Please be warned, there is a lot of sarcasm in this post. At the same time there is a lot of truth.
As I patiently wait for the school board to realize their folly and let my son go to school, I have been thinking to myself about long hair and why it is such an affront to the civilized majority for men to have it.
I have asked and been told “because that is the way the policy has always been” in reference to school dress codes. Well, why was it written that way in the first place? I can come up with a couple of reasons; niether of which would apply in a modern classroom setting.
Reason a. goes back to my earlier pondering on the parallels between the Indian Boarding Schools in the late 1800s to 1930ish where Native boys were forced to cut their hair to make them more “civilized” (aka anglo).
Reason b. is a quote I stumbled upon while browsing wickipedia for insight into various hair beliefs. “It has also been advanced that short hair on men has been enforced as a means of control, as shown in military and police and other forces that require obedience and discipline”. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair for source of quoted words.
I’m pretty sure there are better ways of controlling schoolchildren that don’t involve forced haircuts for boys. Besides that, Native Americans were recognized as US citizens in 1940 (yeah, that late) so surely they were “civilized” enough by then that they didn’t have to be forced to do anything to prove it.
So, how about the Hygiene/sanitation debate? I’ve seen that one written down for dress code policies that require short hair for boys/men. Are they saying that boys are inherently dirtier than girls? Actually, I think they are.
My husband grew up in a city that neighbors Needville and attended schools in the Lamar Independent School District. As I mentioned before, he had a forced haircut at the same age our son is now when he started kindergarten because “thats just the way things were done”. As he got older he and others in his group of friends tried to skirt the long hair issue and it was explained to him once by a school administrator that yes, boys were dirtier than girls. The explanation was that boys were more likely to go outside and get all sweaty and dirty and then not shower daily unlike girls. The lack of cleanliness would lead to a build up of skin oils and secretions and that would lead to stinky dirty hair.
You know, ’cause girls are just naturally clean and fresh smelling all of the time. A girl would never get sweaty or dirty or skip a shower! Oh the horror!!! Girls never do yard work, wash smelly dogs, ride horses, go hunting or fishing, perform autopsies on putrescent corpses…..you get my point.
Um, this may come as a surprise to some but I was and still am a very stinky girl. I don’t always bathe every day nor do I shun the outdoors for fear of sweating. I like rolling around in the dirt with the boys and while I dislike sweat, it certainly happens. As a matter of fact I personally don’t wash my hair very often. It is very long and prone to flyaways so washing it daily only makes taking care of it harder. I also have a secret. While my hair is naturally red I do on occassion have it dyed to a darker and more awesome shade of red. Red hair dye fades faster than any other color so frequent washings make if fade even faster.
So yeah, girls can be just as “unsanitary” as boys and they get to keep their hair.
Maybe lice then! Long haired boys will bring infestations of lice down upon us all! Yes, thats it! Long haired boys have lice! Historically speaking and again taken from wikipedia “The trench warfare between 1914 and 1918 exposed men to lice and flea infestations, which prompted the order to cut hair short, establishing a norm that has persisted.” Hate to break it to you folks but girls get lice too and I don’t think my five-year-old is going to be doing any trench warfare any time soon. Here are some nifty reasons why I don’t agree with the lice arguement.
Reason a. lice infestation is not a sex-linked condition. The ownership of a penis has nothing to do with a person’s susceptibilty to getting a raging case of head lice. The ownership of hair does though. Maybe all the kids should have to shave their heads to protect us all from the scourge of lice. Then again, there are products available to combat lice that don’t warrent the use of clippers.
Reason b. if parasites on the head are a concern then parasites in the Ok, sorry I’ve been told by dear husband that maybe reason b. goes a little too far. *Sigh*. It was a really good reason too. Entertaining and factual but he thinks that it would offend some folks just a little too much so I guess I’ll leave it out since it did suggest quite an invasion of privacy to rule out parasitic infestations.
Moving on then! Safety! There is a great reason to only allow short haired boys! Their long hair might get caught up in power tools or set on fire with that bunsen burner or oh! oh! that combine/thresher thingy over there in the corner of the lunchroom could entangle their hair and tear them to pieces! Weapons could be hidden in their hair too you know! At least that is a reason given in a prison arguement (that failed) where they said the prisoner could possibly hide a weapon in his hair and shank somebody.
Yup, you guessed it I disagree with the safety arguement too. Girls use power tools and hot burnie things all the time and manage to avoid burning/mauling/disfiguring themselves. Its called a braid, dumbass. Weapons can be hidden anywhere (pockets, backpacks, waistbands etc) and I’ve met some pretty violent girls so again, cut all the girls hair too or leave the boys alone. Beside that, I doubt they are going to outlaw clothing anytime soon and they already make clear backpacks so yeah…… no.
One more safety isssue I can think of and in the same breath I can debunk it…… bats!!! Yup bats could fly into their hair. Except thats an old wives tale and bats don’t do that. They are not interested in people hair and their snazzy echo-location systems would prevent them from accidently crash landing on someone’s scalp. That rumor was probably started because when they are hunting flying insects, they tend to be very erratic in their flight patterns. You know, because bugs don’t exactly fly in slow straight lines for the bats to gobble up like Pac-Man eating those stupid white dots.
I guess that leaves us with the long hair on boys is a distraction! Poor little Suzy won’t be able to learn to read and write ’cause Bobby there has such long hair. I mean, my God! (or whomever, lets not be politically incorrect here) It covers his ears for Pete’s sake! She and the rest of the class will be so mesmerized by those shining locks of long beautiful (or is it greasy-stinky- bug infested) hair on that boy’s head that their poor little brains will just cease to function. They will just sit there at there little desks and drool on themselves while staring vacantly at Bobby’s hair-do. They’ll have to be put in remedial classes and they’ll fall so far behind that the girls will all end up pregnant by age 15 and the boys will be in prison by their 21st birthdays and none of them will be able to hold jobs better than the local burger joint and…… oops sorry I guess I got a little carried away there.
You get where I’m going with this, right? There are plenty of other “distracting” things that kids run into in classrooms that are far more detrimental to their learning ability than hair. Drugs, guns, racism, bullying, being too poor to afford lunch or shoes that fit, getting hit on by teachers or other students, fire drills, learning disbilities, physical disabbilities, etc. I could go on but I don’t think I need to. The classroom distractions defined by Needville’s own policy have already been addressed in another blog so I won’t bore you with them here again.
Lets face it folks, there is no good reason that justifies making boys keep their hair short and allowing girls to grow theirs out. I know the gender equality issue has been struck down in the courts before but is should not matter. If girls are no longer restricted to only wearing skirts and frilly dresses then boys should be allowed to grow their hair out if they want to.
The reason of “its always been that way” is horseshit.