Student: ‘Manscaping’ Is an Offensive and Gendered Term

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By Jillian Kay Melchior | 9:14 am, April 24, 2017

It’s offensive for men to “manscape,” a University of Texas San Antonio student says.

That’s because “manscaping’ has “gender[ed] yet another aspect of everyday life,” wrote Samantha Ceballos in the student newspaper.

While people of all genders groom their body hair, Ceballos claims that the term “manscaping” glorifies male hair-trimming. Meanwhile, she writes, “though the term ‘ladyscaping’ exists, it is rarely discussed.”

Some men choose to groom until they are nearly hairless, while others maintain immaculate mustaches or beards, Ceballos notes. Either way, she says, “manscaping is used as a tool to prove masculinity,” and there is a “stigma that surrounds men and their ability to decorate themselves in western society.”

Bald, waxed or bearded, she says, “manscaping is a thing because society has made it one. … Guess what, guys? You all manscape, whether it be to look like an aerodynamic swimmer or to look like a mountain man.”

While male grooming carries its own terminology, including “manbun” and “manscaping,” female upkeep is taken for granted, Ceballos says. Moreover, women are “condemned to a life sentence of societal enforced grooming.”

“If anything, let ladyscaping be heard as much as we hear about manscaping,” she writes. “Or better yet, mix both terms together, and let us all scape, snip, and take care of business.”

Ceballos doesn’t even begin to touch on what hair grooming should look like for her transgender peers—not to mention agender or gender-fluid students.

Instead, she promises, she will “for now… keep looking at guys in class and on campus, judging their appearance as we have been trained to do.”

In total, Ceballos’ op-ed is nearly 800 words. But after scrutinizing it in depth, we remain unsure of her point. As far as we can tell, men and women (and whoever else you care to mention) cut their hair or don’t cut their hair. But probably, because there is a difference of gender, it’s important to analyze this, at least if you want to seem profound in a collegiate setting.

If you can parse this, perhaps you deserve a college degree in either philosophy or gender studies. Then again, a mere barber’s license may be more practical. Which one is splitting hairs?

Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.

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