On Friday September 21 I plan to wear a head covering of some sort, as part of International Covered in Light Day. It probably won’t look good on me, I will probably get more then my fair share of looks, I may even get a few comments, or hopefully questions, but I’m going to do it and here’s why.
Many women participate in veiling, for whatever reason, and yet so many are being looked down upon as ignorant and oppressed. Are there women you have been oppressed out there covering their hair? Yes. Does that mean covering symbolizes support of oppression? No. Just as I would support a nursing mom who chooses to cover, or not to cover, I support women who choose to cover for whatever their reason may be. That said, I want to share some information about covering.
What exactly is covering?
It’s true some women cover from top to bottom, but I’m specifically talking about veiling/covering of the hair/head.
Why do women cover?
Many cover simply for religious or cultural reasons, at times the religion calls for women to cover, but there is an ever growing number of women who feel called to cover by the god(dess) they worship.
Some of the religions that cover include (but are not limited to) Islam, some sects of Christianity such as Mennonites, and paganism. Not all women of these religions cover, and there are certainly more women of other religious backgrounds that cover, but the point is that more and more women are covering and it is not a black and white issue of covering = oppression.
What are the benefits of covering?
Many women state that they feel empowered when they cover, as if they have gone from girl to woman. Some feel that by covering they are protecting themselves from the constant barrage of negative energy that one can feel when in public. Many women state they feel a deeper connection with their deity, and it is how they incorporate worship in their everyday.
Why International Covered in Light Day?
To stand up for women. Women who choose to veil should be treated as equals no matter how we feel about their religious practice, yet many of these women are subject to gross mistreatment. School bullying, TSA profiling, women are even being forced to take their scarves/head coverings off at work, being spat on in public, and called names like terrorist and killer. Covering our hair for one day is just a small thing we can do to help bring knowledge and understanding to those ignorant enough to persecute these women, and it’s also a way to stand next to these women and show them we support them.