Martha Nussbaum Cuts Her Own Hair (Daily Mousse)


With a remark that was at once completely unexpected yet in retrospect totally unsurprising, Martha Nussbaum, in the middle of a talk at the World Bank about how Greek tragedy can inform our understanding of same-sex marriage policy in India, revealed that she is her own hair stylist and gives herself regular haircuts. The highly accomplished, glamorous, and toned 66 year-old University of Chicago philosopher, legal scholar, and competitor in 131 marathons to date, had just that morning gone for a run with President Obama, who had complimented her on her subtle application of the capabilities approach in the developing world as well as her transcendently golden locks. It was during the telling of this anecdote—which itself relayed a crucially relevant message about power and sexism, Nussbaum noted—that she revealed the news about her own hair care. At that point several women in the audience walked out in protest. Those who remained for the question and answer period were able to learn the secret ingredients in Nussbaum’s homemade shampoo. She then flew herself back to Chicago in her private jet, which she had built as a collaborative science project with a group of underprivileged children from Mozambique.

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