What clothes say

I am currently reading Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War by Annia Ciezadlo and I was struck by something she said regarding Iraq. She writes, "Girls like Roaa dreamed of the things their miniskirted mothers had reveled in--travel, parties, advanced degrees." I heard many people in Iraq say that things used to be very liberal. For example, Iraq was the first country in the Middle East to give women the right to vote. In the 1950's and 60's Iraq was a place of culture and intellect.  Any time someone would tell me about Iraq's former liberalism the proof they would offer was women used to wear miniskirts. Miniskirts were not only the symbol of women's independence, but also of intellect. Women at University would wear their miniskirts on campus.

Today you could not wear a miniskirt in public in Iraq. I lived in the Kurdish region, which was quite liberal compared to the rest of the country, but skirts had to be below the knee. I met some of the students at Bagdad University and those women were fierce. They would wear the head scarf, but they would also wear tight jeans, long sleeved shirts and stiletto heels. They were covered from head to toe, but they dressed on their own terms.

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