Muslim women are one of the most oppressed demographics on this Earth. Muslim countries commit some of the worst atrocities against women. Sorry but choice rhetoric is another method of upholding patriarchy, and in this regard, patriarchy in Muslim communities. It’s not a choice when you’re socialized into it. When you’re brainwashed into thinking it’s a sin to not cover your hair and body. And it has to be taken into account that many many Muslim countries are ruled by a theocracy and so the influence of religion is inescapable. You learn in school, at home, and in the media. This influence still holds strong when Muslims are living in the west.
So many “modern” Muslim women also still believe that yes they should be covering their hair but they don’t and often feel some sort of guilt for not doing so. For disobeying. For not conforming to Muslim patriarchal standards.
Then there are women who are FORCED to wear hijab/veil. So many stories of girls who take off their head scarves or veils when they go to school and then before they come home they put it back on. These women don’t have a “choice”. These women are at risk to be severely abused and/or killed for disobeying.
All this modestly/honor culture in Muslim communities is sickening. Don’t be afraid to speak up.
Very recently, when I was a on a plane there were a group of five Muslim couples. Wives and their husbands. These women were covered from head to toe. You couldn’t see their eyes or their hands or their feet. Nothing. All black. On the plane, when the women needed to go to the bathroom, their husbands accompanied them and waited outside until they were finished. Not sure if they went with them because the women probably couldn’t see very well with their veil covering their eye or because these men saw these women as possessions. I think both. Can anyone tell me how empowering this is? How these women are *not* being oppressed? How much *choice* really matters? You’re just an object for your husband. But lmao choice :) :) :)
Also, this is not to say to support dumbass liberal groups like Femen who go around topless to “liberate” Muslim women. I feel like so many people from the west who scream “oppression!!!!” when they look at Muslim women do it because they’re xenophobic/hate Muslims in general rather than actually caring about the plight of Muslim women. They just use it as an excuse to be racist. They don’t actually care about Muslim women. They just see someone who looks different from them and covers up so they gotta be oppressed on that basis alone.
I am 100% for always supporting women for what they wear. Just like I support women who perform femininity (which I actively engage in). But nothing is above critique. Patriarchy relies on you leaving to call it a “choice” so women can continue to feed into their own oppression.