(hopefully a harmless distraction from the more serious stuff – so if you are always serious don’t read any further)
I had a student who wore a baseball cap to all my classes. At first I had an emotional response – who does this guy think he is wearing a baseball cap in my class. Then I got used to it and realized – it does not matter if he wears a cap or not. As long as he does the work and acts civilly in class - who cares?
Next thing you know I was a convert. So much so that I wore a hat and got tossed out of a dinner party. My experience is that most people ignore you when you do not remove your hat at a hockey game when the national anthem is being played. But, a few get downright venomous.
Is there some evolutionary advantage of requiring a hat to be removed at certain times or in some venues?
After visiting Hair Club for Men a few years ago and realizing it was way too expensive to buy a new wig every few months and getting locked into an expensive styling plan even more frequently, I decided to go with the immensely cheaper option of wearing stylish hats for my bald spot.
Nobody expects someone to remove their wig when the national anthem is being played – so why should they have to remove their hat which is being used for the same purpose. Removal of a hat for the anthem can be done by the most morally depraved person who has no respect at all for his countries laws. What is wrong with me substituting hat removal with my hand over my heart instead?
What is wrong with me wearing my hat at dinner?
I suspect the majority of people get enraged with people not removing their hat. I am curious as to what a group of freethinkers will say.
At the dinner table (sorry, got sidetracked; heh): our bodies are our own. Covered or not is our choice and ours alone - and that extends far beyond the dinner table, yep. :)
I read this and suddenly thought of Sheldon from "Big Bang Theory" stating "Social protocol dictates..."
No rhyme or reason I can think of that hats are disrespectful in some settings. I'm sure its religious in origin. I think I read somewhere that when a man prays, he should reveal his head (God's X-Ray vision can't see your thoughts through felt). Whereas when a woman prays, her head should always be covered (out of shame of course, for being a woman and all).
"Is there some evolutionary advantage of requiring a hat to be removed at certain times or in some venues?"
I doubt that hats are a product of evolution in the first place...
If it's a cute hat with kitty ears, I demand you take it off and give it to me. Otherwise, I've never been one to care one way or the other. I don't attribute any special value to headwear, and if I did, I wouldn't necessarily assume that everyone around me assigned that same value to it.
At home I take of my hat and shoes indoors. In the grocery store or other stores, I continue to wear my hat. At work I take it off. I don't care what other people do. Unless you have a chicken sitting on your head - chickens should be removed at important events.
Cockfights would be more interesting that way.
Just to throw another spanner into the works: social norms dictate that MEN remove their hat. Women are free to leave theirs on should they so choose. I suspect this has to do with hair mussing, but not being someone who wears a hat other than my floppy garden hat, I couldn't say for sure.
Oh, and I don't really care about the wearing of hats indoors, but at the dinner table it does seem weird.
If people have chickens on their heads, those should be removed at the dinner table too. Nothing ruins the ambiance of an elegant dinner party like feathers in the pâté en croûte.
My wife is used to me wearing my hat at dinner when we go out. - I don't wear it at dinner at home so much. I just attended a charity church dinner with my wife and am just now thinking back about it since I wore my hat at that dinner. The minister who I have a very cordial relationship with was fine with my hat being on. The people who I met and ate dinner with (head soccer ref for our district) did not seem to be bothered. I just now remembered someone coming over to me with a lot of purpose and asking me why my hat was on mid dinner. I said it is my cheap version of a wig covering my bald spot. That seemed to take the steam out of the reprimand this person intended - they said "oh" and walked away.
I embraced losing hair as part of who I am, and part of "becoming". So I went with close cropped hair to avoid looking funny. The hat prevents sunburned scalp, and rain on the scalp, and keeps it warm, and I like being able to choose what I look like. Indoors being uncovered feels liberating. I'm happy that one shampoo bottle lasts a year, I do my own trimming with an electric clipper in 15 min, less time that it would take to get to a barbershop. I like rubbing my hand over the bristly cropped hair that remains. I like that I look completely different from how I looked 20 years ago, like a metamorphosis. Not to read too much into it. Not everyone would like that, I understand. Each to their own.
I'm a bit slow to engage my appropriateness filter... I would likely have responded with something like, "I really hate it when I get dandruff in my soup."