The Church of England confirmed yesterday that it will soon require female adherents to cover their heads in public, and that the covering should be ‘fluffy, preferably woollen, with a pom-pom on top’.
‘We’re sick of losing ground to stricter religions’ said a spokesman. ‘The bobble hat, as well as representing an English cultural tradition going back many years, is an effective way of ensuring a lady’s modesty. We’re not saying anyone who refuses to wear it is going to hell. We’re just saying they’re probably a slut.’
A pilot study in south London revealed strong support among conservative evangelicals for the move. After two months of hat-wearing last summer the congregation of Holy Trinity, Wallington, went even further, forcing their women to wear anoraks when out and about. It is understood extremist fringes quickly added waterproof trousers to the uniform, ‘just in case’.
The motives of the Anglican ministry have been questioned by observers however. Some pointed out that the church pension board became a major investor in Millets, the high street camping equipment store only last month, while others noted the reversal of the Church’s previous tolerant position, which saw many women ordained to positions of authority. ‘We’ve thought of that’ said the spokesman. ‘Their bobble hats will be called ‘Birettas’ and in accordance with their status, their cassocks will be made of the finest duffel.’
There have also been sinister rumours that female churchgoers unwilling to comply with the hardline rules have been subject to a public tutting. Church officials, however, insist that ecclesiatical law is clear that the only sanction for non-compliance is ‘harmless’ private eye-rolling at coffee mornings. And despite the controversy, there are already signs that the new approach might boost attendance figures.
‘I never knew what the C of E stood for’ said Stacey Williams, 23. ‘But now I know it has a random, defeminising dress code that will make me stand out in public, I’m definitely more interested. And as a committed advocate of equal rights, I just can’t wait to get stuck into making intellectually tortuous feminist justifications for being being forced to sell jumble.’
SuburbanDad, with a hat-tip to IronDuke
2nd March 2011