By in Spirituality

Veiled Women

Categorizing this post under . Although it was tempting to put it under . Perhaps a better title for this post could be a quote extracted from the article which will be discussed. The quote is "Unveiling the Muslim woman".

Recently signed up at this website called Medium . You can publish your own article there or just read what everybody else is writing about. Must admit that each time there is an email arrives in my inbox, my curiosity leads me to open it. Almost every time there is an article with a title that's provocative, so you are motivated have to look a little closer. Today the article that peaked my interest is: I'm tired of hijab . In this write-up, a woman explains how she's fed up with having to defend her choice to wear the hijab and it is of interest to note that it seemed like most of the folks complaining about her were Muslim men. She concludes by stating:

" Let it be. You don’t have to understand why I wear it."

Related link: Know Your Veils: A Guide to Middle Eastern Head Coverings

Let me share this observation. At age 8, my mom enrolled me in a Catholic elementary school. That was my first experience with anything . Most of my teachers were nuns and you couldn't help but notice that they were fully covered - from head to toe - starting with the veil on their head. They never had to explain their dress. Anybody who saw them knew they were nuns. Can actually remember when the clothing was changed and they were allowed to wear shorter skirts, hemline just below the knee; and they were allowed to show a little bit of their hair. They still wore a veil but it was just pushed back so you could see some of their hair. Then there came a time when they just wore clothes like ordinary everyday people and there was a pin or a broach or some sort of symbolic accessory, in addition to the wedding band ("brides of Christ"), that they wore to indicate that they were still "women of the cloth". They never had to defend themselves for what they were wearing and it was accepted that they were Catholics.

Although the woman's frustration is understandable, in my humble opinion, she seems to have skipped over the fact that - it's not all about the hijab. It's about associating a specific garment with a religious group that these days have become linked to terrorism. Whether or not anybody understands WHY she wears the veil - surely she must know what the hijab is connected to in the minds of many people.

Should she stop wearing it? That's her choice. But she can't ignore what comes with making that choice. By the way, the Muslim men who complained, were not complaining about her wearing the hijab. They were upset with her speaking her mind AND wearing a hijab while she did it! That's a separate issue altogether.

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LeaPea2417 wrote on May 28, 2015, 12:19 PM

I don't have any bad feelings with Muslim women who wear a hijab. I don't think of terrorism. It is their choice. Actually, they look better than some of the punks you see who wear their "pants on the ground". It is amazing how badly some people dress and no one is offended by it.

cmoneyspinner wrote on May 28, 2015, 12:33 PM

My nun teachers were a range – from cute, petite and sweet TO Amazonian women who could strike fear in Atilla the Hun!

cmoneyspinner wrote on May 28, 2015, 12:48 PM

You are probably an exception. When I was growing up there was also a group of Muslims in our neighborhood and the women covered their hair too. Everybody knew they were Muslim women and they never had to explain their dress either. That was then. This is now. The reality is, a lot of people see that hijab and it evokes certain negative emotions. Me? Every human being has a free will and can make their own decisions. You may be persecuted for your choice, but it doesn't take away your free will. The boys showing their underwear is the silliest fashion trend I've ever seen. Still it's their decision. It's rare that I ever get "offended" by a person's clothing. It's just fabric. We were all born naked!

MegL wrote on May 28, 2015, 12:51 PM

Let people wear what they want, it's their choice. I wear jogging trousers every day and I don't expect anyone to comment on it, any more than I will comment if they wear a hijab. There are a number of Muslim students in University, both male and female, some of the women wear the hijab, others do not. I understand what you are saying about people's associations but that's their problem, not mine, nor should it be the hijab-wearing woman's problem. I think there is a slight difference with nuns in that they have chosen a religious way of life and do not get married or have children. But, yes, if you grow up seeing people wearing a particular mode of dress, it seems normal and expected.

AudreyHowitt wrote on May 28, 2015, 5:15 PM

Nuns scare me as well--I got into trouble regularly with thm

Ruby3881 wrote on May 28, 2015, 6:56 PM

Perhaps an interesting observation is that while the women who wear hijab seem to be targeted more often than others, the majority of terrorist acts are committed by men.

wolfgirl569 wrote on May 28, 2015, 7:07 PM

I think she should be able to be comfortable wearing it at any time she wishes. But you are right it gets associated with terrorism

cmoneyspinner wrote on May 29, 2015, 2:57 PM

People are often very easily identifiable by their clothing. It is culture, tradition, religion, etc. It is understood that many people choose a way of dressing with specific intent to IDENTIFY who they are, i.e. what they believe, where they come from, a specific group they want to be associated with (like the Black Panthers or Amish people), etc. But the idea of judging a person – who they really are - by what they wear? That's ludicrous!

cmoneyspinner wrote on May 29, 2015, 3:05 PM

Actually, my experience with the sisters left an impression on me. They were very intelligent women, possessed quite a few practical skills with the ability to impart this knowledge to others; and to live such a cloistered life they seem to be well-informed about the world and gave wise advice. Overall my interactions with them were a very good life experience. Even that one who could scare Attila the Hun wasn't that scary if you spoke to her when she was calm. :)

cmoneyspinner wrote on May 29, 2015, 3:08 PM

Interesting observation Point noted. The guys who choose to be martyrs are promised 10 virgins. (So I've heard.) I often wonder what they use to persuade the women. (???)

cmoneyspinner wrote on May 29, 2015, 3:10 PM

Yes she should be. But based on her own article, the lady made it clear that the reaction of others make it difficult for her to be.

cmoneyspinner wrote on May 29, 2015, 3:20 PM

Going back to a point I made earlier, the idea of judging a person by what they wear as if you can see their heart and know their true intentions, is ludicrous. That being said I tend to get my guard up when I see a person who looks like they're loitering or lingering around a well-populated place like a mall, with a backpack and it's not in a school zone. This was shortly after 9/11 and way before the Boston Marathon bombing. A person with a backpack seems more threatening than a woman with a hijab. It's psychological conditioning. This is the world we live in.

msiduri wrote on May 31, 2015, 7:21 PM

Oh.... No. I'm not even... I don't even have words for that.

msiduri wrote on May 31, 2015, 7:31 PM

I'm with you on the clothing thing. Offense is rare (unless it's something like a hateful slogan on a T-shirt) but I don't find some fashions amusing like the one you mentioned, young kids dropping their pants and displaying the underwear. I mean, how COOL is that?

More to the point on the hajib, if a Muslim woman wants to wear it, god bless her. That's a question between her and her god. She owes no answer to me or to anyone else, IMHO. I'd get sick of answering the question myself. On the other hand, if chooses not to wear the hajib, god bless her. Either way, it's none of my business. As long as her freedom to choose is protected, not my business.

cmoneyspinner wrote on June 1, 2015, 4:22 PM

Thanks for your additional comments. In conclusion, women have been wearing veils or "head coverings" since ancient times and they will probably keep on wearing them - for religious or non-religious reasons.

Last Edited: June 1, 2015, 4:24 PM

msiduri wrote on June 1, 2015, 7:00 PM

I'm not a student and I carry a backpack everywhere. I don't loiter, though, expect when I'm reading texts.

Last Edited: June 2, 2015, 7:38 AM

cmoneyspinner wrote on June 2, 2015, 12:28 AM

I worked my way around my psychologically conditioned response to people wearing backpacks. I try to avoid shopping malls. emoticon :smile:
It's a serious topic. Trying to end it on a light note. Thanks for the discussion! Good feedback.

GrannyGee wrote on June 15, 2015, 7:06 AM

I began reading your article not knowing what in the world to expect. I really liked how you worded all. I was happy at the end of regarding about why the men were upset ... it was like the woman having her cake, eating it too. I have to say you are so right ... no one ever question why ... nuns wore their habits ... it was just a known fact ... you see a nun in black and white ... she was a nun, period. I never thought about it until now. I enjoyed how you wrote 'all'.

cmoneyspinner wrote on April 14, 2017, 3:04 PM

Medium republish.