Hijabs and feminism

February 12, 2009 at 9:22 pm (feminism, male privilege)

I’m late to the table on THIS one too, but I only found it through the latest Down Under Feminist Carnival.  Go read that by the way.  Anjum Rahman wrote this article on wearing a hijab.  Overall it’s a good article and I like it.  But, the part I have a problem with is this:

It represents not only an act of worship but also a freedom from the tyranny of constantly being judged by their physical and sexual attractiveness.

Non-Muslims often don’t realise how liberating it is to not worry about your clothes, your hair, your make-up, your weight, your wrinkles, your bra size, your cellulite.

Hijab teaches us that our inner beauty is more worthy of our effort and attention.

Here’s the thing, I think it is more feminist to not worry about these things because they don’t matter, not because they’re covered up.  I’m not criticising a woman’s choice to wear the hijab.  They are welcome to do and wear what they want, and I will continue to fight for their right to make these choices in the same way I fight for any other woman’s right to make these choices.

I personally don’t worry about being judged for most of the things on that list.  I honestly don’t care what others think.  I’m not a gorgeous, p approved looking woman, and I don’t make any efforts to change this.  I do my hair in the most practical way possible (a ponytail FTR), I don’t wear make up, care about my weight, wrinkles or cellulite.  I’m just me.  And I’ve learnt that inner beauty is more important than what’s happening on the outside.

These are lessons we should all be learning with or without religion.

And on one extra note, the patriarchy and the judges need to change, not women.  If women don’t want to be judged, we need to band together and overthrow the patriarchy.  And it wouldn’t matter what we were wearing when we did it.


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