Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Zine is (almost) in!

Female body hair removal:

Read about it.
Think about it.
Talk about it.
Comment about it here.


  1. Hey, Marie, I love your 'zine! The graphics and layout are great, and I've learned so much by reading it.
    I'd puzzled over hair issues in the letters of Paul but hadn't realized what you explain on pages 13-14, "Our society, like many modern and ancient societies uses hair, in this case body hair, to highlight and exaggerate the differences between women and men.... Hitorically, gender has served across many different societies as the primary division of labor, which established order and productivity."
    Nor did I realize that an ad campaign for removing female body hair (and disempowering women) started in 1915-1919, just as women were gaining power through the right to vote.
    My favorite line of your 'zine is on p. 24: "I have never known life without feminism"!
    It's great to know that you and other women in your generation are continuing the long fight for equality.
    :) Mom

  2. Crossword Puzzle as Rohrschach Test:
    When I did your puzzle, Marie, I couldn't get the answer to 7 Across, "Women are known to feel this when recognizing they have body hair that needs removal." It had to be a 5-letter word with an "A" in the middle. All I could come up with was "CRAZY" but when I finally looked at the answer, it was "SHAME."
    I also couldn't get 5 Down, five letters for "hairless femininity." I came up with "child" and "false"... close but had to have as fourth letter the last letter of 7 Across. I also missed 1 Down, "One of two reported reasons women shave," coming up with "pressure" and "hygie-ne" instead of "FEMININE."
    Great puzzle, Marie!

  3. Where can I get that film, "Juggling Gender" directed by Tami Gold in 1992?
    It sounds fascinating.

  4. I thought I posted a comment on this two months ago!!!

  5. Hey, maybe this thing works now!!

  6. Okay, now that the site works, my comment is that people remove hair (or not) for many reasons. In the sixties guys started growing "long" hair to make a political statement. Who cares (or even remembers) today. In the seventies, some women chose not to shave their legs. Again, many people don't remember, although for some American guys, that was a shock. German guys had no clue; German girls didn't shave their hair at that time anyway. No statement made over there in Germany.

    Most body modification -- hair removal, piercings, tattoos .... are for cosmetic reasons. Historically in western society, that was the realm of women, with the exception of tattoos. Those put men into certain tabboo classes. Those days are gone. Men do as much "makeup" and even more than women. Body hair removal is like a form of makeup. In the eighteenth century, white skin was prized as a sign of wealth (e.g., the skin's 'owner' didn't have to labor). Then in the mid 50's, that became a tan: you had the leisure time to lounge around on the beach. Today, hair removal is a sign of wealth. Like leisure, it demonstrates the owners wealth of time (and money) to have and keep it removed.

    This comes around full circle to the ancient Egyptians. Only the wealthy classes could remove hair. Only the Pharaoh and his wife could remove it all. To display their lack of hair (and status) they lounged around holding court naked, which also displayed their white, unblemished skin. That was the ultimate sign of wealth and status.

    So why do we do it today? Just as many reasons. One not to overlook, though, are sexual. Not only attractiveness, but many newer forms of sex are facilitated, easier and more pleasurable without hair in the way. All kinds -- hetero, homo, lesbian.... So that may also be another reason. And another, its so much easier to remove. And occasionally more comfortable. The most irritated skin I ever had was the two years I wore a beard, with hair on my face. It just itched.

    So this is worth a research paper to figure out. I suspect its far more than marketing and political, though.

    (PS How do I make an edit without loosing my work after I view it?)

  7. What does it mean to say the "zine is almost in." I have no clue what I'm bloody doing 99% of the time I'm on the internet.

  8. By the way, one way kool thing about the site is how you view the post and see it right after you make it. Real time. Real kool!