The "Miracle" Garment

I've recently come across a few articles dealing with the hijab and the myth of it being a miracle garment that protects women from men. Apparently, this isn't the case in many Muslim countries where even women in burqas are being sexually harassed. One article cited Egypt as having a recent increase in sexual advances of men on hijabi women. While there may be many factors to explain this increase (i.e. increased sexualization of women in the media, rampant pornography online, etc), it doesn't help when scholars and parents alike are forcing girls to wear the hijab and telling them that it's all the protection they need.

In many Muslim households across the world, girls are not being told the entire "story" behind the hijab. Girls these days need to be taught how to be street smart. It's not solely about dressing modestly and hitting the streets without a care. And really, women only make up half the equation...what are  men being told to do about their uncontrolled desires? Apparently, fasting to control their "nafs" isn't working quite well, as sexual harassment is increasing. And this is such a one-dimensional answer on behalf of Imams who respond to men who are brave enough to seek support in this area.

So how is it fair that women are being reminded over and over again to cover from head to toe while men are walking away scott free?

It somewhat scares me that women are still the focus of the issue that men can't control their eyes and hands. In one article I read, a powerful statement read that "perverts are perverts...whether or not women wear the hijab or not". And judging from the number of articles on hijabi victims of sexual harassment, this is an astute statement.

Also, and I state this very clearly, I disagree with those who say that hijabi women "are asking" to be harassed. This has such backward logic. Let's stop placing blame on women and look at the entire problem.

In another article I read, there is actually a growing segment of "hijab fetish" inappropriate material on the internet. Does this disturb anyone else but me? It seems like no matter what Muslim women do these days to "protect" themselves, men will find some way to sexualize it. These are the same men who have sisters and daughters.

There isn't one solution to this current problem, and it certainly isn't asking women to mummify themselves in clothing when they go out in public. As I've blogged about before, boys (and girls alike) are NOT being exposed to the appropriate sexual education they need at a young age. So here we go folks, Imam Google is now their teacher. Can you blame them? But before boys can be educated, their parents have to be...and since parents are too squeamish to talk about body parts that actually exist, we aren't really going anywhere with this plan.

Parents also need to stop placing focus on outer garments and teach their children about INNER modesty above all. You cannot tell a girl that the hijab is a miracle garment that will protect them from deviant men. Parents need to be realistic about the type of world we live in.

And seriously teach girls street-smart skills. Like how to take down someone who dares touch them. Kick 'em where it counts.

Anyway, I don't have any solutions to this epidemic problem, I just had to blog about it since I hear that the hijab is the miracle garment all the time. It's old, and it's tiresome, and it's not working anymore for the 21st Century.

And to be honest, I'm not sure what will.


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