Talking points: Should male prisoners have to have a haircut when women do not?

  • Men must cut their hair when they go to jail in Hong Kong, but women do not. Is this discrimination?
  • Some students say it isn’t fair, but others believe they broke the law and don’t get a choice
Susan Ramsay |

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Is it fair that male prisoners have to cut their hair when female ones do not?

No, because everyone is equal. We should respect others no matter their gender, ethnicity, or skin colour.

What’s more, I think everyone has a right to have their own haircut – even prisoners. If men need to have a haircut when they enter prison, then so should women. We should say “No!” to discrimination. Amy Wong, 12

Both men and women should be forced to have their haircut because when they are in prison they are criminals. Also, they should not care about their outward appearance. They should reflect on their sins and try to become better people. Andy Poon, 15

Should it be your right to have a good-looking ID photo?

The rule that male prisoners’ hair must be “cut as short as possible” constitutes gender discrimination.

If both sexes are to be treated equally, does it mean that male prisoners do not need to cut their hair or that female prisoners should cut their hair like male prisoners? This is what some people see as “gender equality”.

So l think men shouldn’t be forced to have their haircut when they enter prison – then they’ll have the same rights as women. Jan Ho, 13

It’s discriminatory to force men to have a haircut when they enter prison. Some men who care about their hairstyle would lose their self-esteem. They will be unhappy and it will be hard for them to rebuild their lives.

Therefore, since women don’t need to cut their hair, men should be free to make their own decision. Vanise Wong Hau-yiu, 13

What are your hopes for 2021?

Yes, men should be forced to have a haircut when they enter prison. This is because they have committed a crime and they must abide by the rules in prison. Cherry Lin, 12

I don’t think so because having a haircut should be a male prisoner’s choice. If women do not need to do that when they enter prison, then why force it on men?

We can’t choose our gender when we are born, so it’s wrong to ask male prisoners to have a haircut. Jaycee Zhao, 12

Next week’s question: Do you think Hong Kong’s first ever lockdown was “worth it”?

Send your answers to [email protected] before midnight on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line, as well as your name, age and school.

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