Monday, April 23, 2007

Modest Meme

Mom in Israel made up a new Meme for those of us who deal with the issues of tzniut, the Jewish laws & traditions of modesty.

Though I wasn't tagged, I've decided it might make interesting reading for someone (maybe me) if I answered it...
Here goes:

1. For married women, do you dress by the same standards as you did when you got married?

Yes, but I've only been married about a year.

2. Also for married women, do you and your husband conflict about this issue?

Yes. My husband is much more strict about these rules than I would like to be.

3. Have your standards changed from when you were growing up, and why?

Yes and no. My beliefs haven't changed. I'd dress the same as I did when I was growing up, but my husband would have heart failure if I did.

4. Do you often feel uncomfortable when you are in the company of a group keeping higher or lower standards than you?

Yes. I feel like the knee-sock wearers are looking down on me, and like the chilonim all think that I'm one of those crazy charedi women.

5. If you have ever suddenly changed your standard of dress, did people treat you differently or make approving/disapproving remarks?

I got a fair amount of sympathy, but not a lot of approval or disapproval. I guess I have nice friends.

6. How accepting is your community of women who "deviate" from the generally accepted mode of dress?

I live in a mixed community, so it's not really a problem.

7. If you have a daughter, has tzniut become an issue yet?

We don't have one yet, but the standards we want for our daughters has already become an issue in our marriage (sometimes we really buy trouble, don't we?)

8. Any other comments you care to share on the topic.

I want my pants back!!!!!!!! I always dreamed of being pregnant in big overalls. And my elbows! Hello, it's freaking hot out. I want my elbows!


frumhouse said...

LOL! Nice answers! Hopefully, you and your husband will find a happy medium you can both live with. Elbows...hee hee.

Anonymous said...

I have one pair of maternity overalls that I've worn a few times (even though I pretty much stopped wearing pants before I got pregnant the first time) I can't figure out any way to call any maternity close "beged Ish"


mother in israel said...

Thanks trilcat, I'm going to link back to you and the others in a few days.
When I'm pregnant I can't stand to have any kind of waistband, esp. in the summer. So those jumpers were great for me. I wonder if I still have that bag of maternity clothes--I think I told my friend she could hang on to it.
The negotiations before your marriage must have been quite interesting. Did you read frumhouse's post?

RaggedyMom said...

Trilcat - Great answers! I totally hear you about maternity tzniut being a challenge! I had a point during my first pregnancy where I thought I could just continue to wear stockings throughout and wasn't sure what my take on stockings/socks was altogether. Ann was born at the end of July, and I'm pretty sure I let go of the stockings thoughts at some point.

I also find that with each pregnancy, the maternity fashion style has become tighter and more suggestive - even among wearers of 'modest' clothes. So looking up to date while not revealing every bump is a bit of a challenge!

I always find it so much fun when we she-bloggers talk about things like this!

Orthonomics said...

The summer heat and humidity must be getting to me. Just thinking about wearing nylons makes me nascous. Fortunately, my husband has no issues with lack of socks/nylons.

Most my maternity clothing was bought at a consignment store. I guess I have the last generation of clothing. :)

Lady-Light said...

This was a really interesting post. My youngest is 18, but thinking back, I slowly changed over the years to become more conscious of tzniut, as I became more observant. When I was pregnant with my first in 1972 (talk about a long time ago), I wore pants, but truth be told, dresses were more comfortable! By the time I had my 3rd, I was already frum, and had no regrets. But I am open-minded-frum (anyway, I like to think of myself as such.) Firstly, it is not as important to my husband; he followed me in returning to frumkeit; secondly, if I am hiking in the mtns. here which I haven't done in years, btw--I wear pants and hiking boots. When I tried skiing once (a total disaster!), I wore pants. I think it is dangerous to ski in a skirt. I have shirts that are a little shorter than my elbow, but the truth of the matter is, the degrees of tzniut are culturally based. What is appropriate in one locale, may not be accepted in another.
As far as feeling uncomfortable with my manner of dress among others, I do remember feeling very uncomfortable being bare-headed in a company of sheitel-wearing females, even if one or two did not have their hair covered. That is when I realized that I really want to cover my hair on a regular basis, and started doing so. I don't necessarily cover my hair for the standard 'tzniut' reason, that hair is too attractive to show for a married woman; I do it for other reasons, same as the men cover their heads with a kippah: I am constantly saying brachot, when I eat, after washing in the a.m., etc. So I remind myself that Hashem is above me,also out of respect. I think the 'attraction' reason doesn't necessarily fit in our society any more; I personally believe that a woman can be frum while not covering her hair--and it's not as if it was an actual LAW, like kashrut is. It is inferred from pesukim in the Torah. Inferred, not decreed by Hashem. But I am certain I am now 'opening up a can of worms'...

mother in israel said...

lady-light--hope you post about this too!

Anonymous said...

Safranit, that's a great line about maternity overalls and begged ish. You had me laughing out loud.

Anonymous said...

My husband also has stricter requirements of me than I would have imposed on myself. He has asked myself and our girls to wear opaque tights all year round, which is a challenge for me. He also requires our daughters and myself to cover all the way to our wrists. Still, I have to say that by doing so I feel I am growing spiritually - Growing in my ability to keep shalom bayis even when it's a challenge, growing in my ability to respect him, and growing in my commitment to teaching my girls that their beauty is within.