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Analysis of Persuasive Essay - "Wearing a Uniform of Oppression"

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Analysis of Persuasive Essay "Wearing a Uniform of Oppression" - Catherine Meckes The saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is only a sham "You are fat - oh, but your husband likes it." "You are flat - oh, that's okay, your friends are jealous of your thinness anyway." Does the perception of beauty really differ from person to person? It does not appear so. Society creates the definition of beauty, and from time to time, when it feels like it, society might change the meaning. Beauty is no longer in the eye of the beholder; beauty is a set of rules - you follow the rules, and you're pretty. Females, nowadays, are often spellbound by theses "rules", and by the "definition" of beauty. Some choose to struggle through the game; some remove themselves from the game and hide their appearances altogether. In her essay, "Wearing a Uniform of Oppression", Catherine Meckes argues that the traditional hijab is really a representation of women's defeat. ...read more.


If a part of the woman's body was exposed, her husband would have been more ashamed than she, herself. Meckes explains that wearing a hijab is like surrendering to something that one hasn't even done wrong. It's like apologizing to men for their own uncontrolled sexual urges. As Meckes puts it, a woman who wears a hijab is like saying, "You win, it's my fault you are staring, assaulting, raping. You guys can't control your sexual urges, so it's up to me to make sure there isn't even a suggestion of a body under my clothes to tempt you. My fault. Sorry." The way Meckes expresses this idea is also worth noting. She creates an understatement such that the profundity becomes trivial, and yet the trivial becomes appealing. First, Meckes addresses the issue of "staring, assaulting, raping", making it seem like nothing men should be ashamed of; only women are blameworthy. ...read more.


The way Meckes arouses the reader's mind with a question, and discretely implants an answer is intelligent. The hijab has become so common in her atmosphere that one starts to question whether or not the fabric has become more than just a tradition. It implies that the hijab has evolved from a traditional garment, to piece of feminine armor. The style of the essay is unified with the asyndeton Meckes uses in her conclusion. "...what this dress represents for me, and for all women: backwardness, submissiveness, degradation." Instead of "backwardness, submissiveness, and degradation, Meckes chooses to omit the conjunction. One must wonder the about the purpose in her doing so. The use of asyndeton in this situation creates a stronger, more climatic effect. The feeling of speed and concision makes the whole idea much more emphatic, which is the author's main purpose - to persuade powerfully that the hijab represents women's inferiority. ...read more.

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