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doggie

Muslim Woman: discovers treated better without hijab.

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doggie

not sure but I see this is as people are afraid to approach her. just too different or worried about saying the wrong thing. I see this with my blind wife how do you approach a blind person?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/1 ... 60684.html

 

A Chicago Muslim woman's essay detailing her accidental experiment of having her hijab concealed by winter weather clothing appears to have had a deep resonance far beyond "Chiberia."

 

In a Feb. 7 post titled "I Took Off My Hijab," Blogspot user leenamielus described what happened after she began layering up with a knit hat and scarf wrapped around her neck amid the Windy City's historic cold this winter:

 

"People started talking to me more. Women would speak to me like I knew them since forever. Men looked at me like I was actually approachable. And I was made to feel like I was actually from this planet."

After she realized what she was noticing likely had something to do with the winter gear concealing her hijab, or headscarf, she wrote that she felt more confident -- like she "had simply crossed over to another world for one season." Contrary to most Chicagoans, she began to look forward to heading outdoors and continuing her "experiment."

 

"The power of this experience lies in the fact that it was not an intentional experiment. It happened simply because of the Chiberian weather which required me to cover as much of by body with warm pieces of cloth."

The essay was one of the top stories on both the Chicago and "True Reddit" Reddit communities Monday morning.

Edited by OnceUponATime
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August

I avoid meeting the eyes of women in full face covering hijab and the men with them. It's a pretty strong statement they're making about me and the society I represent. I meet the eyes and smile at women in just a heasdscarf, because I figure they probably don't get that so often.

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treemom
I avoid meeting the eyes of women in full face covering hijab and the men with them. It's a pretty strong statement they're making about me and the society I represent. I meet the eyes and smile at women in just a heasdscarf, because I figure they probably don't get that so often.

A Niqab is the face veil. A hijab is the head and neck covering.

I try to treat the strangers I meet in the street kindly, regardless of whatever my preconceived notion about them is. I don't always meet it, but even when someone is wearing a Palin t-shirt they don't deserve to be treated like a social leper.

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tropaka

How about meeting peoples' eyes and smiling at them because they're people; I'm sorry but that kind of smacks of privilege. I am surprised that people would be so swayed by a hijab (or lack of one). Then again, it's pretty common where I am.

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salex

The whole point of visible religious dress is to say "I am set apart." which is part of the fundie fascination with head coverings and the many variations of skirts only. I suspect all groups who wear obvious religious garb would be treated in a much less guarded way when they are not wearing the garb than when they are.

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anjulibai
The whole point of visible religious dress is to say "I am set apart." which is part of the fundie fascination with head coverings and the many variations of skirts only. I suspect all groups who wear obvious religious garb would be treated in a much less guarded way when they are not wearing the garb than when they are.

Yeah, I agree. I think for many people, they will be polite to those who dress differently for religious reasons, but it's easier for them to be friendly and open with people that aren't trying to set themselves apart.

Then there's also the fact that sometimes those that set themselves apart don't meet friendliness with friendliness. There was an Orthodox Jewish community that had it's synagogue within walking distance of my undergrad. They were so unfriendly. I'd try smiling at and saying hello, and be met with downward glances from the woman and disgusted looks from the men. I stopped trying after a while.

I'm think many people have similiar experiences, and thus when they see anyone with religious dress they are likely not to want to try to be open. Polite, yes, but not open.

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dawbs

The problem w/ avoiding the eyes of people is that it leaves women more and more trapped.

I know it's not my 'job' to help anyone out of patriarchy, but I didn't leave fundie-lite-dom because of being ostracized by 'normal' people--I left when I found that people in the real world were...people. Good, bad, nice mean, fat, skinny, accepting, obnoxious--just like those in fundiedom. If I hadn't dealt with a lot of awesome atheists in my life, I could be knee deep in hellspawn children that I was beating w/ plumbing line by now (probably not but, eh, maybe).

Someone who has been born into an oppressive culture (note, all people who wear headcoverings aren't in oppressive, isolationist cultures--this is assuming that the hypothetical person we're discussing is) where she is expected to wear a head and face covering isn't going to leave that religion/culture because she's ostracized by people in the real world--she's much more likely to assume that what she's been taught (that Christians/outsiders are mean, cold people who wish her ill) are correct by being ostracized.

In fact, if she's trying to 'run' from an oppressive culture, the fact that she has to change a fundamental part of who she is right now--that she has to change her dress and eschew ALL of her culture in order to get the basic fucking human respect of eye-contact and friendliness makes it impossible to run and makes her only way 'out' often appear to go deeper/more fundie in her existing culture.

Not saying I succeed (heaven knows I don't--like a lot of people, figuring out where to look when someone throws off our body-language script is hard...I have trouble knowing how to make eye contact w/ a blind friend or where to look when there's a veil or anything else), but I think I can safely say that I try pretty hard to treat them about the same as the rest of the people I come in contact with daily.

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eohiken

Back when I lived in my last house, I had a neighbour lady who wore a niqab. I saw her now and then at the park with her kids. That veil absolutely came between any amount of conversation we could have possibly had. There is so much about facial expression when meeting people, and that I couldn't see her mouth to help translate her heavy accent which she spoke with a very soft voice.

I still think of her now and again.

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Cleopatra7

I'm not bothered so much by the hijab, which I see every now and then, but I admit that I do stare when I see the full nikab. I guess it's because I automatically make assumptions about what kind of woman would wear a nikab and because it is a rather unusual sight in the South.

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debrand

I have smiled at a few women wearing hijabs because we happened to casually make eye contact. They have never failed to smile back. Sometimes I want to ask about the hijab because the scarves actually suit some women's faces very well but I've always been too shy to say anything.( I actually wish that we would all go back to wearing the type of hair exposing, scarves that women wore in the fifties movies but I don't think that will happen. LOL)

Once I passed a large family wearing the Christian fundie attire of long skirts and started to smile but the mother shot me a nasty, disapproving look. It was obvious she didn't want to interact, even with passing smiles at those outside her group.

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Arete

The nastiest looks I have ever gotten when making casual eye contact and smiling have been from Hasidic Jews, both men and women. Now I go out of my way to never meet their eyes.

Muslim women wearing scarves have usually been unfailingly nice whenever we make eye contact, but I absolutely would avoid women in face covers, and the men around them.

The only fundie Christian women I see regularly are Amish at a food market, and they are also very kind.

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Rescinded and Mended

I once saw a woman in a supermarket wearing a burqa. I remember feeling very sorry for her because the panel she wore over her eyes was a very dark one with heavy netting. My guess is that she had some serious problems with visibility - I encountered her in the canned foods aisle, and she actually ran into the shelves twice while walking down the aisle. :(

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latraviata
I once saw a woman in a supermarket wearing a burqa. I remember feeling very sorry for her because the panel she wore over her eyes was a very dark one with heavy netting. My guess is that she had some serious problems with visibility - I encountered her in the canned foods aisle, and she actually ran into the shelves twice while walking down the aisle. :(

The majority of women in the Arabian Peninsula are dressed like that. I always wondered how the children are able to recognise their own Mum.

It looks very macabre all those black ghosts.

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AnywhereButHere
I once saw a woman in a supermarket wearing a burqa. I remember feeling very sorry for her because the panel she wore over her eyes was a very dark one with heavy netting. My guess is that she had some serious problems with visibility - I encountered her in the canned foods aisle, and she actually ran into the shelves twice while walking down the aisle. :(

I had been out late picking up some last minute stuff for a party at our local Stop & Shop. It was around 10:00 ish so the store was pretty empty. I was standing in an aisle looking for whatever it was I needed, focusing pretty intently on the shelf since I couldn’t find it. When I finally got my item and turned around, there was a woman, in the full black burqua, standing right behind me. She scared the crap out of me! I never heard her coming. She was stealthy. :) Anyway, I jumped about 10 feet in the air and let out a little squeak. I felt so bad. I probably scared her too. I’d like to say that it was just that I wasn’t expecting someone to be right behind me, but the full covering with only eyes showing played a large part. It’s disconcerting on a level. I live in a fairly multicultural area, so it isn’t outside the norm to see women in many different varieties of dress and coverings and don’t really think anything about it usually. I certainly have never squeaked at any of them, but the combination of late night, quiet store, and unexpected aisle sharer I guess did it for me.

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Mama Mia
I'm not bothered so much by the hijab, which I see every now and then, but I admit that I do stare when I see the full nikab. I guess it's because I automatically make assumptions about what kind of woman would wear a nikab and because it is a rather unusual sight in the South.

I know that it can be hard to act appropriately when encountering someone who looks out side our norm......but staring at someone just because they are dressed differently is really no different than staring at someone in a wheelchair.

As far as eye contact goes, different cultures have different expectations about how much eye contact in different situations is appropriate. So what might seem friendly in one culture is seen as intrusive in another. Not to mention even among individuals there is a big range in comfort level.

Funny true story: I was once on an interview panel where one of the primary attributes for hiring is that they wanted someone bi-cultural. Yet one of the main complaints several panelist had about some of the applicants was that they failed to make eye contact, it had to be pointed out to them that making eye contact with strangers was considered rude in the particular culture these applicants came from ! :lol:

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Mama Mia
I avoid meeting the eyes of women in full face covering hijab and the men with them. It's a pretty strong statement they're making about me and the society I represent. I meet the eyes and smile at women in just a heasdscarf, because I figure they probably don't get that so often.

Umm.....what? Have you considered they aren't making a statement about you or your society, but are just dressing as they believe is appropriate?

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tropaka

You know, some of these posts are really making it unsurprising that this woman was treated in a more friendly manner when people couldn't see her hijab.

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doggie

I think we see christian fundies wearing what they do to really prove to the world how good of a christian they are. the duggers and such wear so called ,modest wear as a badge of I am better then you.I don't see that so much with Muslim woman.

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Mama Mia
I think we see christian fundies wearing what they do to really prove to the world how good of a christian they are. the duggers and such wear so called ,modest wear as a badge of I am better then you.I don't see that so much with Muslim woman.

I don't even understand how anyone adhering to the dress code of their own particular beliefs is seen as a " better than you" statement. If you believe women should wear skirts, or men should wear yarmulkes or everyone should keep their knees covered or women should be veiled or everyone over the age of 12 should have a tattoo of a flying pig, because that is what God wants YOU to do.....what does that have to do with other people?

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doggie

I don't even understand how anyone adhering to the dress code of their own particular beliefs is seen as a " better than you" statement. If you believe women should wear skirts, or men should wear yarmulkes or everyone should keep their knees covered or women should be veiled or everyone over the age of 12 should have a tattoo of a flying pig, because that is what God wants YOU to do.....what does that have to do with other people?

Just like everything else the duggers do to try to force others to conform to their version of Christianity. my post I don't give a damn about your religion fits this clearly.

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Magdelope

When I was little we moved to the UAE and lived there for several years. The burqa things has because of this, never really bothered me. I always wondered how people know who their mom, wife or sister is though. :P

I do smile a lot at people, regardless of what they wear and in Britain, where I've also lived, a lot of hijabis smiled back. But here in Sweden they don't. I don't know why but I mainly get frowns or annoyed faces when I smile at them. It's kind of unpleasant to tell the truth.

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salsa
The whole point of visible religious dress is to say "I am set apart." which is part of the fundie fascination with head coverings and the many variations of skirts only. I suspect all groups who wear obvious religious garb would be treated in a much less guarded way when they are not wearing the garb than when they are.

I have to admit that I feel a little social discomfort with folks in obvious religious garb.* For one thing, I'm curious as a people-watcher. For another thing, I know that a lot of people who look and dress like I do have probably been mean to these folks and I want to be nice - and I very probably go overboard the other way.

*Orthodox Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Fundamentalist Christian, etc

I admire a co-worker whose picture is in the dictionary under, "extrovert," who can so simply and appropriately ask questions about others' customs and dress in a very easy and natural way. Me, I still feel shy when getting personal, and religious wear seems personal to me (or, the beliefs that drive the clothing customs are personal).

Maybe some of the "non-personhood" those whose religious clothing feel is because a lot of people are like me: we really don't have judgment for or against their beliefs, but we're too shy to address it and so we do our best not to notice it (and pretending not to notice is just dumb).

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nellautumngirl

I had been out late picking up some last minute stuff for a party at our local Stop & Shop. It was around 10:00 ish so the store was pretty empty. I was standing in an aisle looking for whatever it was I needed, focusing pretty intently on the shelf since I couldn’t find it. When I finally got my item and turned around, there was a woman, in the full black burqua, standing right behind me. She scared the crap out of me! I never heard her coming. She was stealthy. :) Anyway, I jumped about 10 feet in the air and let out a little squeak. I felt so bad. I probably scared her too. I’d like to say that it was just that I wasn’t expecting someone to be right behind me, but the full covering with only eyes showing played a large part. It’s disconcerting on a level. I live in a fairly multicultural area, so it isn’t outside the norm to see women in many different varieties of dress and coverings and don’t really think anything about it usually. I certainly have never squeaked at any of them, but the combination of late night, quiet store, and unexpected aisle sharer I guess did it for me.

:D I'm sorry for you, but this made me laugh and reminded me of this video:

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mpheels

I'm a little conflicted here. On the one hand, I tend to make eye contact and smile at everyone I encounter. If they don't respond positively, I just move on. So if I had encountered this woman on a warm, sunny day, I would probably say good morning, hijab or not. On the other hand, I'm not at all shocked that men interact differently when the hijab isn't visible - that's the whole point!

On a slightly related note, for the first time ever I saw a Muslim woman walking with her husband and actually maintaining a distance of several paces behind him. I was walking to the grocery store in one of the newer/nicer commercial districts here. The sidewalks are wide enough to have people walking 2-3 abreast in each direction, so there weren't any space restrictions. They were casually strolling, chatting, just like any other couple, except that she stayed about five feet behind him at all times. My classes are all on the medical campus at JHU, and a lot of Emiratis and Saudis come here for medical care, so I've seen plenty of Muslim families and couples (in addition to just not living under a rock), and never before saw a woman maintain distance like that.

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debrand

Apparently, Muslim taxi drivers treat non Muslim women differently than women wearing the hijab

The Muslim taxi drivers who would almost always say "Assalamu Alaikum," ask me where I'm from or if I'm single, or not allow me to pay for the fare became cold and dry. I would simply give the address, and the only dialog thereafter was at time of payment. It was puzzling.

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