Sometimes they say “You have been forced to where hijab or dress modestly by the men in your family, or your culture or the government!”. That may be true in some cases and that is actually condemnable – no one should ever be forced – but there is a vast majority of women who wear modest clothes or cover their hair by their choice. When a girl like me, sitting thousands of miles away from Pakistan in a Buddhist or a Christian or an atheist majority country, wears a form of hijab – I don’t have a gun pointed at my head by anyone. Hell, I don’t even have that pointed at me when I’m in Pakistan. No one in my family or surrounding makes it an obligation on me. Half of the women around me in Pakistan don’t cover their head.
Okay, on this #womensday, let’s talk about a little perspective. Something I have had on my mind for a long time after some global observations, hate crimes and personal experiences.
However, then they have the argument: “But even if you are doing it by your choice, at the end of the day your religion is the one that is forcing you to wear it and that is oppression!” (For example: Listen to the lady on this channel with more than a million subscribers : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejFYdIDYxKo). Fun fact: All religions and all books of ethics also teach us to be good humans – if we “chose” to follow that and try being good people, does that mean we are being “forced” into being good humans? If Christians or Muslims decide to fast, is it their religion forcing them? You, by your logic, are blaming every individual, who follows a certain religion and does whatever peaceful act they do out of their love and devotion to their religion, of doing something forcefully without any meaning or sentiment.
Lets forget religion for a moment. Lets just talk about a world where people have a sense of ethics somehow naturally and they wear whatever they want to wear. Most girls with a bikini would feel comfortable while wearing it on a beach but not in a supermarket probably – they do have some inner level of comfort regarding how they want to dress or be seen in a market. If they throw on a shirt and a jeans/shorts/skirts they may feel more comfortable. Relatable or not? The same basic element that is used to make a shirt or jeans or a skirt – it is also used for making a rectangular piece of hijab. It is just another piece of cloth! Covering some of the body is fine and understandable to ALL but as soon as a girl decides to show lesser skin or to cover her hair because with those extra parts of her body being covered she feels more comfortable; the entire world has to sit down and debate about how backward it is, how it is a sign of oppression and slavery, how it takes rights away from women. I did not know that a single piece of cloth, long or short, could be such a big problem for the betterment of this world. Focus on the real issues!
Similarly, if a girl decides to show some skin, it does not automatically make her a “bad” girl as judged by some societies/cultures. At the end of the day, following something in a religion or not is a personal choice, and everyone is accountable for their deeds. Let God make these decisions. Not you.
On this women’s day, I want all women to understand and respect each other’s choices. Ones freedom of speech may hurt and intrude another’s freedom of choice. Freedom is as long as you don’t hurt anyone directly OR indirectly. Lets make new friends. Beyond our culture, ethnicity and religion. And we would know we basically are all the same. White, Black, Brown, exposing skin or hiding it – what lies beneath the skin is just as beautiful as the other. Lets learn to know everyone better before making issues that don’t exist. There are many real issues that need your and my focus.
Lets make friends, not walls.
Peace and Love. :’)
#InternationalWomensDay #LetsMakeFriendsNotWalls #Hijabiontherun