No one would call bald Britney an unwilling avatar, but much of the scrutiny and ridicule she faces derives from the same routinized sexism. Shaming her as an out-of-control celebrity deranged by fame constructs the illusion that sexism is fomented by inappropriate attention seeking and can be cured by more palliative doses of pre-emptive modesty. We are exempt from persecution as long as we eschew the spotlight. Policing female visibility generally serves the same function for men, reassuring them that they are still afforded the unquestioned privilege of being judged on terms that they control. Men can pretend that they are not doomed to ever becoming bald Britneys themselves.
- Hi Haters! by Rob Horning