If a woman is free to show her body, shouldn’t she be free to cover it?

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The message here is pretty clear and simple, but for some reason it seems to become complicated, especially in western societies. I think that there is an often inaccurate assumption  that women choosing to cover up their bodies for religious, cultural or modesty related reasons must be suppressed in some way in order to do so. This argument completely skews one of the key feminist ideas…that women can think and choose for themselves.

That’s really what it is all about. Choice. It’s the choice to decide what you wear or don’t wear. It’s the choice to decide what set of moral or religious guidelines you follow, if you even choose to follow any at all. It’s the choice to have control over YOUR body and YOUR life.

You can’t just give women the freedom to choose then take it away because it’s not what you wanted or because it makes you uncomfortable. If women covering their bodies bothers you then I urge you to educate yourself…and also find something more important to worry about than a decision that doesn’t even concern you.

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5 thoughts on “If a woman is free to show her body, shouldn’t she be free to cover it?

  1. Choice. It’s the choice to decide what you wear or don’t wear.

    When stripped of societal context it is really just about choice.

    It’s the choice to decide what set of moral or religious guidelines you follow, if you even choose to follow any at all. It’s the choice to have control over YOUR body and YOUR life.

    So, are you postulating then that women in fundamentalist countries simply choose to cover up? As if there are no repercussion or punishments for not doing so? So then I guess the religious police exist for because they like the uniforms?

    This sort of “choice” seems a lot like Henry Ford’s idea of choice – You can have any colour you would like… as long as it’s black.

    The idea of choice comes with the necessity of being able to do the converse without repercussions. So, can a woman in fundamentalist Afghanistan, or Saudi Arabia choose to wear a short skirt or heck, even go out unaccompanied by a male relative if she wants to?

    Or will there be societal repercussions and censure for not choosing to act and dress in a certain way?

    If women covering their bodies bothers you then I urge you to educate yourself…

    Please illuminate me as to how I should educate myself further on this topic.

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    • The situations you were referring to take place in areas of male dominance and religious policing. In those situations women do not have a choice. The issue I have with both modern western societies and more fundamentalist societies such as Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan is that women are not always given a choice or that choice is not respected.

      In the fundamentalist countries you mentioned women often do not have a choice. My post was simply pointing out that in societies such as the United States, women should not be persecuted or frowned upon for their choice to dress, whether that be modestly for religious reasons or however they want is up to them entirely.

      If seeing a woman covered up bothers you there is an issue. If seeing a woman who is covered up because she is forced to bothers you then that is understandable. It bothers me. The style of dress is not what bothers me, and the style of dress is not what it is about.

      It is about women having the CHOICE to dress however they choose and then being able to express that choice without societal backlash. It is the absence of choice or the absence of support for each individual woman’s choice that I have an issue with.

      Thank you for your comment!

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