Posted by
Gavin
• 11.21.12 02:20 pm

I like hearing about offended people in America because it makes me feel less scared of the situation here in Canada. I was listening to the CBC yesterday and they were talking to a “male feminist” and an Art History student about offensive facial hair. 

A Toronto art Gallery has an exhibit that includes Frida Kahlo and Dali. To promote it and get young people interested, they’re handing out Kahlo unibrows and Dali mustaches and if you wear them you get a discount. Seems like a harmless way to drum up business and generate interest in the show? Apparently not. Apparently, it’s offensive. The host wants to know which is more offensive: a Frida unibrow or a Dali mustache. The man thinks both are REALLY offensive but the female student thinks just the unibrow is offensive. But they’re both in agreement that both should be banned. I’m not exactly sure why they’re offensive. Something about trivializing the work of the artist and reducing them to a symbol? The Art History student had some theory about Dali being “self deprecating about his mustache” so it’s more okay to ridicule it than Frida’s eyebrows. I couldn’t hear the rest because I was punching the radio in my car too hard.

The show is here. Forgive me if I got some details wrong. I was yelling at the radio half the show.

Sincerely,

-ANDREW FENWICK

Dear Andrew,

So, the publicly funded CBC and some publicly funded students are scoffing at a publicly funded museum for trying to make some money in the real world? That’s what they really find offensive: capitalism. Which is fine but you’re not allowed to be taking capitalist’s tax dollars as you do it.  

Yours,

-SBTVC


Comments
  1. Billy says:

    Commie Boobcasting Corporation

  2. kat says:

    I live near that museum and when kids are wearing either of these things, they’re super cute. I usually fucking hate kids, but I’m ok with this museum promotion as long as it lasts.

  3. i hate canada says:

    I fucking hate my country because of sit like this. I am going to stab myself.

  4. RayP says:

    She pulled down racial statistics on beard growth. American Indians didn’t grow beards. Asian kids hardly did, Africans were a special case because daily shaving gave them a painful skin condition. “The ability to grow heavy, full beards as a matter of choice appears to be a privilege accorded by nature solely to white males,” she wrote.

    Alarm bells, red lights and screaming klaxons went off in Randy’s mind when he happened across that phrase.

    “But this assertion buys into a specious subsumption. ‘Nature’ is a socially constructed discourse, not an objective reality [many footnotes here]. That is doubly true in the case of the ‘nature’ that accords full beards to the specific minority population of northern European males. Homo Sapiens evolved in climatic zones where facial hair was of little practical use. The development of an offshoot of the species characterized by densely bearded males is an adaptive response to cold climates. These climates did not ‘naturally’ invade the habitats of early humans–rather, the humans invaded geographical regions where such climates prevailed. The geographical transgression was strictly a sociocultural event and so all physical adaptations to it must be placed in the same category–including the development of dense facial hair.”

    Charlene published the results of a survey she had organized, in which a few hundred women were asked for their opinions. Essentially all of them said that they preferred clean-shaven men to those who were either stubbly or bearded. In short order, Charlene proved that having a beard was just one element of a syndrome strongly correlated to racist and sexist attitudes, and to the pattern of emotional unavailability so often bemoaned by the female partners of white male, especially ones who were technologically oriented.

    “The boundary between Self and Environment is a social con[struct]. In Western cultures this boundary is supposed to be sharp and distinct. The beard is the outward symbol of that boundary, a distancing technique. To shave off the beard (or any body hair) is to symbolically annihilate the (essentially specious) boundary separating Self from Other …”

    And so on. The paper was rapturously received by the peer reviewers and immediately accepted for publication in a major international journal. Charlene is presenting some related work at the War as Text conference. “Unshaveness as a signifier in World War II movies.” On the strength of her beard work, three different Ivy League schools are fighting over who will get to hire her.
    – Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon, 1999


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