Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gender-based Insecurity

As a postmodernist, I don't take labels very seriously.
Sometimes a label is an effective one-word protest at hegemonic ideas, and as such proves some use to me. Feminism is my label du jour.

Here are some things I do which can be affiliated with my version of feminism:

a) I don't shave my armpits, legs or genital area.

Why? Because I find the hair on these parts of my body acceptable. It serves the purpose of protecting me, grows naturally and, having tried shaving, waxing and even plucking, have decided that it's not worth the time. 

b) I don't wear make-up.

c) I watch non-aggressive porn on the Abby Winters site.

d) I blog about gender equality, contribute to discussions in various online spots where feminism-minded individuals congregate.

So if I examine how these relate to each other...

I watch pornography of women whose bodies are mostly hairless. I blog about not wearing make-up. It's refreshing to see women in porn without make-up, but alienating to find they have had their natural body hair removed. Apparently the most desirable kind of female body is still modified. I want to live in a world where women are encouraged to feel good about the hair they come with, grow into. I don't regard hair as some unwanted and unseemly sprout which I must meticulously conceal the tendency to hold. And yet, the mentality that women should go to all lengths to achieve an unnatural look which makes them more attractive continues to erode our collective self esteem. I'm not just talking about women's self esteem, but also men's. For what are men to think when they see women changing their natural states to cater for perceived male desire? It means that men are conditioned to desire the scrutiny which women subject themselves to. They are taught to find it valuable in a woman that she stigmatise a part of herself that she can't help but possess. They are taught to exacerbate the neuroses of the women who grow into them. It's a system of mutually enforced gender-based insecurity. Isn't that awful? But it can change, you know. If you want to know who can be an agent of change, look in the mirror.

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