Check out my latest article on hair covering for married women on This was a tough one to write. I haven't looked at the sources concerning hair covering since my year in Israel post high school. It was hard to fit so much nuance and complication into such a short article. On the one hand I have a renewed respect for the sophisticated and complicated world of halachic psaq. On the other hand I have a lot of questions about modesty and woman's body as an object of Jewish law, which did not find expression in this article. Perhaps some time in the future I'll share those here.
9/6/2009 11:10:37 am

Two thoughts:

1) It seems that the primary purpose of haircovering for married women is as a marker of being married; mahalokot over how much hair can be revealed seem to be about issues of the extent to which marriage is/ought be experienced as ownership of sexual rights.

2) Even where a distinction is made between married and unmarried women, it would pay to examine the issue of marriage age in the different cultures -- if it turns out that women married as they reached sexual maturity, then even arguments about hair covering as modesty are really about hair covering as marking sexually mature women who are (or ought to be, or soon will be) married as sexually unavailable. The prohibition of praying in front of such women, then, would be the result of experiencing sexually mature unmarried women as erotic.

7/17/2012 09:24:52 pm

Hello Alieza,

I am a trainee journalist researching hair covering and would love to hear some more of your thoughts on the subject. Is there a way for me to contact you? Thanks, Alexia

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