I’ve always hated shaving, one of many things I’ve done on auto-pilot for no particular conscious reason other than it’s something I’m supposed to do. Why do most men perform a daily act that is so anti-skin and anti-man? There are two reasons:
1. Men shave to appear presentable to their boss or manager. A scruffy appearance doesn’t match well with Dockers khakis and a button-down.
2. Men shave to satisfy women. I’ve gotten many complaints from women that my manly stubble irritates their chin, so there was actually a time period where I cared and would shave for them before hot date nights. Obviously this was before I became a real man.
From these two points you may agree that men shave for others. But if you consider that the main purpose of work for men is to earn enough wealth and material possessions to impress or provide for a woman, only one conclusion remains: men shave for women.
Take a look at the 1970’s when hippie culture was strong in this country. Did men shave? For the answer just ask your dad for pictures of when he was in his twenties. Chances are the manly essence that is facial hair flows from his face without restraint. Many men didn’t even cut their hair during this period. It was not until the feminist movement gained strength did men start to go from freely displaying their hair to being almost embarrassed of it.
If you want to study cultures where women are treated poorly and men dominate society, the Middle East is probably a good place to start. There, women are forced to cover their entire bodies with cloth and are subjected to various inhumane punishments. Turn on the television to a report about Saudi Arabia and you will see one thing in common with most of the men: unshaven facial hair. I don’t suggest we treat women poorly, but this example shows that men who care little about what a woman thinks will never shave. There is no need to.
I haven’t met a man who liked to shave, for as a gender we’re not born with the urge to get rid of our body hair. We do it because society tells us that an unshaven face is not acceptable. The line between what is masculine and feminine is becoming so blurry that solely feminine acts only a decade ago, such as eyebrow plucking, are now practiced by both genders. I wish for the day when I can go to the beach with my little brothers and we can all be proud of our full hair coverage, while making fun of the American men who not only bring a razor to their face, but to their body as well.