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I sometimes take my lunch to the park next to the office. It is usually very quiet and relaxing. Today though, I had an interesting conversation with nice young man.

…..(small talk about squirrels, Mountain Dew, and the weather)

V: Why do you dress like this?

Me: Um..Like this? Looking at my very colorful outfit

V: No..why would you wear this (nervously pointing at my green scarf)

Me: Why wouldn’t I?

V: Because you should never do things only because someone tells you to!! This is ridiculous; you should be able to know what’s right and wrong! And by the way you can still be attractive to men while wearing this! How come you are very educated, yet approve of such oppression? I really can’t understand why you arabs submit to what your men or religion says without even thinking!!!

Me: Calm down! First of all: I am not an arab! Nobody told me to dress in any particular way! Maybe Vogue and Elle magazines back when I was cool (giggles) But wait…

Why do YOU wear pants?

Why is my green scarf a sign of oppression…and your orange pants are a sign of freedom and a rebellious way of living?

Who decides for you what’s acceptable to be shown in public? Why do you think my hair should be uncovered? Why does it even matter?

I am sure we all have answers to those questions. But, flaunting what you personally believe is usually a very strong sign of intolerance.

Religion/culture/norms aside-If women are free to show parts/all their bodies, why shouldn’t they be free to cover parts/all of it?!

P.S: V, I suggest that you give me that rainbow colored bracelet! I wear hijab, and I am colorful…you wear orange pants and a bright blue T, but deep inside: you are a big pile of dull and misguided GREY.

 

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