‘Size 6: The Western Women’s Harem’ forms part of the Moroccan feminist Fatema Mernissi’s works, published in 2001.
Size 6 is a sarcastic article Fatema employs in explaining how she wanted to purchase a size 6 skirt from a U.S saleslady, contrary to the veils their culture restricts. It does not fit her, though she knows what their Muslim men cannot allow them to wear such skirts. Fatema’s childhood is not as she wishes it be because she grows enclosed in a Harem where she hardly gets a chance to even walk outside the house. She can only get out of the place once a week to the bathrooms, escorted and covered not to be seen by other people. In her article, Fatema wants to show how the beauty of women is perceived by the mid-East and Western cultures.
She wants to depict the difference between the appearance of a beautiful woman in her culture’s point of view and that the western. The writer is a Muslim woman in a veil, as accepted by their beliefs, but is demanding to purchase a skirt from a girl who holds a different culture, that size is a factor worthy considering when a woman is purchasing a garment. Following their conversation, it stands out that the two differ when the saleslady unfolds the reason behind size 6 as pertaining to women in jobs. The writer realizes that it can be more of a trouble wearing the skirt compared to her veil. It becomes clear that western men demand that their women should wear particular sizes of clothes to appear beautiful before their eyes, a case that makes them secure greater job positions, not based on performance or experience, but dressing.
They also differ when it comes to the issue of women weight and diet. It is not a matter to the Muslim women as it is to those from the west. The origin, intention, and the impact of dressing mode, as portrayed by women, form the major purpose behind Mernissi’s article. She wants the reader to know the significance of the dressing style used by the present women. Although, it’s now everywhere, it was started by the western people.
It is their culture that women ought to dress in a certain manner to please their men. It has been imitated by many non-U.S people, both married and unmarried.
She wants to show how dressing can turn out as a disaster, a case that is evident today. It is the style that prostates have acquired to capture the attention of men into sexual affairs. On the other hand, she purposes to show how women can also avoid this. She illustrates the Muslim culture as conservative when she opts not to purchase the skirt owing to the intended purpose and results. She shows how the Muslim attire ought to be adopted rather than the westerns’. Muslim culture holds that a woman ought to stay strictly in the house not to be seen and abused by other men.
This is more of a torture that their western counterparts cannot tolerate because they view people as social beings holding that both male and female ought to interact with one another freely. In addition, muslin culture asserts that their women ought to wear veils throughout, whether hot or cold. They are forced to remain this way under all circumstances unlike the western women who exercise freedom of wearing as they wish. This is the freedom that the Muslim culture needs to welcome rather than enslaving their women in the name of love.