Woman Refuses to Remove Headscarf for Friends of Boyfriend

Gillian Sisley

Should anyone ever be pressured to remove clothing if they’re not comfortable?

Visibly Muslim women receive routine and regular harassment in US society due to their appearance. 69% of Muslim women who wear headscarves have reported that they have experienced religious discrimination, compared to 26% of other women in the population.

The Pew Research Center also estimates that about 75% of Muslim women have experienced racial discrimination in their lives, compared to 40% of women when they're out in the general public.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a man is pressured by his friends to force his girlfriend to not wear a headscarf when she is around them.

Should anyone ever be pressured to remove clothing if they’re not comfortable?

A Reddit post published on May 27th, reported on by Samantha Berlin from Newsweek, has gone viral with 23,500 upvotes and 2,900 comments.

The author begins his post by explaining that his girlfriend of 2 years is half Arabic and has recently decided to start wearing a headscarf. The author adds that he thinks she looks cute in it, he loves her and he believes that it's her body, and her religious beliefs, so it's her choice what she does.

However, after going out to dinner with some friends, the author was informed that two girls in the group felt 'uncomfortable' and 'threatened' by his girlfriend because she was wearing a headscarf.

They went on to tell the man that he had to tell his girlfriend to no longer wear a headscarf in front of them, and that she should ‘respect their boundaries’ because she was 'making them uncomfortable'.

Women who wear headscarves aren't uncommon in the US.

Data shows that there are about 1 million Muslim women living in America, and 43% of them have reported wearing their headscarves all of the time. Another 48% of those women surveyed stated that they don't cover their hair.

The author flat-out refused to tell his girlfriend such a thing, and has even indicated that he has plans to leave the friend group over this situation of what he deems to be blatant racism and discrimination.

With that said, the author is wondering if he's overreacting to the situation, because there are several people in his life who think he would be in the wrong to either leave the friend group, or refuse to force his girlfriend to no longer wear her headscarf around his friends.

What do you think? Is the author in the wrong for refusing to tell his girlfriend what to do with her body? Or is he absolutely justified in not only refusing to do so, but intending to leave the friend group that was so blatantly discriminating against her?

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