The Arrogance of Solidarity

15 Jun

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‘t Is me. Yeah. On the first night of October (the date on the picture is from the day I edited it), I shaved my head bald. Completely. With a woman’s hand razor. Over the course of hours. Since I like sharing my life and shocking people in the process, I immediately made sure Facebook knew about it.

And Facebook immediately made sure I knew what an empowering, inspiring woman I am.

…what?

Feminists lauded me for giving “rape culture” and “macho” society that much-needed message: “Fuck you, I will not please men and to drive my point home, I will now disfigure myself needlessly and excessively, I’m a woman, hear me roar!”
That isn’t the words they told me, but that’s all I hear when I hear/read angry feminists celebrating an excessive degree of making oneself undesirable or ugly to men just to piss them off or make a point. Like the emo(tionally unstable) teenager who slits her wrists and uploads that shit to Instagram to make sure her daddy understands that she feels raped by not being allowed to party with her boozehead friends until 5 am. Hurt or ridicule yourself more than you hurt, ridicule, or even change, others. I don’t believe in this. If I cannot fight a battle or a war unless the only scenario where my opponent loses, being one where I lose too, by putting myself in a long-term position where I would never want to be in, I will not fight. I will not suffer in the name of feminism; who cares whether macho society makes me suffer or I do it to myself?

The other reaction I got a lot was, well, friends and family of cancer/chemo patients praising me for my beautiful gesture of sparkling solidari—no. You know, with all due respect because I get you’re doing it with pure intentions, if I had cancer and someone who wasn’t even family went and shaved their hair off to tell me they understand my pain and suffer with and for me, I would rip their pubic hair out one by one and implant it into their heads using a staple gun. Then they know my pain.
I’ve never had cancer but from what I understand, it sucks. You lose organs over it, you spend years of pain and sickness with or without treatment, and you may die. In front of the miserable faces of your loved ones. Having shaved my head after always having treasured long hair to a point where I spent what little money I had, on extensions, I know how big a loss it is. Not a big one. As long as you got a nice face, you’ll be fine. It grows back. It’s a few months of looking unusual and maybe getting stares, so what? People stare all the time, it’s in our nature to stare at what we deem unusual. It’s not animosity that drives these stares, so calm down and stop beating people up for staring at chemo patients or other unusual-looking people – no one means them any harm or offense. Some even stare in awe.
Losing your hair is no fun, and most women, myself included, love long hair and wouldn’t want to lose it lightly. So yeah, it was a bit painful for me to lose my hair. It was one of the few things I had going for me appearance-wise. It wasn’t pleasant. But it was not a huge deal, either. Having cancer is a huge deal, and if you think that you can even begin to understand what a cancer patient goes through just by cutting your hair, errr nope. Losing your hair without losing an organ or a job or a spouse or your last bit of life by being chained to a hospital bed, is probably not a loss that would inspire awe or gratitude in a cancer patient for your “sacrifice”. You only lose your hair for a little while.
It would be different if you were to donate the hair to have wigs for cancer patients made. But on the other hand, there are enough wigs on the market that should be good enough. Indian women get screwed out of their hair all the time by being told it’s for the gods and then it’s really just for a greedy old man who makes money out of it. I’m guessing a wig is near the bottom of a cancer patient’s priorities, way underneath Survival, Family, and A-way-to-take-the-edge-off-this-agony.

So no, you’re not a hero.

Neither are you a hero if you’re one of those idiot Jews who get concentration camp tattoos. What the fuck? Again, just like the head-shavers-for-cancer, they just go and get the look, the mark, of a “victim of suffering”, and think this signifies solidarity. No. It signifies that you think you understand any extent of the horror Holocaust victims and survivors had to go through. But you don’t. You don’t have the memory of the abuse, the fear of death, the smell of your people being incinerated. You don’t have the memory of the indescribable feeling the survivors must have felt when they were freed. You got your number willingly, probably feeling all epic about yourself, and not at gun point. You don’t even begin to understand their suffering, and neither do I, and I refuse to sit my well-off ass down and get a tattoo for 50 bucks and a wince of pain, when the people who’ve inspired it, have been through so much more to end up branded. Unwillingly.

Getting a camp tattoo “in solidarity” with Holocaust survivors or in a victim’s memory, or shaving your head to show that you “get” cancer patients, is like going to a bar to have bad but consensual sex with a guy who ain’t your type, to show solidarity with rape victims.

You make no sacrifice. You sit down feeling all warm and fuzzy and do-goody about yourself by getting a small or temporary modification done or going through a period of inconvenience.

And as for that calf number 269 whose number you got tattooed somewhere it doesn’t bother you? Cute, now follow through and get slaughtered. Then you understand its pain. You sit around on your fat ass eating tofu only the better-off can afford, playing around on your Smartphone, trying on cute dresses, and somewhere in the background of your activity, you have a tiny little number tattoo. If calf 269 could speak, it would probably ask you what part of its pain, other than its number being burned into your skin, you share. And then it would shit on your hipster-ass canvas shoes.

And as for my bald head? In my quest for beauty I had ruined my hair with aggressive black perms and it was falling out in strands. There was no saving it, only getting rid of all the damaged hair (ALL the hair), and letting it grow back naturally. No sociopolitics, no cancer awareness, just the disappointment that yet another one of my desperate quests for beauty had gone horribly wrong.

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