Welcome to my blog!

This blog is an honest look at what life is like for this particular American convert to Islam. We're taught in Islam to cover our sins, to not air them, for fear of lessening the severity of sinning. In this blog, I may relate past indiscretions from time to time. This isn't to make light of them, but in the interest of educating Muslims and non-Muslims alike as to the realities of life as an American convert, I present my mistakes honestly. I make no excuses for them, nor do I claim that they were okay to make. I am not perfect, and I make no pretenses as to that. If others can learn from my past, know that Islam, and religion in general, is open for people no matter what mistakes they've made, then I will gladly air my sins when needed.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Controversial Opinion Time

And it's about hijab, because not nearly enough people talk about hijab, amirite?!

"You're fucking ridiculous" © Ainee

Naturally, if this doesn't apply to you then I'm not talking to you, so shhhhhhh.

Picture from uproxx.com

Basically, if you don't like hijab, don't wear it.


If you force yourself to do something you don't like then you're going to come to resent it, unless Stockholm Syndrome kicks in, and liking something because you have no other viable options is not a good thing. If you come to resent doing something you don't like, you potentially end up hating the person/thing that says you have to do it.

In this case, that's God. Resenting God over hijab is not one of the best ideas ever had.

It turns out you can find anything on Tumblr.

My proposed solution? Don't wear hijab until you want to. Start slow. It's ok to wear it for a while and then take it off. Once you decide to start testing it out, it's not a always a straight trajectory from "I don't wear hijab because I don't like it" to "I wear hijab all the time and I love it."

And yes, wearing hijab is about pleasing God, but there are a lot of different interpretations when it comes to hijab and the one thing that is not debatable in the Qur'an is the command for modesty. Equating a headscarf with modesty, and thus worthiness and purity and piety, is problematic on about a million levels and three different star systems.

This shaming nonsense © jojobvlgari.wikispaces.com

Wearing hijab does not make you intrinsically more or less valuable, pious, or good and the above picture is lying to you.

I wholeheartedly support women (including transwomen) who want to wear hijab.

I also wholeheartedly support women who do not want to wear hijab.

But a woman's worth is not dictated by how much clothing she wears. Yes, Islam has a dress code for both genders (but seriously, who the fuck enforces hijab for men*?), but the Prophet, peace, never shamed a woman for how she dressed. Neither does God. God does not say "Women who veil are pure and pious and awesome and women who don't are dirty whores who deserve what they get" because neither God nor the Prophet are raging, misogynistic assholes.

The belief that only Good Muslim Women wear hijab leads to slut-shaming the women who choose not to cover, for any number of reasons, and it's bullshit. Slut-shaming is bullshit, my friends. Your worth is not defined by what clothes you do or do not wear. There are many reasons for veiling and there are many reasons for not veiling. If it's not something you're comfortable with, then don't do it until you do feel comfortable with it - or comfortable enough to start that process because I've worn hijab since before I converted and I'm here to tell you that it is one of the most difficult things you can do. It makes you visibly Muslim and therefore makes you a target for bullies and aggression and sexual harassment and yes, hijabis get sexually harassed all the fucking time because questions from strangers like "Can you have sex?" or "Why do you cover up? You're so pretty - you gotta show that off!" or "Masha'Allah, sister, you look so beautiful in hijab; are you married?" are the very definition of sexual harassment and don't let anyone tell you otherwise because that's some fucking unwanted and unwarranted sexual attention right there and no one has the right to comment on how you look or what you do and judge you on how they want you to behave or look and wearing hijab prevented me from getting a job for an entire fucking year so don't let anyone tell you it's a piece of cake and you'll always be filled with God's glowing grace because that's a fucking lie.

It can be a piece of cake, and it often is. But not always. There are times when I forget that I'm wearing my scarf and get really confused when someone asks me what I'm wearing. I'm all "Uh ... clothes? I think?" Or they ask me what's on my head and I'm all "OMFG A SPIDER IT'S A SPIDER ISN'T IT HOLY SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT GET IT OFF GET IT OFF AAAAAAAARGH BURN IT WITH FIRE KILL ME NOW OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD!!!!!!!!!"

And then I realize they mean my scarf and it's pretty embarrassing once I stop flailing around on the ground.

But then there are the stares. The random yells from cars. Every 9/11. Every time something bad happens and it's blamed on Muslims and I have to wonder if this is the time that I'll be assaulted because I'm visibly Muslim. Will the customer who insists that "That's too bad; sex is great" when he asks me if I have sex and I tell him no (really should have kicked him out, actually) wait around for me after work to show me how great sex really is (and by that I mean rape me)? If I try to get another job, will it take me another year and having to take off my hijab in order to get it, to ensure that the hijab doesn't keep me jobless?

Wearing hijab isn't easy and it isn't an easy ticket to faith and if you don't like it, or you feel unsafe wearing it, then by God don't wear it until you do and you do. Faith is a process, my darlings. You don't have to do everything at once. A lot of you, sisters, have had very bad experiences with faith and hijab. They've been forced on you through family, peer, and community pressures. You've been compared to pearls and uncovered meat & candy if you don't wear hijab, like you're no good if you don't wear it and no one will want you (and the blatant objectification inherent in those analogies makes me sick) if you're not covered and that God will hate you if you're not covered.

But faith is, above all, a very personal journey. It's not easy, and I may be wrong but I very firmly believe that if you practice an aspect of faith grudgingly, whether it's you forcing it on yourself or someone else, you're going to come to resent it and resent your faith and God and turn away from it all.

So, basically ... Wear hijab when you are ready to take that plunge. Take baby steps with it, if you need to. Remember that your safety comes first, so you don't have to wear it if you think you'll be harmed because of it. Wearing it does not make you better than women who don't, and not wearing it does not make you worse than women who do. Don't let anyone shame you for your choices - they're your choices, and only God can judge you.

And if anyone else tries, sick a fucking T-Rex on them.

"Rawr, motherfuckers." - Tumblr

* Me. I do. I enforce hijab for men.


  1. As a non covering Muslim (which, why do I feel like I need to make the distinction, Muslims come in all shapes and colours and styles), YES to all of this.

  2. *wanders in extremely randomly*

    The woman in your first gif is Ainee, here's her tumblr: http://faineemae.com/

    *wanders back into the ether*

    1. Bahahaha! What a completely crazy random happenstance! Thank you so much. :D