Looking for an easy way to make people treat you differently? Via Vice, Annette Lamothe-Ramos conducts a social experiment by wearing Saudi-style burqa in New York City for a day:
I figured that the only way I’d really know what life was like for women who have been consigned to wear the least-revealing piece of clothing of all time was to dress up as one of them.
We hopped on a train uptown to pretend we were tourists. No one really paid much attention to me except the woman on the bench behind me who was sitting with her children. She dragged them to the other end of the platform when she saw me step onto the train. What a bitch!
When we got out of the subway it started to rain really hard. Lucky for me, I didn’t need an umbrella—one of the few pluses of wearing a burqa.
I’m a native New Yorker, which means I had never been to the Empire State Building. So we went there. Once we reached the roof things got really uncomfortable. I could tell all the foreigners were talking shit about me in their native tongues. The group behind me also followed us around, presumably because we were taking so many photos.
Six hours later, after a number of complications, I finally ripped the goddamn thing off. At the end of the day I was proud of what I’d accomplished. Not only did I face up to some of my own fears by putting myself on display, I’d also learned to be more conscious of the way I treat people on the street, no matter how they’re dressed or what they look like.