The veil of invisibility

· Hellmouth

Veiled SmartSo we’re walking back to the car parked along the frontage road when a coworker says, “there’s an Amber alert on the freeway” and I look up to read the lit up message on the huge billboard “….brown Datsun 200sx…” and the license plate number that harbors a fugitive kidnapper and abducted girl (probably).
And I think about that fourteen year old in Salt Lake City who was hidden in plain sight for 8 months in her home town, in local restaurants, at street fairs, all around the neighborhood in fact unseen by people who were looking at posters alerting them to her abduction in the same room where she was standing but not seeing her because “she was veiled.”
She was encased in white robes, only her eyes showing. Her captor-mother was also veiled. And all those hundreds of people not really able to speak out (or not wanting to) and say “why are those women being hidden?” Why are you making them invisible?
When we accept in our open and democratic society the normalcy of veiled women, women hidden from public view, prevented from speaking, not allowed to have faces, or voices, or–let me be perfectly clear–not allowed to exist in their own right, then we have abandoned them. If we do not see the veiled girls and women we have lost them even as they walk among us.