Saturday, June 16, 2012

You Don't Have to Agree With Her, but You Should Respect Her

Yesterday I was working at the register at my job when this girl came up to buy something. She was in short shorts and a crop top so her stomach was showing. I noticed right away but didn’t think much of it. No one was staring at her or anything. She started to cover up her stomach with her sweater. I thought she was doing it because she was embarrassed that she was half naked when everyone else was fully dressed, but no, she didn’t want her stomach to rub up against the counter because she’d get “stomach cancer” as she put it. I went on with my transaction and told her to have a good day. 
Moments later, a woman comes in wearing the niqaab with her husband and beautiful children. It was so cute. She was shopping, and he was playing with the kids. I must have been the only one who found them “cute” because the entire store was staring at them. Not only staring, but making comments as well as they laughed to themselves. I helped her check out at the register and asked her where she was from. She’s from Saudi Arabia and here studying English with her husband. There is nothing oppressed about this woman. She was so kind and you could tell she was happy. She purchased a regular top for God’s sake that any ordinary woman whether she covers or not would wear. She has a life outside of the niqaab. She has a life at home with her family and friends where she’s not covered. She chooses to cover herself to protect herself from unworthy eyes that don’t deserve to see her beauty. She covers for Allah, not for society. Even if you don’t agree with it, respect her enough to no talk about her when she walks into a store or laugh to yourself because you think she looks crazy or something.
After she left I asked my co-worker if she saw her and what she thought of her. She told me she was honestly scared of her and that she thinks she needs to not wear it here, but only back in her country. I can understand that some people have never seen a woman in niqaab in their life, but there are plenty of things that people who have immigrated from other countries have never seen. I remember the first time I saw people making out at the mall when I was young and first came to America. I was taken back thinking why in the world would people be doing this in public, even my mother thought that same thing, but we didn’t laugh at them and talk badly about them. This is the way they are and it’s not for us to try to change them or restrict them. America is the land of the free right? Then people should be allowed to do as they please as long as it does not harm other people. 
I just didn’t find it fair that a girl could come in half naked and not be looked down upon and a woman fully covered could be feared and talked about badly. It’s just not right. 


  1. That is shocking ! You highlight a very good point :)

  2. You have to remember this was america. The majority of america has not traveled outside it. They think that america is the right way, so when they see something different they dont know how to embrace it. I am not saying everyone is like this, but many people are not mature. Its sad really.

    When i went to kuwait (have been to 22 countries myself), i was scared to even look at women wearing a niqaab. I didnt know how to react! I just looked straight ahead. It was different but i accepted it. People are not comfy with change. I always have been