My friend Annie from Phd in Parenting created this very moving video and posted it on her blog this week.
I loved the video for many reasons.
First, how many times are women condemned for how they dress? Or questioned for it? To cover or not to cover is the question. I was brought up in a house where whatever u wore it was ok. As I got older I became almost anal in my desire to be modest. I had to be covered. For me this is what made sense. For me covering worked. For me it was a way of hiding myself in my ways. I think for me I really got that this week.
I do think there are times for modesty but I also think there are times when we can let it all hang out.
I converted to Islam awhile ago now and I still remember well the first time I chose to wear a headscarf(a hijab). I was going to be attending a Islamic Conference and didn’t want to feel out of place so a friend gave me one to wear. It was July and I covered before I left home that day. I remember the reactions of some who knew me. At the bank that I frequented I was asked “What is that garb on your head?” and then my landlord of the time asked “You aren’t becoming Muslim are you?”. I was greeted with some sideway glances. I noticed. I do think that we as women have the right to cover. We can choose as well not to cover.
I am not a fulltime hijabi ( a woman who dresses Islamically 100% of the time). I admire those who are. Lately I found myself wearing the headscarf because it was what was expected of me. It was not done out of a pure desire to do so. I had bought into the expectations of others. How silly is that?
For me I had to remember I have a choice, and rights and it was okay not to wear it. Every woman has that right.
In the video the whole topic of covering when breastfeeding is also talkedabout as well. Some say a women should cover. Others say it is a natural part of life and let the woman decide.
As we have a brand new baby in our family. Juliannah was born on Sunday and her mother Kim (my niece) is breastfeeding this topic hits close to home. I think it is up to her to decide what she is comfortable with as far as covering or not covering. I don’t think we have the right to say when you are out of the house you need to seclude yourself to feed. You don’t have to have a blanket on unless that makes you comfy etc.
Every day women are bombarded with messages that make us feel as if we aren’t doing it right. Cover, sex it up, cover, let it all hang out. Society seems to want to have a say in something that should be a personal choice, one made by the woman alone.
I choose to be quite modest because I am most comfortable that way. At the same time I choose to give everyone else the right to choose because honestly how can we know what is best for them. We don’t.