Random AsidesSkepticism

Bad Chart Thursday: Hair Length

This week’s bad chart pretty much made itself. It begins with this article about women with short hair being damaged, which is clearly a parody of the racist male supremacists who bravely pontificate on the Internet anonymously about truly important subjects like hair length.

The entire piece is a brilliant satire of the type of man who would actually think this way, both mocking this man as the author pretends in earnest to think just like him.

Acting as though he’s writing as a masculine alpha male, then making the subject matter about freaking haircuts is by itself nothing short of fabulous.

But that’s just the beginning.

Even better is how he mocks the narcissism and “logic” of the hair style-obsessed male supremacist thought process. To prove his opinions are fact he provides more of his opinions, with a large dose of confirmation bias to make the parody complete. His caricature is of a man from an oh-so-more manly time, a time of kings as the website name implies, before society was corrupted by facts, objective evidence, and reason.

Even better are how the examples, intended to make his point about damaged women, are carefully cultivated to actually illustrate how the MRAs he caricatures turn rejection from women into evidence that these women must be damaged. (The story about a woman jerking him off while she texted another guy pretty much proves that this is satire. The men he’s mocking would never admit this happened.) He kind of went out on a limb using the whole racist joke framework for the conversation part of his article. It was probably meant as part of the satire of how racist the long-hair beauty standard is, not to mention the men who espouse it, but it was clumsy in its attempt to make fun of racism by pretending to be racist way too convincingly.

He does succeed, however, in subtly undermining the whole male supremacist concept of masculinity throughout the entire article. He makes it very clear that men who don’t agree with his opinions must be lying, which glaringly illustrates that all True Men™ agree with each other and don’t have opinions of their own.

This made the whole “men standing out from a crowd” business even more hilariously ironic. Clearly, this refers to cultivating a personality that repels people from standing near you. Having a repellant personality and no mind of your own is, to this writer (or, rather, his persona) a badge of honor—the mark of a True Man™.

The message this entire article sends? Independent, logical thought is for women, fellas. You don’t want to risk damaging your little man brains.

So I was kind of surprised he didn’t get ripped apart by the Manosphere for this, but maybe they didn’t realize how incredibly insulting it was to them? I think that’s why the publisher decided to hammer that point home with an even more heavy-handed piece of satire, including a series of photos of women, but with a doll image stuck in there, poking fun at the actual sex lives of the men who believe this bullshit.

The best part, though, was that he actually gave a percentage for us to work with, which finally brings me to today’s bad chart. I’ll just quote him here: “Women: unless you have a smushed pig face, your attractiveness increases at least 6% for every inch your hair passes your shoulders.” Delightful. Let’s chart this and see if we can’t take this to its logical conclusion and find the most attractive woman in the world for all True Men™.

Hair length

You can’t argue with the data. I’m sure he has a sister, guys.

Cousin Itt

Melanie Mallon

Melanie is a freelance editor and writer living in a small town outside Minneapolis with her husband, two kids, dog, and two cats. When not making fun of bad charts or running the Uncensorship Project, she spends her time wrangling commas, making colon jokes, and putting out random dumpster fires. You can find her on Twitter as @MelMall, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

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  1. I may be wrong (perhaps hope I’m wrong) but I was under the impression that the publisher of that site, Roosh V, was a pretty well known “pick-up artist” and largely sincere in his misogynistic opinions.

    1. You are not wrong. If a satire that’s indistinguishable from the real thing is a poe, the real thing being indistinguishable from satire is what, a reverse poe? In any case, their ability to mock themselves with their own words is truly a sight to behold.

  2. It’s pretty clear from the comments that the manosphere didn’t get the joke. They all got seriously Poe’d.

    Well, maybe some of the comments were from people who got it but were playing along, but *all* of them? Also, I didn’t see any comments from anyone who got it and was outraged. Everyone either got it was parody and played along, or didn’t get it was parody at all. I’m going to try to create one of those 2×2 truth tables to illustrate; I hope this works…

    Parody | Yes | No |
    Play along | | |
    Yes | lots | none |
    No | none | lots |

    I agree that the parody did fall a little flat in the racism section. Like all parody, you want to be sure that the people you’re supporting and allying yourself with get that it’s parody, while mystifying and confounding the people being parodied. But if women of color are happy with it, then that’s the important thing.

    As far as the hair length vs. attractiveness chart,how does attractiveness > 100% work? And why are there two lines? Shouldn’t the horizontal axis be labeled in inches, with a single line as a best fit to a scatter plot? With error bars? Science, dammit!

    1. But that only proves that they all are True Men!

      I think I gave these articles the science they deserve. In fact, I think I was generous.

    1. “… the piece is satire cos regardless of intent it works that way!”

      More proof intent isn’t magic. ;-)

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