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A couple of months ago, I wrote a piece on Movember/No Shave November, and the problems I found with it.  Rather to my surprise it became the second most frequently read piece on Quite Irregular, since it seems that at least some other people found it similarly troubling.  There were quite a few readers who invited me to get a life, or a sense of humour, or to live in the real world, but quite a few others who were cheered to find they were not alone in being weirded out by a charity campaign being hijacked to scrutinise and condemn women’s bodies.  As it’s now January, or “Fanuary” as some would have it, when a number of women have declared their intention to similarly stop shaving, I thought I’d give my perspective.

I think it’s none of my damn business.

The notion that men have the right to comment on women’s bodies, whether scathingly or approvingly, is part of so many problems with male entitlement in our society.  Praising “natural beauty”, or reassuring women at large that small breasts are attractive is rooted in the assumption that women in public are presenting themselves for male judgement[1].  It assumes that their choices are (and should be) directed towards pleasing men, and that those men’s opinions should be aired in order to help them understand where they’re going wrong, or right.  It’s underpinned by the same sense of entitlement that produces street harassment and wolf-whistling.

So instead, here’s a piece from Jenni at I’m From Sale But I’m Not A Sailor discussing this issue.  If anyone’s come across any other feminist pieces on the subject, do feel free to add links in the comments.


[1] It’s also a genre Feministe has magnificently dubbed “Notes From My Boner”.

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