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Januhairy: Encouraging women to grow body hair does nothing to promote equality, it’s toxic feminism

Barbara McCarthy
Barbara McCarthy

is a freelance commentator, photo-journalist and travel writer based in Dublin. She contributes regularly to The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RT.com, The Sunday Times and others. Follow her on Twitter @BarbsMcCarthy

is a freelance commentator, photo-journalist and travel writer based in Dublin. She contributes regularly to The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RT.com, The Sunday Times and others. Follow her on Twitter @BarbsMcCarthy

Januhairy: Encouraging women to grow body hair does nothing to promote equality, it’s toxic feminism
The Januhairy campaign, which encourages women to ditch razors and let their body hair grow naturally ‘for charity’, is not an act of bravery but rather an example of herd thinking and toxic feminism.

So how’s everyone’s Januhairy going? Have all the people who ‘identify as female’ chucked out their razors in an act of bravery not seen since 1429 when Joan of Arc rode into Orleans in white armour on the back of a white horse to lead her army to victory over the English?

Just like Joan of Arc, these modern day heroines are trying to look like men. In Ms Arc’s case it was out of necessity. She cropped her hair and dressed in men’s clothes to make the 11-day journey across enemy territory to convince the embattled crown prince Charles of Valois to allow her to lead his troops. 

The women of Januhairy are doing it because they are victims of toxic feminism. 

Through vagina hat tinted glasses, they’re seeing it as an act of protest to break down barriers and destigmatise hairy legs and armpits. The unfortunate reality is that by indulging in decadent gender wars, they’re making a mockery of the feminist movement.

Also on rt.com For-show female empowerment & gender fluidity are simply the latest instruments of corporate capitalism (By Slavoj Zizek)

Hysterical narcissism 

An Instagram page called @januhairy celebrates the liberation of body hair with photos accompanied by posts citing “not afraid, not ashamed not anymore” or “We will continue to hold up our middle fingers,”“We are women, deal with it.” 

Created by a 21-year-old British student called Laura Jackson, the movement aims to encourage women to grow and embrace their body hair – and raise money for charity at the same time.

“It is difficult to break out of the norms and stereotypes that come with being a woman; I never even perused the thought of growing out my body hair in the past because that would be abnormal,” the University of Exeter student told Metro.Co.Uk. 

“Growing out my body hair has been a truly empowering experience – an external sign to the world that my body is for me.” 

One of her diciples, who went the extra step and dyed her underarm hair blue said,  “I love Januhairy – what better way to start the year than with an initiative to normalise female body hair.”

View this post on Instagram

Solo release #3: Sarah. “Like other women I'm sure, I was told to shave before I had hairs to get rid of. I used to steal my mothers razors to get rid of the fluff that made me self-conscious at school. A girl at dance pointed out that I had hairs growing above my lips and as soon as I got home I shaved the few sprouts right off. My skin was irritated and it hurt. I was 11. I was told stories in dance classes where my dance teacher had shaved a girl in her midteens for fear having hairy armpits would affect her ballet exam result. The examiner simply shouldn't have to see it. At school, we compared shaving cuts and rashes. We dreamed of being able to afford lazor hair removal when we grew up - because we'd save so much money and we wouldn't have the inevitable embarrasment of regrowth. When it came to intimacy, the idea of a hairy girl was abhorrent. But then no one wanted you hairless either. Navigating a guy's choice constantly was more emotionally taxing than I realised and really bad for my self-esteem. I'm sure my friends felt the same way. At the time, we accepted it and felt "this is something women just have to do". It didn't cross my mind that hair is the same regardless of who grew it. Why is the boy who is berating me for my hair anymore worthy to grow his? I had it easy because I am white cisgender- I cannot speak for others' experiences but if mine come as a shock to anyone, keep asking people from all backgrounds because there are harsher realities for people who don't share my privilege.” ~@sarahd3an ..📸 by @xtheodoreclarkex .. ..💄 by @kathrynpridgeon .. ..Bralet by @neonmoonco ..

A post shared by Januhairy (@januhairy) on

Are you having an abortion or not shaving your pits?

Using words like ‘difficult’ and ‘fear’ followed by ‘How does it feel to be free?’ almost suggests that the women are imprisoned or oppressed, or about to be burned at the stake like Joan of Arc. Instead, they just posted unsavoury photos of themselves in the name of body positivity.

Funnily enough, the hysterical narcissism of these easily offended, uptight raging feminists is as much of a turn off as their piliferous legs. If not a bigger one.

It’s not 1983 and you’re not Nena, the German Neue Deutsche Welle star, who sang ‘99 Red Balloons’ with her pit hair on show. She wasn’t making a statement, or shoving it in people’s faces, it just appeared from time to time. German rockers were famously slow to catch on – as anyone who remembers their mullets will tell you. 

Well before the Teutons modernised their look, ancient Egyptian women removed all of their body hair, including that on their heads, with tweezers (made from seashells), pumice stones and beeswax. The Romans and Greeks used razors made from flints and stones to remove excess hair because it was considered uncivilized. In the 1500s, Elizabeth I got rid of her facial hair with ammonia, while in the 1760s, razors were invented in France and were used by some women.

In 1880, Wisconsin-born businessman, King Camp Gillette invented the first modern day razor for men, thereby creating a revolution. The first female razor came along in 1915 and we have been removing body hair ever since, evolving to waxing, creams, lasering and more.  

Last year, Gillete tried to declare war on ‘toxic masculinity’ in a twist on its ‘best a man can get’ slogan, featuring men behaving stereotypically badly. The backlash saw Gillette’s parent company Procter & Gamble being forced to take an $8 billion writedown. Oops.

Also on rt.com Hack job: Gillette tries to teach men ‘social justice’, meets massive online backlash

Having opposite effect 

Speaking of razors – ditching them does nothing to promote equality and respect between women and men. It just makes a particular type of women seem cracked, closed minded and unapproachable, the opposite of what they are trying to promote.

The last time I was at Burning Man, a music and countercultural event which takes place in the Nevada Desert each year, there was a growing presence of pit and leg hair, which quite frankly was confusing. I was sitting beside a couple and could see four hairy legs beside me and a woman’s head and a man’s head. It took a while to sink in. Oh, she needs a lawnmower.

By demonising men across every aspect of life, women promote what American Feminist Camille Paglia calls a “peevish, grudging rancour against men” where “men’s faults, failings, and foibles have been seized on and magnified into gruesome bills of indictment.”

In this case, the women are manshaming, as opposed to shaving, and destroying a bond of acceptance and respect. 

It’s not empowerment, it’s herd thinking, which historically never goes well. 

100 years after Joan of Arc was canonised for her services to humanity, women who won the battle for equality are still fighting it with body hair. Well done. Toxic feminism is real. Whatever next?

See you in Februhairy, or perhaps Septembhair.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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