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?