>While nowhere near as explosive as the Great Blow-Job Debate of June 2006 (read more about it at One Good Thing and I Blame the Patriarchy; a nice summary of the arguments can be found at Broadsheet if you don’t have time to read over 250 comments and responses) the Great Crotch Debate of May 2006 is nearer and dearer to my heart.* And also funnier.

The debate was opened by a controversial (and highly amusing) post by Red Stapler:

I keep finding posts that mention bikini - or as I prefer to call it - crotch - waxing. It is normally something I prefer not to think about. But it is something that women just mention in passing now "Oh, yeah, got my crotch waxed."

…How did this become acceptable? How did a large portion of the American public start to think it was necessary for women to undergo this torture to be sexually attractive?

And it IS torture. Come on. If we found out that prisoners were having hot wax poured on their privates and having their pubic hair ripped out by the roots, the response would be "Call Amnesty International! Call the UN! It must be stopped!"

Women themselves are asking for it. But why? What bizarre women-hating qualities of our culture are playing themselves out in this practice? Is there anything, anything, comparably painful that men do to make themselves attractive to women?

This inspired 30 comments (including a rah-rah one from yours truly) and a rousing (and equally witty) defense by Queen of Spain and Her Royal Family:

I can't fathom not shaving. Or waxing. Or at the very least...trimming...Talk about smelly... Sure there are those times in life (like when you are 8 months pregnant, horribly ill, have broken hands, or 7 children) where going "jungle" is allowed... Other than those rare occasions, do everyone a favor and at least trim. Seriously. I can smell your last period...

And here is a little secret, in case you weren't in the "know." Bald or very close shave down there-helps you orgasm faster. Easy access, baby.

…Those of us who do keep ourselves trimmed, runwayed, bald, etc. are not just doing it for our men. Or women. Or significant other…We like it... No really. We LIKE IT... I'm not saying I like it like I like chocolate or anything. I'm just saying I like it clean and neat like I like my toes pedicured during sandal season. Or I like a good exfoliant. Or I like highlights (on my head there gutter-brain).

This inspired 41 comments (including a rather persnickety one from me).

While Sister Wolf at Godammit, I’m Mad! was not directly engaged in the Great Crotch Debate of May 2006, she did add to the controversy in June with this priceless commentary:

Men love our bodies, but they must first overcome their fear and loathing of our V area, which in the adult woman is covered with hair. Eeow, get rid of that hair, it’s too scary! If we wax it off for you, though, it will look like a child’s V area, which is harmless. Not only that, a waxed V area is naked in a sad, vulnerable kind of way, like a sheared lamb…Finally, there is female armpit hair, the scariest sight you can impose upon any man in the Western hemisphere. If you’re a woman with unshaven armpits, you are a woman with THREE PUSSIES, and few men are up to that challenge.

If her clever theory, which I am calling the Bermuda Triangle of Unshaved Women, does not become a part of Women’s Studies 101, there is no justice in the world.

At any rate, Arse Poetica recently brought politics into the hairy debate, quoting a Salon.com article about a recent auction at the Safari Club in which Tom DeLay served as the auctioneer and:

…pitched a sheared beaver pelt vest by asking, "Who wants a beaver?" Then he declared: "Everybody likes beaver, even women." On a roll, DeLay then said -- depending on whom you ask -- that "the best thing" about the vest is that it's either "a sheared beaver" or "a shaved beaver."

Her conclusion:

The Repugs give nary a thought to those outside their circle, do they? They just roll along, crass and crude, bigoted, piggish, braying about this and that, and no one calls them on it. Let a Democrat say this. Oh, please! Dobson, Falwell, Robertson, and that other one, what's-his-name, Tony-something, the shiny one, will fall over each other to proclaim their offense on behalf of the children, bemoan the obvious hating of Murka, apple pie, and mom that it implies, and self-righteously shudder w/ disgust at the sick, sick depravity of it all. Mm hmm.
Having said that, I'd want to kick any Dumbocrats ass who said this, too. That's not my point. My point is this: Shut the hell up, assholes. We've had enough braying and bloviating for this lifetime. Keep your lame, gimp-along titillation to yourselves. And P.S., your entendres are too feeble even to qualify as doubles. Feh.

Sure, the comments on Red Stapler, The Queen of Spain, and Godammit may be hilarious to some and cringe-inducing to others, but shaved beaver jokes are never, ever funny when made by slimy politicians. They are just creepy.

In conclusion, here’s a twisted, but entirely true, cautionary tale about shaved and unshaved snatch. John Ruskin, an English writer and art critic at the height of the Victorian era, was shocked into abstinence by the sight of his wife’s pubic hair on their wedding night. After five years, his wife had their marriage annulled on grounds of non-consummation. Fifteen years later Ruskin became friendly with Lewis Carroll at Oxford. According to wikipedia.com, “after the parting of Carroll and Alice Liddell, she and her sisters pursued a similar relationship with Ruskin, as detailed in Ruskin's autobiography Praeterita.” At the same time, Ruskin fell deeply in love a girl only nine years old. She rejected him when she turned 18. At the end of the day, Ruskin became a frequent masturbator, kept a diary of his sex dreams, and nearly went mad from his self-imposed sexual repression. He died a virgin.

This post also appears at BlogHer.