Recently, there was a movement at Rutgers University where several women created a video in which they wore hijabs for a day (they do not normally where hijabs) and recounted their experiences. The goal of the video was to shed light on what hijabis go through and face in terms of disadvantages and harassment on a daily basis, but the video was quickly retorted by women who actually wear hijabs everyday stating that the video was offensive. An article published by the New York Times stated that “they resented the women taking license to speak on their behalf”. It is completely understandable that the original women felt they were helping or maybe they assumed the women who do wear hijabs could not or did not want to speak up. However, Spivak reiterated the idea that only those who have experiences can and should speak on behalf of them.

In response, the two hijabi girls produced another video interviewing other hijabis in public spaces about their feelings and experiences. Not only was this video much more authentic, it held true to the idea that it is more powerful for those who actually hold experiences to speak of them firsthand. The video also educates people on the background of hijabs and reasons why people wear them. A huge source of racism is a lack of understanding, and the video effectively alleviates this potential problem. Though I was unable to find the original video, it is unclear whether or not the information they were conveying was incorrect or offensive. Rather, the existence of the video itself bothered the women who created a response. Their response reinforced the idea that those who do not wear hijabs can be allies in other ways than pretending to wear a hijab and seeing what happens, i.e. asking what people need, asking how one can help, and learning information that is actually true from the source.


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