Since there’s been debate recently about niqabs, I’ll address it first.
Niqabs, I believe, contrary to popular thought, are quite liberating! A woman who chooses to wear a niqab is a woman who is unafraid, a non-conformist, independent-minded, and true to herself. I think I would be too conscious of having all eyes on me if I wore it. I’d be afraid of being labeled a terrorist. I’d be in constant fear of ridicule and being judged. Just think of the possibilities a niqab offers though, you can wear just about anything underneath, even very naughty things, and no one would be any the wiser. You can wear all the latest designer clothes, itty-bitty dresses, tight, form-fitting jeans, and cute tops that may otherwise be inappropriate.
So let’s pretend that we have an open-minded society, and niqabs are the norm. There’s no more judging or pre-conceived notions there – a woman has the opportunity to be judged on her thoughts, her mind, and her intelligence! Clothes and physical appearance fade into the background. She doesn’t have to worry about whether her shirt is cut too high or too low at a job interview, or if her skirt is too short or too long, if she chooses not to wear makeup, she’s not judged for it, or even if she has crooked teeth and bad breath! She’s not judged for being too fat or too thin, or if coffee spilled all over her white top!
I mean, in a society that permits women to choose to wear a micro-mini, or short-shorts with a very low cut top, then shouldn’t it permit women to cover as much of themselves as they choose? I mean, the latest in French fashion is tattered american flag clothing, isn’t that a tad worse than a total cover-up and modesty?
Here’s my argument for hijab – and why it too, is liberating. You can have bad hair days and not worry about it. You can have 2 inch dark roots and not worry about getting your dye-job. Grays can grow at their free will. You know that in-between time, when your hair is short but you want to grow it out and it looks like a birds’ nest? It covers that up too. I’m no hijabi, but I admire women and girls who have the guts to go against societal norms and dress according to their faith, even if it means they stand out, are ridiculed, sometimes tormented, and picked on by a society unwilling to see the courage it took to stand apart.
A free and democratic society should honor a woman’s right to choose her garb if it honors a woman’s dignity and pride. I’d much rather see someone wear a niqab or hijab, than to see a middle-aged woman’s butt-cheek hanging out of her pants, or a muffin-top midriff bared to the world. (Have you seen the Wal-Mart shoppers website?) Now those are some things that ought to be banned.