17 is kind of an added bonus, people are really nice to you when they think you’re a man. Back when I had long hair and I wanted to go out at night or even just walk home from class when it was dark, no matter how I was dressed, occasionally I’d bump into random guys who’d try to grope me, punch me or yell insults at me, or do the same to other women passing by if they thought there weren’t any other men around to stop it.
But now I have short hair, if it’s dark and they’re drunk or not really thinking straight, they think I’m a man (albeit a rather short one!), so they leave me and my friends alone and safe. Or they treat me with respect and ask my advice and talk to me about interesting things like current affairs or technology. It’s a bit weird being called “sir” half the time, but it’s better than the names I used to hear screamed at me in the street.
Plus when I want to look like a girl again (ie when I’m around friends or the boyfriend so we can look after each other) I can just dress up a bit :D