If you are a woman who chooses to wear a hijab, do people treat you differently? Does the experience impact the way you feel about yourself? In a new Buzzfeed video, four female staffers -- who don't normally wear the head covering -- try to answer those questions.
The traditional Muslim headscarf is sometimes viewed as oppressive and sexist in Western cultures. "I feel like it's an American thing that if you see a woman with a hijab it's like a symbol of oppression," one woman said at the beginning of the video. By the end, however, the four women concluded that as long as a woman makes a personal choice to wear the hijab, no one has a right to judge that decision.
The women in the video spoke with Edina Lekovic, the director of policy and programming of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, to learn what the hijab stands for and how to put it on correctly. Lekovic also shared her personal experiences with the headscarf, telling the four women that the first time she wore her hijab a woman came up to her and said, "Honey you're in America now, you don't have to wear that here."
Not knowing how people would react, all of the women who participated in the video were nervous to wear the hijab in public. Each of them received some stares and one reported that she was "patted down extra" at the airport. One of the women even shared a moment with another woman wearing a hijab, saying that she “recognized and smiled back at me. Like saying ‘OK sister, we’re on the same mission.’ We had this kind of female connection. It was very sweet."
Towards the end of the video, one of the women perfectly summed up the conclusion all four of them reached: “As a woman you should be able to wear whatever you want, and if [a hijab is] what you want to wear that’s what you should wear.”