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Taking control

The hijab-wearing women are often viewed as a person one should feel sorry for. In the “modern” societies of Western Europe and the US, the main thoughts (and the publically correct) are that “She’s probably under control by her husband and/or sons. She’s not free to wear whatever she wants… she’s not allowed to do whatever she wants… she’s forced to wear the hijab and the modest and covering clothes, poor thing…” and so on. And the female fashion in these societies are all about being sexy and using one’s sex appeal. The ideals admired are the supermodels, Hollywood-celebs and the likes. Forcing everyone, except the natural born supermodels, to be on an everlasting diet, excercise regime and even consider plastic surgery in order to keep up with the latest trends.

But what if it is quite the opposite?* What if the modest women, of all faiths and convictions, are actually the liberated ones? Because they (and to some extent me) are not under society’s increasing press and unhealthy focus on beauty and body, choosing to wear covering and modest clothes, not following the fashion trends. Modest women are not controlled by fashion designers who’s obviously allergic to female bodies and at the same time asking for women to show cleavage and legs.

The modest women are in control over their bodies, controlling what parts could be shown public, and what parts should be kept covered. A modest women doesn’t use sex appeal to gain success in her life, but rely on her brain, appearance, inner beauty, personality, and other values. Her body isn’t “put on display or up for sale”, she doesn’t advertise for herself by showing off her “goods”. I know what group I’m in and my feeling of liberation is increasing! 

As shown in these pictures (left and right) being modest isn’t necessarily different from following the fashion trends in color and materials. Being modest can also mean looking good.

I like this picture (left) very much.  It’s from South-East Asia somewhere. It makes me think about which of these women are in control over their body? The muslim or the blond?

In the summer I, personally, wouldn’t have covered to the muslim extent, but I’m more covered than the blonde! I don’t see the blonde as being liberated because she can wear whatever she wants, it’s more like she says that she’s not anxious about her body being on public display… she doesn’t demand respect, she sort of wants to be liked because of her body. What kind of mistaken feminism is that?!

 

 

*I don’t doubt that some muslim women, as well as other women, are under too much control by their husbands.

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Obligations

I find myself sometimes still struggling with my obligation to buy less. For example handbags and jewellry. I have to ask myself the question: do I really need this? Then I consider the money – how much good could this amount of money do to a person less fortunate than me? And, wouldn’t this handbag become just another bad buy and pile up in my closet or I have to sell it at the internet for a quarter of the price I paid? And what about the global problem of waste? The more I buy, the more waste I generate.

For some reason it appears as though buying new things is a way of being nice to myself. Whenever I’m feeling somewhat sad or down, spending money on items I really don’t need, have been the main way in which I’ve tried to make me happy again. During the last months, however, it has become clear to me that what makes me happy is not buying new things, but being with my son and my dog. I guess I’ve known this for some thime, but haven’t done anything about it before this lent. My buying stop during lent was really fruitful, and now it’s easier to not buy than buy. Because when thinking about buying an item I really don’t need, I get a bad conscience! And that helps me alot.

My want to contribute to a better world, a world with a more fair ressource distribution, obliges me to do and not do certain things. And though they may feel like a unneccessary sacrifice at the time, I know that it’s the right thing to do. And in the long run it will give me a better conscience. Knowledge should oblige one to act!

The parish priest always emphasise the fact that believing must be followed by action, otherwise one cannot say one believe. That’s a good thing to remember!