After having grudgingly come to terms with the fact that I’m a bit of a romantic, I found myself wondering why I had ever denied it. My first explanation was internalized misogyny—after all, the romantic, even when characterized with inextravagance and realism, is assigned by modern patriarchy as an attribute of femininity—and, finding the idea unbearable, I half-heartedly assured myself that my belittlement was instead reactionary: that so much destructive patriarchal drivel is packaged as romance that I had developed an aversion. Of course, while ostensibly a logical conclusion, further examination would reveal that while women are condescendingly awarded for our performance of femininity, we are simultaneously disparaged when this conditioned behavior “interferes” with men’s claims to practicality or with a mundane masculine routine. In my foolish appeasement, I once joined the audience in scoffing at a woman on television who admitted that using her husband’s razor made her feel closer to him.
To be fair to myself, I hadn’t understood it at the time. Standing there, rolling my eyes at the TV, I could never imagine ever wanting to use my hypothetical future partner’s razor. I couldn’t for the life of me fathom why any woman would ever want to. (Because I understand it now, suddenly, I suspect that a part of it is somewhat sexual.) But I could see that she thought it was romantic, and that warranted scoffing. I wasn’t scoffing because it was possibly a health hazard, but because she thought it was romantic. That’s just like women, to think things are romantic when they’re really just annoying and invasive on the rightful turfs of manly men.
It’s interesting that men demand boundaries from women.
Of course, I would never use a man’s razor if he rather I refrain from it, exactly to respect his boundaries. (And if he feels the same way about it as I would were he to use my toothbrush I definitely understand!) And there are other reasons you shouldn’t use someone else’s razor: primarily, it’s probably unclean.
I’ve heard reasons that are total marketing bullshit, like men’s razors aren’t made for women’s “delicate” skin. We have the same damn skin.
The real reason is that women’s razors are more expensive (like women’s everything), presumably due to additional moisturizing strips, and they don’t want you to stop buying them. But they’ll give you bullshit explanations: supposedly the blades on women’s razors are sharper because we are shaving a larger surface area. The blades are also exactly the same. And even if they weren’t, I am sure men would prefer sharper blades. It’s simply incongruent to make blades duller because there’s less to shave.
Once I discovered that the idea was alluring, I tried to figure out why. It wasn’t that I preferred men’s razors (though they are cheaper and sleeker, admittedly the moisturizing strips save time) it would have to be specifically his razor. This was something about my own psychology that bewildered me, like the time I noticed that when I find a man attractive I tend to run my fingers on the edge of a glass. Which is weird. I don’t laugh at everything he says (thank God)* but I make more eye contact than usual and say his name often. These indicators frustrate me, because I don’t understand them and to an extent it feels like I’m betraying myself.
As for the razor, it’s probably the idea that’s more enticing than the actuality: realistically I wouldn’t have the time required to enjoy the sensual indulgence of holding what he holds, and what could potentially cut. I’m more likely to grab my own and use it in ferocious haste before running. Additionally time-consuming, if I ever used his, I would inevitably feel the obligation to meticulously clean it afterwards, as I’m always more careful with the belongings of others.
*Geez, even this post is riddled with ridiculing “feminine behaviors.” Recall advertisers, who claim they’re ridiculing the exaggerated stereotypes of feminine behavior and refuse to acknowledge that “ironic sexism” is really just sexism in the context of patriarchy.
7 thoughts on “Men’s Razors”
It’s funny that a woman would refuse to use a man’s razor because it would cross a boundary but in my experience a man’s refusal to use a woman’s razor is because they’re ‘girly’.
On an only semi-related note, the second last time my most-recent-ex was here, he asked to use my razor. It felt weird (but then again in the context of my relationship with him, much about that day was ‘weird’) but I said okay anyway.
Exactly. I mean I wouldn’t use another woman’s razor if she didn’t want me to either… because it’s her razor. (Also because that would be weird for me, using anyone else’s but my own or his.) But it seems men are concerned with ego and soft misogyny (“ew girly colors”), not respecting boundaries.
Although, the pastel colors are arguably atrocious. =P
Interesting take on rejecting the romantic as internatized misogyny. I’m divided about this, because is it internalized misogyny, or simply the refusal of certain behaviours as necessarily relegated to the feminine? I tend to think the latter. I don’t like the idea of refusing something because it’s feminine, but I like the idea of embracing something for the same essentialist reason even less.
Essentially the difference, I think, is between rejecting the romantic with the refusal that it be should regulated to the feminine and rejecting it because it’s regulated to the feminine with the judgment that it is therefore impractical and comically inferior.
About the health hazard of using your partner’s razor: my first boyfriend used to react like he would get horrible diseases if I were to use his razor to shave my legs. I used to accept it at the time (and anyhow, if he doesn’t want me to use it, then I won’t!), but thinking about it now it mystifies me. What sort of disease could he get from my legs? I don’t have a skin disease. Or anything that could spread through blood-blood contact, which might be a possibility with a razor. I now suspect he was afraid of razor-transmitted cooties.
My current partner happily shares his razor with me (and only complains when it gets dull too fast). So far, no horrible diseases yet!
The explanations I’ve heard involved bacteria and dead skin cells being caught beneath the blades (making the glide rougher and easier to cut yourself). But yes, I think for the former it depends on whose razor it is and whether they have any diseases (people seem to just use “bacteria” like a scare-word), and the latter would happen with your own anyway if it’s unwashed. xD
I’ve used an ex-bf’s razor, but would only do it if I didn’t have mine, I do actually feel a difference to my own, something to do with the way it’s shaped :P
Really enjoyed this post!