Updated: Mar 2
That's the real question we should be asking before making assumptions about someone for going against social norms.
I was hired, temporarily; on a job waiting tables. It was all good when I first started. No-fuss about my appearance. Everything went well. I started catching on fast. But after a couple of weeks working for these people, I began to hear fuss from them about the way I do my hair, my headscarf, and dress.
Note: these people were from Germany, and they obviously had a beef with people who dressed like me. They had a very different view than those who grew up in America. In the U.S., we respect religion. After all, religious freedom is what this country was founded upon. I have never, in all my years of work; been scrutinized for my attire by managers. It was really bizarre.
Maybe this was due to the oppression they went through. Maybe it was for some other unknown reason. Nevertheless, they hated the way I carried myself and they wanted to put their two cents into what I did.
It's just a hairstyle, so what's with the beef???
First, it was about how I did my hair. They told me to pull my hair back because they said it was too much in my face. And again, I've been waiting tables for years before this, and no one ever made a big deal about how I did my hair. So I thought: "I can understand. Even if I don't like to do my hair this way, but what could it hurt?" And with all due respect, I changed it up, for their preference. And again, this is a preference and not anything that would have hindered me from my job! I looked at the other waitresses and saw they had their hair in their faces. How much sense did this make? My hair was not in my face, it was very much sprayed down, brushed back, and out of my eyes and face.
A hairstyle is easy to change. And it can also be hard to change for someone who has done their hair the same way for years, worked jobs with it that way for years, went to school and church with it that way for years, and was never demanded to change it until working their current job! Nevertheless, if I want to work at this particular job (which had different requirements) I must change.
Then it was my headscarf
As if that wasn't enough, I also heard from one of my co-workers that it would be wise for me to stop wearing my headscarf. Now, I may not claim this to be of any religious significance, but some do. And what if I did? Nevertheless, I did not take my coworker seriously as I should have and brushed it off. Big mistake!
One night the manager set me down after having a minor conflict with one of my co-workers. Long story short it was about a false accusation against me (it happens) and he didn't take too kindly of me after the fact. He began to hammer in on me about my headscarf, which had nothing to do with the issue being discussed. What is up with that??? "This is not a church," he said. "This is a business. And if you cannot respect our rules, and if you come in again with that thing on your head, you're gone. You're fired."
So it really wasn't about the false accusation, but my "religious stance"??? It seems that people will show you their true colors on an issue when another unrelated issue happens. This seemed strange to me that they would disparage me over my lifestyle. On the other hand, I felt like it was partially my fault for not taking it off in the first place, as suggested by one of my co-workers (not management). It was my mistake for not talking to the manager about it in the first place. Lesson learned. But it was an easy fix.
Nowadays, if someone has something to say about a particular thing I'm doing, and they say the manager doesn't like it, I listen, go ask the manager and see if it's true (if I am unsure of things, as I was in this situation).
But I also sensed that they had no respect for me regarding my faith. And again, if this was a part of my faith, I would not take it off. Yet the attitude they had towards me wasn't so good, even after I took it off.
I politely nodded out of respect. It's their business and they can do what they wish with it, but on the inside; I felt very insulted and misunderstood.
As God-fearing people, we don't leave our faith at the doors of our workplace. We carry it wherever we go. Even on our job.
What I mean is: we don't do it in a way that we're trying to convert people to our Christian way of living, on the job. We just live it ourselves. There is a time and a place for evangelizing in word and that is not on our jobs. We get that. But we don't stop living our lives according to Biblical principles at any time.
And topping that, he accused me of being disrespectful, when in fact; I felt he was doing the same thing to me in regards to my faith, or perceived faith. And this is the first time he had ever spoken to me about this issue. Demanding someone lay down their faith to work for you is not a thing here in America unless you are anti-Christian or anti-faith altogether. Maybe there are some exceptions. But I don't know of any.
And here it is against the law to discriminate against someone based on their faith. Nevertheless, you can't demand respect out of someone, either. You can either choose to accept it and comply or walk away. And if this is how they genuinely felt about me and how I conducted myself, why did they hire me in the first place?
"Just take it off," he told me. But then what else are they going to demand I do? I can't just lay down my faith or values for them. So I had a choice to make. I was then in the valley of decision. Am I going to submit to their scrutiny of my faith and lifestyle, or am I going to find another employer that will be willing to respect that?
And if I would have worn my hair the way it was, my headscarf, or skirt, would it have hindered me from doing my job? No. Of course not! But as the manager says, as it is to be. Let's just say, that was the last day I worked for them.
How do Americans perceive Traditional Lifestyles?
Or as they now call it: the trad life? I've caught some of my American neighbors frowning at me, too. Some of them would shake their heads in disbelief, and dismiss me, even without knowing a single thing about me or what I have gone through. Some of them would scoff telling me that it's an unnecessary thing. I am as singled out as can get. But doesn't even the scriptures teach us to separate ourselves from the things of this world? Doesn't it say that the world would hate us?
So, I can only imagine why this is so frowned upon in our society. What used to be considered 'of the norm' is now dismissed. What was considered to be true and right is now under attack. I've been called a 'legalist' and 'overly religious' in the past. Is the new norm now what we used to call 'rebellion'? Because the new 'rebellion' is now called 'legalism'. Do people not know their history? Even normies used to look and dress like we "legalists" do today. Whether they had faith or not.
Normie vs Rebel of today
Traditionalism is leaning towards traditional morals and values, modesty, traditional family, and way of life. Legalism is preaching for doctrine the commandments of men, and by that; to lay aside the commandments of God. So why all the fuss over my attire? Why can't I dress in a traditional way without people labeling me as this overly dogmatic person? I'm really baffled about how many people have painted me as such just for holding myself to a certain standard, dressing a certain way or doing my hair differently. It's crazy! Even other Christians! The responses I have gotten from others haven't been so good concerning what I have chosen to do with my own life.
If these people think it bad to look down on another person based on how they look, why the double standard? This cuts both ways, people! Both those who hold to a certain standard or lack thereof.
The problem within our society is that going against the social norms and such are perceived as an overly religious move, a judgemental move, and a legalistic move, rather than a positive move towards traditionalism.
What's wrong with setting a traditional standard for yourself? And your family? Religious or not? And how do traditional values differ from legalism? It's how we go about it. It's how we approach the matter.
Standards are how we establish a moral compass for our society. It's how we teach our children right from wrong. It's how we take a stand for morality which our society is drifting away from as time progresses.
But now it's perceived as a negative thing and many a time because of certain groups of people who have misused it, and now people will shun you over it. They will even betray you over it, both those who know you and strangers alike. You can now be fired from your job over it. You will be ostracized over it. It's as if they believe this is the biggest problem in our society. Sure, the misuse of it is a problem. But to me, it’s not the biggest problem on the planet.
If you want to criticize something, why not the degeneracy that has been promoted through the media that is causing our society to crumble? #foodforthought
You can say what you want about the way that I dress, and all of that, but it's not bondage. And there is a reason for it all. My God had a plan, from the very beginning; to separate me from the things of this world!