Feminist Face Masks Forever?
San Luis Potosi officials released over the weekend the mandate that masks are required to worn inside or outside of the home. Britain followed suit. OK, Britons probably thought of the idea on their own.
Denmark boasts one of the lowest virus death rates in the world as of August 4, though the Danish government does not recommend wearing masks. Just like Finland and Holland don’t encourage wearing masks being the polar opposite to the governments of the more infected Spain and Italy that do.
Pro and con mask arguments lace the media which made me wonder even long after virus is gone, could veiling one’s face remain in vogue?
There is a long history to women wearing masks beyond her wedding or when meandering in the desert. Disguising a woman’s face has always been advantageous in a patriarchal society offering a certain anonymity. Ladies may enjoy that as more and more often we are watched on-line, on community web-cams, with face-recognition software and drone footage.
Typically someone who wears a mask is a criminal or an outlaw. Who would need to hide their face if not for some evil purpose? True, sometimes a mask is worn by good characters in fiction, such as Batman, but there is always a dark side to the story.
To understand more the meaning of wearing masks, there’s the ancient story where a face mask played a fundamental role in Jesus’ ancestry with his great (numerous times over) grandmother, Tamar.
Tamar married Judah’s eldest son, Er. Because of his wickedness, the bible states, Er was killed by God (luckily death for wickedness days are behind us!). Judah then required his second son, Onan, to marry her and provide offspring for Tamar so that the family line might continue.
Inheritance laws then had substantial economic repercussions requiring one to marry your brother’s childless widow. Any son born between Tamar and Onan was deemed the heir of the deceased Er, and able to claim the firstborn’s double share of inheritance. However, if Er was childless, even after death, Onan would inherit as the oldest surviving son.
Dowries are to blame for such inheritance nonsense. In a patriarchal society, a woman would gain access to a higher-ranking man by paying a dowry. But if the man died before she had children to him, the woman would have paid for nothing, because being a woman she couldn’t inherit the possessions of her deceased husband. Hence children sired by the brother of the deceased husband/brother would be considered as sons and daughters of the first husband in regard to inheritance matters.
So, once Onan wed Tamar he was fond of not orgasming in the, um, authorized orifice opting to, according the Old Testament, “spill his seed on the ground”. Once again, God kills one of Judah’s sons for his wickedness while Tamar finds herself a childless widow for the second time.
At this point, things become really complicated. The law says that Tamar should now marry Judah’s remaining son, Shelah. But he is too young, and so Tamar finds herself betrothed to a child with the perspective that when grown up enough, he’d be forced to marry Tamar and behave like Onan, for the same reasons. Plus the young Shelah must not have been thrilled at the perspective of having to marry a woman 10 years or more older than him. (As the youngest of three brothers the whole notion makes me throw me throw up in my mouth, a little. All due apologies to my sisters-in-law.)
Then there’s Judah, the brothers’ father and his problems. Maybe he could send Tamar back to her family, but then have had to pay back the dowry he had received. Ugh. Also, suffice to say Judah doesn’t want to burden Shelah with the unlucky at love Tamar.
Around this time Judah’s wife died and upon hearing the news Tamar disguised herself as a prostitute he’d stumble upon when going to shear his sheep. Judah saw the woman but did not recognize her as Tamar because of the veil she wore masking her face. Thinking she was a prostitute, he requested her services enabling Tamar to become pregnant by this ruse baring not one baby, but twins, in Judah’s line.
I’m baffled we are asked to believe that Judah has sex with his daughter-in-law who has been living in his family for at least a few years and that he doesn’t recognize her because she is masked by a veil. It reminds me of how Lois Lane is so dumb that she can’t recognize that her fiancée Clark Kent and Superman are the same person, just because Kent wears glasses. Maybe like Lois, Judah wasn’t the brightest bulb, but the story that the Bible tells us is supposed to be a true story and Judah cannot have been that clueless.
Tamar, having secured her place in the family as well as Judah’s posterity, gave birth to twins, Perez and Zerah. Perez is identified in the Book of Ruth as the ancestor of King David all thanks to Tamar’s masking veil.
The mask/veil literally saved Tamar’s life and ensured that her children would become the founders of the Davidic line of Judah’s tribe forever making Jesus’ family tree look more like a telephone pole.