Monday, 1 April 2013

Hijab or not Hijab:

Why don't white feminists listen to Muslim women who choose the hijab and don't feel oppressed?

Do you suppose it might have something to do with the arguments often employed to explain why the hijab is not oppressive?

You want to wear the hijab and assert your right to choose to do so? Go ahead. But please don't use the following arguments:

1. That rape is caused by western clothing. A veil is not an anti-rape device. To state that clothing prevents rape, is to state it also causes rape, that's victim blaming. Not to mention that erases the countless women raped while veiled.

2. That it's some sort of moral choice that makes you better than other women. You want your choice respected? Then don't persist in telling the rest of us that we're basically sluts and whores because we didn't choose what you choose.

3. That other clothing is somehow us giving permission to others to treat us as lesser or badly. My dress is no more an agreement to shitty treatment than your Hijab is a yes to discriminatory treatment.

4. Any argument that compares women to food. I am not a lollipop, meat or anything else. My clothing is not the equivalent of leaving food uncovered, and men are not slavering dogs or children.

and please do recognise that no matter what a woman wears, she does not do it in a vacuum ever. We are all subject to cultural and social pressure about our clothing, you do not escape this.

In summary, choose to wear one, or choose not to, just stop judging people who don't and stop dressing it up as a special badge of super modesty.

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