Friday, June 19, 2009

Veiled Contempt-Part two : "Hijab" (aka The "Fashion Statement That Isn't, Or Is It?" edition)

Holy crap I let this sit waaaaaay too long. Well, I have put my intarwebs boots back on and Am ready to slog back into the fray.

Okay, in part one we addressed the myths that seems to surround the concept of hijab in the west and laid out some basic definitions.

Here is where we get to the fun part.

On to the analysis!

The mentality behind veiling that is forced on women (or that they are "strongly encouraged to"{read:shamed into} participate in) is the same mentality of American or European women being judged or shamed because of what they are wearing.

That's right, I said the same.

"But Dori!" someone is sure to cry, "We are CIVILIZED!"

Excuse me...

::runs to a corner and starts laughing hysterically::

Okay, you want to believe that, we can go ahead from there. Just keep in mind that we live in a culture (and by "we" I mean mainly the US and Canada, potentially the UK, the EU and Australia as well) that needs an AD CAMPAIGN to explain to the general public that a woman doesn't get raped because of what she is wearing. We live in a culture where we are aggressively marketed clothing that is uncomfortable, impractical and damaging to our health because it makes us look "attractive." And to add insult to injury, that shit is expensive to boot! How many jokes are there in mass media about how a woman dresses and what that says about her likes, dislikes, sexual prowess, sexual preference and gender identity? How many fucking reality make-over shows do we have that focus primarily on making sure that women "dress appropriately" for their age and for public consumption? If a woman on one of those shows is young and refuses to dress like a sex-pot, they take away her sweatpants and t-shirts and force her to buy "appropriate" clothes. If shes old and dresses as if she still sees herself as sexy (how dare she! doesn't she know that you are supposed to turn in your vagina and libido once you hit 40?) then they take away her mini skirts and camis to be replaced with more "modest" attire. And if shes either of those things but also fat? Fucking forget about it. AND WE WATCH THIS SHIT FOR FUN! Yeah, that's "civilized." And I'm the motherfucking Easter bunny.

This section is short and sweet really.

The point of this tirade?
Women, their bodies, and how those bodies are clothed or unclothed, is something that is echoed across societies, cultures, politics and religions. Women's dress and what that implies about the culture they are in is used regularly by those in power as example of the civic body.

Pretending that we are "better" or "more advanced" because we have cultural mores that demand that women be less clothed and more publicly accessible as sex objects is absurdness made reality.


  1. Well said. You know, I recently fell off my front porch and broke my jaw and teeth because I was trying to look cute in high heels. No more...