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Memeday: The cruel misandry of the unshaven female armpit

pattismith
Patti Smith doesn’t care what you think of her armpits

Misogynistic men tend to have a rather possessive attitude towards women’s bodies. They often grow quite angry when women deviate from the standards of beauty that these men think they should conform to — by doing everything from gaining weight to getting tattoos and piercings.

It’s as though they believe that women’s bodies don’t really belong to women at all, but to the world’s (heterosexual) men. By “ruining” their looks, these women aren’t just making the straight men of the world sad in their pants; they’re damaging something that these men feel belongs to them.

You may recall the racist PUA Heartiste’s recent complaints that the world’s white women weren’t “exercising good stewardship of their Golden Gashes,” by allowing themselves to get fat and/or sleep with black men. “Stewardship,” is an interesting choice of words here, as the term usually applies to those who take care of a resource that belongs to someone else, or to society as a whole. In other words. all your vagina are belong to us.

Misogynistic men rarely put it quite so baldly, instead preferring to simply attack those women who don’t pay proper obeisance to their notions of what is and isn’t attractive. A lot of this animus is directed at fat women. But it’s also directed at women who break the rules of femininity in more deliberate ways.

Like not shaving their armpits. Some women don’t shave because they don’t really care; some because they’re sick of razor bun; and some because they see it as a small rebellion against conventional femininity — and a way to show themselves and/or the world at large that their bodies are theirs. Regardless of the reasons, misogynists see the unshaven female armpit as an assault on men.

Cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

armpit1

 

Yes, that’s right, this mememaker thinks that the best way to stand up for all the men who are allegedly being shamed by feminists for not liking armpit hair … is by shaming women with armpit hair.

And no, dudes, you are not required to like armpit hair on women.

Here’s another meme that also tries to play up the phony “double standard” issue.

armpit2

Shamed for being a neckbeard? I wonder what that’s like.

These guys also have something of an animus towards hair on any other part of a women besides her scalp and possibly that secret place:

hairy

Here’s a sentence that has never been uttered by a feminist ever except perhaps in befuddlement after seeing this meme: “Look at that asshole forcing his man beard on my eyes damn shitlord.”

There is no feminist campaign against beards or beardy dudes. Some feminist women like them; some don’t, because that’s how the world works. Different people find different things attractive, and people who aren’t assholes don’t go around attacking those who don’t appeal to them as if these unattractive-to-them people are being unattractive to them out of spite.

Several years ago, feminist YouTube sex educator Laci Green made a similar point, writing on her blog that

body hair is a matter of personal preference! it’s not a matter of “boys do this and girls do this”, and it’s supermega uncool for people to body police those who have a different preference than they do. pffff. fuzzy or hairless, you’re a friggin babe either way.

Alongside this mini-manifesto, she posted this picture, revealing a small puff of hair under one of her arms:

lacibody

Naturally, the Great Internet Lady Hate Squad decided that they did need to police her body, or at least her body hair:

laciarmpit

If women who don’t shave their legs or armpits are seen as poor stewards of their bodies, which really don’t belong to them, then men who don’t stand up against this terrible misandering are traitors to their gender.

manginasbelike

That fellow looks awfully familiar, possibly because it’s me. The quote isn’t anything I actually ever said; up until this post I don’t think I’ve ever spoken out on this particular issue, largely because it’s really none of my damn business what women do with their armpits. (Though in the interest of full disclosure I will add that I don’t really care one way or the other.)

Here’s the most revealing armpit hair meme of them all:

selfish

Yep, she’s apparently being “selfish” by denying the men of the world a view of her armpit that’s not obstructed by hair.

Dudes, if you’re that interested in seeing shaved armpits, go shave your own, and take a day off from work so you can spend the day staring at it in the mirror.

You know who else doesn’t like women with hairy armpits (in general) and this feminist with hairy armpits (in particular)? White supremacists.

femnat

What a weird coincidence, huh?

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Kat
Kat
6 years ago

@occasional reader
I enjoy your comments. You have a subtle humor.

Tragedy of the Commas
Tragedy of the Commas
6 years ago

The women’s armpit hair/men’s beard meme is straight up saying that by not finding all beards attractive, women are being misandrists. What a desperate attempt at a “gotcha”.

Telling women that they need/must shave to appease the real owners of their bodies, or forever be doomed to being unattractive, as these meme makers do is not the same thing as individual women expressing an opinion that they don’t like beards on men. If the armpit hair “issue” was just about wanting to be OK with a preference, they’d simply date women who shave their pits and be done with it. Not shame women who have armpit hair.

The anger here is over women being able to have preferences for men that aren’t them.

Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
6 years ago

I like to keep my legs and armpits smooth. It’s mostly personal preference, although I also tend to get cysts around my chest and armpits and feel that less hair makes it easier to watch for cysts. However, I must say that on the few occasions I didn’t have time to get to my legs, no one even noticed. I’m OK with men having beards, but I much prefer the neatly-trimmed variety over the Duck Dynasty-style variety. Both are roughly the same: NBD, just personal preference, very few (decent, non-MRA) people care either way and even fewer feel the need to comment on it.

ColeYote: Don Trump Jr. from your first pic is actually kinda hot! I feel bad saying that, though, since dear old Dad’s such a douche. Or I feel kinda bad for Don and his siblings for being related to the douche. Or maybe a little bit of both.

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

@Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
The Trump I feel most sorry for is Ivanka because her awful, awful dad behaves so inappropriately toward her. I guess that she goes along to get along.

I also feel sorry for Ivana because she said in her book that her awful, awful husband raped her. After he threatened her, she took it back. But I believe that she told the truth the first time.

I also feel sorry for anyone who’s ever crossed paths with this awful, awful man.

And anyone who’s ever seen this awful, awful “presidential candidate” on TV.

Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
6 years ago

I also feel sorry for anyone who’s ever crossed paths with this awful, awful man.

And anyone who’s ever seen this awful, awful “presidential candidate” on TV.

I wholeheartedly agree, Kat.

AsAboveSoBelow
AsAboveSoBelow
6 years ago

Late to this particular party, but Patti Smith is one of the most beautiful women ever. In person, her eyes are stars.

Fabian Prewett
Fabian Prewett
6 years ago

@Tragedy of the Commas….Yeah, they think of ‘women’ as one, homogenous group (probably because they don’t interact with many). If one woman doesn’t like beards, she clearly speaks for every woman on the planet. But the difference between men with beards and women with armpit hair is that men with beards don’t get harassed on the internet by masses of women complaining about his lack of ‘Stewardship’.

Shaving armpits is so ingrained I’m pretty sure we do it on autopilot. I’m non-binary, and I was doing it myself. A few months ago, my armpits were really sore from shaving and I’d had an allergic reaction to my deodorant. I was sitting in the shower (I’m disabled, so I have to sit), one arm over my head and razor in hand, psyching myself up because I knew it was going to hurt when I thought “WTF??!!?” Seriously, wtf was I doing? I’m not in a sexual relationship (my choice, I’m in too much pain, not from my armpits lol) and it’s the middle of winter. No one was even going to see them, so why did I feel so compelled?

I thought “F__ this!” and put the razor down. I don’t know what I’ll do in the summer, but at least I gave my skin a chance to heal. There might be advantages to not shaving though as it appears to be a very effective MRA repellant 😉

Fabian Prewett
Fabian Prewett
6 years ago

@Moocow, @Dalillama

I don’t know about the US, but I definitely remember the attitude in the UK in the 80’s. The boys at my school were horrified that my French exchange student didn’t shave under her arms. The only other woman they’d ever seen who didn’t shave was the Nena of ’99 Red Balloons’ fame. So they called her ‘Nena’. I didn’t have the heart to tell her why and her English was pretty bad. So I told her (in French) that Nena was beautiful (she was, and all the boys were attracted to her in spite of the armpit hair), so it must be a compliment. When they sang, ’99 Red Balloons’ as an attempt to shame her, she smiled at them. I think (I sincerely hope), that in the end it became an affectionate nickname. But it certainly stuck that French and German women didn’t shave their underarms.

I’d forgotten all about this incident until my memory was prompted today. Now I think about it, they used music to bully a lot. I had ‘Centrefold’ sung at me for 2 years. This was because I apparently looked like one particular centrefold model, not because I’d flashed anyone. Half the time they didn’t bother with the lyrics, it was just, “Na na na na na na”. Fortunately I just found it mildly irritating, but I bet some of them grew up to be first generation MRA’s 🙁 (They’d be between 46 and 50 years old now)

Thomas Andrews
Thomas Andrews
4 years ago

Reading all the mano-grams on what women should exalt, leaves me very pained at the best of times. Perhaps in better times…(LOL)

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