Scorpio Risen

A rant about leg shaving

Posted on: 7 April, 2007

I’m back from Hamburg now, and so here’s a new post…

Over in Hamburg, it came into conversation with my friend Paul, that I hadn’t shaved my legs, or applied any other hair removal method to my legs, since November. Paul seemed shocked, and I detected a hint of disgust and sneering in his voice when he asked if it was part of a “feminist protest”.

My refusal to shave is partly due to laziness on my part, and partly due to my resentment of patriarchal pressure to de-nude my legs, and to go against their natural perogative to grow hair. If I am to shave again, it will bloody well be on MY terms, and FUCK whatever anyone else thinks about the hairy state of my legs.

He went on: “But don’t you prefer the feel of freshly shaved legs”.
I replied: “Actually I like the feel when they’re hairy.”
(It’s true, I do. I like stroking them. I was, in fact, admiring the hair for quite a while yesterday.)

I wish I could have been a bit more articulate, but often, I think of the best things to say too late after the matter.

So, Paul – and other males who may think to ask women who don’t shave if they prefer the feeling of shaved legs and whatnot – Don’t YOU prefer to feel your legs after they’ve just shaved?
No – you don’t shave your legs?
But, it feels so nice to have shaved legs!
Why don’t you shave YOUR legs?

You know what it is, don’t you? It’s called double standards.
Yes, yes, yes, I know, I know, men often shave their faces, and some men are beginning shave, even wax other areas. Well good for bloody you, mate.
Women are expected to shave/wax/whatever their underarms, their mons, their legs, and any other area where it is deemed socially unacceptable to have hair there.

For fuck’s sake, it is WOMANLY to have hair there. Sure, it’s not FEMININE, but femininity is socially constructed, as is masculinity.
Body hair is NATURAL.
And why is it that society hates female body hair so much? It’s just as natural as male body hair, which is often seen as a sign of virility, and manliness. It’s seen as disgusting, revolting, repulsive for a woman to have body hair.

That’s called double standards, you fuckers.

I love my body. I love my stretch marks along my hips from when they widened (haven’t got pregnant and given birth, I swear! :P), I love my belly – yes, it’s a belly, not a toned, slim stomach – I love my body hair, especially on my legs. My body is in pretty much a natural state. Sure, every so often I might use a touch of hair removal cream on my armpits (which is pretty ineffectual to be honest but meh), but, other than that, there are NO hair removal processes going on.

You know, a few weeks ago, I was going out with some mates, and I was going to wear a dress. I considered shaving my hair off, but I actually couldn’t go through with it. I’m damn proud of my leg hair. Maybe I will one day shave, but it will be on MY terms, like I said.


3 Responses to "A rant about leg shaving"

I hope you had a great time there!

And good job on sticking up for what you want. I dont care about women not shaving their legs myself (something that shocks some people, who probably think I have some weird kind of leg hair fetish) because I am of the opinion that since I dont HAVE to shave my legs if I dont want to, being a guy, why should women HAVE to shave their legs, or be frowned upon regardless of whether they want to shave or not.

Here from Carnival of the Feminists.

I’m another dedicated non-shaver. Good for you. I went through a really neurotic period in my late teens where I shaved everything, but now I can’t be bothered. Razors are too expensive, and my flaky coordination can’t be trusted. I’ve spastic quadriplegia, which means that in my case, I’m pretty much totally able-bodied, but my hands will twitch at the worst possible moment. A razor nick under the armpit or in the crotch is a special form of agony.

This is how I deflect the “man-hating feminist” criticisms, although I am a (non-man-hating) patriarchy-blaming radfem, pretty much… “My hands twitch! I gave up shaving because I kept cutting myself! Do you like it when you cut your face shaving? No? Now imagine that under your armpit or in your crotch.” (I blame the patriarchy.)

Works like a charm, really. 🙂

I’ll admit I wax – everything from the waist down. Why, because I like the smooth feeling. But I’m freakishly opposed to shaving. If I can’t afford a wax, I will shave my legs every couple of months (but only from the knees down and always with a sense of guilt that I’m doing this because its expected.

Waxing I can accept as being my choice. I like the way it feels (well atleast from the day after its completed) and I like the way the hair grows back in softly. The complete opposite of shaving where it grows back in itchy and stubbly with a day or so.

But even yesterday I got a weird look from the beautician when I didn’t want to book my next appointment then. No, I’ll leave it till I want to be waxed again. If I’m going to choose the most painful hair-removal technique there is, atleast it could be on my terms, right?

But its never really, completely on my terms is it? The fact that I feel more feminine when my vulva is bare? Its far from natural for a grown woman. I’m not about to stop doing it while I like it, but I can’t ignore that this preference is still part of a socially constructed view of what is feminine – usually in ways that are unnatural or causes limitations or pain to the women attempting to conform.

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