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liberal feminism celebrates women, who sexualize their bodies for the male gaze. Some feminists disagree with that (so do I). So I wonder, if a hijab can be a feminist statement sometimes? If the woman wears it as protection against gross looks from men and/or statement against the constant objectification and sexualitation of the woman? Most Religions are misogynist, I know, but if that‘s her personal reality and if that‘s how she chooses to protect herself, isn’t that like a radical feminist woman, recognizing patriarchy as a reality and covering herself, not because of religious reasons, but her feminist values. I mean, women in both cases cover themselves and the root cause is misogyny, so why do people see a difference with a hijab?

liberal feminism celebrates women, who sexualize their bodies for the male gaze. Some feminists disagree with that (so do I). So I wonder, if a hijab can be a feminist statement sometimes? If the woman wears it as protection against gross looks from men and/or statement against the constant objectification and sexualitation of the woman? Most Religions are misogynist, I know, but if that‘s her personal reality and if that‘s how she chooses to protect herself, isn’t that like a radical feminist woman, recognizing patriarchy as a reality and covering herself, not because of religious reasons, but her feminist values. I mean, women in both cases cover themselves and the root cause is misogyny, so why do people see a difference with a hijab?

59 comments

[–] moody_ape 11 points (+11|-0)

i think the only context in which wearing a hijab can be empowering is if women were not allowed to do so. like if it was a crime or if they faced negative consequences for wearing a hijab. than it would be defiant to wear one and being able to do it could be empowering.

[–] Medea 2 points (+3|-1) Edited

I don't even think it has to be that extreme. Dressing modestly and wearing a head covering can be politically motivated. In the West after 9/11 a lot of women started wearing hijab out of defiance and trust in America's freedoms. In the West women do have freedom of expression, and I can imagine the hijab is a symbol of defiance against hypersexualisation.

It is oppressive in Islamic countries because of the religious underpinnings and legal/cultural ramifications of non-conformity. Women are ostracised in the West for being a prude and they're ostracised for covering their bodies in non-conforming ways, doesn't that count as a negative consequence?

[–] moody_ape 2 points (+2|-0)

i think it makes sense. however, it's not something that happens consistently. it depends on which circle the woman is inserted. women who are prudes can be ostracised in liberal circles and praised in conservative circles. i'm not sure how empowering it can be if it's considered defiant onl in liberal circles. but i see what you mean.

i once saw a short documentary on youtube about how in north korea wearing make up is a illegal. women there have to do make up smuggling. meanwhile, i'm here trying to appreciate my bare face and saving up my money. it's so weird... what is imposed upon me might be forbiden to other women.