Life Under ISIS: Where Sexuality Marks a Women’ s Total Value

Temperatures are soaring this summer in many parts of the world. But for women living under the thumb of the Islamic State (or Saudi Arabia, for that matter) every day is a suffocating affair. Imagine being swathed in layers of black cloth – a full-length cloak worn over your clothing, two layers over your head covering your face and neck, and gloves on your hands and arms.

Nothing can be more dehumanizing than reducing the totality of a human being to their availability to be used by another. The statement made by this extremist Islamic dress code is that the very sight of a woman evokes her sexuality. It follows that in her male-dominated society, a woman’s sexuality marks the sum total of her value.