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Why Do Muslim Women Cover Their Body

1665 words - 7 pages

If someone was to look up the meaning of veil in a dictionary the noun would state that it is “ a piece of material worn by women to protect or conceal the face” while the verb is describes the action as a way to “partially conceal, disguise, or obscure.” Unfortunately, in today's society both definitions have meaning when it comes to the veil and it’s role in Muslim culture. Whether or not women want to accept it the truth, still remains that the veil is a form of gendered violence. Even though people seek to reclaim it’s meaning they cannot change its origins and the reason it was established in the first place, to conceal and control Muslim women. The movie Persepolis depicts the veil in an oppressive light as a tool that has been fashioned against women and their rights. The main character takes a strong stance on her objection of the veil. On the other hand, “Don’t Liberate Me” written by S.R. focuses on how she does not want her veil to be used as a rallying point for liberators. Both, the film and the reading depict disgruntled women on opposites sides of political war, but I agree with the movie’s perspective on the impact of the veil and how it negatively affects women’s rights. The veil is a form of institutionalized oppression against women that has manifested itself into internalized oppression by providing women with a vision of the ideal Muslim woman.

The covering of one’s body often times only refers to women and their choice of clothing. It is rare that a man’s exposed body is counted as indecent of a distraction to others, but when it comes to women it is imperative that they are fully covered so as not to draw attention away from more pressing matters. In the movie Persepolis women were held to a higher standard when it came to their public appearance. Their level of modesty far surpassed what was expected of males and at one point in the movie they even tried to implement a stricter dress code for the women at the college. Their need to be modest was attributed to those that had died in the war and how it might be seen as an insult or counterrevolutionary. During this speech about necessary sacrifices the speaker continually used “we” but women were the only ones that were forced to make further sacrifices. Marjane’s decision to speak out against the new rules was a pivotal moment because it shed light on the inequality within her society. The men were allowed to wear whatever they pleased without being seen as a threat to social order, while the women were seen as a constant distraction. These rules didn’t only stifle women’s expression but also their mobility because it made it harder for them to do simple everyday things. No one considered the burden that these changes brought upon women, especially those that had lived most of their life without the veil. The women had no choice in the making of this decision which makes the inequality even more apparent.

Despite the veil being a blatant attack on women’s rights many...

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