A question of shaving one’s pubes

I’d like to know: are there any women out there who shave their pubic hair for the sole purpose of their own self-fulfilment? Or is it something that you just do for the guys in your lives? Or do you do it because people say a hairy vulva is gross and disgusting? Or is it just the normal thing to do? What is the reason?

I’ve done it a couple of times and on both occasions, I regretted it afterwards. The first time I did it, I was about eleven years old. The hairs had only started growing out and I think it freaked me out and I may have done it in an attempt to revert back to prepubescence. I don’t know. I was a silly child. It fucking itched like hell though.

The second time I did it was because I realized that people thought a girl with pubes was disgusting and hilarious. I saw cartoons online with cruel depictions of women with pubes. I read exaggerated descriptions of women who didn’t shave and the adjectives used were so hurtful. Naturally, I thought my body was weird and I sought to rectify the problem at the earliest opportunity. Again, I didn’t do it properly, i.e. if there is a proper way of doing this shit, and again it itched like hell. The pubes also grew back rapidly, much faster than leg hair, and the resulting texture was extremely coarse because of how thick pubic hair strands are. I decided after that, that shaving just wasn’t worth the trouble no matter how fucking gross people said it was. It was just too much work for too little rewards. And plus it itched like crazy and the texture of the pubes growing back out the next day crawled my blood.

In order to maintain a hairless vulva, one would have to do it pretty often and I’m guessing one would have to take her time doing it so that she wouldn’t hurt herself. Is it worth the time and effort? Are you really doing it for you? And it doesn’t even feel good. Aesthetically, I don’t like how it looks. I guess some women would probably think it looks cool. To me it looks somewhat childlike but more like a plucked chicken or something. I prefer the hair any day. Not that I care too much. I don’t adore my pubes, but I don’t hate them either. I’m pretty indifferent to them actually, however their absence freaks me out. But they do serve a purpose. I think they prevent dust and other foreign particles from getting up there and they keep periods from spilling all over the place. Well that’s what my PE teacher told us. I don’t know how true that is. I’ve never ever actually been shaven while I had a period. But think about it. Hominoids gradually evolved to become less hairy than our primate ancestors. They lost much of their hair from all over their bodies, save for the head, armpits and genitals, over time. Maybe the reason why natural selection hasn’t done away with our pubes is because they do serve a purpose.

Anyway, I’m not at all judging anyone. I’m not in a position to judge others seeing that I do some pretty questionable things myself. But I will say that body hair on women, particularly pubic hair, is NOT unclean, weird or disgusting. It grows on all women and evolution left it there for a reason so please don’t let that be the reason why you trouble yourself with removing your pubes and please don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I’ll get into the implications of porn culture and beauty expectations some other time.


What IBTP taught me

I’m sad that Twisty has stopped writing IBTP. This was the blog that taught me about 80% of what I know about feminism. This was the blog that caused me to shift from the liberal school of thought to the radical school of thought. This blog really opened my eyes and made me see things that had never occurred to me before. It made me sceptical about everything and the category, “men hate you,” made me see the truth about men and what they really think about us. This blog changed my entire view of the world and myself and the word, “choice.”

I read the blog so often, (a few times a day), that eventually I developed my own feminist voice and could put into words things that bothered the fuck out of me. I could opine on things before they were even written about on the blog. When they did appear, I often had similar well thought out opinions like the other feminists who commented, which brings me to the discussions on this blog – I learned so much from them. I learned about the lives of other women from different walks of life and different social backgrounds. I grew more sympathetic to mothers. I became exposed to perspectives of what it was like to live in utter poverty with no safety net below you. I came to understand racism and privilege. I realized that marriage can never, ever have a fairytale ending, something which still pains me to accept to this day.

This blog helped me develop my understanding and voice. I have a lot yet to learn but I’ve learned a hell of a lot from this blog. I’m sad that Twisty isn’t going to write it anymore. As she stated, she was starting to repeat herself, and a lot of things still haven’t changed. I guess it’s time for her to start enjoying her own life, full time. Writing about patriarchy is a depressing endeavour especially when many of the oppressed are aware of their oppression and the systems which keep them in place, but still participate in their own oppression. I speak of myself of course and my inability to stop fussing over my looks among other male-serving things.

I will forever be grateful for what Twisty did for feminism. The fact that she has moved on to other things has made me realize that it’s not OK for me to continue with the way I’ve been going, using the excuse of, “I’m young,” to justify my stupid choices. The world isn’t going to change if we continue perpetuating crap even though we know it’s crap. She’s still writing, but I will miss her funny take on misogyny and society’s acceptance of it.

We all need to continue what Twisty started and we all need to start practising what we preach and we can’t all wait till we’re post-menopausal to do it. We have to start NOW.

Choosing the Right Handbag for your Body Type

I’m thinking about buying myself some suitable version of the handbag to throw all my shit in but I don’t want to waste my money on something which turns out to fall short of my needs and expectations i.e. it must be able to carry all of my shit and must fit comfortably on my shoulder. I can’t emphasize more how important comfort is to me. Then it also has to be durable, not too large, not too small, not too brightly coloured so that if it gets dirty, it isn’t so obvious. So I just did a Google search of “choosing the right handbag for your needs.” The first two sites which came up were entitled, “Choosing the Right Handbag for your Body Type.” These were two independent sites and were obviously directed towards females whose first priority when it comes to any functional tool or item is obviously its aesthetics and how it will look on them. The third site was directed towards the males and the contents of it were essentially about choosing the right bag for a man’s various needs. They mentioned style as well but the function of the bag and the things it was suitable for carrying were the most important aspects of the selection process.

A handbag can “make or break” an outfit, apparently.

This is how it is. Women are encouraged to focus on the aesthetics of an item and how it looks on them rather than what the item can do for them in terms of function and comfort. This is how we are portrayed and brought up. We spend a large chunk of our time focusing on our faces, clothes and hair instead of thinking about what we can do as people, as instruments of change. We invest large portions of our time thinking about how sexy and beautiful we can be instead of thinking about how amazing we can be in terms of what we can do for ourselves, others and the world.

Men meanwhile are encouraged to focus on the functions and uses of an item, with the appearance of it being an afterthought or not mentioned at all (with the exception of their stupid cars – *eyeroll*). This is also how they are encouraged to see themselves. As children and then as adults, their capabilities and talents are treated as the most important parts of them. Their physical aptitude at outdoor activities are celebrated. Their intelligence is praised. Their much celebrated ability to achieve goals which have nothing to do with how they look also happens to be a legitimate and wonderful means of personal fulfilment and joy. Their physical appearance is for the most part an afterthought or at least, isn’t treated with the same level of importance as their other more useful traits. The opposite is true for women.

Women are brainwashed by society and the media and fucking relatives, to chase after beauty and sexiness in the quest for fulfilment, an endeavour which is sure to fail since the moment you have the audacity to feel content with your appearance, another advertisement or magazine cover knocks on your door to remind you that you do indeed still fall short in some way. That is, if you still value your appearance as an important aspect of yourself. If you don’t, then beauty standards shouldn’t have an effect on you. But it’s a difficult thing to detach yourself from when your appearance has become a significant part of your identity. We are taught to seek fulfilment in something which can never bring us happiness.

So it’s handbags, clothes (which are often impractical and uncomfortable), shoes, hairstyles and sadly even our bodies. We are trained to focus on the insignificant parts of them rather than the most important part of them – their uses to us.

[Image obtained from here.]

I don’t want to be the kind of Feminist

..who only feels inspired to write posts about feminism when other feminists have pissed her off because they’re apparently doing it wrong. I don’t want to be the kind of feminist who only feels inspired to write when she sees some shit on facebook that one of her female acquaintances has posted. I don’t want to be the kind of feminist who feels like clobbering one of her female friends or colleagues on the head when she hears her bashing other girls or explaining oh-so-informatively why girls are actually inferior to guys with respect to logic, psychology and emotions. I don’t want to be the kind of feminist who in a fit of rage writes an essay about how much she hates girl-hate and girls who girl-hate. I don’t want to be the kind of feminist who feels intense hatred for girls who try to explain why girls are horrible friends to have and male friends are so much better. I don’t want to be the kind of feminist who only feels like writing when she is forced to endure interaction with girls/women who have internalized misogyny to such an extent that they are willing to throw their dignity, pride as well as their own girlfriends under the bus just to get some pitiful scraps of approval from some inconsequential, pathetic guys.

And yet I am that kind of feminist. And I seem to have internalized misogyny as well. I hold my female colleagues and feminists to higher standards than the rest of society so that if they say one fucked up thing, I jump all over them with anger. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to tear apart a man the same way I’ve wanted to tear apart a woman for saying something misogynistic. It’s like I expect men to be fucking assholes – I’ve stopped expecting any kind of decency from them. I simply don’t care for it anymore. But when a girl says some shit, I can’t bear it. It’s like they’re betraying their friends, their sisters, the people who actually care about them just for some approval from men who don’t give a fuck about them and I can’t stand it and I have to let them know it.

I have no excuse for being like this. The above is not an excuse but an explanation for why I feel infuriated when girls bring each other down for not being sufficiently appeasing to men and the patriarchy. But an excuse and an explanation are more or less the same thing in my book, so who am I fooling? I can’t go holding girls to higher standards than men because doesn’t that kind of make me an oppressor too? We’re all trying to survive in this world which is governed by systems which privilege some over many, many others and we do this in various ways. Who am I to fucking judge? I’m going to try to not be so judgemental in the future. Let’s see how long it will last because I can’t just turn my anger off like a switch. And when I’m angry, I need to vent and writing is my outlet. It will be a slow process but I’ll just have to try.

Reconciling the Subordination of Women with Feminism

I am twisting my brains into knots trying to figure this question out: how do some women who have some kind of feminist awareness reconcile their feminist beliefs with their religions? I can’t think of a single religion which isn’t inherently sexist. Islam and Christianity are both at best patronizing to women. Christianity does no favours for women. It insults us early on in the very first book of the Bible, Genesis. It’s because of a woman, evil first entered the world, right? The much touted New and Improved Testament says that god is at the head of man and man in turn is at the head of women which is why it is an abomination for men to cover their heads in the presence of god but an utter necessity for women to cover theirs. Covering one’s hair according to Christianity has every fucking bit to do with upholding the status quo of who is in charge of whom. It is entirely symbolic of our second class status and has fuck to do with modesty.

I don’t know how Christian feminists can read this fuckery and be all fine and dandy with it. Some even go so far as to claim that Jesus was a feminist! I mean really, you all? Really? The guy came down here preaching his message of peace and love, shit we already know. While humans are famous for killing each other and whatnot, we’re social animals and it is love and our willingness to cooperate and show compassion for each other which has partly contributed to the success of the species and the evolution of the hominoid species known us Homo sapiens. The people in Jesus’ day didn’t need the much redundant “love and peace” message hammered into their heads again. There were certain oppressed groups, however, that urgently needed Jesus’ help but he didn’t speak up much for them. These were the slaves and women. I think he told the slaves to be good to their masters or some useless, insulting shit. This really lowers my opinion of Jesus, let me tell you. While slavery and oppression of women are still being perpetuated today by humans, there are other humans, particularly women who are using their own brains and hearts to fight these things. They devote their lives to ending oppression and they are the real heroes, if such things exist.

What about dear old Islam? I’ve already ranted so much about Christianity and Jesus that I don’t really have the energy to go on about Islam. But I’ll at least get this out: Islam doesn’t do any favours for women either no matter how much Muslim Feminists try to insist that it is an inherently feminist religion. It says to honour your mum more than your dad or before your dad or something because of the great role she plays in your life but our mothers don’t need that patronizing bullshit. What they need is for the responsibilities of parenthood to be equally shared between both parents because it is fucking hard for one person to handle all that shit on her own, no matter how much you praise her for it. At the end of the day, praise does little for a burnt out woman’s soul. Institutional change with respect to gender roles would make a hell of a difference though.

Islam also says that men are the protectors and maintainers of women instead of giving women what they really need which is the right and ability to protect and maintain themselves. An economically independent woman is a hell of a lot more safe than a woman who lives at the mercy of a man. Why give men so much power over women, Allah? Why would you do that? What do the holders of power tend to do? Yes, they abuse that power while another suffers. The other thing is that women wouldn’t need the protection of men if we didn’t live in constant fear of men. You entrust men with the power to protect and maintain women and the right to their wives obedience which is incredible power, but you can’t say outright not to fucking hurt us? There is a fine line between a man commanding a woman within his rights and a man abusing those rights, yet those rights and that power are his and you trust that he won’t abuse these things. But you are positive that there will always be men who hurt women, who won’t be able to control their urges when it comes to women. You are positive that men can’t control their urges but at the same time you believe that they will be able to resist exploiting their wives so you’ve given them rights over them. Does anyone else see the contradiction?

Men are expected to control the urge to exploit and abuse the services of their wives (although it is so easy in Islam) but when it comes to sexual urges, it is expected of women to be accommodating of their lack of control. Like I really don’t understand, Allah. There is also a lot of gender essentialist views in Islam which are of course necessary to justify the ridiculous gender roles in there.

With all that said, I have to say that Islam and Christianity are not really that different from each other. The Hijab and beard might make Islam seem like it’s a completely different religion from Christianity but it’s not. A lot of the same bullshit pops up in both religions.

So anyway, that was my question and this is my rant. I am perplexed by women who defend these woman hating belief systems to the death, especially when these same women are critical of every other thing worthy of scepticism on Earth but their religions.

Sometimes I need reminding

Whenever I read the comments that a lot of guys leave at the end of feminist videos, I often end up asking myself,

“why do I want to find love again?”

“why do I waste my time dreaming of someday finding “the one” again?”

“why do I even like men again?”

And lastly,

“why couldn’t I just be a lesbian?”

Maybe living a life separate from men, an idea which so many feminists are terrified of even contemplating, isn’t such a bad idea after all. Clearly men don’t think much of us anyway and an essential part of male sexuality is apparently viewing women as sexual objects which lack those characteristics which make one human such as emotions, thoughts and opinions. An essential part of male sexuality according to the nearest men magazine to you is thinking of women as mere masturbatory devices.

I don’t need that kind of shit in my life. I’m happy with myself. At least I think I’m human and I take a pride in my humanity and in my thoughts and feelings. My opinions and thoughts are who I am. I fucking adore myself.

I don’t need some person to give me worth. Especially a person who regards me as an accessory or appendage to him. A thing he sometimes finds useful. A thing he’ll soon grow tired off and need to replace.

I’m not someone’s useful device. I am a complete human being.

Today’s “hot” might be you..

But not tomorrow’s. If you choose to define your body according to men’s opinions, that is.


Who’s hotter? Us or Them?

I saw this picture on facebook, a while ago, and immediately became annoyed with it. A lot of boys and girls were responding positively to it but there were obviously some negative comments coming from girls who were “naturally skinny.” The comment section ended up being very long and filled with arguments between girls who belonged to either of these categories about who was actually hotter, with the occasional comments from guys who tried to cheer up the hurt parties by telling them that they actually thought that X was pretty hot also and not to feel too bad about themselves.

This is the problem that I have with the picture – the idea that women should feel good about their bodies based on the opinions of men. The ever changing opinions of men I should say.

This is my response: Women should feel good about their bodies regardless of what men think. Men are fickle. They change. Their opinions change and what they consider to be beautiful regularly changes. Are you really going to let your self-love and convictions of who you are rest on the opinions of idiots? It isn’t a nice way to live and your self-esteem is going to be very fragile, because one day they’ll be calling you hot and the next day they’ll be calling you a cow or a scarecrow depending on your size. You’re never going to be truly happy with yourself when you try to live up to the impossible ideals of others. So don’t allow these pictures to make you feel bad or give you an ego boost. Instead you need to consider how insulting it is that men think that we can only consider ourselves beautiful if they reassure us that they think that we are pretty first. They can rest assured that we don’t need them for that. We’re perfectly capable of coming to our own conclusions about our bodies without their assistance, thank you very much. This is the first thing that should come to mind when you see a picture like this.

The second problem that I have with this picture is that it divides women. In the comment section below the picture there was so much bickering between girls about who was actually hotter. There was also a lot of skinny-hate and accusations of girls starving themselves in order to be that skinny. The skinny girls in turn had many rude things to say to the self-professed thicker girls. But a lot of wise and wonderful things were also said, the gist of which was that neither category of girls is hotter than the other. We’re all beautiful regardless of our size and we have to be happy with ourselves and who we are without bringing other people down. Furthermore, are we really going to let the opinions of men divide us when they are one of the main causes of the insecurities that women collectively experience? Women have so many things in common with each other with respect to our lives in a patriarchy. Most of us have painful issues with self-worth which are closely tied to our experiences with men. Is it progressive to fight with each other over the little scraps of approval that we can sometimes get from men? Or is it more progressive to listen to each other and to try to understand each other’s lives? I think it’s the latter. You’re not the only woman who has been shaped by many, different experiences in her life. You’re not the only woman with complex emotions, who responds in various ways to different situations. You’re not the only woman who is a human being. Other women are not as black and white as society, culture, men and even some women make them seem. We’re all complex creatures, and it is beneficial for us to start listening to each other instead of competing for worthless compliments from men.