Sometimes you just have to write…
Our idea of female beauty has been discussed in feminist literature before. Think Kate Moss or “America’s Next Top Model”: tall, skinny, with narrow hips and perky, but quite small, breasts, usually with a pouty expression on her face. Western society seems to have decided that the epitome of beauty is a 12-year-old girl (complete with the pout).
For decades, women have been shaving themselves as well: their underarms, their legs, and, with the arrival of the string bikini, also their bikini lines. This isn’t news. However – and I know I’m going to sound like a little old lady here – it has recently come to my attention that young women have been taking this look even further. They’ve been shaving their pubic hair off.
Some years ago, when I went through a brief bout of trying to work out at a gym regularly (It didn’t last long.), I noticed that many of the young women I saw in the changing room were shaving their pubic hair partially: generally they shaved it to a vertical stripe of hair down the middle. I thought it was very strange, and wondered if their sexual partners found that attractive. But I understood it because, I thought, they were doing it to be absolutely sure that no hairs would be visible around the edges of the minuscule bikinis they wear.
But that has changed, apparently. Now they’re shaving it ALL off. Yes, I still wonder what their sexual partners make of this. But what alarms me is that their resemblance to 12-year-old girls is now complete: tall, skinny, with small, perky breasts, but no hair as of yet in their “nether regions.”
That’s okay, I suppose, if their partners are aware of the fact that, normally, naturally, there is hair there. But what if they’re not? What if all the women they’ve ever had sex with were hairless? What if young men are learning that sexually mature women are SUPPOSED to look like that? And if that’s what they’re learning, doesn’t that mean that we’re TEACHING them that 12-year-old girls are perfectly valid sexual partners? There’s no visible difference, after all!
So if there’s no visible difference between a fully-grown, mature, but clean-shaven young woman and a partially-grown, immature, but physically identical 12-year-old girl, how can we expect anyone to be able to tell the difference? I know, they could simply talk to them, and would soon discover how immature they are. But, be realistic, how much talking happens between people who meet at pubs or clubs or wherever there’s ridiculously loud, pulsing music, and the whole goal of the evening is finding a convenient and relatively attractive sexual partner for the evening? And don’t tell me that 12-year-olds don’t go there, because there’s nothing a 12-year-old girl wants more than to be taken for someone older, and that’s just what a fake ID is made for!
And if we make it so hard for young men to tell the difference, are we raising a generation of pedophiles? And is the sexual act with a child any less harmful if the man can honestly say he didn’t know? In my view, it’s not; it’s just as damaging for that 12-year-old, even if she “consented”. It’s certainly not her fault. You could even argue it’s not his fault. Perhaps it’s our fault – all of the women who perpetuate this charade – for further obscuring the line between childhood and adulthood.