Sunday, August 17, 2008

TV: A Good "Habit"

Well, I found out that the show I discussed in my last post (re: PATHETIC) is called Flashpoint and it stars Amy Jo Johnson as the female lead. After thinking about it, I realized that there are a couple of cop shows that portray strong and intelligent females without exploiting them as sex objects, e.g. COLD CASE and WITHOUT A TRACE.

I've never seen an episode of either one of those shows that put the female leads in any sexually demeaning scenes, so that is refreshing. (Although in Without a Trace the one female character may wear a low-cut top sometimes as you can see in the picture).
COLD CASE is the best, the female lead is always dignified, intelligent, sensitive, brave, and all the while also feminine, but not "sexually explicit." And actually so is the other female officer in the show.

In other TV news, I caught a bit of a film called "The Nun's Story," on TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network, a Christian channel).

At first I did not know what the film was but I knew that it was Audrey Hepburn in the role, so I looked it up and found it. It is a really lovely and interesting film, very well-written, it is based on a novel. I wish I could remember all the dialogue that I found enlightening, but basically the plot is about a woman who enters the sisterhood but eventually decides to leave because she is conflicted about its demands on her. I found myself relating a lot to the character of Sister Luke, wanting to conform to the demands of her decision, but struggling with doubt and "disobedience." One line that really struck me was "Sacrifice is the only test of our love for God." It really made sense to me when I thought about the struggle in having to sacrifice so many things (pride, vanity, desire, etc.) to not only wear a headscarf, hijab, but also to just be a Muslim--in fact, a religious person in general. Of course there are other sacrifices...only eating halal meat when I really want that Big Mac from Mickey D's, stopping to pray when I really want to just sleep or finish some project, wearing a headscarf when I really don't want to. Of course, the nun has to sacrifice so much more such as having a family.

Apparently, when the woman first enters the convent, she wears a scarf that only covers the top and back of her head. Then as she is inducted into the sisterhood, she gets the entire "HABIT." In one scene, it shows a white head cover (a wide oblong fabric) being placed over her head and tied in the back. Then a larger fabric is placed across and on top of her head. Sometimes the clothes were black, sometimes white. I'm not sure what the colors mean, if anything. It's funny, I could relate to the scene which showed the nuns feeling very hot in a warm climate covered in all their garments.

I had written a long paragraph comparing and contrasting the concept of a nun being "detached," from the world and a hijabi's detachment from the world, but it got deleted when my daughter banged on the keyboard and I don't have the energy to rethink-retype. Ugh!

I wonder if people think of nuns when they see a hijabi. I wonder if there's the same type of respect and honor attributed to a hijabi that I would assume is given to a nun? A hijabi can dress in so many different ways, but even if some of the ways are very similar to a nun's dress, my guess is that the hijabi is seen as more..."strange," and there are way more negative stereotypes associated with her garments. I found this interesting link about a nun's habit online. It is a page of "EXCUSES" for nuns not wanting to wear the habit, plus the respective "RESPONSES" to those excuses. It reminds me a lot of some of the reasons for not wearing the headscarf. If you check the link and replace the word "habit" with "headscarf," the reasoning is almost entirely the same! I think the RESPONSE part of the link is a bit harsh in some lines, but the tone of some of the responses is often the same as the response one would get from many Muslims who believe in the headscarf as part of a woman's dress code.
Check it out of you have time and tell me what you think, especially if you are a Christian who has anything to add to this post (e.g. a link to a credible site that explains the history and/or purpose of a nun's habit).

By the way, I accidentally made a typo that I thought was funny: hijabit. Nice combo of the two topics, eh? Heh. I almost made that the title of this post.

Well that's all for now. Thanks for listening.


LisaM said...

I"ve never seen this before - something to look up, I think!

LisaM said...

I love it - "hijabit"! :)

angela said...

I've never seen this before either, glad I stumble uponed here ;)