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Sikh woman gracefully responds to joke on Reddit.

May 23, 2013
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Sometimes I worry that the Internet is too dehumanizing, and lends itself too easily to cruel jokes, criticism, and bullying.  So I was very happy to come across this article.  It’s a great example of how a religious person (or female person, or just any person really) can deflect what could have possibly turned into an awful viral joke, into an uplifting teaching moment.  Western standards of beauty, devotion, and care of one’s body are certainly not universal.  In fact I find the Sikh approach to one’s body to be quite refreshing in this world.  Not only that, but I’m very happy that this woman politely but firmly used the opportunity to teach people about her religious beliefs.  Great moment.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2013 3:56 pm

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Some of the comments were interesting, such as:

    “Ok.. point taken, I admire this lady’s courgage. But if she can clip her finger nails, wear glasses to correct her defective vision and brush, bathe and wash to get rid of natural body odors; is it really all that materialistic to get rid of a little facial hair to look more feminine? she is a beautiful woman and she should live to up her beauty along with faith :)”

    and:

    “Bathing, clipping your nails and brushing your hair can be done for cosmetic reasons but they are also done for sanitary reasons. Shaving is about conforming to society’s standard of femininity and beauty. There are no health or sanitation reasons to shave other than to change your appearance.”

    I always seem to compare stuff like this with my rather former ‘belief system’ — Mormonism. I have to wonder about the ‘only one earring per ear’ ruling (or is that a quasi commandment or dire ‘standard’ that one is expected to adhere to?), the conservative attire for attending church (only white shirts for the male lay leaders), and stuff like that.

    Going by some of the comments made by Sikhs, it appears that the removal of facial hair isn’t a hard and fast rule, but is left up to the individual. Mormonism should take this as an appropriate example as to why it should ‘lighten up’ instead of contributing to some of the reasons a lot of the members (females?) in Utah take more than the national average of psychotropic dugs for the purpose, perhaps, to cope with all of the edicts to conform.

    I’m for a rational balance of standards, be that for dress, grooming, sexual orientation or whatever, which need only conform to a basic sense of ‘common decency’ in the over-all, primary locus of where one resides.

    Just saying.

  2. May 23, 2013 8:47 pm

    In my experience, whenever the LDS church leaves certain things up to interpretation (fasting, Sabbath day observance, eating meat sparingly, tithing on net or gross, etc.) people kinda freak out and demand clarifications – or they use their own personal interpretation to judge others. There’s a weird push/pull between leaving people completely up to their own devices, or making rules for everything. There isn’t a very good “happy medium” because some people will always demand clarification and others will demand elasticity.

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