“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
The Basket Case Chronicles #125
“For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered” (1 Cor. 11:6).
Without coming to any final conclusions just yet, we should first consider the if, then possibilities. Paul says here that if the woman is not covered, she might as well be shorn. If it is a disgrace for a woman to be shorn in this way, and it is, then she should make a point of remaining covered. So, whatever “covering” means here, not having it is tantamount to a woman having her head buzzed.
Given the larger context, this sentence could be saying one of two things. Paul could be saying “if the woman is uncovered by a veil/shawl/hat, then she might as well have her head shaved.” Or he could be saying that “if the woman has short hair, such that it does not provide a natural covering, then she might as well go all the way and have it all shaved off.”
Now I am inclined to take it in the latter sense here. Saying that “a woman with most of her hair cut off is about the same as having all her hair cut off” seems to follow, in a way that saying “a woman without a hat is about the same as having all her hair cut off” does not.
This is also because to take “uncovered” as not having an artificial cover requires us to say that an uncovered woman with long hair might as well get a buzz cut. But this seems to contradict v. 15, which says that long hair is a woman’s glory. As that glory it is either an analogue to the required artificial covering, or it is that covering itself, provided by nature. But in neither case would it be tantamount to being shaved. The thing that would be tantamount to being shaved would be for a woman to have her hair cropped to such an extent that it did not provide her with her natural covering.