Plain Clothes Revisited: Empathy for Muslim Women Mennonite Life – June 2002 – Weaver article.
Because of the increased attention given to Muslim women’s clothing after September 11, I began to revisit my experience with the Mennonite cap (head covering) and plain clothing, worn until I was 31 years old. During the past 19 years my earlier changes in cap/hair/clothing have often constituted the subject matter of my personal-experience essays designed to demonstrate my gradual acculturation. In those essays I never set out to ridicule my cap and plain clothes; I just attempted to show the changes. Photograph #1 illustrates that phase of my writing: my treating the cap and the plain clothes as an artifact, something to be discussed. In that photograph, I am a spectator of my life, as shown by my holding the cap in my hands and by the family photographs in the background–one showing me in my plain clothes and the other, in my non-plain clothes. Now, however, I’ve begun to see my plain-clothes experiences in a new way.
A woman examines her time dressing plain, and compares it to Muslim women who wear Hijab.
It’s something I’ve thought about before, we have nuns who wear habits, and Christians who dress plain, but there isn’t as much of a fuss about it.