The possibility that I might do something in response to the general trend in modern Western culture toward shaming women for having bodies that don’t perfectly match impossible standards has been swimming around for a while. I’ve occasionally done some things – posted links to articles, mentioned it here, a couple visual art pieces. Then, t’other day, I was laying in bed and the My Goddess Has A Crazy Bush V/A compilation jumped out of the water into my lap.
I was born in 1969. The images of naked women I saw in my adolescence were pictures in magazines that my friends and I swiped from our fathers’ closets, mostly Playboy and Penthouse from the ‘70s. Back in them days, women had pubic hair. When I started getting a little south of the border action, my girlfriends had pubic hair. Occasionally, a woman I was involved with would shave her pubes, which seemed like a big deal – ooo, check out what I did, we’re getting’ all perverted up in here. I was in a relationship for a few years with a trichotilomaniac who mostly confined her compulsive hair-pulling to areas that were not in public view, so I got used to hardwood floor, but I understood it to be one specific woman with one specific disorder.
In 2007, I was working in a restaurant where it was normal to talk about sex. That isn’t unusual in restaurants, but in this one particular place the conversations got more honest. It was then that I learned that shaving most or all of the pubes had become a normal thing for women.
I wrote the above a few months back, shortly after I received the inspiration for the V/A compilation My Goddess Has A Crazy Bush. Then the little thingy that plugs into the back of this laptop fell apart and – no surprise – they don’t make that one anymore. So the battery went dead and I couldn’t get back to any of the files here. I shoved this computer under the bed, got another one from my mom – a.k.a. Nana – and went on about my merry way until a label guy asked me to resend a track for a split cassette because he lost it and then I got motivated enough to actually do something toward getting this laptop powered up so I could get the files I wanted which started off with me asking around, finding out that a coworker had a sack of old, busted laptops and asking her if I could look through it for something that would allow me to jerry-rig a power supply. The first thing I took out of the sack was a power cord that had the right thingy on the end. Bam. We’re in business. I sent “Astralopithecus” to Ingrown Records, our side of a cassette split with Medicine Calf, which will be released if/when the Med Calves finish their side. I gazed lovingly at four-and-a-half-years’ worth of photos of my rotten kid and then I opened this and ya know what – who cares fuck-all about my own personal history of interacting with hairy pussies. Really, though, of what interest is that?
Anyway. The “Crazy Bush” comp is plodding along, as they do. A half-dozen tracks have come in. There are a few more bands/artists who claim they’re going to send something, all male. I went all out trying to get some chicks on this one – pitched the idea to possibly a hundred all-female or female-fronted acts. Not one replied. It’s going to be a sausage fest for feminism.
I talked about the project with this performance artist from New York who did a few performances in town, a twenty-something lesbian who had some feministy-looking art on the walls in the space where she was performing. Her response was a blank stare. (I love performance art, by the way, especially when it consists of a lesbian from NYC getting naked and being absurd. Actually, that’s almost redundant: all performance art is homosexuals from NYC getting naked and being absurd.) (Full body hair on that one, by the way.) I dunno why I told her about it. I guess because she had some bush-related art up.
The concept behind the comp has expanded a little. It started off being feminist, then I realized that it was really as much about the environment as about women’s body hair. Women correspond with nature in all religious/mythological systems. Women are Nature. Men are associated with society. This is the paradigm everywhere and everywhen. Our society is anti-(woman/nature). Women’s bodies are treated like commodities to be exploited, just like nature. What this comp is about then is rejecting that idea. Women and nature are fine as they are. There is no need to “fix them up”.
Think of a Japanese garden. Very nice, very lovely. Everything arranged just so. Now compare that with an actual, natural space. They’re very different, aren’t they? Maybe you like the Japanese garden better; I prefer the natural, even if it is sometimes untidy. I’m not opposed to Japanese gardens – actually, I think they’re quite beautiful – but I prefer National Forests. I’m not opposed to women shaving. I’ve definitely enjoyed some bald eagles, but I am very much opposed to women being shamed into shaving by a misogynistic, materialistic culture like ours. Fuck that noise. I wouldn’t shave my pits/legs/crotch for all the tea in China, for fuck’s sake. Actually, I’ll go it a step further – I won’t even deodorize. Ask any of my coworkers and they will confirm that I am an unabashedly smelly fella and whenever anybody mentions that, I will use it as a launching pad for a free-form, maniacal rant about corporate body-shaming in capitalist America and I’ll hammer it into the ground until people decide they’d rather learn to live with my funk than hear me yammer on and on about it. And I rejoice with great rejoicing whenever I see or hear about any form of re-wilding, whether it’s the recent reintroduction of wild horses to the Iberian Peninsula or weeds growing through the cracks in the parking lots of empty big-box stores. That which we call “civilization” will collapse one day and Nature, great and terrible Terra Mater, will reclaim every inch and grow all over it. Hallelujah.
So, My Goddess Has A Crazy Bush has an environmental as well as feminist message, which I guess makes it ecofeminist. There is still no requirement that tracks contain lyrics about crazy bushes. Some of the tracks that have come in refer to the subject, others don’t. Either way is okay. You can send your cover of “Louie, Louie”, if ya wanna. I am trying to expand the sonic palette on this one – trying hard to get some musical styles that are not weirdonoise, for a change. I really want to have a wide and wooly range of genres, if not genders, represented.
Really, if you know any hairy females who make any kind of music or read poetry or any fuckin’ thing, try to get them interested in this.
It seems likely that there will be more than one of these. I am quite invested in gender equality and in saving this planet and expect to continue to be so. I can easily see an ongoing series of “Crazy Bush” compilations. Let’s just go ahead and assume that there will be a bunch of them. That doesn’t mean that anyone should put off sending something because they can always get in on volume IV. If you got it, send it. Then send more for future comps. Also, form your own ELF cell and refuse to eat any peaches that ain’t fuzzy.