September 27, 2012

"Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair."

"Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body — it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being (which is genderless, actually) and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will."

75 comments:

edutcher said...

It's a precept of Sikhism to not cut the hair, IIRC.

And, yes, the world is full of idiots.

Scott said...

Life is a lot easier if you see how you are as being consistent with who you are.

Chip Ahoy said...

My divine will said that was a hormone imbalance and they can correct that now. And it mentioned that it was nice that somebody asked its opinion for a change and didn't just assume they know what it wants.

Geoff Matthews said...

Never expect class out of reddit.
They may surprise you, but don't count on it.

Chip Ahoy said...

Yesterday I lifted my arms in front of the mirror to mess up my hair in the back like Dennis the Menace and I noticed the hair under my arms and I thought to myself, "Dude, you're pathetic. I've seen more hair on girls' lips." But in my defense, they were ugly girls.

Freder Frederson said...

Never expect class out of reddit.

Or Chip Ahoy for that matter.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

"Baptized Sikh," I admit, startled me. I see on Googling that many Sikhs do call their rite of initiation "baptism," although the only liquids it involves are drunk, not applied externally.

Darrell said...

Peter (ironrailsironweight) will be ecstatic.

Marshal said...

She handled that amazingly well.

I wonder how much less support the public would have offered had she been a white American and defended herself with Christian theology.

Larry J said...

I've long said that shaving is an unnatural act, possibly punishable by God. Ever since I was 12 years old, hair has been growing on my face. God obviously intended me to have facial hair. And for years, I defied His will by shaving it off (hating every minute of it). Ever since I got out of the Air Force 20 years ago, I've had a neatly trimmed beard and moustache.

His will be done.

Freder Frederson said...


I wonder how much less support the public would have offered had she been a white American and defended herself with Christian theology.

Yeah, that's right, White Christians are a severely oppressed group in this country. Just look at the war on Christmas!

Marshal said...

Freder Frederson said...

I wonder how much less support the public would have offered had she been a white American and defended herself with Christian theology.

Yeah, that's right, White Christians are a severely oppressed group in this country. Just look at the war on Christmas!


Note that even Freder can't deny it would matter. He has to run off to some irrelevant nonsense to create a diversion. Typical of the more useless trolls.

Darrell said...

PowerPoint was created to hone Freder's head. True point.

virgil xenophon said...

..."submission to the divine will."

LOL. The very first thing I thought of was His Divine Shadow from the Sci-Fi TV mini-series Lexx: Tales From A Parallel Universe.

Freder Frederson said...

Note that even Freder can't deny it would matter.

Do you want me to be definitive rather than sarcastic?

It wouldn't matter. The original picture was a dick move. The response by the object of ridicule was mature and gracious. Anybody who responded so well would have received support, regardless of their creed, race or national origin.

Unfortunately, there are some assholes in the world, like Chip Ahoy, who still want to make fun of her.

pduggie said...

On the one hand, Genderqueerfolk happy to see a non-conforming person stand up for hirself.

On the other hand, hir claiming the body "must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will." not so much.

Ann Althouse said...

I thought it was a great contrast to the people who think all manner of surgery is needed to bring the body into conformity with a gender norm. I admire the view that what you are born with, you honor and value and see as meaningful. Up to a point, at least.

Clyde said...

Good luck to her in finding a Sikh man who finds her appealing. Or whatever.

Marshal said...

Freder Frederson said...
Note that even Freder can't deny it would matter.

Do you want me to be definitive rather than sarcastic?

It wouldn't matter.


Bullshit.

The original picture was a dick move. The response by the object of ridicule was mature and gracious. Anybody who responded so well would have received support, regardless of their creed, race or national origin.

From people of goodwill. But like you the rest of the left has none. I see criticisms of how "fundies" control their daughters as their patriarchal right. I see laments about how this will effect their lives, how it will shut off life opportunities.

There's a certain amount of head-in-the-sane required to be a lefty. But you do seem to give 100%.

Inga said...

I'm going to forever have a visual of Chip's face registering dissapoinment regarding his lack of axillary hair.

Actually not a negative if he cooks bare chested, no need for worry of a stray hair dropping into his culinary delights.

That was pretty gross.

Inga said...

I've worked with many SIkh doctors and nurses, some wore short hairAnd shaved, some remained traditional. I would assume if this young lady wasn't gay with orientation more toward maleness, she might consider some hair removal, she is quite lovely under that facial hair.

But each to their own.

Nomennovum said...

Why, Ann. Why?

Nomennovum said...

"[S]he is quite lovely under that facial hair."

I long ago learned to disregard anything a woman has to say about another woman's beauty.

MnMark said...

So if your body grows a tumor, does the Divine Being intend for it to just grow unchecked?

Do you never trim your fingernails or toenails in your life because they just grow according to divine will?

Do you not fix birth defects if you can?

Do you not fix a broken leg?

Where do you draw this line that makes sense?

I guess this hairy-faced gal can go ahead and spend 50% of her in-public life trying to make some statement about the naturalness of facial hair on women, getting gawked at, explaining herself over and over and over...or she can just have the hair removed and look like a pretty girl and get on with something that actually matters. Pick your battles. Society is never going to change and think hairy-faced women aren't disturbing to look at. Feminine-looking men and masculine-looking men are always going to biologically look weird regardless of what your liberal ideals are. It's wired into us.

Freder Frederson said...

I see criticisms of how "fundies" control their daughters as their patriarchal right. I see laments about how this will effect their lives, how it will shut off life opportunities.

And I imagine the response to this would have been quite different if Balpreet's father had posted a comment stating that as her father he had forbidden her to do anything about her facial hair.

MnMark said...

Sorry, typo: Feminine-looking men and masculine-looking WOMEN are always going to biologically look weird regardless of what your liberal ideals are.

Freder Frederson said...

Do you not fix birth defects if you can?

Do you not fix a broken leg?


She's a Sikh, not a Christian Scientist.

Nomennovum said...

Re "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder":

I just knew a woman came up with the phrase!

The person who is widely credited with coining the saying in its current form is Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (née Hamilton), who wrote many books, often under the pseudonym of 'The Duchess'.

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/beauty-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder.html

Kit said...

I admire the view that what you are born with, you honor and value and see as meaningful.

I admire that as well, along with her faith, kindness, eloquence and grace when being the target of someone else's putdown. As for "up to a point", I'm not getting that. She's living her life, doing her thing, not harming anyone. I'm with Allie, to each their own.

MnMark said...

I am so sick of all this "tolerance" bullshit. These days, every freaky thing that some immigrant drags in has to be immediately fawned over and "celebrated". The freakier and sicker it is, the greater the liberal imperative not to judge.

The idea that they came here to become one of us is completely lost. There is no "us" anymore. The USA, the West, is nothing but a big empty geographic region to be filled in by whatever walks in the door. We have been turned into the people who have no beliefs or values worth defending except the belief that we are people with no beliefs worth defending. That's "tolerance": the belief that the best cultural trait is the cultural trait that says we have no cultural traits better than anyone else's. We are just blanks. Smiling, vacant nothings waiting to be "enriched" by the exotic foreigners who are so authentic and so much more interesting than us.

If she wants to be a hairy-faced sikh, she can do that in sikh-land, wherever that is. If she is going to come here, then she becomes an AMERICAN and adopts AMERICAN culture, values, religion, history, heroes, traditions, etc. Otherwise she is not emmigrating, she is colonizing us with Sikhs. She is making another little corner of America into a Sikh homeland and setting up to reproduce and bring in more relatives and expand the Sikh colony. Same goes for Somalis and all the rest of the colonists arriving here from alien corners of the world.

My great-grandfather changed our family name to sound more American and Anglicized his own first name. He dressed like an American, ate American foods, went to American churches, and worked hard to become one of the people of his new homeland. Back then when you emigrated to America the assumption was that you were willing to give up the old ways and *become an American* in every way - to become indistinguishable from any other American. You were coming to another people's country to try to be one of them, not just to make more money.

This tolerance thing is insane. It is going to lead to so much trouble. Why can't more people see that?

Anne B. said...

MnMark said:

"I guess this hairy-faced gal can go ahead and spend 50% of her in-public life trying to make some statement about the naturalness of facial hair on women, getting gawked at, explaining herself over and over and over...or she can just have the hair removed and look like a pretty girl and get on with something that actually matters."

I'm as hairy as this gal. Unlike her, I've spent my entire adult life shaving or having it waxed off. You do realize, Mark, that this is not something that can be cured with one trip to the beauty salon? When I was younger, I went every two weeks, regularly, and still got stared at (and occasionally called "sir") between visits.

However, now that I've hit 60, I find the stuff on my chin is getting sparser, and also grayer - so it's not so obvious between waxes. Still, I just have to put up with her.

If she's fine with it, then good for her.

rhhardin said...

My dog and her toys both have facial hair.

Anne B. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshal said...

Freder Frederson said...
I see criticisms of how "fundies" control their daughters as their patriarchal right. I see laments about how this will effect their lives, how it will shut off life opportunities.

And I imagine the response to this would have been quite different if Balpreet's father had posted a comment stating that as her father he had forbidden her to do anything about her facial hair.


I'm sure it would have been. But that doesn't change that the patriarchal pressure would be assumed were the woman a Christian, particularly a non-minority.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CachorroQuente said...

"If she wants to be a hairy-faced sikh, she can do that in sikh-land, wherever that is. If she is going to come here, then she becomes an AMERICAN and adopts AMERICAN culture, values, religion, history, heroes, traditions, etc."

Right on, Bro! After we get all the Sikhs sent back to "sigh-land, wherever that is," we can work on those Papist mackerel snappers with dirt on their foreheads and send them all back to the Vatican.

Freder Frederson said...

My great-grandfather changed our family name to sound more American and Anglicized his own first name. He dressed like an American, ate American foods, went to American churches, and worked hard to become one of the people of his new homeland.

What did he change his name to? Dances with Wolves?

Inga said...

Mark, surprisingly I do agree with some of your points. My family came here in 1955 from eastern Europe, via Austria. My parents understood that assimilation was necessary and endevored to do so from day one.

My father forbade German to be spoken in the home so he and my mother could learn English faster. Some of the relatives thought he was crazy, but it paid off, they had a grasp of the English language much sooner and with less difficulty than the rest of the extended family.

My parents became citizens as soon as was permitted, 6 years. I still have a newspaper clipping from the Milwaukee Sentinal showing them and other immigrants being sworn in as US Citzens. They were very proud. I was naturalized as a juvenile at age 9 at the same time.

My brother was drafted and served in the military, my parents attended his graduation at Great Lakes and again were very proud to be Americans. My parents never missed voting and chided relatives who didn't bother.

My daughter married a Cuban who came here as a Balsero at age 18, she met him years later while they both were stationed on the same Naval base. When they visited his family in Miami, not one of the older relatives spoke English, she couldn't understand that they never bothered to learn, considering her grandparents spoke English so fluently.

I think that learning the language is the very LEAST an immigrant can do. Nothing wrong with embracing your heritage and preserving customs, but that also means not ignoring the responsibility to BE American and embracing that privilege also.

CachorroQuente said...

"If she wants to be a hairy-faced sikh, she can do that in sikh-land, wherever that is. If she is going to come here, then she becomes an AMERICAN and adopts AMERICAN culture, values, religion, history, heroes, traditions, etc."

Right on, Bro! After we get all the Sikhs sent back to "sigh-land, wherever that is," we can work on those Papist mackerel snappers with dirt on their foreheads and send them all back to the Vatican.

Freder Frederson said...


I think that learning the language is the very LEAST an immigrant can do.

I live in New Orleans. Until about 50 years ago there were parts of this state where French or Spanish was the predominate language. Many people remember Grandparents who spoke only French or Spanish. And the French were here long before the Revolution. One of our Supreme Court justices is not a native English speaker. Lawrence Welk was a native German speaker, eventhough he was born in North Dakota.

The idea that this country is, or ever was, mono-lingual is simply untrue.

Inga said...

Freder, nothing wrong with being bilingual. And there IS a downside to doing what my father did in forbidding the native language to be spoken, the children lose their fluency in the mother tongue. I think there can be a happy medium, in which one can be bilingual, retain their heritage, while at the same time embrace American traditions.

bagoh20 said...

Yea, I just wish this was not considered a problem at all. For instance, there are plenty of men and women who would be attracted to her more because of this, so why is even a negative. Few of us have something special like that. It's not in any way debilitating or limiting, so it should not be considered a problem that needs fixed. If she doesn't like it herself, then fine, shave, but the rest of us should either admit it turns us on, or shut up. I'll just shut up.

MB said...

She looks like she might have polycystic ovary syndrome. If hirsutism was the only effect, then it is a personal choice, but she is also at risk for diabetes mellitus. From the SIkhs I know, they would not ignore a potential serious medical condition.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/polycystic-ovary-syndrome/DS00423

Inga said...

MB, I though the same thing, some disorder that allows androgen proliferation. PCOS is dangerous as you say, such large amounts of circling insulin affects many of the internal organs, besides causing the unsightly facial hair, and thinning hair on the head. Not a normal state for females.

One treatment in BC pills.

exiledonmainst said...

Well, Inga says something I agree with. My paternal grandparents came here from what is now the Czech Republic and spoke both Czech and German. Learning English was a tough struggle for them and yet somehow they managed to do it. They were farmers with no access to night school. They learned English from their children. My father said one of the most vivid memories of his childhood was sitting down on the curb after his first day of school and crying in bafflement and frustration because he understood nothing of what was going on. There were no bilingual classes in the 20's, no outreach programs for immigrants. And yet within a few months, he and his siblings had learned enough to teach their parents the language. Back in the 20's, there were still enough native German and Czech speakers in Wisconsin that my grandparents could have gotten by without learning English - but they wanted to learn it, they wanted very much to be American.(My father and uncle certainly found their knowledge of German came in handy when they served in the European theater in WWII.) As far as the hairy Sikh woman goes - hey, it's a free country. She is free not to shave or wax - and other people are also free to react negatively to her appearance.

Freder Frederson said...

She looks like she might have polycystic ovary syndrome.

Yeah, let's play amateur internet doctor based on one photograph.

William said...

She has an admirable attitude and perhaps it will all turn out for the best. But maybe she should shop around for a reform branch of the Sikh faith, one that considers Nair part of God's bounty and will.....Life is full of unintended consequences. Maybe if she doesn't spend a lot of time suppressing facial hair, she'll have more time to spend on cancer research or domestic chores as the case may be. Every human life is an experiment and maybe women with hairy faces are vouchsafed some unique insight that will make the game worth the candle.

Inga said...

Exiled, my family came from Slavonia,Croatia,Yugoslavia, originally from Germany, they later became known as Donauschwaben. 1720 was when these ethnic Germans went eastward to pioneer the lands that were won back from the Turks and given to Queen of Austria Hungary, Maria Theresa's subjects, to ensure the Turks didn't come back. Many of these early Germans were killed in skirmishes with the Turks. Parts of Yugoslavia reminded Muslim, Bosnia.

I wonder if your family were Sudeten Germans.

Inga said...

Freder, females do not normally have that much facial hair, there is something going on.

exiledonmainst said...

Freder, how much opportunity did a Cajun child who spoke only Cajun French (a dialect that native French people find impossible to understand) have if he or she wanted to do something other than work as a shrimper or farmer in southern Louisiana? None whatsoever, which is why the Cajuns were trapped in poverty for many generations.

Inga said...

Hirsutism, causes This is the link in hyperlink from MB, above.

Inga said...

Reminded= remained

exiledonmainst said...

Nope, Inga, not Sudeten Germans. From what I understand, it was quite common for even ordinary people throughout the old Austrian-Hungarian Empire to have some knowledge of German.

The ever-shifting borders of Eastern Europe do present a challenge when you are trying to trace your family tree. My mother's grandparents were very definitely Polish, but their papers identify them as being from Prussia. It is now once again part of Poland, and the names of the towns and cities have changed from German to Polish ones, so I haven't been able to figure out exactly where they came from.

Freder Frederson said...

After recounting the hormone imbalances and diseases that cause hirsutism, did you bother to read the final paragraph?
"Excessive hair growth in women with normal androgen levels, regular menstrual periods and no other underlying conditions is called idiopathic hirsutism — meaning that there's no identifiable cause of the disorder. This occurs more frequently in certain ethnic populations, such as women of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and South Asian ancestry.

(Emphasis added)

Tarzan said...

The Divine Will really doesn't mind if you...oh never mind. Some people just can't feel holy enough blending in with the rest of us (on Festivus?). Good luck to them.

Tarzan said...

Stop wiping, everyone. The Divine Will decrees that the poop on our butts after dropping a big one is sacred.

Why else would it be there?

Inga said...

YES Freder I did. And I knew someone would point that out. Even in women from those nationalities I think this is excessive, but hey what do I know, whatever floats her and your boat.

Tarzan said...

Sorry, that last quip of mine was Sikh, even by my standards.

Rocketeer said...

I'm suspicious of your claims of Donauschwaben heritage, Allie. You don't even like pickled beets!

Inga said...

Rocketeer, yes I know they liked them. I prefer pickled peppers, those red ones, sweet though not spicy. And Hungarian sausage, homemade preferably. I also hate sour kraut and pork, ugh.

Rocketeer said...

No sauerkraut? No pork?

Now I KNOW you're faking.

Inga said...

Rocketeer, BUT, but, but I love Nusskuchen and even Sulz. I bet many don't know what Sulz is.

Inga said...

Correction,I don't like sour kraut and pork ribs made together in the same pot. Nothing wrong with good old American barbecue pork ribs, or a Rueben with sour kraut, or a brat with sour kraut.

Rocketeer said...

I was more than a little confused for a moment when you wrote you didn't like pork, but did like sulz...

furious_a said...

"Singh" -- Lion.
"Kaur" -- Lioness.

Didn't know that Sikh women bound up their hair like that. OSU is a big school, can't imagine the number of stares and comments she gets -- good on her for being bigger than the stare-ers and commenters.

Inga said...

Rocketeer,
Hot Hungarian Sulz is the best, some Germans put vinegar in it, but I prefer it hot.

I eat plenty of pork, lol, but it's going to get quite expensive soon, there was a thread yesterday or the day before about pork prices going up, darn!

Inga said...

Sorry for hijacking the hairy Sikh thread to talk about pork, carry on.

CachorroQuente said...

"Rocketeer, BUT, but, but I love Nusskuchen and even Sulz. I bet many don't know what Sulz is."

Perhaps they know it as head cheese.

exiledonmainst said...

Inga, I own a cookbook called "The Old World Kitchen: The Rich Tradition of European Peasant Cooking" which contains recipes for everything from ratatouille and paella to rye bread and paprika stew, along with a lot of anecdotes, literary quotes and folklore. I love cookbooks like that. It's a great book to just thumb through and read, although I'm not planning on making reindeer stew or venison pasties any time soon.

Lyle said...

Good for her. Real cool lady.

Inga said...

Exiled, one of my daughters has been working on a family/ heritage cookbook of sorts, replete with stories from my parents from the old country, the war, the DP Camps and coming to America on the "boat", with pics and German/ Hungarian/ Croation recipes.

It's been a work in progress for a few years now, understandable as she's a busy attorney and just got married, so I may ask her if I can finish it for her and put it together for my kids and nieces and nephews. Those old family stories and recipes, are so easily forgotten as the older generations pass away.

Lyle said...

Anecdote per some of the comments.

My maternal grandparents' conversational language was Cajun French.

Sadly, the language is effectively dead now. There was an anti-French movement around mid-20th century.

I'm not sure many people were still speaking Spanish in Louisiana up until 50 years ago. Maybe a few, really small, pockets of people (like in St. Bernard or Plaquemines). This is mainly because even when the Spanish controlled Louisiana, French was the dominate culture and language... even Germans who immigrated to Louisiana in the 18th century became French speaking Creoles.

gadfly said...

Sikh facial hair is enhanced by a favorite Sikh dietary choice - curry.

You read it first here, but I didn't read Reddit, I read this and this.

Texan99 said...

"I admire the view that what you are born with, you honor and value and see as meaningful."

Agreed -- and I admire even more the notion that her body is her own business. The rest of us aren't called on to have an opinion of either her religious convictions or her femininity.

Jasveer Singh Bal said...

So you ancestors conformed to become American- isin't that supposed to be Native Culture rather than the Western culture? Just be yourself in this world - see yourself as citizens of this world, there is no alien country and we are all human beings. Race is hereditary.