Burqa Tourism at its Finest: How to Become an Expert on Muslim Women in Just One Week

Alicia wrote last week about female members of the British police force wearing burqas and headscarves to try to better understand the Muslim community.  Well, it seems like it’s “dress like a Muslim” month in Britain, because the Daily Mail’s Liz Jones has just written about her own experience wearing a burqa for a week.  It’s not pretty.

Before I start, I’ll just say that, while I’m skeptical of any attempt to wear hijab in order to better comprehend (hijab-wearing) Muslim women’s lives, I can at least sort of understand it if there is a really sincere effort to learn more about the kinds of reactions that such women might face from non-Muslim members of society.  What really bothers me is when these attempts are explained as a way to understand “what it’s like to wear the burqa” (or niqab, or headscarf, or whatever). If you’re wearing any of these things without any personal religious or cultural meanings attached to them, it would be hard to even come close to appreciating what it’s really like for women who wear them.

Im not sure if this is the author herself, or just some random niqab picture that they threw in, but its the photo that accompanied the article.

I'm not sure if this is the author herself, or just some random niqab picture that they threw in, but it's the photo that accompanied the article.

Jones explains her motivation for wearing the burqa as follows:

Moved by the plight of Lubna Hussein, a Sudanese woman who faces 40 lashes for wearing trousers in public, I decided to spend a week enveloped in what she should have been wearing.

Her article probably could not be filled with more burqa-is-oppressive cliches if she tried (for that matter, maybe she did try.  Either way, she sure managed to fill it up with lots of dramatic language.)  Her first day wearing it sounds almost physically impossible:

On my first day, I was unaccountably afraid to put on my burka. When I did pluck up courage, I felt suffocated.

Driving to my local station, I felt blinkered, like a racehorse. Walking to the platform, I could hardly breathe: I kept getting my nose out from beneath its shroud for fresh air. I felt weak, and faint and itchy.

She then gives us this anecdote:

I walked to the kiosk to buy coffee, staring at my feet to avoid catching anyone’s eye.

‘Mumble mumble,’ I said to the young man serving.

To his credit – the station is in Somerset, so I’m pretty sure this was the first time he’d encountered the full burka – he didn’t bat an eyelid.

I automatically lifted the cup to my lips. Ah. How on earth do women eat or drink? Later that day, at a coffee shop in Fulham, I sat outside at a table, faced with an insurmountable sandwich.

What can we learn from this?  First, that burqa-wearing women are, apparently, unintelligible.  Second, that Jones either can’t think ahead far enough to realize that maybe going for coffee in a public place isn’t so smart with no plan for how to consume said coffee, or that she did so deliberately to show us that Muslim women are so oppressed that we can’t even drink coffee or eat sandwiches.  The idea that women who cover their faces might either have already planned for how (or where) to drink their coffee, or that some might even temporarily uncover their faces in order to eat, doesn’t really factor in.

An alternate explanation arises in Jones’ next paragraph:

An Arab man shouted abuse. I have no idea what he was saying – perhaps I shouldn’t have been out on my own, or perhaps eating is a sin – but the interesting point is that during my week in a burka, he was the only person who gave me any abuse whatsoever.

Aha!  Maybe eating is a sin!  That’s how Muslim women survive the coffee-shop dilemmas – they’re not supposed to be eating anyway.

That aside (yes, I know Jones was probably exaggerating; I’ll concede that she probably does know that Muslim women eat), this paragraph irks me for other reasons.  First of all, if Jones “[has] no idea what he was saying,” how does she know that this “Arab” man was truly shouting “abuse” (and, for that matter, does she know for sure that he’s Arab)?  And how does she know that this abuse was even burqa- or Islam-related?  Maybe it was, as Jones assumes.  Maybe she had stolen his table at the coffee shop, or maybe her car was blocking his in the parking lot.  Maybe he was yelling at her because he didn’t like that she was wearing a burqa.  Who knows?  The point is that the suggestion that wearing a burqa gets negative reactions only from oppressive Muslim men attempting to police Muslim women’s bodies is disturbing and, if we listen to women in Britain who wear hijab or niqab for longer than Jones’ week-long experiment, not the full story.

In fact, Jones even dismisses one woman who talked about facing racism because of her clothing:

‘I have had so much abuse on the train,’ a British Muslim called Um Abdullah complained on Woman’s Hour. Well, she has obviously never travelled with First Great Western.

Does Jones really claim, from her one-week experience, to know more about abuse on a train than a woman who is always visibly identifiable as a Muslim?  It’s not that I would have wished negative experiences on Jones, but the fact that she didn’t have any doesn’t mean that everyone else should stop complaining because those experiences don’t exist.  And the solution shouldn’t be to just take a different train, as Jones implies with her praise of First Great Western.

Moreover, in the beginning of her article, Jones describes catching a glimpse of her own reflection while wearing the burqa, and seeing “a dark, depressed alien. A smudge. A nothing.”  Even if she says she didn’t face any “abuse” while wearing it, this comment is rather telling of the kind of judgment that she would see entirely appropriate to place on a woman wearing a burqa.  While someone in a burqa might not face overt racist comments on a daily basis, I would imagine that coming up against judgments such as this one (and having such judgments printed in a matter-of-fact way in a widespread newspaper) might just become a pretty significant frustration after a while.

Narrating other experiences, Jones tells us that:
Getting out of [a] cab, a passing decorator opened the door and grabbed my shopping – a burka makes you clumsy, slow, fearful because you can’t hear, and helpless; I spent most of the week feeling like a disabled person.
Never is there consideration made for the possibility that clumsiness and slowness might be more related to Jones’ unfamiliarity with wearing the burqa, rather than the burqa itself.  As for not being able to hear, I know a whole lot of women who cover their heads (ears included) in various ways and still manage to hear just fine, so I’m not sure what the problem was here.  The ableist language is also pretty striking; we should all feel shocked and sorry for Jones, because who would ever want to feel like a disabled person?!  [sarcasm]
The rest of the article is more of the same, and ends with:

On yet another perfect summer’s day in Hyde Park during my week covered up, I saw a crocodile of schoolchildren. Only the pale moon of the faces of the Muslim girls was exposed.

I know now exactly how they feel: marginalised, objectified, kept box-fresh for the eyes of male relatives.

All I can say to this is, no.  No, you don’t know how they feel (or at the very least, you can’t say for certain that you do.)  You don’t know why they’re wearing what they’re wearing, or what meaning it has for them.  Yes, some Muslim women feel marginalized and objectified, and sometimes this even relates to their clothing.  Other women might wear exactly the same clothing and feel entirely different, or might even feel more marginalized and objectified by non-Muslims than by their “male relatives.”  Spending a week in a burqa (especially when this experience is entered into already with fear and disgust towards the burqa) does not make someone an expert on how women who wear these things feel, or on how they should react to racism and abuse.

  • Aaminah

    this is getting so old! i’ve been Muslim for 11 years, mashaAllah, and the majority of that time i have worn abaya & niqab. in those 11 years, i can’t even count how many articles like Jones’ i’ve read! this is an excellent response to it, btw. but it really begs the question: why are non-muslims who hate our dress pretending to parade around in it temporarily and then writing about our lives? i’m sure this was going on long before i embraced Islam (i suspect it’s always happened) and it still goes on today amongst so-called “civilized”, “enlightened”, “progressive” and “liberal” folks. why? are we nothing more than the way we dress? is that all there is to me – the clothing i have on? and am i somehow incapable of speaking for myself, such that i need some anti-Islam bigot to speak for me? and it’s just funny (not) that even when a Muslim woman would speak for herself, Jones feels the need to negate what the sister had to say of her experiences. what a waste of newspaper ink Jones and her ilk are!

  • Liz (not Jones)

    I think it’s particularly interesting the Jones goes through such lengths to depict the burka (Was this really a burka? Or was it a niqab?) as a “prison” when her own incredibly distorted body image is on full display in her writing. (In a recent article on her distaste for children, she implied that her fear of a saggy stomach was a contributing factor in her aversion to pregnancy.)

    Is she honestly convinced that an article of clothing categorically oppresses its wearers more than she herself is oppressed by her eating disorder?

    She is the worst.

  • Smile

    Hahahaha, you go girl!

    Your comments made me laugh so much! It’s good to know that there are some sane minded people.

    I looked at the article myself. The worst and best rated comments were so wrong.

    Thanks for making my day!

  • http://maysie.web.net Maysie

    Krista, what an excellent article. This issue is one that reminds me of the “Black Like Me” idea. That a (white) woman can simply put on a hijab and can instantly understand what it’s like to be a Muslim woman who wears hijab. Clearly Jones had her own idea what it would be like, and her experience simply “proved” that idea to her. How handy. No examination of her privilege, no sirree, and certainly not talking to *actual *groups of *Muslim *women? How “boring”.

    Argh.

    This article expresses, and breaks down, Jones’ positions so well. Thank you.

  • ummsqueakster

    I can’t even find words to express how BS this whole thing is. The entire premise upon which the experiment is supposidly built is false. I haven’t seen too many Sudanese niqab wearers, and even those who do wear colorful niqab. Yeah, it gets worse from there.

  • Sobia

    Wow. Just wow. How utterly disgusting. I can’t understand how people can be so incredibly ignorant and stupid in this day and age. Just wow.

    Thanks for the awesome analysis Krista! This article was nonsense.

  • http://muslimahmediawatch.org/ Fatemeh

    This is mind-blowingingly awful. “Box-fresh”?! I am speechless at how numblingly offensive this fuckery is!

  • debbie

    This was critically analyzed very well Krista! Wow, that last quote from the article is appalling and incredibly ignorant!

  • RCHOUDH

    This “burka for a day” experiment is almost as asinine as those celebrities who don fat suits for a day to see what it’s supposedly like to be fat for a day. The worst such “fat for one day” experiment I saw was on Tyra Banks show, where she was bawling to a couple of real overweight women about how SHE felt “so humiliated and ignored” by the general populace while walking around pretending to be fat. Meanwhile imagine how the women who really live this experience were feeling (don’t expect Tyra to imagine it since that show was all about Tyra, Tyra, Tyra). Like Tyra, Liz Jones makes it seem as though women living different experiences have it bad all the time from society in general when in reality their experience is more complicated than that. What’s worse is that you’re made to feel sorry for poor little Tyra and Ms. Jones for their experience being something they’re not instead of the real women who may have bad experiences being what they are! And they don’t even bother to sympathize with the women they’re supposed to pretend being for a day because at the end of the day they feel relieved to take off the fat suit or burka and live their normal everyday lives again, while forgetting about the women whose “plight” they’re supposedly championing.

  • Ma Karoon

    She even managed to steam like a suet pudding and order a stiff gin and tonic all in the same sentence. Such calculated bigotry alas is what the Daily Mail uses to sell copy. There’s even a website dedicated to its more outrageously ludicrous claims (http://www.mailwatch.co.uk/).

    As for Liz Jones this stunt obviously has nothing at all to do with her current book, which is cut down to size by the far superior British daily the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/aug/11/digested-read-john-crace-liz-jones), which unaccountably featured her narcissistic ‘columns’ some years back.

  • pineappleslice

    Thank you so much for this article…good breakdown of why this woman had the completely wrong idea going into this project. Can I just add that my annoyance was absolutely complete after seeing the tired “moon of the face” metaphor that she stuck in at the end. Muslim women’s faces are moons. Tragic, tragic moons. We get it.

  • Jamilah

    Is Liz Jones for real? This woman is a riot, with charming gems such as….I couldn’t hear, I felt disabled, and the all time number one classic, that Arab dude was yelling wicked abusive things at me even though I admit I have no clue exactly what he was saying…..

  • Lee Ann

    First, I would like to thank the women of this site for challenging the dominant and erroneous assumptions so many of us western feminists have been raised on. It’s a tremendous education for me.

    Second, I had this fantasy of writing a counter-essay on the ‘plight’ of the Western woman of fashion. It would cover:

    1: Subway grates in heels
    2: Waiting for a bus in a miniskirt
    3: Uncomfortable/ potentially damaging clothing to not explicable purpose.

  • Emma

    Hi, I’m new to this site, surfed in from Jezabel, and I just wanted to say something.
    This is exactly why I’m encouraging my students to take part in the resaerch that I’m doing, which is tentatively titled ‘Experiences of veiled women in the UK’. What motivated me is that we have a large number of students at my Uni that wear one or other type of headscarf or veil. I hear so many negative reactions, but they seem to come only from people other than those who are wearing them. The wearing of some kind of covering clearly has complex motivations and involvement with personal, religous and gender identity and I feel that the voices of these women are unheard in mainstream discourses. What I find frustrating is women like Liz Jones saying that the women who wear hijab or burka, or whatever, are oppressed into it, but the young women I work with are intelligent and tough, I see no evidence of reluctance to cover htemselves, instead they talk about the liberation of it. After all, surely the cultural demand of fake hair, breasts, tans and nails (a la Katie Price) is far more demeaning than covering your hair.

  • http://jamericanmuslimah.wordpress.com Jamerican Muslimah

    Thanks for your analysis of this article Krista. I really have nothing more to add. :)

  • http://muslimahmediawatch.org/ Fatemeh

    @ Lee Ann: I love the idea of an expose about the “plight of the western woman of fashion”!!! That, my friend, is such brilliant satire that I wish I’d thought of it. And thanks for the kind words! :)

  • Becky

    What I think that Liz misses (aside from any type of sensitivity or rationality) is that she conflates personal modesty (like wearing a burqa, niqab, etc) with sexual modesty (being “box-fresh”).

    Most people (and in this I include Liz Jones) believe that you should probably not be naked in front of anyone other than your significant other, so covering more of your body is an issue of degrees, not of kind.

    As a woman who covers her hair (contrary to the preference of my husband) I can say that it is often oppressive and uncomfortable, but it’s also my choice. And I have to believe that in countries like England and the US, that is probably the case for most women. Is there familial pressure? I’d assume so, but again, families clashing over what the children can wear is a pretty familiar trope in Western culture, so I’d assume it is a difference of degree and not in kind.

    In conclusion, I will NOT be sorry to see the end of these “walk a mile in their shoes” trend pieces.

    [This comment has been moderated to fit within moderation guidelines.]

  • chops

    you absolutely nailed it, Krista.

  • http://nataliaantonova.wordpress.com/ Natalia Antonova

    Stay classy, Liz Jones.

  • Sobia

    @ Fatemeh and Lee Ann:

    Forget about a satire. Why doesn’t someone actually do it?! I mean, perhaps one of the MMW writers would be willing to dress in “stereotypical Western” attire for a day (though not sure what that would mean) and report on it in the same patronizing tone.

    Hmm….I can picture it now.

  • an honest friend

    Dear Ladies, I apologize in advance, and please know that I mean no offense. While I too think it is shallow for any non-Muslim (including myself) to done any form of traditionally modest clothing items that Muslim women around the world wear so that it can then be proclaimed “I know what it’s like!”–I am a bit confused because I have read pieces written by other observant Muslim women that the burqa does pose some extra difficulties that other types of modest dress do not. I can’t speak to that from personal experience, I have none–just that I have read this. Please feel free to let me know the truth/untruth of all this.

    I do hope that none of us will lose sight of Lubna Hussein’s plight, and that she too is an observant Muslimah.

    [This comment has been edited to fit within the comment moderation guidelines.]

  • http://muslimahmediawatch.org/ Fatemeh

    @ an honest friend: Sorry I had to edit your comment–I just wanted to keep the stuff that was most important and relevant.

    One of the problems here is that Lubna al-Hussein does not wear the burqa, nor is she in trouble for wearing the burqa (Jones stated that she was dressing in a way al-Hussein should have been, but al-Hussein is in trouble for wearing pants [which is stupid enough, but I don't want to digress], and Jones’ statements are just plain incorrect). So to try and work al-Hussein in here somehow is just shameless.

  • Krista

    @ an honest friend: Sure, it may be true that “the burqa does pose some extra difficulties that other types of modest dress do not.” At the very least, I would assume that the physical experience of wearing a burqa is different from that of wearing “other types of modest dress,” although having never worn one myself, it’s hard to offer my own perspective on what that difference would be like. And I think that’s the main thing – even if, for example, most women were to find the burqa especially uncomfortable, that doesn’t necessarily mean that *all* women find it uncomfortable, or a burden. Alternatively, some women may find it uncomfortable but feel that the discomfort is worth it for other reasons (and burqa-wearing women aren’t the only ones making this trade-off – someone else in the comments already mentioned high-heeled shoes, and I’m sure we can all think of other examples.) And, as we know, some women wear it but not of their own choosing.

    So I don’t have much to say about the “truth” or “untruth” of your statement, because the “difficulties” that you reference that get associated with the burqa are not experienced in the same way for all women who wear it. The point of this post was not to say that Liz Jones is wrong and therefore the burqa is great and we should all be wearing it, but simply to show that her analysis is really simplistic and that her blanket statements about the burqa are problematic and inappropriate.

  • Krista

    Oh, and thanks everyone else for your comments. I also LOVE the idea of doing an expose on what it’s like to dress like a non-Muslim/Western woman. Sobia, you seem enthusiastic, I think you should give it a shot… ;)

  • an honest friend

    Thanks for the replies, much appreciated and I understand the editing. My commentary about what I have read was not supposed to reference non-Muslimah commentary about the Burqa, but commentary by other observant Muslimahs. Hopefully that came through. Why this particular article of clothing was chosen by Liz Jones, versus others is unknown to me.

    As for Lubna Hussein’s situation–I made no connection between her and burqa wearing, just that I think it’s incredibly important to acknowledge her protest at what she as a practicing Muslimah feels is a misinterpretation of her religion.

    I think it would be far more fair in these times for their to be a general acknolwedgement of the profound upsurge in misogyny world wide. This comes in many forms, and no particular country, culture, or religion is exempt from many awful displays of this. What I find fascinating it when we have women from one group purporting to say “You are far more oppressed than we are!” which becomes a huge distraction.

  • http://muslimahmediawatch.org/ Fatemeh

    @ an honest friend: Sorry, I meant to state that Jones’ inclusion of Lubna al-Hussein’s issues are shameless. “Look what she’s going through! Why don’t I put on a niqab?” These two things are totally unrelated.

    And I definitely agree that nobody wins in the Oppression Olympics.

  • Shii

    I think “reporters” like Jones are drawing a misguided parallel between the experience of ethnic minorities and the experience of Muslims. They read a book like “Black Like Me” and think they should do something like that for Muslims, but without understanding any of the spirit or philosophy behind the hijab.

  • Dude

    (Pssttt… Daily Mail!)

  • cookie m

    how bout if a (black) woman did it?

  • http://www.liquescent.net/blog M. Landers

    There are certainly women who have complaints about niqab … I imagine those who write about those complaints often have much stronger complaints with regard to feeling or being obligated to publicly dress in that particular manner. As there are women with complaints, but who take a view that difficulties in this life bring ease in the next. As there are women who are more or less neutral on the subject. And as there are women who actively promote the advantages and pleasure they take in niqab. The trouble is that outside of the relevant pious audience the latter three categories are silent, or silenced, enough so as to appear to not exist at all. Niqab then gives the impression of being a misogynistic imposed hardship … and nothing else, to anyone, anywhere, ever. The confusion you indicate experiencing is actually a really good illustration of the whole problem: that voices — Muslim, or non-Muslim as that of Ms. Jones — which pan the niqab are the only mental references a lot of people have with regard to niqab.

  • EJ

    “a dark, depressed alien. A smudge. A nothing.”

    Of the whole article this line bothered me the most and most showcased her racism. She would have never said this if she was wearing black slacks and a black long sleeve shirt. She, instead, somehow implies that the burqa overrides her whiteness. If taken as such, the rest of it, “alien” and “nothing,” state very clearly what she thinks of non-whites. That was terribly offensive. Instead, if she was wearing a western outfit that was entirely black, she would have never said this because her ethnicity would have been clearly visible.

  • pomegranatetea

    I found this via Jezebel, and as a Christian woman who dresses modestly, I am shocked (though I probably shouldn’t be, as it is the Mail reporting) at Jones’ ridiculous experiment. Someone without any concept of religious modesty and how it can be a beautiful expression of faith is never going to understand why Muslimahs wear the burqa.

  • carlos

    Does anybody have other examples of this kind of work? I’ve been trying to find other articles like this one to see if it’s really a trend or if this is just one person pretending to be Muslim for a week. Thanks.

  • Krista

    You mean other examples of people dressing up like Muslim women? It actually seems to happen pretty regularly… See, for example, these past MMW posts:

    http://muslimahmediawatch.org/2007/12/11/the-veil-does-not-a-prison-make-2/

    http://muslimahmediawatch.org/2008/04/10/a-day-in-the-life-of-2/

    I’m pretty sure we’ve covered this kind of thing at other times too, so some of the other writers might be able to give you a couple more links, or you can try looking back through past posts. It does seem to be a trend though (and, of course, one journalist’s experience of wearing hijab/niqab/burqa for a day/week always seems to have more credibility than the experiences of women who wear these things all the time…)

  • an honest friend

    Hello Ladies, wanted to let you know of a different article I found today

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/US/08/12/generation.islam.hijab/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

    While perhaps incomplete, I felt there were some positive things stated that often go unnoticed. That teens in particular were talking about how they enjoyed modest dress was brilliant.

    Would be nice if the discussion of Muslim women could extend beyond what they are wearing!

  • rabia

    i would totally be up for it, but i personally nominate Krista..i would be happy to help you girl!

    xo. you did good, yet again!

  • Anjanette

    Kudos to you for being able to write about this fail of an article; all I would have managed was a keyboard smash – nothing intelligible. I don’t know if there’s any hope for that woman (the author).

  • carlos

    thanks for the links. i’m trying to figure out if just british people are doing this — or if americans have jumped in on the burka-wearing-experiment bandwagon. it seems like they would have as well but i haven’t really seen anything.

  • Peter

    Whoah, what happened to my comment? I hand-typed a passage from Frantz Fanon’s “Algeria Unveiled” describing the experience many women have had upon shedding the ‘veil’ (in this case, Niqab). Written in the context of Algeria’s war with France, I thought it provided a wonderful counter-voice to the “this niqab is hot and itchy and I can’t move right” cliches we get from women who decide to “see what it’s like” in a niqab/burqa.

    Why isn’t it here?

  • http://muslimahmediawatch.org/ Fatemeh

    @ Peter: I’m sorry, Peter. I saw the comment, but since you hadn’t included any commentary, I wasn’t sure why you were typing it or if it was meant to be apropos to the situation. If you can be bothered to re-type it, I’d be glad to include it.

  • http://muslimahmediawatch.org/ Fatemeh

    @ Carlos: Actually, Carlos, I wrote about a similar issue in 2007: http://muslimahmediawatch.org/2007/12/11/the-veil-does-not-a-prison-make-2/

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  • http://ubuntulinuxtipstricks.blogspot.com Mackenzie

    My only question is: will men stop catcalling if I have a veil on? If so, where can I get one? Well…I suppose I could buy one at a Renaissance Festival, actually…

  • http://muslimahmediawatch.org/ Fatemeh

    @ Mackenzie: A headscarf and/or face veil does not magically make sexual harassment or assault go away.

  • an honest friend

    Just read articles on the burkini–I know I’m a couple of years behind the times! http://www.ahiida.com/index.php?a=testimonials

    Have to confess, as a non-Muslim woman, I would LOVE one of these!

  • Danni
  • http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion riazat butt

    the make-a-columnist-wear-a-burqa-for-a-day is a tried and tested formula for the UK press I am sorry to say. As for the picture, no way is that Liz Jones, she’s like 80. She says she wanted to identify with Lubna Hussain – who got into trouble for wearing pants. Doh!

  • http://possumstew.wordpress.com Fiqah

    Krista, your article was very well-done and LOADS of fun to read. I really, REALLY wish the media would cut it out with this “Muslimah Like Me” nonsense. (Actually, to be fair at least “Black Like Me” had an admirable goal. This feels more like some kinda “burqa drag” half-baked social experiment). In light of the very real oppression faced by Arab and Muslim women everyday, this is just plain old insulting. Shame on them.

  • an exmoor lover

    Crikey! You know, I surfed here as I was trying to find out if Liz Jones was real or some kind of bizarre exercise in spoof writing.

    For those of you not familiar with her work she writes some seriously whacked out things. She just moved to Exmoor (rural Somerset) and writes that she has been feeding the rats in her barn organic museli, and that her pet chicken has been bleeding from its ‘front bottom’ so she is feeding that organic linguine from Carluccios. So rude and hostile to the locals is she, describing them as suffering from learning disabilities, that they are petitioning her to move away. Oh yeah, and she is famous for hoovering her backyard when living in London.

    So, I can only say that this burka article is scary. I mean satire works because you know it’s satire, right? I mean Ali-G it aint. Which leaves behind the very real possibility that this woman is really living what she writes.

    My conclusion from this is that even is this woman is a windup artist, she is still freaking batshit crazy. You know why the kid at the train station didnt bat an eyelid? Because he would have recognised her burqa or no burqa and for whatever she says the locals aren’t stupid – they already know this woman is crazy.

  • TeakLipstickFiend

    I don’t know if the comments here are that positive. Although it’s positive in the sense that these young women are not wearing the hijab out of oppression, there is still the idea of a woman saving herself for a man, rather than just being herself for herself:,”When you have something precious, you usually hide it. You want to make sure you keep it safe until that treasure is ready to be found.”

    There is also the negative idea that it is up to the woman not to tempt a man, rather than the onus being on the man to respect a woman: “I really liked the purpose behind the hijab — a woman covering herself so that a man should know her for her mind, not her body.”

    Still a very interesting article, though.

  • TeakLipstickFiend

    Krista,

    I really enjoyed your article and hated Liz Jones’.

    And I hope someone does do an article on the “plight” of the Western woman of fashion!