Hijab and The City

For weeks, I’ve been stewing over how to express my disdain for Sex and the City 2.

I mean, it’s obvious: this is a terrible movie. But as a feminist of faith, I have to say I’ve cringed a special cringe every time someone mistakes SATC 2’s brand of consumption and Islamexploitation for feminism.

Which. It. Is. Not.

But now, rather than dwell on the ugliness that is SATC 2, I think I’ve found a proper antidote in a beautiful New York Times article by Lorraine Ali about American Muslim women who choose to cover.

It’s a story about complex women making everyday religious choices and maintaining their dignity against public derision and abuse.

It’s a story that captures the humanity of orthodox religious expression:  the travails of grocery shopping with toddlers in a windy city while wearing a hijab and a niqab, as well as the deeply personal pleasures of devotion.

Reading it, I feel for these very devoted Muslim women a sense of solidarity that I’ve never felt with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda (even in those moments when—truth be told—I’ve found myself coveting pieces of Carrie’s wardrobe).

Maybe because it’s because so many of the women I love and respect most in this world are Mormons who choose to express their love for God in the way they dress, consciously choosing lives of modesty, even when those choices—and especially the devotional underclothing Mormons wear under their street clothes—are ridiculed.

Beauty  =  conscious choices.

Ugly  =   vapid self-absorption accessorized with anti-religiosity.