The shallow regimen of feigned, token suffering and "paying your dues" that is disgracefully required of already perfectly-talented newcomers by petty, candle-snuffing incumbents who control some particular bottleneck industry.
The term derives from the arcane, masochistic practice of wearing of an incredibly itchy and uncomfortable shirt woven out of human hair, all in the cause of feigning one's humility and penitence for the benefit of some petty religious rulership.
"Yeah, I could've been published years earlier, but none of the agents and publishers would allow it until I went through their life-crushing, byzantine gauntlet of ass-kissing and hairshirting."
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