Monday, 29 June 2009

Feminism and Islam, Part 2

In response to some comments on the other post, it's not always a good idea to assume that wearing a burqa or hijab is always about oppression. Remember what they say; when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me. Did you all know that there was a time in Iran when new leadership imposed a law onto women that forbid them from wearing hijab? Older women who had worn hijab all of their lives stayed inside instead of going out in public. Can you imagine if all women in Australia or the US were forced to wear mini-skirts and expose their midriff?

To play devil's advocate, a certain level of invisibility can be a good thing, as a woman. When I was 16, and then again at 19, and the last time at 24 or 25, I had a shaved head. Majority of men treated me as less than female in public, there were no common flirtations back and forth, and I got so used to it that even now, I sometimes think that should be the norm. Remember, feminism is about choice.


A Free Man said...

"Can you imagine if all women in Australia or the US were forced to wear mini-skirts and expose their midriff?"

God forbid.

Seriously, though, you make a good point about choice.

Former expat wife said...

having lived as an American in an Islamic country, married into a muslim family, I hear what you are saying but it is important that you do not view the situation only through Western eyes.

I completely agree with you on the pleasures of anonymity of removing outer flirtations. Was it only so long ago that the turn of a well set ankle set men's "hearts" a flutter?

I puzzled about women covering up and realized that much of it is in the culture, not the religion. This cultural taboo is all about making women responsible for the lust in men's hearts. Women are the jewel of the family, a nice thought but it can be a terrible onus that leads to honor killings and child brides.

Covering comes from a moment when Mohammed snapped at his wives and I emphasize plural plural plural young young young and this tale was reshaped and reformed and much has been made of what the intent of a comment was...

Modesty does not need to be prescribed by a man for a woman to choose it - that is my point.

The book THE NINE PARTS OF DESIRE by Geraldine Brooks is a must read in sifting the culture from the religion.