It’s funny really – I don’t really consider myself a feminist – but I am definitely a gobby girl, free thinking, strong, independent and generally ready to take on the world. Recently I’ve been videoing a confidence building class for women – now most of these women happened to be middle-eastern, headscarf wearing ladies. What I found equally disturbing and interesting about all these women was that they were all incredibly well educated women – degrees, masters etc. Yet they all were brow-beaten and under the thumb – at times it was sad to hear women younger (and better educated) than me talking about how they would never achieve their dreams…but that they were hoping to create a better future for their children. So basically they are about 30 and that’s it – they’ve given up on their dreams! Now I found myself discussing headscarfs and veils and women covering themselves with my friends…some said that really it was a feminist statement – not something they would say if they met these women in the same “safe” environment that I did – when it was apparant that they wore the headscarf because they their husbands and their society told them to.
It got me thinking about feminism and how free women are here and how lucky we we are not to be brainwashed by our male-dominated society…then last week I watched a documentary on TV called “Fuck off, I’m a hairy woman” – this show explored the issue of women and body hair…and how basically since the beginning of time women have removed their body hair to a greater or lesser extent. It was obvious from the comments made by the majority of contributors that hirsute women are considered to be lower than the low. I even found myself being grossed out by shots of hairy female legs – why is that? I mean men with body hair is fine…so it’s not the hair per se that’s offensive – it’s the hair on women – it’s weird. It gradually dawned on me during the course of the show that the concept of hairy women is just as alien to our culture as women without headscarfs is to the people of the Middle East!
This led me to try an experiment, I was at a girlfriend’s house over the weekend – good food, too much booze and this theory led me to a bold suggestion. I decided to challenge my female friends – for my 40th birthday party (still a few years away) I want to have an au natrelle party…where my friends don’t wax, shave or pluck – they don’t bleach or dye in fact they just let it all hang out!!! The suggestion went down like a lead balloon…all negative body language, crossed arms and blushes – why is that? I mean if women weren’t menat to have body hair they wouldn’t grow any would they? 2000 years of shaving and sugaring and female body hair has failed to got the way of the appendix and wither away…which means that Mr Gilette, Mr Veet and Mr Immac are very rich indeed and all of mankind is still happy that although womankind has been emancipated from the drudgery of housewifery and the kitchen sink they still spend far too much time any money on Bic and Wilknson Sword!
Here endeth the lesson…