Saudi women laugh when liberals talk of the abaya as oppressive. Yet they see 12- and 14-year-olds sexually exploited in U.S. advertisements and on the Internet. Somehow they are supposed to believe that such things are liberating. What, they say, makes Western women the judges of what is oppressive. They need to look inward and evaluate their values first.
Muslim women are tired of these lectures from the West and silly stunts by women who wear the abaya and niqab in the U.S. as if they are breaking new ground and fighting the good fight for all oppressed Muslim women. It's a bunch of hooey. The reason for the abaya is not to attract attention to yourself. Your experiment will have the opposite effect and fail because it will attract unwanted attention.
First, let's organize and boycott pantyhose and high heeled shoes. Pantyhose are nonsensical: they are based on the premise that women are not supposed to show our legs, yet they are see-through! Go figure. And all you have to do is look at them and they run. I mean, really, we can put a man on the moon, but we can't design a pair of panty hose that won't run?! As for high heeled shoes, these are essentially portable self-induced torture devices: they give us blisters, bunions and hammer-toes; hurt our knees, hips and back; and they limit our mobility. The only postive thing about high heeled shoes is that they can double as a weapon if you are in a pinch!
OK, now that we've gotten the silly stuff out of the way, I have to ask: What does this prove? Yeah, the airline security stuff was a tad alarming, but did Crittenden actually think the denizens of Washington, DC were going to attack her for her choice of clothing? That's the difference between here and there: We let people walk around wearing what they want; they make schoolgirls burn to death rather than let them out of a burning building without a veil.
Anyone looking at a woman wearing a burka can see that it's not the easiest garment to maneuver in. But a western woman trying on a burka knows she can always take the veil off. A woman in Saudi Arabia doesn't have that luxury.