If you had to choose between two candies, one wrapped and one unwrapped, which would you choose? This degrading "covered versus unwrapped candy" analogy has been used on several occasions in an attempt to patrol Muslim women's personal choices.
The repulsive comparison perpetuates the misogynistic idea that a wrapped and untouched "piece of candy" is more appealing than a "tainted" one. The analogy sees "hymens and headscarves" as synonymous to respectful.
Comparing women to objects has become a norm in a patriarchal world infested with misogynists. Men believe they are held in higher esteem due to the existence of a Y chromosome. Thus, the self-proclaimed halal-police meddle with every aspect of our lives, thinking they have a right to do so.
Muslim women - whether covered or not - fall victim to the machismo quite frequently. Hijabis are called out for not meeting the so-called "modesty" benchmark; non-hijabis are criticized for being on the other end of the spectrum.
The system of patriarchy has given birth to an extremely distorted idea of what a "woman" is and should be.
The vile analogies have taken a new form over time, each time more revolting than the other. A recent one - in which one guy compared hijabis to sealed letters - creeped its way into my timeline.
In the tweet, the user writes:
"Hijabis are like a sealed letter. It's safely wrapped in an envelope and only opened by the righteous recipient."
A righteous recipient? Or a self-righteous one?
The double standards are alive and well among some Muslim men who believe they (and not their female counterparts) are entitled to sex-before-marriage, drinking alcohol, partying, and the like. God forbid his "Muslim sister" lives her life.
These very same men interfere with women's personal lives, criticize their choices and lecture them on how to be better Muslims. All that under the pretext that they are fellow Muslim brothers.
Giving men the green light to police women stems from the system in place; the patriarchy is to blame.
But, if this hasn't stopped in the 21st century, when will it?