To the “enlightened” Pagans out there:

FRANK: I support a woman’s right to choose her life, but I think you getting married is irresponsible.

ANNE:  What?!

FRANK: Did you even take into consideration that in other parts of the world there are girls who are forced into marriage? I mean, by getting married, you are supporting the oppression of these girls by participating in the same thing. I think all marriages should be banned until these girls who are forced into marriage are able to turn this symbol of oppression into a positive. Until that happens, any woman in the Western world who chooses to get married is (1) oppressed herself and has been brain washed into thinking it’s really her choice (2) completely flippant about the oppression of child brides and (3) irresponsible.  Marriage should be outlawed.

 

STACEY: As a Pagan, you are not called by Hestia to be a devotee.

DAWN: What?! Who are you to tell me what Hestia has or has not called me to do?!

STACEY: I’ve not been called by Hestia to be a devotee, so I know that you haven’t either. I know better than you.

 

Either one of these arguments make any sense?  Should a woman in the Western world who chooses to get married have to carry the burden of child brides?  Can another person tell you what to believe?

Let’s see what happens when these two conversations are about women who choose to cover:

 

FRANK: I support a woman’s right to choose her life, but I think you covering your hair is irresponsible.

ANNE:  What?!

FRANK: Did you even take into consideration that in other parts of the world there are women who are forced to cover their hair? I mean, by covering your hair, you are supporting the oppression of these women by participating in the same thing. I think all head coverings should be banned until these women who are forced into head covering are able to turn this symbol of oppression into a positive. Until that happens, any woman in the Western world who chooses to cover is (1) oppressed herself and has been brain washed into thinking it’s really her choice (2) completely flippant about the oppression of forced covering and (3) irresponsible. Head covering should be outlawed.

 

STACEY: As a Pagan, you are not called by Hestia to cover your hair.

DAWN: What?! Who are you to tell me what Hestia has or has not called me to do?!

STACEY: I’ve not been called by Hestia to cover so I know that you haven’t either. I know better than you.

 

To think that you have any sort of authority to judge how a woman lives her life, how she worships, what she holds sacred, what she wears shows how truly baseless and arrogant the Pagan Community has fallen. Shame on every one of you.

How very “enlightened” can you be if the only image you have of a woman head covered is in a burka? How very culturally inclusive can you be if you are not also raising your virtual fist into the sky protesting against the oppression of Plain Quaker women who cover (which, if you do, you really are a bunch of uneducated morons).

Spend more time delving into yourself and your biases and fixing them and spend less time worrying about why Hestia called me to cover and not you.  If you’re really concerned about the treatment of women around the world, stop freaking out about the square piece of cloth on my head and start rolling up your sleeves and getting to work on stopping the violence.

A scarf doesn’t oppress people. People oppress people.

Public Statement regarding ICiL Day and the dissolution of CiL

Recently two of our members were present during acts of discrimination against women who cover. These incidents sparked an event that went viral in a matter of hours and very quickly turned into the beginnings of a movement. While the majority of reactions were very supportive there were many who took the idea behind the event and twisted it into something negative. Due to its overwhelming popularity, combined with the sometimes vicious negative reactions to it, the main group of Sisters organizing became very burnt out and stressed. There were some other events that caused a lot of friction and suspicion among the Sisters which contributed to the sudden dissolution of the group. 

A handful of Sisters felt that they had to step away entirely, some hoping just to be gone for a short while, some permanently. The creator of our group seemed to be hit extra hard by the sudden onslaught of publicity and politics and felt it necessary to leave the group and close the website, YouTube channel and forum and asked that we continue but to not use the name Covered in Light. The group known as Covered in Light no longer exists and we are going through a time of transformation. Due to these events International Covered in Light Day was cancelled and the remains of the group has been made secret. 

While the event itself is cancelled we encourage our supporters to still wear a covering, be it that day or any other, for their own reasons and to show solidarity with the women who choose to cover and to raise awareness for those who are forced to. 

Love, light and the Blessings of the Ancestors. 

 Head Administrator for Occulta Femina, previously known as Covered in Light

 

******************************************

 

Cora here.

It’s true. CiL has undergone a major transformation: a death throe metamorphing into a birth pain. 

To the antagonists who threw so many accusations at us: this change has nothing to do with you. I’ll address you and your stupidity soon enough. See, now it’s just me talking, not a larger group of women that I’m representing, so I don’t have to worry about being PC or having to filter my comments.

To those that believe in ICiLD, do it. Take up the cause, spread the message, be the change you want to see in the world. It all starts with your voice.

The Facebook page is still up and operating. Use it

Clearing Up Some Misconceptions

In the past few days a very strong opposition to a woman’s right to cover has been vocalized. We have been accused of marginalizing the plight many women face in the Middle East who are forced through violence to cover while in public. It has been suggested that a woman living in the Western world should not cover her hair as it means that we too are oppressed. Worst yet, we have been accused of supporting the oppression of women by choosing to wear a head scarf.

Let me be very clear about this: It is not the scarf that oppresses but people that oppress.

Covered in Light is fully aware of the atrocities preformed against women in parts of the world which include the forced wearing of a covering.  We abhor these actions and the actions of the enforcers and stand behind our Sisters in hopes of ending the tyranny. No woman should be forced to wear a piece of clothing that she has not chosen for herself.  We feverently wish that we had the power to help our Sisters who are forced to cover against their will.

The goal of International Covered in Light Day is to bring to light the issues women who cover by choice endure in their lives: profiling by the TSA, spat upon in public, called a terrorist, made to take of their scarf at work, bullied at school. In the 21st century, this should not be happening. We cannot change the minds of religious extremists a world away, but we can change the minds of the citizens in our respective countries.

What has gotten buried in the debate of covering is that this is not an Islamic issue, this is a Woman’s-Right-to-Choose issue. We have the right to wear a piece of cloth on our head if we so choose without being fearful of backslash.   By trying to take that right away from us by using violence, humiliation, and  guilt the message is that women must dress a certain  that pleases society or she will be punished accordingly for daring to exert her individualism. This is an issue that extends into all faith groups, nationalities, ethnicities, cultures, traditions, socio-economic backgrounds, education levels, sexual orientation, and gender identification.

The hijab is not the only option a woman has, but seems to be the only one that gets the attention. Most Sisters prefer the traditional Jewish tichel, others use wide headbands, snoods, bandannas, and a very few wear the traditional Anabaptist kapp. None of these covering options actively oppress a woman.  The adoption of the hijab in the Western culture by no means is done to marginalize this paramount human rights violation. When a woman steps out in public she does so mindful of the oppression of women in other parts of the world.

Women who have been called by their Deity to cover do not take this matter lightly. We have spent our time struggling with the implications, wrestled with the fear of public judgement, but in the end, we have put our trust and faith in our Deity to guide us.

The Sisters Covered in Light ask our opposition to stop spewing accusations and start learning the facts. Stand up with us and be part of the solution.

We are, as always, covered by choice, covered in Light.

First Annual International Covered in Light Day

Due to some very horrid experiences of two of our Sisters, we are planning the first annual Covered in Light International Day for raising awareness about women being discriminated against while veiled and supporting her right to veil if she chooses.

On this day, we are asking women to wear a covering of their choice to stand in solidarity and if they feel so inclined, to organize a parade/march in their local area to spread the word.

A Facebook page with all of the details will be coming soon. The Date is Friday Sept 21, 2012.

As part of the promotion, we are asking women to recreate in a photograph a famous painting of a covered woman to be shared on the events Facebook page to show the timeless beauty of veiled women.

Please start spreading the word!

Who We Are

Covered in Light is a Sisterhood of Pagan/Polytheist self-identified women who have chosen, or are called, to cover their hair as part of their religious observance.

In no way are we oppressed, objectified, suppressed, or made to feel like a second class citizen. The covering of our hair is a sacred act of devotion to our chosen Deities and therefore is approached with devotion and reverence.

We welcome all women from all walks of life to join our Sisterhood if they feel led to do so. Trans-women and women of other faiths who are Pagan/Polytheist friendly and who embrace the Divine Mother are also welcome amongst us with open arms.