If you are a woman buying a deodorant for women, you might be excluded from the feminist “party” now. True story. I’ve just read a comment by a so-called feminist, who has shared, that she is still not liberated enough to buy a deodorant for men. (In my opinion, deo for men has a very strong odor, that I would associate exclusively with strongly gendered masculine properties, whereas deo for women has a very neutral unisex scent, e.g., Nivea Pearl, even though the packaging is PINK!)
Well, how do you like them apples, ha?
Others in the same Facebook discussion shared their stories about how they bravely don’t shave. What gives?
Congratulations if you haven’t thrown up yet. Read on.
When I read things like that, I do understand why people have feelings of resentment towards the F word. I consider myself a feminist – that’s just a no-brainer. But these guys…. They are delusional. And what is worst – they sort of carry the flag of feminism. They act as the ambassadors of it.
However, I want to talk about why the case of hygiene is not feminist.
Human beings are intelligent creatures capable of reflecting and creating concepts like truth, eternity, universe and alike. They are capable of recognizing good and evil. Beauty and ugliness. Justice and injustice. They are capable of mental journeys: to another city and state, and the continent, and the Moon, and the stars. There is only one barrier to all of these magnificent ideas – our bodies.
Our bodies are a burden in some way. They require a lot of attention: food, sleep, shelter, safe environment, physical acitivity. And when it’s ill, it requires even more attention. If our mind wants to go to the Moon, it first has to figure out the way how to get the body there.
This is the reason why religions really detest the body and put all the efforts in trying to tame and contain it. Because it tarnishes what could be a pure mind and stops from thinking clean thoughts.
But smart humans – I’d think quite intuitively – found an easier and more pleasant way to deal with it rather then lashing the flesh and beginning for salvation. They invented the concept of hygiene.
Hygiene not only protects from illnesses. It also is dignifying. Because body produces gross liquids and smells, and it can become fat and wrinkly. Which means even more flesh to deal with.
Therefore I argue that loving beauty in all forms is not loving the matter. And therefore it is not vanity. On the contrary – it proves our ability to appreciate beauty in its highest and most abstract form. A young beautiful face is an ephemeral rarity, worth admiration, which is so pleasing to our senses. That’s why fashion got hooked up on skinny bodies: it’s just less flesh.
Meanwhile the aforementioned feminist cause of defending the natural body is counterintuitive. It is against the very humane wish to cultivate the body and make it as civilized and less natural as possible. It is almost fighting against the concept of beauty.
Criticising how one grooms is just totally unreasonable. If it’s someone’s idea of style or how they want to live their lives – great. However, don’t call it feminism. Because it’s unrelated. Feminism is a glorious idea just as grooming is. Practice both and don’t panic.