I was at a bridal shower a little while ago--you know, girls, presents, chocolate, gossip. And the mocking of men.
I don't think I'm betraying some sort of womanly secret by providing a glimpse into what goes on at these things. It's not that uncomplimentary to the male population. Often the age of the bride dictates the kind of crowd: a younger bride will likely have lots of single guests who will giggle and make fun of men while privately wishing they had one, imperfect habits and all. And a more mature bride will usually have more married guests, and their ribbing is liberally seasoned with affection.
Still, I felt rather bad for the absent husband of one of the ladies, considering the image of him she planted in everyone's heads. It had to do with her measures to ensure his excessive body hair was minimized when they went on holiday to somewhere hot. Her vivid description, the method she used and the place where she "sheared" him put me in mind of a prison camp. It sounded both humiliating and comical... in that way that most inconvenient realities are.
I spend an awful lot of time lamenting the plight of women with excess hair, and why not? Though most of us have more than we'd like, it is against both genetics and culture to have an excess. A man cannot be thought of as less masculine with more fur.
But they have aesthetic expectations looming over them, the same as we do. Heck, girls can be much more cruel in their judgments. I know of guys who shave more regularly than I do to appear what they think is "acceptable." It just widens the scope of compassion to think beyond gender, of anyone who experiences shame and discomfiture because of something they can't control.
And those of us who do are fortunate to be able to value things other than looks. That's really what I wanted to say. :)