April is sexual violence awareness month. I say this to preface the fact of how ridiculous it is that in a month where the goal is to spread the word and educate about the rampant problem of sexual violence in this country (as well as around the world), I found myself reading an article titled Hey, Ladies! Short Hair is Rape.
It’s not a parody or some horrifically off-kilter April Fool’s prank, it is a sentiment that the author — a Mr. Gavin McInnes — feels quite strongly about. It begins as a Tuthmosis-like plea for women to embrace that cutting their hair short is a bad idea, but then he takes his sexist motives and raises them a rape claim. He doesn’t even mean it as an ill-fitting metaphor, he legitimately thinks that sleeping with a woman who has short hair is rape:
“Having a sexual encounter you didn’t sign up for is the textbook definition of rape…as soon as we lose the angle, all we see is Neil Patrick Harris going to town. That’s perfectly fine if you’re into that kind of thing, but we straight males went home with a chick with short hair, not a kind, gay man with a delicate body. Is there a legal precedent for something like this?”
No, there’s no legal precedent for “something like this” because if there was, there would also need to be a legal precedent for the kind of irrevocable stupidity Gavin is spouting off.
Quick recon of what’s wrong with this article:
- Women only exist to serve and please men
- All straight men are exactly the same, have the same opinions, and find the same things attractive
- Having consensual sex with someone you don’t inherently find attractive is rape
The most amazing thing about this entire article is that the whole thing is so twisted, Gavin manages to undermine his entire argument — twice! — without breaking stride.
While he may believe that “having a sexual encounter you didn’t sign up for” is the honest to goodness “textbook definition” of what rape is, he is incorrect. The “textbook definition” of rape is, in actuality, “the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse” or “any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.”
He admits to freely electing to go home with a woman with short hair and choosing to engage in whatever activities occur thereafter, but later being upset that the woman with short hair he went home with…has short hair. That’s not rape. That’s not even understanding how hair works.
He also makes the claim that short hair is “definitely in the top 1% of dirty[sic] tricks” essentially accusing these women of pulling a switcheroo on him because, see, he went home with a woman with short hair, but then when he slept with that same woman…she had short hair. Unless he took home a woman with long hair and she immediately began to hack it off with a kitchen knife, he’s not the victim of some zany bait-and-switch. And honestly, at that point he has bigger things to worry about than the length of her hair.
If anything, he’s realized through probable trial and error that he’s not attracted to women with short hair, and that’s fine. Everyone is attracted to different things, everyone has the right to choose who they go home with, or if they want to go home with anyone at all.
Much like everyone has the right to cut and style their hair however they choose without having to worry about being accused of rape because one idiot doesn’t like how it looks.
A simple solution for Gavin? If he really has such a problem with short haired women, maybe he should stop going home with them.
However, the overlying issue is that in a month dedicated to the education of the public and the support of all the survivors, having Gavin McInnes claim that he is a victim of sexual assault based on his hair preferences for the opposite sex is appalling. Shame on him, and shame on Thought Catalog for publishing an article that is so disrespectful and blasé about a very serious issue, and devalues the stories of the many men and women that are actual survivors.
For more information about Sexual Violence Awareness Month, please visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.