After thinking about this for a long time, I have come to terms with the idea that hijab is sexist and degrading. In fact, it should have died a well-deserved death in the 20th century, along with other forms of dehumanising objectification. Hijab and the subjugation that it symbolises is rooted in the male domination of some societies that see women as as little more than the personification of lust and conduits of its relief. This indoctrination runs so deep, that women themselves internalise it and become proud of this debasing relegation to male subservience. Woman is made to feel ashamed of her natural self, and instead strives for a certain ideal- an ideal in which she is not appreciated for her person, her mind, her thoughts, but for being a source of pleasure for man, and this is the real tragedy – that she is happy to win this prize, and strives to be acknowledged for it.
My admiration belongs to this group of women, who lead by example and have won their liberation:
The above is a slightly modified Facebook note I wrote almost two years ago. Having looked back on it, the subject feels worn, as does the sarcasm. Back then, there was more “public debate” about the hijab/burka/whatever, what it means for women, and it’s place in society. However, two years on, my views on this matter have not changed, and I don’t imagine they ever will.
I was inspired to blog this by International Women’s Day 2011, which was a week ago. The subject of women and their role in society is clearly a crucial one, and it seemed that we should have some sort of discussion on the topic.
I plan to write two more posts on the topic of Iraqi women, the next one about the general situation (political and otherwise) of women in Iraq, and the following one more specific to the individual, and British Iraqi females in particular.