I’ve been thinking about how appalled Westerners are at the idea that Muslim women supposedly can only uncover in front of their husbands. Needless to say, this isn’t true - women who wear hijab can uncover in front of anyone except for men they’re not closely related or married to. But this fixation on which men get to see you leads me to think that liberation, in this simplistic view, first and foremost is about being exposed to (and presumably affirmed by) the male gaze you can be. It really shouldn’t be that way. Female bodies aren’t public property so while agency to decide one way or the other is important, the normativity with which a subjection to a male gaze is prescribed as liberating is problematic.

We’ve got a generation now who were born with semiequality. They don’t know how it was before, so they think, this isn’t too bad. We’re working. We have our attache’ cases and our three piece suits. I get very disgusted with the younger generation of women. We had a torch to pass, and they are just sitting there. They don’t realize it can be taken away. Things are going to have to get worse before they join in fighting the battle.
Erma Bombeck