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Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood (Read 90587 times)
Sara
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Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood
Aug 25th, 2005 at 12:48am
 
Have you noticed that after the feminist movement, hair just kept on getting shorter. I feel that women are measuring themselves up to mens standards. By cuttign your hair short, its a struggle with feminity. Why can;t web be strong intelligent women, why be a man?
Also as you age and lose your female hormones, your voice becomes deeper...you start to tend to grow more facial hair. Wouldn't having a helmet-like hair cut only make you more manly? If I were 65, I woudl wnat to hold onto whatever womanhood I have left...and that is my long hair. Defy the masses. Be a strong woman, not a strong man!
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Christiana
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Re: Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood
Reply #1 - Aug 25th, 2005 at 4:57am
 
I agree...I don't see many "older" women with long hair, and I wish I did.  There is one lady I see at church sometimes, maybe in her sixties, possibly 70, who has mid-back length hair.  It is darkish grey and naturally wavy (so it seems).  She wears it pulled back from her face half-up/down, and it looks lovely.  Granted, I don't know if my hair would look that good at her age... she must have GREAT hair genes...

I have heard that your hair can thin as you get older???  I hope and pray that doesn't happen to me, so that I will always be able to wear long hair.  It is SOOOOOOOO womanly.
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Galadriel
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Re: Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood
Reply #2 - Aug 25th, 2005 at 5:43am
 
To be honest, I don't like that long hair is so strongly associated with femininity, and long haired people are nearly automatically seen as feminine. This disturbed me quite a lot before I started to grow my hair- so much that I almost didn't start it  Shocked .

The reason is simple: I'm not mentally a woman. Physically yes, but mentally I'm sexual neutral. Most people recognize that subconsciously- only places where I've ever had trouble of my gender are certain health care officials and my mother who will always see me as soa weird kid who hasn't quite lived up to certain expectations.  Roll Eyes I digress. I was afraid, that if I grew my hair long, that comfy situation would change and people would start to treat me like a woman and assume that I think like a woman (there's nothing wrong with that, of course- but I believe that you feminine ladies wouldn't certainly like if people suddenly started to treat you as if you were manly men Wink ).
       But, luckily it didn't happen. I discovered, that people still treat me as they always have, and there were no sudden misconceptions.  Smiley

I can only reason, that we continuously express our gender identities in a complex manner- a woman's hair can be long or short, but if she is a true woman, it will always show in a million ways. Even if there is one or a few conflicting signals like short hair, we interpret people by judging the majority of signals. We should also keep in mind, that though there are two sexes -male and female- , there are four genders (add neutral and androgyn). Nowadays, that society doesn't force people to fit neatly into one of two strict molds that regulate appearance as well as behavior, people like me who have never fit into either, have more room to live and express our gender in our behavior and appearance. Androgyns and sexual neutrals aren't super rare, after all- so part of the phenomenon of gender division becoming ambiguous may be in part that people like myself can be ourselves freely instead of being people who "don't fit in" or "know how to behave appropriately".
        On the other hand, I would be cautious in drawing analogies between societal change and hairstyles: most women don't think of their hair much. They visit a salon every month just because they are used to, they listen to stylists who want to chop their hair because they believe that stylists are professionals who can be trusted...and most women have taken subtle hints of salon industry well and associate long hair with unkempt and difficult hair that is deadly boring and short hair with nice easy hair that is easy to change. That's what they've been told, and disagreeing voices are still very small. Most women really think that short hair is easiest and nicest hair a person can have.

If femininity -or masculinity- for that matter, are struggling, that's happening in a very deep societal level, and probably much less on a level of everyday experience. Maybe some people are a bit lost as readymade molds have become weaker- but, I can't think that that's a bad thing because instead of just conforming more and more people are forced to think of who they really are- and that's a path that leads to understanding and knowledge.
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juri
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Re: Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood
Reply #3 - Aug 25th, 2005 at 6:35am
 
Quote:
Defy the masses. Be a strong woman, not a strong man!


Well put, Sara!
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gabi
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Re: Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood
Reply #4 - Aug 25th, 2005 at 7:54am
 
I'm mostly with Galadriel on this.

I really just don't get those stereotypes.  I think long hair is nice because hair is nice, it's sensual and yes, it's often sexy (but it doesn't have to be). 

I also wore short hair many times in my life without any intent to be "masculine".  This includes almost ten years of a semi buzz cut which I thoroughly enjoyed and felt I looked totally feminine in (just for back up, my husband thought it looked really good too).  Then there is the fact that I find long hair on very many men extremely attractive and no less masculine looking.

Must admit that I somewhat agree with Sara. welcome Sara that people, either gender, trying to be, look and act like another gender is not often successful to their intent.  Just be whoever you are including if you are in the middle, in transition, or waaaaaay over to one side or the other and I think most things work out for the best ...

Interesting topic of conversation ...g
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bikerbraid
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Re: Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood
Reply #5 - Aug 25th, 2005 at 10:24am
 
I usually see long hair as sensual or sexy - but on either sex - not just feminine.  There are many examples of "sexy men" with long hair - of course their names escape me at the moment, but think romance novels.  Frequently men are portrayed with longer, flowing hair.

Stereo types want to place long hair as feminine, but I don't think it is necessarily true in society in general.  There are too many other signals that a person sends out that dictate who that person is - male, female, sexy or not, outgoing, reclusive, etc.

Great topic for discussion.
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bikerbraid
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Re: Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood
Reply #6 - Aug 25th, 2005 at 2:48pm
 
As to older women with long hair, I think we need to remember as people get older they tend to go back to what was popular when they were young.  It's a comfort thing.  Women in their 60s and 70s now grew up with setting their hair and long hair was associated with those "crazy hippies" or beatnicks as they were known back then.  It's hard to break stereotypes learned when we were young.  Women in their 40s and 50s I notice either have short "liberated" hairstyles inspired by the feminist movement of the 70s or the long straight style popular with those living a more casual relaxed lifestyle.  And I believe as those of us who grew up in the 1980s get older there will be a return to large long hair that is so comfortable to us.  I can just see myself at 80 telling the stylist "NO!  I want my hair bigger!"
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bikerbraid
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Re: Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood
Reply #7 - Aug 25th, 2005 at 3:45pm
 
Some how this makes me feel verrrrrry old.    Undecided
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bikerbraid
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Sara
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Re: Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood
Reply #8 - Aug 25th, 2005 at 10:24pm
 
Well i think men with long hair look nice. Also did you notice how it was really thsi century when men started cutting their hair short? 
I hate it when someone sees a man with long hair and says oh he looks girly or unkempt. As for the long hair on women and short hair, I sort of what I think to Shockedn the other hand, I would be cautious in drawing analogies between societal change and hairstyles: "most women don't think of their hair much. They visit a salon every month just because they are used to, they listen to stylists who want to chop their hair because they believe that stylists are professionals who can be trusted...and most women have taken subtle hints of salon industry well and associate long hair with unkempt and difficult hair that is deadly boring and short hair with nice easy hair that is easy to change. That's what they've been told, and disagreeing voices are still very small. Most women really think that short hair is easiest and nicest hair a person can have. "- Galadriel
I feel like most people have ben barainwashed and it has lead to te androgeny thing. The issue is that I feel like my values are being attacked. And when I tell people I like being a woman who is strong but womanly, they automatically look at my hair and they bring up the 1950s. I would not wnat to be cleaing the kitchen all day thank you. I just feel liek bringing back an element of womanhood that is dying out and I'm not forcing it on others. However, I feel like western society's short-haired man-standarded wya of life is imposing ist wya on me Sad
Thats all I meant. Long hair helsp me cling onto my individuality in thsi one way. Plus it feels nice Tongue

"Women in their 60s and 70s now grew up with setting their hair and long hair was associated with those "crazy hippies" or beatnicks as they were known back then.  It's hard to break stereotypes learned when we were young "-ChiliPepper

That is true in some instances. But you knwow hat. I'm going to side with the hippies seeing as how I have much in common with hem. Too bad theres not too many left. We're all scattered..

I'm still mostly in the opinion that alot of people are brain washed by the media and they just don't realize it.

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Sara
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Re: Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood
Reply #9 - Aug 25th, 2005 at 10:28pm
 
"There are many examples of "sexy men" with long hair - of course their names escape me at the moment, but think romance novels.  Frequently men are portrayed with longer, flowing hair. "-Bikerbraid
I have many pictures that i wish I could shouw you!

For some reason it adds to the "manliness" too.

Btw, I love your hair Bikerbraid and before I trimmed it, it was your length (and we both ahve fine hair)...its almost there again though. When I take it out of a braid, it looks alot like yours too.  I feel like braiding your hair now...
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PreciousLocks
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Re: Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood
Reply #10 - Aug 25th, 2005 at 11:52pm
 
hmmm
I haven't sorted through all the sociological implications mentioned here.
So my 2 cents is really just that. Part of why I'm letting my hair grow long is the feminity of it for me.  Short hair just doesn't seem to work that way for me - or at least there's only been one short style that really did and after I moved away from that hairdresser I couldn't get it repeated by any other stylist.  Sad
In very narrow circumstances I appreciate men with long hair -- in the fantasy worlds of say a Ren Faire, or a movie.  I have also appreciated a scout leader's long hair in 2 braids a.k.a. Willie Nelson style.  But generally I'm not sure what to think about, or what is trying to be said by men with long hair -- probably nothing more than what I think about mine, I just like it. Roll Eyes

BTW, NR, I appreciate your participation on this board, helps to mellow out my middle-aged rut Wink
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bikerbraid
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Re: Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood
Reply #11 - Aug 26th, 2005 at 12:26am
 
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Btw, I love your hair Bikerbraid and before I trimmed it, it was your length (and we both ahve fine hair)...its almost there again though. When I take it out of a braid, it looks alot like yours too.  I feel like braiding your hair now...


Thank you.  Cheesy  I'd love to have someone braid my hair (and I'd be happy to braid yours!).
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« Last Edit: Aug 26th, 2005 at 2:32am by bikerbraid »  

bikerbraid
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Re: Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood
Reply #12 - Aug 26th, 2005 at 1:27am
 
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Some how this makes me feel verrrrrry old.    Undecided


I understand.  Sometimes I forget there are grown-ups out there who can't remember Reagan being president and I have a little trouble with the 80s being considerred retro.  Now I know how my mother felt when told me to quit listening to the Beatles and get my own music.

BB-I hope I didn't offend you.  I only meant my comments to be generalizations not specifically directed at anyone Embarrassed
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bikerbraid
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Re: Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood
Reply #13 - Aug 26th, 2005 at 2:34am
 
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BB-I hope I didn't offend you.  I only meant my comments to be generalizations not specifically directed at anyone Embarrassed


No offense taken!  There are some things that just make you stop and realize you aren't the 25 year old that you sometimes think you still are!
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bikerbraid
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ChiliPepper
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Re: Short Hair and teh Struggle for Womanhood
Reply #14 - Aug 26th, 2005 at 3:19am
 
Yes, my nephews and my child bring that to my attention more everyday.
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