Gender Socialization In Hair Still Matters, By Ingrid Banks

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Gender socialization is learning the societal expectations and attitudes associated with a person’s sex. Young girls grow up being taught that having long hair is a very important part of their overall appearance and it will make them more appealing and beautiful to the opposite gender. Society has created a box to fit women into that deems them feminine or attractive to society as a whole. If a woman does not fit into that box they are seen as unattractive or masculine. Ingrid Banks author of Hair Still Matters found that women who wore their hair short were prone to being questioned about their sexuality and were told they lacked femininity. Where in contrast men, who wore their hair long were not questioned on their sexuality but actually …show more content…
Society sees men that wear hair long as embracing their feminine side and are not deemed un-masculine. Through research, Banks found that black men are being influenced by the hip-hop culture that construct the feminine hair styles and are more accepted by society. For example rapper Snoop Dog has be photographed at various award show such as the MTV Music Awards sporting what society would call feminine hairstyles; his sexuality or masculinity was never put in question by society or other men. Banks concluded that Snoop Dog and other various rappers are not questioned on their sexuality because they are simply gangsters and thugs and long hair is socially accepted by members of this culture. Society’s acceptance of men using traditionally feminine hairstyles, where women are unable to dawn traditionally masculine hairstyles illustrates that society operates as patriarchy. As said in chapter 13 of Sociology, the eighth edition, men are known to be protecting their privileges in society. This shows that men are privileged enough to be able to wear any hairstyle they want without being questioned. Whereas women do not have enough dominance and privilege to be able to do the same things as men in society. Therefore their evolving changes are not always easily accepted into …show more content…
This can be looked at through a gender-conflict lense, which is the point of view that focuses on the inequality and conflict between men and women. The conflict presented in Banks’ article is that men and women are treated unequally according to the hair styles they choose to wear. Society is accepting of most men that chose to wear a known feminine style and they are praised for it and are said to be embracing their femininity. From lecture 14, gender is seen as a performance in society. Women who compensate their look with big earrings and other jewellery are adding to their performance in society in order to limit questions on their sexuality or attractiveness. This creates inequality and conflict for women. They feel they are unable to express themselves through their choice of hair length and act the way society expects them to without being classified as a lesbian or masculine. While males can choose to wear long or short hair and still be accepted into society without

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