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Free to wear what one chooses

September 19, 2009

Re "The chador and feminism don't always fit," Sept 10

The article misses a most important issue regarding Lubna Hussein's conviction for wearing pants, and her goals: the egalitarian treatment of all humans.

Women are adults. They should have freedom of choice in all areas of life including clothes, work, education, marriage, childbearing or entertainment. Free to wear pants or chador.

Does belief in freedom make Hussein a "rabble-rousing feminist journalist," as Meghan Daum describes? The word "feminist" is too highly charged to promote understanding. Let's promote egalitarianism instead. It respects freedom for all.

Denice Masterson Orr

Arcadia

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Yes, Hussein suffered a terrible miscarriage of justice for doing what Muslim women all over the world do every day -- wear pants. But taking that case and making a blanket argument against hijab -- without actually talking to a Muslim woman -- is disingenuous.

Reading the last line reminded me of the first day I donned a hijab 13 years ago as a sophomore at UCLA. A seemingly well-intentioned old woman walked up to me, put her hand on my shoulder and said, "Honey, you're in America now. You don't have to wear that here."

Just as I struggled to stop myself from rolling my eyes then, I did the same reading this column.

Daum seems like a progressive, open-minded person. Hopefully, she's got enough gumption to follow up with a column that actually includes the voice of a Muslim American hijab wearer.

Edina Lekovic

Los Angeles

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