The Amish, who mostly live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, are famous for being reclusive and their strict way of life. All Amish are simple and plain and cut off from society. They don’t use electricity, which means they can’t drive cars, can’t use phones and can’t use the Internet. The Amish follow the Bible literally; it is their foundation. Taking their cue from the Bible, any person who fails to abide by it will receive severe punishments. For example, if Amish women show their face when someone takes a picture of them means they are breaking the commandments against worshipping graven images.
In particular, it is the Amish women and teenage girls who have it bad. There must be a regime out there to follow that says “The Less You Know, The Better You Are,” as Amish teenagers only have an eighth-grade education because they are taken out of school so they can work on the farm. They can’t even go to high school. These girls, along with their mothers, also must be modestly dressed every day to cover up their bodies. They also don’t cut their hair. The Amish don’t talk about the birds and the bees, so their children don’t even know how to be intimate. To make matters worse, Amish girls suffer from unsanctioned intimate relationships by their own extended family, and if they decide to keep the baby as a result, they know their baby will be born with severe birth defects. This just makes us angry, so we’ve compiled 15 messed up rules Amish women need to live by, from childhood to adulthood.
15. The Education Of Girls Stops When They Turn 14
It’s true and sad. At 14, teenage girls, as well as boys, drop out of school. It’s sanctioned by the government (after many appeals) that the Amish are allowed to decide when they can yank young girls out of school. After that, the young women start vocational training while being monitored by their parents. During this period, many young girls are taught “life lessons,” which include how to earn money, how to save money and how to get away with murder. Oops, skip the latter. We may pity these girls, cry out that it’s not unfair that they are under servitude at such a young age, but nothing would happen because of Amish rules and because of Amish insularity from the outside world. Education is inextricably linked to childhood and teenagers, and to have that be taken away from them means they will border on stupidity, not knowing history, English, science, and math that will continue to be taught beyond the time they have to drop out. That’s the sad part.
14. After The Age Of 14, Girls Get To Learn How To Cook And Sew
Here is another messed-up rule that Amish girls need to live by. The Amish don’t think much about traditional education, and they fiercely abide by their rules after removing girls from school. They do this for practicality. In this way, tweens are taught to be farmers, craftsmen, and copywriters who have the ability to distill brand personality, as well as create alignment and documentation that galvanizes the creative expressions of the brand and inspires the organization. Just kidding! The Amish men and women teach their offspring about trades so they can build those portable space heaters everyone loves and which are sold at the Job Lot. For girls, their mothers teach them exciting life-changing things, which is learning how to cook and learning how to sew or make a quilt. There is a silver-lining though. Some Amish teens continue going to school after the 8th grade in the form of seminars, and correspondence courses.
13. Higher Education Is Bad For Women Because It Might Negate Their Christian Beliefs
Another reason why the Amish pull their kids out of school is that they believe that higher education can negate their Christian beliefs. They are scared of that. That a teenage girl might learn more than what her parents know and more than what her sect knows. Education is freedom, and so this girl, unbeknownst to anyone, will carry her knowledge with her in a secret manner and will find ways to leave her sect covertly before excommunication sets in. This may not happen because basically what the older Amish are saying is they like their kids to be morons. And so, the uneducated tween will not know how to move beyond their community, and what customs she should follow. And because she has no knowledge of the outside world, all she can do is stay. In fact, she will have no choice but to stay.
12. Covering Up As Much As Possible
The poor Amish girls have to abide by custom. This means dressing modestly and upholding their tradition of looking plain, with very little skin showing, and conforming to what other Amish are wearing because they don’t want to stand out from their community. So for women and girls, they wear solid-colored dresses that are dark green or dark purple, and which must fall below their knees. The neck of a blouse or shirt is rounded around the neck and the sleeves are usually three-quarter length. Girls who are single wear white aprons and prayer caps and women, in general, are not allowed to wear makeup. So maybe she’s born with it… or maybe it’s Maybelline.
11. You Can Sleep With Someone, Kinda
When couples begin dating, they “bundle,” which means “bed courtship.” In this way, a teenage girl at the age of 14 or 15, gets to literally sleep with their crush. You sleep in the same bed, and that’s all you are allowed to do. You have to wear all your clothing; women can, however, wear stockings and socks. The practice of bundling involves a couple who are both bound in two separate blankets while laying together on a bed. For the Amish, this is called intimacy. Intimacy!!! And while in bed together, the two teens get to know each other better so that eventually, when they have “intimate relations,” they will not be strangers to each other. This practice of bundling has faded but is still in action. In the older days, bundling beds meant beds that have a board in the middle to prevent touching. Now that’s sexy!
10. Amish Teens Can Get Pretty Wild
Yep, teenage girls can do all of these things and more because they are not yet controlled by the church and have not yet been baptized. This is called Rumspringa, which can be translated to “running around.” Baptism happens in the late teens or when girls (as well as boys) are young adults. Teenage girls don’t take Rumspringa lightly because when they are baptized they become members of the church, and have to abide by rules sanctioned by older Amish folk. These girls will take on many responsibilities, and can’t do many things that normal teens can do. So before baptism, they can experiment with activities that are normally forbidden, such as drinking, having hook-ups and having wild parties where the girls let go. They also take to social media, and somehow know how to take selfies, use Snapchat, and post updates and photos of themselves on Facebook.
9. Do Not Even Begin To Make Assault Claims
Amish men take the Bible literally. From, “The head of every man is Christ, and the head of every woman is man,” Amish women must be submissive. They must submit to their role fully where patriarchy is the rule and gender roles are not questioned. For the Amish girl or woman, they have roles they must do that resemble the exploitation of women in the 1800s. So Amish women must marry, bear children and submit to their husband’s rules. It is they who take care of the children and the household, which includes cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening and maintaining the general welfare of the family. Before marriage, many girls and women are the victims of assault and victims of inappropriate relations by older men and even family members. But in the Amish world, this is not an issue because these things simply don’t exist.
8. Do Not Cut Your Hair, Or Else!
Another messed up rule that Amish women and girls must follow is that they are not allowed to cut their hair. Why? Well, because the Bible dictates it and the Amish live by the Bible. So Amish women don’t cut their hair because they think the Bible says it is a shame for a woman to be shorn. WTF? We hear you. And guess this: men can’t cut their beards. And get this too: if someone else’s hair is cut by you, you will be punished and your actions will be known as a “hate crime.” So cutting hair is a severe offense. It is, actually, the most severe offense that an Amish can do. Girls who cut their hair are punished by shunning or shaming. Are Amish girls and women going for the Kim Kardashian look? Or are they shooting for the Rapunzel look?
7. Victims Might Be Shunned For “Humiliating” Their Assaulter
Inappropriate conduct is done covertly and in such a pervasive manner that most Amish women don’t even know they are victims because they have not been taught that. They think it’s just part of life. If they learn the truth, they may leave the community and go to the authorities to bring charges. But what happens after that? You are shunned by your community. The worst thing about “coupling” is that it is a low priority. Amish women actually view drinking in excess as being worse than unsanctioned intimacy. Drinking is also the same as assaulting a child. Since the Amish believe in confession, all it takes for the assaulter to be pardoned is a public apology. In this messed up world, the victim, rather than the assaulter, is blamed for what happened. The blame is instead placed on the victim for putting the assaulter through public humiliation.
6. They Refuse Help From Feminists And Reject Freedom
The equality of women is not recognized in Amish society. The women simply fill their roles as needed, and are defined by what they can contribute to their husband’s farm. Patriarchy is, simply put, equal to practicality. Amish women do not defy or deny their roles or question their submissiveness because they believe that it is consistent with the divine order of things. For many years, feminists have tried to liberate these women from their domesticity, from their menial and undervalued jobs such as cooking and cleaning. The problem is, most Amish women do not understand liberation and may be comfortable with the role they play in their family’s life. Words like “oppression” and “freedom” do not exist in the Amish world, and while feminists would love to dismantle this patriarchal society, women may defend their roles because they either enjoy their lives or else find comfort being a mother and bearing and rearing children.
5. Women Must Bear Children
In our society, women have their choice to have children. They can get an abortion or give the baby up to a family. What happens to Amish women? Well, they must become mothers. They don’t have a choice or say in the matter, And why do they need children? Well, because they need for them to be little slaves. Think about it. You live on a farm, you are surrounded by other farms, and you don’t have contact with the outside world because your farm and your neighbor’s farm are far, far away from civilization. Did we say farms? Farms, farms, farms! And who’s going to take care of a farm? Certainly, your husband needs assistance. So women get pregnant just because they need their children to take care of the farm. They are even encouraged to have tons of kids. More kids mean less farm work for their parents.
4. Shunning Explained
Shunning, called “meidung” by the Amish, is a punishment and takes the form of excommunication. One can be shunned for crimes like marrying outside your faith or leaving the community to live a more free and modern life. Like rock throwing, shunning is meant to invoke embarrassment for one of those “crimes” and also to show how serious the Amish are when it comes to those who break the rules. That’s because the Amish are dictated by literal readings of the Bible. When an Amish girl is shunned, she is cut off permanently from her community, which includes both family and friends. It is considered one of the most severe punishments an Amish girl can endure. Shunning is so outdated and cruel, so we wonder what happens when a teenage girl is left to herself. She will have a hard time adjusting to a new society and won’t know how to act.
3. That Better Not Be A Status Update!
The only electrical devices Amish women use are those considered useful to their family or society. They live a simple life, which means that such things like calculators and washing machines can be considered an integral part of their lives. But taking to Instagram, running a blog, searching the Internet, checking email, among many other things, are forbidden. In this way, women are really cut off from society. In this way, women can be excommunicated from their community if they use technology. We’re not kidding! And technology, by the way, is referred to as a “sin.” And after committing that sin, women will be issued a warning, a punishment or asked to repent. If they sin again, she will be shunned by her community, kicked off her farm and be unable to communicate or interact with others for as long as she lives.
2. Your Baby May Be Born With Deformities, But That’s Your Fault
Inbreeding WILL happen. An Amish girl today lives in a world where she is descended from just 200 founders in the 18th century and where there are only 250,000 Amish among the living now. This, of course, translates into a very small pool of genes from which couples can choose. They may not even know they are related to each other! This is inbreeding, and babies will most likely be born with genetic defects or a high infant mortality rate. This is cruelty, as the Amish are bringing into the world a child so deformed that he or she will be mocked by others, or worse, live in constant pain. Of course, we’re exaggerating, but it’s hard to talk without hyperbole since a simple blood test can catch instances of inbreeding. The problem here is that the Amish refuse to take a test before the baby is born.
1. You Can Forget Learning About The Birds And The Bees
It’s always hard to convey to your children the dreaded “talk.” Some parents do it so that their children will be well-informed before they inevitably have intimate relations with someone. Others do it to scare their children, pretending something bad will happen if they want to make whoopie. But nowadays the “talk” is necessary since kids have the Internet and are exploring what happens when It happens, as well as looking at unseemly images. For the Amish, this topic doesn’t exist. They avoid it even if their kids want to know more about the birds and the bees. Their parents don’t know how important it is for teaching children the proper terminology for their private parts as well as all about the mechanics of the “act.” As such, since Amish women would rather not talk about the “talk,” their kids might partake in something they know little about and, presto, they’re parents at the age of 14.
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