it wasn't the norm, would they, and would you, still prefer shaven legs and bodies?

But you still haven't managed to answer my question, what does the patriarchy get out of lowering your self-esteem? Compliance? To what end? What do we get out of it?

I found this bit hard to articulate, which was why I wasn't particularly expansive in my post. I may expand on it a bit more another day.

But while, our legs are shaven and resemble pre-pubescence, and while part of this is for male attention, male objectification, and while the maintainance of the perfect feminine appearance, and the concern and worry of it all, takes up women's time and energy and whatnot, women will be seen as more vain and narcissistic, even less threatening (to the accepted norms of society at least), bla bla bla...
Well, like I said, it's hard to articulate.

Phlegmatic said...

Canadian Liberal, you have been quite civil compared to your Friends Fred X and Feminist Scum, so Im not eager to cross over to open hostility again. However, I do find your somewhat "know it all" attitude irritating. I can see from your blog you are in the exact same vein as your friends, but go about it with a little more reason.

What I mean to say is you are also being somewhat contradictory here, in that some of the comments made on your own blog are absent of any of the reason you seem to want to convey here. I just dont think you should be so quick to try and take the high ground.

Again Im not trying to be outright hostile here, and its not my blog either, but I still feel that way. Lets not forget you and your friends have come here with all the hostility, and I think you should take a little bit of the responsibility for that.

Yet another anonymous here is a perfect example....

A Canadian Liberal Against Feminism said...

"Ah, yeh I see what you mean there. I mean, currently women can't have it all, because feminism hasn't achieved enough."

Fair enough as far as your response goes, baffling when the idea intersects with reality, hence my comments about a feminist lie. Before I start with my exploration of this idea, I would like to know from a self-professed feminist what it means for you to "have it all?" Moving on, for instance: Any given person has a finite amount of time during the day. To some degree, we see that supply of time as our possession, one which must be spent. We concern ourselves with spending the time well, since action or inaction are irrelevant, the time will flow, and eventually we will die. We concern ourselves with spending the time well, so that we will not lament poorly spend time. As an aside, I believe that this may the whole theory behind a prison, to force a person to spend their time poorly. Anyway, we all choose the way to spend our time in the way that we see the most benefit. If I want good health, I must devote a certain amount of time to the maintenance of that health. I might enjoy sitting at home and watching movies more than exercising, but I much prefer making a partial sacrifice of my time to dying of a heart attack at a young age. I can't have both in full, I can only have pieces of both. I also may want to spend my time watching movies, but I also must devote some time to working for money which will allow me to live. I prefer working for some wealth, to being poor. I can't really have both 100% leisure, and 0% work. I prefer changing the flat tire, to being trapped in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps I would prefer it if someone else would change the flat tire, and that way I wouldn't have to do any work, but I would still prefer being home than being stuck in the middle of nowhere. I can't really have both, nobody can.

"Yes, I call myself a feminist. But, there are many different strands of feminism, many different opinions. I may have some common belief with many of these feminists, but I do believe each feminist has his or her own personal feminism, which is influenced by their own experiences and whatnot."

Again, very nice in theory, absolutely bunk in practice. Society has become plenty misandrist and nothing but. The radicals are running the show, and as long as they do, they will always speak for feminism. Perhaps there really are a multitude of voices in feminism, but the one which shouts the loudest is the only one that society hears. And for the past twenty years at least, that voice has shouted nothing but the hatred of men. This is something only feminism can fix, but since most are unwilling, the task fall to the Men's rights movement.

"I'm not condemning you for your preferences."

Okay, I can accept that. I did however detect a hint of scorn, but I can drop it. I would suspect that many feminists however, would condemn us for our preferences.

"I realise that there are some women who prefer to have shaven bodies, I just wonder whether this is because it is the norm in our contemporary society. If it wasn't the norm, would they, and would you, still prefer shaven legs and bodies?"

I don't know, but I don't think it's an either or question. The ancient Egyptians used to shave all their body hair for health reasons, and something I didn't know about Islam: it's apparently recommended to remove your body hair. I think it's more complicated, and probably pretty personal too than a question of social norms.

"But while, our legs are shaven and resemble pre-pubescence, and while part of this is for male attention, male objectification, and while the maintainance of the perfect feminine appearance, and the concern and worry of it all, takes up women's time and energy and whatnot, women will be seen as more vain and narcissistic, even less threatening (to the accepted norms of society at least), bla bla bla..."

So... It gives us license to hate you? I find this rather odd, and it's probably hard to articulate, because it's hard to understand. I think your interpretation is a little off, but I'll leave it for now, it bears more thought.

LC_Vega said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phlegmatic said...

And this is the same piece of shit that screams about how feminists ban him for being such a fuck stain? He really should take away that extra ten years he has added to his profile, even though a thirteen-year-old writes better than he does, and as such is an insult to them. I hope you ban all these little fucks amy, because Im surprised you have had the perseverance to tolerate their shit until now.

Let them stick to their own sites where they can make up shit about how men are oppressed by society, so they can feel better about themselves and their worthless shitty lives and their cause which will never make an ounce of fucking difference. That is if they actually have a fucking cause beyond childish trolling.

Anonymous said...

Phleg, I thought you'd like that tribute. And please keep your erection down my friend, it'll bang into Amy's arse if you're not careful.

Phlegmatic said...

Sounds to me like youre the one with the erection "anonymous" (though I doubt all these MRA's have that many visitors, Id bet its the bloggers themselves). And what a disappointing sight that erection of yours must be, eh? Is that why youre here, now? Perhaps because you are angry that you are.... lacking in that particular area. Though I shouldn’t bother arguing with you, if not for the reason that Im on amy’s blog, then the reason that you might actually make me more stupid simply by interacting with you. Have a bad life will you? You deserve it.

Laura said...

One again, FredX and co undermine their own movement more and more with every word they spout by making men look like a bunch of ignorant, agressive, immature little whingers.

Delete them, they're pathetic.

lexy said...

i don't see how leg shaving is about women expressing their biological differences from men. women's leg hair is different from men's leg hair, true, but it definitely exists. there are many differences between women's bodies and men's bodies, but none of those differences is that women don't have leg hair - we do! why not admit to it?

Amy said...

Lexy, your comment confused me a bit.
Possibly because I have pretty much only just woken up and haven't had any coffee yet.

I'm not saying that women don't have body hair whereas men do.
Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you said, but I'm saying this male=hairy, female=hairless divide is socially constructed by internalised beliefs and socialised norms about how women should be.

Laura - you're right, they do completely undermine their argument, if you can call it that.
I have deleted some comments, for being so out of line, and completely irrelevent to the topic.

Anonymous said...

Amy
I like reading your blog. The people banging on about leg-shaving are wasting your time, though. They don't appear to take on board your remarks (and on this particular topic you were making a tentative exploration, it seems to me, yet they have jumped on you like a ton of bricks.) I'd like to hear more of what you have to say, on this topic and on others, but I hope you won't let them take up all your time on this diversionary tactic. It would be fine if they came up with valid comments or if they genuinely wanted to join with you in an attempt to understand the patriarchy which oppresses men and women, but from what I read of their remarks they are limiting themselves to en bloc insults and generic red herrings just to divert you and keep you from your own thoughts while they oblige you to answer their log jam comments. It's damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don't the way they play it - if you answer them they generate more spam and if you don't they insult you or accuse you. Therefore, don't feel guilty about closing the topic and moving on with something else if you wish, don't feel obligated to answer everything they say, in my opinion it's just a wind-up, they're taking advantage of your good nature.
Joy

Amy said...

Aye, Joy, I agree with you :)
And thanks.

Yeah, I really did get the feeling that they hadn't read my post at all.
And if they did, they didn't have the knowledge of feminist of theory to understand it. Because, it wasn't a post for Feminist Beginners. Ah well.
And I didn't mention the word "oppression" either, so psch.
I'm moderating now, so it's all cool :)
x

Milky said...

I don't shave my legs simply because I'm too lazy. Sometimes I'll do it just because I'm bored in the tub, or I use it as an excuse to stay in the tub longer. I never thought about shaving as a form of control though. My boyfriend doesn't really care that I don't shave (he says he can't feel my hair, or my shaved legs, against his own hairy legs anyways). I get shit from my sisters, my (girl)cousins, my aunts and girlfriends because of my hairy legs, unwaxed eyebrows, etc. In my opinion, it's not only men that set these kinds of standards for women to adhere to, it's also women too.