“If animals are indeed enough like us to provide models that many scientist consider necessary, then we should recognize that animals are, in fact, like us, and deserve not to suffer as we would under such circumstances. Yet, in my conversations with vivisectors or supporters of vivisection, I’ve often been told that humans and animals are significantly different in that they perceive pain differently, and have different physiological reactions. If this is the case, then —if animals are indeed so different— then we must wonder how suitable animal use is for understanding human physiology and psychology. In a way then, the animal experimenter is caught in a logical trap: if animals are enough like us to justify using them as experimental models, then we must consider that they suffer, or to be mere cognitive machines as Descartes reasoned, then we must question whether or not animals provide a good enough model.”—
So, there’s this girl. She’s tragically orphaned and richer than anyone on the planet. Every guy she meets falls in love with her, but in between torrid romances she rejects them all because she dedicated to what is Pure and Good. She has genius level intellect, Olympic-athelete level athletic ability and incredible good looks. She is consumed by terrible angst, but this only makes guys want her more. She has no superhuman abilities, yet she is more competent than her superhuman friends and defeats superhumans with ease. She has unshakably loyal friends and allies, despite the fact she treats them pretty badly. They fear and respect her, and defer to her orders. Everyone is obsessed with her, even her enemies are attracted to her. She can plan ahead for anything and she’s generally right with any conclusion she makes. People who defy her are inevitably wrong.
“You better [start writing] now because you know how to write, and you have fingers, and you have this one life, and during this one life, you should put your words down, and make your voice heard, and then let others hear your voice. And the only way any of that’s going to happen is if you actually do it. People can’t read the thoughts in your head. They can only read the thoughts you put down, carefully and with great love, on the page.
I have heard comments like those referred to in this article SO MUCH in the last few months since I cut my hair, mostly on YouTube, the home of 12-18 year olds.
The ones that confuse and hurt me the most are like this one I got last week:
“Love your videos, will be back when you grow your hair out.”
Uh, ok? My hair doesn’t affect what words come out of my mouth, dude? But he can’t see me as anything else, I guess. Guys like him tune in because I’m attractive to them. Without long hair, I’m not attractive to them. Ergo…goodbye. The substance of my work doesn’t matter because my looks are the only context they have for me in their lives. And that makes me sad, because I’ve always tried to be more than that, without screaming it in people’s faces.
And it makes me sad for THEM actually. Because with that attitude towards women, they might be missing out on meeting an awesome girl/woman for themselves in their real lives. But we exist in a culture that only treats women as paper doll cutouts we can get aroused/attracted to. Our media does that to us, men do it to women, women do it to other women. I mean, how many animated GIFS of women are reblogged on Tumblr for their WORK rather than a dress they wear or a pretty pose? It’s an interesting question, one that even I might have a bad record with.
So part of me doesn’t even blame those YouTube guys. But it does make me want to show them that there are other ways to be, even if they cut me out of their online video lives, I still exist as who I am, out of their very rigidly defined parameters of “female-dom”. And maybe that’s enough. Just to BE.
Think I’ll be keeping my hair short for a long time.