And the hippies are jingling, jangling, blowing smoke all over Haight Ashbury, and they were letting their hair grow long. To the male Indian, this was a phenomenon, because for an Indian to grow his hair long was a violation of federal policy of 1906. According to the 1906 policy, food was withheld until compliance—in other words (by terms of this policy), we could be starved to death until we cut our hair.
Adam Fortunate Eagle (Red Lake Chippewa), on white privilege and the hippie movement in the Bay
This is why I have absolutely no patience for white men complaining about how their long hair isn’t socially acceptable—Native men were banned from having their hair long on threat of death, and for Native peoples, long hair has cultural significance that goes beyond the typical white dude’s aesthetic interest in growing his hair out. Asian men also forcibly had their hair chopped off (re: Chinese in California, for example), and there’s a long history of stigma against men with afros; for MOC to have their hair grown out is, while an aesthetic choice, also a cultural choice and in many cases can be seen as part of the day-to-day struggle against racism and colonialism. Long hair just does not carry that meaning for white men, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna sit there and listen to them complain about how marginalized they are because they choose to have long hair because they think it looks cool (and let’s face it: they’re bitching because women don’t wanna date them—which could be for any number of reasons, or they’re whining about other more wealthy and powerful white men not taking them seriously; I don’t give a fuck about any of those struggles).
Not to mention the fact that white men created the very same system of sexist heteropatriarchy which defined long hair as feminine and made it socially unacceptable to the general populace in the first place. You don’t get to systematically destroy and marginalize an entire gender, assign that gender narrow physical characteristics and ideals of beauty, reappropriate and reuse those beauty ideals (usually feeding from racist romanticized colonial ideals of Nature and indigenous peoples anyways), and then complain because people don’t like your choice of hair style, like somehow you, the white dude, could ever be marginalized in any context.
omg i needed to see this post about long hair :c