The Scrotum Beard Inquiry

The other day Roo came trotting into the kitchen and asked, “Mum, what exactly is a scrotum beard?”

This was quite an unexpected question. Naturally it triggered a flood of my own questions, such as “where did you hear that? What have you been watching?”

Roo explained that he’d seen it on the Hobbit. I was suspicious. Surely a Tolkien film wouldn’t reference scrotums?

I cleared my throat. “Well …”

“Yes?” Roo asked impatiently. “What is it?”

“It’s the hair that grows on a man’s testicles,” I said, elegantly chopping carrots.

Roo nodded, shrugged, said “cool” then skipped off to play.

However, it wasn’t as easy as for me to just Skip Back To Chopping.

Alone in the kitchen, I stared at the carrots. I put down my veg knife and reflected on this bizarre job called Being A Mother. After all, it doesn’t simply consist of school pick-ups and thwaking toys out from under the sofa using the end of a broom, does it?

Motherhood grows you; it challenges you; it requires straight faced responses to innocent yet explosively funny questions. It is bloody amazing. This thought naturally led on to what my life was like prior to having children … And also how it will be when my little chirpers have flown the nest when I have no one to behave sensibly for.

In essence, the Scrotum Beard Inquiry got me thinking about the Three Phases of Womanity and making my own Inquiry into that. This is what I found:

The House Of Bethan

Ahem. The Three Phases of Womanity 

The Maiden (youth, beginnings, Oxy 10, fresh faced, free, a bit stupid/naïve, sexual and flirtatious and skippity-skippity. In this section of womanhood the only scrotum hairs we have to worry about explaining are the ones stuck between our teeth. Our skin is smooth but we lack knowledge, experience, character and who cares because we are young, beautiful and have no intention to get old or boring EVER. Hurrah!)

The Mother (being in your late twenties to late forties, protective, fierce, powerful, nurturing, Oil of Olay, child bearing, super powered and wildly abundant, strong but acutely aware of time and wondering how the hell you stop the lines that appear to be imprinted on your face with every smile or frown. Oh, and stretch marks. And Bio Oil. Success and profession.)

The Crone (being older, wiser, with a past of experience and adventures, pause-in-men (men-o-pause), respected “wise woman”, feminine healer, teacher, keeper of the old stories, rich in ultimate feminine power. Map of lines on face and body illustrating a journey throughout life. Eccentric, loved, warm, full of character …)

It all sounds tickedy-boo, doesn’t it?

Except, the three phases don’t work like that do they? In the past they did, but not now our soft, organic clay minds are shaped and sculpted by L’Oreal, Revlon, Unilever and Sky. Now brands and companies and the media tell us what it means to be a woman and how we need to behave.

And what they insist on is that only the Maiden really counts.


I believe that if you can make the one inevitable fact that all women will face (aging and moving into the Crone Phase) a thing of fear and ugliness, then you can control every other Phase of Womanity.

Fearful people are like putty in the hand. (Ask anyone with a gun to someone’s head. They’ll tell you about the play-dough effect of fear. You can practically get anyone to do anything).

Whisper to women that once they age they will be weak, worthless, invaluable, invisible, ignored by employers and media representations … and my GOD they’re going to bite your hand off for a solution.

Which (soothingly) comes in a small round tub purchasable from a shelf in Tesco or Boots.

Well, thank the Lord’s scrotum beard for that.

If you still aren’t convinced, then ask yourself this:

Why is it that only the Maidens and the Yummy-Mummy’s (still able to hold the Maiden Phase at the forefront yet airbrushed to flawless perfection) make it into our magazines, our TV and cinema screens?

 Why is it that women like Susan Boyle are held up as unusual and breath-taking or out-of-the-mould or ridiculed for daring to sing and be celebrated? 

Why is it that only the female comedians seem to remain on our screens once they’ve passed out of their twenties and thirties?

Why do women over a certain age struggle to find employment?

Why is the rite of passage that takes Womanity into her third phase of Gorgeousness – the menopause – considered an evil that needs to be thwarted with HRT and other drugs when it is a natural process that women have gone through since time began?

Why do we think that to be a beautiful youth with ivory skin is superior to being a warrioress with a tribe of babies or an ancient priestess of worldly wisdom?

I wonder what would happen if Womanity took back her beautiful clay mind from the hand of the industry who has its gun to her head. And I wonder what would happen if she stood up and stepped back, putting her arm around the Three Phases of Herself.

I don’t think the Maiden could do that by Herself. After all, no one really cares what the Maiden has to say as opposed to what she looks like in a bikini. The Mother couldn’t do it alone either. Or the Crone.

But all three?

With their heads together?

They’d stand a bloody good chance.

Don’t you think?

I do.

“Roo! Pix!” I shouted, placing the carrots on plates with some salad leaves, potatoes, tuna and other bits that I’d found bobbing about in the fridge. “Dinner is ready!”

And the kids came bounding in.


12 thoughts on “The Scrotum Beard Inquiry

  1. Putting aside the totally hilarious and utterly distracting, scrotum beard, your post makes me think of the wonderful world of “Larkrise to Candleford” where maiden, mother and crone are all honoured.

  2. Do you know Gallivanta – I haven’t ever watched Larkrise. It was on telly a while ago but I don’t ever seem to have the time or patience to sit still long enough to become engaged. However, on hearing of that honouring I am very inclined to go and find the box set. A coincidence: Naughty N once lived in a cottage called Candleford and Jols once lived in one called Larkrise. We had lots of good jokes about that. xxx

  3. It made me laugh out loud so it was actually good for my soul! And anyway, it was a very minor part of a very big message. Xxx

  4. It is!! 🙂 Please let us know how it goes. All those Maidens deserve it. I wish I knew about Gorgeousness when I was a Maiden rather than a Mother going quickly (and delightedly?) towards a Crone! Xxx

    • I will let you know how I get on. It has also meant that I have developed a method of anchoring your truest Gorgeousness and being able to access it at any time, whether you are a M and M or a C. When I come up to Scotland to see you and take the work to your girl’s school, we’ll put on an adult version too xxx

  5. I’m up for that – sounds perfect. Although you’ve got to do it while my daughter’s still a Maiden and I’m still a Mother 😉 I like the idea of anchoring and accessing. Xxx

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