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Author Topic: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?  (Read 13798 times)

SunflowerP

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2011, 06:20:06 am »
Quote from: Duchess Atreides;18913
The way they dress would be more decent, but not what I'd call "modest". If anything, it's vanity. "Look at me, I dress more decently than these people here, I'm special."
And this is coming from someone who loves headscarves of all kinds. My point is that it is misguiding to refer to that style of dress as "modest".

 
I'm wondering if possibly English isn't your first language, Duchess Atreides?  It didn't occur to me before because you write it excellently, but the choice of "misguiding", rather than "misleading" (it's not really wrong, just not the word choice most native speakers would make) caught my attention.

If that's the case, I'd have to say that it's not the people who use "modest" in that way who are misleading; it's that English is a misleading language - many of its words have several meanings, as is the case here.  Modest can mean, approximately, unassuming (not vain or arrogant), as you're using it, but it can also mean "sexually modest" - which, yes, does lead to the contradiction in which someone can be immodest (vain and/or arrogant) about being (sexually) modest.  It's confusing, but it's not an incorrect usage of the word.

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Owl

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2011, 01:02:49 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;19045

 
Just jumping off your post here - not commenting on it!

Reading through the last week's posts on this, I cannot get the visuals from the "Story of O" when she's in the owl mask (only read the book, so personal visual) out of my mind.  Which could speak to my subconscious feelings about face veils.
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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #32 on: September 16, 2011, 11:00:40 am »
Quote from: xerces_blue;3550
On the archived board, I found there was a discussion about Pagans and headcovering and modesty a while ago, and I thought I might try to start it up again.

A while ago, I found some blogs of Pagans who wear headcoverings and/or dress "plain" or modestly and/or are into simple living. This is something I am also interested in, and I thought I was looney for the longest time until I found I wasn't the only one. These are things that one associates with Judeo-Christian religions, certainly not Pagan religions, so I felt a bit confused as to why I was interested in dressing "plain" and all that. But finding other Pagans with the same interest has helped me in exploring the reasons behind this feeling, and I thought by making this thread, I might be able to help other Pagans interested in exploring the idea of plainness or simple living as well.

So, getting to the discussion part, how do you feel about modesty, simple living, and "Pagan plain"? Does it have a place in Pagan life, or not? Are you interested in it yourself? If you are interested, or if you're one of the rare few that actually do it, in what ways are you modest, "plain," or living simply? Are you completely against it? If you're for it or against it, why?

You don't have to answer all or any of that, of course, I'm just giving some ideas to get a conversation going. From the looks of the old thread, I'm expecting lots of people to disagree with the idea, but I still think it's worth a re-visit for my own curiousity if nothing else. :D

I'll share my own opinions later, but first I'd like to see what others have to say. It's not much of a discussion if I'm just talking about myself. :p


This made me think of Laurie Cabot. She is a long-time practitioner and teacher of witchcraft, and dresses very "gothic". How do people feel about that? Do you think it makes her any less credible to the pagan community?

dionysiandame

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #33 on: January 01, 2012, 04:05:46 pm »
Quote from: Miss;20436
This made me think of Laurie Cabot. She is a long-time practitioner and teacher of witchcraft, and dresses very "gothic". How do people feel about that? Do you think it makes her any less credible to the pagan community?


I think most pagans are live and let live enough where it doesn't matter. Personally, however, I think it makes her more of a caricature than anything else. But that's just how I see things. Everyone loves "the freaks", they're who get media attention and tourist dollars. A witch in a pair of jeans and a turtleneck won't get nearly the amount of press.

As far as dressing modestly, I do believe in it and practice it. I am not sure if I want to move to the realm of covering my head (I may do so after marriage) but I find I enjoy not being viewed as something to be...viewed. If that's makes any sense. I was fortunate to enough to wear hijab for one month just to have the experience and I liked it. I felt "safe" from the prying eyes of a society which a) hypersexualizes black women and b) places value on physical appearance, and conformity to the European ideal, above intellectual capability.

I also agree with the notion that any beauty I have should not be shared randomly. In a world where most don't talk to strangers, I don't necessarily see the logic in sharing a blatant view of my form with strangers either.

As far as simple living, the way I(we) live could almost be considered "traditional" to some conservatives; despite the fact that Christ is not the center of my household and we drink a bit more mead than we probably should. It's difficult admitting in pagan circles that I do, in fact, submit to my future husband. I've literally been de-friended for saying so and it can be difficult to find groups of married, pagan, women who share in such a lifestyle. But what can you do?

You get in where you fit in and I think, overall, there are more pagans living simply, and modestly, than we think. They don't get as much attention as Laurie Cabot.
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mandrina

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2012, 09:15:59 am »
Quote from: dionysiandame;37144
I think most pagans are live and let live enough where it doesn't matter. Personally, however, I think it makes her more of a caricature than anything else. But that's just how I see things. Everyone loves "the freaks", they're who get media attention and tourist dollars. A witch in a pair of jeans and a turtleneck won't get nearly the amount of press.

As far as dressing modestly, I do believe in it and practice it. I am not sure if I want to move to the realm of covering my head (I may do so after marriage) but I find I enjoy not being viewed as something to be...viewed. If that's makes any sense. I was fortunate to enough to wear hijab for one month just to have the experience and I liked it. I felt "safe" from the prying eyes of a society which a) hypersexualizes black women and b) places value on physical appearance, and conformity to the European ideal, above intellectual capability.

I also agree with the notion that any beauty I have should not be shared randomly. In a world where most don't talk to strangers, I don't necessarily see the logic in sharing a blatant view of my form with strangers either.

As far as simple living, the way I(we) live could almost be considered "traditional" to some conservatives; despite the fact that Christ is not the center of my household and we drink a bit more mead than we probably should. It's difficult admitting in pagan circles that I do, in fact, submit to my future husband. I've literally been de-friended for saying so and it can be difficult to find groups of married, pagan, women who share in such a lifestyle. But what can you do?

You get in where you fit in and I think, overall, there are more pagans living simply, and modestly, than we think. They don't get as much attention as Laurie Cabot.

 
what's your definition of 'submit'?
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dionysiandame

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2012, 06:46:06 pm »
Quote from: mandrina;37202
what's your definition of 'submit'?


Obedience and supplication to his will. Fortunately, he is a reasonable man so I'm never in a position where I'm being asked to go along with something ridiculous, but ultimately his word is law. I definitely voice my opinions, the gods know I have a ton of those and can very adamant about them, but if he takes my viewpoint into account fine, if he doesn't, that is also fine.

He appreciates my modesty, acquiescence, and obedience just as much as I appreciate his ability to shoulder the burden of being the head of the household. :lub:
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mandrina

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2012, 09:24:26 am »
Quote from: dionysiandame;37286
Obedience and supplication to his will. Fortunately, he is a reasonable man so I'm never in a position where I'm being asked to go along with something ridiculous, but ultimately his word is law. I definitely voice my opinions, the gods know I have a ton of those and can very adamant about them, but if he takes my viewpoint into account fine, if he doesn't, that is also fine.

He appreciates my modesty, acquiescence, and obedience just as much as I appreciate his ability to shoulder the burden of being the head of the household. :lub:

NOw assuming that we have the same definitions of 'head of household'.
 
Just something you do need to think about, what will you do if he CAN'T shoulder the burden of being the 'head of the household' for whatever reason (disability, longterm unemployment or some other such).  And also, if his decision goes against something that you feel really really strongly about, is it really going to be ok with you?  You may think that's not going to happen, but I've been married 21 years, and I can tell you it does and since you know you are going into the relationship this way, you do need to think about these things.  

I'm making a presumption, since you mentioned in another post that your fiance is a progressive Jew, that you will be raising any kids Jewish, and that is ok with you.  If this statement is not true, you two desperately need to discuss it, cause the question of religious child raising is never as easy as it seems, never.

The only reason I'm giving you this is that you have stated that you know you are going into marriage with the stated intention of deferring to him in all things.  Most girls raised in the US. or most 1st world countries are not raised this way anymore, and it may be a much bigger change than you think it is when it impacts something that is extremely important to you.  Just so long as you've actually thought of as many ramifications of this as possible, all power to the pair of you and congratulations on your upcoming marriage.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 09:25:04 am by mandrina »
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dionysiandame

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2012, 11:03:03 am »
Quote from: mandrina;37322
NOw assuming that we have the same definitions of 'head of household'.
 
Just something you do need to think about, what will you do if he CAN'T shoulder the burden of being the 'head of the household' for whatever reason (disability, longterm unemployment or some other such).  And also, if his decision goes against something that you feel really really strongly about, is it really going to be ok with you?  You may think that's not going to happen, but I've been married 21 years, and I can tell you it does and since you know you are going into the relationship this way, you do need to think about these things.  

I'm making a presumption, since you mentioned in another post that your fiance is a progressive Jew, that you will be raising any kids Jewish, and that is ok with you.  If this statement is not true, you two desperately need to discuss it, cause the question of religious child raising is never as easy as it seems, never.

The only reason I'm giving you this is that you have stated that you know you are going into marriage with the stated intention of deferring to him in all things.  Most girls raised in the US. or most 1st world countries are not raised this way anymore, and it may be a much bigger change than you think it is when it impacts something that is extremely important to you.  Just so long as you've actually thought of as many ramifications of this as possible, all power to the pair of you and congratulations on your upcoming marriage.

 
You raise very good questions and I thank you for answering them as, perhaps seeing things in writing will help me grasp gravity I might be missing.

While he is the head of our household, I do work outside of the home and my earning potential is equivalent to his. Our lifestyle, and the area we live in, just isn't conducive to single income. As much as I would like to devote time to my home and my own small  business- it's not economically feasible at this time.

Since we have no intention of having children (and have begun the vasectomy discussions) the religion of any potential children is a moot point for now.

If, for some reason, he changed his mind or we both decided to become parents, I have no problems with the children being Jewish. I think it's a wonderful religion, and supportive culture, with solid values even if those values don't always line up with my own.

We have had instances where we've disagreed vehemently about something and, in the end, I've had to concede. My mother, a manipulative narcissist, is not allowed in our home. Ever. Even were we to make up and begin to have a relationship again, she would not be allowed to step foot past the threshold.

I'm sure other such instances will arise in the future and I'll have to handle them when they arise. In the end, I have to have faith in him to lead with logic and compassion. Luckily, it's not the same 'crap shoot' I've seen with some of my friends who have had arranged marriages since I was able to know him as a friend for about 3 years prior to our relationship.
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Darkhawk

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2012, 11:08:08 am »
Quote from: mandrina;37322

The only reason I'm giving you this is that you have stated that you know you are going into marriage with the stated intention of deferring to him in all things.  Most girls raised in the US. or most 1st world countries are not raised this way anymore, and it may be a much bigger change than you think it is when it impacts something that is extremely important to you.  Just so long as you've actually thought of as many ramifications of this as possible, all power to the pair of you and congratulations on your upcoming marriage.

 
While I don't know whether or not this is relevant to dionysiandame, this is far from the first thread on the Cauldron in which people have mentioned that they have power dynamic oriented relationships.
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mandrina

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2012, 03:06:19 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;37328
You raise very good questions and I thank you for answering them as, perhaps seeing things in writing will help me grasp gravity I might be missing.

While he is the head of our household, I do work outside of the home and my earning potential is equivalent to his. Our lifestyle, and the area we live in, just isn't conducive to single income. As much as I would like to devote time to my home and my own small  business- it's not economically feasible at this time.

Since we have no intention of having children (and have begun the vasectomy discussions) the religion of any potential children is a moot point for now.

If, for some reason, he changed his mind or we both decided to become parents, I have no problems with the children being Jewish. I think it's a wonderful religion, and supportive culture, with solid values even if those values don't always line up with my own.

We have had instances where we've disagreed vehemently about something and, in the end, I've had to concede. My mother, a manipulative narcissist, is not allowed in our home. Ever. Even were we to make up and begin to have a relationship again, she would not be allowed to step foot past the threshold.

I'm sure other such instances will arise in the future and I'll have to handle them when they arise. In the end, I have to have faith in him to lead with logic and compassion. Luckily, it's not the same 'crap shoot' I've seen with some of my friends who have had arranged marriages since I was able to know him as a friend for about 3 years prior to our relationship.

 
As long as you've thought about or discussed these things (and any other potential problems you can come up with) you're getting ready for it.  this is why most church, synagogues, etc, require premarriage counseling, to help people make sure they are coming from the same direction.  I presume that even in an arranged marriage, premarital counseling would be useful.

Arranged marriage is completely outside of my RL experience.  If I know people with arranged marriages personally, I don't know that their marriages were arranged, (which is very possible, I live in a university town with tons of foreignborn people in it, half my daughter's school class (5th grade) immigrated with their parents, or were born here while their parents were students).
Katrina

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cheryl

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2012, 10:29:46 am »
Quote from: Chatelaine;3636
Headcoverings are common among mystics of all kinds, because the hair is considered by many cultures to be a seat of power, so covering it - or, in more extreme paradigms, getting rid of it altogether - keeps that power in control. Just look at the Sikhs with their turbans, and the Buddhist monks and nuns with their shaved heads.
 


Hi all, just browsing the forum and thought I'd chime in!

Hair is actually the deadest thing on the human body so it's interesting that so many cultures consider hair to be a source of power.  Even bone is not actually dead, as it can heal after a fracture, but hair is made of keratin and is dead as soon as it leaves the dermal papilla at the base of each follicle.  

I suspect those cultures are confusing "that which creates power" with "that which has the power to distract ME".  

In practice, those cultures which advocate modesty for women involve removing or concealing anything about the female form which men may find sexually distracting, while for men in those cultures modesty merely involves the display of a biological attribute which is unavailable to (most) biological females.  So the beard would be an example of  "subtractive masculinity" -- anything which is not feminine is then considered exclusively masculine.  And of course women are not driven to uncontrollable lust at the sight of either a man's beard or a man's shaven face as men supposedly are with the female form; the religious requirement for a beard is merely to keep the exclusive marker of masculinity neat and well-groomed.  

Cheers!

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2012, 08:02:11 pm »
Quote from: cheryl;38026
Cheers!



I believe in modesty of dress for all except the attractive. :p But in all seriousness, I would prefer it if conservative dress came back in style for both men and women. Religiously speaking I am very fond of headcoverings as a sign of devotion and humility, for both men and women. I may at some future point decide to wear a headcovering (a la capite velatio) all the time. I'll consult with the Pontifical College first.

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #42 on: February 15, 2012, 08:47:33 am »
Quote from: xerces_blue;3550
So, getting to the discussion part, how do you feel about modesty, simple living, and "Pagan plain"? Does it have a place in Pagan life, or not? Are you interested in it yourself? If you are interested, or if you're one of the rare few that actually do it, in what ways are you modest, "plain," or living simply? Are you completely against it? If you're for it or against it, why?

 
Answering to your questions, here I go:

1) I feel that modesty, in acts, thoughts and dress is definitely something good. You may not draw attention from someone you're interested in, but, on the other hand, you never will send the misguiding message to others that you're available and willing to be disturbed by the first person who crosses your way. It is, somehow, protective. And people tend to have a drop more of respect for you, specially if you're a woman.

2) Simple living follows the same line of thought. If you have just what you really need, there's no need to cluster you house with tons of items that have no real utility. You spend less, you eat less, you have more time (drawn from housework that you won't do, as you have few things and spend less time organizing and cleaning them) and more money, as well (you buy much less trash and you started that long promised diet, remember?). Which leads us to being more environmentally conscient, as you finds out that it can benefit not only you, the neighbourhood, the city, but the planet, and saves money, once again.

3) Plain dressing is a ver nice way to be able to wear all you clothes and be in style. I wear nothing but plain clothes since I was a teen. If they are the classical type, you just have to have few of them, so you can work all the week long without repeting your clothes, as you match them according to your taste and likings. Being them of a good quality, they'll last many years, and you just have to replace them when they become unwearable. Same goes to shoes and bags.

4) I am a firm advocate for it, as I see it as an act of respect towards yourself, the deities and the planet. And, as someone said, if I don't talk to strangers, why should I let them have sight of my physical attributes? Makes no sense to me at all. The more frugal you become, the less you have to join the others in such a rat race which society has become, and more time you have to comune with the deities, or to spend with your family, or do whatever you please. That's how I see it.

Cheers!

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #43 on: May 19, 2012, 07:25:54 pm »
Quote from: xerces_blue;3550
On the archived board, I found there was a discussion about Pagans and headcovering and modesty a while ago, and I thought I might try to start it up again.

 
I already dress conservatively out of personal preference, but I also incorporate it into my religious practice. I've also considered adopting religious headgear, but I've never really thought about it. I find modesty  and simple living helps to avoid problems. Yes, wearing sexy clothes can help attract a lover, but at the same time dressing modestly forces people to get to know you on a personal level as they cannot see large areas of your body. Simple living has also helped me clear up clutter, which makes it easier for me to find things, and gives me a lot of free time to spend with friends or be to be introspective.

For males who do use religious headgear, what do you use? I don't feel comfortable wearing a kippah, as that is Jewish. I also don't want a big showy hat, and I don't particularly like baseball caps.

Another question, for those who have adopted religious headgear, do you ever have a problem with other people questioning you? A lot of people in the US prefer headgear removed indoors, or as another sign of respect. Have you ever had to explain you wear it for religious reasons? Has anyone ever pulled the "Paganism isn't a real religion" card?

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #44 on: July 07, 2012, 11:00:53 am »
Quote from: xerces_blue;3550
So, getting to the discussion part, how do you feel about modesty, simple living, and "Pagan plain"? Does it have a place in Pagan life, or not? Are you interested in it yourself? If you are interested, or if you're one of the rare few that actually do it, in what ways are you modest, "plain," or living simply? Are you completely against it? If you're for it or against it, why?

 
As Pagan paths are an individual choice, conservative dressing has its place. It's an individual choice.

That being said, it is not for me. Unlike many young women my age, I am not ashamed of my body, I like it just the way it is, its ideal for my life and what I love to do. Could do without the pain, and aches but that's also something I accept.

I dress respectably. If I'm going out to paint the town red, yes, I am probably not dressed all that modestly. But when I'm at work, its business causal unless I know one of my clients is more likely to talk if I dress down to jeans. At school, I dress to blend in (or as much as I can blend in with cowboy boots and jeans in a big city). I don't "advertise" or dress to draw unwanted attention but I do dress to feel good and attractive.

As far as head-coverings, I personally believe those should be left to their respective cultures and religions. I'll stick with my no-makeup, ballcap look.

As far as living simply, definitely something I like. I had appalled looks last night when I told some friends I hadn't been able to cash a paycheck in well over a month. They seemed to think I was well-off. I'm not, I have never, my entire life, lived above the poverty line (most farm families don't). But I know how to live on a budget and get more with less. Money doesn't buy happiness and material goods don't bring happiness either. I try to live a life that keeps me happy and is friendly to the environment around me.
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* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall