Wednesday, March 22, 2006

READER ERP emailed a comment to my post on the veil as a liberation for Muslim women; it's quite politically incorrect, so I simply had to publish it, with his permission:
As a mere man, you don't understand what western, non-Moslem women mean when they say that the enforced wearing of burqas in public is liberating. This is because, not having spent your entire lives being judged on your appearance, you and all the other men don't get it and that's why your comparing it to negro slavery or segregation in the U.S. south misses the point entirely.

It's a little tricky, so try to follow me. It's liberating to be FORCED to cover up from head to toe because then you aren't being judged, so you don't have to look your best, don't need to make sure your clothes and hair are presentable, etc. just to run out for a loaf of bread. Since men haven't been socialized to worry about their appearance, it's probably impossible to understand just how deep this goes. Nothing I can think is comparable.

If this burqa business isn't enforced and women can cover up or not, it's not at all liberating because those covering up will be suspect of being particularly ugly and or disheveled and disreputably messy. Get it? When all women MUST cover up, then we all can pretend we're past beautiful and dressed beautifully and perfectly groomed even if the truth is far different.

That's why western women might opt for it.

Of course, the reason Moslem women conform is entirely different. Here the comparison to slavery works. They do what they're told because they're terrified of the consequences if they don't.

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