Because western society tells them to. Why does western society tell them to? Because the differences between men and women is what causes attraction. Most people in our society see hairy armpits as masculine, therefor it is not attractive by mens standards. Less body hair is more attractive in women (for most men)
I don't know any women that 'have' to, most women probably do so because they have been pressurised and indoctrinated by advertising into believing that, like all the make-up products, it is a path to beauty, it isn't.
I think society plays a big role in it. Personally though I along with other women I'm sure, feel cleaner without it. My husband has made it clear that he couldn't care less, yet I continue to do this. I guess I fall into the trap that jg555 mentioned. I think hair looks masculine. I think it's important for men and women to have different qualities physically outside of just sexual organs.
A woman with hairy armpits, legs or chin wiskers is too similar to men. Most men want women who have hair on their head, no hair underarms, no hair on legs/arms, and no facial hair. Rough skin and calluses on a women's hands are also a turn off (for most men). Opposites attract!
Having said that it's completely up to the woman to shave or not shave. Your appearance is yours. I suspect it is other (women) that would weigh in against you. After all it is women who get caught up on who wore what on the "red carpet" of award shows, or "who wore it best?" when two celebrities are spotted in the same dress. Men are less competive with each other when it comes to their clothes, shoes, hairstyles, facial hair or haircuts. We generally buy what (we) like.
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