The fact that he couldn't see my face in my profile picture as it has none, didn't stop him from commenting rudely on my clothing. My Muslim name and gender were enough for him to take liberty in telling me what to do, how I should dress according to what he thought I should dress like or already did. At that point in time, he was no different from the bigoted Muslims he so strongly believed he was different from because like terrorism, bigotry and misogyny have no religion either.
Similarly, last month, a Muslim Malaysian gymnast, Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, took the world by storm not because she won gold but because her costume was inappropriate – clerics said. She won. But all that mattered to everyone was what she was wearing, not her skill. How nice. The 'pious' men just couldn’t focus on anything else, right?
On the flip side, a school in Belgium sent home 30 girls for wearing skirts that were too long. Such an educated move on the school’s part, right? I totally understand the need to bitch slap any 'well-wisher' upside the head when he tells women to discard their hijab to liberate themselves.
Point in case - when weak men run out of smart things to say to women or about women, they resort to rebuking them and the first thing they target is their clothes. Please, shut up. Your opinion is not the one that matters.
I admit that a woman telling another to dress a certain way (wear a bikini or don a hijab) is surely annoying but not nearly as vulgar as if a man does it. At least the woman knows what it's like to be in those clothes. What the heck does a man know?
If you're a man and you think women in burka are oppressed, then, please feel free to not roam in one. Wear a bikini, a short skirt or be naked all you want. No woman would feel invited simply because you didn’t have enough clothes on. And if you're the kind that thinks women must wear a burka, then, don one yourself and see how easy life becomes for you. Feel 'secure' enough? Good! But that's probably because you just covered up your eyes and can't see no freakin evil in women any more on account of your burka hindering you from seeing women at all!
See how that worked?
I also have a bone to pick with a certain brand of feminists here, rightly termed as the ‘feminazis’.
If you're an opinionated woman like Hanna Yusuf who thinks that her choice to cover her body is worthy of a feminist statement, you're wrong. Apparently, 'feminist statements' as of now only pertain to not wearing anything, flaunting armpit hair, body shaming (especially if you’re not the preferred size of the week/month/year because, of course, the only natural size is what the feminazis validate and the rest of us walking around are just photoshopped or unreal), and attacking anyone who dares to disagree.
For instance, last week English soccer player Laura Bassett knocked her team out of the Women's World Cup with an own goal in extra time as Japan beat England, 2-1, in their semifinal, and the feminists rushed over to cry with her. That was cute but excuse me, she cost her team an important match. Apparently, simply pointing that out and stating that if this was men’s soccer, nobody would hand that player a tissue but hate him till kingdom come, earned me a place in hell! I was cursed, insulted and written off as a man since no woman could ever, ever, say anything but ‘oh poor Laura!’ in this case. Dafuq?
Feminism in 2015, unfortunately, isn't a movement about empowering all women and celebrating their choices and diversity. It is a nightmare where bigoted women seem to have replaced bigoted men in telling women what they should do/wear/think so they may be 'perfect' and if you dare to disagree then, boo to you. You're a woman. You still can't think for yourself.
We don’t need more boxes or molds for women to fit into, whether made by men or women. On the contrary, we need all molds to break. We need support, acceptance, respect and equal opportunity simply by virtue of being a member of the human race and for all of human race.
I’ll just finish by quoting Kamla Bhasin, an Indian author and activist, “Opposite of patriarchy is not matriarchy but equality!”
Note: This piece was first published in The Nation.