The Age of Simple Answers, Part 3: The Conspiracy Yada

What strikes me as funny is the incredible number of conspiracy theories peddled on the Internet, while even those who presumably have wrapped their heads (perhaps even their entire bodies, I don’t know) in several layers of tin foil show no signs of secretly suspecting the Internet itself could be a conspiracy.

Seriously discussing a conspiracy theory within the limits and means the conspiracy theorised about provides to discuss conspiracy theories would be genuinely funny — at least, it would suit my sense of humour just fine.

What is a “conspiracy theory”? Watch this video on Youtube

Since I haven’t found any such outlet for people’s wildest nightmares and daydreams, I shifted my focus away from the abundance of “information” delivered and discussed to the meta–information conveyed in the majority of theories.

It may not be instantly obvious as the number of personae involved appears to be large, and the buzz created to keep the discussion afloat is considerable, but I believe the circle of individuals running these schemes (the original human plotters) to be rather small. I would even venture the guess that the place of origin of the lion’s share of data is a single “troll farm”; the sorry rest are simply copycats.

Despite the numerous topics discussed online and the allegedly ever growing number of contributors, all “communities” appear to busily revolve around a small centre of highly controversial “theories”. That’s to say, there is no perceptible effort to develop their ideas beyond a comfortable limit, to eventually become theories worthy of serious consideration.

The circle of prime suspects (accused of conspiring against humanity) is small but, at the same time, ridiculously vast in respective numbers: the Jesuits, Zionists, Freemasons, Illuminati, the Rothschild family, and the random Government–sponsored three–letter organisation (in no particular order) are supposed to be the leading actors to perform in the most notable dramas staged in the political theatre — which more often than not boils down to mean “Jews”, without risking to appear overtly racist.

The alleged conspirators’ means should be obvious: money and religion. Their motive could only be “world power” — or, as the in–crowd would say, a “New World Order”. And of opportunities they are supposed to have had plenty throughout history.

The only thing apparently evading production is “evidence” — substantial evidence, that is, for the abundance of “shoulda coulda woulda” is bewildering.

Less clear, on the other hand, are the objectives of the conspiracy theorists. That is, until one locates the keystone allowing the alleged vault of conspiracy against mankind to bear weight: Reason.

The disturbing aspect of all those discussions is not the random theorist’s apathy towards reason, but the environment of evident antipathy of any approach to logical thought and established science.

The only term fit to describe their motives were “subversion” — pseudo–Christian subversion, to be precise, because the bible — or better, some self–styled Christians’ interpretation thereof — is quoted as the main source of inspiration, more often than not. Even though supposed to be an infinite source of infallible wisdom, all copies delivered to this community seem to lack one of the most important commandments: Thou shalt not bear false witness.

The theorists’ means are plenty, if highly questionable for anyone pretending to adhere to the concept of “free thought”: prayer–like repetition of still insufficiently verified — or better yet, not verifiable — conjectures, wild accusations (against alleged conspirators and their assumed “accomplices”), absurd interpretation of already repeatedly verified facts and undeniable perceptions, abuse and perversion of any scientific principle that appears to serve their purpose (and rejection of all principles obviously conflicting with their ideas), and every conceivable form of personal libel and ridicule.

New opportunities to fasten this “ideology” to the public mind seem to arise by the hour and are not limited to the digital world.

The other day, I failed to escape a long–winded discussion (random witnesses might have called it a clash of political ideologies), partly informed by campaigning propaganda, which quickly escalated into a mock battle between reason (allowing for perception) and perception (rejecting all reason). I tell you the streets are not safe anymore.

I barely made it to my own doorstep, both physically and mentally drained as I was. If I were to take to drugs other than cigarettes and the occasional glass of single malt, I might have chosen to never return from an extended trip.

Here’s a shortlist of theories I came across quite recently (as always, the comments are mine) …

Adam Weishaupt Killed George Washington and Replaced Him as President of the United States

Right. Consequently, the face on the obverse of the one–dollar bill is Weishaupt’s — or so the theory goes. Wait! Theory? What theory? Unfortunately, there’s no plausible explanation to be found anywhere how this plot is supposed to have worked.

Some “theorists” allege that “the Rothschilds” had conspired to replace the American president to establish The Illuminati in the United States — but these people also allege that the idea behind it all was to split the northern and southern states and by such reduce their power. (Never mind that the concept of “northern and southern states” did not yet exist at the time. At least there appears to be general consent that Lincoln’s assassination was the result of a conspiracy. Editors of history textbooks around the world will be relieved to hear that.)

There is no sound reason to believe these two gentlemen did ever meet, which would — as far as I am concerned — have been essential for Weishaupt to kill Washington; or that Washington was aware before 1798, the year after his presidency ended and one year before his “official” death, that Weishaupt — or the Illuminati, for that matter — even existed; or that Weishaupt did ever leave the southeastern part of today’s Germany (Bavaria and neighbouring Thuringia); or that Weishaupt (who was of purely German descent, born and raised in Germany) spoke fluent English (preferably with Virginian accent), while Washington (who was of British descent, born and raised in Virginia) was a native speaker.

In 1795, during Washington’s presidency, the decision was made that English should be the only official language in the US (defeating German by one vote). If Weishaupt had replaced Washington, the question begs how significant Weishaupt’s influence on American politics could have possibly been, considering that he didn’t even manage to settle this petty issue to his own advantage.

Washington was Weishaupt’s senior by 16 years, and married to his wife for 30 years when he assumed the presidential office. The entire family were relatively well–known members of the middle–class gentry.

And, not to forget, both gentlemen shared very similar views as to “how the world should turn” — driven by pure reason.

The Illuminati, a “secret” order founded by Adam Weishaupt in 1776 (the year of the Declaration of Independence; the order was banned in 1784), were typical children of the Enlightenment — hence their name. Considering that their open dissent did not sit too well with the rulers of the time, which eventually led to the ban, I deem it doubtful that they conducted any clandestine operations — a “bit of subversion” would probably describe their activities better.

Weishaupt found shelter and support in Thuringia after the order’s abolishment, it is said (and actually documented by a series of works he published throughout the decades).

So unless he mastered the “sinister art” of appearing in two different (and in this particular case very distant) places at once, his absence would not have gone unnoticed by his benefactor, Duke Ernest II, and Weishaupt’s wife and children.

Without Duke Ernest and Weishaupt’s immediate family being also aware (and approving) of this “conspiracy”, Weishaupt’s absence (for a yet to be determined number of years) from home, and his later return, would have caused some commotion (most certainly enough to be documented somewhere).

On the same note, without Washington’s immediate family (and a yet to be identified circle of senior officials, let alone an even wider circle of local gentry) also being part of the “conspiracy”, I cannot see how this scheme would have possibly worked out.

We don’t want to seriously discuss how he possibly staged his death as George Washington in 1799 and secretly returned to Gotha to die there in 1830 as himself, do we?

The “new world order” the Illuminati were proposing was a rather common concept of the Enlightenment, and George Washington may safely be considered a staunch proponent of this philosophy in his own right. So it is not really exciting news that Washington and Weishaupt did bear “uncanny resemblance”.

The Earth Is Flat

I think, first and foremost, this is a philosophical problem; there might be a psychological component to it, though. That is to say, the way one perceives — or probably more accurate, prefers to perceive — the world depends on what kind of person one is, on one’s mindset (provided, one even knows of various available options).

Individual knowledge may certainly influence our perception to some extent — sometimes even to the point of successfully defeating all conflicting experience — but it is hardly a decisive factor.

This is a phenomenon we all may observe at times, and everyone of us knows numerous examples of individual perception defeating common sense and logic. Knowledge, experience, and perception are all of little use if one fails to employ them in the right order or context — put them in their right place, so to speak.

Whether one prefers Earth to be round, or flat, or hollow, roving and revolving with insane speed at the perimeter of the known universe, or sitting perfectly stationary at the centre of all space, is hardly a matter of public interest.

The idea that Earth might be neither a revolving sphere nor a planet is by no means new; and I have yet to receive word that generations who (may have) believed to inhabit a stationary plane suffered situation–related difficulty — physically, emotionally, or otherwise. But then, I also have yet to receive word that a greater number of people at any given time actually did believe in this concept. There is no scientific evidence to support this notion.

What’s the point of discussing the geometrical shape of Earth, anyway? I’m rather concerned about her ecological condition — and to an increasing extent about the mindset of some of her inhabitants.

“Flat Earth”, as promoted by the “society” of the same name, is not a theory, but an assumption (at best); the (unfounded) assumption that “Round Earth” is a conspiracy. Yet the question begs to what end some would conspire to make “the rest of us” believe Earth to be a revolving, wandering sphere rather than a stationary plane.

What a wealth of positive progress could be achieved with all that energy spent on gathering and curating useless data, and trying to sell that crap to poor wretches who are already believing that they are being deceived!

I don’t mind people who pretend to (or genuinely do) believe in deviant astronomical concepts — or none at all, for that matter — or take pains to elaborately decorate their “echo chamber”.

As for the actors who have ulterior motives (doing it for profit, “proving” that certain factions of society are villains, or convincing each other that they are hovering on a higher intellectual level than the rest of us), they could at least interrupt their “circle jerks” long enough to “do their research” properly — actually, they wouldn’t even have to, one hand should suffice to accomplish the task — and check their “facts” twice. In other words, have a bowl of their own dog food.

Quite recently, I saw a video on Youtube promising “100% Proof that Eart is Flat”. One “proof” was that the Statue of Liberty is fully visible from a boat 60 miles away.

Well … no. This is 99% flat–out lie and 1% assumption that the audience is not able or too lazy to falsify this claim. Even if Earth were as flat as a cutting board, there would be no way of seeing “all” of the Statue of Liberty from that distance.

(Note: It took me a while to realise that by “Statue of Liberty” the mongers of this tale actually do mean “Lady Liberty” plus the pedestal she rests upon, rather than the copper statue itself. Obviously, I’m no New Yorker. So, to keep confusion at a minimum, I shall say, “Lady Liberty”, when I mean the statue without the pedestal and “Statue of Liberty”, when the pedestal is to be included in thought or calculation.)

You don’t even have to take to science (at least not heavily) to falsify this statement. All it takes is any old map of the Americas (metaphorically speaking; it should have been produced after Lady Liberty “kindled her torch”), a ruler (take your kid’s plastic ruler, lest you be accused of being one of the “evil” Freemasons), a pencil, and the ability to read the legend to know the correct scale of mentioned map.

Even when only applying the ruler, you will instantly realise that the longest distance of plain view to Liberty Island (in any one direction) is around 19 miles as the crow flies (the road distance is around 43 miles, I believe; at any rate, around one–third shorter than the alleged distance at which the statue — from ground level to torch — can be seen).

The destination in question is a relatively short stretch on the coastline of Leonardo in Monmouth County, New Jersey, south of New York Harbour. For simplicity’s sake, we shall dismiss the fact that even there your view would be substantially obstructed by Verrazano–Narrows Bridge.

If you are so inclined, draw one line (60 miles, to scale) from the statue southwards, touching the coastline of Staten Island at its easternmost point, and another one (also starting at the statue; same length), touching the coastline along the Belt Parkway in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

The result will be a very narrow sector within which it would be theoretically possible to have an unobstructed view of the Statue of Liberty.

I shall leave it to the precious (and curious) reader to fire up the calculator and find the length of the coastline of Leonardo inside this sector. For me (and our “fact checking”) it is irrelevant, as Leonardo is merely a third of the claimed distance away from our “centre of interest”.

With the sector so narrow, I was surprised to even find a place to put the boat in the water at the given distance, but possible it is: just off Barnegat Bay, about five miles north–northeast of “Old Barney”.

The only problem is, there won’t be much to see. The coastline of New Jersey, relatively flat as it is, would obstruct your view (not to mention a multitude of buildings in that area).

Owing to the Atlantic Highlands (20 miles south of the Statue), the lower 200 of the 305 feet (the Statue of Liberty measures in total) would be solidly blocked from view. Given the low vantage point of the beholder and the marginal difference of angles, most of the rest would fall victim to perspective.

I’ll leave it to the precious reader to find an optical device of sufficient quality to distinguish a few inches of Lady Liberty’s torch from the background at a distance of sixty miles.

Please try harder next time. Watching the video takes longer than checking the facts it doesn’t contain.

You don’t even need a calculator to realise that some of the “proofs” are poorly “doctored” attempts to arrive at a desired result. If the likes of poor old Pythagoras could see how their principles — all of which solid enough to still hold good after centuries of serious practice — are abused at times, they would turn around in their cold graves and weep.

There is this forum, run by a mysterious individual or group of people known as the “Flat Earth Society”, where like–minded people discuss issues related to the (real) shape of Earth.

One of the contributors (perhaps there are more who share his opinion, I don’t know) seriously offered a method to determine “at what angle Earth drops” (apparently to prove how far one can “see”, and by such challenge the “Round Earth Hoax”).

His first step was to divide 360 by 40.000, because “a full circle has 360 degrees” and “Earth is supposed to have a circumference of 40.000 kilometres”.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I was at a loss as to both his intentions and approach to the problem, until he eventually disclosed his deduction to us mere mortals. “So Earth drops at an angle of .009 degrees,” he stated.

Well, I’m in his corner as far as the first three statements go: a full circle has 360 degrees, the circumference of Earth is (according to traditional calculations) appr. 40.000 kms, and if one divides 360 by 40.000 the result is 0.009. Fine, but …

Where exactly is this approach to lead us? This would also mean that Earth is considerably smaller for most people living outside mainland Europe, while the circumference would be the same for all of us.

Forty–thousand kilometres convert to roughly twenty–four thousand miles. Following this “logic”, the angle would be .015 degrees (360 divided by 24.000), if one happened to calculate with non–metrical units.

I would have received a knock on the head from my old math teacher (may he live for ever and think of me once every waking hour), had I ever dared to offer such an approach to a problem — and, seriously, I would have deserved it.

Listen up, kids! You cannot divide a constant by a variable and expect the result to be a constant. And never ever tell anyone that’s how you learned it in school. Your former teachers might decide to file a joint defamation suit.

Our education systems are certainly in want of thorough revision, but this not a promising way to “prove” it. The lack of logic behind the majority of approaches to “prove” that Earth is flat is almost tragic.

The Eagle Has Never Landed

I have to admit that I agree with everyone who is of the opinion that NASA is for the most part a “black hole”, burning a ridiculous portion of their budget — public money which could be put to good use in other fields — to try and prove things that need neither trial nor proof.

I would also agree with everyone who states that the entire “race to the moon” was an ill–advised pseudo–political machination rather than a serious scientific enterprise.

I would even go as far as to venture the guess that the moon landing was staged in some Hollywood studio (or another secluded place) in advance to provide the government with a version they could broadcast, should the expedition fail miserably.

That there were such expeditions, though, I see no reason to doubt. Neither do I understand the seizures of hysteria that seem to befall some each time they behold pictures supposed to represent Earth (as seen from space) or space (as seen from Earth).

It goes without saying that these are heavily processed imagery, mostly scaled to individual need and showing only the parts most relevant in any one context. What else did you expect?

You cannot depict any two landmasses (divided by the vast body of water the Atlantic and Pacific ocean represent respectively) on one image to scale and provide sufficient details to enable the beholder to distinguish relevant parts. Do we really have to discuss the technicalities of optics and photography over and over again?

If you, precious reader, happen to be American and concerned about wasteful spending, go and tell your government to shut down NASA (or at least reduce their budget considerably) and allocate the money to healthcare, safety and security, or whatever field of public interest is close to your heart.

If, on the other hand, you are not American, I don’t see why this entire space travel industry would be any of your concern. Who cares whether or not individual Americans believe the Eagle has ever landed anywhere?

John F. Kennedy and Dag Hammarsjköld

I guess we can take for granted that John F. Kennedy was assassinated on 22 November, 1963 in Dallas, Texas; accidental killing and suicide may be safely ruled out, I believe.

Almost everything else has been the subject of heated debate ever since. If not for the insatiable curiosity of the man in the street, I wonder why.

Whoever managed to kill Kennedy then and there and get away with it, would have also been capable of doing it any other place or time with, perhaps, even less effort.

On a superficial level, I can see how some believe in a conspiracy, but the deed did neither trigger nor prevent a political revolution. (If it had, we most certainly would have heard about it already.)

Why would anyone even take the risk of getting caught conspiring to kill a high–profile politician for no obvious political reason? Only just plotting against the president would have sufficed to lead to charges of high treason. Unless we (or at least I) still lack privileged information, conspiracy theorists have no watertight case here — basically, they don’t even have a theory.

The real conspiracy (if one wants to even call it that) may have taken place in the aftermath. I don’t believe I have every heard of a story spiked with so many red herrings.

For all I know, Kennedy could have been killed by some local lunatic who wanted the Texan Lyndon B. Johnson to become president in his stead (which is what eventually happened, following common procedure). After all, an acting president has a much better chance to be re–elected than a former Vice–President.

This, as banal as it may appear to be a reason to kill a president, would also explain the venue, how the assassin managed to escape unidentified, and why investigation eventually failed.

In retrospect, it is easy (and cheap) to shake one’s head in disbelief at the police or Secret Service men’s failure to protect the president, but one should never underestimate home advantage. One fellow who was familiar with both the area and the operation of a long–range rifle could have certainly accomplished his mission.

I deem it possible that the pressure built up by relentless media coverage, the urge to solve the case as quickly as possible, and the fact that many people were suddenly forced to think on their feet to get out of the line of fire for having failed to prevent this crime led to this almost ridiculous number of leads, all of which ultimately proving impossible to verify (or, dare I say it, proving useless).

A case that actually has “conspiracy” written all over it in bright red capitals is the death of Dag Hammarsjköld, the then Secretary–General of the United Nations, on 18 September, 1961.

There are quite a number of international actors who did benefit from his death at that point. Succeeding in his efforts (to settle the issue at hand) would have affected political and economic interests (of several parties involved) substantially. And, last but not least, there are various scenarios more or less reasonably conceivable.

By saying so, I do not mean to accuse anyone in particular of plotting against or killing Hammarskjöld, but, contrary to the assassination of Kennedy, his untimely demise had indeed direct political and economic effects, which is why suspecting a possible conspiracy were even plausible.

The official reading is that he died in a plane crash (killing all passengers aboard). That the plane carrying him to meet the leader of Katanga (a renegade province of Congo, which had then just become independent from Belgium), Moise Tschombe, crashed is above all doubt, the circumstances leading to this tragedy are not.

We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours. He who wills adventure will experience it — according to the measure of his courage. He who wills sacrifice will be sacrificed — according to the measure of his purity of heart.

Dag Hammarskjöld (1905–1961), Swedish diplomat, Markings

Several inquiries, conducted shortly after the incident, did not arrive at a clear verdict, which ultimately led to the conclusion a pilot error might have caused this “accident”.

In 1962, a UN inquiry, while also reaching an open verdict, decided neither sabotage nor attack could be ruled out.

In 1993, the Swedish Ambassador Bengt Rösiö conducted an inquiry, which led to the official position of the Swedish government that the pilot had misjudged the plane’s altitude, and by such caused the crash.

By 2012, though, Rösiö questioned his own conclusions, because of “many unclear circumstances”.

In 2012, findings presented by Susan Williams (Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London) in her book Who Killed Hammarskjöld? inspired the establishment of the Hammarskjöld Inquiry Trust and The Hammarskjöld Commission, which in turn led to the Report of the Commission of Inquiry. The commission concluded that “some form of hostile action had forced the plane into its descent”, suggesting further inquiries by the UN.

While allowing to review several witness statements in a different light, a panel of experts, appointed by then Secretary–General Ban Ki Moon in 2015, did not provide considerably more insight.

If anything, new findings helped feed speculation — actively supported by several state organisations’ blunt refusal (or unduly delayed response to requests) to deliver possibly relevant information — opening the door for even more theories.

Similarly doubtful seems the cause of Hammarskjöld’s death and the investigation commencing in the immediate aftermath; while the bodies of all other passengers were severely burnt, the position and stance of his corpse — outside the wreck, unscathed by fire, a playing card in his collar — seems to strongly suggest that the finding situation had been staged by someone.

Since all passengers (but one) and all crew members appear to have died instantly (and their corpses were found inside the plane), and the only person barely alive was also severely burnt (Hammarskjöld’s security adviser; he died days later in a hospital), earlier repeatedly dismissed eyewitness accounts that several jeeps did rush to the wreck shortly after the plane had come down (while the rescue team arrived only hours later at the scene) suddenly appeared trustworthy.

It may appear strange to the precious reader that I doubt a conspiracy led to Kennedy’s assassination, but, at the same time, consider a conspiracy to have led to Hammarskjöld’s death. Usually, I would even agree with that notion.

Yet if you are inclined to ignore (for a moment) all alleged suspicious elements, you are left with an assassination sans obvious political benefit (Kennedy) and a mysterious “accident” of immediate political and economic relevance (Hammarskjöld). Even if you dismiss the awkward symbolism (the playing card), which one looks more like the result of a conspiracy to you?

I wouldn’t expect new evidence in either case any time soon. Quite honestly, I wouldn’t even hold it against anyone who tried to bury substantial evidence that may still exist even deeper.

More than half a century later, chances to find villains responsible for either crime still alive and fit for trial are slim. If the conspirators had been as cunning as some theorists appear to believe, they would have rid themselves in due course of all evidence and accomplices possibly linking them to the deed.

Pink Tax Is yet Another Way of Discriminating Against Women

Hmm, no. Even if there was such a thing as “gender pricing”, it would not be a conspiracy against women but merely a marketing strategy. To be honest, it takes quite some individual effort (on the customer’s side) to eventually get to see the pattern, but impossible it is not.

I don’t know who kicked off the “pink tax” hysteria, but whoever it was may be considered the real plotter in this case; if anything, there may be a “blue discount” now and then (for good strategic reason). The answer to this is by no means simple; it is one complex matter. Please, let me explain …

I had to visit a variety of shops dealing with a certain group of products (whether you call them beauty, or hygiene, or wellness products shall be up to the precious reader) until I figured it out.

First of all, it is nearly impossible to find comparable “male and female versions” of any one product in the same shop. I say “nearly impossible” because I certainly have not visited every shop there is, but I have checked out around twenty different vendors (supermarkets, beauty shops, drugstores, etc.) during the past five weeks (since I decided to work on this small series of articles). The differences between individual products may not always be obvious, but you will recognise them at closer inspection. The funny looks and suspicious side–glances I received, I tell you.

If you buy at a shop mostly frequented by female customers, you may recognise that products actively targeting men (male skin care lotions, “male” razors, and such) have a (slightly) smaller price tag — but also that they are of slightly lower quality. Without comparison (or if you don’t look too closely), it may appear as though men were arbitrarily advantaged.

The strategy seems to be to get men to drop by more frequently. The tactic is to offer “male” products at a lower price. The reasoning appears to be that the average customer is not checking out both ends of the aisle. (Keep this last remark in mind, it will gain some meaning later.)

It is no secret that the average man tends to be less particular about his health, body, appearance, or brands. For crying out loud, everything a man needs to stay alive and in a somewhat presentable state may be found in his own kitchen. (No, I’m not talking about the bottles of spirit beneath the sink, even though they may come in handy at times.)

It is also no secret that the average woman may be convinced to spend a wealth on a certain brand of snake oil, if only the adverts are appealing and the promises big enough. I’m not judging, but merely stating the obvious. Considering the ridiculously vast variety of products on offer, there must be an entire branch of industry focusing on this task only: how to present products in a way appealing to women. (A cynical person might suspect a conspiracy of sorts against women here.)

Visiting “female only” shops did not really lead to something — except the random side–glances mentioned above. So I expanded the “range of investigation”.

Drugstores tend to have a wider (and deeper) variety of products for men (but still no comparison to the women’s aisle), and also a different pricing strategy. Well–known and highly specialised products are comparatively expensive for women and men, and mass products also cost more or less the same — but again, comparison is a dubious matter, as you will soon see.

Supermarkets deal with a range of products for either women or men, most of which are of questionable origin and quality, and since there are so many different “great value” offers, a serious comparison is virtually to no avail.

They usually offer one or two well–known brands of male skin care products (compared to eight or more of the kind for women). Some seem to contain a similar mix of active agents even (I suppose the difference might be the individual dosage). Some lotions for women are cheaper than their “male counterparts”, some are more expensive. I wouldn’t be too surprised to hear of women reporting success with “male” products, or vice versa.

The only obvious difference may be identified with disposable razors and those with replaceable heads (or whatever you call that nonsense). In fact, I did find only two razors that were comparable with their counterparts (featuring the same number of blades and being made of the same cheap, though differently coloured, plastic), and both were considerably cheaper for women (about fifty cents per item).

In general, “male” razors (usually black or grey, sometimes a darker shade of blue) seem to be cheaper than “female razors” (often pink, a brighter shade of blue, or any other fancy colour). Yet they are not, because the female version usually has one blade more than the male version (of the same brand), while the price gap is not big enough to account for the extra blade. While the number of blades is rather irrelevant really, the quality of the blades is not. And this is where it gets really interesting …

Essentially, there are three options for the average person to shave (which body part ever): disposable razors (with or without removable heads), safety razors, and straight razors.

(I’m sorry, but I’m too old–school to even discuss electric razors, which, by the way, seem to cost the same everywhere, regardless of colour or gender focus. As far as I’m concerned, for satisfactory results, one needs to shave wet, by hand.)

Cheap as they may appear, disposable razors may safely be considered expensive crap, regardless of their colour or alleged quality. Whether they happen to have two, three, four, or how many blades ever, is irrelevant. More blades will not give you more value for your money or a better shave.

Quite to the contrary, a decent single–blade razor is far cheaper in the long run, will last a lifetime or two, and reduces the odds for ingrown hair and infections (unless you actually do dispose of your razor after every session). Did I mention the amount of resources to produce them and the plastic waste already?

Straight razors do require some skills, a steady hand (I don’t even want to think about how one shaves relatively fine hair on one’s legs with the grain), and some maintenance effort to provide a decent shave for a long time — they also do usually work better with thicker hair — so these may not be the modern woman’s first choice, but they give you the best value for your money.

The option providing you with a decent result for relatively little money is the safety razor. Go for a metal one, they are heavier (so you don’t have to apply pressure, which reduces the odds to cut yourself), easier to clean, and last long. (I inherited mine from my father, so I’ve been using it for twenty–two years now. Since I usually shave in a hurry, using a straight razor would be quite an adventure, each time around.)

There is no reason for a woman to be embarrassed being seen shopping “guy stuff” in a “guys only” store, but if you are one to blush easily, have it wrapped as “a gift for your lesser half”. And while you are there, get a pack of decent blades, too.

Oh, and use real shaving soap instead of the cheap foam from the supermarket (bad for your skin and the environment). By now, there is even shaving soap for women — sometimes at a price that makes men weep with envy.

Otherwise, you do what you (should) usually do: Soak the skin in warm water for ten minutes or so (the warmer, the better). Shave first with the grain, then across, and then (if you really have to) against the grain.

I did not mean to turn this into a tutorial, but at least I did more for equality than the idiot who is trying to drive women crazy with this “pink tax” nonsense.

Seriously, ladies and gentlemen, strike back and do as I advised — or just buy the cheapest disposables (of any colour), if need be — and you will be fine.