Army Bans Braids and Twists Because They Don’t Understand Black Hair

Army Bans Braids and Twists Because They Don’t Understand Black Hair

As if the military doesn’t have enough fires with all those sexual assault claims, the Army released an updated regulation banning twists and braids for female members. In response, African American soldiers have crafted a White House petition asking President Obama to order the Army to reconsider their new regulations on the grounds that they are “racially biased” against black women.

Attention people who don’t have natural black hair, African American coils are not the same as other coils. As a result, creating rules that are easily followed by non-black people but not black people is unfair and yes, it is racially biased. It is akin to the idea that natural black hair is unprofessional, or schools that send little black girls home because their hair isn’t straight like their non-black school mates. For white women, the equivalent would be if the Army ordered every straight haired person to go directly to a salon, get a curly Jessie Spano perm and forced them to keep it fresh and bouncy for the rest of their lives. No. One. Wants. That.

This is nonsense. Read the article, then sign the whitehouse.gov petition.

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2 thoughts on “Army Bans Braids and Twists Because They Don’t Understand Black Hair

  1. Military experience tells me black girls are but a percentage of the women that use these and other methods for their hair. If the larger issue is one of individuality, one must remember the great machine that they are a part to a cog in. If your hair is short, just comb it or brush it or wrap it around your head; you know what I mean, and I think it’s a cute look. If it’s long, use the rolled-up sock bun trick. There are lots of ways to come at this, you could even say it’s a challenge to breed creativity; isn’t that what we do?
    I argue it is, in fact, quite easy to follow a rule like this. Regardless of the doctrine, the leadership of particular unit will allow or disallow it, just like with many other things; there were openly gay people in a unit I was in, and DADT was in full swing. Some even cross-dressed in their off time. And no one cared. Sure, there are always hypervigilant E7s and by-the-book butter bars looking to get someone caught up; my point is the culture of the local community will prioritize what is important and what can be overlooked.

    What has military experience told you?

  2. I don’t have personal military experience. My dad was in the military when I was growing up, and I have a lot of friends in the military. But I think you’re missing the point – black hair, when it’s natural, can’t be easily brushed or put up in a bun. If the military wants uniformity, they should choose one or two acceptable hair braids.

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