July 4, 2014

"University Offers Female Students Extra Credit For Not Shaving Armpits."

There's a spurious teaser at Drudge, and it goes to a Campus Reform headline that's virtually the same: "University offers female students extra credit for not shaving their armpits." In the interest of brevity, Drudge trusted us not to picture female students shaving other people's armpits.

So did female students really get extra credit for not shaving their armpits, and did male students not get an equivalent extra credit offer? No and no.

The extra credit assignment was to do something nonconformist with your body hair as an experiment and to write about it. Not shaving armpits and — I take it — displaying those hairy armpits to see if people shun you or make remarks is what the females had to do to transgress the gender norm. Actually, they also had to grow in their leg hair.

Male students had to something different to transgress the gender norm. They had shave all their body hair from the neck down and, again, write about it.

The professor, Arizona State University's Breanne Fahs, teaches in the area of Women and Gender Studies and her writings include material specifically about body hair:
Breaking body hair boundaries: Classroom exercises for challenging social constructions of the body and sexuality. Feminism & Psychology.

Shaving it all off: Examining social norms of body hair among college men in a women’s studies course. Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.
Is there something wrong with her assignment? You might think it's a bad idea for students to put their scarce college time into courses on gender studies, but these were students who chose Fahs's course. Or is there a gender studies requirement? I observe that Arizona State has something called The School of Social Transformation. My point is: Once you've come this far, and you're in this women's studies class, do you have any real basis to object to what is only an optional assignment?

I could see some objection based on the variable difficulties of not shaving. Did the women get an easier assignment then the men? Did any students have religious scruples about the preservation or nonpreservation of body hair or about displaying the parts of the body that would need to be seen to prompt the reactions you needed to get to do the writing?

ADDED: Maybe you think body hair is too trivial of a topic to study at the college level, but I believe there is no more profound subject in human civilization than the female body. It is the central focus. 


Saint Croix said...

Once you've come this far, and you're in this women's studies class, do you have any real basis to object to what is only an optional assignment?

Yes, it's brainless. It's idiotic. You get to inflate your grades by doing something that takes no thought and no work. You're treating college students as if they are small children. Many of them are taking loans to be at the university. Or their families are paying for this. Ask mom and dad if they have any objections to the class where you got an A because you grew your armpit air.

It makes a mockery of higher education. The world needs adults. And, not just adults, but adults who have been trained to do something productive with their lives.

carrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FleetUSA said...

Students who go for the easy A are short changing themselves for life.

Sorun said...

The professor: “Male students tend to adopt the attitude of, ‘I’m a man; I can do what I want.”

What attitude do women tend to adopt? "I'm a woman; I can do what ___ want(s)."

SGT Ted said...

So, in other words, women get extra credit for doing nothing (not shaving), while men need to DO something (shave their entire bodies) to get the same credit.

Typical female entitlement and sexist double standards. And not even brought up in the article.

Humperdink said...

College students going into lifetime debt to study this?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

here is no more profound subject in human civilization than the female body. It is the central focus.

I certainly spent most of my college years attempting to study the female body. For no credit.

Saint Croix said...

I took a class in law school called Women in Law. We studied legal cases that involved women. It was a great class. And it had little or nothing to do with my career path. But it was rigorous. It provoked thought. It was helpful.

If the professor said, "I will give you extra credit if you shave off your armpit hair," I don't know what my reaction would have been. Maybe I would have taken the extra credit and gotten the easy A.

But I like to think that I would have been outraged. The lack of respect for the students, for the course, I just find it mind-boggling.

Big Mike said...

I swam competitively back in the '60s, so shaving my legs and chest before big competitions was standard. Don't know about shaving my pubic hair.

Interesting thought -- does Professor Fahs get to personally check that the guys really did shave their pubic hair? If so, is this not some form of sexual harassment of the students?

Saint Croix said...

This is just a huge reminder not to hire a woman's studies major with a 4.0.

"So what are your skills?"

"I can grow armpit hair."


"But it takes a couple of months. I could come back in September. Should I come back in September?"

"Yes. Yes. Come back in September and we will interview you then. Be sure to wear a sleeveless blouse so we can see your accomplishment."

"Great. Great. I'll see you in two months. I guess I can collect unemployment until then. Or my parents can pay my rent."

"The important thing is that you focus on your armpit hair."

"Right. Right. I'm on it. And I'll keep a journal, too."

Skeptical Voter said...

Look at Professor Fah's cv and
publications at the link. I suppose somebody has to study abuse of sexual minorities in rural communities.

But I do believe it's an area of knowledge that most people will give a pass---other than jokes about hillbillies meeting their dates at family reunions and such.

Vet66 said...

Good luck finding a job with that on your resume. What a waste of time and effort that could have been spent on more productive pursuits. I'd be interested in seeing what the demographic breakdown in that class was.

Humperdink said...

SGT Ted said: "So, in other words, women get extra credit for doing nothing (not shaving), while men need to DO something (shave their entire bodies) to get the same credit."

Reminds me of the age-old toilet seat argument. Once again, the men have to do the heavy *cough* lifting.

Bob Boyd said...

"At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum... it's breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it." - Dr Evil

rhhardin said...

It makes women harder to check for ticks if they don't shave.

George M. Spencer said...

Women shaving underarm hair started as a fashion statement among wealthy women in the mid-1910s, backed by elite women's magazines, and got its big push when Gillette got the genius idea to tell women to do this because there was clearly something wrong with having underarm hair. Result? Overnight, Gillette creates a gigantic new market, soon followed by the shaving of legs.

Simultaneously, the cigarette industry wanted to jack up its sales as cigarettes had become popular during WWI among men, and women were secretly smoking but were afraid to do so in public. That industry hired the brilliant PR wizard Edward Bernays who, in 1929, got suffragettes to march in NYC on Easter (!) all publicly smoking cigarettes to show how liberated they were. Result? Gigantic increase in sales and lots of work for lung cancer surgeons. (What goes better together than Easter, springtime, and a haze of tobacco smoke!!!)

Bernays is also the father of useless disposable drinking cups, i.e. Dixie Cups, fluoridation, and notion that bacon (and eggs) should be eaten for breakfast. The next think you know we'll elect someone with no experience whatsoever to be President.

Saint Croix said...

I took Psychology of Sex/Sexual Deviation when I was an undergrad. I won't say it was a rigorous class, but it was interesting. There was no extra credit assignment involving sex, though.

"For extra credit, I want you to have sex with somebody. And write about it."

That's just a weird assignment. I see it as really personal, and kind of invasive.

You might say that would be an interesting professor. Definitely out of the box, right? It's a way of teaching, you learn about the subject, and what you think about it.

You might even say that's a fresh approach to sex education. You're getting people to reflect about what they are doing, to be aware of it and think about it.

I love Dead Poets Society, one of my favorite movies. And it's all about a non-conformist teacher, who gets in trouble when he goes off-curriculum. Robin Williams would say, "You can write about armpit hair! Great poets write about anything."

But you still have to be rigorous. The goal of teaching is to get people to think independently, to learn for themselves. You could argue this teacher is simply bribing her students to be more androgynous, because she likes androgyny.

Her extra credit is weirdly specific, kinda personal, and something that lazy students can do without any effort at all. And if I was a woman's studies professor, I would be very irritated that this sort of anecdote is going out into the wider society. People suspect the entire major of "women's studies" is like looking at your own navel for four years. And this story does nothing to contradict that.

James Pawlak said...

Sounds like a "cause in action" for some attorney to make money on a "civil rights" case.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Me, I think all students of both sexes ought to have been made to shave themselves from the neck up. That would've equalized the work required, at least.

What? Too "transgressive" for you?

Meh. I get around to shaving my pits only every so often, and my legs hardly ever. But then I generally wear pants, and I don't so much as own any garment in which underarm hair is visible.

Ann, re:

I believe there is no more profound subject in human civilization than the female body. It is the central focus.

I'll never forget a visiting professor (later hired to the department) eagerly telling our seminar, "Music has everything to do with the body!" Hell, everything has "everything to do with the body." We're bodily critters, after all. Still, "the central focus"? And the female body in particular? I don't agree; there's far too much else out there.

Ignorance is Bliss said...


I really really hope that that was auto-corrected.

campy said...

"does Professor Fahs get to personally check that the guys really did shave their pubic hair? If so, is this not some form of sexual harassment"

Don't be ridiculous. The professor is female.

CR said...

I'd say, rather, that the focus of human civilization is the human body, in its female and male forms. Civilization isn't a circle with one center; it is more an ellipse with two foci. The body itself, differentiated in two sexes, is the focus.

Heartless Aztec said...

What an incredible waste of time and money. And me typing about it. Going to the beach...sheesh.

Michael K said...

I knew a big time college swimmer back in the 50s at SC. He shaved his body had all the time. He was a bit weird in other ways, too. Not what you think.

He was there on the team with Murray Rose . They won a bunch of Olympic medals.

avwh said...

More proof of just how "rigorous" gender studies are.

Saint Croix said...

The non-conformist class in a Women's Studies major would be a class called, Getting a Man. The class would be aimed at women who want to be a stay-at-home mom. It would literally be a "Mrs. Major" class. You would study erotic manipulation, love, commitment, marriage, and how to get a man to work hard for you and your children.

If you're going to teach women how to grow armpit hair, it seems to me you ought to offer more financially rewarding classes too, from a traditionally feminine perspective. You would shake up your Women's Studies department--which is in an intellectual ghetto, in my opinion--and simultaneously bring different sorts of women into your classes. And of course you could frame the course in less overtly sexist ways. You'd probably have to.

And, it seems to me, if you're going to be a Woman's Studies major you might need skills in getting somebody else to pay your rent. Which is not to say there aren't Women's Studies majors who go on to become lawyers or doctors and financial providers themselves. But they learned those skills in other departments.

You could also offer a class on Raising Happy Children. If you're going to have a Women's Studies department, instead of trying to turn everybody into an androgynous drone, why not have classes that explore traditional sex roles, too? And if you shy away from this, because it doesn't seem academic somehow, then maybe you should do away with your Women's Studies department altogether. Because if it's just the leftist brigade preaching to the choir, who needs it?

n.n said...

Men's lust for women. Men's lust for power. Men's lust for money. It's how we pass the time.

Fernandinande said...

In the interest of brevity, Drudge trusted us not to picture female students shaving other people's armpits.

Too late!

Breanne Fahs, teaches in the area of Women and Gender Studies

I'm pretty sure that "teaches" isn't the right word.

n.n said...

As for hair, it's the contrast, between different things. The skin is smooth and unblemished when we are young. Some people pursue this to a logical extreme in favor or disfavor of hair.

Fernandinande said...

Rush was right!

Wince said...

"...but I believe there is no more profound subject in human civilization than the female body. It is the central focus."

Althouse refuses to transgress the gender norm.

Mariposa said...

Seems Ok as long as the students know what they're getting into. However, I doubt the long term value of the exercise. Back in the late 60's when I was a young woman student in New York City I let my leg and underarm hair grow as many other women were doing. I didn't find it repellant or have any particular reaction, except that I seemed to need to use a bit more deodorant. Now I'm old and, of course, more conservative. A middle-aged female family member does not shave her armpits and I find it totally repulsive.

It was a fad that came and went. In fact many of the current women's issues that flare up seem to be remakes of old themes. Does every generation of women have to go through this? I would say to the students in this class: "Shave or don't shave. Who cares. You have so much freedom and so many opportunities. Do something productive with your life."

Saint Croix said...

We talk about the two branches of feminism in this thread. There are equality feminists and difference feminists.

An equality feminist just wants women to have access to medical schools, law schools, engineering, computer science, all the normal departments that are attempting to teach skill sets to their students.

Women's Studies is a product of difference feminism. There are no Men's Studies (or it's so rare I've never heard of it). Maybe a Gender Studies curriculum has classes on men. It should, if you are going down this road. You should study sex difference and seek to understand it. And you should open it up to traditional views on gender as well.

Feminism has a reputation for hating men, and babies. If Women's Studies is not teaching women anything about men, or about babies, or about marriage--then it's poison, ideological poison. Good examples in this book.

rhhardin said...

but I believe there is no more profound subject in human civilization than the female body. It is the central focus.

Obsession, not focus. And only until some male neuron stops firing at an advanced age. For Picasso it was 80.

An obsession preserved by females with veils and feathers.

Nothing is more superficial.

I think Nurse Duckett had it best, [googles] catch 22

"Her own body was such a familiar and unremarkable thing to her that she was puzzled by the convulsive ecstasy men could take from it, by the intense and amusing need they had merely to touch it, to reach out urgently and press it, squeeze it, pinch it, rub it. She did not understand Yossarian's lust; but she was willing to take his word for it."

Without the male obsession, you're left with two fatty lumps and an orifice with hygiene problems. Not even as interesting as a kneecap.

tim maguire said...

It is the central focus.

As well it should be.

Even with the writing aspect, it is hard to see this as a legitimate assignment. The negative reaction probably comes from people's general disgust with all the "look at me! look at me! aren't I transgressive" BS. In nearly every case the "transgressive" is an attention seeker who wishes to be applauded for acts that are in reality tired, safe, and boring.

Woman didn't shave? That just means she stayed out too late, drank too much, and was too hungover to groom. Guy is shaved? That just means he stayed out too late, drank too much, and passed out first.

Skipper said...

One more reason to shut down the colleges.

Sorun said...

"College students going into lifetime debt to study this?"

I think $2000 tuition is a small price to pay to give a young woman the self-confidence needed to make her own grooming decisions.

Rusty said...

" Maybe you think body hair is too trivial of a topic to study at the college level, but I believe there is no more profound subject in human civilization than the female body. It is the central focus."

No beer is more profound. The wimmens are for when we get all liquored up.

Dangerous Dreamer said...

Well..now that you explained it it makes....no difference at all. It's still a stupid and brainless way to score some points at college. Americans college system at its finest.

Sorun said...

Things not heard on campus:

Woman Studies professor: "Men have this attitude..."

Male student wanting good grade: "No we don't."

Unknown said...

The School of Social Transformation is nothing more than Justice Studies and some ethnic studies programs cobbled together into a school--new paint on an old hobby horse.

One of their mementos is a photo of Obama surrounded by the Women's Studies faculty when he spoke at ASU.

Obama's goal of fundamentally transforming America involves schools of social transformation full of unshaven women versus binders full of women.

William said...

If Alex Trebek donned the garb of a mendicant order would that be the correct use of begging the question?

chillblaine said...

"The School of Social Transformation."

This is a classic market signal, that the price of college has vastly exceeded its intrinsic value. In other words, college has officially jumped the shark.

lemondog said...

..do you have any real basis to object to what is only an optional assignment?

Other than its stupidity? No.... as long as taxpayers do not fund this stupidity.

Dear Mom and Dad, Guess what I did for class today......

jr565 said...

I wouldn't take the extra credit because I don't want to have to be taught to accept transgressiveness as a norm. If I wanted to shave my body, I'll do it without a teacher turning it into an assignment.

Bob R said...

Well, we need to find some way to pretend that people who can't do elementary mathematics have "earned" college degrees. Don't we?

sean said...

I have an objection as a private sector taxpayer to supporting tenured drones who waste students' time on this drivel. Obviously, that's not an objection that would occur to a tenured drone.

Anonymous said...

Having a BA degree from Arizona State in 2014 is equivalent to having a AAA rating from Standard & Poor in 2007.

jimbino said...

Ever since my wasted youth spent in Munich, I have given all women extra credit for armpit hair. Never in my wildest imagination did I think I would have to extend that credit to pubic hair.

n.n said...

Saint Croix:

That's a fair point. A rebel in a liberal society is conservative or libertine without selection. The modern liberal is actually quite insular.

George M. Spencer said...

I think most of you have this completely wrong.

There is no earthly reason for women--or men, for that matter--to shave their armpits. Women have been taught by massive levels of advertising since 1920 to think it's necessary, vital, essential, hygienic!

Maybe the prof., perhaps in a weird way, is trying to get her students to....learn to think for themselves....and maybe save themselves a few thousands dollars over their lifetimes by not buying shaving cream, razors, and whatnot.

Isn't that the point of education?

David said...

"I believe there is no more profound subject in human civilization than the female body. It is the central focus."

The female body is an very useful machine. It is complex yet successful. It can withstand both external and internal abuse. Even when some of its basic functions fail, it remains viable. It can be taught and it also seems to learn successfully on its own.

The aesthetic design and the practical design are somewhat confusing. Aesthetically it is often highly pleasing but it is also subject to rapid deterioration. It can be hard to use. The buttons are often invisible or badly labeled. It is quite easy to push the wrong one. Indeed the same button may give varying results at different times.

It is unclear whether the varying results are due to a lack of quality control or poor design. Some even argue that it is an aspect of basic functionality. Whatever the source, user error is common.

Some are designed primarily for home use, and others for more general applications. Often these units are mislabeled.

The female body does not come with an instruction book. Many such books are available online, some free and others for a fee. Be cautioned that these books are of limited utility and tend to rapid obsolescence. Trial and error is really the only effective method of learning, and results can and do vary, even with the same unit.

Fen said...

Imagine if they gave extra credit for both sexes to shave their heads. Do that. If you really want to learn about womyn.

JimT Utah said...

"I believe there is no more profound subject in human civilization than the female body. It is the central focus."

Earlier today I read Kipling's "The Female of the Species." As sympathetic as I am to Adam, it is the incredible power inherent in Eve that has fascinated me for most of my 81 years. Between birth and death Adam moves in a pretty straight line. Eve is all over the place. First she's not all that different from a boy child. Then, all of a sudden, she's WAY different. Then magic happens and she brings forth another person, whom she feed from herself. That's some weird stuff! She and her sisters share some kind of mind meld that leaves Adam and his brothers perpetually bewildered. Then her daughter does the magic and the two of them have this thing together that's different but more of the same. And again when her granddaughter does the magic. And all the sons of Adam stand in awe, wondering what's going on.

I have five children, fifteen grandchildren, and eighteen and a half great grandchildren, and I still don't understand my wife, my daughters, my granddaughters, or my great granddaughters. And all of them, even (or especially) the youngest, can open doors with just a smile, as they say.

It's magic. I don't understand it, but I love it.

carrie said...

Ignorance is bliss

It was.

ALP said...

Ugh! I would NOT want to be in that class, especially if it is held during the warmer months. The SIGHT of pit hair is not the issue, its the SMELL that would be wafting through the room.

If I don't shave my pits for 3 days - the strongest deodorant in the world doesn't stand a chance and I can put the hairiest hippie chick to shame.

Humperdink said...

Humperdink said: "College students going into lifetime debt to study this?"

Sroun said: "I think $2000 tuition is a small price to pay to give a young woman the self-confidence needed to make her own grooming decisions."

Back when our civilization was normal, her parents taught her grooming habits for free.

We've come a long way baby.

Jupiter said...

"You might think it's a bad idea for students to put their scarce college time into courses on gender studies, but these were students who chose Fahs's course."

Now, if only the taxpayers got to choose whether they would pay the silly twit to teach those courses...

zefal said...

From the looks of her on the link you provided it would be good for her to pick up a razor if it meant she'd have to put down her sandwich. I guess being a conformist when it comes to obesity is okay to her. I wonder what Mooch would say?

Jane the Actuary said...

Men have to shave themselves, neck-down. Women have to not-shave. Isn't this all too cis-normative or whatever the word is for not showing proper respect for those who are neither men nor women, or whose whose hair growth patterns don't correspond to their perceived gender?

John henry said...

Fleet USA said:

"Students who go for the easy A are short changing themselves for life."

I hear what you are saying and sort of agree. I would really agree if it were a course in calculus in an engineering curriculum.

In something like this? The type of student who would take something like this course? Not so much. It is unlikely anyone is going to learn anything useful in the class anyway so they might as well use it to help their GPA.

I say that even of the engineer who needs some useless social studies credits to fill a requirement. Go for this and do what it takes to get the A.

My daughter took a course in Italian Cinema while becoming a Chem. Eng. Guaranteed A and all she had to do was watch an Italian movie each week and write a page of words about it. It apparently didn't even matter what the words were. She could have dumped a few hundred at random from a dictionary and gotten the same grade.

As stressful as everything else was, she deserved an easy non-course like that.

John Henry

JimB said...

Re: It is the central focus.
Well, for us guys, anyhow!

Admiring octogenarian.

Chuck said...

Now that Professor Althouse has gone behind the silly, truncated, provocative Drudge headline with six or seven cogently-structured paragraphs of incisive analysis, I have concluded that the Drudge headline worked just fine in this case.

Michael K said...

"The body itself, differentiated in two sexes, is the focus."

OMG ! Call Slate !

A cis-feminist has been discovered and here in Madison ! Two sexes ? Outrageous !

In reality, this treatment is performed almost universally without even asking for the parents' consent, making this practice all the more insidious. It's called infant gender assignment: When the doctor holds your child up to the harsh light of the delivery room, looks between its legs, and declares his opinion: It's a boy or a girl, based on nothing more than a cursory assessment of your offspring's genitals.

William said...

Further study in this field can lead to a tonsure track position at a major university.

MD Greene said...

When I was in college, some years back, I took a Human Sexuality class. Sexually active students were offered credit for filling out daily forms about their activities.

I was a virgin. No luck. People complained and so another form was made for holding hands, kissing, etc.

This is a true story. I dropped the class. What a lot of crap.

wholelottasplainin' said...

When I went to college a blonde feminista rolled her armpit hair into a chignon of sort. Others went for a macramé effect.

But most just looked like ZZTop was hiding under their arms, desperate to get out.

Barbara said...

I never got armpit hair. Kept waiting and waiting and was very ashamed in high school and college, terrified that someone would notice. Might let a boy touch my breasts occasionally but wouldn't permit even a doctor to look at my pits. Wasn't until I was in my 40s or 50s that I realized it was sort of a blessing. Wonder if I could have got a disability waiver or something to boost my grade.(Not that we would have had a class like that in the 1950s, when I wss a student).

Tarrou said...

Yeah, now that I get the nuance of the situation, Drudge was close enough for government work.

Just another retarded fatty scamming the morons in higher education and cheating her insipid and entitled students. You know, college!

sojerofgod said...

Ann is right and all the rest of you bozos are wrong.
Ok, just kidding about the bozo part.
The truth everyone seems to be missing is that for the last 99.999% of the history of Man, women have been the focus of civilization for a very simple
reason: No women = No future. Today we take life for granted. Sure people die, and we all do the whistling past the graveyard thing when we talk about our own eventual demise. When children are born we have an expectation that they will grow to adulthood and lead long, successful lives. An illusion common here in the West (first world) by the way. When a person dies in the US they usually have the social grace to do so without an audience.
Death privately done in their bed or a hospital room. Then they are whisked away by EMTs or undertakers not to be seen again until they are painted and
prepped for burial. Nice and sanitary. We don't cheat death, we shutter it. Deny it. Compartmentalize it.
The rest of the world (the real world?) sees a very different reality. People die. A lot.
Right in front of you.
For a rural African for example, odds of reaching adulthood can be as low as 2 in 10. You see your brothers and sisters die. you see adults die from causes as great as a scratch from a thorn bush. You could really call the adults who are still alive the survivors, but that would be a premature thing;

They may very well be gone tomorrow.
In this environment being a female, and the value of women takes on an entirely different meaning. Why are girls married off at young ages? Death is daily walking at your elbow. No time to waste getting on with securing the next generation. From time immemorial tribes, groups, nations, all have warred with one another. Read your bible. A great resource into human nature. War parties attack their neighbors, carry off whatever they can grab but most especially their women. I read some books about the Yanonamu (sp?) tribes in South America. Always raiding each other, stealing women. Yeah! some of you will say, they just wanna rape them! You know evil men who only think with their second head! True perhaps, in a way. According to what I
read, each member of the party gets to have sex with the captives on the way home from the raid. Then the women are married off to men of the tribe
and live as equals to the women born there.
I know that women is such societies are often abused and disenfranchised. Being an equal among what we would consider slaves may not sound like much. Life, and reality don't really give a damn what you think though. It is the reality of life for most of the planet. Remember Sacajawea? Lead Lewis and Clark to the Great divide? Stolen from her tribe as a young girl and traded for goods to a French fur trapper. Married off to him and carried an infant while pregnant halfway across the Great Plains. Talk about GRRRL Power!
That is not the focus of
my discussion though. The fact that Women=Future can't be ignored. Here behind the Wall we have a civilization where women have the freedom to pursue lives separated from necessity. Delaying childbirth until their thirties, or not at all. Becoming professionals, or artists. Life is good. Sadly it
seems almost no one appreciates how good we have it now and are busy squandering this inheritance. Like in this "class." I do hope that G-d will continue to bless America, fools that we are. And I pray we will come to our senses before this ugly bit of reality rears it's head here.

Naut Right said...

A sorority hazing stunt. The university web site gave a tuition cost of $1,463/hr by my pretend inquisition.
They're Paying a fortune to learn what they knew since eigth grade or so; that people would react to female armpit hair moreso than, say, a change of socks.
What additional learning of a higher caliber or fourteen hundred dollar caliber will this extra credit deliver to the participants? My first guess is that college credits can be really easy to come by in some areas of study.

rhhardin said...

Body hair is useful. It's a force amplifier. You can detect a mosquito landing on your arm or leg with it, if it brushes a hair.

sojerofgod said...

Sorry about the odd line breaks. I copied the text to Word to read better, and when I copied back I saw them and did backspacing to clean it up but they seem to have remained in the text once published. very odd.

jaed said...

Body hair (sparseness or fullness) is one of those things where there's some differentiation between races. So someone of, say, Asian background might not have much body hair to start with. Shaving or not shaving might not even be visible, if you had little enough body hair to start?

Aren't there racial issues here? Issues of insensitivity?

And that's not even getting into the cultural issues!

Laura said...

Professor Fahs is fortunate that her students conform to her suggestions for the assignment.

Why conform to her suggestions when various lengths and types of body hair could be introduced to the professor's food sources or coffee cup? The methods used and her reactions could easily form the basis for a paper.

Knee-jerk nonconformity is such a bore.

Leora said...

The thing that's wrong here is that it is encouraging the students to think about themselves and how people respond to them. Something young people spend too much time on as it is.

It is not about getting the students to think about the larger world and their responses to it. It is narrowing, not expanding their perspective.

Unknown said...

How deep and profound this college course is.

Rich Rostrom said...

The gender norm among observant Moslems is for men to shave their armpits. Really.

One of the things the Taliban did to make themselves disliked in Afghanistan was punitive armpit inspection. The inspectors would try to roll the subject's pit hair around a pencil. If it was long enough to wrap, they would then jerk it out.