Why do the women in Saudi Arabia and other Middle-Eastern countries wear BLACK ROBES in a DESERT?

Isn't it already unnecessarily hot in there? You'd think wearing clothes over clothes would just make it worse.

Updates:
I actually thought it had a function BEYOND religious rule enforcement.

Boy, was I wrong.
Please stop saying it's "religion and culture", I'm interested in actual functionality and benefit of wearing a black robe like that in a desert

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Most Helpful Girl

  • it just seems sexist to me, especially since the men walk around wearing white
    probably to distinguish between men and women and their place in society

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    • no, cus when u wear white in a sunny place , u can see everything under the cothes

    • Not really, most don't wear black and its choice not forced. The men are just as likely to wear the same full covering as women. They choose to wear black because its not as see through as white is.

Most Helpful Guy

  • They don't have to wear black, many don't. They also wear different fabrics, ones that breath more in the heat. Its also worn over regular clothing so while it may absorb heat it doesn't necessarily transfer to them since they have a buffer under neath it. As for the reason for it its to protect there modesty. Which is why the more conservative where black because it is less likely to be seen through (most likely to occur on those hot days where they where thinner materials). As for why they where it for modesty, I would surmize that it was quite beneficial at the time it was enstated. It would have reduced the probability of a man attempting to seduce a woman (since he isn't going to be able to gauge attractiveness) thus reducing the probability of infidelity on the mans part and on the wifes part as well as reducing the probability of sexual conduct that may lead to an illigitamet child (thus reducing a daughters probability of winning over a high status male to marry)(they are allowed to wear there regular clothing at home in the presence of family ie people they are not going ot have a possible sexual relationship with). It also functions as an equallizer for women. Since every womans status was/is based on looks, looks determined who got the highest status mate, by all women being covered this would negate that advantage thus making all women equal, this would mean women would not compete against each other based on there looks and men would not fight over the most attractive women ensuring some kind of harmony and that all women would be taken care of instead of the unattractive ones being abandoned for the more attractive (in theory). Here is a link that also explains some reasons: www.quora.com/How-do-Muslim-women-manage-summer-in-black-clothes

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What Girls Said 7

  • Bedouin tents are usually black, in the night it gets very very cold so you need as much heat as possible, but during the day they are very breezy. Maybe the same for clothing? A lot of middle eastern people wear white too. The Arab Emirates you often see white clothing.

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  • Because black fabrics absorbs more light than white one.. The women to stay pale, even in the desert! ^^ I'm just guessing here, of course.

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    • That's actually why they would rather use white robes, which would reflect the light and wouldn't be so hot!

    • No, white fabric lets the UV through better. I learnt that the hard way by wearing a swimsuit that was mostly black but with a white hexagon.

  • I am not sure!

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  • It's part of their culture and religion

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  • They can be of other colours, like white, grey etc.

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  • It's not about the weather. It's in regards to their religion and culture.

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    • But... the weather...

      I'm pretty sure those black robes are just more inconvenient than not. I don't understand why anyone would create a culture of wearing black robes in a desert.

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    • Because if they didn't they'd be defying their religion. There are quite devoted followers of Islam in the Middle East.

    • And they don't always have to wear black, the fabric can be in different colors and the material can be thin.

  • its part of their religion and you can blame ISIS and the taliban for making them wear burkas

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    • I would think people would value functionality over traditions which is why I don't understand why they make themselves feel even more hot

      Unless that thing actually cools them down?

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    • this is just the reality of the taliban. i just finished reading a book that was based off life in afghanistan where one of the main characters killed her husband because it was clear he intended to kill her when he found out she was talking to a guy she had a thing with. she was given a fifteen minute trial with no jury and was publicly shot execution style

    • sorry for the typo, she killed him in self defense when it was clear he intended to kill his other wife

What Guys Said 4

  • It's a custom.

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  • To protect their inner BEAUTY from hungry wolves like u and i. Am i right @elissadido babez? :3

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  • Black is the cultural color of those robes, Maybe?

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    • Why not white? That wouldn't absorb the light and be hot.

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    • But there must be a reason why those norms came to be the norms.

    • That color is probably selected for a reason other than practicality of the weather?

  • It's way better to cover up from direct sunlight than to get demolished by the sun, even if it means being really hot. White one's would be better but I think it's worth it even using black ones. I think the women's ones are black so they aren't see-through.

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    • That is what I was expecting, but that is why it's strange to me that they are white.

      I don't think white is seethrough either.

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