(The title of this post is based on a poem by Alix Olson called Armpit Hair (Mammally Factual), which I highly recommend.)
I’m trying something new. I’m growing out my armpit hair.
It started simply enough. I decided that shaving is a nuisance (I’m thinking my legs will be the next to become engulfed in hair), and my partner told me that my armpit hair was fun. The more I think about it, however, the more benefits I see to being hairy. I’ll save money that would have to be spent on razors. I can take shorter showers, saving time and preventing water waste. Other, more personal social benefits haven’t eluded me either: Being hairy is an easy way to ward off unwanted sexual advances after my partner moves.
I’m not saying this will work every time. Different people like different things. But I’ve been thinking about this and I see some connection between the state of mind that allows people to treat women like objects not worth respecting, thus creating an atmosphere in which people feel free to make unwelcome advances, and the whole “Holy shit, hairy pits! AH!” attitude.
Not that women should have to do anything to keep creeps at bay. They should be left alone if they don’t appear interested. But it’s nice to think that while I’m busy trying to challenge the socialization that creates unrealistic beauty standards for women, that my armpit hair can do some good and help me stay focused.
- The Lonely Death of Shannon Wilsey by Thomas March 11, 2008
- On Sex & Compromise by Jaclyn July 20, 2010
- Men Who Take Their Partners’ Names by Thomas April 29, 2008
- Nonmonogamy and Feminism: A Happy Couple by frau sally benz August 14, 2009
- How to Create a Feminist Burlesque Scene by Anna August 31, 2008