I recently read an article titled, “Girls with short hair are damaged.” At first, I thought maybe it was just a statement that the author was going refute in his writing. But, indeed that was his thesis.
Already on the onset, I understood the context of the article was going to be a sexist and ignorant one.
As much as I am all for everyone to their own opinion, I just couldn’t stand not saying anything on this topic. So here it is:
Women with short hair are not damaged.
The author claims that there is something wrong with women who cut their hair short. He says firstly, they diminish their attraction level and they become more aggressive by doing that. He reduces women of shorter locks to beings in between a woman and a man. In short, he’s thoroughly confused of what to make of this new situation.
Let me begin by saying the obvious: yes the general consensus is that long hair is much more accepted than short hair on women. Though, that doesn’t take into account the diversity of human attraction. Some men like long hair (like the author himself). And some men like short hair (like my friend). Different hairstyles fit different faces. Some women look better with longer hairstyles. Some women look better with shorter hairstyles. To outright dismiss the endless possibilities of a woman’s beauty is to reinforce an unfair standard based on a patriarchal perception.
This begs the question of what constitutes femininity. If we are looking at the fact that men are attracted to the feminine energy, which is an abstract concept, then we cannot fully define what it really means to be woman and to be feminine. Human civilization has created their own standards of what it means to foster feminine energy. These misconceptions are focused largely on physical appearance as well as on behaviour. If we imagine a woman, we think of a human being with long (luxurious) hair who speaks softly and walks lightly with elegance. Anything outside of this picture is too “macho.”
It is because of our rigid definition of what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman that makes us go into full shock when something escapes these limits. This is what happened to the author. He doesn’t understand that being a woman has nothing to do with the length of her hair.
If she has short hair and happens to also be more dominant and “aggressive” than as expected of her, then that’s her specific personality. It’s not fair to deduce to the belief that all women with short hair are the same. We must also keep in mind that this puts into question two things: one, the behavioural expectation of a woman, and two, society’s constant reinforcement of the association of the length of the hair with sexual orientation and gender.
If she’s less submissive, that doesn’t mean she’s a man. Why is it that only the men are allowed to be the dominant ones? This also brings up the question from the men’s point of view: why is it that only the women get to make the men do everything for them? Men cannot complain of women not paying for dates as much as they cannot blame women for being “too dominant.” That is just pure irony.
Society needs to learn to give room for adjustments for their members, As times change, so do beliefs and convictions. When we empower women to be whatever they want to be, we empower men as well. We will destroy the constant pressure on men to take control and care of the family both mentally and financially. We will then destroy the lack of importance of women to contribute to the creation of a strong family household and community. Both genders are valuable to a well-functioning home on a communal and global scale.
Let’s change what it means to be a woman and what it means to be a man. Let’s not condemn one gender for trying something new. It may be a political statement or it may simply be a fashion statement.
Either way, we must be careful how we word our opinions. We must remember to never eclipse the value of the other and to know that ideology plays a huge role.
Be curious and sceptical, not ignorant and dismissive.