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A victory for patriarchal standards of beauty

(421 Posts)

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bonsoir Sun 19-Jan-14 08:54:30

Calm down! Hair removal is for yourself so that you look / feel more beautiful for you.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bonsoir Sun 19-Jan-14 08:58:11

It's not healthy or useful to blame the patriarchy for every dilemma smile

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dementedma Sun 19-Jan-14 09:00:45

Barely arsed to brush my teeth and maintain personal hygiene - the standards we expect of men.....

Well, how about we discuss gender stereotyping in more detail????

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VoyageDeVerity Sun 19-Jan-14 09:02:59

I don't think we shave for men as such do we - it's about how we feel and look. I am a feminist and don't understand how body hair relates to the patriarchy.
Interesting debate and I wool like to hear someone genuinely explain to me the reasons why body hair is a feminist issue.

diddlediddledumpling Sun 19-Jan-14 09:03:32

How can you be certain that your feeling about hair is influenced by the patriarchy? Smooth legs feel much better to me too. If it feels inside like complete personal agency, maybe it is? In this case.

Timetoask Sun 19-Jan-14 09:03:48

You are very lucky!
Unfortunately I inherited the hairy gene!!!! Grrrrrrr.

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EdithWeston Sun 19-Jan-14 09:04:48

I wouldn't toss in the term patriarchy on this either.

Appearance, and what is deemed acceptable/normal/attractive/quirky/ugly/creepy etc, is very much a social construct and varies between cultures and over time. The influences are not just from one gender.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Norudeshitrequired Sun 19-Jan-14 09:13:22

But who decided that hairless bodies are the more normal or attractive? I know plenty of men who prefer some hair on their women, particularly in the pubic region.

EdithWeston Sun 19-Jan-14 09:13:57

There is more to expectations of appearance than depilation.

And a patriarchal explanation doesn't account for all historical eras (look at Regency - actually anything before death of Prince Albert) nor does it cover class, sexuality or culture.

The comparison between a groomed metrosexual man and a hairy kilt wearer shows how variable appearance can be. And I'm ready to bet that anyone reading this made all sorts of assumptions about those fictional examples just from a few words of description.

Norudeshitrequired Sun 19-Jan-14 09:14:46

Waxing is becoming more common in younger men as they too like the smooth look and feeling of hairless legs and chests.

DirtieBertie Sun 19-Jan-14 09:15:35

Verity in really simple terms, hair removal can be thought to be a feminist issue because men aren't expected to remove as much of it as women are. So it takes women more time and effort to maintain expected standards.

I'm not sure that is true. Slap a bit of removal cream on in the shower once a week (or however often it is). If the hair is getting out of control, wear sufficient clothing to cover up. Women also have a lot of choice ie shaving, cream or various types of waxing.

Unless they choose to have a beard, men are expected to shave daily and at a specific time, the morning, to avoid stubble in order to look smart. I think they actually have a tougher deal than women in that department.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MorrisZapp Sun 19-Jan-14 09:18:28

I don't think you can tell people how to discuss this, sorry.

Every working morning, my DP boils a kettle, stands at the bathroom sink, and applies a lethally sharp blade to his face. When he's dressed, he then ties a 'noose' round his neck that makes him feel like he can't breathe.

His work requires both of these as basic standards of smartness. He doesn't bother with either at the weekend.

I can't say I envy him.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DirtieBertie Sun 19-Jan-14 09:22:32

On a personal note, leg and armpit shaving is the one "beauty" thing I do. I don't wear make-up, dye my hair or remove my lady garden. Other than the fact that shaving my armpits keeps me a bit less smelly, in all honesty, I am not sure what my motivation for it is.

plantsitter Sun 19-Jan-14 09:24:40

I don't think making a personal decision about your own appearance is a betrayal. You're a better feminist example if you're comfortable with yourself (and in this case your legs) than if you act for the sake of other's opinions or for an external cause.

There are loads of things women do every day that they're conditioned to do by the patriarchy, many of which they couldn't stop if they tried.

I think if you work towards the bigger things like sexual equality at work and so on, the legs will follow...

DirtieBertie Sun 19-Jan-14 09:25:07

As you are all free to reassure me that shaving my legs is fine and a completely free choice, that I've imagined my belief in patriarchy's role in policing women's personal grooming and that actually men have things much worse.

Your original argument concentrated on women having a worse deal on hair removal. If you had couched it more in terms of personal grooming as a whole, I think you would have had a very different response.

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