Seriously honey, chill out

Women like me have been keeping a secret. It’s a secret so shameful that it’s hidden from friends and lovers, so dark that vast amounts of time and money are spent hiding it. It’s not a crime we have committed, it’s a curse: facial hair.

What can be dismissed as trivial is a source of deep anxiety for many women, but that’s what female facial hair is; a series of contradictions. It’s something that’s common yet considered abnormal, natural for one gender and freakish for another. The reality isn’t quite so clear cut. Merran Toerien, who wrote her PhD on the removal of female body hair, explained “biologically the boundary lines on body hair between masculinity and femininity are much more blurred than we make them seem”.

The removal of facial hair is just as paradoxical – the pressure to do it is recognized by many women as a stupid social norm and yet they strictly follow it. Because these little whiskers represent the most basic rules of the patriarchy – to ignore them is to jeopardize your reputation, even your dignity.

It’s not the damn patriarchy. All humans have facial hair. Thicker facial hair – it’s that, not more generally – is a male secondary sexual characteristic. All humans (well, you know, as with alopecia and hair but….) have nipples and tits are a female secondary sexual characteristic. Some men have boobs, many have moobs and you know, that’s just how it works, secondary sexual characteristics don’t map exactly over primary ones.

And? You’re stupid enough to think that this is a product of a social set up?


10 thoughts on “Seriously honey, chill out”

  1. It’s women who heap pressure on women to conform *not* men. Problem is they don’t want to blame themselves so the ‘rapists’ get the blame.

  2. Well the basic rule seems to be to emphasise those aspects that tend to differentiate the sexes. So “less hairy” becomes “hairless”.

  3. The removal of facial hair is just as paradoxical – the pressure to do it is recognized by many women as a stupid social norm and yet they strictly follow it

    Thank God men never have to remove facial hair. The things the patriarchy makes women do.

  4. The best way –so I have heard–to remove/prevent the top lip female mustache is to gag her with good strong tape and then, when you rip it off to ask “Whad’ya want you stupid bitch” then the mustache will be removed with it.

    Just sayin’.

  5. @Mr Yan,

    Oh Christ, yes.

    My other half regularly takes about a month in the shower doing Christ knows what. When I ask her, she spouts off a list of personal grooming tasks that would exhaust a full team of professional stylists. I try to explain that I’m not that bothered about 70% of that stuff, and she explains that she does it for herself, not me.

    And yet- patriarchy.

  6. ME: Thank you for your service.

    This is such a ridiculous article. I appreciate that a woman with the last name ‘Chalabi’ likely has serious problems with her facial hair*, but we don’t have to put burkas on all women just because Ms ‘Smith’ and Mrs ‘Lee’ don’t have hour long shaving routines in the morning while Miss Chalabi does.

    * I’m sure she has lush back hair too

  7. Facial hair is a PITA.

    I don’t want a mustache or a beard and have to shave every day, if I don’t Mrs Pcar complains. If laser hair removal was much, much cheaper I’d have it done.

  8. Female facial hair grows more apparent with age.

    Men want younger, more fertile women.

    Women with facial hair seem less attractive to men because our lizard brains conclude they are old and infertile.

    How hard could figuring that out possibly be?

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