Four Women Tried Wearing Hijabs for a Day and This is What They Learned

The team at Buzzfeed did a social experiment where they sent out four women who don't normally cover their heads into the wild streets of L.A. wearing the traditional Muslim headscarf, called a hijab. They all had their own preconceived notions about hijabs, mostly that they were objects of oppression until, of course, the women wore hijabs for a day and were able to have a more intimate experience with the hijab and everything it means. They learned that hijabs don't necessarily make the women who wear them feel oppressed; instead, it can make them feel empowered, strong, and visible to their fellow Muslim sisters. They also learned that when you wear a hijab, people stare at you and profile you. A lot. Which is neither comfortable nor fun.

Though I think experiments like this one or the "Straight Guys Learn About Homophobia by Holding Hands" can be useful, it's a little disheartening that we need four non-Muslim American women or two straight white men to give us insight into a world they actually know nothing about, because at the end of the day they are allowed to go back to their regular lives and no longer have to be hijab wearing women or gay men. Not every woman has the privilege to take off her hijab whenever she wants, and I think it's important to learn from those women, too.

Check out the whole experiment: