Is it the case where sexuality and its expression are repressed that there is an atmosphere of highly sexualised tension /contradiction around interactions in public? Here, some young covered Muslim women wear headscarves but unnervingly skin-tight (and sometimes semi transparent) clothes, fancy, visible underwear and highheeled shoes or boots. In the souk leading to the central Umayyad Mosque underwear shops sell titillating, nipple accentuating gear which women in Burkahs buy. As a foreign woman it seems to be assumed that I am so sexually liberal that I would get into a car with strange men. The fact that men commonly stare inappropriately and comment or call, I am told, is not because I am a foreigner though. Our nicab-wearing tutor for example, tells me that men often make lewd referrals to what she is hiding.
I am told that taxi drivers take any kind of eye contact as a form of sexual availability and would any girl be so publicly brazen as to sit in the front alone she should expect to be molested (I have only done this twice, both for logistical reasons and both times this was confirmed though I am determined to believe this would not always be the case)