Unkindest cut for the woman who stormed South's male bastion
Known for his commentary on international relations and US politics, Rupert Cornwell also contributes obituaries and occasionally even a column for the sports pages. With The Independent since its launch in 1986, he was the paper's first Moscow correspondent - covering the collapse of the Soviet Union – during which time he won two British Press Awards. Previously a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters, he has also been a diplomatic correspondent, leader writer and columnist, and has served as Washington bureau editor. In 1983 he published God's Banker, about Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge.
Wednesday 03 August 1994
Overruling pleas from her lawyers that the shearing would make her look like a 'freak', a Charleston judge has ruled that the Citadel is entitled to shave her head as it does for male first- year cadets. The law, he said, in the latest episode of an affair which has transfixed this old Southern city for months, recognised no difference between men and women in the way they wore their hair.
That was not the view of Ms Faulkner's lawyers, who claimed the academy was insisting on the head-shaving as a 'punitive and degrading' measure to make her life there as miserable as possible. But Citadel lawyer Dawes Cooke insisted the shearing was 'a symbolic relinquishing of individuality'. To treat her differently, he argued, would hurt her chances of assimilation into the academy.
Those chances, however, already look slim enough. The Citadel, one of the oldest and toughest military schools in the US, has fought Ms Faulkner's admission tooth and nail. Charleston is full of 'Shave Shannon' bumper stickers, and 'Die Shannon' graffiti have appeared on campus walls. Ms Faulkner, 19, will not be allowed to wear jewellery or make-up. She will live apart from the male cadets, in a room which she will probably be allowed to lock from the inside at night.
In his ruling, the judge asked the academy to stop treating Ms Faulkner 'like an enemy' and to take seriously threats to her safety: 'She doesn't have a phone or a beeper. I'm not even sure she has a friend.' As if to confirm that conjecture, the Citadel said yesterday it would appeal the original order that Ms Faulkner be admitted.
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