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Hijab: Unveiling One Month Later: Article Analysis

Decent Essays
Cassidy Herrington, a journalism student at the University of Kentucky, wore a hijab for a whole month and wrote about her experience in a column published in The Kentucky Kernel on Oct. 31, 2010.
Herrington made a sincere effort to connect to a local Muslim community and gain input from its members, acknowledging their support in “‘Undercover’ in Hijab: Unveiling One Month Later.” Although arguably misguided, her article is at least thoughtful and sympathetic, if not a bit condescending, and adds to the discussion.
The problem is that Herrington fails to realize the headscarf that she thinks she needs “to identify with Muslims” cannot capture the entirety of an individual’s life experience with her faith. Not all Muslim women wear hijabs — for example, my
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After all, the journalist writes about her own experience, not Muslim women’s experiences. Despite good intentions, this practice reinforces a common image that Muslim women can’t speak for themselves and need someone else to speak for them. If journalists really want to write about what it’s like to wear a hijab, there are plenty of hijab-wearing women out there to ask. If the author wanted to learn more about Muslim women, she should have sought them out and spent time with them — those who wear hijabs as well as those who don’t. Then, instead of speaking on behalf of Muslim women’s “unheard voice” by talking about her own hijab experiment (“My hijab silenced, but simultaneously, my hijab brought unforgettable words”), she should have asked them to share their own experiences as Muslim women. Then they would have a voice. Why exactly can’t Muslim women speak for themselves? Why do we need non-Muslim women test-driving the hijab to tell the world what it’s like? And what right do these women think they have to do
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