The dating site that I
torture myself with on the regular use has a fun feature that’s perfect for wasting otherwise perfectly productive hours of your day figuring out if you and your potential match agree on any number of things.
They have what appears to be billions of multiple choice questions that ask everything from the relationship-related “Do you want kids,” to the weird “Would you be uncomfortable if a pet saw your masturbating” to the patriotic “Do you believe that people have a civic duty to vote,” to the under-nuanced “What do you think is the best way for the government to handle the budget,” to the playful “would you rather make out in a tent or in Paris.”
And then there was this question. And I knew I shouldn’t have answered it because it was only going to make me sad. But it was 11 p.m. and I had half a glass of wine in me, so I answered it anyway.
“Do you think that women have an obligation to keep their legs shaved.”
I said no.
Guess who said yes. Every. Single. Guy.
Now, here’s the thing that I wonde–an OBLIGATION? An OBLIGATION is what happens when someone pays your or blackmails you. An OBLIGATION comes when you give birth to someone or accidentally kill their pet. An OBLIGATION comes after you swear a blood or Hippocratic oath.
An OBLIGATION does not allow for one to take into effect things like skin sensitivity or time constraints or the desire not to waste water or ‘oh whatever I’m wearing pants to work anyway, I’ll get to this later’ or yes, i’ll just spend extra $$$ on tools to alter my body so that I look as much like a preteen as possible.
All that being said, I totes shave. But still. An OBLIGATION?
Also, placenta-eating is on the rise. Just an FYI.
What do you think? Do women have an obligation to behave thusly? What else are women obligated to do? And who wrote that contract? What about the guys–what must they do to their bodies to be dateable? Let us know in the comments!
Can’t believe that the delightful wit who wrote this is single? See moar reasons why here! But also see why she won’t lower the bar here.
Nothing gets me to stop shaving faster than people telling me I need to do so in order to look feminine. *rolls eyes* I will not play their stupid gender games.
If you’re in a sexual relationship, your obligation is to either stay shaved or let it grow beyond the prickly stage – just gotta choose one. I answered no, btw 🙂
Obligation? No. But nicer for sex. Smoother feels better.
But, then, should I shave my chest?
I DO think women have an obligation to keep their legs shaved, if by “obligation” one means a self imposed obligation after years of being conditioned and brain-bashed (sounds a lot better than brainwashed) to think that kinda ridiculous shit was necessary to do in the FIRST place.
Just as bad as this conditioning is the conditioning of boys and men to come to expect this kind of behavior—we are ALL involved in the equation of this question about obligations and shaving legs, etc.—we are all indicted by it, too.
The terrible thing about that question is that it isn’t being asked in a way that would lead to the critical investigation of the shaping of woman’s bodies in relation to their human identities. Re-read the question and pretend the person asking it is appalled that women shave their legs. What a wonderful world this would be, to say nothing of a wonderful dating site, if, in fact, THAT was the genuine sentiment of the question, like, “Can you believe this bullshit, some men and women think a woman has an obligation to shave her legs!?”
As far as things men do to their bodies to be date-able, don’t even get me started. While the majority of men don’t pluck eyebrows, shave armpits and legs and our pubic hair, something like a galaxy of emasculating shame and mortification is set upon the boy or man if he doesn’t or is unable to fuck or make love to a woman the “right” way because of the size of his penis. This is the great burden, equal to, at least, the issue of women shaving their legs, that afflicts men.
Haha. Yes, I’d love to hear the question phrased differently and see what kind of response it gets.
I’m interested in hearing more about your last point because when it comes to sex, the only thing I’ve ever heard a gal friend complain about a guy’s either lack of interest or lack of confidence. Sometimes a lack of energy. But I’ve never had a friend complain about the size of anything and the only thing I’ve ever been disappointed about when it comes to size is when a guy feels insecure about it and asks me a billion times if everything’s okay and if I’m all right and he’s sorry that it’s not bigger. In fact, I definitely know guys who are way too proud of how big they are. I don’t know where all these horrible size queen women are, but I don’t know any of them.
Are guys getting this idea from actual women? Or from each other? Or just from pr0n, which is oh-so-accurate in explaining what women want.
Guys get that info from women. It’s usually not in face to face conversation (although I have heard about it happening), but rather they hear about it from their female friends telling stories, or from interviews and blog posts written by women to women. men never sit around and talk about size inadequacy to other men… never!!! Well, maybe some do… but I don’t know any of them.
Men’s dicks are the centerpiece of any sexual shame they either have within themselves (i.e. lack of confidence) or may/will encounter when having sex with a woman, and precisely–and ironically–because of its actual cultural power. (And by that I mean we live in a culture that caters to penises; a five year old child could link the whole conversation about female leg shaving back to the gyrating male crotch).
When I was 14 I had a 32 year old lover for a summer, and at that age I had no idea what the hell I was doing: I was just aiming and firing. And once she told me, “You have a big dick and you’re going to break a lot of hearts with it.” That might be t.m.i., but I mention it to make these points: 1) Sadly, I’ve known far too many women who struggle with fucking the loser-dude with the big dick or remaining faithful to the decent bloke with either the average size or small penis. 2) Unless you somehow know you have a large penis, and you truly do know if you do, a lot men, I think, really believe their buddies’ penises are bigger, to say nothing of what ridiculous, reckless shit about the black male genitalia that has taken firm root in the imagination of too many white boys/men in this country. 3) If I had a dime for every time I heard some ridiculous woman/girl hell-bent on trying to hurt a man, by saying, “You small dick faggot!” I’d have approximately $4, which is to say that that’s a lot dimes.
There are any number of side conversations that can come out of the the above paragraph. I know this. In fact, I’m having those conversations in my head right now, but since I have no ability to simultaneously express the 15 other thoughts related to all this talk about Johnsons, I’ll just say this: it’s tough being a man, and especially damaging because, as the brother above said, men don’t talk about penis issues unless theirs a danger of it falling off due to misuse.
Oreowriter, I, too, don’t hear a lot of women talk about size mattering, but I have heard some, but that doesn’t even matter. More than having heard women speak about this, being an attentive and caring human being, I have sensed in the set of their shoulders, in the dimness of vibrancy in their faces, in, simply, the sexual sadness of their being, how they wish a man would, in fact, make love to them the right way, because they’ve for far too long settled for the guy who just pumps away. If I were a woman, I’d much rather have a guy show some lack of confidence in the bedroom than the man who has foolishly been taught a sense of superiority about himself, and uses the woman. I could go on and on, I truly could…but I don’t want to muddle the conversation any more than, perhaps, I already have.
A dominant patriarchal society like the one we live in, to say nothing of the world at large, has perpetuated the hugest lie in the history of lies: that men’s dicks are far more important than their hearts. Too many of us, men and women and other, get down with this notion; so when Lorainna Bobbitt cuts off her husband’s penis because of his abuse, and when Raymond Carver’s male character in the short story “Tell the Women We’re Going” bashes the teenage girl over the head with a rock because she won’t fuck him, it seems to me whatever power derived from having a penis always fails in a crisis, and since we, men, possess the cock, the consequence of having your heart shaped like a dick falls first on our—wait for it—heads.
All three, I think. But ultimately, I think it has to do with insecurity, thinking that a bigger size will solve his problems kind of like the guy who thinks getting more muscular will get him more dates.
No one is obligated to do anything, and I doubt all the guys who answered yes imagine this to be a moral obligation, but more a ridiculously sensible thing to do. And by women, I imagine most guys imagined women in the dating pool. I’m a guy, I also seriously doubt this reflects on some moral turpitude or inherent chauvinism, more just sensibility. The only conditioning going on here, is that of looking presentable. If you want to give up on dating and ever wearing a skirt, then no there’s no obligation whatsoever. Retire to snuggies and mom jeans.
Sensibility? Yes, I suppose it does make sense for me to completely dehydrate and hurt my legs and waste water every single day just so that no man ever has to feel the hint of the stubble that is there in the first place. I guess that’s why men are OBLIGATED to shave off all of their body hair.
I mean, imagine this with me: a smart, funny, ambitious, kind, loving woman…but wait… she has some strands of hair on her leg?? F her!! And not in the good way. God, if she had only taken some of the time spent developing her talents and gifts and devoted it to making herself look like an infant, then I suppose she’d have a chance. Barf! I mean, how are you supposed to hear her interesting and considered conversation over the roar of that bullshit all over her calves?
Oh Good Grief. Are we obliged to pay taxes? Yes. Are we obliged to say good morning to our neighbors? If you live in the south: yes. Are we obliged to shave our legs? No. Any man who thinks his wife/girlfriend/onenightstand needs to have legs like a 7-year old girl needs to realize he’s lucky to have a women willing to be near his unshaven, unplucked, unwaxed, un-made-up body in the first place…
I’ve never used a dating site, and thus was unaware at how fun it could be! They really ask ridiculous questions like that? I LOVED the one about masturbating in front of pets. Seriously, are pets an option when it comes to looking for that special someone? I wish the answers were open ended, too. You’d get things like “Oh, well, that depends…My pet or someone else’s?” And why can’t I make out in a tent outside of Paris, in some nice, beautiful French countryside, and then ride bikes into Paris for the day, but ending the day by coming back and drinking wine around a campfire under the stars. Open ended is always, always better.
As far as women being obliged to shave their legs, from the male perspective (well, at least my male perspective) who cares. I mean, as with anything else, your body, your choice, go nuts. I grew up with the women around me always having legs that positively glowed, but when I was around 13 or so, I went on a rafting trip and met my first “hippy chick” (she had that tattooed on her, seriously). This woman didn’t believe in shaving. She had what can only be described as a luxurious mane of hair covering her legs and arm pits. For an instant, my world was shattered. And then I hit some class IV rapids and didn’t care. Haven’t cared since. While I prefer it when the woman I’m with shaves, it’s far from an obligation, and I’ve never made a fuss about it if she hasn’t.
Anyway, came stumbled across your YouTube vids while wandering that site. The, er, sunblock one was… well, that’s the one that got me. I came here. Interesting perspective.
Loved the Raiders of the Lost Ark reference!
Women are not obligated to shave their legs. The phrasing of the statement is ridiculous, unless it was some sort of assessment of dominance/passiveness, or old school values, etc. I’m shocked that 100% of the guys said yes. I’d love to know the backgrounds of these guys. Maybe they were quasi-literate and read “Do you think that women have an obligation to”, but understood it as, “Do you prefer that”. Guys do that sometimes.
For the record, some guys like hairy legs… I’m just sayin’. If a woman likes to shave her legs, that’s fine… they’re her legs. But if she doesn’t, that’s better. Just another perspective.
I have a feeling you’re doing your dating on OkC, I got that question too. And I answered no, too. And I don’t give a rats willy what Tom Dick and Harry want, because if they want me, they can deal with an unshaved leg every now and then, because seriously, razor burn is like being rubbed raw with sandpaper. I’d like to see them shave their legs every other day and see how long they last.
I also got that question, was offended by the phrasing and answered no and was (semi) shocked to also see 100% of men answer “yes”… I agree with many things already said in this post and these comments. Here! Here! My two cents.
LOL..(!) I have seen only one lady in my life that had very long hair on her legs…She was on a plane with me when I was flying over to the Phillipines to meet my ship. Pretty sure she was french…she had VERY long hair on her legs….we are talkin more than most men who have never shave their legs hair..(!)
But really ladies and gentleman…most Hott Girls like Ms.Oreowriter and most women in general shave their legs when they start getting just stubble on them…however….if I man starts demanding that she shave she might forget about shaving for a few weeks…(!) Ha..(!)
I told a girlfriend I had one time that i thought women looked better with high heels on…Well she stopped wearing them after that and then started trying to pick a fight about it even though I never complained….I was too busy figuring out how to end the relationship.
For the record…I think most sane rational men would gladly assist Ms.Oreowriter or any similar gorgeous woman in the shaving of her legs if she requested it….
My question is where did the trend of shaving legs come from, or the trend of shaving anything for that matter. I think these trends start and they become preferences. Men plucking their eyebrows has become prevalent, but where did it come from? I want to know ’cause I’ve been with a couple of women who have asked me to pluck.
What obligations do men have? I think with us it has to do more with performance: approaching women, chivalrous/bad boy, sex, provider, etc.
But obviously, women are bored, or rather, were never satisfied with such trivial obligations, so they’re “performing” a lot more, making a lot men feel like their roles are being taken from them.