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Should white people have dreadlocks? Show more Show less

Throughout history, dreadlocks have been significant to cultures around the globe. The matted and locked hairstyle was a way for people to prevent or slow positive energies from leaving the body. More recently, dreads have been an important aspect of Rastafarians and African-American culture in the United States. Yet, when white people try dreadlocks, there is often backlash and accusations of cultural appropriation. Should anyone be allowed to have dreads?

No, white people should not have dreadlocks Show more Show less

White people should not have dreadlocks due to cultural and societal influences.
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With dreadlocks, it is harder to find a job

Most work environments discourage dreadlocks, citing them as unclean, unprofessional, or unsafe for work.
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Context

The Argument

Companies usually frown upon employees with dreadlocks due to their negative connotation of being unprofessional.[1] In blue-collar jobs, dreadlocks can pose a safety hazard depending on hair length and the occupation. If a fireman were to have dreads, that would pose an extreme safety hazard. Stricter white-collar professions discourage dreadlocks due to deeming them unhygienic and associating them with marijuana.[2] In the US, a woman with short, clean dreadlocks was given the choice of changing her hair or losing her new job. Her boss claimed that they tended to become messy and are not professional. The woman walked out of her job and decided to keep her dreads.[3] Dreadlocks get in the way of people's professional lives.

Counter arguments

Instead of forcing people to change their dreadlocks for work, companies should be more accepting of peoples' choices and personal expression. Society and workplace culture have evolved enough to be accepting of atypical hairstyles. Forming dreadlocks is a lengthy process, and most are able to wear them for years. Forcing someone to brush out or cut off their dreadlocks renders a long and tedious process pointless and suppresses individual style.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Companies think dreadlocks are unprofessional. [P2] Dreadlocks can pose safety hazards in the workplace. [P3] Therefore, white people should not wear dreadlocks.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P3] Companies should be more accepting of dreadlocks.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/11/no-dreadlocks-allowed/506270/
  2. https://work.chron.com/problems-workplace-persons-wear-dreadlocks-19400.html
  3. https://www.pilotonline.com/business/jobs/article_56f0d89f-14e4-5ff2-a33a-1d482f28b998.html

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This page was last edited on Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 20:20 UTC