Saturday, 18 July 2009

Keep your Hair on!

Reading about the hideous murder of Marwa Al-Sherbini in Germany this week – stabbed INSIDE a court room by a man who was being prosecuted for calling her a slut and a terrorist for wearing a hijab. Clearly a complete dangerous nut. A tragic story. But it strikes me as frankly bizarre and surreal the amount of attention given to what a women puts on her head. When anyone is forced to wear something they don’t want to wear, whether it is an orange jump suit or a Jewish star on the sleeve – it is oppressive, of course. But let us not forget that many women CHOOSE to cover their hair. For various reasons. Roman Catholic Nuns (was Mother Theresa oppressed?), Christian brides, Plymouth Brethren/Amish women even Rastafarian women (when praying), butchers and bakers even school dinner ladies keep their hair covered. Let us not forget that Mary mother of Christ wore a hijab too.

A good friend of mine joked when she decided to start wearing a hijab that it made her feel more respected in her community, more of an equal to men, that it meant she didn’t have to waste time worrying about her hair, and in many ways it made her feel more sexy. So perhaps the hijab served to liberate her.

By all means, have a go at OPPRESSION – but NOT at clothing. The point is that women should be free to wear what they want to. Let's not miss that point.

PS - that's me, bottom right