Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sure, it's a hairy job, but we really oughta do it...

We are always grateful to the women at Broadsheet for keeping us up to date on the really interesting, humorous, and sometimes horrifying, stories that women need to know about... whether we want to or not.

This particular story could almost encompass all of those attributes all by itself... but we would like to consider taking it further... much, much further.

First, anyone who has spent anytime at all reading Broadsheet's comment threads-- as I have-- is well aware that, in addition to the women one would expect to find, quite a few men frequent them, as well, including those who most relish complaining about Broadsheet's very existence. (Oedipal? Beats me.) Anyway, although it's a broad spectrum of male types-- from the ones you might like to know, to your brothers' friends, to former lovers who broke your heart, or whose hearts you broke, and yes, to those guys that creep you out-- one can still predict which topics will rouse the most heated online debates.

During the discussions on parenting & gender roles, one learns that a surprising number of men are very angry that they do not have the same options that women do when considering whether or not to become parents, and in fact, some of these very men have spent significant hours of their time trying to draft potential legislation or templates for contracts that would allow them "some say" over the bodies into which they deposit their sperm, regardless of marital status. (Which is why I first had this still-beng-developed thought. See?)

The most vociferous discussions, however, have been reserved for-- what else?! -- women's bodies, our grooming or lack thereof, weight, size, shape, muscle tone, breast size & perkiness, butt cheekiness, and the degrees to which each of these attributes are affected by pregnancy and childbirth... and most importantly, our body hair! To be more precise, we'll refer to it as monstrous body hair because, apparently, a full-grown woman with hair growing from her body in all of the usual places is truly monstrous to many, many men. (To those of you who really couldn't care less, our deep appreciation!)

So, what does this weird, yet oddly appealing, ad campaign that plans to use hairy women to arouse male perceptions of grossness, in order to shame them into shaving, have to do with furthering our aims at Lyssa Strada? It's just tangential, because frankly, most men and women in relationships manage to negotiate their own acceptable, if only tolerable, levels of hirsuteness. So, the notion of encouraging groups of women to such levels of grossness, merely to affect the grooming behavior of individual men does not seem very compelling, when the goal is just to get the men to shave, or in this case, really, to buy a new razor. Besides, we already know, even if Gillette does not, that many men will often fail to make those crucial cognitive connections between their own "perfect male bodies" and their "completely realistic" expectations of their girlfriend's or wive's bodies. Think of George Costanza feeling entitled to date a super model. Got it?

But, what if we really up the ante, to something that truly is worthy of such levels of grossness? What if-- instead of threatening to withhold sex to get men's attention; instead of restricting the use of our uteruses to bear men's children only to have them become cannon fodder; instead of taking professional sports teams hostage by storming the sports stadiums, in order to get men to make significant political and social changes, beginning with ending the war-- what if we use as a stick, that which men most fear-- our grossness, i.e., our unshaven legs and armpits, untweezed brows, too, if you like-- in order to motivate them?

In order to motivate them to end the war. To cease the killing of innocent civilians, including women and children and old men. To cease allowing other men to use women's bodies as weapons of war by committing ethnic cleansing, when they're not allowing genocide.

Wouldn't you think that our grossly hairy bodies would finally be enough grossness to allow those men who don't see it yet, how truly gross the world appears to so many of us now, and how much psychic energy it takes just to get up and start anew each day, and how we have to compartmentalize our feelings-- i.e., act like men, just so we can function, and do our work, and attend to our families-- and how exhausting that is?

Don't you think they'll finally "get it", and more importantly, finally begin to change what they have been doing wrong in the world, if we finally gross them out?


Blogger Thursday Next said...

Not unless every single woman on the planet does this and the men begin to see that "au natural" is "a la mode" and there are no other choices.

As long as men think there is another woman who is a "choice," they won't give in.

But then, I am used to being treated as though I am invisible anyway. So I might be biased.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Thursday Next said...

And then there is this comment:

"Lysistrato of Stubble

My girlfriend forgot to shave her pussy for a few weeks.

It was horrific, so I refused to put out for her until she depilated "The Never-sated Beast", as we call it.

After the stubblies were removed, all was well with the world once again.

Keep Briny shiny, ladies, and you'll get a lot of attention!"

Hard to tell if it's sarcasm or not. One shudders to think.

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Genital shaving, for both men and women, resolves the terribly annoying interruptions occasioned by the errant hairs caught in the throat.

4:41 AM  
Blogger Teru said...

Ooo! So now I can use my anti-war stance as an excuse for not shaving my pits? Cool!

The smooth, prepuesent women vs hairy, macho men thing was something I mentioned in my audio blog a couple weeks ago (May 11). I prefer coming at it from a standpoint of pit hair being dainty :)

5:56 AM  

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