I’ve been thinking a lot about hair lately. First, there was this comment from LouMac yesterday, in which she wrote (sarcastically, in a rant about “choice” feminism and the narrowness of straight women’s performance of gender) “Young white hetero women all have identical long straight hair because they choose it!” Since most of you readers are affiliated with college and university campuses, you probably recognize this as the dominant hair aesthetic, too.
I think there was a greater diversity of women’s hairstyles in Maoist China than there is among white college women today, but I have to admit that I went through my long-straight-hair phase too, in the early 1990s when I was poor and didn’t have money for luxuries like haircuts. (The long-straight style has the virtue of being inexpensive to maintain if one has “good” hair. African American women, some Jewish women, and others with curly or “bad” hair need at least regular blowouts, if not messy and dangerous hair-straightening perms too to achieve this look, so for some women it’s a very costly and time-consuming investment.)
Then back at Echidne, I found this link to something that she called Michelle Duggar’s “wifely tips for a happy marriage.” Follow the links back that she provides, and eventually you’ll get to this PDF, “Seven Basic Needs of a Husband,” which includes a lengthy (and on the surface, strangely detailed) discussion of a wife’s hair and how it plays a primary role in a wife’s dutiful submission that is the foundation of all happy marriages, according to this document. I’ve copied the document–with its strange quiz-like format as well as its odd typefaces, bolds, and use of ALL CAPS–as best I can here: Continue Reading »