30 December 2006

Who Are the Real Gentlemen Today?

I realized after my last post, which included the young ladies and gentlemen who are attempting to live a pure and modest life, that I have not approached the subject of "gentlemen" in this lady's web log. So I will make amends, and point out that I fully believe that if there are ladies in this modern world, there must by necessity be gentlemen.
One only needs to take a quick glance around to notice that there are very few true gentlemen remaining among us. In times past, a gentleman was much appreciated and being gentlemanly was a noble thing.

Alas, things have changed in today's society; some for the better and some for the worse. One thing that particularly irks me is the lack of good taste and etiquette most guys are guilty of at the turn of this new millennium.

I'm not saying that men should act like robots and be slaves to etiquette, but some basic good manners will go a long way in helping you during your ascent to the top.

What I've done is compile a quick list of tips that will help turn even the most blundering fool into a proper gentleman. Follow these simple tips and I can assure you that people will perceive you as a man of good breeding and taste, hence a man they wish to associate and conduct business with. Not to mention the fact that the ladies are always quite pleased to meet a real gentleman.

So opens the article "Etiquette Of A Gentleman", By Michael Bucci, in AskMen.com. I would simply direct you to the article URL link, but AskMen.com is a magazine for men, not necessarily "gentlemen", and makes use of photos of women who are not ladies (i.e. immodestly dressed). Here's a rundown of the subjects he covers:

  • Always be polite
  • Do not curse
  • Do not speak loudly
  • Do not lose your temper
  • Do not stare
  • Do not interrupt
  • Do not spit
  • Respect your elders
  • Do not laugh at others' mistakes
  • Remove your hat indoors
  • Wait for seating before eating
the basics of chivalry

In addition to the aforementioned rules, gentlemen (in training) should follow these additional rules when in the presence of a lady. Chivalry may be on life support, but it is not dead yet. Be one of the few to keep this flame burning for many years to come.

  • Always open doors
  • Put on her coat
  • Help with her seat
  • Give up your seat
  • Stand at attention
  • Give her your arm
  • Ask if she needs anything
The Author concludes his listing: "Gentlemen, if I may call you that, these are the rules of etiquette you should observe in everyday life. Elevate yourself above the rabble and display the mannerisms of a true gentleman. The world will appreciate such a rarity and your career will most definitely benefit from your good manners and savoir-faire ."

If a gentleman, or his lady, or the mother to a future gentleman would like to view the AskMen.com article (knowing that the AskMen gallery thumbnail photos do show up on these pages as links), you may find it at Etiquette Of A Gentleman, and also at Part 2 By John Samuel, and Part 3, By Edward Chalmers.

28 December 2006

I Love Young Old Fashioned People

Today, for your perusal and thought, I present a few websites that I have come across, which are by young people who seem to find those old fashioned ideals of modesty, purity, chivalry, and mutual respect for each other, to be attractive, and a life style that is worth living.

Go to The Rebelution to read the writings of and the responses by hundreds to two young men who realize that being real men and women in this modern society mean rebelling against the status quo, and usually in a polite and thoughtful way.

Also see Purity Girls, and it's brother site, Purity Guys, two websites devoted to the idea that Guys and Girls "committed to purity of heart, mind, and body...STILL EXIST."

19 December 2006

Thoughts about a funeral - 15 Dec.

What I Did Today

I spent the morning in cleaning, laundry, breakfast and struggling with school work. I spent the afternoon at a funeral for a beautiful young woman who was the mother of two little girls. Donna had troubles, and had given birth to her first child at 16. But, as one of her cousins said, she always had a smile on her face, and her curls always fell perfectly around that face. Her family loved her, enjoyed being with her, and in her daughter's case, looked up to her. She loved and lived and laughed. And her friends and family loved and stood still and cried this afternoon. Maybe some were asking, "why?" Maybe some wondered, "where is she now?" I heard her mother, who is ill both mentally and physically, calling her name and crying her heart out so literally that it hurt every soul in the room. Her cousins and aunts and uncles walked around with tears in their eyes, and with no words to say. No father was there for her, or for her daughter, other than their heavenly Father who loves them so dearly. My husband had to officiate, and I know it was hard.

The skies were gray and cold and rainy, and when it was all over, the traffic was heavy and crowded. I came home so that the wonderful young lady who was "babysitting" for us could go be with her friends, and I was so grateful that she could be there to play with and watch over our children while we were out. Then I spent the evening in cleaning, laundry, a snack and our "Friday night movie night" at home. We watched the Muppet's version of "A Christmas Carol".

Donna was so pretty, and she had a lovely smile which showed her attitude of friendliness and kindness to others. I didn't know her well personally, but my eyes still fill with tears. I don't ask "why?" or "where is she now?" Or even "what could I have done?" It just hurts.

17 December 2006

Ranting over loss of good manners

In an open forum, someone asked, "What happened to good manners?" And this old fashioned lady put on her best cranky old woman and began to rant:

We were all taught in public school and on TV that we were the most important people in the whole wide world, and nobody could hurt us. We could do anything we wanted as long as we didn't hurt anyone. No one wanted to tell anyone else what to do because it might hurt their feelings, or they might get sued for trauma. Children were not taught at home because both parents were out working so they could have more TV and movies that showed them how to be the best smart-alec, the best goof off, and in the 70's, it was the best to cheat the police cause they were a bunch of idiots anyway.

Parents listened to people who told them that their own parents were wrong for giving them rules, and that everyone had the right to determine for themselves what they felt was most appropriate - which in a capitalistic society, generally becomes what's best for "number 1." We've raised a bunch of self centered children who never want to grow up, but who don't in fact live in never land. Since they don't know what to do about it, they teach their children nothing. Parents who cared about manners found themselves in the minority and gave up, thinking themselves "the only ones". They said to them selves "No one says excuse me anymore", instead of teaching young people and their co-workers to say excuse me, by example or instruction. Polite people were made fun of, and being in the minority, or so they thought, gave in and let everyone walk all over them, instead of standing up for what they believed in - respect for others. It may be polite, but "polite" doesn't mean what it used to, because now it has the connotation of being a sissy, a wuss or a prude. Or worse, "old fashioned."

I'm all for a little old fashioned myself, and I'm trying to do my part by saying "thank you" and teaching my children to do so too. But people look at me funny, and my own family laughs at me for trying to instill in my children the joy of giving at Christmastime - saying in front of the kids, "Oh, sure, giving is the best. Hahaha!" Christianity and Judaism have gone the way of selfishness, with mega churches and rock and rap music geared towards doing what makes you feel good and fit in with everybody else, instead of what makes for true peace, and serving one another. I won't even touch the separation of church and state issue. And there are more reasons.

But this question was asked in a forum full of people who have little to no idea what social graces are, as we sit here behind little glowing screens and say whatever we want, however we want to spell it, because in the end it really doesn't matter. It's just a computer with no heart or brain. And I just happened to be in a mood for being a little grumpy about all the "Christmas spirit" that gets talked about and praised, but never fully lived, except maybe in a little toy bought and thrown in a Marines' anonymous can for children without anyone to teach them manners or love or respect - just, "hang in there and you'll get stuff every December 25th. You deserve it. Cause you're the most important person in the whole wide world."

photo from Fotosearch Stock Photography and Stock Footage, Royalty Free Images

12 December 2006

An Article on Modesty

Just a note to any who are interested in things that are modest: I found a wonderful Article on Modesty, by Melody Green at the "simplyagape" blogspot, which was well written, and I encourage you to read it at the link above. The Poster is not the Author of this article, but he does have many articles in his blog that show he is a thinking believer, and thinkers are always more likely to be ladies and gentlemen that I would like to associate with.

08 December 2006

Mrs. Claus is a Lady

(Fulton / Harple / Steele)
George Melachrino & His Orch. - 1954

Nat King Cole - 1956

Who feeds the reindeer all their hay
Who wraps the gifts and packs the sleigh
Who's helping Santa every day
Mrs. Santa Claus

Who keeps his red suit looking nice
Who does he turn to for advice
Who gives the brownies all their spice
Mrs. Santa Claus

She pitter-patters all around the workshop
The whole year long
Amid the happy clatter of the workshop
She sings a very merry Christmas song

Who reads the notes from girls and boys
Turns in the order for their toys
Who fills every wondrous heart with joys
Mrs. Santa Claus

She pitter-patters all around the workshop
The whole year long
Amid the happy clatter of the workshop
She sings a very merry Christmas song

Who reads the notes from girls and boys
Turns in the order for their toys
Who fills every wondrous heart with joys
Mrs. Santa Claus
Mrs. Santa Claus

Photo from : www.ibsencostumes.com

04 December 2006

Thinking About Thinking

What an interesting day for thinking about things. Ladies are not silly, mindless people who move from one task to another or one soul to another without giving a second thought, after all. As I watch the first real snowfall outside, and attempt to guide the children towards better understanding of the three R's and other things, and endeavor to get ready for the mixed-up traditions and feelings of the holidays - I am instructed to think. Today I found two interesting articles which are guiding me to be more careful about how I think.

The first article is from my "daily reader" from a man called Gary Henry, who is a preacher and teacher of the Bible. In "Pitfalls", he uses the following scripture,1 Timothy 6:20,21:
"O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge; by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen."
Then Gary goes on to share what he thinks about in this passage:
Paul warned his friend Timothy against the "contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge," and we would do well to heed a similar warning. Paul probably had in mind something like the esoteric knowledge of the Gnostics of his day, and so his warning may seem to have little direct application to us. Nevertheless, his caution contains an interesting point that we would do well to consider in a general sort of way. There is a principle here that is pertinent to anyone who seeks knowledge, but especially to those of us who seek the knowledge of God: Not everything is knowledge that wears the name. Similar appearances notwithstanding, there is a huge difference between reality and illusion, and whatever it is that we seek, we need to be sure that we find the real thing and not some substitute.
I encourage you to go to his website and read the entire article (or ask me and I'll send it to you). He concludes with this little thought:
We pray, O Lord, for deliverance from all that weakens faith in you:
from pompous solemnity;
from mistaking earnestness for trust in you;
from seeking easy answers to large questions;
from being overawed by the self-confident;
from dependence upon mood and feelings;
from despondency and the loss of self-respect;
from timidity and hesitation in making decisions.
In Christ, we pray. Amen.

The other article I read today was from a young man called "OneGuy" whose thoughtful posts I sometimes read, because he has some good things to think about, and is not encumbered by all the trappings of memorized scriptures and traditions of the churches. I think he has a point today, in "Don't Get Distracted", in thinking about thinking; that is, it's important to think about what you're doing, or you aren't really living. Yes, as Gary said, not all that is called knowledge really is, but it is important to think about what you are doing in order to fully appreciate life.

And so I ponder - I should not let the diversions of this life, this season, get me to stop thinking about those things which are really important: matters of the heart, things of the mind, movements of the spirit. When I think, it should be to awaken me to the realization of what is important, and to live well.

photo from: http://www.quiltware.com/red_hat.asp

02 December 2006

Can A Christian Lady Celebrate Christmas? and more...

When I was young, in the 70's, the Catholics put up nativity scenes, the protestants tried to be discreet by blending the world and the nativity but not garishly so as to not look Catholic, and most of the conservative people I knew did very little, so as not to appear "of the world". We had a small tree and a front door decoration (my Grandmother made "wreaths" out of woven palm fronds, spray painted gold or silver and hung with colored glass balls). We didn't talk much about "Christmas", because we didn't esteem the day higher than any other, except as a day of gift giving and family tradition, I suppose. My Dad's Dad and his wife would come over for their once a year visit and bring raw oysters. We would visit my Dad's Mom in the afternoon in her little trailer and eat old fashioned candy and open more gifts. If we were lucky, my Mom's sister and family would come down from Indiana or Chicago or Tallahassee and we'd have a big dinner at my Mom's parents' house. They always had a tree, and my Grandmother always put that fake sprayed on snow in the big picture window along with a huge cutout santa claus. My Mom even emphasized the santa tradition, I think in opposition to the Christ stories, because every year we got the "Christ wasn't probably born in December" and "the wise men were probably not three, nor there at the birth" sermons. Even, and especially on December 25th, we were supposed to be different from the world, so I thought.

As I grew older I found that more and more Christians fully participated in Christmas, and as they got cheaper, Christmas decorations were used more and more. Young people's groups always had a Christmas party, and sometimes sang carols too. I used to think that a Christian couldn't go see a school nativity play, because that would be encouraging error, but as I grew older I saw more and more Christians participating in and attending local denominational or other singing shows which included the religious stories, or theatrical events about Christ's birth. I went too. I started listening to "Christian rock" in high school, and though I stopped listening myself, for personal reasons, I found more and more Christians I knew listening to Christian pop, country or bluegrass. I never knew any growing up, because the music, like Christmas, was just a way to be like the world while sticking Christian words on things. Or so I thought.

When we had children, I decided not to perpetuate the santa claus myth, and told them the simple story of a man called Nicolas, who loved God and tried his best to do good for others, and over the years people have tried to be like him or pretended to be him still, and give the credit to him for the gifts they give, so that they can be humble in what they do. I tell them this story on their level, of course. And we all know that "Daddy is our santa!" as my daughter proudly told friends and family for a few years when she was a little younger. I decorate for "winter time" - with snow flakes and snow men, and lots of colored lights (you really do need all the lights up here in the land of darkness, where not only does the sun set way too early, but it hasn't come out from behind the clouds for weeks!). And I know that there are still some who might not approve of my "blending in with the world" this far. So I'm still caught in a quandry, because I want to let my light shine for Christ and I'll have to be different from the world's watered down understanding of his birth this time of year - but, for example, I really do like to hear all the versions of "O Holy Night" that I can - it's uplifting, and can't we listen to this all year long? I really enjoy listening to Trans-Siberian Orchestra's hard rocking versions of the Christmas carols and their own Christmas stories, because there's so much energy and hope in them. I come away smiling and wishing for that world that seems to be real at Christmas time that we all wish would last all year long - a world full of kindness, selflessness and joy and childlikeness. Not only that, but I like watching the animated Moses and Joseph musicals that were made a few years ago. There's something about music and drama that brings me, and other people I know, closer to the realities, even if the productions aren't complete, or are altered from the original scriptures. And I get encouraged watching "The Jesus Movie" too.

So can I participate in the world's traditions or practices because even though they've watered the truth down, I know and can appreciate the real Truth through the weak pictures they paint, and I can even be encouraged by it? Or does that make me look like I approve of their simplifying of the Gospel story? And does it matter what anyone else thinks, in the long run, if I keep a day or a feast unto the Lord or not? It has been said that some will strain out a gnat and swallow a camel, and I really do wonder sometimes which one I'm eating - what weak taste buds!

photo from : http://www.logicmgmt.com/1876/xmas/xmasintro.htm
photo from : http://www.jolahusid.com/engl/historic.htm
photo from : http://catholicshoponline.com

27 November 2006

Ladies in Skirts

I just read this article, and encourage anyone who comes across this blog of mine to read it too. This lady gets it. She mentions:
"I don't wear skirts because my church tells me to. I don't wear skirts because I just like being different and having people talk about me. I don't wear skirts so I can belong to some sort of "secret club." I wear skirts becase to me, they are the most appropriate way to be modest and feminine. I like being a girl, and that's why I wear skirts."

Sisterhood of the Traveling Skirts

How shall they know us?

I have these thoughts running through my head, and I've posted this question on my personal blog too. Here's the post from my page:

"Perhaps you, or someone you know, can point me toward some scripture or studies on the idea of setting ourselves apart from the world visually. They will know we are Christians by our love, of course - what a stunning difference we can make by loving our enemies, and putting others above ourselves! My humble question is: are there physical things which will also set us apart - and should there be?

"I'm thinking about the Amish and Mennonite women (and the Muslim and Jewish women too in a way), who go ahead and dress and live differently from the world around them; seemingly first because they feel that God wants them to do these things which are different, but also to to honour their husband's position as given by God and to be modest, and as a by-product, others can see who is a Christian (or Muslim or Jewish) lady outwardly. I am thinking that men must also consider these things in his outward show of faith (long hair, style of dress, jewellery, etc.).

"Now it goes without saying that SOME women or men wear or do something just to be different, and they are not being modest in the full understanding of the word - they're being just as proud and immodest as the worldly, IMHO. Or maybe SOME are removing themselves from the world a bit early, in a way. What are your thoughts? Or do you know someone else who's had these thoughts that you could direct me to?"

I had some interesting and good comments - then more thoughts:

One part of my question is indeed about modesty in general - the covering up that everyone normally thinks of. Young women whom I've talked to think that if they dress modestly it means that they will be standing out in a crowd, and that would be "drawing attention" in another way. I have a hard time convincing them that they don't actually "stand out" or draw attention when dressing nicely and modestly among their barely dressed friends. I've gotten the old "do you want me to wear a long fur coat to the beach?" type comment several times til I just want to scream: "There are more types of clothing than just the two extremes of Brittany and Burka (the full muslim coverup)!!"

I also wanted to try to bring up the concept of "headcovering". According to Paul in 1 Cor. 11, it's more than just a show of submission during worship, but also in the general relationship to men and for modesty's sake (if you read the whole passage). If my heart is right and I am trying to please my God whom I love, and to be His girl before others whom I love, then I'm not going to try to "fit in" with my culture nearly as much as I'm going to try to "fit in" with His will, even if I have to be a little different. And I do think it's only a little different.

Here's one thought: If we see a lady wearing a certain kind of headcovering, the average person can say, "Oh, she's a Mennonite" (though there are many women who wear headcoverings who aren't Mennonite), or, "she's a Muslim" (I pick these because their unique headcovering styles seem very linked to these religious undestandings, but only in the strictest sects does the rest of their clothing necessary stand out as extremely different and attention-grabbing). In many parts of the world and in our countries, Jewish women also cover their hair in honour of God's will and due to modesty, without radically standing out in the rest of their modest dress. Now: Why? Do they do it "just to attract attention" as some might guess? Do they cover their heads "just to appear pious"? Perhaps some do. Do they cover their heads because it's what you do to prove that they are Amish, Mennonite, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, etc...? Maybe some do. Do they wear a head covering just to make everyone else look bad? I doubt it, but let's just say that someone who is going out of their way to look different and draw criticism to themselves is only doing it to be mean to everyone else - I find that unlikely, but it's possible.

But what if they are covering their heads because after study and prayer and thought, and talking with their husband or elder believers whom they respect, they decide that it is proper to cover their heads - to show submission to God and men, for modesty's sake, to remind them of their own place in God's design? It may look like it is for one of those other reasons I listed above - but we can't know their hearts. We judge someone for dressing a little more modestly, for laying off of the makeup and jewelery, for wearing a headcovering - and looking very different from all the other ladies around them - and say that they're just drawing attention to themselves and I'm not so I'm okay.

But maybe I'm not okay. Maybe I'm living in a time just like Paul and Timothy were writing in, where women were forgetting their position with their dress styles and showing off their hair and body like the world around them, and forgetting their humility before God and others with their gold and braided hair and fine clothes. So many of us realize that modesty is important and that it's loving one another that really matters. So what does modesty and loving others really mean? And if I am to reflect Christ's light in every aspect of life, the physical reflecting the spiritual, then the way I dress everyday is a part of that.

22 November 2006

The Modesty Issue

Ladies are often called "old fashioned" or "prudes" when we dress in a way that we feel is modest. We are told that "our men" or "our religion" (meaning the organized group) is confining us to uncomfortable clothing, suppressing our freedom, or generally treating women as another type of human being. What is so oppressive about dressing and acting modestly?

This issue is coming "back around" again, as we can see by the resurgence of young women to dress and behave more "old fashioned." In this blog, from Elisheva Blogs , is a Jewish perspective on the modesty issue. She states that "It makes me very sad to read that so many ridicule and mock our Rabbis who are trying to do the right thing for us. We lack understanding. We lack courage and strength to stand up for what's right. Too many of us are embarrassed to be different, rather than being proud of it. I for one am proud to be an Orthodox Jewish woman who strives to dress as modestly as possible. I KNOW the value this has - in my own eyes and in Hashem's eyes. I can respect myself now when I look in the mirror. My husband respects me now. He treats me completely different than he used to. Other men respect me and treat me so much better than they used to.
"If only I could make you understand. All I can do is tell you that I have lived both lives and the one I am living now is far far better."

In another blog about modesty, I found a reference to an article a couple of years old in the New York Magazine online. The article, The Porn Myth, is an attempt by the author to explain impact that looser standards in morality by way of pornography is having on all of us. In it, the author refers to moral standards and their benefits, and states that: "feminists have misunderstood many of these prohibitions." She goes on to relate the following:

"I will never forget a visit I made to Ilana, an old friend who had become an Orthodox Jew in Jerusalem. When I saw her again, she had abandoned her jeans and T-shirts for long skirts and a head scarf. I could not get over it. Ilana has waist-length, wild and curly golden-blond hair. “Can’t I even see your hair?” I asked, trying to find my old friend in there. “No,” she demurred quietly. “Only my husband,” she said with a calm sexual confidence, “ever gets to see my hair.”

When she showed me her little house in a settlement on a hill, and I saw the bedroom, draped in Middle Eastern embroideries, that she shares only with her husband—the kids are not allowed—the sexual intensity in the air was archaic, overwhelming. It was private. It was a feeling of erotic intensity deeper than any I have ever picked up between secular couples in the liberated West. And I thought: Our husbands see naked women all day—in Times Square if not on the Net. Her husband never even sees another woman’s hair.

She must feel, I thought, so hot.

Compare that steaminess with a conversation I had at Northwestern, after I had talked about the effect of porn on relationships. “Why have sex right away?” a boy with tousled hair and Bambi eyes was explaining. “Things are always a little tense and uncomfortable when you just start seeing someone,” he said. “I prefer to have sex right away just to get it over with. You know it’s going to happen anyway, and it gets rid of the tension.”

“Isn’t the tension kind of fun?” I asked. “Doesn’t that also get rid of the mystery?”

“Mystery?” He looked at me blankly. And then, without hesitating, he replied: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Sex has no mystery.”
Okay, I admit I don't know everything that a man thinks about, or a woman either for that matter, but I have to admit, there is more than just a little sense in being modest, whether it's old fashioned or traditional or even fashionable.

**See also this article in "Wendy's Modest Dress" (scroll down) for a Christian Lady's perspective on Modesty.

20 November 2006

About "Ladies Against Feminism"

I found this a most wonderful website, dedicated to the proposition that I agree with. It must then, be good. :) Here's a bit of their "about" page. I have also added a link to their site on my list of links, so that you may peruse their website and read some of the information. Something to think about.

Jun 14, 2003

This site is dedicated to the proposition that men and women are not identical creatures. Are we equal in human worth? Yes. Equal before the throne of grace? Absolutely. Equal in dignity? Indeed. But when it all boils down to it, if you insist that "equal" means exactly the same, you will have to fly in the face of biology, historical fact, biblical Truth and just plain common sense. In many ways, woman is not equal to man; and, by the same token, man is not equal to woman. They are different creatures with differing roles. Will we complement each other in our distinctive, God-given roles, or will we tear each other to shreds in a territorial dispute? LAF promotes the former. We are for maidenhood, modesty, virtue, intelligence, womanly arts and femininity. Join the new revolution!


"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." - Phil. 4:8

17 November 2006

What kind of Lady Covers her head?

So who is covering? Here's some recent articles:
  1. From Nigeria, I found this article, "Wrap Around," with a photo, describing the various ways that the Nigerian Muslim women wear their head covering. Opening paragraph: "If there is any group of women that you can easily identify at a glance simply by their mode of dressing then it is our Muslim sisters."
  2. From the Jewish Press, I found a question and answer Rebbetzin who included a letter from a Lady who now chooses to wear a hair covering, in the article: "Give Me A Good Reason". She had these thoughts: ". . . hair is the one part of our body that is not essential to our well being, but connecting to Hashem is critical, and by covering our hair, our connection to Him as well as to our husbands, takes on a new dimension."
  3. From Malaysia, a blog from a dorm mother, who wanted to share a picture of her girls out playing basketball with their heads covered, hijab style, and dressed quite modestly.
  4. From Time Magazine, an article about the new trend for young catholic girls to take the veil - literally. The young Lady mentioned in the introduction "says the decision to wear the traditional black veil is her own. 'I could wear what a typical person my age would wear and blend into the world,' she says. 'But I wanted a constant reminder that every day I put on my veil, I am of God's service and I need to be about his work.'" Also see this article from Time on the same topic.
And all this regardless of what British Politicians, Catholic Cardinals, German Feminists or Egyptian Ministers might say. What does this really say about these Ladies and their choice to cover?

16 November 2006

Concerning Head Coverings

I began my "foray" into blogging with the idea of organizing a study on the head covering. First I began gathering information on headcoverings of Christian Ladies, as talked about in 1 Corinthans 11. There is much information on the subject in websites of churches and individuals, with several viewpoints concerning what it means and how and when to do so. The book that "started it all" for me can also be found online, at Headcoverings.org. (by Paul K. Williams, see photo)

I very quickly realized that covering the head was a much broader subject, since women have been covering their heads for much longer than most realize. It seemed to me that this was not merely a Christian injunction, that is, something to mark out which were Christian Ladies and which women were not. I came to understand that a woman covering her head is natural, submissive, modest, and even beautifying. Doing a search into websites and news articles on this subject, I also quickly realized that even though all women have this tendency to want to cover their heads, there are many names that may "mark" which women you are talking about. Christians usually refer to a "headcovering" - all one word - and this includes Roman Catholics as well as Anabaptists and Protestants. Jewish people refer more to "hair covering" for women, as it relates to the idea of modesty, tzniut, and then usually use the separate words "head covering" when referring to something a man uses to cover his head. When talking about Muslims, the media tends to refer to their "head scarf" or "veil", while the Muslims themselves use the term "hijab" (spelling differs). When head coverings are talked about in a secular way, sometimes the term "head scarf" is used, but also "head cover", "scarf", or the particular form of hat, such as bonnet, snood, or babushka. Now, this is not absolute, just a general observation.

So I believe that a Lady who covers her head in public is not alone, and need not fear being "marked out" for any specific treatment, other than that of a Lady. That is why on my Zoomshare homepage, I made these observations:

"I think that you will notice that wearing head coverings is not (and should not be) done JUST BECAUSE of an oppresive, ignorant, or male-dominated mandate.

"Wearing a head covering is (and should be) a FREE-WILL, MODEST, FEMININE and NATURAL* CHOICE made by women all over the world, throughout the ages. (*Natural - part of one's nature, which is given by God.)

"Women today do not need to rebel against their own nature OR modesty because this "modern, secular society" demands that they be more like men, OR more "sexy" - "letting their hair down"."

Sure, I believe that Paul was upholding certain truths for men and women to follow in their worship and in their relation to one another - Eternal Truths - which are natural, and even little girls follow. When was the last time you saw a little girl playing dress up and not cover her head with something - whether it be a cloth, a dressy hat, or even flowers?

(Be sure to check out my Zoomshare website, to see all the links I found at the time, along with photos and news stories.)

14 November 2006

About the Old Fashioned Lady

I'm starting this blog, because I want to all my stuff together - and since I am enjoying Gmail and Google search for now, I wanted to move my attempt to blog and research to the same server.

I have tried using the Zoomshare people, for a headcoverings blog and information portal, where I researched the use of the headcovering, head covering, head scarf, veil, hair covering, hat and etc. for women, and posted pictures, links and news articles that covered the issures about "Those Headcoverings". After a brief hiatus, I then went back to Angelfire, because I had used them for a family webpage a long time ago, and thought I would try their little blogger unit. Again, I wanted to include the links and recent news about headcoverings, and so I called it "Head Covered". Of course most news on the head coverings are about the Muslim population, for some reason, though there is as much confusion on the issue religiously and spiritually as for the Christian headcovering. And I want to be able to offer more permanent information and photos.

So now I am going to attempt a larger idea - that of feminity, which includes covering, as well as modesty and the ever elusive "inner beauty" which shines forth from a true Lady. Which most people consider "old fashioned", it seems. I think these areas are also all-religion inclusive, though personal interpretations will differ. For the most part, I believe that God created us women differently from the men, and we want to be modest, supportive, nurturing and beautiful - mostly, we want to be different from men because we were designed this way. As my best friend put it, "Ultimately what it comes down to is, you live. How you chose to live, ah, now there's the rub."

Incidentally, I was once "saved" from some harsh joking around that some women I was working with were doing, by an older gentleman who stopped and told them to watch what they were saying, because there was a lady present (referring to me). I suppose I've never forgotten that, and it has become a kind of vanity for me. Oh, well. I'm still working on it.