Does Hijab Have Any Affect on Sexual Harassment?
This is a common argument I hear against the utility of modest dress and the hijab, namely that “modestly dressed women, even women in full hijab, are still victims of catcalling and sexual assault. So clearly modest dress and hijab have no impact in protecting women from sexual harassment.”
But this is a flawed argument because…
“No one claims that dressing modestly will completely foreclose on the possibility of receiving negative attention. The claim is simply that, all else being equal, modest dress, e.g., hijab, significantly reduces the likelihood of such harassment. […] So, yes, while women in hijab are, unfortunately, frequent victims of catcalling in Cairo’s busy streets, for example, the undeniable fact remains that the harassment would be much, much worse if these same women were dressed in yoga pants, tank tops, and other common Western styles.” [The Hypocrisy of Feminist Outrage]
And it helps that the verse is clear on its own: “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.”