America is really a very conservative place

I know, I know, we think of it as a place where anything goes. And in one manner, that\’s entirely true. You can be the surf bunny, the goth, the hippie, Christianist, you can follow whatever path you desire by and large.

But within each of those defined paths there\’s a very definite pressure not to deviate. The surf bunny with the black fingernail polish would be considered very strange.

As an example:

Moreover, for better or worse, smooth straight hair has become synonymous with \”professional\” in America. Show up with curly hair, and you might as well show up with waist-length beads and an incense burner.
I would like to fight this, especially since it smacks so much of ethnic prejudice.  Why on earth have we defined the hair type that most Irish, Jewish, and black women have as less professional than fine straight hair that can be blow-dried in 10 minutes?  I know it\’s close to my brains and all, but they\’re not actually connected.
But I do not want to be a curly-haired revolutionary at the cost of my career.  As one black female journalist said to me, \”You don\’t want TV bookers referring to you as \’the curly haired one\’.\”  I want to be \”the one who can talk about taxes\”.
Nonetheless, I\’m experimenting.  I went curly for a Cato event last night that I normally would have straightened for.  We\’ll see how far I\’m willing to push beyond the straight and narrow.
This is one manner in which UK society is hugely more liberal than the US.
You (we) don\’t have to stick within the rules of a sub-culture. The acceptable boundaries of the entire culture might be narrower (something for discussion) but mixing and matching from all of the available sub-options is considered far more acceptable.
A society in which Bea Campbell gets an OBE is pretty liberal I\’d say…..if not insane but that\’s another matter.

4 thoughts on “America is really a very conservative place”

  1. I’ve never spent more than three months at a spell in the US, and that was long since. But shorter visits since confirm my feeling that there did seem to be a strange mass-society feel about everything. Still, given how generous and hospitable I found ’em to strangers when I was young, I must say that the mass adoption of such virtues is pretty praiseworthy.

  2. Up to and until Megan is made ruler of the world, she will feel that the failure to do so will be due to her hair, her height, whatever. And even after such , she will continue to write sweeping statements with little more basis than what one of “the girls” tells her. Anyone (outside the strange halls of The Atlantic) really beleive there is some kind of bias toward “curly hair”?
    Megan must have been desperate for a topic to have written such.

  3. Really, Tim? Have a look at the female newsreaders on the BBC/Sky/ITV. They all go for the “Harriet” rather than the “Moira” (whom God preserve).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *