Ok, it really confuses me now when I hear people saying that "veiling" is demeaning and oppressive to women. I think it comes from the fact that women in some countries are FORCED to dress a specific way. But still, I hear it all the time, even from so-called modern Muslims. So let me think about it... Well, wearing a scarf on one's head is literally more confining, I mean, covered means to put over. The most confining part of it to me is covering the neck because it just feels strange...But how this makes a headscarf automatically oppressive, I don't get.
The other day I saw a talk show of talking women hosts. One went on and on about how American women spend too much time worrying about being thin. Everyone clapped at her comments as if to say, "yeah, weight is not important, being thin is not important". Then, the next host said she'd "lost a pound." Then everyone clapped again as if to say "congratulations on losing weight." UM...what? Talk about confusing.
You know, in secular society, there is a "flaunt it if you've got it" attitude. It obsesses over beauty, youth, and sex appeal. It obsesses over weight. It has a million and one ways to color your hair, cut it, and style it. You can wear a million and one styles and pieces of clothing. And make-up. And anti-aging creams. And nail polish. And push-up bras. And plastic surgeries. ETC. Ok, so it's fun to dress up and look as fantastic as humanly possible. Yeah, that's fun. But is it really worth it to spend so much of our time, energy, and MONEY into all that stuff?
Are all those choices equal to freedom? Or am I more free when I can be free of those worries about appearance, that competition with all those other women who are getting older every day. Just like me. Who cares if Sophia Loren still looks sexy at age 60? How does that really matter?
So yeah, covering up all your beautiful body parts is not as fun as showing them off...but you know what...it gives you a lot more FREE space in your mind and day to think about what really counts in life. For Muslims and many religious people, what counts is your soul. Your soul. But of course secular society doesn't even believe in the soul...so they need something to think about it, huh? How about weight, age, beauty, sex, clothes, dating, money, career, success, materials---and all those other fun things. So I guess that's part of it. If a woman doesn't care about those things, she's having less fun, right? Maybe that's why it seems so oppressive to cover up your body --and HUH?! your lovely hair-- in this "flaunt it if you've got it" world.
And I guess if you can't wear short sleeves, tank tops, or much less a bathing suit in the summer...well of course everyone who does must think you're oppressed, cause why would anyone cover up in the heat of summer, huh? Well you know, we CAN wear those things in our backyard or in our house or even at a party where there are no men...it's just not as convenient...so I guess in this secular open-to-all society, that inconvenience is oppressive. Oh well, I won't sweat it.