18 Things Amish Women Aren’t Allowed to Do That We Take for Granted

Written By Jill Taylor

Life in Amish communities is very traditional, especially for women, and because of this, they have strict rules that forbid many everyday activities most of us take for granted. Here are 18 things that Amish women can’t do that are so common in our daily lives.

Wear Modern Clothing

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Amish women follow a strict dress code, usually wearing plain, long-sleeve dresses and bonnets. This is supported by Amish Baskets, which writes, “Women typically wear mid-calf length skirts with a long-sleeved blouse or shirt underneath.” As you can probably guess, bright colors and trendy styles are a no-go.

Use Makeup or Jewelry

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Their strict way of living means Amish women aren’t allowed to wear makeup or jewelry. They believe in natural beauty and modesty, so they avoid any kind of adornment. This means no makeup, no wedding rings, nothing. They live simply and steer clear of anything that might be seen as vain.

Cut Their Hair

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Something hard to believe is that Amish women can’t cut their hair; instead, they keep it long and usually wear it in a bun with a prayer cap or bonnet. Cutting their hair goes against their beliefs, which means they can’t even tidy it up with a trim.

Pursue Higher Education

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One thing that may come as a surprise is that Amish women usually finish school by eighth grade. They don’t pursue higher education because it’s seen as creating pride and distancing them from their community. Instead, they learn practical skills that help with home and community life.

Drive Cars

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Something we may take for granted is the fact that we can drive; however, this isn’t the case for Amish women, who can’t drive or own cars. They get around using horse-drawn buggies or bikes, sticking to a simple lifestyle. This rule highlights their choice to stay away from modern conveniences outside their community.

Use Electricity

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Many of us wouldn’t last a day without electricity, especially if it meant our phones dying, but Amish homes typically don’t have electricity. They use gas lamps and wood stoves instead. This helps them avoid modern distractions and stay self-sufficient, sticking to their traditional lifestyle.

Participate in Politics

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We may think it’s our right to vote, but Amish women don’t vote or get involved in politics. Instead, their community stays separate from government issues, emphasizing their own rules and religious beliefs. This choice shows their view that divine authority is more important than secular power.

Own or Use Personal Technology

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You won’t catch any Amish woman with an electrical device, as they avoid using tech such as smartphones, tablets, or computers to keep outside influences at bay and preserve their simple way of life. They stick to community-based communication and entertainment, steering clear of modern gadgets.

Work Outside the Community

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Amish women typically do not hold jobs outside their community, which means their responsibilities are centered around home and family, such as cooking, cleaning, and childcare. This focus ensures the preservation of their cultural values and traditions within their homes.

Wear Bathing Suits

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Swimsuits aren’t allowed for Amish women, so taking a dip in the local pool or laying out in the sun is completely off the cards. Amish women must dress modestly, even during fun activities, which can cause some overheating in the summer months. This rule is part of their commitment to modesty in all parts of life.

Attend Non-Amish Social Events

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Since socializing outside the Amish community is generally discouraged, Amish women only participate in events and gatherings within their community, ensuring their cultural values are upheld. This restriction helps preserve their distinct way of life and avoid external influences.

Use Birth Control

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It’s no surprise that birth control is not permitted, meaning Amish women typically have large families. For the Amish, children are considered a blessing and the more you have, the better. This prohibition aligns with their religious beliefs and natural approach to life, valuing the traditional family structure.

Wear Pants

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Wearing practical clothing, such as pants, is against the dress code for Amish women. They are expected to wear long dresses or skirts to maintain modesty and adhere to their community’s standards. This rule reinforces gender-specific roles and traditional dress customs.

File for Divorce

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Due to their religious beliefs, divorce is rare and generally not accepted in Amish communities. Amish women are expected to maintain their marriages and work through issues within the bounds of their religious beliefs. This expectation underscores the permanence and sanctity of marriage in their culture.

Watch Television

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While we may love a Netflix binge, television is prohibited for Amish women, along with other forms of mass media. They avoid entertainment that could introduce secular ideas and disrupt their simple lifestyle. This restriction helps maintain their focus on community and faith.

Listen to Modern Music

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Similar to watching television, modern music is not part of Amish life. Amish women sing traditional hymns and songs that reflect their religious values. This practice ensures that music remains a form of worship and community bonding rather than personal entertainment.

Engage in Sports

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Don’t expect to find Amish women taking part in sports, especially if there’s an element of competition in them. These sports are not common pastimes, and physical activities are usually centered around practical tasks and non-competitive games. This approach promotes cooperation and communal interaction rather than individual achievement.

Travel by Airplane

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As modes of transportation are limited, it means air travel is not permitted for Amish women. Their travel options are limited to those that align with their principles of simplicity and sustainability. This restriction reflects their commitment to a slower, more deliberate pace of life.

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