Are There Any Rational Objections to An Aspie Agnostic Jew Wearing a Niqab or Burqa to Her Son’s Wedding to a Catholic?

Woman in Hijab

I want to wear a Niqab or Burqa to my son’s wedding…the wedding notices specify no dress code.

Editor’s Note: This is a true story. It is humor and not meant to offend those of the Muslim faith or their attire.

By Claudia Casser

Why do I want to? I’m vain, I’m fairly frugal, and I like level playing fields.

The first trait means that I’m horrified at my wrinkled, fallen, 65-year-old face and refuse to display it in its natural state where people will be taking pictures. The second trait means there’s no way I’m spending tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention weeks of pain, on getting a good face lift. Nor am I considering spending fewer thousands on getting some shorter-term, shoddier repair.

The third trait, however, is the kicker. Not diagnosed with Asperger’s until age 63, not knowing I was relatively face blind all those years, not knowing I was missing out not only on non-verbal communication but on the very identity of the people non-verbally communicating, I think it’s time I get to engage in social combat on more equal terms.

Oh-why do I view a wedding as a combat setting? I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain this to other Aspies, who know that all large social events are battles with ourselves and others that can overwhelm us under the best of circumstances. But to amplify for neurotypical readers, let me just add the fact that my ex-husband and his family will be there.

The ex-husband showed his true colors only after I completed my part of the contract I naively believed we made when I became pregnant with the son now getting married. I agreed to keep supporting the family as a corporate attorney while I was pregnant and for the next fifteen years until I turned 50, so he, a graduate of Georgetown Law School, could be the in-home parent and write a novel. (Or, as it turned out, sculpt.) Then he was supposed to take over as breadwinner with corporate-grade medical benefits, and I would get my turn to be the in-home parent and write my own long-planned book. Aspie to a fault, I persevered through a second pregnancy and cancer until I reached age 50, and then, as I thought we had agreed, I quit. Disaster ensued.

So, niqab or burqa? If I wear a niqab over my pretty summer dress, only my eyes will show, so (a) people will remember how I looked when they last saw me, which in most cases was years ago when I was considered attractive; and (b) people will have only my words by which to judge me, as I have only theirs.

Okay, I do understand that showing even my eyes gives neurotypicals something to work with, as does my body posture, but the wedding is in July, and I think the whole-body cover-up burqa might be hot and annoying to maneuver. Plus I haven’t seen any light-weight, attractive burqas online for sale (Pinterest did show a lovely lilac burqa, but I couldn’t find where it was sold). Per contra, there are reasonably-priced niqabs on Ebay in a range of pretty colors.

In short, I find the idea of wearing the niqab to the wedding both empowering, and sufficient to my needs for minimizing energy expended on rejuvenating my face and combating humans who outgun me. I don’t intend to eat at the reception, though I did contribute funds specially earmarked for food upgrades, so that’s not a downside for me. Moreover, the wedding is not following any of the “Emily Post” traditions with which my parents indoctrinated me (nobody even asked me, mother of the groom, about the guest list), and the wedding notices specify no dress code whatsoever.

So what rational objection could there be to my wearing a niqab or burqa?

***

Claudia Casser (ccasser@gmail.com), a graduate of Harvard Law School, worked as an antitrust litigator and a corporate in-house counsel before retiring to write and raise her children. Claudia’s 2016 semi-comic coming of age novel, “No Child Left Behind,” celebrates neurodiversity. Visit her website at www.ethicalantics.com, and buy her novel on Amazon.

9 Comments

  • Wearing a niqab is cultural appropriation. Be yourself. People will see you are beautiful. Aging is beautiful.

  • Nancy Lea Speer says:

    You are indeed a clever woman; I applaud your courage and creativity!

  • Not that I can think of.

    • Whose day is it? At these special occasions it is not very considerate to draw the attention away from the couple getting married… I assume they invited you to join them on their day as a guest.

      The occasion is inappropriate … you’ve been invited to celebrate your friends wedding.

      On my first marriage friends of my then husband to be made their statement by turning up in motor bike leathers…. they gate crashed the formal photos pushing both my parents and in-laws out of the photo session.

      A day of joy was destroyed by the egos of others. It isn’t cheap to pay for weddings so I’d advise you to think of a more appropriate occasion to make your statement.

      • Sorry I forgot that you are the mother of the groom… sounds like you object to him marrying a Catholic… why not ask your son and daughter-in-law to be how they feel about you wearing a burka or niquab?

        • I have in fact given my son “veto” power over my wearing a niqab I bought that covers my face and shoulders, but nothing below. I give it a 90% chance that he will veto, but NOT wearing it will add to my stress of attending the wedding, at a time when I’m still on crutches from a shattered knee.

  • Anonymous says:

    Whether you intend to follow up or not your statement that this is humor seems insincere and facetious…why else bring up $$ contribution or exclusion from guest list decisions?? Is it possible your actions are intended to punish your son and his future partner for not paying you respect due the mother of the groom?? Why else would you add more stress while they are trying to plan and celebrate their big day?? IMO this seems petty and selfish regardless of any slight you feel. If you truly love your son you would respect his decisions even if you disagree with them.

  • You are entirely wrong about my motive and entirely right about respecting my son’s decisions. That is why I have given him veto power over whether I wear the niqab after he sees how it looks over my mother-of-the-groom dress.

  • Amin says:

    I understand both sides of the argument, you feel more comfortable in niqab and your son may not find a good fit to the cultural norm for a dress women wear in the wedding. You know even those Muslims wearing niqab do not wear it in weddings to the best of my knowledge.
    All together except not meeting social norms, I do not see any rational objections against your decision, just wanted to highlight two points:

    – you decided wearing niqab in the first place to cover your face as it is important for you how other people see you and remember you. Please keep in mind that they will remember you in a niqab then after, and that neqab will become a part of their image of you in their minds.
    – giving your son a veto right for wearing niqab is very nice, but not enough I think. Please notice that you have given him only two options none of them is pleasant for him. So he should decide between either see you in a niqab in his wedding day or make you do what you don’t like. I think working with him or a trusted adviser on a third option that is pleasant both for you and him would be beneficial

    All in all, I wish both you and your son find a solution that make you both happy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *