Head covering women, will you help me out a bit please? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 03-28-2011, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello there!

 

I recently (FINALLY!) have started head covering. So far I am loving it. 

 

Without getting too much into my whys and all of that I'm wondering if other head covering women would be willing to go into two questions for me. 

 

What does your religion/spiritual path say about head covering (if anything)?

Why do you head cover? 

 

Right now I am fascinated by the different beliefs surrounding head covering and just would love to talk about the whys with other like-minded women. 


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#2 of 24 Old 03-28-2011, 07:31 PM
 
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Both of your questions have been answered in the "Cover-ed Girls" thread. You might want to peruse there for some answers.


 


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#3 of 24 Old 03-28-2011, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Done. I have posted on that thread a few times as well. 

 

That thread is long and not all members address my questions especially the one on the personal level. This is a separate conversation. 


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#4 of 24 Old 03-29-2011, 06:06 AM
 
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Both questions are answered for me by 1 Corinthians 11 in the New Testament. :)

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#5 of 24 Old 03-29-2011, 12:38 PM
 
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Identity, privacy, kinship status, rank/class.** To both questions.

Identity -- a marker as being a part of a particular community. Privacy -- a sort of a flag-waving for the idea that whatever of myself that is optional to be public does not default to being public. Kinship -- having to do with headcovering in front of some people but not others. Rank/class -- in my time and place having to do mostly with taking up a certain place in the religious community itself; in original religious terms having to do with there being a slave class, a servant class, and dress including headcoverings being the dress of free people.

All of that, both in religious and personal terms, has to do with the way that clothing has a voice, the way that it speaks, for the wearer.


** ETA: Borrowed from ... I *think* Fadwa el-Guindi's book on the subject, but maybe Katherine Bullock.
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#6 of 24 Old 03-30-2011, 05:07 AM
 
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As a Muslim, head-covering is usually about two things--one modesty and two publicly identifying oneself as a Muslim. For me, personally, I'm not 100% convinced that it is required in Islam--or if it is, that it is as important as some people make it to be. For example, there are no "punishments" listed for not covering, etc. However, for me, when I do pray about it, it is required.

I think what it means to me depends on the day. There are some days that I resent the implied barrier it can bring between me and others. People make assumptions about me, sometimes negative, and I hate that. Other days, I feel it's a blessing. It's an instant kinship when I see another Muslim woman wearing hijab.... a smile... a nod.. .that wouldn't exist without the hijab (as neither of us would know the other was Muslim.) I think the big thing is my attitude and my mindfulness when I cover. If, when I put my hijab on before I leave... I do so mindfully... it can be a powerfully, spiritual thing. If I grab it in a rush out the door... not so much. smile.gif

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#7 of 24 Old 03-30-2011, 10:57 PM
 
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 Wow, I had written a long post, then my computer died. Fun stuff!

 

Anyhow, as a muslim, I believe that muslim women are 100%, no question about it, required to cover their entire body minus face, hands, and feet. I believe that it is better to cover the face too, although I don't believe it to be 100% required. 

 

I cover to please my Lord.

 

I don't feel like I am making a statement by wearing it. It is just normal clothing to me. If I had to leave the house without wearing it for some reason, or wearing only short sleeves or something, I would feel naked. It also has the advantage of being a conversation starter, and I can educate people about islam through it. My husband rarely gets an opportunity like that. 


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#8 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wait a minute... are you my super awesome friend from EM, Amatullah? The one that I stalk on Facebook but don't talk to nearly enough? If not please excuse my crazy ;)

 

Thanks so much for everyone's input. The thing about identity is fascinating. I'm going to have to think on that a bit more. I have to say it clicks a bit more for me now from that perspective. 


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#9 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 03:05 PM
 
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Just wanted to add this paragraph from Amina Wadud:
Quote:
In my life, first as a young woman who had not yet chosen Islam, I have dressed with a dress so short, I had to keep standing if I wanted to keep my underwear covered. Then I chose to cover only in long dresses or slacks and to wear some kind of scarf or wrap over my hair. This was long before I first began reading about Islam and before I entered into a mosque. My ancestors, including my Muslim ancestors, came to America as slaves. The women were stripped at the auction block with no choice about how to cover themselves. I just decided that the right to exercise some control over who saw my legs was just as empowering as the other way around in some other context.
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#10 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just decided that the right to exercise some control over who saw my legs was just as empowering as the other way around in some other context.

 

Wow. I love this. Thanks for sharing. 


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#11 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 10:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holyhelianthus View Post

Wait a minute... are you my super awesome friend from EM, Amatullah? The one that I stalk on Facebook but don't talk to nearly enough? If not please excuse my crazy ;)

 

Thanks so much for everyone's input. The thing about identity is fascinating. I'm going to have to think on that a bit more. I have to say it clicks a bit more for me now from that perspective. 


Probably not ;) It would be pretty impossible to stalk me on facebook, being as I don't have a facebook page, and I don't know what EM is :) Your crazy is excused :)

 


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#12 of 24 Old 04-01-2011, 05:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by holyhelianthus View Post

 

 

 

Wow. I love this. Thanks for sharing. 


Me too!

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#13 of 24 Old 04-01-2011, 06:32 PM
 
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just had to say that I LOVE the name change!!!

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#14 of 24 Old 04-01-2011, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! :)


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#15 of 24 Old 04-15-2011, 10:53 PM
 
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I'm pagan and head covering is not a religious requirement in any sense of the word (although pictures of the goddess are often seen with a light head covering) 

 

for me... it's complicated... i don't feel like everything needs to be covered some days i cover more then others.. but something.. calls me to it YKWIM? i don't feel women have to, i have no problem striping down and being naked at a public co-ed sauna... but in everyday i feel the call to long modest skirts reasonable tops and head covering. 

 

i once read that the reason Jewish people head cover is to remind them that their is 'something' above them. something beyond this mortal world and it helps to always remind them of this. I kinda dig this reasoning. :)


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#16 of 24 Old 04-16-2011, 01:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post

Just wanted to add this paragraph from Amina Wadud:


Quote:
I just decided that the right to exercise some control over who saw my legs was just as empowering as the other way around in some other context.


I love reading Amina Wadud's work and exploring her thinking. Although I am Muslim and don't cover my hair, I am a modest dresser. (So I realize my thoughts on this subject are unsolicited!) I have been a pretty modest dresser my whole life, and I think in the beginning it had to do with rejecting being objectified, and to do with rejecting the consumerist culture of appearances in general. I usually wear pants. But if one day I feel like wearing shorts, I won't feel it is wrong in God's eyes to do that, depending on my intention.

 

Also, Liquesce, I loved hearing your perspective and Amina Wadud's thoughts about covering your hair being about signifying freedom. I had always thought of it as signifying identification with the privileged classes, something that didn't appeal to me.

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#17 of 24 Old 04-17-2011, 06:39 PM
 
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What does your religion/spiritual path say about head covering (if anything)?  There are a great many opinions in Judaism on head covering, and head covering among women.  Daily head covering by men is custom, not law, and most Jewish women who are not orthodox do not cover their head.  However, some do, and I feel there are two reasons women cover.  Either egalitarian, like men, usually in the same manner (with a kippah), which is usually called a reminder that G-d is always above you, or for tznuit, modesty.  Head covering for modesty only applies to married women in the Jewish tradition.

Why do you head cover?

My reasons for covering aren't actually all that Jewish, exactly. I cover my head because I feel called to, because it feels right.  I think that a part of the reason it feels right is that though DP and I aren't married yet, there is a less commonly held opinion in Judaism that recognizes common law marriages (the opposite opinion, that you don't need a religious divorce, unless you had a marriage according to Jewish law, is now prevalent, which is good, since otherwise it would cause a lot of issues with mamzerim).  When I was a very young girl (maybe 10? no, I must have been more like 12 or 13, but around puberty), I read somewhere that according to the Talmud, having sex and living together like a married couple made you married. It wasn't as good as getting married, but made you married, and it ingrained itself in my spiritual consciousness.  The opinion is based off the text of the Torah, which says "when a man takes a woman as a wife and has relations with her" rather than the definitions of marriage in the Talmud, requiring certain ceremonies.  We do plan to have a wedding ceremony, and "get married", but also definitely have a common law marriage (though not a legally registered one, and I don't think we would bother doing so, as we plan to get legally married at some point).  So that's definitely part of it for me, is that I feel pretty much married.  Another part is that I want to put myself forward as such, and in Judaism, a head covering woman is a married woman, and thus, not single. I definitely experiment with covering more and less, and sometimes cover only a bit (like with a 3-4 inch headscarf/headband), and sometimes cover all my hair.  It depends on how I'm feeling.  Sometimes I find that if I cover a lot, and dress really modestly, and don't change how I dress when I come home, I forget my sexy self.  To me, hair is one of the most sexual parts of the body, and covering it makes sense from a modesty perspective, but if I get too modest, and don't dress a little different (less modest) at home with DP, I forget about my sexy, sexual side, and that has libido repercussions.  Also, sometimes I want to be more carefree and sexy even in public, and then I might wear a small head covering, and let my hair down.  It's always a work in progress, feeling out what feels right.  The main reason I cover though, is that I feel I should. When I don't, I feel really self conscious.  My brain is constantly on my UNCOVERED HEAD. It's distracting.  When I'm covered, I feel more comfortable, and at home.  Plus, it's pretty! I think head coverings on women are so gorgeous.


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#18 of 24 Old 04-18-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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What does your religion/spiritual path say about head covering (if anything)?

When the bible discusses what to do with a Sotah (adulteress) one of things done to her which is considered humiliating is to uncover her hair. Therefore all ultra-Orthodox Jewish women and many Modern Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair after marriage. 

Why do you head cover? 

I consider hair covering a religious obligation. I grew up in a community where all women covered their hair and my mother covered her hair so even as a little girl pretending to be mommy I would always but a headscarf on. After I got married I moved to a community where few women cover their hair so while I still feel obligated I find it more difficult because I feel different than everyone else even though I am proud of head covering and what it says about me. I don't love covering my hair or feel particularly spiritual about it but I do feel it is the right thing to do and that it does set me apart as a married woman, no one dares speak to a woman with an obvious headcovering in a flirtatious manner. 


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#19 of 24 Old 05-15-2011, 07:05 PM
 
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i have been thinking about this A LOT recently

 

http://scribinglife.wordpress.com/tag/modesty-covering/

 

I have blogged about it a ton -- i am not there yet, but going ....


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#20 of 24 Old 06-14-2011, 07:59 AM
 
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I have been Covering for 22 years now, It is still for today, As long as women still pray, We are to cover, We all know that women back then did not just pray, All women of today pray as well, So it says every woman who prays should cover

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Modest-dresses-HeadCovering-Shop/152327098138820?ref=ts

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#21 of 24 Old 06-22-2011, 05:55 AM
 
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I am Messianic Jewish and have been covering my hair out in public for only about 6 months now for religious reasons. It all started with my journey to seek to live as closely as possible to how the Holy Scripture (Bible) says a righteous woman should live and act.

 

Covering my hair has significant spiritual implications for me. A woman's hair is said to be her crowning glory, so many women of old grew it long. To remain modest and not "show off" their glory, they covered it. Covering it also has some other purposes. It reminds me that I am not under my own authority, but that G-d in Heaven is the authority over me, as well as the fact that I am to be submissive to my husband, who has been appointed to have leadership over me, and whose authority I am under, here on earth. 

 

At home, I only cover my hair when we have company or I can be seen doing work on my back deck since my daughter and husband are the only other two in the home. If I had male children, I would cover in my home as well. Not many others in my immediate community cover besides my daughter and I, so we get the stares and even laughed at quite often. It bothered me at first, but it has come to the point it really doesn't bug me most times because it just feels right. I say most because if the person takes it too far and is in my face like the lady sis last night at the grocery store, I usually say something and that ends it....lol. Last night this lady in the grocery store was staring at me so obviously, even followed me up the aisle with her gaze fixed on me, so I finally turned to her and said "Do you also stare at disabled people this way because they're different, too?". Let me tell you, she turned tail and walked away so fast I thought she was going to knock someone over. smile.gif 

 

My journey has also taken me to a place where I wear only skirts mid shin length or longer and tops that have only short sleeves or longer and no revealing necklines.

Holy Scripture tells us that our bodies are only for our husbands enjoyment, and as such we should not be revealing them in any way to men who are not our husbands! This includes younger women who are not married yet...they are to reserve their bodies for their husband's viewing only!

 

Let's face it, we all know men are visual and sexual creatures. They have this draw towards beautiful, appealing things. I never used to view my hair or legs as sexual or visually appealing things. But as I prayed and asked G-d to move me in the direction HE wanted, more and more I started to notice things I had not before, such as MANY men staring at my legs when I wore knee length or above skirts or staring at my ample cleavage if I had on a V-neck shirt. Men AND women started complimenting me all over the place on my long, thick, shiny hair, telling me how beautiful it is. This convinced me that I needed to cover those things so as not to cause anyone to stumble by being envious (women) or having lustful thoughts.

 

My journey is not over yet. I am only beginning and honestly, it has been liberating and wonderful! We are told in Holy Scripture not to conform to the world and to be set-apart and holy as G-d is holy. I find myself being more devoted as a mother, wife, and person who follows G-d, and also more faithful to G-d's word when I walk in modesty. Walking in modesty is the ONLY way a woman who calls herself a follower of G-d should walk! It is a direct reflection of what is in our hearts!stillheart.gif

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#22 of 24 Old 06-24-2011, 02:08 PM
 
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"Walking in modesty is the ONLY way a woman who calls herself a follower of G-d should walk! It is a direct reflection of what is in our hearts!"

 

True enough. But I have found it very possible to present myself as a modest married woman, and be treated as a modest married woman, whether I'm wearing a headscarf or a miniskirt or some combination thereof. Others have had different experiences, but that has been mine. 

 

<-- Reform Jewish

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#23 of 24 Old 06-26-2011, 04:25 PM
 
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Eastern Orthodox here. Head covering and modesty are separate issues in my church. In church, or for prayer services of any kind, men must uncover their heads and women must cover their heads. Both are considered to be acts of reverence for God and respect for the sacred services themselves. It is a devotional gesture. At other times, women are not expected to cover their heads, but both men and women are supposed to dress modestly in public at all times. 

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#24 of 24 Old 06-28-2011, 09:12 PM
 
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I am Roman Catholic. I wear a headcovering (usually a long black mantilla) for mass and Eucharistic Adoration. I attend a traditional Latin mass, all women wear head coverings. I love it for the privacy it gives me in prayer and the modesty. I think head coverings are a lovely expression of feminity. Outside of mass, I keep my hair in a braid.


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