Today marks my one year and one week anniversary of wearing the hijab! Sorry, I would have posted it last week but truth be told I couldn’t be bothered and I was in the car for about 6 hours. Yes, the first time I wore it was the day of the Kempton Reptile expo 2014…. it was so pleasant walking around looking at scaly things and many legged things and no legged things and hairy things and slimy things, all whilst having NOBODY give me funny looks or staring at me in any way. Anyway, to commemorate this life changing event, I’m going to do what I do best and complain for a short while. I hate ranting about the hijab because I’m not the most perfect Muslim, but this is the one issue that aggravates me all the time. Below I present to you two misconceptions surrounding the hijab, featuring feminism. Part 1.
- The hijab is a feminist statement
Oh God this one annoys me so much. Relating the hijab to feminism makes me sick. Something I’ve seen floating around tumblr and facebook, assimilating many reblogs and likes from cheering women, is this stupid woman, who “chooses to wear a hijab in a daily act of feminism”. I know, I know, I should be advising her in private blah blah. But since I am not an influential person, and since there is no way to expose someone who is already publicly trying to poison the minds of other women, I feel no remorse in writing a public condemnation of such stupidity.
The hijab is not a feminist statement. It is not an expression of feminism. Wearing hijab for the reason of “sticking it to the patriarchy” is the WRONG reason. In fact, if you truly are wearing hijab for the right reasons, feminism would not even be on your radar. Sure, the hijab gives you the freedom that some feminists might identify with, but do NOT CALL YOUR HIJAB A FEMINIST STATEMENT. The hijab is worn FOR YOUR LORD. You don’t wear hijab for any other reason than firstly because Allah has commanded it and secondly, which is tied to the first reason, for modesty. You wear it for Allah and yourself (and your husband). You don’t wear it for society, you don’t wear it for other women, you don’t wear it for other people. Yet you want to proclaim you wear hijab for feminism rather than for Allah? How dare you make me read this shirk with my own two eyes.
It’s clear that the accepted view of feminism is that of white feminism, with a failure to acknowledge that women of colour are…well, women too. Definitions of freedom vary. It’s subjective. I’ll save the oppressive feminist post for another time, but right now I’m specifically talking about feminism and the hijab rather than feminism against the hijab. The only thing that annoys me more than people saying the hijab is oppressive (see below), is people saying the hijab is a feminist statement. THE HIJAB HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FEMINISM. It’s not one or the other, it’s neither. Muslimahs in the west try so hard to gain acceptance from the feminist movement by proving that the hijab makes them feminist. STOP. Empower yourself by NOT trying to prove that the hijab is feminist statement. Empower yourself by not trying to fit into any standards, feminism is just another way to control Muslim women since we’re already liberated from society’s constraints. Empower yourself by wearing hijab for the correct reason, rather than constantly seeking society’s approval – you don’t need to justify the way you follow your religion. Empower yourself by praying, by working hard, by focusing on yourself rather than how other people see you. You do not need anybodys approval!
2. The hijab is oppressive
I’m actually going to keep this one short because I’m sure I’ve spoken about this so many times and with such passion that my fingers feel like they’re about to bleed when I type in such anger, and it should really be clear to anyone, man or woman, who doesn’t understand, that the hijab is the opposite of oppressive. I saw one stupid comment on facebook where a woman said “the hijab is literally a tool created by men to oppress women”. Bitch what?! The hijab is literally a tool created by men????? Are you sure? Are you really sure? What?!?!!??!?!?!?!? Are >??! You?? Talking?? About?
Seriously. I despise with a raging passion feminists who try to speak on behalf of Muslim women. I think you should all gather yourselves, strip naked because of how liberating it is, and take it in turns to douse each other in petrol for the viewing pleasure of men, because you can, and then light a match. It’s even worse when they try to make up their own rules of Islam by saying stupid things like the hijab was created by men to oppress women…sure. I cover up and therefore avoid catcalls and disgusting men who would talk to me based on my appearance, and that’s oppressive. I don’t have to succumb to society’s idea of beauty to have my voice heard, and that’s oppressive. Walking down the streets I don’t ever get approached by men anymore, it’s so great. And before any feminist rises up to tell me that it’s Muslim men who are oppressive, sit back down because it’s the Muslim men who are most respectful and acknowledge that this is a woman who does not want to be approached.
If I wasn’t clear enough, expect more posts like this because it enrages me on almost a daily bases. There is a difference between the hijab being freeing and the hijab being a feminist statement. Let me clarify that I feel FREE, but I’m still not a feminist. The liberation associated with hijab is one that many would attribute to some parts of feminism, but until feminists abandon the idea that to be liberated means to be naked, to be liberated means to fail to acknowledge that men and women are inherently different, I refuse to accept the word being anywhere near me.
Between wearing the hijab and rejecting feminism, I have never felt more liberated in my life.
Now Playing: Tennis Court – Lorde
Note: I want to say a thank you to my lov for helping me see the light