Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

When I first read the letters, I think I struggled to find the meaning or purpose in them, but after talking in class, I realized the importance of them was that a woman like Lady Mary Wortley Montagu was able to clearly put her thoughts and own experiences into letters that discuss many topics from sexual behavior to social class. As Ms. Hamovit pointed out, I think it is very interesting how Lady Mary Wortley Montagu wrote about encounters from a personal experience. I think it can sometimes be difficult to put into words and depict meaning of our own experiences, but she seems to have a good grasp on the differences in the cultures. As she states, “tis very easy to see they have more liberty than we have, no woman, of what rank so ever being permitted to go in the streets without two muslins”  It seems that is was rare for a woman in this time to write about topics no one dared to speak about. I’m sure it was thought of as strange for Lady Mary Wortley Montagu to want to leave England and reside in Turkey, with so many unfamiliarities, but I respect her idea to embrace the change and learn from her new environment.
I found the reading about the veils to be interesting because it is funny that we are discussing these issues in 2017. It is interesting to see how some can feel that covering themselves can help to integrate Muslim women into different societies. I had never seen it from that perspective and I do feel like it can help to serve that purpose because women will feel more empowered.
          In today’s society, I think there is a certain stigma associated with the veil or any woman who chooses to cover their body. To outsiders, it looks like women who choose to cover themselves are not exercising their free will, but in all actuality, it is exactly what they are doing. After reading the articles and reading Lady Mary Wortley Montagu it is important to try and see different perspectives. What I might think is conforming for a girl, might actually be completely liberating and empowering. As Lady Mary Wortley Montagu was able to see the perspective from Turkish women and how they live their life, I was able to understand why the veil is important to women in Muslim culture. 

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