Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Veiled Threat

The veil thing seems to always bubble ominously on the back of the Catholic stove, boiling over regularly and making a sticky mess.

The biggest argument turns on whether a woman is required to cover her head in church.

Regardless of who is right, what puzzles me is the resistance. It is such a simple thing for a woman to throw a veil over her head.

And, contrary to internet rumors, veils don't blister your ears or cause unsightly head bunions.

Veils are easy-care. You can keep one wadded up in your car or your purse for a week, shake it out on Sunday, and it looks great. They wash easily with some Woolite in the sink. Drying is such a snap, veils should be EnergyStar rated!

What's the big deal?

I could understand if the battle were over whether women are required to wear hats. You can't safely store a hat in your car or your purse and wearing one positively ruins your Sunday hairdo. All that money you spent on chemicals to achieve Big Texas Hair is wasted.

The only reason I can think of to explain the resistance is that when a woman considers covering her head, she is confronted with her femininity. Our culture has trained us to be uncomfortable with that.

And that's not funny.


Emily G. said...

"Veils don't blister your ears or cause unsightly head bunions"

That made me giggle. Are you sure, Mrs. Haught? You never know, one or the other might pop out to-morrow. :)

I could write a collection of veil comments as long as the classic collection of big family comments.

"Doesn't that make you feel like an old Polish grandma?"'s lacy and girly.
"Your mom shouldn't make you wear that."
Actually, I make my mom wear one.
"Does your priest have some kind of a weird fetish?"
"Doesn't it interfere with your vision?"
Considering I don't have eyes on the back of my head, no.

I agree with you. Women are scared of their femininity, and something so feminine as a veil makes the fact of being feminine sort of inescapable.

Wendy Haught said...

Thanks, Emily. I always get nervous when I try to write something a little humorous, especially when it's about religious practice. All afternoon I've been wishing that I had kept my mouth shut. I feel better now.