One of the hottest topics for any beginner to choose in the field of Islamic criticism is the ‘Veil’. Muslim woman are portrayed as some mobilized tents wandering on the streets of Europe posing a threat to natives of the country especially French in a way that they are armed with the most deadliest weapons of the century searching for the next bank to rob or finding a place to blow themselves up.
The Media is overflowed with such embarrassing images that it has become difficult to veil yourself in Public
To demonstrate the importance of this clothing and to bust some myths regarding this female attire; I have divided my response into following areas and each part of this response can be read independently from each other. I’ve tried to my best to save myself from digging into the unnecessary details but the issue is made so big that I had to touch some points extensively.
>What is Veil and what is it significance in the light of Quran and Sunnah?
>Does Veil prevent women from working?
>What does it signify bondage, liberation or what? or make a difference between a good character or bad character woman?
>Was veiling occured due to poor sanitary conditions?
>Reexamining the case of Aqsa Parveez. [teenage girl assassinated by her father for not wearing the veil]
>Does veil signify that women are sexual property of men? [no, it was chastity belts]
>Does veil indicate that women are ultimate symbol of temptation thus veiling? [St. Augustine’s concept not Islam’s]
>Impacts of Sexualization of women on females, why it has become something acceptable and rewarding despite its adverse effects? [Report of the American Psychological Association]
>Impacts of Sexualization of women on society as a whole.
>Impacts of Sexualizaton of women on males,
>What goes in a Man’s mind when watching a nude or semi nude woman?[Psychologist Susan, listen audio]
>What if we allow males and females to copulate freely?
>Psychological effect of watching too many beautiful girls as in magazines and adds .
>Impacts of Pornography on males.
>Would males ever impose ‘veiling’ [symbol of so called patriarchy] and what biology of males and mating strategy has to say regarding this?
> Why does it appear to some Muslim women that its only MEN who want to impose it or pay too much stress on it? [A psychological effect]
>Is Black veil responsible for leading to a conclusion that it’s a sign of subjugation?
>Western Representation of a female from little girls to adult women, Sexualized or Liberated? [ Judge yourself with extensive studies]
>Replying France’s criticism against Veil. [Bad for health?]
>Is veil a factor of reducing female’s probability of finding a good husband?
>Does Veil prevent rape or sexual molestation and what about Egyptian women being still molested after veiling?
>Veil in the time early Roman Empire and what it signified?
>Veil at the Time of Jesus.
*< RELIGION >*
What is veil in the light of Quran and Sunnah?: ‘Veil’ is the English translation of the Arabic word ‘hijab’ which has two meanings in Islam, a cloth for covering the body from head to toe and other is used for the segregation of sexes. In Surah Nur is said:"And tell the believing women that they must lower their gazes and guard their private parts, and must not expose their adornment, except that which appears thereof ..." (24:31).Even sahaba and their students differed on the meaning of "which appears thereof" ..Ibn Abbas, Sa'id bin Jubayr, 'Ata, Awzai, Dhahak etc. were among those of the early authorities who said "except which appears thereof" includes face i.e. according to them face veil is not a must.This is according to the reports mentioned by al-Tabari in his tafsir to the verse 31 of surah Nur but some scholars and other companions believe that face should also be covered on the basis of Surah Al-ahzab (33:59). A person should read both sides and adopt the one which makes more sense to him/her and thus we have different types of veil throughout the Islamic world (some of them are shown below):
Burqa Niqab Hijab Al-Amra Khimar
’Veiling’ is a compulsory act in Islam and was even done by wives of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) e.g. in Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 1, Book 4, Hadith # 148 and those of companions. Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said, “"Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a veil." (Abu Dawood Book 2, Hadith # 0641)
>Does Veil prevent women from working?:Some people think that Islam doesn’t allow women to work which is not only wrong but only reflects a person’s ignorance about this great religion. Veil doesn’t prevent a woman to work or to attain a higher status in a society. For example, the famous noble prize winner ‘Tawakkul karman’ once said when asked about her veil “Man in earlier times was almost naked and his intellect evolved; he started wearing clothes what I am today and what I am wearing represents the highest level of thought and civilization that man has achieved and is not regressive. Its removal of clothes that is a regression back to the ancient times.”
Yes! there are some conditions that need to fulfilled for a woman who wants to work .i.e.
(a) It shouldn’t interfere with her household duties as Islam focuses on child’s wellbeing.
(b) It should be free from ‘moral corruption’ i.e. any action prohibited by Islam.
(c) The consent of her husband or guardian should be present and her job shouldn’t be of the kind where she has to mix with men i.e. segregation of sexes should be ensured. why? we’ll see this in detail in shaa Allah.
(d) Veil and Islamic way of interaction should be observed.
In 2008, a senior Saudi scholar urged private and public sectors to create job for young Saudi women. (source)
>Was Veiling occured to poor Sanitary conditions?: One of Ali Sina’s subordinates argues that ‘veil’ was because of poor sanitary conditions; Muslim women had to comfort themselves from nature’s call in open fields and thus it was necessary for them to cover themselves. He begins by stating a hadith (Volume 6, Book 60, Number 203) which talks about some people who used to cover themselves while going to satisfy themselves in open fields or during sexual intercourse while in their homes; As per tafseer ibn katheer (Urdu translation by Maulana Mohammad Juna Garhi) commentary of Surah hud (11:5) these people believe that they can hide themselves form Allah while concealing their bodies; they also bend themselves and cover themselves while doing sin believing that Allah would not see them doing it and thus this verse was revealed covering these people and this hadith talks about them not ‘veiling of muslims’.
The writer then quotes (Sahih Muslim Book 026, Number 5397) where Sauda (may Allah be please with her) was caught up by Umer (may Allah be please with him) while she was coming from the open field; Umer (may Allah be please with him) then asked Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) to veil his wives; after veiling made obligatory through divine law again Umer caught sauda (may be pleased with her) again not because he is always on a hunt but she was fat and a huge lady as already stated in the hadith (Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 318 ) “She was a fat huge lady, and everybody who knew her before could recognize her.” If it had been because of sanitary conditions or poverty then it would have been annulled when muslim conquered Mekkah, as their condition became extremely good. Beside Umer (may Allah be please with him) was making sure she wouldn’t get harassed by anyone as according to Sadi (may Allah be please with her) there were some people who used to harass woman who were prostitutes & female slave; so veiling came to mark a distinction between Muslim women and those women but its an obligation now and it doesn’t matter now whether such people exist in a society or not, its an obligation.
[See Tafsee ibn katheer urdu translation by Maulana Mohammad junagarhi surah ahzab 33:59]
>What does it signify bondage, liberation or what? or make a difference between a good character or bad character woman?: In Islamic perspective , ‘veil’ signify ‘purity, faithfulness and abhorrence for unislamic relations’; it was never impose to differentiate a good character or a bad character woman this the perspective of Christians as we’ll see next. A woman whether wearing a veil or not wearing a veil can do either good or bad or both at the same time but since a uniform does not tell about an academic performance of a woman thus one shouldn’t try to judge a woman through her veil. Its not necessary that a bad women wouldn’t wear a veil but a practicing and God fearing women would always will.
>Reexamining the case of Aqsa Parveez:
A canadian Pakistani girl Aqsa Parveez was killed by her father and brother for not wearing the Islamic veil (source). Islam doesn’t believe in such attempts and quarrels should be resolve through dialogues and talks;killing is strictly prohibited in Islam and one isn’t allowed to kill his own wife even if she indulged in open lewdness, the last option would be divorce not murder even in that case! discussed here. As for the behaviors with daughters this hadith is sufficient,Narrated By 'Aisha: A lady along with her two daughters came to me asking me (for some alms), but she found nothing with me except one date which I gave to her and she divided it between her two daughters, and then she got up and went away. Then the Prophet came in and I informed him about this story. He said, "Whoever is in charge of (put to test by) these daughters and treats them generously, then they will act as a shield for him from the (Hell) Fire." (Bukhari, Vol 8, Book 73, Hadith 24)
>Does Veil signify that women are sexual property of men?:
No, not in the least! Veils were never a sign of woman being a sexual property of a certain men thus not allowed to interact with them (in a way not allowed by Shariah). Sadly the reality is a little different.
Sadly it is still continued by some Europeans even today! (source). Even a toy company has brought a new version of this belt for both women and men, so that either sex can’t enjoy the activity with anybody else (source). It doesn’t matter how many people actually do this but what matter is that the practice is still continued although the intentions are changed yet the tool is the same.
>Does Veil indicate that women are ultimate symbol of temptation thus veiling?: Veil is not an invention of Islam, this female attire was present in many cultures but the significance of it and its indication varied from culture to culture (which we would review after some sections). Veil as a way to control man from doing sin was actually a concept proposed by Saint Augustine , sadly it is associated with Islam today.
The information presented in this section is mostly extracted from the Report of the American psychological association about the sexualization of girls in America (Online Version). This is an answer to those people who say that ‘westernize display of women’ is 'liberating’ and ‘civilized’ and labeling Islamic system of veiling as ‘sign of subjugation’.
>IMPACT of sexualization of Females on women & why it has become something acceptable?: Following are some of the consequences of sexualization of girls.
1. Effect on Mental Health (body shame, eating disorder,low self esteem etc.): Studies were done to check how sexualization of females impact girls and the report submitted their findings as “Studies also show that self-objectification is associated with negative mental health outcomes in adolescent girls.For example,Tolman et al. (2006) found that in early adolescence,girls who had a more objectified relationship with their bodies were more likely to experience depression and had lower self-esteem. Similarly, Harrison and Fredrickson (2003) reported that among Black and White adolescent girls, self-objectification was a significant predictor of depression, body shame, and disordered eating, even when controlling for race, grade in school, and body mass index. In one demonstration of these trends, Hawkins, Richards, Granley, and Stein (2004) exposed undergraduate women to 40 full-page photographs from Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Glamour. For students in the experimental group, these ads contained female models; for those in the control group, only no-model ads were used. Findings indicated that young women exposed to the idealized models indicated more eating disorder symptoms than women in the control group, as well as more negative mood states and lower self-esteem.” [page.24] Morever it also states, “Even with plastic surgery, it is impossible for an adult woman to maintain
the look of a 17-year-old adolescent. This inability to meet the culturally imposed standard of beauty may lead to
body shame, lowered self-esteem, and a reduced sense of well-being.There is evidence that exposure to thin-ideal images in the media and subsequent thin-ideal internalization have negative effects on adult women. For example, across two studies, Dittmar and colleagues (Dittmar & Howard, 2004; Halliwell & Dittmar,2004) found that adult women (e.g., 20–60 years of age) exposed to ads featuring thin models expressed more body-focused anxiety than those exposed to average-sized or no models, and this was especially true for those who strongly internalized the thin ideal.” [p. 29]
2. Effect on Physical Health (Increased Smoking): Centralized female models in the media made ordinary girls to start smoking with a hope that this would give them the idealized shape. Report states, “Studies have established an important link between body dissatisfaction and the onset of cigarette smoking among adolescent girls (e.g., Stice & Shaw, 2003). One theorized reason for this relationship is girls’ belief that smoking will enable them to control their weight and thus meet standards of physical appearance considered desirable (Camp, Klesges, & Relyea, 1993). Newer research has shown that this relationship may be mediated by self-objectification, a feature of sexualization. In one study, college-aged women who had a more sexually objectified standard for their physical appearance (emphasizing sexual attractiveness, for example, over health and competence) were more likely to be smokers (Harrell, 2002).These studies begin to suggest that sexualization experiences may lead to dangerous addictive health behaviors.” [p. 25]
3. Effect on Sexuality (Reduced Sex drive and narrow views regarding body functions): Sexualization may harbor narrow views among women regarding some of their body functions such as menustration etc.Studies also show that supporting women’s sexual objectification may affect how women view their own reproductive body functions. L. M.Ward, Merriwether, and Caruthers (2006b) found that undergraduate women who frequently watch music videos or read women’s magazines, who attribute greater realism to media content, or who identify strongly with popular TV characters were also more accepting of sexually objectifying notions of women and of other traditional gender ideologies. At the same time, accepting these views of women and their bodies was associated with expressing more negative attitudes toward breastfeeding and toward the “functional” aspects of one’s own body (e.g., menstruation, body sweat). Sexualizaton of women may reduce a woman’s sex drive; Report states “Empirical evidence supports these concerns. Findings indicate that women with high body dissatisfaction engage in less sexual activity and are especially apprehensive about sexual situations in which their bodies can be seen.” [p.25,26]
4. Effect on Attitudes and Beliefs (Acceptance of sexual double standards and teen dating violence): It seems that sexualized display of women may give vent to acceptance of sexual double standards and dating violence. Report states, “Girls and young women who more frequently consume or engage with mainstream media content also offer stronger endorsement of sexual stereotypes that paint women as sexual objects (L. M.Ward, 2002; L. M.Ward & Rivadeneyra, 1999; Zurbriggen & Morgan, 2006). For example, findings indicate that among undergraduate women, more frequent viewing of reality dating television programs was correlated with greater acceptance of a sexual double standard and the belief that dating is a game and that men and women are adversaries (Zurbriggen & Morgan, 2006).” And of course, “Similarly, among Black high school girls, stronger
identification with one’s favorite TV character and with more objectifying music artists was associated with greater
support of stereotypes about women as sex objects (Gordon, 2004). Experimental work exploring connections
between media use and girls’ acceptance of sexual objectification yields similar results. For example,L. M.Ward (2002) reported that young women exposed to images from prime-time TV that depicted women as sexual objects offered stronger support of this notion than did women in control groups. Similarly, Johnson, Adams, Ashburn, and Reed (1995) reported that Black adolescent girls exposed to sexualized rap videos expressed greater acceptance of teen dating violence than those not exposed. It appears that exposure to mainstream (i.e., sexually objectifying) media encourages girls to objectify women and to see other women as less than human.” Report continues, “The sexualization and objectification of women in the media appear to teach girls that as women, all they have to offer is their body and face and that they should expend all their effort on physical appearance."[p. 26,27]
5. Effect on Girl’s Educational Success and Achievement: Report puts, “Girls may be learning to prioritize certain
rewards (male attention) over other rewards (academic accomplishment), thus limiting their future educational and
occupational opportunities. If they perceive occupations relating to science, technology, engineering, and math
(STEM) as less consistent with a sexy self-image, they may be induced to want to be a model, fashion designer, or pop star in order to embody the sexualized look that they know is valued for women rather than choose to be a
chemist, computer programmer, or engineer. If girls perceive what research shows—that women who choose male-identified professions are least preferred (in college samples) as romantic partners (Yoder & Schleicher, 1996)—then they will perceive some social costs to choosing careers that are not consistent with a “sexy” image. On the other hand, if girls continue along a non feminine career path, presenting a sexy image will also be costly and may result in being perceived as less competent (Glick et al., 2005).” [p.32]
Why it has become something acceptable and Rewarding if it is that bad?: Report puts it as,"Girls may treat and experience themselves as sexual objects (Fredrickson & Roberts,1997; McKinley & Hyde, 1996). If girls learn that
sexualized behavior and appearance are approved of and rewarded by society and by the people (e.g., peers)
whose opinions matter most to them, they are likely to internalize these standards, thus engaging in self-sexualization.” Of course the role of media can’t be neglected,"Girls develop their identities as teenagers and as women, and they learn the socially acceptable ways to engage in intimate relationships by modeling what they see older girls and young women doing (Bussey & Bandura, 1984, 1992; Lips, 1989) and by imitating the ways in which women are represented in the media (Huston & Wright, 1998).” Finally the cultivation theory, “Most of
these studies have been conducted under the premise of cultivation theory (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, & Signorielli,
1994), which argues that exposure to consistent themes over time leads viewers to adopt a particular perspective of the world, one that coincides with the images they have been viewing.”
>IMPACT of Sexualization of Woman on Society: Let us look very briefly how sexualization of girls affects society as a whole.
1. Women are treated as Sexual Objects: Exposure to sexualize images of females may induced a behavior in males i.e. to treat woman as sexual objects. Reports says, “Exposure to sexualized content has been shown to affect how women actually behave and how men treat and respond to real women in subsequent interactions. These studies have generally found that after men are exposed to sexualized content, their behavior toward women is more sexualized, and they treat women like sexual objects. For example, undergraduate men exposed to 16 sexist and objectifying commercials later asked more sexist questions of a female confederate posing as a job applicant, recalled more about her appearance and less about her personal background, and rated her as friendlier, more suitable to hire, but less competent than did controls (L. Rudman & Borgida, 1995). Similarly, McKenzie-Mohr and Zanna (1990) found that after exposure to a 15-minute pornography tape, stereotypically masculine men were perceived by a female experimenter to be more sexually motivated, they positioned themselves closer to her, and they recalled more information about her physical appearance than did men in other conditions.” [p.31]
2. Woman are considered as low on intellectual level: Report says,"Jansma, Linz, Mulac, and Imrich (1997) reported a pattern in which gender-typed men appeared to rate a female partner lower on intellectual competence after viewing a sexually explicit film and higher after viewing a nonsexual film. Non-gender-typed men appeared to respond in the reverse. Overall, it is argued that exposure to sexualized depictions of women may lead to global thoughts that “women are seductive and frivolous sex objects” (Lavine, Sweeney, & Wagner, 1999) and “foster an overall climate that does not value girls’ and women’s voices or contributions to society” (Merskin, 2004). [p.31]
3. Sexualization of Girls contributes to Sexual harassment: It is written, “Several studies suggest that the sexualization of girls contributes to sexual harassment and coercion. In a survey of university faculty, staff, and students, O’Hare and O’Donohue (1998) found that respondents who reported that their male coworkers held sexist attitudes reported more experiences of gender harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual coercion. Quinn’s (2002) qualitative study of adult men’s accounts of “girl-watching” in the workplace highlighted the role that objectification and (low) empathy with the targeted women played in this type of sexual harassment. Angelone, Hirschman, Suniga,Armey, and Armelie (2005) found that college men who were exposed to a sexist confederate (one who made objectifying comments about a female actress and denigrating comments about women on campus) told more sexual jokes to a female confederate than did men exposed to a nonsexist confederate.Taken together, these studies suggest that boys exposed to sexualized portrayals of girls may be more likely to commit sexual harassment.” [p.34]
4. Friendliness in women is perceived as sexual interest and contribution to trafficking of girls: Immense sexualization may leads to perceive friendliness as sexual interest, “One particularly pernicious effect of the constant exposure to sexualized images of girls is that individuals and society may be “trained” to perceive and label sexualized girls as “seductive.” Studies have shown that adult men often misperceive friendliness in adult women as sexual interest (Abbey, 1982, 1987). Images of young girls who are made to look like adult women may evoke similar responses.” It may also contribute to the trafficking of girls, “The sexualization of girls may also contribute to the trafficking and prostitution of girls by helping to create a market for sex with children through the cultivation of new desires and experiences. If the idealized female sexual partner is a 15- or 16-year-old girl, male consumers may demand pornography featuring such girls and the opportunity to pay for sex with them. A 2005 report noted a disturbing new trend in the recruitment of children into pornography: Pedophiles and “johns” look in online chat rooms for teens with Web cameras linked to their computers and then seduce them into performing sex acts for money in front of the camera (Eichenwald, 2005).[p.35]
> IMPACT of Sexualization on Men and boys: Sexualization of girls may also effect boys and men, their behaviors would change and perception about women would be distorted.
1. Males find difficulty to fully enjoy Intimacy: The report puts, “Exposure to narrow ideals of female sexual
attractiveness may make it difficult for some men to find an “acceptable” partner or to fully enjoy intimacy with
a female partner (Schooler & Ward, 2006). Several experimental studies have shown that exposure to pornography
(which often sexually objectifies women; Jensen & Dines, 2004) leads men to rate their female partners as less attractive (Weaver, Masland, & Zillmann, 1984), to indicate less satisfaction with their intimate partners’ attractiveness, sexual performance, and level of affection (Zillmann & Bryant,1988), and to express greater desire for sex without emotional involvement (Zillmann & Bryant, 1988).” [p.28]
2. Males find difficulty to relate them on any level except Sexual: “ Objectifying girls/women and sex itself is integral to masculinity beliefs (Connell, 1987; Kimmel, 1996; Tolman, 2002), but these beliefs may jeopardize men’s ability to form and maintain intimate relationships with women (G. Brooks, 1995; Kindlon & Thompson, 1999; Pollack, 1998). Burn and Ward (2005) found that undergraduate men’s satisfaction with their romantic relationship was negatively correlated with most masculinity beliefs, including ones that are relevant to the objectification of women (i.e., dominance [“I should be in charge”], power over women [“In general, I control the women in my life”], and playboy [“If I could, I would frequently change sexual partners”]). Empathy may be important in understanding the relationship between objectification and relationship satisfaction.When one person objectifies another, it is difficult, perhaps even impossible, to treat that person with empathy (Herman, 1992), an important predictor of satisfaction and stability in intimate relationships (Davis & Oathout, 1987; Long & Andrews, 1990).If girls and women are seen exclusively as sexual beings rather than as complicated people with many interests, talents, and identities, boys and men may have difficulty relating to them on any level other than the sexual.This could dramatically limit the opportunities boys and men have to interact intellectually with girls and women, to compete with and against them in sports or games, to create art or make music with them, to work together for higher causes (e.g., volunteer work or activism), or to enjoy their company as friends.” [p.28]
>What goes in Man’s mind while watching a semi nude woman?: Princeton psychologist Susan Fiske presented findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Chicago, where she and her colleagues compared, "...heterosexual men’s perceptions of scantily clad women, scantily clad men, and fully clothed men and women."
And what they found is the 21 male subjects had the best memory for photos of sexy bikini-clad women. Then they had the men look at the photos while their brains were scanned and what she found was that, "...this memory correlated with activation in part of the brain that is a pre-motor, having intentions to act on something, so it was as if they immediately thought about how they might act on these bodies."
Fiske explained that the areas, the premotor cortex and posterior middle temporal gyrus, typically light up when one anticipates using tools, like a screwdriver. "I’m not saying that they literally think these photographs of women are photographs of tools per se, or photographs of non-humans, but what the brain imaging data allow us to do is to look at it as scientific metaphor. That is, they are reacting to these photographs as people react to objects."
Fisk also tested the men for levels of sexism and found a surprising effect those who scored high on this test, "...the hostile sexists were likely to deactivate the part of the brain that thinks about other people's intentions. The lack of activation of this social cognition area is really odd, because it hardly ever happens. It’s a very reliable effect, that the medial prefrontal cortex comes online when people think about other people, see pictures of them, imagine other people."Normally when you examine social cognition, people’s aim is to figure out what the other person is thinking and intending. And we see in these data really no evidence of that. So the deactivation of medial prefrontal cortex to these pictures is really kind of shocking."she concludes, "...these findings are all consistent with the idea that they are responding to these photographs as if they are responding to objects and not to people with independent agency."
(Audio Source here)
>What if we allow males and females to copulate freely?: Some people are of the view that we should allow men and women to copulate freely, this would reduce the danger of sexual harassment and we also have contraceptive devices thus there is no harm in allowing it. There is no denying the fact that men are polygamous in nature* and their reproductive success depends on how many ovaries they have fertilized but things don’t end here. If we allow males to copulate freely, it would reduce the desire of long term relationship in a male.If we believe for the sake of argument that men do form permanent bonds it even then men would form extra-marital relationship which may result in divorce, day to day quarrel in a family, loss of trust between husband and wife etc.
The reason why females can’t afford another female in the life of their partners is because men gradually lower the materialistic support towards their actual partners which is a sign of love and commitment for a woman; it may also actuate a woman to indulge in short-term relationship for herself (as short-term relationship pattern in women is related to materialism)+ which may result in violence from their husbands.
*Evolution first four billion years by Michael ruse and Joseph Travis, page558.
+Evolutionary Psychology:An Introduction by Lance Workman and Will Reader,page 104.
Act of Aggression : Jennisfer S. Denisiuk states, “Male aggression can be viewed as sexual jealousy and possessiveness, which arise from paternal uncertainty (Archer, 1996). When a male is not sure if his child is indeed his, he will become jealous, which will bring out aggressiveness in him as he tries to find out the child's paternity. Male aggression often results into rape and violence. Archer (2000) discussed how sexual and physical aggression are more common in men than women. Men tend to be aggressive outside of the relationship, whereas women tend to be aggressive inside the relationship. When it comes to physical aggression, women are more likely to scratch their mate. Some will kick, slap, or shove their mate in anger (Archer, 2000). It is usually supposed that the man is the one who will act physically aggressively, but it has been shown that women are not always fearful to show physical aggression toward a man”. (source)
>Psychological effect of watching too many beautiful girls as in magazines and adds: It carries a pernicious effect, males rate their own partners as less attractive and thus reduce their commitment.
>Impacts of Pornography on males:Pornography has pernicious effects on males, internet pornography is an attraction to males due to a biological phenomena called the Coolidge effect. Although, pornography pornography is banned in most of the countries of the world while is some countries such as Denmark not only legalize pornography but has also allowed a channel named Kanal Kobenhavn (source) to play pornography at night but the same country bans veil (source). Why pornography is bad? a psychologist can give a better answer.
And we learned above that sexualization of girls increases pornography and thus violence against women and you can see from the above data that chronic exposure to mild pornographic videos creates a desire to move to more extreme and violent material.
>Would males ever impose ‘veiling’ [symbol of so called patriarchy] and what biology of males and mating strategy has to say regarding this?: Some muslims [who considered themselves liberal are actually ignorant] are making blind claims that veil is a symbol of patriarchy; from the perspective of Islam its not emblem of male dominant society but an element which ensures women respect and honor. A male would never impose veiling because it reduces his inclination of ‘attracting all women and then choosing the best one’; that doesn’t mean Islam disallowed marrying beautiful girls but what it doesn’t welcome is the ‘game of hunting’.
Coolidge effect [which is an inclination in males to desire variety of partners] and greater sexual power in males would never make them enforce Islamic veiling which believes in segregation of sexes. A scientific source clearly demonstrates the swinging behavior of males. Just think, would they impose ‘veiling’?
> Why does it appear to some Muslim women that its only MEN who want to impose it or pay too much stress on it?It’s a growing problem in many Muslim countries of the world, some women are of the view that its only male preachers who pay too much attention towards it and wants to impose their ideas on them. Well, first ‘veil’ is not a ‘product of patriarchy nor an invention of Islam’; the reason why it appears to some women is because on television the clergies are mostly males since those females don’t attend female clergies so they think it’s a problem with a female and females don’t take seriously and cares about it as males do.
>Is Black veil responsible for leading to a conclusion that it’s a sign of subjugation?: Its ‘Color psychology’; different colors represent different things in different cultures i.e. red color represents valor and bravery in Chinese cultures. According to a source, in western culture black represents mourning, subjugation and power. It often signifies things which are negative and harmful in nature. Since ‘veil’ wore by muslim women in western countries is ‘black’ [as this a default color], they are misperceiving it to be the sign of subjugation towards male which is in fact subjugation and obedience towards God.
>Western Representation of a female from little girls to adult women, Sexualized or Liberated? [ Judge yourself with extensive studies]:The data that is included here is according to APA’s report on the sexualization of girls whose link is shared above.
On Television: Its very hard to believe that women are not only sexualized in the western media but they are also called with ‘words’ that are directed towards their sexuality and body parts. Report says, “ Sexual comments and remarks are pervasive on television (L. M.Ward, 2003), and research has shown that they disproportionately sexually objectify women. For example, in her analysis of prime-time programs popular among children
and adolescents, L. M.Ward (1995) found that 11.5% of the verbal sexual messages coded involved sexually objectifying comments, nearly all of which were about women. Similarly, Lampman et al. (2002), studying sexual remarks made on prime-time comedies, found that 23% of the sexual behaviors coded were leering, ogling, staring, and catcalling at female characters.Additionally, 16.5% of the sexual remarks detected were about
body parts or nudity.A majority of these comments (85%) came from men.” [p.5]
On Music videos (As decorative objects): ”Content analyses indicate that 44%–81% of music videos contain sexual imagery (Gow, 1990; Greeson & Williams, 1986; Pardun & McKee, 1995; Sherman & Dominick, 1986). Sexually objectifying images of women constitute a large portion of this sexual content. In music videos, women more frequently than men are presented in provocative and revealing clothing (e.g.,Andsager & Roe, 1999; Seidman, 1992), are objectified (Sommers-Flanagan, Sommers-Flanagan, & Davis, 1993), and typically serve as decorative objects that dance and pose and do not play any instruments (e.g.,Arnett, 2002; Gow, 1996).They are often displayed in ways that emphasize their bodies, body parts, facial features, and sexual readiness. R. C.Vincent, Davis, and Boruskowski (1987) found that 57% of the videos featured a woman portrayed exclusively as a decorative sexual object.” [p.5]
On Music Lyrics: Women are greatly sexualized and referred to with degrading words in lyrics used in songs. Report states, “It is evident that the lyrics of some recent popular songs sexualize women or refer to them in highly degrading ways, or both. Some examples include the following:
“So blow me bitch I don’t rock for cancer/I rock for the cash and the topless dancers” (Kid Rock,“f*ck
“Don’tcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?” (Pussycat Dolls, 2005)
“That’s the way you like to f*** . . . rough sex make it hurt, in the garden all in the dirt” (Ludacris, 2000)
“I tell the hos all the time, Bitch get in my car” (50 Cent, 2005)
“Ho shake your ass” (Ying Yang Twins, 2003)
As part of a recent study of the effects of listening to popular music on sexual behavior (Martino et al., 2006),
researchers coded the content of 164 songs from 16 artists popular with teens. Overall, 15% of songs contained
sexually degrading lyrics. Most of these lyrics were concentrated within the work of rap and R&B artists;
as many as 70% of individual artists’ songs included degrading sexual content.”
On Movies: It shouldn’t be a surprise to any person that women are aggressively sexualize in movies but the shocking part is the display of women are suppressed in nonsexualized roles. “Another notable trend is the near absence of female characters in the top-grossing motion pictures (Bazzini, McIntosh, Smith, Cook, & Harris, 1997) and in G-rated movies (Kelly & Smith, 2006). Kelly and Smith evaluated the 101 top-grossing G-rated films from 1990 to 2004. Of the over 4,000 characters in these films, 75% overall were male, 83% of characters in crowds were male, 83% of narrators were male, and 72% of speaking characters were male. In addition, there was little change from 1990 to 2004.This gross underrepresentation of women or girls in films with family-friendly content reflects a missed opportunity to present a broad spectrum of girls and women in roles that are nonsexualized.”
On Magazine: In Magazine, women are encouraged to look and sexy and seductive; the focus is only the gaze of a male. As report states, “Much of the research analyzing the sexual content of magazines focuses heavily
on teen girls’ and women’s magazines (e.g., Carpenter, 1998; Durham, 1998; Garner, Sterk, & Adams, 1998; McMahon, 1990).One of the dominant themes about sexuality reported across these studies and across magazines is that presenting oneself as sexually desirable and thereby gaining the attention of men is and
should be the focal goal for women.Girls and young women are repeatedly encouraged to look and dress in specific ways to look sexy for men, a phenomenon labeled “costuming for seduction” (M. Duffy & Gotcher, 1996), and to use certain products in order to be more attractive to and desired by males.” [p.7]
On Advertisements (as appendages and decorative objects):“Magazine advertisements also sexualize women. First, studies indicate that women are frequently featured as sexual objects in such ads (e.g., Baker, 2005; Lindner, 2004; W. J. Rudman & Verdi, 1993). In one analysis of women appearing in advertisements in Time and Vogue from 1955 to 2002, Lindner (2004) reported that an average of 40% of ads featured women as decorative objects.When women are featured as “decorations” in ads (e.g., shown standing seductively next to a car to enhance the image of the car), their major purpose is to be looked at.They are treated as appendages to the product rather than as active consumers or users of the product.”
On sports Media: Unlike male athletes; female athletes are famous for their voluptuous bodies and sexualized images which is taken by various sports magazine. Why a body of a female is paid more attention then her performance? Report says,"Several targeted studies of specific media genres, sports,or sporting events have documented the frequency with which female athletes are sexualized. Fink and Kensicki (2002) explored the coverage of female athletes in Sports Illustrated (SI) and Sports Illustrated for Women (SIW) from 1997 to 1999.They found that only 10% of the photographs in SI during this 3-year period were of female athletes. Five percent of these photographs were “pornographic/sexually suggestive,” defined as women dressed provocatively or photographed in such a way as to focus solely on sexual attributes (e.g., photograph framed on an athlete’s breasts). Only .2% of the photographs of men fell into this category. Sixty-six percent of the photographs of men showed them actively engaged in a sport versus 34% of the photographs of women. Representations of women in SIW were only slightly better; 56% of photographs of women in SIW depicted them actively engaged in sports, and 2% were pornographic.[p.8]
Shugart’s (2003) study on print and television coverage of the 1999 U.S. women’s soccer team lends further support for a pattern of sexualizing female athletes. Shugart argued that media coverage of the team was sexualized in three ways:
*Subtle sexualization occurred through passive objectification—for example, photographs that favored
an athlete’s face rather than her athletic performance.
* Less subtle sexualization was shown in commentators’ remarks—for example, when Brandi Chastain removed
her jersey after scoring the winning goal of the World Cup. Although this specific behavior was identical to
that of male soccer players in the same circumstances, in Chastain’s case, sportscasters called it a “striptease” and deemed her “the owner of the most talked-about breasts in the country” (pp. 12-13). In several media sources, the team was referred to as “booters with hooters” (p. 13).
* “Vigilant heterosexuality” was evident in commentary that placed the femininity of female athletes and their
family lives in the foreground to suggest that they were not lesbians (regardless of their real-life sexual
orientation).This form of sexualization marginalizes the athleticism of female athletes:“Female strength has been
redefined as male pleasure” (p. 27).This assessment is echoed by Hill Collins (2004), who argued in an
analysis of depictions of several African American athletes that their appearances in passive “sexy” poses in
various media counteracted their aggression and passion on the court or field.” [p.9]
On Video games:“Games made for specialized systems and those made for personal computers contain highly sexualized content and few strong female protagonists (Dietz, 1998). In a recent study, Haninger and Thompson (2004) sampled 80 “Teen”-rated3 video games from a population of 396 games in release in 2001.They observed sexual themes in 27% of games. Games were significantly more likely to depict female characters partially nude or engaged in sexual behaviors than to depict male characters in this way.When the authors expanded their definition of “sexual theme” to include “pronounced cleavage, large breasts, or provocative clothing,” the percentage of female characters so depicted rose to 46%.”
1. A t-shirt which was pulled out from stores after a massive protest from the girls in ‘girlcott’; produced by Abercrombie and fitch (A & T) [report’s p.40] (source).
2. ‘Toddleer and Tiaras’ a show where small girls wear revealing clothing like adults; a glimpse of sexualization at its peak (source).
>Replying France’s criticism against Veil. [Bad for health?]: Some non-Muslims are asserting that hijab is detrimental to health;it causes deficiency of Vitamin D as women are not expose to sun light and their children may have rickets. There are some problems with this argument:
1. Muslim women aren’t require to veil themselves inside their house or any place where non mahram men are not present thus they can receive plenty of sunlight in their house.
2. If rickets had been such a problem then almost all religious muslims women should have their children born with rickets which isn’t the case.
3. There are many things bad for women such as smoking,alcohol and even porn, would anyone think about it?
>Is veil a factor of reducing female’s probability of finding a good husband?: It is of no doubt that women are valued by men for their physical attraction but physical attraction doesn’t always plays a part in the game, a woman’s intelligence has become a very effective tool today as well as her faithfulness in keeping a relation. The reason why I included this issue is because they are too many Muslim women hypnotized by the media that they should only care about their physical appearance and their internal beauty doesn’t matter at all.A veil doesn't suppress a woman’s beauty; it doesn’t discourage her to look beautiful and in fact there is no way one can stop a woman from using ornaments, jewelry, cosmetic and looking beautiful but what a veil does is that it circumscribe a woman’s beauty to people who are lawful to her e.g. parents,husband, brother etc.
>Does Veil prevent rape or sexual molestation and what about Egyptian women being still molested after veiling? The Washington post post argues that sexual harassment increases as the Egyptian women started ‘veiling’ themselves’. Now this would going to be bit a bumpy ride; I would try to explain the phenomena up to the best of my level. Before we dwell into the matter, I request you to please read ‘what goes in a male’s mind while watching a nude or semi nude woman’ and ‘Impact of sexulalization on males’ written above again. Secondly as I argued earlier, veiling is an obligation on women and independent of the social condition outside; ‘veiling’ is not about ‘covering your body’ it is also about ‘to behave and interact and behave in such a way as it would not draw unnecessary attention’ and would label the wearer as ‘submissive’ as in Surah Ahzab 33:32 Allah make the wives of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) an example of others to follow to command them to not to be soft spoken “do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech.” .
As far as harassment of females are concerned by males; let’s us see what APA’s report has to say regarding this, it states," Several studies suggest that the sexualization of girls contributes to sexual harassment and coercion. In a survey of university faculty, staff, and students, O’Hare and O’Donohue (1998) found that respondents who reported that their male coworkers held sexist attitudes reported more experiences of gender harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual coercion. Quinn’s (2002) qualitative study of adult men’s accounts of “girl-watching” in the workplace highlighted the role that objectification and (low) empathy with the targeted women played in this type of sexual harassment. Angelone, Hirschman, Suniga,Armey, and Armelie (2005) found that college men who were exposed to a sexist confederate (one who made objectifying comments about a female actress and denigrating comments about women on campus) told more sexual jokes to a female confederate than did men exposed to a nonsexist confederate.Taken together, these studies suggest that boys
exposed to sexualization portrayals of girls may be more likely to commit sexual harassment." The point which I want to make here is that constant exposure to sexualized images produces an inclination in many males to sexually harass a person and it doesn’t depend on what a victim is wearing i.e. both provocative and concealed dressing can be equal targets. Dress doesn’t play an important role but rather ‘submissive’ attitude shown by female and this is the reason why Quran strictly forbids a woman to avoid being soft spoken to a stranger. Since, there is not a single research that talks about ‘street harassments’ thus we have to understand the phenomena of ‘workplace harassments’. A research "Sexy Dress revisited" by Theresa argues that ‘dress has nothing to do with sexual harassment’, harasser looks for passiveness and submissiveness to enforce power through sex( a boss is already powerful over an employee, why would he do this? if not for sex, the conclusion is vague, we’ll see this in a minute)which coincides with body concealing clothing [as per her research] but there is a big catch here; the body concealing clothing which western women wear is not equal to hijab which is ‘loose’ and doesn’t reveal the figure and face & also the writer doesn’t provide clear psychological evidence as to how provocative dressing makes a female confident? females do get harassing remarks while wearing a provocative clothing. For example, [quoting from the same research]
1. In Ammon v. Baron Automotive Group, the plaintiff was told by one of her harassers that “‘I’d love to
lick those pants off you,’” that she had “‘nice legs,’” and that she “‘should wear a dress more often.”’ [p.137]
2.In Brassfield v. Jack McLendon Furniture, the plaintiff’s manager told her that he would like to see her in a wet t-shirt, asked her if she was wearing underwear, and said that he liked her “dress because when she bent over he could see her ‘tits.’”[p.138]
3. In Nievaard v. City of Ann Arbor, comments were made daily about the plaintiff’s clothes and appearance.
She was told she was “sexy,” that if she “pulled down her shirt a little more the workers could have a ‘view all day,’” and that her shirts were “‘too tight.’”[p.138]
4. In Sage Realty, the plaintiff worked as a building lobby attendant. Her employer required her to wear a uniform on the job.One uniform consisted of an octagonal piece of cloth that resembled an American flag that was worn like a poncho. On the five-foot-eight plaintiff, the uniform revealed “[h]er thighs and portions of her buttocks.” Even after attempts at alterations, the uniform was still revealing.The plaintiff wore the uniform for two days and “received a number of sexual propositions and endured lewd comments and gestures. Humiliated by what occurred, [the plaintiff] was unable to perform her duties properly.” Eventually, the plaintiff was fired because she refused to wear the uniform.[p.139]
The writer simply dispose of these claims by giving the reason that courts doesn’t endorse the provocative dress as a major player in the cases; what about all these females who got insulting remarks while wearing such clothes?weren’t they showing themselves confident as writer argues that male coincides provocative clothing with confidence in a female [p.145] and these females weren’t likely to be assaulted or victimized? I am not trying to argue ‘victims wants to get harassed by dressing provocatively’ but rather ‘it does play a minor role if not major and its involvement can’t be neglected in sexual harassment’ and ‘remarks may be more severe if the victim is dressed provocatively’ recall ‘research of psychologist Susan’ written above ; also the writer argues that the sexual harassment results also from the ‘dominating attitude towards a passive female by a male’ which she said for power not for pleasure; this notion doesn't hold water as we’ll going to see this in a minute.Let us talk about sexual harassment on streets in countries other than muslims, for example According to Independent (Britain) newspaper (dated:12th Mar,2012), “One in 10 women has been raped, and more than a third subjected to sexual assault, according to a major survey, which also highlights just how frightened women are of not being believed. More than 80 per cent of the 1,600 respondents said they did not report their assault to the police, while 29 per cent said they told nobody – not even a friend or family member – of their ordeal.” and according another issue (dated:25th May,2012) “Research released today by the End Violence Against Women (EVAW) coalition shows 41 per cent of women under the age of 34 have been on the receiving end of sexual harassment in the street. Of the total, 21 per cent classified the abuse as unwanted sexual attention and 4 per cent said they had been physically touched by someone.” [also see story of Rosie Wadey]. According to a research paper “Sex, Power and Dominance: The Evolutionary psychology of sexual harassment” , there are two types of harassments:
(a) ‘Quid pro quo harassment’: This harassment involved a benefit of a victim on providing ‘sexual' pleasures’ i.e. either sleep with me or get fired. As per evolutionary psychology, males both show ‘long term’ and ‘short term’ mating strategies but it’s the latter they are mostly adhere to; women on the other hand would prefer long term because they have to look after the spring and nourish it, thus women think twice for a short term relationship [p.147]. The friendliness in women is often perceived as sexual interest in males, research argues "Because men tend to interpret friendly behavior as reflecting sexual interest and women tend to interpret sexually interested behavior as mere friendliness, there is much room for misunderstanding.A woman who has no interest in a sexual
relationship with a man may first act in a friendly fashion, which the man may interpret as a sign of sexual interest and respond with what he believes are mild indications of sexual interest. If the woman takes the man’s sexual interest to be mere friendliness, she may respond with more friendliness,which the man may view as a positive response to his display of sexual interest, thereby prompting him to respond with sexual advances” [p.148]. To say that ‘sexual harrasement’ is all about power is somewhat vague, research argues, “To say that it is only
about power makes no more sense than saying that bank robbery is only about guns and not about money.” It was furthur argues, “Throughout human history, men have used power as a way of obtaining sex, whether
coercively or through making themselves more attractive as mates. Men with the most power in history-despots whose subjects lived at their sufferance-routinely surrounded themselves with nubile women whose favors they could command at their pleasure (Betzig, 1986)” [p.151,further read p.157] It was also argued that women tend to welcome ‘sexual advances’ by higher status male then a lower status male [p.153].
(b)‘Hostile environment harassment': It involves claims that workplace is repleted with insulting sexualized remarks and images), sexualized images does spoil the environment of workplace “Many cases involve complaints that the work atmosphere is generally ‘sexualized’ ﬁlled with sexually provocative pictures, sexual jokes, sexist comments, and the like. Unlike quid pro quo cases,there may be no intended ‘target’ of this harassment at all, and the sexualized atmosphere may have predated the entry of women into that particular workplace. A plaintiﬀ in such a case is not saying that she was treated diﬀerently because of her sex but rather that the environment is discriminatory because sexualized environments are inherently more oppressive to women than to men.” Not all sexual harrasements are derived from ‘sexual motives’; some people just love to surpress others. The research argues," Women may be called vulgar sexual names and men may make crude overtures to women that on their face look like ‘sexual advances’. However,when a man says something like ‘give me some of
that stuff’, his ‘request’ is not a ‘sexual advance’, in the sense that he engages in the conduct in the hope that the woman will respond favorably, but instead it is generally a form of sex-based insult. In many cases, the insult may arise out of hostility toward women, hostility that is sometimes activated by entry of women into traditionally
all-male workplaces. On the other hand, it may actually be more about dominance-which may have nothing to do with the sex of the target-or hostility-which may not necessarily be based on sex…Many people (perhaps especially men) are prone to cruel and aggressive behavior toward those they dislike or perceive to be vulnerable. Where they see weakness, they may attack. Their dislike may or may not be based upon sex-based animus, but
regardless of whether it is, their behavior may have sexual overtones, both because of the sexualized world view that men tend to possess and the fact that attackers will choose language to which they believe their target is particularly sensitive. It is important to remember that men’s quest for dominance has not been primarily about attaining dominance over women, but rather achieving dominance over other men (Buss, 1996), a fact that may explain Gutek’s (1985, p. 32) finding that in the workplace ‘women are less often treated disrespectfully than men are’” [p.155].
In the above text, it would have been clear to you why Islam paid so much stress on segregation of sexes on a workplace, some people may take advantage of their power to access weaker women for sex or they just wanted to annoy someone. It is true that provocative dress doesn’t always leads to sexual harassment however, the person wearing provocative clothes may receive severe forms of verbal harassment; victims shouldn’t be blame but the harasser but a society satiated with ‘sexualized images and pornography’ as per APA’s report would narrow the image of women as mere ‘Sexual objects’ and actuate many men to harass women. Recently, Egyptian court ordered a ban on pornography; would somebody also care to stop this menace of sexualizing women also?
In Egypt recently (thursday, 7 June 2012), an Egyptian Senior Christian clergy calls for ‘Veiling of Christian women’; the clergy urged women to dress modestly like Muslim women.
>Veil in the time early Roman Empire and what it signified?: Veil isn’t invention of Islam, it existed years before Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) appeared on the screen. In Roman cilivation women did wear veils;Pudicitia ("modesty" or “sexual virtue”) was a central concept in ancient Roman sexual ethics. The word is derived from the more general pudor, the sense of shame that regulated an individual's behavior as socially acceptable. Pudicitia was most often a defining characteristic of women, but men who failed to conform to masculine sexual norms were said to exhibit feminizing impudicitia, sexual shamelessness. The virtue was personified by the Roman goddess Pudicitia, who is always shown as a veiled woman.
>Veil at the Time of Jesus: Veil was wore by women at the time of Jesus; an online article ‘Life at the time of Jessus’ by Fr. Frederick. Manns, O.F.M Professor at Franciscan Biblicum Studium – Jerusalem states “Adultery was punishable by death. When a woman went out she had to veil herself and she was banned from speaking to men. Marriage was arranged by her parents. Since the young girl worked at home, her departure from it demanded an economic compensation. The future husband had to pay the dowry, which consequently became the property of the woman in case of renouncement.” (source)
Veronica’s Veil is a cloth which bears the face of Jesus.The most recent version of the legend recounts that Saint Veronica from Jerusalem encountered Jesus along the Via Dolorosa on the way to Calvary. When she paused to wipe the sweat (Latin suda) off his face with her veil, his image was imprinted on the cloth. The event is commemorated by the Sixth Station of the Stations of the Cross. According to some versions, Veronica later traveled to Rome to present the cloth to the Roman Emperor Tiberius and the veil possesses miraculous properties, being able to quench thirst, cure blindness, and sometimes even raise the dead; whether this story is true or false is a separate issue but the fact of the matter is that it indicates that women at the time of Jesus(peace be upon him) did wear it and even the face of Jesus (peace be upon him) is imprinted upon it, so why the muslim women are so criticized on the same cloth which bear the face of Jesus?
Under the light of above data, it is quite clear that the purpose behind the criticism against veil is not liberation or equality as it might seems to be but rather shrouding their crimes of sexualizing women. It is indeed strange that the western ‘culture’ talks so much about free culture doesn’t allow women to veil themselves as though they are doing it because of their choice and religious obligation. Finally, refuting this famous image which is very popular among Islamophobes, ‘beauty is always perspective ‘.
Imagine if I had compared the sexualized woman of west with the ‘primitive woman’ of evolutionary era as in evolutionary biology, wouldn’t it look ‘REVERSE EVOLUTION OF WOMEN’?.