Modest. What does that mean exactly? In western society, no one blinks twice if a woman is wearing a small short dress but in central america she could be judged about that. It seems that our notion of what is ” decent” or ” adequate” for people differs from country to country.
But this lies a deeper issue. When a woman gets groped, or someone talks about her in a derogatory way the immediate response is to shame the woman and not the perpretator. We live in a society that perpetuate a beauty myth where women are objects to consume, and we propagate this rape culture to such a degree that woman themselves are objectifying themselves. They seek approval purely based on the society’s standard of what they should look like, the fantasy they are creating for men. Men are increasingly encouraged to simply see women as objects of desire.
Why are we so concerned about what women wear and not the direct attitudes that we propagate in our society as a whole? HOw do we achieve a more universal concept of modesty? The problem is that we externalize our own sense of decency on others. What we really should be focusing on is how we see ourselves. We should really have to stop thinking in terms of whether or not a woman is dressed appropriately and start thinking of why our thoughts were led there in the first place. Even if a woman is naked, she is cannot control or is responsible for other people’s behavior . She can merely control her own. We still live in a place where girls are always blamed and sexualized no matter what they do, and even when they come to terms with their own self they are still blamed for it.
The same might go for looking at a woman where a Hijab. We might judge her as fanatical or modest or repressed but do we truly know her midn or what she stands for? Why are we externalizing our visual cues to give full meaning of what a person is and represents? Can we truly transcend these societal norms to see each other for what we are which is all human beings? Can women walk in the street and really trust that no harm will come to them and truly trust men who are not to blame for their past experiences? Can see beyond paradigms of gender to see that we all share the same human experience?