Dress Codes and Perspective

Fundamentalist Mormon Attire

I stopped by our local sandwich shop for a quick lunch yesterday.  The lady behind the counter is of Islamic descent, and wears a head scarf.  She is always pleasant, if not a bit shy and deferential.

As I sat with my lunch, I thought about her attire.  I’ll be up front and admit that my initial reaction is always one of cultural xenophobia.  It brings to mind the treatment of women in general in Middle Eastern countries, and the lack of rights for so many of them.

About the time I’m ready to let loose with a round of mental condemnation, I pull up short.  What really motivates someone in their choice of attire.  Is it really a choice?  I am concerned for this woman if she were forced to wear this by her husband, but it could just as easily have been a cultural choice of her own.  She may simply feel more comfortable wearing that with which she is familiar. Continue reading “Dress Codes and Perspective”