Friday, November 8, 2013

Everything You Need to Know About Misogyny In One Blog Post

So there's this article that seems to be making its rounds around the internets at the moment by this unbearable douchebag by the name of "Roger Sterling, Jr." entitled "Why Girls Should Not Cut Their Hair Short." The article is written for a [sarcasm]seemingly very nuanced and classy[/sarcasm] blog called "Total Frat Move" where Mr. Sterling is a regular contributor. If the title of the article doesn't already have your blood boiling, stay tuned. It gets so much worse. (And I get that it seems a little petty to reprimand some random blogger but the sentiments he expresses are symptomatic of a much more comprehensive cultural problem we have in our society with patriarchy and body image and this article is a good excuse to talk about it.)


I guess I shouldn't be particularly surprised or outraged at what spews out of the fingertips of a guy who thinks he's a character on Mad Men--or at least the illegitimate son of one (this is his avatar for his blog posts and his Twitter feed)--but as a HUGE short hair aficionado (and, frankly, as someone who doesn't consider women objects placed on Earth for the pleasure of men), this made me nauseous. I'm finding it difficult to even process the nine thousand ways in which this is despicable so I'm just gonna go through and pick out the particularly wretch-inducing bits.

We start with the first line...

"None of us grew up looking at or imagining ourselves with women rocking a solid scissor fade."

So right off the bat, this is all about what men* find attractive. He denies it at the end of the article (more on that later) but that's really all this is about. Looking pretty for men. Making men like you. Finding a suitable male to hitch your wagon to and carry you through life on his broad, sculpted shoulders. Or whatever.

* - and by "men" of course I mean Roger Sterling, Jr. and the vastly-smaller-than-he-realizes population of "us" he seems to think he's speaking for

He then begins outlining this ostensibly "disturbing trend spreading across gender lines" of women he used to find attractive cutting their hair short. First he singles out Beyoncé with a photo of her looking pretty fucking adorable if you ask me. But then shit gets real when he goes after Jennifer Lawrence:

"Though every chick on the planet begs 'Can we just be best friends? Why is she perfect?', you’d only bang her if she lost ten pounds. Now, shedding some lbs. might not even do it. Lawrence didn’t go full-on pixie short, but the results are equally disastrous.


Should have cut her dessert instead."

First of all, I don't know what kind of ridiculous standards of female bodies are harbored by Mr. 1960s Misogynist but you look at that photo and tell me that you think Jennifer Lawrence needs to lose ten pounds. No, I mean literally tell me if you think that. It will save me the trouble of being friends with you or respecting your opinions in any way.

Secondly, and more importantly, Mr. Sterling: FUCK. YOU. You are the reason anorexia exists. You really think Jennifer Lawrence (OR ANYONE) ought to give a shit if you would "bang her"?! It's bad enough you're castigating women for the unforgivable crime of not being someone you want to have sex with and literally telling them what they should and shouldn't do with their bodies (in order to make you want to have sex with them), now you're implying that a perfectly healthy-looking woman should lose ten pounds in order that you may deem her worthy of your penis? How many different kinds of disgusting do you have to be to implicitly designate yourself as some sort of objective arbiter of what is and isn't sexually attractive--to the point where you're telling ME (and anyone reading this) that I would "only bang her if she lost ten pounds"? Don't even get me started on the dessert snipe. That kind of maliciously misogynistic cheap-shottery masquerading as light comedy has no place in human society.

But ANYWAY, now it's up to Mr. Sterling--or at least he certainly seems to think it is--to put a stop to this nefarious trend:

"Girls, I’m here to save you from yourself."

OH, THANK GOD FOR THAT. THANK GOD FOR THAT AND THANK GOD FOR YOU.


Here he is, ladies. Your Knight in Shining Armor. Mounted on his faithful steed and here to carry you away from the metaphorical castle tower that is your own control over your own body like the damsel in distress you are. All of you. Just make sure that you never forget that 1. you all need saving, 2. only a man can save you, and 3. you owe that man EVERYTHING for saving you.

God Bless You, Mr. Roger Sterling, Jr.


The next section of the article is entitled "If Celebrities Can't Pull It Off, You Can't" and starts off with this brilliant gem:

"As SFPL noted in his brilliant social commentary on high-waisted shorts, just because a celebrity or a supermodel can pull something off, does not mean you can. You might look at Rihanna and think That’s edgy. That’s worth aiming for, but she also rocks the 'I just got punched by my boyfriend' look, so her judgment is questionable at best."

Oh, good. I was wondering when we were going to get to the domestic violence victim-blaming portion of this ridiculous diatribe. Because apparently the only thing a woman can do that's worse than being fat (or 10 pounds overweight, or NOT OVERWEIGHT AT ALL) is being beaten up by her boyfriend.

He then, however, outlines why this argument doesn't even apply because even celebrities can't "pull off" (whatever THAT means) short hair, comparing spandex-clad Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises to short-haired Les Mis Anne Hathaway (who, by the by, CUT HER HAIR FOR A FILM ROLE) and a lip-licking Emma Watson (this guy talking about watching Watson "lick her lips" makes me cringe and shudder and gag simultaneously) with her new short-haired look.


In the next section, he proceeds to deconstruct the female form piece by piece (object by object, if you will) to enlighten women on the things guys notice and the things they don't notice "unless they're spectacular or spectacularly awful." This is the part where the man tells the woman what things about her a guy isn't supposed to notice--OBVIOUSLY "tits, ass, legs, and a couple other things" wouldn't make this list. (Why do I feel like he only put "a couple other things" because he couldn't think of anything other than tits, ass, and legs but didn't want to seem like he couldn't think of anything other than tits, ass, and legs?) Because obviously, other than tits, ass, and legs, women are supposed to be invisible. Nothing else about a woman should stand out. Not even her eyes unless "they look photoshopped in real life or if they are hanging out of their sockets."

For the final section, we really need to take it as a whole because it truly brings the whole thing to a close in spectacularly slimy fashion...

"If there are acceptable times for a lady to have short hair, it is at the two extremes of her life. My grandma has short hair and it fits her. My one-year-old cousin does, too, and that’s fine. The difference between them and you is that they have no one to impress. If you’re in the female sweet spot, between the ages of 18 and 28, you certainly do.

'But we don’t cut our hair for men, we cut it for ourselves!' the tired chorus cries out. This isn’t just about impressing guys, though. All of those odd insecurities you have about your looks are only highlighted with short hair. Other girls will notice them immediately as well. If you have bad teeth or some other sort of imperfection, with short hair, you’re putting it front and center. Even if you don’t have a glaring flaw, there’s one thing of which I’m sure: your face is going to look fat. Need further proof? Look at that picture of ole Jennifer Lawrence above and remember that she looked fine before."

Oh, where to begin with this slop. It really hammers home the thesis that the main reason girls shouldn't cut their hair short is because they have people (mainly men) to impress that are far more important than their own happiness and comfort with their own bodies. The best part is that he turns around an insists that this isn't just about impressing men. It's not so superficial as that. It's much deeper and more important. It's about impressing other women, too. It's about hiding all those glaring flaws that make you impossible to love instead of highlighting them. Most importantly, however--and you KNOW this is most important because it's the very last point he makes--cutting your hair short will make your face look fat. Just look at ole Jennifer Lawrence's cellulite ass. She looked fine before. Now she's unfuckable. And so are you.