GROWING OUT PUBIC HAIR IS NOT FEMINISM.
So let me explain. Whenever the word feminism is said, certain people get very uncomfortable. A lot of people get uneasy and activate their defense mode. From the inception of feminism, the ideology or movement has been heavily criticized. As with any idea that challenges the status quo (in this case the patriarchal society we live in), it has been seen as an angry woman's refuge.
As an African woman, feminism is a necessity. Africa needs feminism like it needs younger presidents and leaders. With high rates of child marriage, domestic violence and a recent rise in female entrepreneurs in most countries on the continent, feminism is an ideology that needs to be injected into the blood of society.
So here is the story: I got a direct message on Instagram from a new user who has started a page to encourage women to grow out their pubic hair. In his words, "grow out your pubic hair and take a picture of it and use this hashtag to promote feminism".
How is growing out my pubic hair, taking a photo of the most secretive place on my body and uploading it for the world to see have to do with seeking equal rights for women?
So I took a minute.
Do men have the monopoly on growing out pubic hair and not get persecuted for it?
Has society told women that our pubic hair is unacceptable or immoral, perhaps?
The answer is NO.
Has pubic hair made women feel inferior to men?
Have I ever been called names or treated unfairly because I have overgrown pubic hair?
Are women being discriminated against because their body hair?
Is growing out your pubic hair and uploading it on the internet a counter or progressive act to oppression?
So please tell me why a movement created by a man to get women to do something this ridiculous had to be tagged as a feminism move? Is this a creepy guy just trying to get nude photos to satisfy his fetish?
What bearing has growing out pubic hair got to do with feminism? I will tell you why.
Because the modern day feminist movement has become a self-serving tool for people who have no basis or crutch for their movements to subscribe to.
"Hey, why don't you eat kale?. Answer: Because I am a feminist. I can do what I want".
Or you could say kale is such an unimpressive vegetable and I hate it.
Tagging everything associated with women as a part of feminism trivializes actual issues that the female gender has been experiencing since time immemorial.
Personal grooming, more than anything is dictated by fashion, culturally trends and personal choice. We have #beardgang going on now. Before, it was bleach your hair gentlemen. Or leave an afro comb in your hair.
In the 80s, women were said to grow out their pubic hair because it was "sexually fashionable" to do so. Then we moved to bikini waxing to trimming sides, to leaving a landing strip in the early 2000s. Now it's anyone's guess. It is called preference not oppression.
I have never shaved my legs because I actually like the hair on my legs. It is fine hair and cool to me.
Personal grooming choice.
Hair retains ODOR. If I pass by a burning bush, chances are my clothes and hair will reek of the odor from the smoke. If I sit too close to a human chimney (aka a smoker), chances are my hair and clothes will carry that odor on.
With the sweat, urea and discharges that happens pretty close to the pubic area, it is only sanitary to keep it clean and short. But if you believe that growing it out is medically beneficial(like some believe), arousing or better for you, knock yourself out.
I need people to stop attaching personal and/or trivial issues to movements that are trying very hard to make this world a better place.
To quote Kourtney Kardashian when our resident diva, Kim was freaking out over a missing earring. "Kim, there are people dying in this world and you crying over an earring you lost in the sea?"
There are little girls being married off to randy and horny pedophiles in Asia and Africa and you are worried about pubic hair?
Women are being raped and families being killed so diamonds can be stolen and placed on a finger and you want pubic hair to do what again?
The President of Nigeria just told the entire world that his wife belongs in his kitchen, living room and the other room and your focus is what again?
Explain to me why men in a company I worked for were allowed to make several mistakes and still get promoted in a short time frame, yet the women are given no leeway to make a mistake, show up late or even get a promotion.
Get real, people.
***Credit: GETTY IMAGES by Squarespace***