Shrouded In Contradiction Summary

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In “Shrouded in Contradiction,” Gelareh Asayesh compares and contrasts her life in Florida with her life in Iran. While in Florida, she wears westernized clothing, but when she returns to Iraq, she must put on the scarf and long jacket that many Iranian women wear instead of a veil. The essay begins by telling the readers that Asayesh “grew up wearing the miniskirt to school, the veil to the mosque” (187). Instantly, we become aware of her double life; she changes her appearance and demeanor depending on her surroundings. Despite her Muslim upbringing, Asayesh has conflicted feelings about hijab; she states that she “wears it with a hint of rebellion” (187). Hijab offers her safety from leering looks; however, she hates the strictness of the…show more content…
Women must hide their skin, and they are taught to be ashamed of their sexuality. When Asayesh complains, “The men aren 't hot,” to a woman on the Caspian Sea’s shore, the woman’s companion is shocked. “Sister, this isn 't about men and women…this is about Islam,” she says. (188) However, that is fallacious: these rules cause Asayesh to feel ashamed and conscious of her bare skin. For example, by wearing a skimpy scarf, she risks “being accused of stepping on the blood of the martyrs who died in the war with Iraq.” (187) Paragraph 11 compares sex with Islam, “the veil masks erotic freedom, but it advocates believe hijab transcends the erotic-or expands it…where I come from, people are more likely to find delirious passion in the mosque than in the bedroom” (188). Paragraph 13 expands on this: “All I know is that such moments of passionate abandon, within the circle of invisibility created by the veil, offer an emotional catharsis every bit as potent as any sexual release” (189). The architects of the mosque, called mystics by Asayesh, believed that physical love was an obstacle to spiritual love. Islam replaces ardent sex with fervent religion, praying, and weeping. Therefore, women hide their figures not for religion, but so that they do not shame their families or tempt
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