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`` France Virile : Des Tondues A La Liberation, Sexuality, And Sadism

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In this figure 2-1, two women are walking bare feet and their head have been shaved because they have been accused of sleeping with the enemy. One can also notice the Swastikas tattooed on their foreheads. A French woman describes the fate of women accused of collaborating with the enemy:
The war was not finished, but in Paris it assumed another form – more perverse, more degrading … The “shorn woman” of rue Petit-Musc… walked along with her wedged-soled shoes tied around her neck, stiff like those undergoing a major initiation. Her face was frozen like a Buddha, her carriage tense and superb in the mist of a shouting, screeching mob of faces contorted by hatred, groping and opportunistic hands, eyes congested by excitement, festivity,
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In fact, in behavioral science, studies of physical appearance have demonstrated that most women (and men for that matter) equate self-worth and the worth of others with the attainment of attractiveness (Bull and Rumsay 5). Therefore, to deprive women from her head hair equates a near total loss of self-worth.
The shearing as the sexual punishment is to be found in numerous societies, from antiquity to the present. It modifies the appearance of a woman at a time when the body is the object of aesthetic valorization. It changes the relationship with the self and with the others. By cropping women, society rejects its whole guilt on women who are considered seductive. Consequently, public shearing allows a process of re-appropriation of the feminine bodies. It becomes the symbol for the destruction of the guilty body, the desecration, which forbids the guilty women to have access to her own femininity and sexuality. Through the process of shaving, the body becomes the reflection of the “moral ugliness.” In fact, because head hair expresses or manifests attractiveness and power, to be bald deprives a woman of the ability to fit into our society, to be a woman in the public sphere.
Hair as a symbol of virility for men and attractiveness for women is found in widely separated cultures throughout the ages and in all parts of the world. It is surprising to find such a difference of meaning between women and
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