The Thinking 
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Is Feminism Making Women Bald?

July 27, 2012


I HAD a fascinating discussion yesterday with a woman who has been in the hair salon business for 40 years. This woman, whom I will call Adriana, knew nothing when we were first talking about this website.

Adriana was very excited because she had just invested in new laser technology for her salon. This technology is something of a miracle because with no apparent side effects other than reddening of the scalp, it can stimulate non-functioning hair follicles to grow hair again. She described in detail how it works and I grilled her with questions because, well, it was just interesting. My first thought was that this represents a revolution for bald men. The treatment is time-consuming and fairly expensive, but a man who is largely bald can achieve a full head of hair again. Read More »


Views of Women Olympians

July 27, 2012



FOUR out of five Time magazine special-issue Olympic covers feature women athletes, including hurdler Lolo Jones, above. Four out of five.  Magazines often emphasize Olympic women gymnasts and ice skaters, but here we see traditionally male domains such as soccer, which has a relatively small following on the women’s side, and javelin, which has an even smaller following. These photos offer the androgynous ideal of hyper-masculine, Spartan warriors.

Photos of male athletes don’t present the same perverse opportunities. Muscular male athletes don’t suggest femininity so they don’t assist the pervasive effort to get everyone, male and female, to undergo a psychological sex change operation.

These photos are a craven appeal not to women who will ever realistically be athletes but to normal women. Be hard-charging. Compete like a man. There is something supremely wasteful and non-commercial about feminine tenderness, which is why popular culture, soaked as it is in materialism, stands so adamantly against it.

A man becomes more masculine by engaging in intensely competitive sports at the highest level. A woman becomes less womanly, except in sports that allow an explicit expression of feminine aesthetics, such as ice skating and gymnastics. That’s a fact of life. It may very well be harmless for a minority of women to make these sacrifices, either temporarily or permanently, but the  glorification of aggression and competitiveness in women that now comes with Olympic sports extends beyond this small minority, and is not harmless.

This 1900 photo of Charlotte Cooper, the first woman champion in the Olympics, suggests that conformity to a masculine ideal is not new to women’s Olympic sports.

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More on Athletic Amazons

July 27, 2012


THE blogger Vanishing American addresses the issues I raised in the post on women Olympic athletes. She writes:

One more thing that puzzles me about the adulation directed at the ‘Amazon athletes’: I thought that most right-wing males loathed feminism, and hated the masculinization of women, and their reputed aggressiveness and competitiveness with men. Yet they seem to prefer the well-muscled, androgynous look of some of the women athletes, a look that at one time would have been considered too unfeminine. The old standard of femininity and modesty is all but gone, while the ideal of beauty veers more toward the same muscular and lean standard which epitomizes male attractiveness. Read More »

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