Would/Should Non-Muslim Women Wear Headscarves?

This tumblr post is making its way around Facebook tonight. A woman is wearing a headscarf even though she isn’t Muslim, and encouraging others to do the same, to: “Keep your fuckin ears warm AND confuse the issue for bastards that would hurt our Muslim sisters.” I have to admit, I’m a wee bit inspired. I wish I was this brave.

I’ve often thought that (some) hijab are really pretty, and wished I could wear one without feeling like a cultural appropriation accusation waiting to happen. But this feels more like solidarity. But maybe I’m just telling myself that because I really want to be able to wear a headscarf without looking like a jerk.

Muslim women, would you find a non-Muslim woman wearing headscarves offensive? Annoying?

Non-Muslim women, would you ever considering wearing a headscarf to show solidarity with our Muslim sisters? To extend a middle finger to Trump? Just for fashion?

You keep mixing horses mid-stream, here… there’s a difference between wearing a headscarf to show solidarity for our Muslim sisters, and just wanting to wear a headscarf.

Right. For any reasons, would you? Or would you never?

Reasons can be discussed in comments. I hate polls that try to predict every possible nuanced response. They always fail to do so anyway.

I’m not sure how to answer the poll. I’m not a headscarf wearer at all. A bandanna once in a while when my hair’s really dirty, but that’s in place as a style for the day. A scarf I would take off at work, wouldn’t work. It doesn’t have an aesthetic appeal to me, and I have a thing about my hair. But, if this turns into a thing, I very likely would do it while out and about, out of solidarity. It can be a patterned scarf, yes?

So I didn’t answer the poll yet.

Nota muslim.

I don’t much like headwear for anybody, as a fashion thing. Hair is pretty! It doesn’t have to be styled and fancy; it just ought to show. Cut it short or wear it long. Scarves just look ugly.

I am not a muslim and a few times I’ve been mistaken for one when I was wearing a headscarf in Abuelita-approved fashion. I’m reasonably sure my daily-Mass grandmother wasn’t a Muslim.

Sometimes it’s there to cut off the wind, that’s all!
ETA: it’s like asking “would you wear black if you weren’t in mourning?”

Also not a Muslim.

If it’s seen as solidarity and not appropriation, that’d be okay by me. I’d need someone to teach me the right way to wear them though, all I know how to do is babushka and Rosie the riveter head covering-wise.

My husband and I attended a candlelight prayer vigil after the Paris attacks at a nearby mosque. I was the only woman not wearing a head covering and it made me feel slightly risque and scandalous after a few minutes. After a bit longer, I started feeling jealous because it was quite chilly out and it seemed so practical.

Don’t you do Ren Faires? Aren’t you a nurse? Wear the head scarf, and if anyone says anything about “cultural appropriation” you can safely tell them to stop looking at your wimple.

Hey don’t worry about appropriating their culture. Go back a generation or two and most women wore some kind of head covering, possibly even a scarf, unless they were at home. (Or maybe even then.) My grandmother certainly never left her premises without something on her head. Maybe a scarf, maybe a hat. In the neighborhood where I lived 30 years ago there were all these old black women. Never saw one of them without something on their head, unless they were sitting on their front porch, often even then. My mother wore scarves a lot, although for her it was an alternative to wearing a wig. (She was bald, not religious.) It in no way looked strange.

I actually feel something more like contempt rather than solidarity for people who dress for their religion. So I sure wouldn’t wear one in solidarity. Muslim women are wearing them because they want to. It’s not like a yellow star.

I read an article about a Christian woman who wore a hijab for Lent. She didn’t seem to delve too deeply into her motivations, but it has some insights into reactions she saw in her community. The Buzzfeed piece is here and her blog is here.

Hmm. I like the idea, but I understand your hesitation, OP. I live in Silicon Valley, and I’d hope (HOPE) that noone would bat an eye at a white lady in hijab around here. I admit, it might be interesting to try it out and see for myself…

There’s lots of videos on YouTube on how to wear a lovely scarf. I’ve spent lots of time in Indonesia and often admired the streamlined, flowing effect that my Muslim friends could affect. I’m sure it’s harder than it looks!

Not a muslim.

I would and have worn a scarf in the manner of a muslim woman. I have several that were gifted to me by a muslim former co-worker. I like to wear them traveling although I wear them over my shoulders and around my neck rather than over my hair. In the terminal and on airplanes they are just right for covering arms and body like a small light blanket to keep off the a/c or winter chill. The friend mentioned above invited me to her wedding. She explained beforehand that she very much wanted me to come, but to be aware that I (and all other women) would need to wear a scarf and wear a blouse or sweater that went to my wrists and slacks or a maxi length skirt and close toed shoes. I brought one of the scarves she had gifted me and there were aunties or grandma’s there that helped me get it on and wrapped with my hair properly hidden. It was not the sort that required a hidden face, just fully covered hair. Also I didn’t really notice anyone in the plain black that we tend to think of. It was very bright and colorful and the fabrics seemed very fancy.

While clearly I have and would do it out of respect at a friends special occasion, I do not think I would do it to “show support” in general.

But then I don’t wear the pink ribbon for breast cancer support or the gold ribbon for childhood cancer or orange for leukemia either. (And I had a child with leukemia.) I’m more inclined to give a recently diagnosed friend a small carry all with a small soft throw in her favorite color, Ziploc bags, hand lotion, peppermints s to take to chemo. I’d rather buy a lemonade from an Alex lemonade stand, take toys and books to the pediatric unit, give my lunch to the homeless person on the corner downtown, or make a donation in honor of someone than wear a ribbon, or scarf. I don’t have a problem with other people doing it. I see them and it does register that their lives have somehow been impacted by that cause. I think I am just more comfortable showing support by being a friend to the people impacted by those things as I encounter the people.

I’ll wear them when traveling in some Muslim areas. They are very practical and they help keep attention away. Plus, no bad hair days.

I wouldn’t wear one here, but only because I’d dislike the attention.

One of my Muslim friends, who would NEVER have let me see even her hair previously, has stopped wearing her headscarf out of fear of attack by bigoted assholes. (The aforementioned bigoted assholes seem to prefer to take out their Islamophobia on Muslim women, presumably because they’re too cowardly to try this bullshit with men.)

So…thanks for that, guys. :mad:

I do not have a problem with woman wearing a headscarf, the problem arises when they wish to cover their face, in the U.K. you cannot walk into a bank or shopping mall wearing any face covering unless you are a Muslim then it is alright and that is wrong. According to the Muslim Council of Great Britain there is no religious reason to wear a headscarf it is purely cultural.

It’s interesting that they’re not wearing niqabs. Surely that would be a far more effective way to make the point.

How? Very, very few Muslim women wear niqabs.

Well, I was coming into the thread to report I wore a scarf this morning. A chilly day that will grow warm–the scarf can go into my purse when I leave.

Do you know the definition of “culture”? Probably not. I wouldn’t mind wearing a scarf on some occasions to piss off the xenophobic wankers…

Maybe, but very few women wear them where I live, and that would involve a much greater commitment. It’s actually a specially made garment I’d have to buy, and I doubt they’re cheap… I also have my concerns about safety in those things, especially for someone who hasn’t been wearing one since puberty. Plus, I do need my hands and arms free to do my work. Niqab aren’t meant for working in, they’re meant as a cover when out of the house. No one wears them inside, as far as I can tell. It’d be like wearing your raincoat in the house.

Not to mention that it rather defeats the purpose of “solidarity” when you can’t see that the person doing it isn’t of your group.

If we get to the point of actual government ordered tagging, I’d reconsider. I’m fervently hoping it doesn’t come to that.