“Nudity empowers some women. Modesty empowers other women. It’s not your place to tell what a woman should wear.”
This is a popular quote shared across social media in defence of veiling and hijab. I can understand that nudity empowers some women. Being proud of our body, just the way it was created, liberates us from various societal expectations and norms. However, the second sentence of the quote is rather fascinating. With relevance to veiling, how does covering the face, hair and neck in particular empower somebody?
I’ve often raised this question with my Muslim friends. One of them asked me if I’ll prefer to eat a roti (Indian wheat bread) that’s covered in foil or the one that’s kept open in air. “That’s how we Muslims treat our women. We keep them pure and protected by veiling,” he claimed. I have a serious problem with that analogy. A woman is a person and it’s ridiculous to equate them with objects. That’s one way you shouldn’t treat women. A woman’s chastity won’t attract fungus like a roti does.
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