February 17, 2014

"Yet here I am, month in and month out, dropping my pants for a stranger, letting her slide hot, green, organic wax along my vulva, around my labia..."

"... and across my lower abdomen with a thick, pale wooden popsicle stick just so I can feel 'clean.' How can I subject a part of my body with such a complicated narrative to this hedonistic ritual and still call myself a feminist?"

Key word:
  
pollcode.com free polls 

102 comments:

Saint Croix said...

You forgot "pants" and "hot."

Sam L. said...

And "All of the above."

Renee said...

I choose the word , ritual.

The privilege to have a stranger perform such an act.

It's like getting your hair colored at a salon. Who can really afford the luxury, unless you're affluent.

Mike Roark said...

My goodness. What a sad comment. Doesn't seem that feminism has been helpful for her.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Organic, see? Cause they put it on her organ.

How the hell can you tell if wax is organic or not anyway? Do you just take some cosmetician's word for it, or is there an Organic Wax desk at the USDA? Can you demand to see the Certificate of Organicness? This is some important shit.

YoungHegelian said...

A "hairstyles" tag??!

Well, after a fashion, I guess.

Henry said...

To me the key word was to hover over the link and see "www.salon.com"

Kind of a double-meaning there, but that's a URL where "never mind" goes to die.

YoungHegelian said...

“Can I actually be doing this for myself if it’s part of a heteronormative structure?” asks Sarah, 28, who identifies as a lesbian, has a long-term female partner and works in social services with the LGBT population in New York City.

One really has to be a Party apparatchnik to talk this way, and not burst out laughing at one's own pomposity.

Amichel said...

I think the real most important word is "narrative".

FuzzyFace said...

This was an interesting line in the article:

"I asked women and those who identify as female whether they groom and what their vulva waxing routine is"

I had expected "those who identify as female" to mean folk whom those of us not appropriately feminist-enlightened to call "men who think themselves to be women" - so how do they have vulvas?

n.n said...

She protests the naturiarchy as she slips into a self-indulgent, homoerotic coma. Fight the Order!

MathMom said...

Crikey. She has WAAAAY to little in the way of real problems if this is what worries her.

Feminism has never held any interest for me, because I lived in Saudi Arabia for 11 years and I never saw Hillary or any "feminists" come try to help those women get out of the bag, be permitted to drive, be permitted to choose the man to whom they would be married (not sold by their fathers), and not have their genitalia mutilated to prevent them from straying.

All this woman obsesses about is pubie waxing? Give me a break, and get a life. Do something important, for someone else.

Chuck said...

I knew somebody would beat me to it.

(x) "Salon"

Birches said...

Hot was my key word too.

Just can't do it.

Renee said...

She has a female partner, and they don't help wax each other?

Jupiter said...

"How the hell can you tell if wax is organic or not anyway?"

As someone who worked very hard to get 2 B's and an A in Organic Chemistry, I can assure you that wax is organic.

wareagle69 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, I missed "narrative."

Sorry.

There were so many food answers.

wareagle69 said...

What about just leaving things natural down there. Seemed to work OK for centuries

I don't understand why women want to look like pre pubescent girls, but hey I'm a man so what do I know.

Ann Althouse said...

Narrative adds credence to the concept of vagina monologues.

Jupiter said...

"First, I am a feminist; I claim to do this for myself, not my long-term male partner, or anyone before him, or any societal expectation. Second, the only times I ever got Brazilian waxes, removing almost all pubic hair, were during the year and a half in college when I was deliberately celibate and only my hands, my vibrator, and my full-length mirror saw my crotch. Third, I am a survivor of rape."

I nominate "long-term".

tola'at sfarim said...

Are we allowed to question the negative body images promoted by the illustration at the link?

NotquiteunBuckley said...

I choose "her."

There is a movie with that name so I am smarter than M. Dowd.

The misandry, assuming a woman should slide her hand around the interesting- looking areas of hair, instead of assuming he or him or her or etc. makes me feel worse than deathly ill and able to comment further on this matter.

tola'at sfarim said...

Is it mandatory for Salon to mention George Zimmerman? Is it part of some seo plan?

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Well I thought I was unable to comment further but I was wrong and know am correcting The Official record (aka Record).

Christy said...

I went to a sadistc esthetician for years. I didn't know it wasn't supposed to hurt so much until I switched salons - and I'm just talking facial hair. I can't imagine the pain a sadistic esthetician could inflict on more delicate parts.

SOJO said...

I know an obgyn who says that about 35 and below, like clockwork, no pubes, zero. 35+ = pubes. He said that 3 years ago.

Ever since then I've been vaguely worried about offending my female obgyn if I don't happen to be freshly "groomed", but I have bigger, erm, fish to fry right now.

I don't see anything feminist or non about it other than the totally bald mode started of, by, and for porn and so it's a little disturbing to see 11 or 12 yr olds default to it.

And bald guys - don't get me started.





Titus said...

I do a sack, chest and crack wax quarterly. Yes the positions I get in are degrading but afterwards I feel abs fab. I have also done the "hitler" mustache and landing strip but feel most comfortable in the total wax.

Gigi, my waxer, has 5 stars on yelp too!

thankfully, I don't have back hair.


And it only cost like $800.00

waxed hog.

Titus said...

The area of the hog is required to be pruned.

Who wants to suck on hairy balls?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I wonder, does she keep her pubic hair in Cameron Diaz's new book?

ironrailsironweights said...

Can someone teach me how to tie a hangman's noose? Thanks.

Peter

Gahrie said...

denial.

mccullough said...

I voted hedonistic because the ritual doesn't sound hedonistic. Maybe she was going for irony. Irony is the shackles of youth.

EDH said...

They provide a full menu of face, body and bikini waxing services for women, men and teens at insanely affordable prices, especially for New York City. Women’s bikini waxes range from $21 to $47, depending on the amount of hair removed. To compare, at Berenice Electrolysis & Personal Beauty Center on the Upper East Side, bikinis start at $85.

With all the hints about her progressive political orientation, she doesn't seem too interested in finding out whether her inexpensive wax is at the cost of somebody else's "living wage".

William said...

What kind of relationship does a woman have with her waxer? Does it in any way mirror the relationship she has with her hairdresser? I've heard women like to chat and gossip with their hairdresser. Does the intimacy of the act inspire intimate conversations or does that same intimacy cause women to clam up and become disassociative during the procedure? There's so much we don't know about waxing salons.....This is a job that didn't exist twenty years ago and now, in Manhattan, you see such places every two or three blocks. Do people study waxing in cosmetology schools? Do you need a license to become a waxer?....It's probably a difficult field for a man to break into, but I find the subject fascinating and would like to learn more about it.

YoungHegelian said...

Her point of view:

Then Rachel got to college, where she had positive sexual experiences with men who didn’t shame her for her body hair. “To see your beauty through someone else’s eyes first,” she says, “that’s sometimes how it works. That’s one path"

His point of view:

Yeeeee---Haaaah! Pussy!!!!

There is much to be said for sancta simplicitas.

Paco Wové said...

Like Amichel said. "Narrative". Hands down the most telling word. Can't believe you forgot it.

Fen said...

"First, I am a feminist; I claim to do this for myself, not my long-term male partner, or anyone before him, or any societal expectation. Second, the only times I ever got Brazilian waxes, removing almost all pubic hair, were during the year and a half in college when I was deliberately celibate and only my hands, my vibrator, and my full-length mirror saw my crotch. Third, I am a survivor of rape."

Ha, good parody. Well done.

[oh that was the actual quote? facepalm]

Birches said...

ugh. I couldn't even finish it. Such first world navel-gazing.

Fen said...

One day I hope that will go away and we can all choose what we want to [do] with our bodies without a political debate. But alas, such is the plight of women

1st World Privilege tag, when waxing = plight

J Lee said...

Since the writer was obviously trying to promote themselves with this little voyeuristic slice-of-life, the keyword here was "I".

SOJO said...

@William:

Oh the job existed 20 years ago. And if you were Persian or Italian, it existed 100 years ago.

Valentine Smith said...

Yeah narrative was a big miss. The other miss is feel.

I actually overheard one woman use the word heteronormative in a conversation with another woman as they walked by. I laughed because it's just so unusual to hear a 6-syllable word in a casual conversation. My guess is that she was wooing the other. Talk about different strokes.

whswhs said...

The word I always think of when I read about waxing the pubes is "pedophile," actually. I've never understood the strange aversion some (heterosexual) men have to the normal adult female body.

SGT Ted said...

I had no idea her vagina had a narrative.

Valentine Smith said...

Yeah Ted, and it often contradicts the oral narrative.

SGT Ted said...

His point of view:

Yeeeee---Haaaah! Pussy!!!!


OMG I can't breath. LOL.

Pogo is Dead said...

Now I know why women call in sick to work all the time,

Shit, it's a wonder they can get dressed in the morning for all the drama.

I dread their essays on socks.

SGT Ted said...

I've never understood the strange aversion some (heterosexual) men have to the normal adult female body.

There's nothing strange about it.

I don't know anyone that likes a mouthful of hair.

I certainly don't. I always considered the hair something I had to put up with to get to the good stuff, rather than any sort of wonderment.

Do you have hairy armpits or legs?

CWJ said...

Titus@7:55,

Only costs $800.

First world solutions.

How can the East Coast afford to pay East Coast incomes?

SGT Ted said...

Shit, it's a wonder they can get dressed in the morning for all the drama.

I dread their essays on socks


No wonder they go ape shit when we leave the toilet seat down. Right?

SGT Ted said...

Would that be an orificeal narrative?

John said...

Hegelian said "Yee hah-- Pussy!

I think you kind of nailed it there.

If looking at pictures or video, many men may have preferences about appearance.

On the other hand, if we can get close enough to actually touch or taste the genuine article. I don't think most of much care what it looks like. They come in all shapes and appearances and are all good.

Genuine ones, at least. Some dickless men have fake pussies. I can't imagine the attraction to that. It ain't pussy.

John Henry

Pogo is Dead said...

Now I understand, somewhat, Titus' excessive scatalogical interests.

Fen said...

I certainly don't. I always considered the hair something I had to put up with to get to the good stuff, rather than any sort of wonderment.

Also, we're already conditioned to less body hair on women. They have less than us to begin with, and they shave most of the rest.

So the conditioning is: less hair = feminine.

If I wanted to date something hairy and masculine, I'd date a guy.

Fen said...

And yes, if you want sex from me, you'll keep it clipped down there.

Don't want to? Thats fine too. I'll find someone I'm more attracted to.

Michael K said...

"“I think there’s a perception that certain manifestations of patriarchy, like the need for women to remove body hair, wear makeup, etc., dissipates if there isn’t a man in the picture,”

Bullshit. Lesbians get breast implants all the time. I've done a few.

Paul said...

Is she talking about a Brazilian wax on her privates?

Man... that has got to hurt.

But I presume she does this cause she WANTS TO.

But can't they just use Nair?

ALP said...

Birches said:
"ugh. I couldn't even finish it. Such first world navel-gazing."
****************
You are made of stronger stuff than I, Birches, as I could not even bear to start it!

I want to see the article that deconstructs and analyzes the experience of the hair growing back in and how that fits into the feminist narrative.

If you thought yanking it out was painful...

chickenlittle said...

Jupiter said...

As someone who worked very hard to get 2 B's and an A in Organic Chemistry, I can assure you that wax is organic.

I'm sure she means wax of natural origin rather than synthetic wax, from say like Fischer-Tropsch chemistry.

30yearProf said...

I heard some women complain that waxing is demeaning but none that it's uncomfortable. You aren't flashing it on Coney Island, your are doing it because it gives your man (or woman) so much pleasure. Some women forget that humans have 5 senses and all of them should be fully involved in the act of love (of which f**king is only part).

Vision is a major sense. Ladies don't doubt it.

Paul said...

BTW, read the whole article.

So they inspect their privates and admire them. Ok... and WalMart is the problem (along with Zimmerman.. just how he got into a vulva article is beyond me.)

These people are loony as the tunes.

If they really want a bare bottom, just use duct tape regularly, but it's gonna hurt.

Otto said...

Take a look at this witch:
http://www.xojane.com/files/CarolineRothstein_Nuyo.jpg
Can you imagine seeing this face in the morning, even worse seeing her body-ugh.
Time to move on.

Pogo is Dead said...

If you have green organic wax along your vulva, please see your doctor.

whswhs said...

Do you have hairy armpits or legs?

Yes, like most of the other straight guys I know. Are you a straight guy, and do you shave your armpits and legs?

I really do prefer women with unshaven bodies, but I've resigned myself to American customs in this. But I grew up when Americans didn't expect shaven pubes, and I find the natural growth of hair aesthetically pleasing. My theory has always been that if you don't get hair in your mouth you need to be more enthusiastic.

chickenlittle said...

There is an Italian proverb which goes Tira piu’ un pelo di figa che un carro di buoi which translates as "a pussy hair pulls [attracts] more than an oxcart." It means that sexual attraction is more powerful than brute force. Now shorn of its meaning and context, how can the idiom be rephrased?

David said...

No honey, waxing does not make you less of a feminist.

Writing about it does though.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I find it pleasant to consider what a tiny percentage of my fellow Americans would waste ten minutes of their time reading such a pile of silliness.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I don't know anyone that likes a mouthful of hair.

Don't you have thumbs?

Inga said...

"I don't know anyone that likes a mouthful of hair."
--------------------
Don't you have thumbs?

2/17/14, 11:14 PM
---------------------
Chuckle.

Inga said...

Don't make birthday candles out of that used wax, that would be really gross.

rcommal said...

I went with "ritual, " for the poll, since it was only possible to choose one, and therefore only the closest, answer. "Still" would be my second choice and "subject [to]" my third among the options allowed in the poll.

As the options were so limited, so shall I limit my comment beyond that.

Freeman Hunt said...

This woman has put a lot of thought into this.

rcommal said...

Well , as it turns out I am going to say one out of at least 10, or whatever, things I could say.

Back in the day I managed to pay for my own birth control and groom my own privates. I'm just wondering: If not for the regular ritual of paying others to wax one's privates (not to mention eyebrows, and also to do manis and pedis, let alone tats and pierces), would BC be more in financially affordable reach? I'd like to see that discussed more over coffee--preferably made at home, as opposed to purchasing...well, you know.

Whole lot of disingenuous dishonesty out there. Looks like it's getting baked into the cake, fad+trend+spin. Want/option spun into need/norm.

rcommal said...

And, by the way, to the degree that young guys--or any guys--give in to the notion that hair-less is a marker of "clean" they are complicit. So no whining by those guys who are!

rcommal said...

I sent an email to 42 friends from a spectrum of gender and social identities for general suggestions on where to start: I asked women and those who identify as female whether they groom and what their vulva waxing routine is.

Interesting assumptions there. Personally, I find the assumptions there even more interesting than the construct[s].

rcommal said...

“It is amazing how often what happens between our legs and underneath our clothes gets debated.

No, it is not amazing.

One day I hope that will go away and we can all choose what we want to [do] with our bodies without a political debate.

I don't believe that you "hope that will go away" and much less do I believe that you're yearning for a time "without a political debate."

But alas, such is the plight of women.

JC, WTF, LOL. This, in an article in which the writer is going all lamentation over why she, herself, keeps choosing to have some stranger, or however the hell she chose to put it (and do let's remember that she's -***paying*** whatever stranger, not to mention that over time she's likely, at least out of habit and ritual, if not preference, booking her privates-"cleaning" to be done by the same "stranger") take care of her own plight, as a woman. Hair removal!

Everything we do must be discussed and debated.”

Oh, bullshit to the "everything we do must be discussed and debated' as if that's externally imposed and you don't welcome it--that you oppose such a thing, even!

Come on: Do you really expect everyone to buy that?

Some of us have been around longer than that.

rhhardin said...

Pillage would be a good keyword, not to mention rapine.

Etymology brings everything together.

Krumhorn said...

I'm firmly in the whswhs camp I have no affinity for bald pie. I don't need to imagine that I'm doing an 11 yr old girl.

YoungHegelien nailed it beautifully. Yeeeee---Haaaah! Pussy!!!!

Priceless.

- Krumhorn

Lyssa said...

I don't understand the constant drama over doing it for yourself verses for someone else. If a woman cares about a romantic partner, and it makes him (or her) happy and it's not a huge problem for her, why not? I also don't see a problem with a man shaving his face or manscaping if it makes his partner happy.

But I'm with Renee - who pays for this stuff? I'll consider that next time I'm getting scoffed at for being privileged and wealthy while buying generic frozen produce and squeezing another several months out of my well-worn car tires.

viator said...

I'm not sure about the key word but the funniest word has to be "organic".

Freeman Hunt said...

Rcommal, I think you're on to something with this cost of spa services thing.

SGT Ted said...

Bullshit. Lesbians get breast implants all the time. I've done a few.

Haven't we already been told a few times in some studies that women do this stuff to compete with OTHER WOMEN? and not because of men?

Women do what they want and then, when other women don't like it, they blame the men for what the other women are doing.

Feminism may not BE a mental disorder but it sure seems to enable mental disorders.

SGT Ted said...

Yes, like most of the other straight guys I know. Are you a straight guy, and do you shave your armpits and legs?

Oh, you're a dude. OK then.

Women already shave their pits and legs. Smooth is sexy.

Except here in Humboldt County, home of the hirsute Humboldt Honey.

The idea that shaving the last part left is some sort of appeal to, or the desire of, perverts to enact their fantasies says more about the asker than the asked.

It's like saying bald men or women get you hot because you MUST want to have sex with babies. That is pretty insane, right?

Yes, it's that "out there" to presume folks that like shaved groins are attracted to children.

SGT Ted said...

Don't you have thumbs?

It doesn't always work and then my nose gets tickled, which isn't sexy to me. Then I get a stray hair in my mouth, still not sexy, trying to spit it out.

Jesus, since when did you all get appointed the Women's Public Hair police? Can I see your badge and ID before we proceed?

I certainly didn't expect the Public Hair Inquisition...

SGT Ted said...

Quit making me talk like Titus. Jeez.

RecChief said...

while on a deployment, we had a female medic who got her hair (on her head) shorn every couple of weeks just like the guys, and damn if she wasn't very attractive. Kind of like Persis Khambatta, but with lips like Angelina Jolie.

Fen said...

Don't you have thumbs?

Yes but they are usually otherwise engaged.

Fen said...

I don't see why this is so confusing. A hairy armpit between your legs that smells like a dead fish is not sexy.

chickenlittle said...

A hairy armpit between your legs that smells like a dead fish is not sexy.

I'm beginning to think that some men project their own asshole on all women.

Fen said...

Your ass smells like dead fish? You may want to get that checked.

chickenlittle said...

It was analogy, Fen.

madAsHell said...

A hairy armpit between your legs that smells like a dead fish is not sexy.

Pull his man card!!

SGT Ted said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SGT Ted said...

A bush can be attractive, but not if it resembles a Wookie.

dbp said...

I think "letting" is the key word here.

It would seem to imply that there are people who like to engage in waxing and our author is too polite to decline their demands.

The truth is that she is paying someone to do this; she is having it done on purpose.

"Letting" is the vocabulary of an eternal victim.

wholelottasplainin' said...

"As someone who worked very hard to get 2 B's and an A in Organic Chemistry, I can assure you that wax is organic."

Yes, but can you assure us it is free-ranging, non-GMO wax?

AntiBathos said...

She needn't worry about whether she is a feminist. Obsessing about self and about the ultimate meaning and ideological significance of anything related to personal appearance is now the essence of feminism.

chickenlittle said...

Is waxing waning or whining?

Freeman Hunt said...

The thread wherein one finds out more than one ever desired to know about the intimate preferences of Althouse commenters.

My main thought about this article is that I feel sorry for people who have jobs waxing people's vulvas and bottoms all day. I hope things work out for all those workers, and I hope that their job experiences lead to more opportunities if they desire them.

Titus said...


"I certainly don't. I always considered the hair something I had to put up with to get to the good stuff, rather than any sort of wonderment"

That comment made me kind of barf.

Carlo said...

"wooden" is quite obviously the key word. she seemingly" has issues with (extended)rigid things