To the Editor:

The recently published piece, “The Veil,” (The Hoya, B1, Mar. 28, 2014) is extremely important. It is vital that we inject nuance into discussions involving the hijab. We need to push back against oppressive versions of “feminism” that declare that male family members control women who wear hijab.

At the same time, we also need to push back against a worldwide culture that promotes rape and sexual assault. A commenter in the article stated, “wearing the hijab was a sort of protection” against rape and that “the reason behind wearing it makes sense [because] if you see a girl wearing shorts or a girl wearing jeans, typically guys will hit on the girl with shorts.”

I do not believe that the commenter supports rape culture in any form. However, we need to debunk this idea, once and for all, that states that the clothing a person wears has a connection to their rape. We need to understand that wearing hijab and more conservative clothing will not end rape. There was an interesting Twitter discussion last month where survivors bravely stated what they were wearing at the time of the assault. Many were wearing sweatpants, and others were wearing short skirts and heels. Many were assaulted as children and were wearing pajamas. The focus must always be on the rapist, and we are naive if we believe that the clothing we wear will protect us from this awful crime.


Alyssa Peterson

COL ’14

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