A Day in the Life of a Hijabi

The Stanford Muslim Students Awareness Network (MSAN) hosted "A Day in the Life of a Hijabi" today, which they describe as follows: "This day of activism challenges Stanford females to wear a scarf around their head in solidarity with the right of women to choose, as an opportunity to explore a culture that many times is portrayed as “foreign,” and to make a stance against the rising number of discrimination and employment cases in which women who wear the hijab are prevented from applying for certain jobs within the United States. The day also incorporates the support of Stanford males by providing them with a free pink t-shirt (with the slogan “It’s about what’s in your head, not on it”) and asking them to wear said shirt on the awareness day in increased solidarity. Pick up a free headscarf (women) and t-shirt (men) in White Plaza on Thursday, December 1 from 11:30-1:30 in White Plaza. Then wear them all day around campus on December 2 in solidarity with women who choose to wear hijab every day." There is dinner and discussion afterwards. I decided to participate -  I wanted to last year but was abroad and just totally forgot. I went by yesterday and picked up a t-shirt and scarf. I wore the scarf very simply, just draped over my head and tied under my chin ("Think Jackie O," the girl who gave me the scarf said."

Photo on 2011-12-02 at 13.02 #3
Photo on 2011-12-02 at 13.02 #3

I spent most of today holed up in my room doing work, because that's what my Fridays are like, but I was out on campus a little, running around doing errands.

The main thing I noticed was how self-conscious wearing the hijab made me. I was convinced that people were staring, which some of them probably were, but most of them probably just didn't really care or notice - not in a bad way, just that they had no reason to care that I was wearing a scarf on my head. But I think the fact that it's something different to me, and something that not a lot of other people are wearing, made me feel like I was being singled out for staring.

It was a cool experience. I'm sorry to be missing the dinner but maybe I can do this again sometime!