Things That Make Me More Nervous Than Niqabs

Graphic Madeleine Gendreau

I get it. Niqabs make some people nervous.

Something about not being able to judge someone based on their face and obvious body language makes getting to know them a bit harder, because you actually have to listen when they speak, or something.

But a lot of things make me nervous that aren’t really being explored as much during national debates, so I made a list:

1. People who stand too close to me on metro platforms

The only thing I’m thinking about when someone’s shadow is on me is how fast I can run to the nearest ladder if I get pushed on the tracks, or whether I fit in the space beneath the platform.

2. A government that doesn’t think 1,200 missing and murdered women is systemic

If we count the hours it takes to come up with unconstitutional arguments against niqab-wearing women, and instead devoted that time to setting up an inquiry for indigenous women, then we would be on our way to solving real problems.

3. Children who shout really loudly in the schoolyard across the street

Lack of sleep is a real problem. Maybe if I wasn’t woken up at 7 a.m. by questionably high-pitched screams, my neighbours and I wouldn’t be so nervous about how other people dress.

4. A country that speaks about a group of women before it bothers to speak to them

I don’t like knowing that 93 per cent of my neighbours think they should be able to strip a few women. This crop top is okay, though, right?

5. The Turcot interchange

I’m never really sure I’m going to make it off alive.

6. When Muslim women are attacked

Being a woman and not being subjected to violence is already very difficult to achieve. Spreading rhetoric that the Muslim female body needs to be liberated only demonizes and exposes the women to more violence, such as a pregnant woman attacked on Sept. 29 by two teenagers trying to remove her headscarf.

7. People who wear veils at weddings

Cool it on the chiffon and save some $$$.

8. Food insecurity in the North

9. Unregistered firearms

10. Not accepting more refugees

11. Denying refugees rights

12. Muzzled scientists

13. Closed data

14. Party lines

15. When citizens lose their citizenship

16. A hotline for racists…