Don't tell me you've never heard of the notion that "Muslim women are oppressed". A notion that is spread by the Western media.
Supposedly, we Muslim women are oppressed because we are 'forced' to cover ourselves up and are restrained from certain activities.
But this is what people merely SEE and not UNDERSTAND.
Let me ask the Muslim women who cover themselves modestly. Do you feel oppressed?
Ask the Muslim women who wear the niqab, are they oppressed?
The truth is, covering ourselves does not oppress us. It liberates us.
Look at our Western counterparts. They are forced to follow the latest trends to be accepted. They have to be thin for fear that they would be rejected. Their styles of clothing, their hair, their body shape will be judged. How they look will be classified into ugly or beautiful. Makeup is needed because they fear they will fall into the ugly category.
And it doesn't end there!
Now I ask you, who seems more oppressed?
When we cover ourselves up, people will no longer view us as a 'material'. People will view us as who we are, our personality, honesty, kindness and intelligence instead of how the shape of our body is, or how pretty our faces are.
We don't have to worry if we have love handles or drumstick legs or whatever which other girls are torturing themselves to lose (thus becoming anorexic and bulimic).
We don't have to worry if we don't have 'bikini bodies' as the only person who will look at us are our husbands.
O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.(Al-Ahzab: 59)
Wearing loose clothes, and covering our whole body except the face and hands liberates us. Ask anyone who covers themselves modestly. We have this feeling that we have been set free from the society's judgement and we do not have to worry about what people will see because they can't really see anything.
This is my personal experience.
Sometimes I see all the pretty clothes worn by other girls and the way they pull of the different styles. I feel like I really want to wear something like them. So then I buy all these different clothes and scarves with different patterns.
Then, when I go out, I mix and match the pieces, and I worry, will people think it's alright? Will people like my style or will they think it's daft?
And I ask myself, why am I worrying about this? In the end, I throw on an abaya and wear a pink tudung bawal. Cause I feel freer that way.
I love how Islam treats women. Women are valued in Islam.
We are not materials made to please men's eyes and desires. We are not mannequins made to be decorated and accessorised. We are human beings with potential and ideas.
And that, is far from oppression.