Tips From A Veiled Woman


The power of the veil is a fearsome thing to behold. Fatema tells of how in the Islamic woman is empowered when she where the veil and is free from a man’s judgment. What it must feel like to not have to worry about you hair or your makeup or your body. When an Islamic woman puts on the veil she is no longer under the pressure of the male gaze and has no one to please but herself. The confidence that comes with not worrying what men think of you would be amazing! That is a freedom that unlike many American women, Islamic women get to enjoy.

It is this pressure to live up to impossible beauty standards that provides American women with their own personal harem. Fatema calls it the “size 6 harem”. As American women we have trapped ourselves in a harem when we allow ourselves to be judged upon outward attractiveness. This seems a little absurd seeing as how we don’t really get a say in what we look like. Not to say that we should all just be slobs but we should take care of ourselves because we want to do it for us and not others.

This emphasis on looks then provides what I think to be a second Harem for American women, which is a competitive nature between all women. We feel intimidated by other attractive women and allow ourselves to feel inadequate in comparison to others. This harem provides for a deep rooted insecurity within the western world.

Maybe western women will find their own form of a veil to overcome our harem. After all that could be what schools are trying to achieve with uniforms (not that I think uniforms are the answer). Instead of emphasis on beauty people will start being recognized and praised for things that are actually in our control such as kindness and intelligence and strength. Maybe if women could start celebrating those attributes within each other than the rest of the world will catch on.


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