Some linkage

I haven’t done any link-whoring in a long time. Here are a couple of things that are worth reading:

HelenKay has a most excellent discussion on the nature of a writer’s voice at her blog. When I stop feeling so groggy I might even weigh in with a semi-coherent opinion, because I find the topic really interesting.

And Monica Jackson’s “Five Things Romance Heroines Never Say” had me snorting out loud.

Edit to add: Oh dear god. After years of Internet surfing and looking unflinchingly at the Goatse man, fursuitsex.com and Harry Potter slash fiction, I thought I was hardened enough to not be surprised any more. And yet, this latest beauty trend has surprised me. (Link thanks to Chaos Theory.)

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The Link-O-Lator

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  1. 1
    Meljean says:

    I was laughing I read it, but then I got to the comments and saw someone’s username was “Grotesqueticle” and nearly died. That has to be the best username ever.

    Thanks for the link and the laugh

  2. 2
    Sarah says:

    You know, back in the day there was a rumor about this bizarre process and the celebrities that have it done – and for the life of me I could not figure out why. WHY would one bleach one’s bum hole?

    Ah. Now I know. Pale perfection.

    I once wrote a paper about the history of why women remove hair from their legs and underarms, and couldn’t find a single authoritative source that explained why we depilate. It used to bother me that there was no historical reason for it. Now, I’m going to have to let that go because I only have so much befuddled ire, and the bleached assholes of the world have taken it all.

  3. 3
    Candy says:

    According to that repository of all worthwhile human knowledge, The Straight Dope, the removal of armpit hair coincided with sleeveless dresses coming into vogue around WWI. The article seems quite well-researched; check it out.

  4. 4
    Jennifer says:

    God. I don’t even want to look in great detail to see if mine would need bleaching or not.

    Gaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Traumatizing!

  5. 5
    Candy says:

    My favorite comment from that article is quite possibly “Hasn’t America got enough white assholes already?”

  6. 6
    Sarah says:

    I used a similar resource when I wrote the paper that alleged that hairless armpits and legs came into vogue when sleeves came off and hemlines went up. But I still have to wonder, why is hairlessness the continued epitome of femininity? I mean, less than a hundred years ago, the Japanese lotus foot binding ritual was in pursuit of perfect femininity, and now it’s barbaric. Why hairlessness?

    And speaking of, isn’t it peculiar that historical heroines, aside from bathing far too often for historical reality, are often described in terms that imply hairlessness? Smooth satiny skin, etc?

  7. 7
    Candy says:

    I think the ongoing hairlessness = feminine thing has to do with objectification and denying a woman the right to be, well, an animal, while exaggerating our secondary sexual attractions to an unnatural degree. Think corsets, eyebrow plucking, even the use of make-up like face-lightening powders and rouge. Since we didn’t expose our legs or armpits a whole lot, the issue of body hair removal didn’t really come up, but once those bits were exposed and more of our animal nature was in evidence, well, all that crap had to come off too. Why d’you think shaving pubic hair has become common only in the last couple of decades or so? I think it has everything to do with the rise and vanilla-fication of porn and exposing more gineys to more eyes in the general audience. Once some part of the female is exposed (at least in this particular culture), it has to be modified and smoothed over.

    It also has to do with our fetish with the young, I think. Smooth hairlessness = illusion of youth.

  8. 8
    Sarah says:

    I was just going to say that when you mentioned pubic waxing – the focus might be on youthful appearance, as well.

    As far as animal sexuality goes, it’s interesting that those who are photographed in poses that make the hairlessness most obvious are usually photographed for prurient purposes. Somehow the hairlessness is part of the objectification of women as sexual “objects” and not as sexual “beings.”

  9. 9
    Candy says:

    I was doing a bit more thinking about this, and really, in a lot of ways it’s much less acceptable for women to engage in certain bodily functions than men. I mean, think about farting. Or scratching your Happy Bits when they itch. Or hell, even picking your nose. This is something we all occasionally need to do that are not socially acceptable to perform in public, but the reaction is generally a bigger “EWWWW” when a woman does it than a man. Why is that?

  10. 10
    Sarah says:

    I don’t know, but you are certainly right. Women are not allowed to be human in basic ways – we don’t “sweat,” we “glow.” Glow my ass. Lovely to think about – we are now in a position to fight for equal rights to be humans.

    This is depressing. Let’s talk about tossing pillows instead!

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