Saturday, August 15, 2009

"Liberation" From Headcovering and Modesty?

I'm embroiled in another head covering debate over at CAF. I usually follow the threads about head covering and for the most part avoid getting involved because in the past I've found that speaking out in favor of head covering and modest dress is a good way to get attacked for "wanting all women to be covered head to toe in Burkas." I have to be in a certain mood to get in a debate that is likely to get that ugly (at least on one side) or I have to be so offended by the tone that I just have to respond...

There is a certain attitude that I run into, both because of my dress and because I cover my head, both on and offline. It is the attitude of a certain type of feminists that seem determined to force liberation upon any woman that they deem un-liberated. They don't seem to understand that different women have very different ideas of what freedom means.

When I don't want to be "liberated" they usually get annoyed or angry pretty quickly. After all, I should be grateful. I must be afraid of my husband (no). I must have been pressured by my family (no). It could no possibly be the result of prayer and study and careful thought. And I must not quote St Paul in his letter to the Ephesians when he tells wives to submit to their husbands!

It couldn't possibly be that I really actually believe that I should cover my head as St Paul instructed the Corinthian women, that I believe that I should cover my body more then is the norm in our culture and that believe that I should I honor my husband as the head of our home. That would be crazy! That must mean I'd simply internalized the patriarchal traditions of our culture.

You just can't win! So then the next attack is pretty inevitable. I must be a snob who thinks I'm better than everyone else because I cover my head and don't show my cleavage to every man I walk by on the street (no). Or a pharisee. Because covering ones body and following the rules laid out in the Bible is clearly a sign of being a pharisee. We should all just do whatever we want and love Jesus in our hearts. He'd understand. After all, he wouldn't want us to be Pharisees.

You probably have an idea by now about my views on feminism. I'm not a huge fan. It bothered me before I converted, when I was getting my BA in poli science, because it seemed so egocentric. It bothers me today because it denies the very essence of femininity and tries to transform women into men. In seeking to "level the playing field" it rejects the gift of womanhood that God has given us as a birthright.


  1. Amen sister. I'm right there with you.

  2. But... you aren't covering your head in these pictures are you?? I agree, but I'm just confused :P

  3. I cover my head at Mass, which is pretty much what Paul requires. I'm out in the garden in that picture.


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