Some dudes sound off:
Now this is an interesting thread. I am a straight male and I personally would despise having to shave my armpits and legs every few days. So I don’t actually know why I expect women to do it. I mean, when I have to shave my face I go old-school and make it a luxury. I have my safety razor, my badger hair and my creams and I get a nice shave. I do this once a month. The rest of the time is a Monday morning once-over with a beard trimmer (I am somewhat blonde and can get away with it). If I had to do that to a higher percentage of my epidermis, I’d be even lazier.
All that said, being in NYC I’ve seen plenty of women who have stopped shaving their legs or armpits. I cannot explain it, but I have an absolutely visceral reaction to it. I am immediately and ferociously grossed out by it. This is likely immature and/or neanderthal of me, but I can’t help it.
I was going to stay out of this one, but here goes: I don’t think women should have to shave, but it is the case that basically any woman who wants to date me has to shave on a very regular basis. I simply find smooth legs on a woman very sexy, and hairy legs completely off-putting. I don’t know if that’s a mere cultural construct, but it doesn’t really matter; I’m not changing my mind.
Besides that simple preference, I think the idea of shaving is really sexy. It means that a girl paid attention to her body and changed how it would look and feel, just because it might make me want her even more. That idea is hot!
I should add, I also groom myself very carefully.
I trim my pubic region and shave everything balls and below. I shave my face regularly. I moisturize twice a day. I clean the hairs out of my nose and pluck the few strays that grow off my earlobes. I don’t see this as an imposition, and I really don’t get why women or anyone find it to be such a pain in the ass. We’re talking about 5-10 minutes of effort in the shower, right? Is that really such a terrible thing? If that’s the level of problem we’re down to, I’d say we’ve come a long way in terms of women’s equality.
I also don’t think that wanting women to be hairless as a sexual preference constitutes “misogyny” per se. Misogyny properly defined is “The hatred of women by men.” Having a certain aesthetic preference, I think, doesn’t rise to that level. It’s tempting to use that word to more generally refer to anything men want women to do that some women don’t want to do, but we shouldn’t make that mistake. There are men out there who really do hate women. Those are the misogynists. The rest of us just think smooth legs are sexy to touch.
Straight man here with a preference toward women who shave their legs and pits. I applaud those in the thread who choose not to shave, but I don’t view myself as “oppressive” or “misogynistic” because I have a preference toward a cultural norm. Most people find baldness or men with toupees less attractive than men with a full head of hair (granted not to the same extent). It’s the same with men with patchy beards, or neck-beards. Nearly all of them have to regularly shave to feel attractive in the public’s watchful gaze. Do I think these are “oppressive” viewpoints? No. Do I think it sucks for bald men that want hair, neck-beards that don’t like shaving, and women that don’t want to shave? You bet.