Last week, a Facebook page entitled “My Stealthy Freedom” drew the attention of the American media. The page was made for Iranian women to share their “stealthy” photos of themselves without the veil while in public. When TIME magazine posted a promotional image on Facebook for their article about “My Stealthy Freedom”, they included the caption “Seriously, the must-wear-hijab thing – probably a pain during the summer”.
This comment received a lot of criticism via social media, particularly Twitter. The hashtag #HijabIsAPainInTheSummer was used by many women who wear hijab to express their sentiments about TIME’s comment and the veil. Here are some of my favorite responses to TIME’s comment:
The comment made by TIME magazine is problematic because it characterizes the veil as inherently oppressive, perpetuating stereotypes of the Muslim religion as oppressive towards women. Iran’s mandatory hijab law is the source of oppression in this case. Muslim women were able to speak up about their relationships to the veil through Twitter and call out TIME magazine for their ignorant comment. Only one major news source reported on the #HijabIsAPainInTheSummer hashtag, but the link and offending comment were taken down from TIME’s Facebook page.