I was browsing Twitter when this little gem popped up. A story of women in various western countries donning a hijab as some symbol of ‘solidarity’.

Solidarity? As anyone following this blog,or with a working set of eyeballs probably knows, women in Iran are being imprisoned, beaten, raped and otherwise persecuted for daring to protest mandatory hijab. In video after video, particularly those you’ll find under #WhiteWednesday women are protesting compulsory hijab, and so far we have seen women as old as 94 join them in this fight.

Are we still this blind here in the West that first, we fail to acknowledge what the hijab actually symbolizes for far too many women in the Middle East?

1. They’re less than men.
2. The responsibility and blame for sexual assault is squarely on their shoulders, because it only happens if you’re not ‘modest’ enough.
3. They have fewer rights, and less worth because they are women.
4. They are not free to decide what to wear, let alone to govern their own lives. Because they were born female.

I suppose as a society, we’re forced into an ideological corner here. To admit that the hijab is, in fact a symbol of oppression, sexism and misogyny in their most extreme forms, is to admit that it’s not actually a valid part of any culture, let alone one we should be celebrating in droves. On some level, they accidentally admit it isn’t an item of culture, because if it were, then blonde girls named Tiffany throwing one on to support their Muslim friends would be a gross violation of the ‘culture appropriation’ rules the same group has invented.

We’re so swirling in our own hypocrisy as a society, that if your head isn’t spinning, you’re just not paying attention at this point.

Women’s rights! But, also let’s show our solidarity for a symbol that robs women of all their rights.

LGBT rights! But, also let’s bend over backwards advocating for a belief system that seeks to persecute, abuse and often kill people who are gay.

Should we support everyone’s right to their religion? Yes.

Should we condone, excuse, tolerate let alone celebrate aspects of any religion that brings human rights abuses? NO!

Why is this hard?

It’s 2018 and Google exists, and it boggles the mind how any of this is still confusing.

The hijab is not normal and should not be normalized, or embraced.

It’s never quite ‘voluntary’ either, until it comes with zero pressure from family, community members or a house of worship here in the West.

There is a stark difference between respecting a woman you see in a hijab, and celebrating the reasons she’s wearing it.

I refuse to celebrate those reasons, and hope all sane people will join me.

Women’s rights should always and forever hold a far more solid position than any group of beliefs. Period.

– Rachel