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» babble   » right brain babble   » culture   » Woman's head coverings; religious connotation of, history of, cultural differences of

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Author Topic: Woman's head coverings; religious connotation of, history of, cultural differences of
Babbler # 690

posted 01 March 2007 10:49 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I still don't know how hijabs go on (my question down the thread) but I've been wondering about the whole veil thing.

My great grand-mother who died a few years ago at 89ish and, as I remember it, never went out without a head scarf (this would be more like a simple head scarf, like a Hutterite one for lack of a better example). She grew up in the Salvation Army. My grandmother, again as I remember, also sported an old school bonnet of the Army...

... not that old school but a variant of.

ANd this got me thinking. Most Westerners view the hijab with a certain disdain and in terms of anti-feminism. But... I'm not now wondering if this is a blinder of sorts. Much in the same way conservative Christians hold our Western democracies in a higher regard than other countries cultural values (conviently forgetting the previous 150 year history of fighting for human rights.... perhaps they forget, say, Turkey gave the woman the right to vote 40 years before the Swiss did, and Canada apparently only gave Native American woman the right to vote in 1960). We are not all that far displaced from the Islamic societies we look down on.

So... burka notwithsatanding (I simply don't get that), hijabs strike me as just a variant of head gear that my own family has donned, accepting that the usage has lapsed. Having said that though,

Few garments or even religious symbols evoke the kind of passionate debate that burqas evoke. Feminists have debated long and hard on the moral and religious rightness of wearing a veil - amongst themselves and with religious leaders.

The Veil Goes High Fashion

The head covering of my own cultural upbring was never a religious edict. Well, it isn't now, anyway, but before it was an expected norm. Is head covering an Islam an edict? The Army's use of bonnets probably was derived from a sense of fashion (link:, babble apparently won't accept parentesis in URL tags). So I guess the question I have is whether the hijab has a similar sense of history in the Islamic world? Did head covering of some sort become popular in 1600 and spread throught the Muslim world? Do, "feminists" (okay, "feminists in the Western sense") really deabte the moral righteousness of head coverings? Would my great grandmother read this and be perplexed that "feminists" (in the late twentieth century sense) would argue for it and not a normal woman?

From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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