Rules You Had No Idea Amish Women Are Supposed To Follow

In today's world of advanced technology, the Amish population's desire to turn away from modern conveniences remains fascinating. More than just their technology gets held over from the past, though, which becomes apparent when you look at the rules Amish women must follow.

Due in large part to their strict interpretation of the Bible, rules for Amish women may seem antiquated to outsiders. For instance, women must be submissive to their husbands, and need to wear plain clothes that cover almost everything. Of course, it's not only women affected by the severe rules in the Amish community. Other practices among the Amish, including shunning members, lack gender exclusivity.

Amish teens get a chance to experience life without these rules by going through Rumspringa, however, which lets them see what the modern world can offer. But their everyday life remains very restrictive, especially if they're women. 

Photo: user uploaded image

  • They Rarely Receive A Higher Education

    For both Amish men and women, formal education stops after eighth grade. Amish men may receive further education through learning agriculture practices on a farm, or by becoming an apprentice at a shop. Men typically learn a trade, since they are expected to provide for their families.

    For women, they may go on to become teachers after the eighth grade, but are required to give up the job once married. For most Amish women, they largely concentrate on domestic matters once school ends.

  • They Must Cover Up With A "Bonnet"
    Photo: Jean-François Millet / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    They Must Cover Up With A "Bonnet"

    The cloth worn on an Amish woman's head often gets called a bonnet by outsiders, but it's actually a "prayer covering." Women typically wear a bonnet on top of the covering when outside, though.

    The "plain color and fabric is meant to show modesty and humility," and anything that might inspire pride or be deemed too unique remains unacceptable.

  • They Are Expected To Submit To Their Husbands

    Both religion and the Bible play a huge part in Amish marriage, and Amish society tends to put the wife in a submissive role to her husband. In public, the husband must lead, and the wife is expected to follow.

    Within the privacy of the home, though, a woman might have more say in matters.

  • They Aren't Supposed To Cut Their Hair

    Amish women can go their entire lives without getting a haircut, due to a literal interpretation of the Bible which deems it a "shame" for a woman to get shorn. Instead, an Amish woman grows her hair long and puts it in a bun under the prayer covering on her head.

    Similarly, Amish men are not allowed to shave their beards after marriage.

  • Their Wedding Dresses Aren't White

    While white wedding dresses remain popular in much of the world, things are a little bit different when it comes to Amish culture. Instead of appearing clad in virginal white at their wedding, Amish women often prefer to wear hues of blue and indigo for their special day.

    Amish women also tend to make their own dresses, which are plainly designed and end at the calf, along with the dresses of the bridesmaids, who are known as "newehockers."

    Because of the practicality of an Amish woman's wedding dress, they often get worn again, especially for attending church. They may even be worn after death, as many Amish women get buried in their wedding dress.

  • They Rarely - If Ever - Wear Makeup
    Photo: Breaking Amish / TLC

    They Rarely - If Ever - Wear Makeup

    The Amish consider themselves "plain" people; the term serves as a point of pride. This means their appearance lacks anything flashy, so Amish women typically don't wear makeup.