Person A: I am done with seat-belts. They’re a waste of time.
Person B: What? Are you crazy?!
A: Not at all. Wearing a seat-belt is just symbolic, an empty ritual, some would even say a “performance of piety” to show the world how much you abide by arbitrary laws sent down to us from on high. And while some people choose to undertake that performance — and I respect their choice — I choose to forego it.
B: Well, yeah, you can describe it like that but that doesn’t mean seat-belts are useless. They serve an important practical purpose.
A: Ha! Like what?
B: For starters, they protect you from getting hurt in a car accident.
A: That’s ridiculous. Did you know that some people wear seat-belts and still get injured when they get into a car wreck? Some people even die despite wearing a seat-belt. Clearly seat-belts are useless and do absolutely nothing to protect you.
B: …what? Just because a seat-belt doesn’t magically save you from any and all harm, doesn’t mean it’s useless.
A: Sorry, but you’re wrong. I know plenty of people who were wearing a seat-belt and still got injured. Some of these people were even driving in countries where wearing seat-belts is very common. Can you believe that?
B: You’re making a logical error. Just because a seat-belt does not and cannot protect you 100% doesn’t mean that it provides no protection at all. All else being equal, wearing the seat-belt significantly reduces the possibility of injury and death.
A: Stop shaming non-seat-belt wearers! If I am driving without a seat-belt and I get hit by a drunk driver and I get seriously injured or die, that’s the drunk driver’s fault, not mine. Stop it with your disgusting victim blaming!
B: …what? Obviously the drunk driver is at fault, but that has nothing to do with wearing a seat-belt. The fact that there are crazy, irresponsible people in the world doesn’t take anything away from the practicality of wearing a seat-belt. In fact, the existence of those irresponsible people makes wearing a seat-belt all the more essential from a practical perspective.
A: GAH! I’m done with your seatbelt-splaining! You disgust me!
A: Just another example of seat-belt wearer’s privilege, smugly judging those of us who want to exercise our free choice about what we wear while driving. This is EXACTLY what is wrong with the world today.
B: I don’t mean to offend you. Actually, if you look in your car’s owners manual, even the car manufacturers themselves say you need to wear a seat-belt to prevent injury. Are the car manufacturers being smug and insensitive too?
A: That’s just YOUR biased, seat-belt wearing interpretation of the owners manual. We need a non-seat-belt wearers interpretation of the owners manual. Stop pretending like you have EXCLUSIVE right to interpret the owners manual because you DON’T.
B: I don’t think the owners manual is ambiguous on this-
A: THAT’S ENOUGH. You have NO idea what it is like to be me and what I have been through while driving my car, so you have a lot of NERVE telling me whether or not I should wear a seat-belt. And to make matters worse, you want to shame me into silence with the owners manual! Do you even own a car?
B: No, but I don’t see how that changes…
A: WOW, you’re not even a car owner but you want to lecture ME on seat-belts! Do yourself a favor and SHUT UP.
Thus concludes yet another productive discussion on hijab and sexual harassment.
By the way, here is the relevant passage from our “owners manual”:
“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.”