This paper explores the confusion in values that underpin the stereotyping of ‘the Muslim woman’. From the point of view of the ‘woman who veils’, it addresses the idea of strategic self-presentation geared by the logic of negotiation. Avoiding any uncritical celebration of such play of identities, it also engages with the internal struggle for self-definition typified by feminist criticisms of the patriarchal control of women's bodies. It points out the limits of external criticisms, primarily because they rest upon a self-aggrandizing view of the enlightened European. The paper concludes with the recommendation to listen to all the women who ‘speak’: the ones that adopt and the ones that abhor the veil from within the designated ‘non-Europeans’ among the Europeans. It uses the idea of negotiation of identity to underscore the importance of such ‘listening’.
Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care – Pier Professional
Published: Dec 1, 2008