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Oppression, Violence, and Why Voluntary Hijab is Irrelevant

As a feminist, the hijab is violence. The fact that some women volunteer to wear enforced religious garb is irrelevant. Whenever a discussion regarding the hijab takes place, there’s a rush to point out two things: one is that women in the West are not mandated to wear the hijab by the state, and that some women volunteer to wear such an item. This knee jerk response has become an accepted truth because it leads to a softening of the idea that forced religious clothing is oppressive. It’s hard to dispute the fact that in Western nations the hijab is state-enforced, but you can argue the scale and harm of internal communal expectations. Forced wear of religious garb is not unique to Islam but the topic at hand is not the bhikkuni nor the habit, it is the hijab. And as we dive into the profundity of how such a simple piece of religious cloth can be devastating to the development of our posterity, it is good to remember that not all violence is physical. In fact, psychological violence can do far more damage on a long enough timeline. And the discard of emotional respect from repeaters that say “the hijab is culture, values, respect.” have declined Lundy Bancroft’s famous quote of “Abuse grows from attitudes and values, not feelings. The roots are ownership, the trunk is entitlement, and the branches are control.”

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Posted by owinsd

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