11 Jun 2011

An Experiment: Wearing a Hijab in Ashford, Kent

We don't see a great deal of ethnic minority in Ashford. So in preparation for the slutwalk I had to go to the town centre and station to catch a train.

I probably do not have the body language of someone who wears a hijab regularly, I'm nosy and curious and I tend to meet anyone's eye.

Therefore, I was astounded to have people actively looking away as I walked across the car park. I'd turn, catch someone staring and then look away guiltily. It was rather like when I used to walk with sticks (that's another story).

Interestingly, I'm a decade older and a great deal less ashamed of how I dress and look to others. So I met stares, it felt like my left eyebrow was on a spring with the amount of challenging smirks I gave.

What amused me the most (aside from the fact I have heavy progressive power metal in my headphones) was a moment on a platform. I walked past a woman and her 6-7yr old daughter. And I heard;

'Don't stare dear, you must learn to respect diversity'.

This is when it hit home that Ashford doesn't see a lot of people in hijabs at all. Let alone white women who are five foot nine and striding down the platform with the Guardian under one arm!

I will continue to update as the day progresses!
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  1. Alan Rusbridgers Mum11 June 2011 at 13:42

    It wasn't the hijab they were bemused by, it was a copy of the Guardian, puleez we don't like that kind of thing in Ashford you know.

  2. Ah of course, how foolish of me! That was the diversity comment too right?!!!


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