The Radical Notion

Encouraging women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians

Body Hair In Commercials April 6, 2009

As apparently body hair is my bĂȘte noir, please allow me to share with you three FOUR recent commercials that dealt with the PHENOMENON that adults grow hair on their body on places other than their scalp and their perfectly arched eyebrows.

This first one is by Boost Mobile (via); the thesis of the commercial seems to be that their product is less “wrong” than others. The main character in the commercial says that her luxurious armpit is “not wrong”, but it’s ambiguous as to whether or not we are supposed to take that at face value (she’s right, body hair isn’t wrong!) or laugh at her (dude, her armpit hair’s three feet long! WTF?). In any case, insinuating that if women were to let their body hair grow, it would be even more rampant and uncontrollable than that of men is both idiotic* and does nothing to stop the perception that the only thing that stands between a woman and utter bestial hideousness is a Schick.

Speaking of which (via)… (more…)

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The Social Construction of Femininity March 24, 2009

I’ve been super-busy this semester, and so haven’t blogged in a while. I’m going to try to rectify this by writing several posts that have been kind of mulling around in my head for a while. So – onward!

I’ve thought a lot recently about the relative importance placed on the physical appearances of men and women. And this post isn’t about the male gaze, or the fact that women’s physical appearance is deemed much more important and “relevant” in whatever social context they happen to be in – at least, it’s not only about that. I think it’s impossible to fully extricate oneself from these interconnected positive feedback loops of social mores, but I’m going to try and discuss a separate but related issue: the artificiality of a woman’s expected appearance.

Hopefully this isn’t too TMI (it wouldn’t be in a patriarchy-free world, but I digress), but as I go to a women’s college and rarely wear clothes that don’t cover my entire lower half, I sometimes go for a very long time without shaving my legs. This really shouldn’t be a big deal – but it is. It really is. Regardless of the fact that this blog is (somewhat) anonymous, it took me a minute to get up the courage to type that. What if one of my not-very-close friends reads that, and then they know? What if somebody stumbles on this blog from a random Google search, realizes that I’m the author, and then they know? What if I become suddenly inundated with antifeminist trolls, who are already far too eager to accuse one of being a “hairy-legged feminazi”? Or worst of all – what if somebody I’m interested in dating finds or is told about this blog, and reads this post? (more…)