When I ventured the idea that I am “Oppressed and Loving It!”, I did so with this intention in mind: to speak to the Feminist misconception that a Western woman who chooses to wear a religiously observant dress and care for her family is not being subjugated as other women in the world. There is no comparison.
I acknowledge January, who pointed out that many women are forced to wear certain things and marry young as a quasi-religious/cultural practice. She speaks the painful truth. There is oppression cloaked in modesty and the appearance of honoring God.
I will faithfully uphold the idea of freedom of conscience. As we have seen in Europe through out the centuries, and now in other parts of the world, legislating relgious practices only bring rebellion. Iran might be a good modern example of this. I recently saw a news clip about how popular nosejobs are among the young ladies, because they can only show their faces and it must be “perfect.” How twisted is that?
Serving God is a matter of humility. If we are forced to do something in the name of honoring Him, how is it honorable? How is it beautiful? How is it loving? The intentions of the heart eventually shine through.
Perhaps I am a little overly sensitive to the Feminist elitist critique because I was surrounded by it for a few years in college. The mantra and practice was that showing off your body is a sign of liberation. If you didn’t exhibit how proud you were of your body through nakedness, you were labelled a prude or a fundamentalist (!) I was called insane during a lecture for believing in the Resurrection. Ouch. So, I carry that kind of baggage into the discussion.
[Yeah, I chose my University and dealt with the side effects. All in all, I believe I gained a greater sense of my faith and grounding in First Princicples than if I had chosen a Christian college. That can be a discussion for later.]
What those types of Feminists miss is an altogether different form of Liberation. There is a liberation through submission to God. Look at the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa’s foundation. They have two habits, one to wash and one to wear. They do not have to “toil and spin.” That choice was made, done, and let’s get on with the more important works of Mercy.
My freedom is greater, my circle of choices even widened though some have shrunken. In wearing my headscarf and choosing modest clothing, I proclaim my liberation from the tyranny of Fashion, Body Image standards, and the desire to please others with every changing season.