This is Crikey's Video of the Day today.
As one of the many feminists around the world bedevilled by the question of Islamic dress codes for women, I was hoping, really hoping, that this woman was going to explain the rationale of wearing the whole enchilada in a way that I could understand and sympathise with. Because I've read a number of pieces by Moslem women on this subject and frankly none of them have made a lot of sense to me.
Most of this woman's arguments about why the French ban is wrong do carry some weight. But all she says by way of actual explanation of the wearing of the garment is that she wears the niqab 'because of my spirituality towards God'. Which means nothing to me. 'Spirituality' yes, no argument from me. Even 'God', yes, I at least get the idea. But it's the word 'because' that defeats me. How is one's spirituality towards God expressed by hiding one's body, hair and face, which one presumes she believes God to have made? Does anyone know?
A little faffing around online reveals among other things that the face veil is a pre-Islamic garment worn in the desert to keep the flying sand out of one's eyes (on a literal if presumably not a metaphorical level). Which is the kind of explanation that does make sense. But you have to wonder how often there's call to keep the flying sand out of one's eyes in France -- again, on a literal if not a metaphorical level; France has quite a lot of metaphorical flying sand when it comes to putting pressure on women about their looks or pestering them sexually in public, and two reasons often given for wearing any level of hijab are to prevent unwanted attentions from men and to be able to stop fretting about how you'll be judged for the new wrinkle in your forehead or the fact that you've put on a few kilos.
Goddess knows both of those things make perfect sense to me. What I want to know is why it should be held the woman's responsibility to prevent them. And why you can't express your spirituality, whether towards God or not, just as easily by singing a madrigal or growing a tomato or cooking a meal for people you love.
In which the pond discovers Baxendale is quiet on oppression, and prattling Polonius feels oppressed ... - Others have observed the recent war going down amongst the more vicious and repetitive and simple-minded reptiles, as in Meade *here* ... *...Lisa Oldfie...
28 minutes ago