I suppose today was more significant than your average Monday in that it's the first time I've given becoming a feminist more than a passing thought. It came not as the result of a demonstration or serious philosophical consideration, but as the result of pain, a very effective teacher.
You see, Braun makes these nifty little alternatives to razors which pluck hairs out instead of just shaving them, the idea being that they will grow back much slower and generally be less of a nuisance. I hadn't heard much about them stateside, but a few of my dorm friends have them and tell me on good authority the pain is worst the first time and it's well worth the freedom of two or three razor-free weeks. Being that I'm developing a Pavlovian association between skirts and razors, and seeing as college is a time for experimentation, I decided to give the little device a try. It's far too early to call the trial a failure, but I will say that it was hands down the most painful experience of my life. More intense than taking an exam, more painful than getting a tattoo, and almost as traumatic as leaving home for the first time.
I've always been a fan of shaving as little as possible, but my preference for smooth skin and skirts is stronger. Today though, I couldn't help but dwell on the misguided thought that if ultra-feminism offers the chance for deliberate, razor-free social acceptance, I just might jump at that chance. As much of a stereotype that is, I can the link between throwing off the yoke of male domination and throwing out the need to pursue traditional beauty.
Soon after, my thoughts turned to the confused gender party we hosted this weekend and the very small number of males who were persuaded to shave their legs "to see how we feel." Now as I said, I like smooth legs as much as the next person, but I do wonder what guys would say if they realized what *pains* (uhem, pun INTENDED) for perceived beauty. So Guys, have a heart and don't knock not shaving until you've tried this.