With the long history of pubic shaving packed into a few paragraphs, lets look at that term — “porn culture.” What a deliciously expedient rhetorical tool. I think that the good professor is perhaps a bit under-exposed to what “Porn Culture” really is. The fact is this:(A note on one thing that did make me wince a bit about the article is toward the end – the emphasis on the word "empowering" in a way that now seems a bit dated for those of us who have been around the block in debates about choice and empowerment – in a word, issues like this are a typically far too nuanced to fit into simple "empowerment vs. exploitation" rhetoric.)
There. Is. No. Such. Thing.
One of the wonderful things about the internet is that it completely democratized porn. Back when you needed a lot of money to run a porn company, and only a few companies controlled the market, you had “porn culture.” The marketplace demanded that porn companies aim at the bulls-eye of sexual preferences, which usually followed along with body types and body images that Madison Avenue and Hollywood fed to us. Therefore, most porn actors and actresses looked relatively similar.
[...]How we dress, adorn and decorate, and yes, groom ourselves may relate to our personal feelings on hygiene or religious practices. However, when it comes to pubic hair in western culture, it largely has to do with sexuality and the many varieties of things that flip our perverbial switches. So, while one person’s approach to pubic hair maintenance may be largely pragmatic, others may do it to attend (however minimally) to their particular erotic ideal. Unless you believe that attending to any erotic ideal is bad and oppressive, there’s no reason that pubic grooming is any better or worse a practice than the many other erotic ideals out there.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Some words about sex and the pubic square
An interesting post over at The Legal Satyricon on pubic shaving and "porn culture". The article gives a much-needed and historically-informed smackdown to the idea that shaved pubic hair is solely driven by the porn industry or that there is a ubiquitous "porn culture" that is dictating how women present themselves sexually: