I am not now, nor have I ever been, a ladies' man, rake or playa. Nevertheless, I have had some experience with women and I've encountered a variety of pubic hairstyles. The majority of the females I've known had the standard triangle. Some were shaved, some were thickly furred. I had one long-termer who shaved occasionally for variety and one who was a compulsive hair-plucker, a trichotillomaniac. I never really thought about women's pubic hair much.
A few years back, I was working in a different restaurant and the subject came up in conversation. I don't know how pubic hair came up in conversation. Restaurants are like that. There you are dicing onions and then you're having a conversation with the nineteen-year-old server about pubic hair. A bartender came back to the kitchen and put her two cents in. By the end of the shift, I had learned that bare-down-there had become normal, that natural pubic hair was "disgusting" and that electrolysis of the pubes was a thing people did. I haven't conducted any surveys since then - questioning women regarding their pubic hair seems a mite awkward - but I have no reason to suspect that my former coworkers were anomalies. The women who I'm close enough with to discuss such matters assure me that total defibulation is the norm.
I was watching E. Elias Merhige's Begotten with a female friend, a smart,competent, confident young woman who has many accomplishments to her credit. She found the disturbing imagery disturbing, appropriately, but was especially critical of the female characters' bush. I explained that the woman in the movie represented Mother Nature. She replied that "Mother Nature needs to trim that shit". We've had plenty of discussions about feminist issues - and I've tried to get her to pose naked for cover art with no success - and she knows better, but her "vagina shame" is still there and still strong.
Women's bodies are not their own. Women - in this culture - grow up in the spotlight, constantly examined, critiqued, criticized and dictated to. Entire industries depend on women hating their bodies and being willing to spend billions of dollars "correcting' their "flaws". The body-shaming never ends. Men are subjected to some body-shaming, but that's nothing compared to what women endure. The majority of it is directed at parts of womens' bodies that anyone can see: their faces, legs, hair. A woman doesn't have to be naked for anyone to know how her body is shaped. Pubic hair, conversely, is private, which is why it's even more disturbing that the shaming has gotten there. Sex workers might have professional reasons to shave, but the average woman's pubis is only seen by herself and her lover(s). The fact that total hair removal has become the norm indictates that our culture's degradation of women has reached into their most intimate places. I'm not going to go into labiaplasty or anal bleaching.
Symbolically, women are linked with nature and the Earth. Mother Nature is a mother for a reason. Men are related to society, to laws and organization.Our society has abdicated all authority over nature. We have collectively given our planet to corporations, to do with as they please. Corporations have no symbolic standing because they're too recent. Myth offers no examples of heroes or heroines venturing forth to slay corporations. Myth does provide many stories of individuals fighting evil tyrants who seek total dominion over the land and everyone on it, which I would suggest is what corporations are.
Begotten, by the way, is a phenomenal piece of work. I got my copy from a friend who was really into fucked-up films and went into thinking that's what it was. I figured out what was happening halfway through. If it had ended differently, I would've been pissed, but Merhige got it right. It's brutal, disturbing and 100% spot on. It tells the story exactly right and Mother Nature's pussy is hairy for the right reasons. Kudos, Mr. Merhige.
So I decided to organize a various artists compilation, to be titled My Goddess Has A Crazy Bush. The whole point of the comp is not not not to promote a fetish for hairy pussy. I spent hours searching the web for the right picture to go with this thing, a search which paid off rather delightfully, I might add, but which entailed looking at a lot of images of hairy pussies. Fetishizing pubic hair is just the flip side of fetishizing no pubic hair and not what I'm after. I've gotten some responses from musicians who are really into the fur and I'm totally okay with that, but the end goal is that pubic hair is natural and fine. There's nothing wrong with trimming it if you don't want it curling out of your bathing suit or shaving it if that seems fun, but allowing some massive corporation to shame you into believing that your body, in it's natural state, is disgusting or dirty or unsightly is giving up too much. Our bodies belong to us. We should decide what to do with them and if our prospective sexual partners don't like our pubic 'dos, let 'em find some other lover.
My contact list consists mostly of experimental, noise, weird punk and drone musicians. Most of them are male. I think there is some value in males saying they're happy with women's natural bodies - many women do care what the men in their lives think about their bodies. For us to say "Hey, you don't have to shave to make us happy" is a positive thing, but I'm not trying to organize a sausage party. I've gone pretty far out of my way to throw this thing at female musicians and haven't gotten any responses. I've also sought diverse musical forms and have no reason to think any of the old-time bands I've contacted will be sending tracks. If you know any radical, banjo-pickin' femmes who might like to get in on this, send 'em a link.
Pubic hair is just an example, of course. What this thing is really about is the unnatural and unattainable images women are presented with and told they must conform to. I'm pretty happy to have plenty of hippie chicks in my life who don't shave anything, avoid make-up like the plague and wear comfortable, functional clothes. They listen to terrible music, of course, and none of 'em wanna jam with BDSR, but I'm happy to have 'em around, reminding me of how female human beings actually look. I'll take a hairy hippie chick in jeans and workboots over a made-up college girl anyday.
Relating it back to nature, I'm all for nature. I'm all for the woman/earth symbolism. Women and our planet can look good and fun when gussied up a bit - I like Japanese gardens and I know some punks who rock the Siouxsie Sioux heavy-make-up look pretty hard - but wild, lush and untamed is always preferable.
So, send in your tracks, let your big muff roar and get out to the national forest as soon as you can. Goddess bless.
Brown Hat the Espresso Shaman
The pun is always intended.