Earlier this week I went to the gynecologist for my annual, as they call it. Although I have been going to this particular office for awhile, the gynecologist was someone whom I had never seen in the past. Normally I request a particular doctor, but realizing that it was time for my yearly “check-in,” and being told my favorite gyno was on vacation until July, I really had no choice. I understand that an annual doesn’t have to be to the day, but I also knew if I didn’t do it now, I’d forget.
Like any woman, the last thing I want to do is go to the gynecologist. Between the stirrups and the consistent “just spread you legs a little wider,” it’s pretty much a nightmare. So there I am, legs spread, a doctor between them and I’m asked a question that I’ve never been asked in such a situation: “Do you always wax?” I told her that yes, I do. I assumed what would follow would be a mini-lecture on how waxing isn’t so great for the skin and that you have hair “down there” for a reason, but no — she took it a wee bit further.
Wow. She had no right saying what she did. It’s one thing to make some friendly chit-chat, but judging you for your grooming habits? Hell no.
One of my biggest peeves is when people neglect to realize that the opposite of oppressive judgement is unconditional choice, not… counter-oppressive judgement.
My grooming is my choice. I choose to be educated about its various interpretations. I choose whether or not to remove hair, how, where, how often, to what degree, and for what reason. It is my business unless I choose to involve someone else in it.
While I value this gyno’s sentiments, this is not an appropriate way to voice them. In no way should she be allowed to deter her patients from a preferential practice based on her own judgement without first understanding their reasoning and environment.
Had she made a blog post or something, detailing the moralistic and commercial reasoning behind female bareness, I would have applauded. But to flat-out say that the response to stigmatized hirsuteness is to stigmatize bareness is immature and circular. The response should always be to remove the stigma, not to cultivate one that’s incidentally more favourable.
Right. Sorry for the essay. Haven’t ranted in a while.
This is something that happens everywhere, but to see it happen in an environment that already makes vagina-bearing individuals vulnerable, and should be seen as a place of trust and aid not defined by circumstance, is entirely counterproductive.
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