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To think to say wearing the hijab brings you 'respect' and 'security'.

(305 Posts)
Eltonjohnssyrup Thu 08-Feb-18 08:09:23

Just to start off - this is not a 'ban the burka' thread. I respect the right of all women to wear exactly what they want be that a burka, a bivouac, a hijab, short shorts or a bikini.

It was World Hijab Day yesterday. An event which was promoted by government agencies including the Home Office.

The organisation promoting this event has claimed that the hijab brings you 'liberation'. I'm fine with that. I can see how it would feel liberating not to have to worry about bad hair days or styling every day. And feeling liberated is a personal thing. One woman might feel liberated wearing a full length skirt and long sleeves, one might feel liberated in a bodycon dress and bikini.

But then they went on to say that the hijab brings you 'respect and security'. I feel really uncomfortable about this. It implies that there is a type of respect which women who do not wear the hijab are unworthy of. That showing our hair makes us unworthy of automatic respect.

And 'security', security from what? Harassment? Rape? Terror attacks? This sort of language is moving the responsibility for women's security onto women by saying 'wear this and you'll be secure'. In other words, don't wear it and you're taking risks, asking for it, sending out a signal it is okay to grope or harrass you.

This makes me really uncomfortable, especially in the era of me too. AIBU to think that this campaign should be moderating it's language to avoid tarring those who don't wear it with negative associations? And that the government and Home Office shouldn't be endorsing an organisation that uses it? It's not sending a message of 'women are free to wear what they like' and instead is sending a message that if women want to safe and respected they must cover up.

Tapandgo Fri 09-Feb-18 23:37:08

The hijab does not bring a person respect, security or liberation. A bullet proof vest, huge bank balance and independent life could give you that more than a hijab. Utterly ridiculous claims being made about a black shroud.

I’m sure most of us feel respected, secure and liberated regardless of what we put on that day.

crunchymint Fri 09-Feb-18 23:39:37

Totally agree OP and is based on the concept that women who are "modest" deserve more respect and are safer from sexual harassment. Very misogynistic.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Fri 09-Feb-18 23:40:15

It’s some Words to make the many decent women that wear hijab feel more

Let it lie OP sheesh

ThreeFish Fri 09-Feb-18 23:40:56

The home office supported this view? Links please.

Guavaf1sh Fri 09-Feb-18 23:41:13

Absolutely spot on OP

crunchymint Fri 09-Feb-18 23:41:54

Yes please link what the Home Office said OP. Because this deserves to be protested

lucylouuu Fri 09-Feb-18 23:41:56

you say feeling liberated is a personal thing, perhaps feeling secure can be a personal thing to?

lucylouuu Fri 09-Feb-18 23:42:52

deserves to be protested?! because there's a day to make women who wear hijabs feel supported? wow

shakeyourcaboose Fri 09-Feb-18 23:42:55

Emmm so its only 'decent' woman who wear one? Are those of us who don't then indecent??

FrancisCrawford Fri 09-Feb-18 23:44:48

they went on to say that the hijab brings you 'respect and security'

How does a garment do this?

If it were the case, everyone would wear it and there would be no rape, murder, assault etc

By saying that a garment does these magical things does imply that women not wearing it are not worthy of respect and do not deserve to be secure, otherwise they would wear it.

crunchymint Fri 09-Feb-18 23:48:56

lucy Yes the Home Office should not be saying that women who wear the Hijab are more respected or safer.

Red2017 Sat 10-Feb-18 00:01:06

everyone has the right to be respected regardless of how they are dressed

just to clarify hijab is not a head covering it's more than that... loose clothing.. mannerisms etc ...

Turkkadin Sat 10-Feb-18 00:03:52

Again this is a Muslim thing. The scarf is worn by Muslim women.
A women wearing the hijab scarf is seen by Muslim men as pious, devout, not to be leered at in a sexual way. Virtuous, virginal if unmarried, family orientated, unavailable for anything other than a serious relationship if not yet married.

Turkkadin Sat 10-Feb-18 00:04:36

All these things make her worthy of a mans respect.

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 10-Feb-18 00:05:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SersioulycanitgetWORSE Sat 10-Feb-18 00:05:48

It's tricky when we have women being disappeared and thrown in jail right now as a protest against being forced to wear one. confused

echt Sat 10-Feb-18 00:11:31

shit stirring as usual Elton


MissionItsPossible Sat 10-Feb-18 00:12:47

I personally don't mind a hijab if that's what a woman wants to wear but I really don't like the niqab and don't agree with its usage in this country.

ReanimatedSGB Sat 10-Feb-18 00:20:09

It's a tricky one. Women should, obviously, wear what they want, for whatever reason they want (as should everyone) and I have certainly read enough stuff from women who choose to wear hijab or dress in 'modest' clothes as a kind of loyalty-to-their-culture stance rather than being coerced into it. And there are also women who are forced to cover themselves, along with being subjected to other forms of misogynistic mistreatment.
Then again, women wearing hijab in the UK and some parts of Europe are sometimes attacked in the street by racists. So I think the idea of 'National Hijab Day' is well-intentioned but... not getting it quite right.

crunchymint Sat 10-Feb-18 00:22:11

My issue is if the Home Office said that the hijab brought security and respectability.

echt Sat 10-Feb-18 00:44:05

Here's a link to the Evening Standard which mentions the role of the FO:

And here's Al Jazeera:

RunningOutOfCharge Sat 10-Feb-18 00:45:55

Well the home office might like to think that

Majority clearly don't though

BonnieF Sat 10-Feb-18 00:49:46


ALL women are ‘worthy of a man’s respect’, and if he does not respect a woman wearing a short skirt or a low-cut top, the fault is with him, not her.

FreudianSlurp Sat 10-Feb-18 00:52:41

But then they went on to say that the hijab brings you 'respect and security'.

The Standard link above says "In an internal memo, the Foreign Office said that the headscarf is worn by some women who see it as representing “liberation, respect and security."

Not quite the same thing. They are not saying it brings respect etc, they are saying that some women see it that way, which they do.

InionEile Sat 10-Feb-18 00:56:43

If it confers 'respect' and 'security' on women who wear it, then someone better tell that to men in Egypt where there is an 'unparalleled scale of sexual violence in the country' according to a government report covered in Al Jazeera. The majority of women in Egypt wear hijab but it doesn't seem protect them from sexual assault and harassment and that's not even counting rates of sexual harassment and assault in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia where all women are obliged to wear hijab. Of course, officially, their governments claim they don't have problems with sexual assault because women are forced to dress 'modestly'...

Outside of Muslim countries, I think the hijab issue should be left to Muslim communities to deal with and spend their own resources on. Sure, bolster women's self esteem who wear it but why involve the Home Office and the broader society, which is 95% non-Muslim? Leave it to private individuals to figure out for themselves rather than having the government involving itself in people's religious choices, in either a negative or positive way.

shakingmyhead1 Sat 10-Feb-18 02:31:56

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KC225 Sat 10-Feb-18 02:46:46

I don't like it. And I loathe seeing it on little girls. I think a World Hijab Day is bloody insult when you see the protests in Iran. For many many women around the world it is NOT a choice.

silentpool Sat 10-Feb-18 02:52:20

I will tolerate it but I do not like it. It does not mean that you are a "better" woman, than someone who wears Western dress. I hate this assumption that the rest of us are indecent slags, by comparison. If you can't be respectful to all women, you need to book a plane ticket to a deserted island and leave us in peace.

Lethaldrizzle Sat 10-Feb-18 05:43:44

It brings you neither in some parts of the world according to this book

Oblomov18 Sat 10-Feb-18 05:56:29

I think the whole campaign is awful. A day? This promote 'respect and security'. Telling, of our times.and I don't agree or support this. I find it frightening that the Government is supporting this.

worstwitch18 Sat 10-Feb-18 06:12:50

If a hijab brings you respect, security, and liberation then why aren't men wearing them?

Tapandgo Sat 10-Feb-18 06:19:48

*Again this is a Muslim thing. The scarf is worn by Muslim women.
A women wearing the hijab scarf is seen by Muslim men as pious, devout, not to be leered at in a sexual way. Virtuous, virginal if unmarried, family orientated, unavailable for anything other than a serious relationship if not yet married.All these things make her worthy of a mans respect*
That is very scarily suggesting women not wearing a hijab are fair game to be leered at!
Not sure who all the men ‘leering’ are meant to be, but if ‘these men’ lack self control maybe the men should wear a burqa. See how fast that would catch on. The very idea that all men are likely to be leering at women is pretty insulting to men ~ but simply isn’t happening anyway.

Tapandgo Sat 10-Feb-18 06:22:36

*Again this is a Muslim thing. The scarf is worn by Muslim women.
A women wearing the hijab scarf is seen by Muslim men as pious, devout, not to be leered at in a sexual way. Virtuous, virginal if unmarried, family orientated, unavailable for anything other than a serious relationship if not yet married.All these things make her worthy of a mans respect*
That is very scarily suggesting women not wearing a hijab are fair game to be leered at!
Not sure who all the men ‘leering’ are meant to be, but if ‘these men’ lack self control maybe the men should wear a burqa. See how fast that would catch on. The very idea that all men are likely to be leering at women is pretty insulting to men ~ but simply isn’t happening anyway.

UnsuspectedItem Sat 10-Feb-18 06:23:31

Surely the security and respect comes from being able to practise their religion without concern, to live in a country that is tolerant of how people choose to dress.

I moved to Saudi Arabia three weeks ago and its made me far more open minded about hijabs and other Muslim traditions.

I live in Riyadh, the most Conservative place in Saudi Arabia and never once have I been given any reason to feel uncomfortable for NOT wearing a hijab.

So long as people are CHOOSING what they wear then it's ridiculous to get frothy about it.

Tapandgo Sat 10-Feb-18 06:26:03

Sorry for double post, was quoting from Turrkadin’s post

Skarossinkplunger Sat 10-Feb-18 06:28:03

I have no respect for a religion that tells women they have to cover themselves.

picklemepopcorn Sat 10-Feb-18 06:32:11

No one is getting frothy about what women choose to wear. Some of us are getting frothy about the FO implicating that women without Hijab are less secure and respected.

DianaT1969 Sat 10-Feb-18 06:57:53

Unsuspecteditem it isn't a choice if the men in your culture are misogynistic and experiencing sexual harassment is an everyday fear.
No woman needs to wear a shroud to pray. Anyone can practice their religion without one. Sadly (in *some* communities) Muslim men know that other Muslim men won't treat their wives/sisters/mothers with respect if they aren't covered, or their freedom controlled.
We need 'world enlightenment day for Muslim men'. Not 'world cover up women day'.

londonrach Sat 10-Feb-18 07:00:33

Seen more as fear than respect sadly.

Growingboys Sat 10-Feb-18 07:03:01


Very good post. How depressing that the Home Office went along with this sexist, outdated nonsense.

Nothing makes me angry like people talking about 'modest' fashions.

cupcakemania Sat 10-Feb-18 07:07:36

A world hijab day to get women to try a hijab?

So is there a world non hijab day where hijab wearers are encouraged to remove them?

whiteroseredrose Sat 10-Feb-18 07:07:59

IMO wear what you want. But please, for my safety and security, take it off before you come into my bank, just like someone wearing a motorcycle helmet.

sportinguista Sat 10-Feb-18 07:20:54

Perhaps it would be more constructive to stand with the women in Iran who want to take it off?

The FO should have maybe chosen their wording better and no the hijab doesn't make a better person, it's piece of cloth, no more no less.

For what it's worth I wouldn't try one as I hate wearing anything on the head and only cave into a wooly hat if it's very cold.

malaguena Sat 10-Feb-18 07:32:58

The muslim-bashing over the last few days is unreal! It's all men that need to be 'enlighted' actually Diana, not just Muslim men. The #metoo movement shows how endemic sexual harassment and violence is in the West too doesn't it hmm? I was harassed in the street throughout my teens, I was groped, I was flashed at, I had men follow me, I had a man put my hand on his genitals. I was a shy and meek girl and often too polite to tell them where to go. This is my experience of growing up in the West. I started wearing hijab, this never happened again. I spent some time in North Africa (not Egypt though), the worse I have had is someone whistling at me once. So yes, I feel more secure generally. I know it doesn't protect me from rape, and I wish a large number of men were not abusive pigs and women could exist without fear of harassment. Until then, I will continue wearing my hijab. I can't change their behaviour, but I find that covering my hair works well for me. It is not to say that other women are indecent, every woman has to find her own way to cope with this misogynistic environment. Of course it is always the behaviour of men that is at fault. I have also noticed that my hijab seems to make some men quite uncomfortable, men who I believe are deeply misogynistic and enjoy treating women like shit. I have been asked repeatedly why I wear that and that I would look prettier without. Well you know what, my job is not to be pretty and I quite like making this type of men feel unsettled for a change. I see my hijab as a way to say to society: back off, you aren't projecting your fantasies over my body. This is my narrative and I am allowed to express it too. Note: I completely disagree with what is happening in Iran or in Saudi Arabia, but for me these are two deeply authoritarian and oppressive regimes with their own pseudo 'religious' practices who have little to do with mainstream Islam.

Tortadellanonna Sat 10-Feb-18 07:37:16

If a woman wants to wear a hijab or niqab, what the fuck is it to do with you. A lot of the replies on this thread are just racist.

SandyY2K Sat 10-Feb-18 07:46:25

They are not saying it brings respect etc, they are saying that some women see it that way, which they do

Yes. This is correct.
There is no suggestion thst women who don't wear hijabs aren't deserving of respect and don't feel secure.

I'm not sure why there's a need to overanalyse these kind of things.

pepperpot99 Sat 10-Feb-18 07:58:32

I see the wearing of the burka as an admission of the males in that society that they are incapable of controlling their urges and that if they see a bit of female flesh they should be given permission to rape or sexually harass.

We often read about rape being used as a punishment meted out by village elders in Neanderthal communities when a female has dared to show a bit of independence or had a relationship which is not endorsed by their strict cultural codes. These are in communities where covering yourself up is expected. The whole thing about 'respect and security' is a red herring as far as I can see. It's another way of men being given permission to rape and abuse women as far as I can see.

Boulshired Sat 10-Feb-18 08:04:58

I would like to read the discussion on how we can I have a “worlds day” on clothing that whilst chosen by some is also forced on others.

Turkkadin Sat 10-Feb-18 08:07:16


I definately don't think wearing a headscarf means a woman should be respected anymore than one who doesn't. I'm just quoting my perception of this. I've been married to a Muslim man for 15 years so I've spent a lot of time observing this issue.

LokiBear Sat 10-Feb-18 08:10:03

My clothes make me feel confident and secure. I don't wear a hijab, but my clothes are a huge part of my personality and, in my job, I certainly dress to illicit a respect from other people that I'm competent. I really do not see this issue.

GreenSeededGrape Sat 10-Feb-18 08:12:12

Oh right malaguena and poor just like that you were 'safe and respected' hmm

I hate seeing the girls in summer in their summer uniforms with long sleeves and leggings underneath and scarf on their head. It's absolutely not necessary.

bluebells1 Sat 10-Feb-18 08:13:33

Any woman should be free to wear what she likes and feels comfortable in. Having said that, outfits that cover a person's face must be banned. Would it be OK for anyone to walk about in balaclavas and other face masks? So why is face covering an option?

LemonShark Sat 10-Feb-18 08:15:19

I agree OP. I believe a woman (and a man) should be able to wear whatever they like and observe their religion through garments if they wish. I have zero issue with women wearing Islamic dress and would actively go against any government who tried to outlaw this.

But, I agree entirely with the problematic nature of saying it brings respect and security/safety. That's dodgy territory to imply that a garment leads to respect and security that should already be there whatever you're wearing. It flies pretty close to implying that if you don't wear hijab you're less likely to be respected or safe or entitled to those things.

I have similar problems with the idea of 'modest' dress being called that. Because the flip side, immodest, is a negative term. Modest is good, immodest is bad. It implies to me that anyone not dressing 'modestly' therefore is immodest. I resent companies that sell suitable clothing like M&S using the term modest as by default it means the other items they sell that don't cover you are immodest and so are the women wearing them. I'm really uncomfortable with the term modest, but I also see it has different connotations within religion and perhaps has developed into a term that simply means 'suitable dress for the religion' rather than the English language meaning which has the flip side of immodest. Maybe.

These threads always make me wonder why nobody is up in arms about nuns wearing a head covering.

Personwithhorse Sat 10-Feb-18 08:15:44

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pisacake Sat 10-Feb-18 08:29:30

I am in a Muslim country and I see hijab-wearing women sharing cartoons of women being hung by their tongues being tortured in hell for not wearing hijab (alongside other 'crimes', such as women talking to men other than their husband, being vain, etc.)

The idea that it brings you respect is nonsense. It's a tool to oppress women first and foremost.

WonderLime Sat 10-Feb-18 08:39:12

If people want to live in the U.K. they need to intergrate, speak English and dress like we do

How do we dress, exactly? I thought the wonderful think about the U.K. was having the freedom to express yourself through clothing. If I choose to express my religious an cultural values through my clothing, you’d just refuse to have anything to do with me?

I’m white and non-Muslim - am I allowed to wear long clothing and a headscarf?

There’s an awful lot of biogoted and racism commentary on this thread. If a women chooses to wear a hijab that is entirely up to her. It’s not up to you to police her clothing as a means to liberate her - just in the same way it’s not up to men to dictate what she must wear if she wants to remain part of her culture.

In the U.K. we should be giving women support to make their own decisions. If a women does feel liberated and respected in a hijab then so be it - I feel respected and liberated in some of my power-outfits for work. Am I not allowed to feel like that because it excludes women who are wearing jeans?

We should be working to encourage all women to feel however they want about themselves in what ever clothes they like.

And safe should just be a societal norm (I know it’s not at the moment, but all women should feel that regardless).

Tapandgo Sat 10-Feb-18 08:39:31

lying doesn’t help anybody

Turkkadin Sat 10-Feb-18 08:41:07

I agree with pisacake.

DoinItForTheKids Sat 10-Feb-18 08:44:39

If the women who wear it are saying themselves that it brings liberation respect and security I'm afraid I can't see that in ANY way as a positive thing at all because it indicates that they know (within their community / religious community) that they will not be respected if they didn't wear one (which is about avoiding judgement and wanting acceptance, it's not about respect). Seems to me it's about relief at having conformed to expectations of others, not a genuinely positive, self-generated, fully autonomous decision, it's being driven by outside influence (or so it seems). I'm sure that's not the case for everyone but I would love to know that if you did come from a community where the hijab was worn by virtually all women, and you didn't wear it, what would things be like for that person??

lazyarse123 Sat 10-Feb-18 08:50:10

Turkaddin respect should be mutual. Have you been brainwashed that you need a man's respect to survive?

Boulshired Sat 10-Feb-18 08:53:37

How do women celebrate an item of clothing that will have another woman arrested or worse for removal. Choosing to wear clothing is for me what this an open should be about. But avoiding the difficult conversation about clothing and the misogynistic and violent force of clothing should be addressed not celebrated.

Justanotherlurker Sat 10-Feb-18 08:56:03

* I would love to know that if you did come from a community where the hijab was worn by virtually all women, and you didn't wear it, what would things be like for that person??*

sportinguista Sat 10-Feb-18 08:57:07

malaguena I live in a Muslim area and have been spat at for wearing a sleeveless summer dress before, at best I often get some quite dark looks from both men and women of that faith. I dress fairly normally and since I am now middle aged not particularly revealing stuff either. It doesn't make me feel safe or respected. I've never had this from any other grouping just from this one. The Jehova's have never hassled me to dress more modestly or the people from the church across the road! There are very few muslim women in my area who do not wear the hijab or a niqab.

Turkkadin Sat 10-Feb-18 08:57:34

lazyarse123 I am not Muslim. I don't wear a hijab. I don't need to wear one to get anyone's respect and yes I see them as oppressive.

GoatPavlova Sat 10-Feb-18 08:59:54

I think women who choose to wear modest dress, including hijab but not exclusively Muslim women, have an equal right to feel more confident and secure because they are dressed as they want to be. They are not alone. Many Jews and fundamentalist Christians believe modest dress is important. I think Quakers do as well.

Of course women should feel secure however they are dressed but we certainly shouldn’t be suggesting that the feelings of those that choose modesty are invalid.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Sat 10-Feb-18 09:14:06

It was probably clumsily done

The the fact is that the bans , the rows and the protests relate primarily to the full cover veils .

The hijab is a less drastic and more common way for women to show their faith and heritage

I think to collapse this day with:
France banning the FULL veil
Woman in Iran protesting the FULL veil is inaccurate

I also feel that people use feminism to rally this cry but for me it reads like an excuse to let their islamaphobia raise it’s head

DoinItForTheKids Sat 10-Feb-18 09:16:39

Justanotherlurker, I apologise, I should have been clearer with that comments in that it was referring specifically to the UK rather than another country. What would be the reaction here in this country if one out of 200 hijab-wearing Muslim women said actually, I don't want to wear one?

RingFence Sat 10-Feb-18 09:17:22

When travelling in the ME I like wearing a hijaab and long loose tunic over baggy trousers. I liked not having to do my hair in the morning, worry about what to wear/do I have a VPL/is this top flattering/do I need a different bra with this etc. It was all about comfort. No pressure to look groomed or attractive because all the other women were in baggy tunic and trousers with their hair covered too. And it was nice not to have men checking out my body, I felt invisible.

I wouldn't want to live like that but it did feel liberating for a few months!

stopfuckingshoutingatme Sat 10-Feb-18 09:18:13

If people want to live in the U.K. they need to intergrate, speak English and dress like we do - dressing like this is virtue signalling - or more likely forced upon them by men

The whole beauty of Western Europe is living where people are FREE

To be gay
To be Jewish
To wear a veil
To wear hippy gear
To be a Catholic
To be a Buddhist
To wear African dresses
To be a Nun
To wear bodycon
To eat and buy and try foods from around the world

What a depressing thought and view

DoinItForTheKids Sat 10-Feb-18 09:20:00

sportinguista - same.

I worked at one point in an area of the main big city where I live which is predominantly Muslim, very multi cultural and multi racial (which, can I just say, I absolutely loved and my job involved improvements with access to jobs and better housing etc so I was actually quite involved with the community and an advocate for opportunity for this area) and was dressed in a simple black capped sleeve shift dress and black court shoes, popped out at lunch time to get some nosh, and had stones thrown at me by some Muslim men hmm.

Not nice.

Victoria889 Sat 10-Feb-18 09:29:36

Whilst shopping in Manchester last weekend I saw a woman dressed wearing hijab but also tight pvc leggings! Hardly modest.

worriedsouth Sat 10-Feb-18 09:45:38

Try living in parts of Bradford and being spat at, having stones thrown at you and being threatened with rape by gangs of Muslim youths because you're a "gori whore" for not covering up. And having the police refuse to treat it as a racially motivated attack.
It is not a choice for some women. It is oppressive. Pre-school children in some areas wear it. That saddens me. But mainly it makes me angry that men treat women with so little respect.

donthaveascooby Sat 10-Feb-18 09:48:20

Interesting in light of another thread about mocking religion where there were many christians claiming that people are afraid to mock Islam - this for me is a case of Muslim women being delusional on 2 counts.

Delusional that they have "chosen" to wear head covering, not because of male pressure.

Or delusional because they wear it in respect of believing in rules imposed by a centuries old middle eastern warlord who invented a misogynistic religion to control people and further his own bloodthirsty aims.

Red2017 Sat 10-Feb-18 10:11:42

clearly some of you don't have a clue about Islam ... and just spouting crap

if a woman has the right to walk around with less clothing then she also has the right to walk around fully covered

and no you don't get stoned to death for not covering .. where did you get this crap from?

if a woman is forced to cover by her husband, father etc that means the man is a Dick.. has nothing to do with the religion

and religion and culture and 2 different things

Boulshired Sat 10-Feb-18 10:11:43

It’s a discussion were i can simultaneously hold two viewpoints equally. I believe a woman in the country I live should be able to wear clothing and feel empowered, I do not agree with supporting a world celebration when for many women “choice “ is a luxury not available.

specialsubject Sat 10-Feb-18 10:21:31

A hijab is just a headscarf . unpleasant to wear in a hot climate ( did it to visit a mosque, lasted five minutes). Niqab is a face mask and we don't wear those in the UK outside protection or robbery.

I also hate seeing hijab on small children.

UnsuspectedItem Sat 10-Feb-18 10:27:40

If people want to live in the U.K. they need to intergrate, speak English and dress like we do - dressing like this is virtue signalling - or more likely forced upon them by men

Surely it is hypocritical to accuse someone of having something forced upon them by someone else's views whilst simultaneously forcing your own views on them?

The issue here is not hijabs, but oppression. If a woman wishes to wear a hijab, she should be able to wear a hijab without anyone trying to force their opinion upon here. If a woman wishes to not wear a hijab, the same applies.

To say that either wearing a hijab or not wearing a hijab is the "right" thing to do, you're just being hypocritical. We need to empower women to make their own choices. The clothing is a red herring.

I know many many many Muslim women who CHOOSE to wear a hijab. I choose to cover my breasts in public because I believe that exposing them is inappropriate. In their culture, exposing their hair is seen as such.
I'm not doubting their are many women who are not given freedom, but thats the issue that needs to be addressed - the hijab is distracting from the true issue.

UnsuspectedItem Sat 10-Feb-18 10:29:20

A hijab is just a headscarf . unpleasant to wear in a hot climate I think that depends on the hijab and how you wear it, I actually prefer to have mine on when I'm out (in Saudi Arabia) as it keeps my head and neck out of the sun.

An ABAYA however, is absolutely sweltering. I couldn't wear a niqab as I hate having my mouth covered.

crispsandgin Sat 10-Feb-18 10:32:24

Utterly ridiculous claims being made about a black shroud

You shouldn't be commenting when you don't understand the topic.

ReanimatedSGB Sat 10-Feb-18 10:41:47

The main problem is: many women are compelled to cover themselves and resent this, while other women are mocked or harassed for covering themselves, and resent that.
'Celebrating' modest dress angers the women who are forced into it and hate it (along with those who sympathise with women in this position, and women who have been abused for not covering up)
Banning hijab, burqua, niquab etc often feels (to women who do believe that such things are a religious/cultural requirement that they will willingly meet) like a racist attack on them, their family, their myth system and their heritage.

And, in the meantime, men go on abusing and attacking women, whatever they are wearing.

WannaBeWonderWoman Sat 10-Feb-18 10:48:57

YANBU. I would say the majority of Muslim women who have the luxury of wearing the hijab freely are delusional and ignorant about what it signifies for women as a whole.

Islam is not a race either so can the hysterical harpies shouting racism just shut up.

Tapandgo Sat 10-Feb-18 11:57:23

Identifying some clothes as ‘modest’ suggest other clothes are immodest. Ridiculous to imagine only a shroud covering the body from the head to the ankles is ‘modest’ dress, and oddly enough, is a standard that only is applied to females.
If the men have a problem ‘oggling’ Women, being offended by the appearance of women, or wanting their women ‘invisible’, then the sooner men get themselves shrouded up the better.

ApacheEchidna Sat 10-Feb-18 12:39:22

My only issue is, as a couple of pp have said, that the use of the word 'modest' to describe this style of dress automatically defines me and others who choose western dress as immodest - and that is pejorative and insulting.

However of course everyone should have the free choice how to dress. Different cultures have different parts of the body that are thought of as normal to cover up. If I went to live with an entirely isolated amazonian tribe where all the women went around bare breasted I would still keep my breasts covered. Each to their own is fine.

Our focus should not be on anyone's clothes but we should make sure that every woman and girl of any cultural background has the freedom and education and opportunities to make that choice without any fear of what might happen if they made a different choice.

crunchymint Sat 10-Feb-18 12:46:40

Have you seen photos of the brave women in Iran taking their Hijab off in public?

Lucymek Sat 10-Feb-18 12:50:16

I'm a white young woman and I can appreciate this. I have often thought I would like to wear a burka.

I hate the way people look at me sometimes. I always dress covered up but I hate the looks some men give me. I don't do anything to draw attention to myself but still get them.

I think it would be liberating to try it for a day just to see if it's any different or the pervs just cannot be stopped!

crunchymint Sat 10-Feb-18 12:51:55

And when I have been to the Middle East I have always worn a head covering away from tourist areas. Not as a "choice" but to avoid hassle and sexual harassment.

crunchymint Sat 10-Feb-18 12:53:56

Agree that Abayas must be hell to wear when it is hot. Worked with a woman who wore one even when it was very hot.

A head covering can actually be better to wear when it is very hot. It is the equivalent of wearing a hat or cap to keep the sun off your head. But it is rarely worn for those practical reasons.

Viviennemary Sat 10-Feb-18 13:00:48

As far as I am concerned the wearing of the hijab is to do with the women who choose to wear it. But in a way it is dangerous territory to think a woman is making a statement about her morals by the way she dresses. This has been said many times on MN that women in skimpy revealing outfits should not be judged. confused

GlitterUnicornsAndAllThatJazz Sat 10-Feb-18 13:11:56

Wearing the hijab may be choice, but I believe it to be a fucked up one.

It isnt a religious garment, its a cultural one.

Its worn to protect the wearer from the male gaze. I dont think women should have to do that in a western culture.

And to the PP who said they would keep their top on if they went to live in a tribe where being topless was the norm - why? In that setting the breasts have been sexualised. Consequently your own breasts would have no sexual value. There would be no reason to cover them.

GlitterUnicornsAndAllThatJazz Sat 10-Feb-18 13:12:44

Desexualised sorry

ZBIsabella Sat 10-Feb-18 13:16:06

Lucy, I've tried it in Iran and it's ot liberating. It is a constant reminder you are not just a human there on business but a totally separate differently treated person with a massive gulf between men and women, a constant reminder of that issue - in a sense it sexualises. Also it is hot and uncomfortable. you lose the vision at the side of your face and cannot even hear properly. It was not liberating at all for me. Also the women wore loads of face make up! I felt like some kind of non make up wearing alien too - so I was not even liberated from freedom to bother how you look in that respect, not that I am too bothered.

It certainly should not be celebrated as something that keeps women safe. If men canont avoid raping women unless women are covered up then the solution is confine men to the home only and let only women work surely not restrain what women wear,.

ScaryMary81 Sat 10-Feb-18 13:17:01

Hijab in Islam doesn't just refer to the female head covering it is yet another misinterpretation that many muslims don't understand themselves fully. The link below explains the concept in full

GlitterUnicornsAndAllThatJazz Sat 10-Feb-18 13:18:17

And the women on here saying its liberating because they dont have to worry about doing their hair etc. Not only ridiculous but absolutely pathetic too.

You can tie your hair up in a scruffy ponytail, leave it unbrushed, wear a baggy t-shirt and loose jeans, nobody gives a shit.

IfyouseeRitaMoreno Sat 10-Feb-18 13:27:23

I think it would be liberating to try it for a day just to see if it's any different or the pervs just cannot be stopped!

What would be really liberating is to live in a world where you can go about your day without being judged or harassed based on the clothes you’re wearing.

Or is that just a dream that men get to realise?

BarrackerBarmer Sat 10-Feb-18 13:28:36

If people believe something positive happens when it is put on, then they also believe something negative happens when it is taken off.

THAT is the problem.

When women NOT wearing it is a free choice, treted positively with no negative repercussions, or moral judgement, then it will be just a piece of cloth.

When men start choosing to wear it too because they feel it's lovely for them, then it might just be a piece of cloth.

Right now, it isn't just a piece of cloth.

BarrackerBarmer Sat 10-Feb-18 13:29:02


specialsubject Sat 10-Feb-18 14:39:08

Yes, worrying about a bad hair day ( like no man ever does) also makes me think that isn't what feminism is about.

thornyhousewife Sat 10-Feb-18 14:56:37

I agree with your sentiment OP.

I find it massively disingenuous to hear the hijab described in these positive terms when for tens of millions of women it is enforced on them as a tool of oppression.

I'm proud of the western Muslim women who acknowledge that lack of choice for their sisters in the Middle East.

lucylouuu Sat 10-Feb-18 15:30:24

The Foreign Office said that the headscarf is worn by some women who see it as representing “liberation, respect and security. Not " all women who don't wear hijabs should be disrespected and are less of a woman "

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