11 thoughts on “A Solution Needed for Indecent Clothing in the Workplace

  1. Salama says:

    It is hard and you're right but let's be honest nothing is going to change, I believe we should stop wearing the abaya, I mean its about freakin time, we're not "veiled" when we have bangs showing now are we? Let's take a moment and be honest, we are in 2012, the world is changing and I honestly feel it is silly to walk around in an abaya. What for? 90% of local guys are marrying foreigners not because they are "prettier" but because they look like normal women. It is not fair for us as "local" girls to endure the hogwarts like abaya and look like freaks. Why? Because we are "local"? I don't see the men carrying swords around? Seriously this has to stop, girls in abayas with bangs and hair showing?? Come on.. That's not religon that's bullshit. I believe it should be a personal choice and we should stop this. Other than Saudi Arabia who are "forced" to we are the only GCC country who does that.. What's the point of burj khalifa if we look like we belong in the 16th century? I don't see westerners dressed as knight? Yes traditions are nice but they belong in a museum NOT today's world. I'm not saying we should dress in a slutty way all I'm saying we should at least be ABLE to wear what normal people are wearing. Enough IS ENOUGH.

  2. Fatma al Khaja says:

    I thank that you took the time to reply to my article, however, do note that while reading your comment I was trying to understand how relevant it was to the said article.

    Take a moment, and think of your sentence – ‘we’re not veiled when we have our bangs showing’; isn’t it the same when you have someone wearing a full covered clothes (long shirt with a pants), but have their bangs showing underneath their scarves? An abaya is our tradition, something we’re proud to wear. Yes, I do agree that some designs can be extreme, but it’s only a rarity that you find such a thing. Today you have a lot of designs to choose from (Hogwarth like or not…) .

    I tend to disagree that the year we live in has anything to do with us wearing an abaya. If 90% of locals are marrying foreigners, it is for other factors such as expenditures, dowry, and other over excessive items, and not because they look abnormal.

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  3. Fatma Al Khaja says:

    Your comment has gone into asking about what’s fair, or not. No one forces you to wear an abaya, it is a norm here that society chooses to abide by. Neither does an abaya depict religion if it’s not worn properly. Religion states that you should cover well, regardless of what you wear.

    There are a lot of girls nowadays that properly wear their religious sheila/scarves without an abaya, therefore, if you don’t want to wear it then don’t. Keep something in mind – the abaya or however you dress is a personal choice, freedom of mind, ec..) You seem to think a lot about what others (westerners, foreigners, etc..) think of it?

    My comment to you would be, ‘do we really care what others think?’ I wear this because I like it. I’m comfortable in, and it defines my personality and where I come from.

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  4. Dennis says:

    Fatima, surely the comment "do we really care what others think" is the essence of the original post. You clearly do care what others think, or at least you care what you think (if you see what I mean). The problem with a willingness to mix societal norms is where to draw the lines, and to get everyone to agree on them. That can be done by legislation, as say in Saudi, but it's much better for the long term to get everyone to buy into the same set of norms (I don't care to use the loaded term 'values'). And no, I have no idea how to do this; though I have to say that in my own company we have a formal dress code that allows for may acceptable styles but specifically prohibits others. So maybe it's as simple as educating management?

  5. Alice says:

    I really liked the article and the cute picture! I agree that many people dress improperly in this country (some Muslim women included- like those with open abayas (or without) and very tight clothes underneath, accessorized with hot shoes, nails and make up). To me it's just lack of common sense (stupidity? arrogance?) don't they realize it's an ARABIC, MUSLIM country after all? It's so inconsiderate towards many Muslim people here. Don' t they feel uneasy when in the company of fully veiled women, or bearded Muslim men (and many other Muslims and nonMuslims as well), whom they make feel awkward with their cleavages and naked legs, or bottoms in tight or see through clothes…

  6. Alice says:

    Nobody's forcing nonmuslims to wear hijab here. They are free to wear whatever they want within the frames of decency. Why vulgarity in a Muslim country? It's simply disrespectful and stupid. There's plenty of decent, beautiful, rather modest clothes available.

    Regarding Salama's comment that local men marry foreign women because they look like normal women… I disagree with this opinion. Otherwise why do same men insist that their foreign wives wear abaya and sheila after marriage? Almost all foreign wives wear abaya here. It means their husband like abaya and women in abaya, and marry foreigners for different reasons, not because of abaya.

  7. Fatma Al Khaja says:

    True said on the first part.

    For the second, I have mentioned that local men marrying non-muslims have a lot of other factors included.

  8. Alice says:

    and it's even more stupid to dress immodestly to work. At least when we see such a person in a public place or on the street, we can simply turn away, move away, go into a different direction. But at workplace there's nowhere to run, especially if the woman (or man) keeps dressing that way day after day. Can be quite emberassing and uncomforable for people working with her/him

  9. Fatma Al Khaja says:

    Thank you for your comment.

    Kindly note that my concerns where mostly for people dressed in the office. If I am to walk to in a mall, and see an indecent dressed person I can choose to point that person to the security or simply do the cowardly thing and walk away.

    Walking away is not something I would choose to do in an office where I am breathing, living there more than my own home. Educating management is the key, but what do you do when they don’t cooperate? Where do you go? Whom do you speak to?

    I’ve been brought up within my religion, and sets of values. One, I choose not to ignore. In the office, I am constantly interacting with people who are dressed like that. Why should I be in a meeting room with a half dressed woman who all the men are staring at the whole time? It would make anyone uncomfortable.

    Why would a man sitting on a chair with his rear out be there in the first place? That would make anyone uncomfortable.

    What if a senior member/board member was strolling about the area? How would/could you explain the situation?

    Let’s be clear on one thing. What I’m discussing are not norms. I am discussing office decency. Everyone’s been brought up with sets of rules that you can never choose to play ignorant and not know of it. For example, Bermuda not allowed in office, low hanging pants not allowed, wearing a beach attire fully well knowing that you won’t be allowed to even wear that in public, etc…

    I hope that we can manage to make the office attire better in the future.

  10. Fatma Al Khaja says:

    Again truly.

    You are breathing and living with these people. One that you cannot ignore.

  11. Nadine says:

    There's a total lack of respect for both themselves and others if women are walking around with their boobs, butts and bare legs bursting out for attention.

    Why would a woman want some dirty man oogling her like she's a piece of meat especially during a business meeting? Its degrading to women that her flesh is her worth! There is a whole industry that profits from sexualising women

    @ Salama, being modest and moral has nothing to do with what century we are living in. Its a scientific fact that men are more visual than women and they think about the naughty stuff upteen times a day! Dressing modestly is firstly liberating for the women in that she is valued for her intelligence and not her looks. Secondly you can go about your day without soliciting unwanted attention.

    Like Alice said, you know the UAE is a Muslim country. However there's no point in having a hijaab on your head when you have clothes that look they have been painted on. Its all about modesty..and who defines what modest is? As a Muslim its my creator not man, the fashion designers nor media influence who defines the best dress code for me!

    I finish with this quote " ‘’Man in early times was almost naked, and as his intellect evolved, he started wearing clothes. What I am today and what I’m wearing represents the highest level of thought and civilisation that man has achieved, and it’s not regressive. It’s the removal of clothes again that is a regression back to the ancient times’’ – Tawakkul Karman (Noble Peace Prize winner dubbed the ‘’mother of the Yemen revolution’’ when asked by western journalists why she wears Hijab and how it is not proportionate with her level of intellect and education).

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