Why Women Should Stop Shaving
Emer O'Toole has some advice for preparing women for the summer months. The short story writer sprung into (in)action when she saw how ingrained many gender roles had become.
What's the Latest Development?
As summer approaches, short story writer Emer O'Toole wondered how she would once again get herself into a summer bikini and tame the body hair she had let grown over the winter. After a gardening experiment she ran over 18 months, she is ready to tell other women to just stop shaving. Have no fear, said O'Toole. Men will still find you attractive. After the initial shock, they will come to see it your way. After all, if they were women, they probably wouldn't shave either. As for people laughing and staring in public? Yes, that happens, but the real problem isn't a woman's arms and legs.
What's the Big Idea?
O'Toole first stopped shaving after realizing how intractable certain learned gender roles had become. Hearing about twelve and thirteen year-old girls receiving wax treatments to remove their 'virgin hair' made her skin crawl. When you stop shaving, "remember that you are doing the necessary and important work of challenging stupid, arbitrary, gendered bullshit," said O'Toole. "And when you get to feminist heaven, Judith Butler and Simone de Beauvoir will be waiting with bubbly wine, a corn-fed organic roast chicken, Bikini Kill and the entire cast of Monty Python. Do you want to miss that party?"
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