In Size 6: The Western Women’s Harem, the author emphasizes on the restrictions being set by the modern world on women. We all know that the conservative Muslim countries restrict their women from freely socializing by imposing the use of a veil. However, the author points out that this hindrance to women’s freedom is not limited to the Muslim nations. This is also present in Western countries like the United States of America. The U. S. boasts of a free world, a democratic institution that gives every person the freedom.
But as we look closer and we dig deeper in the country’s social issues, we can see that women’s freedom are also hindered here. Not by culturally imposed laws and rules and the wearing of veils, but by the socially imposed Size 6 Harem. According to Mernissi, the size 6 harem is an act of oppression for women, and it has tyrannically ruled over the nation, even though most may not acknowledge it. After reading the article, I could say that I agree with what the author is saying. Indeed, Western women are suffering from the tyranny of the size 6 because they feel compelled to abide by its standards.
It is true that it is not imposed by the government or by any leader unlike the wearing of the veil in Muslim countries. In our case however, the size 6 is imposed socially, by the people living among us. It is not dictated by law or by the rule of any god, instead, it is a restriction created by none other than the people themselves. For me, the tyranny of the size 6 is a very real issue, as I also agree with what the author said at the end of the article. She was very thankful that she’s not from this country, or else she will have to dutifully abide to the size 6 harem.
After reading the article, I realized the importance of this issue nowadays. For quite some time now, Westerners have been obsessed with how women are treated in other cultures, especially in the stricter, conservative Muslim countries. We would always criticized how these women were treated in these countries, including the clothing restrictions like the wearing of protective veils. It is true that we have been blessed with a more lenient, more accepting government especially when it comes to the way we dress.
But as the author pointed out, there isn’t much of a difference when it comes to the restrictions that we have to adhere to. Western women have always been conscious of their size, thus creating the size 6 harem tyrannies. For me, I think it is best that before we criticize other countries on how they restrict women on the clothes that they wear, we should first reflect on ourselves, how we’re restricted by our size 6 mentality on how what we wear, how we eat, and most importantly, how we live.