Sexuality Happens

Map of Tasmania: Thoughts on Pubic Positivity

I like Amanda Palmer quite often. I’m still out on how I feel about her Evelyn Evelyn project, which deals with a faux discovered set of coinjoined twins (hence my issue with the project). However, usually, I think she’s pretty rad.

Recently, I discovered this video by AFP (Amanda Fucking Palmer) which is about pubic hair (watch out, it’s very catchy):

Now, the video is awesome, I love the fabulous merkins (vulva wigs), the beat is rocking…but I have some issues with the message. I totally 100% believe that we need to do away with the myths that a shaved vulva is sexier, that natural hair is gross, that shaving/waxing/etc is a cleaner option, and so on. Obviously, these are all bullshit, and just one more way to control women and their bodies.

HOWEVER, I’ve talked about this before and I’ll talk about it again. It is NOT sex positive or feminist in anyway to tell people that what they CHOOSE to do to their body is wrong, or as this song puts it “whack.” Vagina Monologues (which has its other issues as well) has a piece called Hair, in which it says “You cannot love the Vagina unless you love hair.” First of all, this is anatomically incorrect, as the vulva is where there is hair, not the vagina…and secondly, it tells those people that like the feel of having less/styled/different/no public hair that they clearly don’t love their vulva/vaginas or those of a partner.

I have done almost everything that there is to do with pubic hair (except dying it). I have cut it, styled it, shaved it, waxed it (never again — way too fucking expensive), etc. It is certainly NOT for any male gaze. And I identify as a sex positive woman and with parts of the femininist movement. Does this mean that I don’t love my vulva? That I’m wack? NO. I like the sensations of toys and tongues both with and without hair, and enjoy the differences that hair does and doesn’t provide. Some months I grow it out, other months I chop it off. My public hair and how I style it does not define me as a person, or whether or not a love female assigned genitala. The end.

I don’t know what the answer is. How do we reclaim the sexiness of having hair as an option without stepping on shavers/waxers/etc? It’s the same as how can we run the fat positive movement without saying horrible things about skinny people? (some people are naturally a size two, and yet often times the FP movement talks about them as if they are bulimic or anorexic when they are not, or calls them skinny bitches, etc). To be truly sex positive, or the type of feminist I identify as involves elevating global thinking WITHOUT HURTING others. When we step on people, say hurtful things, call them names, etc, solely in order to futher our own thoughts about things, we set all of us back.

So yes, I will probably continue to sing this song under my breathe, and I will DEFINITELY be using Map of Tasmania in the future. But Amanda Fucking Palmer, Eve Ensler, and the rest of you? Please stop judging people for choices that they make. Pubic hair is NOT gross…but not having it doesn’t make you a bad person, a failure as a woman, or even whack.

-Essin’ Em

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3 Comments so far

  1. Diva January 19th, 2011 7:07 am

    This is a great post with some very good points. One of the reasons I so loved Jiz Lee’s NYC Sex Bloggers Calendar photo was because it showed hair. I felt it was important as part of our theme of “Visions of Sexual Freedom” to show the message that pubic hair is both acceptable and very sexy.

  2. Nef January 21st, 2011 8:08 pm

    I think it is important to remember that the reason we are often so passionate about what and who we are is sometimes we don’t have any choice about those things (orientation or ability) and sometimes because we know we are who we are and have no intentions of changing it. I liked your post because it reminds us that just because we choose certain things, doesn’t mean that someone elses choice isn’t just as valid.

  3. Zen January 23rd, 2011 7:04 pm

    I realise there’s the line afterwards re looking like an eight year old, but I always assumed that “whack” was describing the pain of stubble in the next line, not calling people whack for shaving.

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