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Hair = IQ

By Seana Sperling

Gentle reader, as you may know it takes a lot to annoy me, but lately my patience has been growing increasingly finite. Since the masses show no indication of learning on their own, I have set myself up as a kind of oracle or deity, if you will, to enlighten them.


The other night I was at a karaoke bar with a large group of people. There was a disturbance at the back of the bar and a woman was carried out. She had evidently been expelled from the club. She returned seconds later only to be hoisted up and out again. A couple of remarks floated around the table concerning the expelees lack of gray matter and then a woman at the end of the table said, "Well, of course, she's a blonde." I peered at her from under my highlighted bangs and asked, "Since when is IQ determined by haircolor?" The entire table reacted to this. A woman sitting next to the offender started yelling at me through her overtanned face, "Faux pas! Faux pas! Faux pas!" (I suppose she'd just learned the phrase and was excited for an opportunity to use it.) Two men and a woman at the other end started chanting the playground mantra, "Fight. Fight. Fight." Yet another woman tried to smooth things over with me, by slurring in my ear, "Oh, she was just talking about that drunk woman." There was an uncomfortable silence for about a mili-second, then a loud and obnoxious singer got up to entertain us and the night proceeded without an answer to my query. In this age of being culturally sensitive and sooo politically correct, I wondered why it was OK to make blonde jokes. Were they any different than the Polack jokes we had to endure in the 70's?

A colleague of mine talks endlessly about racism and discrimination, yet this same person was exiting the breakroom one day and said to a group of light haired women, "I've got to go. Go ahead and talk about whatever it is blondes talk about." Now some might say, "Have a sense of humor about it." Why should I? Blonde bashing is just another, none too subtle way, of attacking women. When someone starts a joke with, "Eight blondes walked into a bar..." the image conjured by the majority of people is that of a group of women. I doubt anyone can honestly say that they think of a group of blonde men when offered that preface. Also, if you object to this kind of discrimination, you are considered, a bitch, crazy or overly sensitive. Unfortunately, this offshoot of humor often pits woman against woman with one embracing discrimination disguised as wit and another having to endure it.

Discrimination is defined as: The unjust distinction made against one group. If you isolate and attack Poles with Polack jokes, and if you denigrate people because of their hair or eye color, height, weight, age, etc. it seems a close cousin if not sibling, to discrimination. You can say anything you want about Frat boys and I frequently do. Being a Frat boy is a choice and not part of anyone's DNA. I'll happily poke fun at anyone wearing lavender capri pants. (Unless they're vision impaired and that's the only excuse for wearing something so frightful.) Speaking of clothing, about six years ago there was a T-shirt with a slogan on it that read, COULD YOU REPEAT THAT? I'M NATURALLY BLONDE. Not only do I despise any kind of writing on clothing (including and maybe especially brand names) but discriminatory insults masquerading as humor, is just too much. Why in the hell should hair color carry such a stigma?

At work another teacher was explaining the word, bimbo to a student from Asia (Why this word came up, I do not know.). "Well," she began, "Oh, you know, blonde hair and big breasts..." That's when I pulled out my Uzi and shot her. Actually I came over to her side and reminded her that, "bimbos," came in all shapes, sizes, colors and genders. Then I patted her shoulder and left because I could see she wanted to try to justify her statement.

As a child I was blonde and I had to deal with all the silly commentary that perpetuates this stereotype. If you are constantly told by peers, Hollywood and everyone else that because of your hair color you have certain limitations, it wears on your patience. You begin to lose touch with reality. You awake one morning with The Anarchist Cookbook in one hand and a timing device in the other. You start thinking, L'Oreal, Miss Clairol, WIG SHOPS. A blonde, male colleague of mine informed me that blondes had certain privileges, so it was OK to bash them. When I inquired about these privileges (because I certainly wanted to partake) he conveniently had to return to his classroom.

I suppose we all could dye our hair (then L'Oreal would be reeling in the bounty). In ancient Greek society, all people used to dye their hair black because diversity was not recognised as a good thing. In the past, there have been signs around town stating, "We don't tolerate diversity, we CELEBRATE it." I'd like to see a little more celebrating.

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