Put Your Hat Back On!

I’ll admit that I’ve kind of been baffled by gender roles.

Like, I never understood why I couldn’t hit girls, especially if she hit me first.  I never understood why a man was supposed to walk on the street side with a woman–especially when it seemed Mama Uppity frustratingly was the only woman who seemed to be worried about it.  I also never understood, fully why a man had to open the door or pull out the chair for a woman.

For one that operates in reality and functionality the above never made sense to me.  About the only one I could see is opening a door, simply because some doors are heavy and some women simply can’t open the door.  Now, does this mean that I never open doors for women or never pull out chairs, no, not the case at all–especially because the women in my life like it.  But please know in the back of my mind, I’m saying to myself “This ish is stupid.”

However, I can kind of get passed all of these because apparently society isn’t still hell bent on those.  My ultimate one that works my nerves is the fact that men have to take their hats off inside a building or as a sign of respect.

WTF?!?!?

This serves absolutely NO purpose to me. 

I mean, this is something that we have imposed on society that as far as 2008 is concerned serves no purpose.  Who benefits from saying “Boy, take off your hat?” the old church lady sitting in the corner wielding some left over power?

I remember back when I was in high school and it was our turn as the youth choir to do kitchen duty on Sunday (yeah, frying chicken, cutting up vegetables, cleaning dishes) and one of the guys had on his du rag and one of the church ladies just went off!  I mean, went smack off on him for “how dare he wear that inside and let alone in the house of God.”  Even at the time I realised this was completely off.  If nothing else, working in food, she should  have let him keep it on because he had on the best equivalent to a hair net.

Coming from a church culture where women’s hats or headwraps are divinely inspired, it’s interesting to see their reactions toward the youth.  Frankly, I don’t see a problem with guys keeping fitted caps on inside.  I don’t think it inhibits one from getting close to God when a guy has on a hat

I just recently heard a sermon that included an exegesis that asserted the Old Testament theology that one had to get oneself consecrate oneself before they entered the Holies of Holies.  And that became a launching pad to do a sermonic tangent about proper dress in the church.  Well, I understand that in the context of the Old Testament, but was there not a New Testament when the biblical record clearly records that the veil in the Temple was torn, symbolic of the fact that God had made God’s self more accesible to humanity? 

Now, I’m not advocating that women should come in with something lowcut on their chest or that men should come in wearing something that is so tight it shows off all their business either–why because saying that serves a functional purpose: if it hinders one’s primary purpose for being at church, I think one should think twice about wearing it.  I don’t think we should be stumbling blocks.

But, I think older people should start wondering why in some cases resentment exists between the generations.  Even at my age, I really don’t understand how and why we’ve held onto the “men shouldn’t wear hats inside” rule.  It makes ABSOLUTELY no sense.  We just do it because we always have.  It’s up in the rankings with the reason the sky is blue, is because we accept blue as the norm.  There’s really nothing else to it.  However, saying the sky is blue serves a better function than telling men not to wear hats inside–and at least the sky doesn’t have aught with being referred to as blue.

I went to a Baltimore Orioles game this summer as well, and I didn’t stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance to a frickin’ flag, nor the Star-Spangled Banner (which was set to a popular British drinking tune, go figure).  I have my own reasons, but damn, the primary reason is to simply challenge why do we do what we do?  (Franky, as an American citizen, I’d feel more comfortable singing the fourth stanza of the song as opposed to the first.)

I’ll entertain the argument as far as guys saggin’ their pants, but at the end of the day, I really don’t care.  I think guys should be aware of it however.  Simply because when I went to Ben’s Chili Bowl in DC back in late May, some guy just had his butt out for the nations and as small as that restaurant was, I didn’t wanna eat chili cheese fries with a side of ass.  And definitely to go so far as to legislate against it is by far one of the most heinous things I’ve ever heard of.  Do we not have other much more pressing issues to worry about in this country?  If anyone is pea-brained enough to think that suddenly their township or municipality is not going to have any problems because it passed a decency act, then I want some of what they were smoking.

So to guys like me who wear baseball caps, fitteds or whatever piece of head gear you normally rock, the next time you walk inside a building and someone gets enough nerve to ask you “Please take that off, sir or young man,” I challenge you to turn to them and look them squarely in the face and ask them “Why?”

Yes, I’m trying to start a revolution here.  I doubt whatever of you decide to leave comments that you’ll actually have a functional reason why a man shouldn’t have on a hat.  I mean some men have bad hair days to and we’re forced to take our hats off as well.  But, please don’t let my forcefulness deter you from leaving comments.  I’d love to hear what those of the Network have to say about this.

Don’t forget to check out my latest posts:

Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL

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6 responses to “Put Your Hat Back On!

  1. And this revolution accomplishes….?

    The old people / old guard, because of how the world works, will die off–the currrently young take their places and generally make many of the same mistakes.

    The circle of life involves revolution. Hat on, drawers showing–respect for your head and not your behind. Hiding behind the hat and uncovering your rear end? What’s the real message here?

    Traditionally, Uppity Negroes moved beyond the common expectations of the unwashed masses. I guess things change–maybe devolution works for those who don’t value being in this world but not of this world. The disguise of hat on, butt out works for those who embrace the debilitating status quo.

    Be uppity!

  2. @dowl

    I don’t think mistakes were made as a result of whether or not men wore hats inside a building or not. Moreover, I 100% disagree that wearing hats in a building is a devolution of humanity.

  3. Why should ladies sit with their legs closed? Why do we cover our mouths when we yawn? Why do men wear colorful nooses around their necks and call it ‘fashionable’?

    Because if we want to be seen as polished and upright, then we do what polished and upright people do.

    While I would never correct a man for wearing his hat inside (unless he is my own son), I would think less of a man who challenged an older person for doing so. I would assume he is going through normal teenage rebellion or, if he is a grown man, I would think he lacked class. There are bigger fish to fry.

  4. @kaizen4life

    I still am wanting to challenge these customs and practices–we simply attribute them as what is “polished and upright.”

    And I’m asking the more enduring question of why do we see these behaviours as “polished and upright.”

  5. Good question. I guess because SOMETHING has to seperate those with ‘class’ from those without. Generations ago, it was decided that certain behaviors were classier than others.

    That is changing as generations come and go, so there is hope for your indoor hat revolution. In the past, having very pale skin was in fashion. Now, tanned skin is the way to go. In the past, a female with class wouldn’t dream of wearing immodest clothing. Now, not so much.

    I understand your desire to buck the society’s expectations of you. I felt the same way in the past and expressed myself by refusing to wear dresses/skirts and hyphenating my last name when I got married.

  6. @Kaizen4life

    Well, call me socialist or Marxist, but I’m not in favor, necessarily, of many of these things that separate the classes. I think in a day in age where money alone is a barrier enough, I don’t think we as humans can afford to make the barrier larger than what it is.

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