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A Woman is not Just a Woman, but She is a Human Being First

I am not a hardcore feminist but I believe that women should be respected irrespective of their clothing. I have just graduated and started doing an internship. My work place is far away from my home and I have to use public transportation. I was shocked to hear many men and women commenting on other women’s clothing. Until last month I was living at my university campus where I was with a group of people who never judged a woman’s moral goodness based on her clothing. I guess I was lucky to be with them for a period of time. Now coming to the present situation, I find it very difficult for me to accept the fact that dressing in a so called “decent way” determines a woman’s virtue. This is very insulting to me both as a woman and a human being. The reason why I have used ‘a woman and a human being” is because from my experience, I am first indentified as a woman and then, as a human being by other people when I am out in the public places. When I am first identified as a woman, people started to judge me depending on the clothes that I wear. They think it is them who have the right to decide whether I am a good or wicked woman. This is really frustrating. A woman might want to explore wearing different dresses but that does not necessarily mean that she wants to sexually provoke other men. When some women are also participating with this group of men who are always concern about how other women dress up, it really hurts me. I feel angry and sad. We are may be in the era of technological or other advancement, but many of us are still lacking behind in advancing our mindsets.


Deqa's picture

Well articulated

Truly said my dear, besides people judge too much and they don't respect personal space. I have faced discrimination from my community because i adopted the habit of wearing jeans while the Somalis prefer see-through Somali traditional dress to wearing a jeans. Its not about what is covered and what is not, for them its all about control and approval. I always debated about this matter and told them that i am free to choose my clothing and they are in no place to pick for me. Well of course that's when i am abroad but locally the dress code is set and predetermined. Wearing a different outfit gets you killed here that the sad truth.
Keep sharing dear

Susan K.A.'s picture

Ignore them!

Thank you for sharing your experience, Nahar

Deqa's right--- it's all about control--the patriarchy's need to control women and keep them down. My sister had a boyfriend in high school who insisted on telling her how to dress (and somehow at that time--having low self-esteem, surely--she allowed herself to be bullied into it). What will it take to change this problem of men (and complicit women) bullying us into accepting their narrow definition of how we should dress? I'm sorry you have to put up with the small-minded, dehumanizing, judgmental attitude of people in your society! It would really anger and sadden me too! :(
Know that you are wholly worthy and that their judgments are all about THEM, not YOU.

With love and respect,



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