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Public Property: My Eyebrows

5 October 2011

Last week, again, a hair stylist took the liberty of trimming my eyebrows and ear hair without asking.  Should I feel a little violated?  What if I want me overambitious ear hair to demonstrate my maturity?  What if I want my eyebrows to mimic Rowan Williams’?

I’m probably just depressed over middle age cosmetic issues, but the whole thing makes me wonder why my hair stylists – who so happen to be women – feel the freedom to trim hair other than that on my scalp.  Were a stylist to do the same thing to a woman, a considerable tussle would ensue, maybe a law suit.  Women do these things themselves, after all.  Since appearance matters so much to others, women  get used to making decisions about every part of their body.  That is their burden and pride, so how dare someone else make that decision for them.

Since we men don’t own our own bodies so much as to care enough about cosmetic details, women take up a stewardship role.  At least in the cosmetic sense, male bodies belong to women.  Now, how is the opposite true in our society?

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One comment

  1. Whenever I “let” someone take the liberty to assert their judgments over me, without speaking my truth, I am giving them permission. Such as I judge your ear hair to be too long so I am going to cut it and I do.

    Sometimes I give this permission freely when someone asks me if I want them to make a call on trimming my hair a certain way. Sometimes people don’t ask and I feel most empowered when I take the time to talk to them about my boundaries.

    My judgment around this issue with women is that men often give up their boundaries and authority to women because we don’t know how to talk clearly about these issues. I judge that I did this for many years and often gave away my moral and spiritual authority as well.

    To get clarity on this, I judge that a man has to understand first if this is a “charge” with women because he does some of the same behavior. Do you ever assert your judgements over women without asking for their permission?

    This type of charge can be very subtle and I judge that it needs to be explored honestly with other witnesses to see if it exists. When a man is free of this behavior in himself, then he can clearly see where his boundaries are and draw the lines he needs to protect those boundaries.

    I think that you are stating a common theme that men face. Men are often unclear about the small stuff, like your example, and therefore live in unclarity about the big stuff. As I clear up all the small things in my life, such as being accountable to being on time, etc., I can start to clear up the big things. Such as creating deep connections with my wife, family, my community and my God.



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