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Cover part three

(The final part of today’s musings.)

I realized something else about today’s events, after going to lunch. I currently only cover my hair at home or at work on the Sabbath. It’s a new thing to start covering my hair among friends if we go out together. It is like I’m coming out.

I have never had my hair covered with a tichel and been alone around strangers. When I was in college I used a snood or a bandanna, but not for the same reason I do now. And the climate was more tolerant then. There was less paranoia about Islam. My haircovering isn’t a hijab, but most Americans aren’t that savvy. A cloth on a head is a cloth on a head.

When I cover my hair at work I’m around people who don’t quite understand, but I am in a place that I have worked at for 14 years. The patrons know me there and because I work at the library I’m afforded a certain level of respect. Generally they are supportive if they say anything at all. Sometimes they are concerned that I might have cancer. I have since started exposing a bit of my hair at the top or showing some bangs so that they don’t worry about that.

But I just thought about it in a different way. What if I was in a restaurant by myself? What is to stop someone coming up to me and challenging me or accusing me of being a terrorist, thinking I’m wearing a hijab? That’s really frightening.

Or saying that “You need to go back home!” even though I was born and raised here, and am very white?

Or even saying that I’m not a real woman because I cover my hair? So many people think that a woman who covers her hair has to do it, or is forced to do it. They don’t get that it is a choice. To do so in America is even more a sign of a choice. It is even harder to do it here, because it is so unusual, especially in the South.

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6 thoughts on “Cover part three

    • : ) I’m in Nashville. Check out the “Wrapunzel” group page on Facebook, as well as “Cover Me Happy”. There are several covering sisters here, so it is nice to feel connected. Perhaps we need to think of this as we are on the front of a new fashion trend – where people start looking at our minds instead of our bodies.

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      • You’re in Nashville too??? Wow that’s awesome 🙂 I don’t wear tichel style so I am not in wrapunzel fan group. I wear hijab. I admin Head Covering Christian Women on Facebook, it’s a group in which all faiths are welcome. I also admin Christian Hijabis. And a few other groups not about covering. 🙂

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      • Wrapunzel has women of all faiths as well – but the admins get a little twitchy if you post any link to anything that isn’t Wrapunzel. So “Cover me happy” is more open. Do you mind if I ask why you choose to wrap in a hijab? Are there Christian denominations that cover in a hijab, or does it just seem more fitting for you? The denomination I come from (I left church, long story, I wrote a book about it) does not cover at all, so I’m the oddball.

        I think it is cool that there is a bonding over being covered. Women of all traditions are getting to learn about each other’s traditions.

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      • There are lots orthodox women who use hijab, and some Catholic women. And some women like me who are just generally scattered about. I joined Cover Me Happy BTW. I choose to use hijab and its accompanying dress code because 1) I believe it is the best interpretation of 1Corinthians 11 and ancient church tradition. 2) I feel best in it. 3) I like it. 4) it is the most obviously religious way to cover.

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