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The Veil

khinchey's picture

(I apologize for the lateness of this post, I thought I sent it in last night but I apparently did not)

When reading this article I was surprised to find myself closely relating to the feelings veiled women had about the importance of fashion in expressing themselves. I had not previously known about the diversity and intricacy that goes into the different fashions of the veil. The discussion of pinning was particularly interesting to me. All of my surprise and interest made me feel very uncomfortable about the Western narrative I have clearly subconsciously bought into. I would have not been able to name these assumptions but I found myself surprised and more connected to reasons for different types of fashion. I wonder how this reasoning has developed as a result of globalization and the spread of consumer culture. Is that wrong of me to wonder?

I also really appreciated the idea that the veil is a method of controlling the reaction of the outside world to women’s bodies. In a process of the creation of a self, control (in a place where women may not have alot of control otherwise) is a great coping mechanism. Because of this, I was saddened to read of the inner group policing. The line about “not wanting to go to a bar if you are wearing the veil” was an interesting conundrum. Is wearing the veil only justified as a religious action? Can covering oneself be allowed as a cultural tradition, as a way to make women feel more comfortable?