Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What I put on my head is my own business.


I've been a part-time wearer of things on my head for some time now. Here's photographic evidence from about eight years ago and somewhere I have a photo of me from some time in the early 90's where I'm wearing a similar bandana as a kerchief. I've just moved, so I have no idea where that photo is.

Here's me wearing a hat:











A rather fuzzy picture of me doing dishes or something:











And here's me looking pretty snazzy before I go do a science outreach thing.


When I cover my head, it might be for a number of reasons-- none of which you would know unless you asked me. I do so because my hair isn't doing what I want it to, because it looks nice, because it's comfortable, because it keeps the sun off my head, because I'm cold, because I'm praying, because I want to express humility in the presence of my gods, and, most importantly:

BECAUSE I DAMN WELL PLEASE TO

As a Pagan, I don't have any written text that compels me to cover my head and even my dear Muslim friends who cover do so because they've made the choice to do so. I've "met" Christian and non-theist women online who choose to cover for various reasons and the nice Mennonite ladies that make the excellent fried pies at the Franklin Farmer's Market wear the little white kapps that I could never pull off. I've never asked why. I just buy my fried pie and say "Thank you." We've all made the choice to put a thing on our heads. We do it on purpose and for a wide variety of reasons. Which you wouldn't know unless you asked.

And yet, there are those who would be hostile and violent to a woman who decides to put a thing on her head. Hence the First International Covered in Light Day. Since this was first posted, there have been a number of individuals who have spoken out against the idea of covering, suggesting all sorts of ridiculous things like that it's a symbol of oppression or some other such codswallop. Do I seem oppressed to you? Ask me and I will tell you how not oppressed I am. Ask some of the Muslim ladies I know and they will also tell you how not oppressed they are. Talk to them for five minutes and you will believe that they are in charge of things. They will probably also feed you. Try the baklava; it's amazing.

Supporting women who cover is about freedom of choice. No person should feel pressured, shamed, or bullied into adopting a mode of dress that they don't want to adopt. Just as my heart goes out to those who are forced to cover when they don't want to, I feel compassion for those who are disallowed from doing so when they feel compelled by their belief and conscience to cover. The nice people at Covered in Light put it much better and Mrs. B over at Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom was likewise much more polite than I'm willing to be on this matter. Mrs. B also has some lovely pictures of covering in ancient times.

The only time that I've seen someone who covers being treated like a second-class citizen is by ignorant rednecks who have a wrong idea about who and what that person is. I've seen too much hostility firsthand to put up with this and I won't tolerate it from the so-called "Christians" up the street and I won't tolerate it from Pagans.

I'd already decided to cover today (my hair-- what is it even doing?), but now I'm mad and am doing it on purpose with intention. If you want to give me some bullshit reason why I shouldn't, the complaining area is out the back door. Discuss it with the deer.
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