One-Eyed Veil!?

According to the BBC:

“A Muslim cleric in Saudi Arabia has called on women to wear a full veil, or niqab, that reveals only one eye.

Sheikh Muhammad al-Habadan said showing both eyes encouraged women to use eye make-up to look seductive.”

WHAT?!!!?

In my mind there are two main arguments about veils and related items used to “protect” women. 1. A full veil can lessen sexualized harassment and treatment based on looks. 2. Women shouldn’t be the ones who have to change their lives because men won’t restrain themselves – men are the problem, not the women.

In an ideal world, we’d go with #2 and men would treat women with respect and not harass them no matter what they wear, but since that isn’t always the case, the “quick fix” (and it’s arguable whether or not these behaviors really “fix” anything) is to go with #1 and cover women up, put them on women-only public transportation, or tell them not to go out alone and not to wear “provocative” clothing or makeup.

What really upsets me is when women are made to modify their behavior in such a way that their freedom, mobility, and/or dignity are infringed upon. I have not worn a veil but I suspect it would be even harder to navigate the public sphere while wearing one that only lets me see with one eye.

And I am overwhelmed by the stupidity and hatred for women this man is demonstrating. He sees women as the problem, what with their two provocative eyes looking at those poor victimized men who are able to walk the streets without being harassed and without clothing restraints. And where’s the logic in letting women still reveal one of their two seductive eyes? Why not put have them put buckets over their heads or make them stay home all of the time?

And it’s not like Americans are so enlightened compared to Saudi Arabia. It’s pretty common for girls/women to be told to do X, Y, and Z in order to protect themselves from men instead of boys/men being told not to harass and assault women…

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