Is it permissible for a woman have a haircut where they shave half of her hair off and leave the other side of her hair untouched - a style strongly associated with lesbians, bisexuals, transgender men, queers?


1 Answer 1


I really can't see an issue here. There's a discussion of a woman getting "a man's haircut", but that's not what this is.

There is a Talmudic concept of chashad -- don't do things that will likely cause an average person to think you're violating the Torah, even though you aren't. One example is a house that faces two different streets -- back when everyone's Chanukah menorah was visible from the street, we advised lighting two, so that the people on Main Street wouldn't think you're a bad Jew who failed to light for Chanukah (when in fact you did light facing Pleasant Road). There's a balance between that concept and the obligation to give people the benefit of the doubt; some even suggested that you give people the benefit of the doubt, but not houses. Long story short -- if it's truly likely that many people will seriously think this woman is violating the Torah just by looking at her haircut ... okay maybe ... but I don't think that's the case in normal circumstances. (I also won't get into the whole issue of how silly and mistaken some stereotypes are.)

Rambam, Prohibited Relations 21:9 reads (emphasis added):

ויש לאיש להקפיד על אשתו בדבר זה, ולמנוע הנשים הידועות בכך מלהיכנס לה ומלצאת היא אליהן.

As female-female relations are prohibited, a man should object if his wife wants to "go out" with women who are known to engage in such behavior.

I think the key word there is "known"; i.e. don't pretend the obvious isn't happening. That's very different than "worry about people drawing silly conclusions that you're not keeping halacha when in fact you are."

  • Maaras ayin could very well be an issue.
    – user15253
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 7:46
  • @user15253 "Maaras ayin" isn't to be declared by anyone, anywhere. I don't suspect you to do Chilul Shabat when I see the lights go out in your living room at Shabat. I assume you use timer, and there is no problem of "Maaras ayin". Commented Aug 31, 2019 at 20:06

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