Oppressed and Loving it!

Jeff and I were standing in line at Braum’s for some ice cream a few weeks ago when the thought occurred to me,

“I bet many people see me as an ‘oppressed, uneducated woman’ because I wear a religious headcovering.”

I shared this with dear husband. We laughed out loud over it!

If they only knew…

Hollins University is my Alma Mater. Can’t get much more ’empowered’ than I’ve been.

That statement, or assumed thought, is so absurd in our case. We have an excellent relationship….even, dare I say it, egalitarian in many ways. Jeff is the kindest-hearted man I’ve known, a Mr. Steady through and through. He hardly ever insists I do anything, unless my life is in peril or I am in some grave spiritual error.

Do I dominate him? He doesn’t think so. We each have our strengths and weaknesses. He likes to know what the “To-Do” list is on Saturdays, or what the week is shaping up to look like. He asks me because I remember (mostly) and I know what needs to be done around the apartment. He is free to suggest activities or projects.

I serve him; he serves me. Its a pretty great marriage, from whatever angle you look at it.

Folks are just too polite to share their thoughts outloud. Sometimes I wish they would. What a shock and puzzlement they’d receive!

Do you think we go around life assuming too much, for fear of offending others?


12 Responses to “Oppressed and Loving it!”

  1. 1 domanico September 24, 2007 at 9:33 am

    I appreciate you sharing your point of view. I’m not sure what my thoughts were on the subject, but I personally do not know anybody who wears a head covering for religion. It’s times like these that I am thankful for the blog….it’s something I was not thinking about, or pondering, but you gave me a nice perspective to consider.

    Have a good day!

  2. 2 January September 24, 2007 at 10:04 am

    Yes we do. I don’t know how it’s done in your own country cos in my country, women with head covering are seen as uneducated and oppressed cos this actually happens. A large population of northern muslims force young girls aged 9 – 14 years into early marriages resulting in a disease “known as V.V.F. It’s only in the south western part of the country that muslim women are highly educated. The oppressed part I may not be able to answer.

  3. 3 cbrunette September 24, 2007 at 10:18 am


    You bring up an excellent point! In the United States, there are some women who may be experiencing oppression, or being forced to do things in the name of religion they do not want to do. In your country, the situation is much different!

    I’ll think this over and maybe write another post about oppression and modesty.


  4. 4 cara michele September 24, 2007 at 11:44 am

    It’s blessing to live in a country where the veil is a symbol of our freedom of religious expression and NOT a symbol of oppression. Hallelujah! 🙂

  5. 5 January September 24, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    I’ll be waiting to see your thoughts on oppression and modesty.

  6. 6 LadySnow September 24, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Around here…with my covering a lot of individuals just think I am Amish or Mennonite……some think I am crazy for giving up my “freedom.” If only they realized it gives me more freedom. :o)

  7. 7 Christine September 24, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    I think that many people want to be more modest and more vocal about their faith but I think that we are very much afraid of what others will think. We may just offend them. I have gotten to a point in my life that if I am offending you then we just shouldn’t be having a conversation. On the other hand if I am offending you I must have succeeded because I got your attention. Maybe what is offending you is truly in your heart and you are just in denial.

    I have a girlfriend who thinks I am oppressed. I’ve been friends with her for nearly 30 years and she just thinks I have given in to the “mans” idea of what a women’s life should be. Personally this was my own venture and I made the decision to cover and be more modest. Only when you yourself want to follow the path of the Lord (and live truly by the “word”) is when and only when you will be content in the decisions you make in life.

    Like others have said, I feel more free now then I have ever felt!! God Bless!

  8. 8 Gemaecca September 25, 2007 at 9:37 am

    I suppose that has a lot to do with where you are in the US. I grew up in western NY, and we have a lot of Amish and conservative Quaker communities there. Religious headcoverings were uncommon, but not unheard of, and I don’t remember anyone saying that they thought it was oppressive or having anything to do with education (or lack thereof). I never thought that.

    I think we (people in general) have a strong tendency to project our fears and insecurities onto others, especially if we stand out of a crowd for whatever reason. Whether it be a religious headcovering or facial piercings or a harelip, when we’re in public it is in the forefront of our minds. Maybe you’re projecting your fear onto total strangers; strangers who may not even care, or notice for that matter. It’s not an unreasonable hypothesis.

  9. 9 cbrunette September 25, 2007 at 9:49 am

    “Maybe you’re projecting your fear onto total strangers; strangers who may not even care, or notice for that matter.”

    There may be truth in what you say, Gemaecca. I know I assume too much sometimes to cover my autistic awkwardness.

    In other ways, I think I’ve come a long way in being secure in covering. There are days I forget I’ve even got something on my head until the wind tries to pull it off. 🙂


  10. 10 Karen Ferguson December 2, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    >>>“I bet many people see me as an ‘oppressed, uneducated woman’ because I wear a religious headcovering.”

    I shared this with dear husband. We laughed out loud over it!

    If they only knew…<<<<

    Nothing personal, but you actually don’t know my thoughts. The above is a projection on your part…look it up in a psychology 101 text. It’s not complicated; and we all do it from time to time, but it’s a good idea to identify it when we do it as it’s not reality.

    I suspect you’re young and perhaps think people actually care ….some do, but most don’t as they are thinking of their own lives, their own list of things to do, and certainly don’t have time to think about something as insignificant as what someone is wearing or not wearing on their head.

    Please, get a life out side of your thinking or you are going to pass this kind of ‘crazy-thinking’ onto your kids.

  11. 11 cbrunette December 2, 2007 at 4:49 pm


    Thank you for the reference to Psych 101…that was over 10 years ago for me. I was one class short of a Psychology major; I did not have enough time to train a rat during my last year of college. 😉

    From what I’ve discovered, many people do care about what others wear on their heads. I get stopped almost daily in my workplace from curious on-lookers asking me if I’m Amish or something like it. Their responses have been overwhelmingly positive. So, yeah, I did care more than I should have about what others think. Now I am past that, learned my lessons, and carried on.

    Consider this post to be a rhetorical exercise, not pervasive paranoia on my part. And, yes, I am certified “crazy” and will most likely pass it on to my children.


  1. 1 Oppression, Continued « Veiled Glory Trackback on September 27, 2007 at 7:43 am

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"I can't say I don't believe in your God, but I don't believe He meant the world to be as it is." ~Nicholas Higgins. North and South.

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you are licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what." No idea where that last quote came from, but I like it!

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