“The Veil Issue” is a quagmire of racial distrust, religious intolerance, perceived misogyny, and a clash of cultures.
Anyone concerned with women’s rights, the abuse of women under the guise of religious traditions, and the objectification/ownership of women, will see a woman wearing a veil as an affront. Well-meaning people are projecting their own indignation onto what they perceive to be male-dominated and dogma-fueled oppression. Others see the veil as a defiant refusal to assimilate into a new culture or a silent condemnation for the society that they should be embracing. Still others may feel that the veil will antagonize racists in the community and put the wearers’ safety at risk.
And to some extent, every one of those opinions is true, which unfortunately can turn an article of clothing into a flying banner of contention.
Personally, when I see women who cover their hair or shroud their entire bodies, I feel sorry for them. I see them as having embraced religious or cultural practices that, to my mind, diminish them, not only as women, but as human beings. Regardless of my own ideas of what constitutes appropriate public attire, the fact that a woman’s choice of dress, from a miniskirt to a burka, is seen as tacit complicity with a society that will label her a whore or victim is disturbing.
To my mind, if a person’s culture or religion does not cause physical or mental harm to themselves or others, they should be left alone. However, violence and cruelty under the guise of religious freedom or cultural tolerance should never be accepted by the rest of society.
So, unless you’re sitting next to Lady Gaga and she’s wearing a razor ribbon dress, don’t fret about what a woman’s wearing. Your time would be better spent considering the validity of your own prejudices.