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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.

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

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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
www.goodreads.com/book/show/18490563-headscarves-and-hymens

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

YANBU Op.

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

BonnieF

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.

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