There are several ways to comply with the requirements laid down by the clergy talking in the name of your favorite god. You may do as the god wants. You may find a god who wants what you want. You may stick with a specific god, but just choose another reference clergy class, closer to your aspirations. If you are catholic, you have also the option not do what the god expect from you, as far as you are ready to regret. Often, the stronger motivation to comply with religious odd requirements is to be finally in the position to judge someone else, who eventually is less zealant.
Judaism is an interesting and amazing religious movement. First to introduce the unexpected concept of monotheism, now exported to other — less sophisticated — religious believes, judaism is a more complex reality than often imagined. Haredi (חֲרֵדִי) is a term used to describe the most conservative form of orthodox judaism. Haredim jews represent today a controversial and often little known minority in judaism and , as a consequence, in the Israeli state.
Haredim married women are required to cover their hair in a sign of modesty and to keep away the looks of other men: a similar requirement stated by some islamic interpretations of Qur’an, but also found in other cultures, as in catholic south Italy, Greece and Spain, or the Amish communities in the US. However, as they were the first to introduce monotheism, יהוה believers are leading innovators also in the field of religious prescriptions.
Cover your hair, woman!
To comply with the literal interpretation of the requirement to cover their hair, but looking forward to look more glamorous, orthodox jewish women introduced the use of wigs. These new hair are often very expensive, beautiful, and adaptable to the season. A real-hair high-quality wig is also a statement of social status and standing in society.
I wonder if the use of wigs will spread in more conservative religious groups. I imagine that persian women in Iran would look favorably to a less strict imposition of hear-cover devices. Yet, it is a way to go around the obstacle, rather than to fight it. A soft approach to female liberation? Or maybe just another way to accept gender based segregation. For sure, it is a smart way to fool your own god.
It’s interesting to mention that some liberal synagogues suggest that women, married or not, wear head-coverings similar to those worn by men (kippas): not for modesty, but as a feminist gesture of egalitarianism!
Pictures in this gallery were taken by fashion photographer Lior Nordman (http://www.liornordman.com) for the magazine Belle Monde, in response to the strict moral code imposed by Haredim to women in their community. Nordman, answering to Haredim men claiming that women must dress extremely modestly to limit their attractiveness to men, said: “I am in the presence of rather scantily clad women several days a week, and I manage to control myself.”
This photographic work is titled Public Transportation, is dedicated to hadarat nashim (exclusion of women) and sparked a large debate in Israel and abroad.