The History of Women Shaving

 Posted by on 27 May 2015 at 10:00 am  Culture, Fashion, History, Sexism
May 272015
 

This article — How the beauty industry convinced women to shave their legs — is a fascinating bit of history, but the article seems overblown in blaming advertising. (As Brian? pointed out on Facebook: “It’s easy to retroactively look back, find advertisements, and blame them as the cause. But have there not been other ads throughout history for trends that never caught on? Which came first, the demand for the product, or the ads for it?”

The fact seems to be that women increasingly shaved body parts as they became exposed by fashion trends, and those evil capitalists capitalized on that desire. As far the fashion burdens of women are concerned, being free to wear almost nothing but being expected to shave armpits, legs, and bikini line is infinitely better than enduring the long, heavy dresses of eras in which showing an ankle was scandalous. And perhaps I’m just brainwashed by advertising, but smooth skin does prettify.

Plus, women today are perfectly free not to shave, if they choose. They might get some looks and comments, but it’s hardly on par with People of Wal-mart.

And… well… I say that as someone who has been lax about shaving legs for quite a while, but lately decided to “put in a fucking effort.” (Yes, that’s exactly what I say to myself in my head.) Not that I think that everyone has to do that, but it makes a huge difference in how I view myself, particularly sexually. So it’s well worth it to me.

What Do You Go for in a Girl?

 Posted by on 31 December 2013 at 10:00 am  Literature, Love/Sex, Sexism
Dec 312013
 

This video asks: What do you go for in a girl? The answer might surprise you!

(H/T to Howard)

Why Weiner’s Wiener Matters

 Posted by on 3 July 2013 at 10:00 am  Character, Evil, Love/Sex, Politics, Sexism
Jul 032013
 

On June 16th’s Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on whether people should care about the sex lives (and sex scandals) of politicians. My basic view was that sexual misconduct reveals a politician’s moral character, as well as poses security risks.

As for the first claim about moral character, if you’re unconvinced, just read this NY Times article and weep: For Women in Weiner Scandal, Indignity Lingers. The basic story is this:

Anthony D. Weiner’s improbable campaign for mayor of New York City is a wager that voters have made peace with his lewd online behavior, a subject he has largely left behind as he roils the race with his aggressive debating style and his attention-getting policy proposals.

But for the women who were on the other end of Mr. Weiner’s sexually explicit conversations and photographs, his candidacy is an unwanted reminder of a scandal that has upended their lives in ways big and small, cutting short careers, disrupting educations and damaging reputations.

The article then details the ongoing ordeals suffered by these women due to their sexual conversations with Anthony Weiner. Undoubtedly, these women exercised poor judgment. They deserve to suffer the ordinary consequences of that — such as broken or damaged romantic relationships. They do not deserve years of media intrusion, nor endless malevolent jokes.

In contrast, Anthony Weiner is taking the whole matter in stride:

On the campaign trail, though, he mixes contrition with wittiness. Not long ago he cracked a joke about his use of social media. “You know how much I trust Twitter,” he said at a candidate forum.

Ah yes, levity. That’s just perfect. (NOT!) Here’s more, including a good bit of moral insight from a porn star:

A number of the women remain angry with Mr. Weiner — arguing that, after taking advantage of his political devotees, he is now drawing them back into the spotlight.

Ginger Lee, a former star of adult films who communicated with Mr. Weiner online, has pleaded with him not to run for mayor. “Every new headline and news story about him reminds reporters and bloggers that we exist, and the cycle starts all over,” she said in a statement released by her lawyer. “There will be a new flare-up of jokes, inaccurate statements and hurtful remarks.”

Everything about this ongoing episode reveals important facts about Anthony Weiner’s character, most notably that he doesn’t give a damn who he hurts in his quest for political power. His contempt for women is glaringly obvious. He’s not a man fit for political office, whatever his political principles. No decent person should want anything to do with him.

Alas, too many people are willing to overlook all that because he’s on “their team.” *sigh*

P.S. If you’ve not heard that 16 June 2013 episode of Philosophy in Action Radio in which I talked about the sex scandals of politicians, you can listen to or download the relevant segment of the podcast here:

For more details, check out the question’s archive page. The full episode – where I answered questions on the meaning of life as the standard of value, broken relationships, the morality of an armed society, the sex scandals of politicians, and more – is available as a podcast too.

Feb 202013
 

If you thought that only Republicans made idiotic comments about rape, think again. According to Colorado Democrat Joe Salazar, women on campus are incapable of understanding the basics of self-defense law, and so they should be disarmed so that they don’t “pop a round at somebody.”

Here’s what he said:

There are some gender inequities on college campuses. This is true. And universities have ben faced with that situation for a long time. It’s why we have call boxes. That’s why we have safe zones. That’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble — and when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop, pop a round at somebody.

Basically, the Democrats want to disarm women, so that they can’t fight off a rapist. Then the Republicans want to prevent those women from obtaining Plan B or an abortion, if they get pregnant. It’s lovely to see both sides united in the “War Against Women.”

Also, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs advises women to “Tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating” and “Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone.” Because nothing could go wrong with that, right? (Note: That wasn’t posted in response to any of the recent debates about gun control, thankfully.)

Here’s what I said about the importance of allowing concealed carry on campus in a prior blog post:

When I was a graduate student at CU Boulder, I had to walk a few blocks off-campus, through a residential neighborhood, to get to my car. I took classes in the evening on occasion, and during those times, my walk was dark and lonely. Like other students, I’d receive periodic reports of sexual assaults just off-campus, and that worried me.

The police chief’s advice of carrying a “safety whistle” was pure absurdity to me. If I was attacked, that wouldn’t do me a lick of good. Also, I knew that I couldn’t hope to outrun my attacker: I’m a slow sprinter, and even in elementary school, I only ever beat the fat girl in running the 50-yard dash. Really, I wanted my “safety Ruger” — because that could have actually kept me safe! Instead, I often took Kate, my German Shepherd with me to those late classes. She probably wouldn’t have helped much if I’d been attacked, but she might have deterred a criminal.

Moreover, in the wake of school shootings, I hated to think of being disarmed and defenseless, particularly as a teacher in a classroom full of terrified students. I’d have an obligation to protect my students as best as I could, yet I’d be unable to do much of anything. I hated that with a passion.

I suspect (and even hope, somewhat) that the Democrats have reached their high-water-mark in Colorado with these new gun controls… if only the Republicans don’t out-stupid them before the 2014 election.

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