Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

The Purpose(s) of Headscarves

by Staff


Tags: Spirituality, Headscarf, Head cover, Muslim women, hijab,

Muslim women in cafeThe headscarves worn by many Muslim women have provoked heated debate outside the majority-Muslim world, most of it about the competing values of secular society and the freedom of religious expression. Less understood are the reasons why women wear them in the first place. Blogging at Religion Dispatches, Shabana Mir tries to correct this, offering not one, but 17 different aesthetic, religious, and cultural reasons why women wear headscarves.
Steve Thorngate

Image by Chris Schuepp, licensed under Creative Commons.

anne r. fitzgerald_4
4/21/2008 1:36:33 PM

When I was young and pretty, I liked being young and pretty, but I hated the blatant and rude attentions of predatory males which made me feel vulnerable and flustered. Times have changed. A new generation of "liberated" young American women dresses very provocatively to attract male attention - perhaps because our population has increased so much they must compete harder for mates? Shabana Mir's article describes American women as victims of social propoganda and male aggression. Yes, but they should not need to hide under headscarves. They need a sense of their own worth and strength. Little girls might be taught physical and psychological techniques for self-defense, not, as we were, that they exist solely to become wives and mothers. Women need to work together, older women helping younger women, to establish their right to be treated with dignity and respect, no matter what their culture.