Friday, January 1, 2016

21 Things Less Offensive Than Wearing A Hijab

Recently we've seen a "progressive", "interfaith" wave that has seen various people saying it is a good idea for progressive non-muslims to don the hijab as a show of solidarity. It is an idea so tacky that even many muslims think it's a bit silly.

This is absurd, of course - and it turns out it it's an idea that's been brewing quite some time as there has already been a "Hijab Solidarity Day" :

On September 4th, 2010 the world observes International Hijab Solidarity Day. ICNA Sisters’ Wing joins this celebration and requests people of conscience, male and female, Muslim and non-Muslim alike to stand up for this fundamental right of women. International Hijab Solidarity Day is important to us and cannot be ignored. We request people of all faiths and cultures to stand up for this critical women’s right.

The basic argument is that the hijab is a choice, multiplying choices is a feminist thing to do, therefore choosing to wear the hijab is a choice as progressive as any other. This conclusion becomes easier to believe if one already accepts the politically correct dogmas that all religions are basically inert and basically equivalent. 

Religious belief, or so the theory goes, is simultaneously compartmentalized and mundane. The hijab is a display of faith as meaningless as any other in our wealthy secular democracies.

To add a dash of reality and put the hijab in the correct context from a truly progressive standpoint, it's time to compile a list of things less offensive than wearing a hijab.

21 Things Less Offensive Than Wearing A Hijab:
  1. binge watching the Cosby show
  2. wearing a Washington Redskins jersey
  3. owning all Chris Brown tracks on custom made vinyl
  4. asking Ray Rice to sign your breast
  5. accepting a job as James Deen's fluffer
  6. painting a confederate flag on the roof of your Dodge Charger
  7. singing "Baby it's cold outside" once a year
  8. wearing a Barbarella t-shirt that a friend made for you
  9. joining the College Republicans to make your father happy
  10. telling a rape joke at the Golden Globes and then again on SNL (you created 30 Rock after all, you can do what you want)
  11. eating veal with a side of foie gras
  12. showing up to church wearing pasties
  13. buying your grandmother edible underwear
  14. asking a woman to smile
  15. telling a dongle joke to a friend in the audience of a development talk
  16. sexting with Oscar Pistorious
  17. drinking coffee that is not verified as fair trade
  18. buying shrimp from Thailand
  19. calling someone "bossy"
  20. photoshopping Lena Dunham to make her more appealing to Vogue readers
  21. writing a listicle


Many believe that the message the hijab is a symbol of faith and seriously held beliefs that must be respected. It is after all not going to help matters much to snark at muslim women every time one encounters them in public.

But the simple fact is that the hijab is a dress as pretentious, empty, and insulting as accessorizing a panda bear fur coat with Crocs and a six-inch Crucifix pendant. The hijab is the symbol of the theory that the supreme creator of the universe (a self-concerned idiot with 99 names) is somehow pleased with the women that are covering themselves up. Those that cover are doing the right thing - those that choose not to are doing the wrong thing. And those that choose to "free the nipple" then must be doing a very wrong thing.

We live in a society where delaying marriage until everyone can marry is viewed by some as progressive solidarity. It's then a wonder how hoping people not "choose" the hijab until it actually can be regarded as a "choice" outside the hands of the state or patriarchal family structures is a sentiment that is compared to bigotry or phobias.

Being open with one's religion is often viewed as a contemptible thing to do. Even gentle pleasantries towards Mormon missionaries, Scientologists and Jehovah's Witnesses is not something that is expected in popular culture. Confining these groups to the margins by unrelenting ridicule is not only something that is allowed, it is regarded as healthy free expression against cultures that would not be so open. Wearing religion on one's sleeve disgusts your neighbors, however wearing religion on one's ears is completely different game.

The hijab gets a free pass through the condescending and infantilizing attitudes "progressive" westerners have towards women and muslims. A woman wearing a hijab can be assumed to be a battered wife, undereducated or brainwashed from birth. Challenging hijabis is something that is not done as it can be assumed there are mere seconds away from crying or yelling at any point in their pitiful underprivileged existence. This is about as pro-Islam as the well-meaning "tolerant" people get. They'll enjoy one's company enough to not share their base assumptions about cultures they interpret as less advanced. The hope is, against all evidence, that there is some peaceful and invisible "reform" happening - it's too depressing to consider that human populations are capable of regressing.

If the hijab was treated as any other dress, the head carpet would be treated as if it were crossing a red carpet. Comedic contempt for women's dress is not only normal, but an anticipated game played at every public gathering in every free country in the world. An inclusive culture would seek to share the reality of a dress inspired by the patriarchal fantasies of superstitious men that we know through an ancient book.

Hijabs are soooooo last year.

1 comment:

  1. #All religions are false but there's truth in all of them"-W. Blake- In my opinion, those "truths" are mainly politically patriarchal, to ensure man's dominion on everything, most especially, to subjugate the female half of any society by rendering their blatant hypocrisies, religious!
    ..."To be or not to be" may also inform us of this "it"... (choice, as a non-choice).
    Happy New Year To All Women, Everywhere!

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