Here is the girl to marry!

Hello my sisters, I’ll get straight to the point. 

All of the women in my family and relatives were veiled in their adulthood, it would be what happens when they reach a certain age. There were always this pressure on me; constant words and insinuations… When I was 18, I wore a headscarf voluntarily. You are shaped according to the family you were born into. You take on their rights and wrongs, so you continue to sustain their mentality. My family like it when people say, “Look at the daughter of them, she is veiled and ladylike.” for me. My veil symbolized my faith, at the same time it symbolized my honor. Here is the girl to marry! I wore a headscarf for them to make them love me, for them to approve me. They were also very happy when I wore a headscarf. Here is my daughter, oh here is my nephew! What was I for you before? Was I cursed or an empty shell, maybe someone you were ashamed of?  

I got married at the age of 24. I wasn’t even allowed to wear pants. I was wearing a ferace (a long black coat that modest-women-wear) at that age, I was looking older. I was young; I wanted to dress as I wanted, I wanted my clothes to be seen, but the ferace covered everything. I was married for 3 years; there were some problems, I divorced. The psychology of a divorce is quite different, I no longer accepted those things that were imposed on me. I researched and read. The headscarf was mentioned in two places in the Qur’an. It was talking about covering the neck and chest, there was nothing about the hair. Why was I veiled? Why was I covering my hair so that the man wouldn’t be aroused? I wasn’t responsible here, it was men. 

Why do we pay so much attention on our actions what we wear for men’s ego? Why did you restrict us so much? Everything is for men’s comfort, women have to serve them. Even in religion, men are considered superior. They oppress women, they break their self-confidence; they make them feel insignificant and worthless. The society humiliates women when they are the women who gave birth to society. The women feels powerless and inadequate, she feels needy for the man, and she thinks she is nothing without him. While I was struggling with them, I completely take a dislike to headscarf. When I went out from the city, I would go somewhere first and immediately take off my headscarf. I was so happy. It was wonderful that the wind was in my hair and sun warmed my scalp. Nobody can be happier than me until I returned home. My true self and appearance would continue to conflict with each other. 

I was extremely unhappy. The psychology of divorce and this headscarf thing disturbed me a lot. I started to lose my hair because of sadness, but it wasn’t just a minor thing, I thought I was going bald. Doctors, medications; I have tried everything, I spent a lot of money, but it didn’t get better. My doctor said that stress triggered this condition, my hair was in this situation because of being under hijab for hours. I explained this problem to my father and told that I want to take off my headscarf. Of course, all hell breaks loose, and I realized that there was no such possibility. I cut my hair with that anger; I didn’t shorten it, I scratched my head with a razor. My father was surprised to see me that way, but he was just surprised, not upset. 

I’m 30 years old, a working woman and standing on her own feet without needing anyone, but I still need a man’s approval to take off my headscarf. How painful, how weak. I still want to take off my headscarf, but I don’t know what to do. I left it to time, maybe there is hope; I’ll wait for the sun to rise for me one day.
To sunny days.

Translator: EsilS.

(Image: Paula Rego)

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