DE/COLONIZING HIJAB: AN ORIENTALIST STUDY OF RANDA ABDEL FATTAH’S DOES MY HEAD LOOK BIG IN THIS?
Keywords:Hijab, stereotypes, Muslim Women, oppression, West, Orientalism.
Few items of female clothing provoke debate to the extent that hijab, a piece of cloth wrapped around the head by a Muslim woman, has become a most complex and pressing issue. The overwhelming image of a Muslim woman wearing hijab, relying on political and gendered models of explanation, is one of subjugation, passivity and marginalization. Does the reason for this is, hijab? Randa Abdel Fattah in her text, Does My Head Look Big in This?, responds to this question by portraying the contradictions between these stereotypical constructions and the realities that a Muslim woman wearing hijab face in a Western society. Observing Muslim women as individuals, living with their families, and playing active roles in the society, the reason for their oppression is concluded as the Western society which perpetuates such notions. The paper is an attempt to uncover a narrative of hidden oppression engendered by the society they live in. Edward Said’s Orientalism remains a relevant study for understanding the stereotypes about the Muslim women for the explanation of their exploitation engendered by the Western societal attitude towards hijab.