My Response to the Statement, “If Men Don’t Have to Wear a Headscarf Then Women Should Not Either.”
” If men don’t have to wear a headscarf then women should not either.”
This is a common statement made by people who object to women wearing headscarves. Most Muslim women are tired of the debates surrounding veiling. Yet, it still seems to be something that people love discussing.
Many of the same people asking this question have never questioned their logic.
They perform several practices that many men don’t do including: wearing makeup, wearing heels, getting implants, wearing fake eyelashes, etc. I’m not saying all of these are bad. I just wonder why they never questioned why they do these things and men don’t? Women will even risk harming themselves if it means that they may look more beautiful by someone else’s standards. These standards are also very oppressive.
These are the same standards that make a new mother feel like she has to “snap” back” immediately after birth. These are the standards that have pre-teen girls becoming anorexic. These are the standards that lead many women to low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. When I bring up this point people will often respond with, ” Yes, but I have the choice and those women don’t?” Yet, they fail to see that we were forced. Sexualization was forced on many of us through a young age.
This force is just a different kind of coercion. It’s not much different than someone forcing a woman to cover herself.
The Quran says ( 2:256), “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.” More places in the world have laws against covering that there is that force covering.
In the end, most women around the world are not very different. We face struggles no matter where we are in the world or what we believe. Many of us enjoy expressing ourselves. Wearing a veil is just one of those ways that a woman of faith may decide to express herself. We should not hold men to our golden standard. Using the argument, ” If men don’t have to wear a headscarf then women should not either”, to disagree with veiling just doesn’t seem logical.
“My value as a woman is not measured by the size of my waist or the number of men who like me. My worth as a human being is measured on a higher scale: a scale of righteousness and piety. And my purpose in life-despite what fashion magazines say-is something more sublime than just looking good for men.”
― Yasmin Mogahed, Reclaim Your Heart: Personal Insights on Breaking Free from Life’s Shackles