This is something else that we seem to have lost. Whether intentionally or not, because we dress with so much skin showing - and I mean even people who dress fairly conservatively here, I dressed 'modestly' in comparison to society before, and I wore short sleeves and sleeveless tops all the time - we get *touched* all the time.
Bump here, bump there, grab somebody on the arm if you want to talk (only if you know them, or you might get in trouble...).
Touch, especially between a man and a woman, has ceased, on many levels, to be intimate.
Hijab (or anything I would count as real, proper modest dress), prevents all this random touching. Not only are you visually covered, but if someone does grab you on the arm (and I'm thinking here of just random, nonviolent interactions), there's no physical contact.
Physical, intimate touching is meant to be between a husband and wife, right? But if we're all just randomly touching skin, all the time (with or without any intentional meaning behind it), it looses it's specialness. Certainly, this doesn't mean we're not going to seek the touch of a spouse, but... it's *lost* something, something that I can't quite put into words, at the moment.
Here's the cause for my realization of this:
Without really consciously thinking about it, I've stopped touching people in that random fashion. No, really, I thought back on this yesterday, and even taking receipts and things, where your fingers would brush? I've managed to not touch anybody.
So, the other day, I was walking down the hall past a meeting room, and a friend of mine was standing in the door. He was joking around, and said, 'Save me, I don't want to go to this meeting!' Without really thinking about it, because we've been friends forever and joke around all the time, I grabbed his upper arm, to 'drag him to safety'. We laughed, I let go, he went to his meeting, and I went on about my business.
But here's the thing: The contact was a shock! The feel of skin and muscle and heat surprised me. I could still 'feel' it for quite a while afterward.
And this is what got me thinking about this stuff. Constant contact takes away the specialness of contact.
P.s. I went looking for illustrations for this, but nothing really caught my eye. However, when I google things like hijab, or muslim women, or niqabi, I will get naked women (well, really, only partially naked, because they're wearing a niqab and nothing else, or a chador and holding one side of it up so you can see that they're not wearing anything under it) mixed in with the good pictures - this is wrong on so many levels...