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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

I'm posting this on here because I hope you'll agree with me

107 replies

MarionCole · 22/05/2011 17:37

DSD lives with us. It's her 15th birthday today and her mother has bought her a Ladyshave for her birthday.

This upsets me. DSD was mortified when she opened it. If DSD decides that she wants to conform to the expectation that she should shave her legs, then surely that is for her to decide in her own time?

Or am I being unreasonable?

(I would never actually post this in AIBU because I suspect most MNers would tell me that I was).

OP posts:
bigbumum · 22/05/2011 17:42


She was likely mortified becauseshe was embarrased about every one knowing she has hair!
She is likely to be very influenced by peer pressure and is HIGHLY likely to be bullied for having hairy bits, tis a normal passage of teenagerism...

SardineQueen · 22/05/2011 17:51

Confused @ embarrassed about everyone knowing she has hair?

I am interested that OP assumed shaver was for legs and first respondent assumed that it was for genitals.

Also interested that anyone would think 15yo girls would be showing each other their shaven genitals and bullying ones who weren't shaved.

What is the world coming to?

I think YANBU BTW. Personally I think that if a girl decides to shave, pluck, or wax whatever bit then it's up to her to instigate it by buying the stuff or asking for it. I don't think it is right for people like parents to instigate it.

AuntieMonica · 22/05/2011 17:58


the gift that keeps on giving eh?

what a message to send, yup, time to admit all these things that have happened to your body lately, it's made you need to do something about it.

maybe she'll get a boob job for her 16th Hmm

catsareevil · 22/05/2011 18:07

Maybe she had asked her mum for one, and was just embarrased to be opening it.

I would have assumed it was for legs/underarms. Does that make me really out of touch with teenage grooming habits? Grin

SardineQueen · 22/05/2011 18:08

Good point re she might have asked for it.

What do you think OP?

WowOoo · 22/05/2011 18:10

Perhaps safer than a razor too.

I remember using my mum's razor for the first time and cutting myself bby accident. Think I was a similar age.

Don't be upset for her. It means she's growing up which is sad/happy. Hopefully she won't want to use it for some time yet.

mrsravelstein · 22/05/2011 18:13

i would definitely assume she had asked for it, as it's a pretty unusual present otherwise. and anyway hasn't your average 15 year old girl already been shaving her legs (or deciding not to) for about 5 years already?

YummyHoney · 22/05/2011 18:15

Crikey, what's wrong with that? Do you think she should walk around hairy then? How will she ever get a boyfriend if she has hairy legs/armpits. Don't think there are many males around who LIKE hairy women.

So, yes, YABU.

Prolesworth · 22/05/2011 18:15

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YummyHoney · 22/05/2011 18:17

Are feminists hairy, then? Confused

WomanOfMassDestruction · 22/05/2011 18:19

And, they're crap too...

At 15, I'd be surprised if she weren't already either shaving or depilating in some way. I'd imagine she either asked for it or her mother is fed up with her borrowing hers (if that makes sense).

Not saying it's a good present but most people do conform to the stereotype and her mother may not even consciously realise that she is conforming or doing anything that would cause comment.

If I'm being really honest (and I suppose I should be) it does rather look as if you're making something out of nothing.

ZZZenAgain · 22/05/2011 18:21

I think removal of hair (wherever she is supposed to be using the ladyshave...) is something she has been talking about with her mum but maybe she was embarrassed to open it with other people around watching

frantic51 · 22/05/2011 18:22

"first respondent assumed that it was for genitals." Where? I must be going senile because I've read the first respondent's post three times, slowly, and I can't find any reference to genitals! Shock

MarionCole · 22/05/2011 18:27

She definitely didn't ask her for it. In fact, her mother asked her at Christmas if she wanted one and she told her she didn't. They're not close enough to have that kind of conversation, I don't think.

I'm glad I'm not in the minority here. By my logic, if she wanted one then she has the means and the opportunity to get herself one. It's not for us to tell her that she should. In reality she's very blonde and the hair on her legs is barely visible.

OP posts:
SardineQueen · 22/05/2011 18:28

"bits" is a fairly common word for genitals

And I can't imagine anyone would think that it was embarrassing for another person to know that they have hair growing on their legs or armpits. Even when I was a fairly frequently embarrassed 15yo, the thought of legs or armpits didn't cause even a pink glow. Genitals OTOH a different matter...

That's how it read to me anyway.

ellodarlin · 22/05/2011 18:29

Maybe she was embarrassed at opening such a personal thing in front of other people and a bit pissed off/disappointed that her mother got her such a crappy gift.

SardineQueen · 22/05/2011 18:29

And people show their legs and pits - people would know whether she had hair or not IYSWIM, especially family. Genitals OTOH you don't really show around the place.

I thought it was quite clear?

ZZZenAgain · 22/05/2011 18:30

well I assumed it would be for her legs tbh

SardineQueen · 22/05/2011 18:31

(Who's going to tell yummyhoney that all sorts of men are in fact very happy to have sex with women who aren't plucked like chickens?)

AyeRobot · 22/05/2011 18:33

I completely understand why you are Hmm about this, MarionCole. The idea that a woman's natural body hair is something to be got rid of gets drummed in pretty early. I know I tried to shave my legs before I was 12 and made a right hash of it. I got a kindly "you're too young" talk from my Mum and went about my business hirsute for a number of years after. And this was the mid 80s. I don't even remember my legs being commented on by anyone else, I just thought the hairs looked disgusting because they were many and dark. After the "resisting femininity" thread and having a good old think about the whys and wherefores, I am much more casual about hair removal.

Do you know why she was mortified? I would imagine that some 15 year old boys might be embarrassed at opening a shaving present in front of family too. At that age you don't really want personal stuff out there in a public space. Or any age, really.

MarionCole · 22/05/2011 18:36

She was, as you suggested, mortified to have personal things like that out in the open. When there is a 4yo brother wondering what it is.

OP posts:
Shallishanti · 22/05/2011 18:38

s'right, SQ

sign here all mn'ers who are
a) hairy
b) in a sexual relationship with a man

and, OP, I would say YANBU, if as you say she has said she didn't want such a thing. Some women are too keen to make 'friends' of their daughters which ends up them initiating them into 'feminine' ways- shopping and twittering on about makeup.
Sorry if that sounds miserable, but have observed it when poor girls are still at primary school! Shock

mrsravelstein · 22/05/2011 18:41

so basically her mum doesn't know her very well, and bought her a misguided present? it doesn't sound incredibly upsetting though.

AyeRobot · 22/05/2011 18:44

Aww, poor kid. It's really tough figuring out all that becoming an adult stuff and what you want to accept or reject with, what seems at the time, all the world watching.

Spectacular insensitivity from her mother. And some weird shit on the thread from YummyHoney.

celadon · 22/05/2011 19:03

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