Monday, September 27, 2010

Response to Olivia 9/27

gender_back.gifThe short piece “One Bad Hair Day Too Many…” by Jennifer Myhre in “Listen Up”, I found her views to be somewhat fitting of the stereotypical “feminist”. Because of this, to be honest, I felt somewhat uncomfortable and the story kind of put me off. She is somewhat aggressive in stating her points, which is, for me, what made it the most difficult to read.

Jennifer decided to get a crew cut and eventually shaved her head, and stopped caring about her appearance. She no longer shaved her legs or armpits, wore makeup or jewelry. As she said, “… but not working at looking like a woman meant that most people considered me masculine. I chose to call myself androgynous and hoped to destroy the distinction between masculine and feminine, male and female” (page 86). I understand that some people feel that they don’t fit into a gender category, per se, and I support that they should be able to feel at ease with themselves. I do think though, that in society, there are social norms, gender norms, etc. and if people are willing to go so far as to call them selves androgynous (which I feel is okay if they want to), they have to understand that as humans, we inherently feel as other humans should fit into a category of male or female, as that is how, since the beginning, God made people- male or female and nothing in between. Thus, the decision to give up one’s sexual “distinction” should be made keeping in mind that intrinsically, people are going to feel awkward around them; it’s just the way we are.

The author goes further on to say that “women are expected to comply with standards set by society” (page 87). I feel that society also has standards set for men- tough, strong, somewhat emotion-less, etc. While I agree that in many senses women are oppressed in our society, I think she does not admit the fact that other people face issues with being stereotyped and being called names as well (minorities, etc.). I do however appreciate that the author comes out and says, “I am a feminist with whom even other feminists are sometimes uncomfortable” (page 88), because I am certainly uncomfortable with her story, and I do consider myself somewhat of a feminist, now that I have been enrolled in this course.

1 comment:

  1. I can definitely relate to your reaction to this reading. When I initially started the reading, I was also put off by her radical feminist attitude, and desire to rebel against societal norms, especially in her appearance. But by the last page, I think she makes a relatable and truthful statement about how the time spent getting ready and primping in the mirror can be better spent promoting feminism. It seems like the author just takes a very round about way in tying to convey her message that it took her giving up on her looks (i.e. cutting off all her hair and stopping shaving her legs) to be able to fully concentrate and promote feminism. While this is an aggressive way to declare yourself a feminist, like you, I appreciated that she acknowledge her extremism and her compliance of feminist stereotypes.

    S. Hjalmarson