Muslim Girl Journal: Muslim Women Stereotypes

 

        Chapter 3

One, common misconception in Islam is that all Muslim women  must wear the hijab (Islamic headscarf) However, I think it's important for people to understand  it’s optionality. Muslim women, by no religious terms are obligated to wear the headscarf or cover themselves entirely with a burqa with the exception of prayer times.

The Islamic faith encourages modesty of the female body. For example, you should have the legs, shoulders, and stomach covered. Muslim women are free to interrupt that as they wish. That being said, some women take the modesty to a higher degree by covering themselves with a headscarf.  I only wear the hijab when I am praying. I do not wear it everyday. Someone who doesn’t wear a hijab is not any less a Muslim than someone who wears it. A head scarf can not determine your level of faith nor does it indicate if you pray on a daily basis, it also doesn't showcase if you are kind to others.

Another, stereotype  among Muslim women is that we are "oppressed." Personally, I feel liberated when I cover myself. The male gaze is  something I don’t desire or crave. By wearing kurtas(long dresses) I no longer feel uncomfortable when I go out.

The male gaze is not a burden anymore and I do not have to constantly worry about it. I grew up in the United States where women are over sexualized and sex is promoted everywhere from movies to tv ads and magazines. White feminism encourages women to wear provocative clothing and to be openly sexual. But It is wrong to associate freedom with physical appearance. There a lot of Muslim girls who wear crop tops and short skirts, but aren’t necessarily “free.”

Therefore, one's physical appearance can not dictate how much freedom someone has.