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Shaving my hair, fundamentalists and gender trouble


Right before I went to Brazil the last time, a friend of mine told me I would look good with my hair shaved. I kept that in mind, but I was really afraid - I always thought my hair was one of the parts of my body I liked the most, and always related it to seducing men, feeling beautiful and desired - more feminine. I realized the only thing stopping me were my fear and vanity. But anyways, I was visiting my parents and grandma for some weeks and I really didn’t want to be subject for family talk while my stay - so I decided to think about it, get used to the idea.
After having my ex boyfriend telling me I should find Jesus in my life and giving me advice to go to his church on Fridays to get the curse released from me, among other things, religious fundamentalism right now in Brazil cannot be ignored. Its growing on absurd high rates - discrimination by religious reasons grew nothing more than 4960% in 5 years. I realized that it had reached every single aspect of my life - my professional environment by censuring art shows, my personal life throughout my ex, political life (our mayor is a pastor), and even while I was at the beach in Ipanema a girl came to talk to me about how great it was to be part of their church. She said that they also had “work” in Germany (why do they use this word, dear Goddess), and that I should give it a try. She even handled me a paper with the words: “Suicide, give up on this idea”. Wtf is going on?
So their thing now is going for every progressive agenda. Judith Butler was supposed to give a lecture at Sesc Pompéia and the fundamentalists started to comment on every post on Sesc´s Facebook page - things like “Say no to gender ideology”, “We need to protect our children” (?????), “For the sake of the family”, and so on. As I read the comments, I could not help to think about the Middle Ages and how all the knowledge from Greek philosophers were lost at that time because of religious reasons. Those people never read her and probably never will - ignorance miraculously turns people into experts in anything - and you can easily notice the shallow concepts behind their words - learned mostly trough misinterpretations of the Bible that the pastors use to sell places in heaven while guaranteeing the church´s wealth (not small).
So after that moment I decided to go over her work again, I stumbled upon one of her most famous theories, the “gender trouble” concept - where she basically says gender is constructed, therefore, a performance, a social performance. There are signs that we relate to being a man or a woman, like colors: pink to a girl and blue to a guy, etc. Reading those concepts again, I remembered my fears about shaving my head - hair, after all, is a common sign of gender identity- long for girls and short for guys in the normative sense - and I realized I was relying too much on my hair to assure myself as a woman and how silly it is to think like that. If someone does not want to be with me because I look less girly bald - why would I ever want to be with that person in first place?
Yes, I am most of the times “straight” in my sexual choices and I was never trough social difficulties - I grew in a privileged environment and I was always normative (symetric face, thin, white) - but as a way to react to all of those things happening - not only to me, but with people around me and my motherland - I felt like shaving my head wasn’t about me anymore - it was a statement. Causing gender trouble is a way to break the prejudice walls, the ignorance walls. I needed to do it.
And so I did. Top 5 best things I have ever done. And guess what? Damn, I feel so sexy

Project Tags

  • performance art

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