With the amount and diversity of people I follow on Twitter, I see a lot of talk from all sides of political and social spectrums. I bloody love it, it puts me right in the centre of the discussion, I get to see other perspective I never would have thought about and it fuels this here blog of mine. But I also hate it, because sometimes I’ve learnt all I can about a subject from people and now its just noise. This is especially bad when it comes down to things like the hijab debate(s).
The (s) is kind of important, because on the one hand, there are two big debates happening in regards to the hijab. On the other hand, they’re basically the same debate and everyone needs to stop trying to fight each other about it. Seriously. SERIOUSLY.
The first debate is about forced Hijab wearing in Saudi Arabia and other radically Islamic countries. Le Penn’s publicity stunt of refusing to wear the hijab, Iranian chess players being kicked out of the championship for refusing to wear it and the general mocking of the below image. They all are making it clear that, in the context of force, the hijab is oppressive. I don’t think anyone would really disagree with that.
Especially not those the above people argue with about the hijab all the time. The other side of the argument. Who speak about the hijab in the context of the western world – where it isn’t forced upon anyone. In countries like the US and the UK, its totally a choice to express your religion in that way, or even if you’re not Muslim, to just wear a hijab because you feel like it. I’ve never seen this happen before really, though sometimes my hair doesn’t want to do what I want it to do and I’ve totally considered it. (Disclaimer: this was a joke.)
So you’ve got one side of the argument saying “the hijab is oppression of women!” and the other side of the argument saying “I want to wear what I want to wear!” When you take into account context too – they are clearly different arguments, as one pertains to forced hijabs in foreign lands and the other pertains to freedom of expression in our homelands.
Except, they’re also the same debate. They’re both about, in essence, about policing what women wear, and both arguments are on the same page about the answer. Nobody should tell women what to wear. Whether that’s you telling a woman you think the hijab is oppressive and shouldn’t wear it or whether its a Saudi telling a woman to wear it because he might rape her if she doesn’t.
So you’d think that would be the end of the argument, both people are clearly supporting the rights of women to choose what they wear. You can’t be for one and against the other here because they’re totally incompatible ideas. Though judging by my social media feeds it doesn’t look like anyone has caught on that they’re totally incompatible or that both people are on the same sides of this debate. Maybe this post will help?