Why is pubic hair still a feminist issue? There has always been a fight between why we should and should not keep them around. I even shocked the beautician waxing my legs that I wasn’t in the mood to wax my own public hair one month, not a big deal when mine has been perfected like a royal garden, but apparently it was for her. In the end, her response was that I could not possibly like the way I am down there if I had even one hair. Although, that is not the point of this. I think it is time we show the hair downstairs a little bit of love then. Some women are empowered by keeping their pubic hair. Some women wish to remove their pubic hair. You can love them, hate them, keep them or remove them. How women remove, or do not remove, their pubic hair is still a feminist issue. We are still being told how to groom ourselves by others, what you decide to do with it can make you a feminist or anti-feminist, and let’s be honest it is because we cannot let the issue go.
I remember the first time I was encouraged to be rid of all of my pubic hair. It was the beginning of puberty and many of the girls were freaking out over the fact that they no longer looked like the barbie dolls they continued to play with. Then we entered secondary school, and you were virtually considered an ape if you had a speck of hair on any part of your body, even your underarms. It was easy to bo under the pressure from boys who said I was no longer a girl and the girls who would isolate you on the basis of hair. It was bad enough that I was not safe on the field, the courts or the sports hall. I was no longer safe in the changing rooms. I was shunned for not removing my pubic hair, either. Ah, to be twelve and need to remove your pubic hair to impress others, and especially for reasons I didn’t agree with. At the beginning of the week, I had pubic hair, I even had hair on my legs, arms, underarms. By the end of the week, and in time for gym, I was hairless.
All I wanted to think about was what would happen on Wizards of Waverly Place that week. Now, I was suddenly aware of the constant policing of hair, not just from men, but from other women about pubic hair. We are taught to alter our bodies before they can even grow. I used to groom my pubic hair away any chance I could get, for no reason, other than it needs to be removed. When I decided to keep the bush, to say it caused controversy is an understatement, I was treated as lesser than. I try myself like one would treat a royal garden, everything is neat, clean and tidy, but the fact that there is still hair is something many consider to be wrong. My response to such commentary is simple. My pubic hair is my garden and I can rake, hoe and weed it the way I want to. If it’s not your vagina, then you have no say.
There are so many bigger problems in the world than a fear of pubes. It is not my job to remove or keep my pubic hair on the basis on pleasing a man. I’m not going to remove my pubic hair as the basis on which I can achieve sexual pleasure. If you don’t want to do it, that’s fine, because I can do it myself. My right to achieve sexual pleasure and an array of sexual experiences shouldn’t be determined by whether I have pubic hair or not. Nor, am I about to remove or keep my pubic hair to emulate porn stars, or the hairlessness of child-like bodies. It’s important to be aware of why we’re participating in certain cosmetic routines. I urge you to remember that your body belongs to yourself. What you do with your pubic hair comes down to your personal preference, it is your choice, and you should do what you are comfortable with. I extend that statement to all genders.
There is no problem with choosing to remove your pubic hair. There is no problem with choosing to keep your pubic hair, either. If you groom your pubic hair, it really isn’t an indication of going against feminist values, judging women for grooming their pubic hair is the real indication of going against feminist values. Whether you want them or want to be rid of them, respect your pubic hair. It should never be someone else’s choice to remove them or keep them. One of the key ethos of feminism is about supporting and empowering other women in the personal choices they make. By policing other women on how they choose to tend to, or not tend to, their pubic hair is what still makes it a feminist issue. If removing or keeping your pubic hair makes you happy, then that is all that matters, stop policing each other because that doesn’t help anyone.