4. Rules and Customs

Clothing/Dress

  • Women make most of the clothes
  • Have a distinct and plain way of dressing because they believe that clothes should display modesty and not display individuality
  • Typical dress for women:
    • A long dress with long sleeves
    • Cape
    • Apron
    • Bonnets or caps to cover hair
    • No makeup
  • Typical dress for men:
    • Dark pants, suspenders, white shirts and dark jackets on top
    • Broad brimmed straw hat

Gender Roles

  • Traditional gender roles
    • Wives subordinate to husbands, submit to the man’s will
    • Men in charge of spiritual life and providing for the family
    • Women in charge of raising kids and domestic tasks
  • Males assume most leadership positions in community
  • Women not given formal church roles

Marriage

  • May only marry other Amish people
  • Men grow beard once they get married in place of wearing a wedding ring
  • Amish do not get divorced
  • Do not use any form of birth control

Technology

  • No electricity in the house, meaning no lights, radios, televisions, microwaves or any other modern kitchen appliances.
    • Electricity may be used in barns for work purposes
  • No phones in house, but can have them outside
  • No computers or internet access
  • Not allowed to drive cars, but can accept rides in them
  • New modern conveniences are routinely assessed to see if they can be accepted into community, as long as they do not disrupt the Amish way of life

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