Saturday, February 2, 2013

World Hijab yesterDay

The pun was not lost on me when I realized this morning that yesterday had been World Hijab Day.  I freely admit that I DO consider the hijab a bit backward NOT because it is muslim, but because when it is required, those requiring it usually endorse backward ideas, such as not educating women.  Or anyone, for that matter.

& yes I get that this falls into that fine line category.   I know people (well person) who wears a hijab.  She feels very strongly that it makes her safer; that it is actually liberating.  She doesn't find anything strange about this.  What I hear is I carry mace because it is liberating.  Yes, maybe you are safer (maybe not), but isn't this also a sign there is something wrong with the bigger picture?  S***** insists that a hijab is about modesty.  So is pretending you don't know the answer in math class & never raising your hand.  Modest, yup.  The best idea you ever had, not so much.  I don't get it & I don't think I ever will. 

Just so no one feels picked on, let me tell this little story.  I have regular contact with a group of orthodox jews (a family group, as it happens).  No, the women don't wear hijab BUT when a woman gets married she often removes her hair, sometimes just what is visible to the world or sometimes all of it (I have no idea who decides to do which or why, I just know sisters who attend the same temple who have made different decisions).  After that, the orthodox jewish wife wears a wig for the rest of her life.  Even if she gets divorced, even if she is widowed, her hair is never to be seen in public again. 

Again this is a modesty thing.  OKay fine.  Then explain this:  why oh why oh why do they ALL wear wigs that are several shades lighter than their natural hair?  I asked this question & was told because it is prettier, of course.  Uhm...what?  They cannot tell me why their own hair, chemically treated wouldn't be kind of like a wig.  I mean, no one would be looking at their actual, natural hair, right?  Could they have their own hair made into a wig & wear that? 

I should probably stop at this point & mention that I am a natural blonde.  I am 47 years old & my hair gets a bit darker every year & I am still plenty blonde.  After a bit of my questioning these cousins are usually laughing their wigs off.  They are convinced, every last one of them, that I don't understand because I am already blonde.  Maybe they are right & maybe I don't.  But it sure does shoot holes in that modesty argument.  Invariably one historical truth keeps coming up in these conversations: in ancient Rome prostitutes were required to wear blonde wigs so everyone would know what they were. 

So I won't be wearing a hijab, & I wouldn't even if it still was World Hijab Day.  It doesn't matter much here anyhow; we live so close to a major medical center that women wearing hijab-like head scarves don't mean a thing except they don't want to get their chemo-bald heads sunburned.  Also I imagine they get cold.  Wearing hijab just wouldn't be the same experience. But the reason I won't be wearing one is I believe a modesty that requires you to not even have the option to show your uncovered head because some guy might lose control is a false modesty of the worst kind. 

Today of course is Groundhog Day.  I have no idea if he saw his shadow or not.  Want to know why?   I get weather predictions from the Weather Channel.

1 comment:

  1. Re: The wigs, I think perhaps it originally started out as women shaving their heads, but by and large, to my knowledge the women keep their hair, and wear either wigs or shmatas/kerchiefs or hats to cover their hair. Cover their "CROWN" as it were, to save that bit of their beauty for their husbands. Perhaps modesty is involved too. And like you, I find the wig thing counterintuitive to the modesty thing as most of the time when I"ve seen someone wearing the wig or kerchief, they usually have on entirely too much make up for someone trying to convince the world that they are being modest.