Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mystery of hair

Last night, we had family night dinner at church. I debuted my new look: no hair. Several people asked if I was going to get a wig and I said no. Then people talked about what beautiful scarfs there were. I don't understand scarfs and bald women.

Paul says women should cover their hair when they prophesy. (Note, Paul does not say they should not prophesy, only prescribes their dress.) "For this reason a woman should have a symbol of authority over her head, because of the angels." (I Corinthians 5:10). Not that anyone seems to know what the angels have to do with this. (Paul also talks about how shameful it is for a woman to shave her head.)

Muslim women cover their hair as a symbol of their modesty. Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair. In many cultures, covering a woman's hair, particularly after marriage is the norm.

So, what is it about hair, women's hair in particular?

I wonder because I have never understood the scarf thing when chemo makes you bald. I find them silly. They are never (in my experience) very attractive. Rather than helping one overlook the reason for the scarf, they scream: I have cancer! I have cancer! Now, I can understand the desire for bald women to wear wigs; I just don't understand the scarf thing.

I drove a friend to the airport early this morning. She said that being a part of my head shaving on Tuesday evening had been a moving experience for her. I talked a bit about my non understanding of the scarf phenomen. I told her that for some reason, I associate the loss of hair with sexuality. I remember an old WWII movie in which a young woman who has been sleeping with a Nazi has her hair cut off. It is a way of shaming women for sexual sins.

My friend made an interesting comment about women and hair. She pointed out that where, other than the tops of our heads, women have more hair on their private parts. And I said that when we get old, that's where we lose hair, lose sexuality.

I still don't understand scarfs.