I make an effort to avoid Muslim events on campus that rely on sensationalized/exotifying/otherizing narratives to draw a crowd, but I’m in this stupid scholars program at my university that requires me to attend a certain number of events per semester and the MSA had one that counted for credit …called “Behind the Veil” (ugh) so I attended.
And it was everything you’d expect it to be. Patriarchal ideas about saving yourself for your husband, framing the discussion in terms of the male gaze rather than a woman’s choice for herself, completely ignoring Muslim men’s parallel religious obligations for modesty, etc. And I should be used to it by now — it’s like this stupid cycle where you become dismayed with the state of mainstream discourse in your community, and then you start distancing yourself from said community so you really don’t have anyone to blame but yourself, and then you give them another chance because you’ve been interacting with really cool individuals that get your hopes up, and then you’re brought back to the ugly reality by the state of things. (Repeat for a million different “”“controversial”“” issues). If our own ideas as a religious community about why we do certain things are so skewed/distorted, how the hell do we expect others to be able to understand them?