It must be Shady Advice Month, as it seems that every day, yet another "advice" columnist offers a fairly insulting response to a reader. Today, it's Suzi Godson of the Times of London, on the subject of pubic hair.
A 38-year-old woman wrote to Godson, concerned that her re-entry into the dating world, after leaving a marriage of 13 years, was being derailed a bit by her pubic hair; specifically, the fact that she has any. The 27-year-old she's now dating was "shocked" to see that she had hair on her genitals, and as the woman notes "I do look after myself (hence the gym) but I don't think that a permanent tan and Brazilian wax should be deal-breakers in a relationship. Or am I just hopelessly outdated?"
Godson's answer, though it comes with a great deal of apologetic buildup, is basically yes. She explains to the woman that the pornification of the world is greatly responsible for younger men's tendency to expect a hairless woman. "There is something hugely irritating about being forced to conform to an aesthetic ideal instigated and perpetuated by the porn industry," Godson writes, "but, like keeping one's armpits and legs smooth, it is now expected. If your boyfriend has been conditioned to expect a tidy Brazilian, he may genuinely find anything else very off-putting."
Oh. Okay then. Because men have been "conditioned" to expect Brazilians, this woman needs to have one right away. We wouldn't want this woman to have any say over her own pubic hair, would we? I mean, she clearly states that she doesn't think Brazilians are necessary for a relationship, but apparently she's wrong in Suzi Godson's eyes, as only a woman who conforms to her boyfriend's pube desires really deserves relationship status. "Though the feminist ethos of your "take me as I am" argument is perfectly valid," Godson argues, "your boyfriend's reaction is instinctive - and in the face of something that is honestly perceived as a turn-off by one partner, rational arguments simply do not work."
Look, if the guy is so turned off by this woman's pubic hair that it really is a sexual dealbreaker for this couple, that's a conversation this couple has to have. But instructing a woman to wax simply for a man's happiness, regardless of her own personal preferences, is ridiculous. Just because men are "accustomed" to a certain thing, it doesn't mean that women have to do it to make them happy. And if a man really can't handle it, maybe it's not the pubic hair that has to go.
Sex Advice: Do I Need To Wax? [TimesOnline]