Lesson 3 - Islamic Portion
- The most intersting thing to me about the difference between Muslim dress and European Mideival attire is that it is considered acceptable and even encouraged that Muslim women wear pants. In Europe this wasn't done. Also, European women's dresses didn't necessarily "hide the figure," which is the goal of Islamic modest dress.
I've actually been putting a lot of thought into the pros-and-cons of Muslim style dress lately. Personaly, I like to stay as naked as possible as often as posible. I can however see how there could be advantages to covering up. Wearing a headscarf could save me time in the morning, and I could go longer between dye-jobs...
Draping one's self head to toe in fabric in modern American society seems like it would have the exact opposite of the inteded effect though. Instead of turning the thoughts of others away, it will most likely attract unnnecessary attention and may even cause alarm. After all, when Americans cover their faces it's generally because they are about to commit a crime. And the idea that a woman can somehow control what a man thinks about her by covering up just seems silly to me. Although some men might be turned off when they see a woman wearing something like a niqab (a head scarf with a face veil), other men might start instantly haveing Sheherazade fantasies.
Men on the other hand, have it a lot easier when it comes to dressing in a way that is both Islamic and American. A man can simply wear a suit at work, and baggy jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt when less formal wear is called for. The only real problem I can forsee is that many Americans view a long full beard as scruffy, but most people don't view a man with one as being very strange.
In conclusion, I think that it would be possible for me to wear long sleeves, and maybe even a head scarf year-round without too much trouble, but it would be uncomfortably warm in the summer and in general not much fun.