Today as I jogged away at the gym, a girl who was completely covered from her Nikes to her head scarf got onto the treadmill next to me and started running. The fan was broken and I was sweating profusely (even though I was wearing a whory v-neck.)
While I felt pity for this girl, I know Muslim women see it as an honorable thing to wear the hijab and genuinely want to do it. Of course I think they’ve been brainwashed, but the brainwashed are still people and still have the right to freely “choose” how they want to live. So am I in favor of banning the hijab? Absolutely not, it violates the rights of these women as Americans. I am also not in favor of banning KKK hoods for the same reason, however if the person underneath one thinks he is going to escape my personal judgement, he’s awfully mistaken. The practice of covering women is insulting at its core, no matter how it’s been tweaked into social acceptability by centuries of justifying it as “respect” for a woman’s body. Women who propagate acceptance of this insult by wearing the hijab (by choice) should be ashamed of themselves.
(Maybe Klan garments aren’t a great metaphor, since they’re worn by the oppressor and not the oppressed—I just used them because today they’re completely socially unacceptable symbols of discrimination. A better example would be the Star of David that Jews in Germany were forced to wear on their clothes as they had their rights taken away from them. Would a Jew today even consider for a fucking moment putting on one of those stars VOLUNTARILY?)
I would argue that we, in Western Liberal democracies, are far more oppressed than women who cover. Why do we choose to wear tight clothes, or in your words “a whory v-neck”? To get attention. Oppressed by our own beliefs of beauty.
A girl I coach wears a hijab, her three older sisters don’t, neither does her mother. Her reason “Because I want to be looked at for my brains, not for my boobs.”
‘if the person underneath one thinks he is going to escape my personal judgement, he’s awfully mistaken.’
honestly what are you
Ugh, now I get pitied for going to the gym.
Instead of going over the tired (white feminism) argument of why I don’t believe the hijab is oppressive, and how I have actually spent years thinking about why I wear a headscarf, I’ll tell you about why I’m fine with going to the gym while wearing a hijab.
Do I go around the gym wishing I could wear shorts and t-shirts like all the other women? No.
Do I go around thinking about how much I’d rather eat a cookie than work out in the gym? Yes.
Do I go around thinking about music that can get me pumped to do the elliptical for an hour? Yes.
Do I go around thinking about how I’m sweating more than the other people in the gym because I’m covered up? No.
And why is that? Because the idea that I’m sweating more than the other girls never comes across my mind.
In fact, I don’t think I sweat more than the other girls, I sweat less, but that’s just my body. I do have hijabi friends who do a full workout in the gym and sweat a lot, but have I ever heard them, when complaining about hijabi issues, complain about the fact that they have to work out while being so covered up? Never.
I’m not the best hijabi since I do not always cover up my arms fully (I usually roll up my sleeves or wear half sleeves), but personally, my arms and face are what get the hottest in the gym. And those are the parts of my face that aren’t covered.