1.The Hijab Protects Women Against Sexual Assault
The myth that there's a correlation between wearing the hijab and a low prevalence of sexual harassment and violence against women actually systematically victimizes them. Those that place blame on women who do not cover themselves and at the same time insinuate that women who are attacked while wearing the headscarf somehow did something to deserve it are essentially taking the blame away from the attacker. By placing the blame on the victim, it prevents future victims from speaking up about sexual assault.
2.You Have to Wear the Hijab Only if You’re Married
Sometimes I wonder how people rationalize certain things they believe about religions. If this theory were true, I would have been married at 4 years old. I think that’s illegal. So yeah, absolutely not true.
3.You Have to Wear It All Day Every Day, Everywhere, At Any Given Hour
I laugh at this assumption all the time, especially those that innocently ask if we shower with our hijabs on. I personally don’t think that’s hygienic but to each their own!
4.Women Who Wear Hijabs Can't Be Stylish
It is time this misconception vanishes. I mean, did you see the #HijabFashion hashtag on Instagram? The Muslim fashion industry is currently valued at $96 billion internationally, and mainstream fashion designers have even begun catering their style lines to the newly coinedhijab couture. Hijab couture has also reached America, as evidenced by the flowing long skirts, palazzo pants and turbans in style this year. The trend has been magnified by a refreshing new wave of Instagram and YouTube hijab fashion bloggers who erupted onto the blogger scene. You can read about some of those in this blog post. Recognizable and fashion-forward thinking, they push the limits on the hijab couture and modest fashion industries.
Nowadays, these women have seen as global influencers, summoned by fashion companies to act as representatives, ambassadors and promoters for different brands.
5.All Hijab-Wearing Women are Quiet, Voiceless and Traditional
This is likely my favourite stereotype. Hijab-wearing women hear it again and again: "Where are your voices? Why are you not speaking up? Stand up and say something, you seem oppressed." Women who cover are one of the most visible of Muslim communities; I think that alone speaks volumes. Muslim women who wear the hijab are also some of the most commonly attacked during Islamophobic hate crimes.
But despite these stereotypes, hijab-wearing women have been and will continue to be a vibrant community of women, who defy stereotypes by example, who succeed as neurosurgeons, Olympic competitors, and lawyers. We are also as diverse as the multi-coloured fabrics we so proudly display on our heads.
Of course, some Muslim women wear the headscarf are also quiet and shy — but they are not shy because of the covering.
Hijab-wearing women remain, time and again, the topic of popular discussion, yet consistently are told to sit down and keep quiet when they attempt to enter conversations about them. While that might have worked before, it won't work much anymore: Muslim women who cover are not willing to remain silent any longer, entering mainstream media, culture, and production industries as individual forces to be reckoned with. Want an example? You just finished reading an article written by a woman who happens to wear the hijab.