I buzzed my hair again.
If you know me, you had to see this coming. It’s my MO. Once you’ve buzzed, you aren’t scared of it anymore and it becomes your cure-all. Hair tickling your ears? Buzz. Wet, drippy strands after showers annoying you? Buzz. Hot summer head? Buzz.
Since most people in my life have seen me with a buzz cut (I did sport one for an entire year between April 2018-2019 and previously from October 2016-March 2017), I avoid a lot of the comments. But they still come, and oh boy. This morning’s was a doozy.
A male coworker gave a comical, exaggerated reaction when faced with my new buzz. “Oh my gosh! Just when I start thinking you’ll come in here with flowing locks of hair!” It was a joke, and I can take a joke. I was right there with him, smiling and joking back, until he said, “Where’s your second X chromosome? There must be a Y somewhere in there.”
So because I prefer my hair buzzed, I must be a man?
I just laughed awkwardly and said “Well I’m not sure my chromosomes have anything to do with it…” and went back to work. He seemingly took the hint and left me alone.
I’m not going to make a huge feminist issue about a joke, but I will point out that it is part of the problem. Jokes like those are still ways of putting women “in their place” for deviating from the social norm. He could have just said, “Oh hey, nice hair,” “I see you buzzed again,” or nothing at all. But he chose to tell me that because I don’t like the feeling, maintenance, or look of long hair, I can’t possibly be a woman. Shame on me for challenging his perception of femininity.
Big social changes need to happen surrounding women and our place in society. Policy changes need to happen, employment changes need to happen, pay changes need to happen. But what needs to happen first is smaller. These little jokes need to go away. The language that people use surrounding women needs to be examined. Society needs to change first, and that means individual people need to check themselves and their ideas about women and make adjustments. Only then are we ever going to get anywhere.
Overflowing with love,