Chaviva of Kvetching Editor fame is doing a series called The Tzniut Project where Jewish women are answering questions about " their practices, people's assumptions, and more" regarding what is being called tzniut (modesty) but really in this context is about dress codes. One of her questions is:
"What do you think other people infer from your clothing and hair covering choices? Has anyone ever said anything to you outright that expresses a judgment based on your appearance? (Ex: “You don’t cover your hair or wear skirts, so why do you keep kosher?”)Funny you should ask.
Last night the phone rang and it was a survey about a newspaper we subscribe to. I usually cooperate with phone surveys because it gives parnasa (support) to a Jew in Israel. So I tell him on a scale of 1 to5 what I think of various sections of the paper, whether on a scale of 1 to 4 I will subscribe again next year, on a scale of 1 to 7 whether I agree or disagree with certain political and moral statements, etc., etc. And then the young man got to the demographic section. So, how do I define myself. Well, there was a really broad spectrum from haredi, haredi leumi, dati leumi, dati, masorti leumi and several other configurations that I don't remember this morning. I picked one and then we went on to the next question obviously designed to further sharpen the demographic division:
How do you cover your hair?
which was followed by a list of possibilities from 'always a wig' through 'sometimes a wig and sometimes a hat', 'only hats and scarves covering all or most of the head', 'hats and scarves covering most but not all of the head' 'some of the head', sometimes, always, never??? The next question was about pants.
Conclusion: around here there seems to be plenty to be inferred from my hair covering choices!