Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Closeted Coverer

Afterfeast of the Dormition
Prophet Samuel
August 20
Old Style

So Mary made a comment in response to one of my posts about whether I wanted to be inconspicuous in my covering or not. I have been thinking aobut it ever since. I am not ashamed of covering but I don't want to be associated with belief systems that do not represent what my covering is about. For example, I am not all that into headship as conceived by some Christians who cover. My covering isn't so much about my husband and his authority over me. Sure, I believe in submission. But I believe that submission is the way of all Christians regardless of gender. Wives are to submit to their husbands and husbands are to lay down their lives for their wives. There is a mutuality in laying aside one's preferences and even one's needs. I would not want my headcover to convey a different concept.

I am also not of the belief that all women have to cover or even believe as I do about covering. One of the most freeing things about being Orthodox is the acknowlegement that all members of the flock are not called to the same thing at the same time. Maturation in Christ happens at a natural pace, aided by the general guidlines and expectations of the Church. Economia can be a beautiful thing.

I don't want to be plain. Sure, I believe that Christian women are taught to dress modestly and without excessive display of wealth. But Orthodoxy has made me aware of the importance of beauty to the human soul. God's creation is beautiful. Our worship is beautiful and pleasing to the senses. Being able to replicate beauty is a reflection of the image of God in us. I'd like to continue choosing colors that suit me and putting my clothing together in a manner that pleases and flatters me. I don't feel that I have to abandon my appreciation of beauty in dress because I cover.

Lastly, I like to have a drink...or two every now and again. I like having a good time, laughing, watching movies, going to rock or reggae concerts. We fast a good bit in the Orthodox Church but we also feast. I am also a budding activist. I wonder if some people will see my covering and believe that these things don't go together. But to me, there is no contradiction.

So in the end, perhaps what I have written displays my own prejudices about women (more especially Christain women) that cover. Perhaps this is what I think of when I see a woman in a white lace chapel veil and it is wrong of me to draw such conclusions. Perhaps I need to get out of other people's heads and deeper into my heart. I am still working it out...


Irina said...

But for a few niggling details (like preferring folk and boogie-woogie to rock and reggae) I could have written this. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree as well, except my details are the orthodox thing. I love my Episcopal tradition.

kristinsdottir said...

Yup, yup, yup. Nicely said.

Like minds. :-)

Say, I am both Offbeat Modest Dress and Light and Good Order ... that is, I do both blogs.

So there's one fewer Orthodox coverer. :-/


Anonymous said...

Monica,What a wonderful answer, and it isn't negative at all,but rather ackmowledges the reality that headcovering can send a message that the wearer suscribes to a certain belief system.
I wholeheartedly agree with your reasoning.You're right that there's no reason why you can't boogie and cover. I also love to dance.
Your response was very helpful to me, thanks.


Monica said...

I am glad that my thoughts reflect some of your own :0)


Anonymous said...

Just one more thought on the matter. Does modesty figure in your reasoning at all? Not that it should, just wondered since I met someone who really focuses on not being wolfwhistle material. Like muslimahs,she wants to avoid emphasizing the physical. It dawned on me that in some places that is a legitimate concern.


Monica said...

Yeah modesty figures in for me. I am (finally) losing weight and I am feeling more conscious of this issue again. I'll write about that too.