Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One Way Street

Not to stick up for the French if I can help it, but I'm not sure why they should be compelled to allow these ridonkulous, female-hating beekeeper ninja suits if they don't want them.

When Saudi Arabia, for example, stops forbidding the wearing of shorts in public -- or even being a Christian, for that matter -- then maybe we should give a shit. Till then, not so much. I don't care what their defenders say, burqas are nothing more, nothing less, than a garment which despises and oppresses women, period. And any woman claiming to voluntarily wear the burqa has a terminal case of Stockholm syndrome.

Not that Christianity in its many historical guises has treated women so grandly either, but at least its contempt for women is mostly concealed behind useless symbolic vestiges, such as denying them the opportunity to institutionally molest altar boys and cover it up for decades.


Anonymous said...

It's a simple question of freedom to me.

I don't like the government telling people they can't wear something. I didn't like dress codes in high-school; why should I want them as an adult?

Also, this type of law is directed against a specific culture and its traditional dress. It's almost tantamount to racism. That that culture oppresses women too sometimes is a separate issue, and almost irrelevant, imo.

I'm glad France (and Germany) stood up to the US when we were so full of shit; the US needs true friends like that. The US's France-bashing is childish and idiotic. But this French initiative goes against their best ideals of liberty and brotherhood, and shows their brutish side.

I enjoy your thoughtful and well-written posts very much, and also like that I don't always agree with you. I certainly don't this time.

Heywood J. said...

No, that's cool. If everyone agreed on everything life would be dull.

I'm with you on the freedom, and I'm with you on the notion that Americans' French-bashing (which I have fun with from time to time) can be a little strange in its reflexive nature. If the French agreed with us on something many Americans would do a double-take. It's just culturally ingrained at this point, unfortunately.

But here's the deal -- many, if not most of the countries these women come from have dress codes, for women and men. Obviously, the dress codes for women tend to be more stringent, but even men in Islamic countries are compelled or at least coerced to never wear shorts, and always wear beards and head coverings.

It's ironic that women who hail from the most oppressive countries on the planet are complaining that they cannot be completely encased in a sheet when they're in public. Well, you know, they also can't just walk around with their tits flopping out either.

It is a question of freedom, but it's also a question of sovereignty and, erm, primary cultural mores. If Saudi Arabia gets to set a fairly invasive dress code, why can't France do this one thing? This sort of obstinate refusal to assimilate can sometimes breed worse hostility to immigrants, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply.

I still don't buy the argument that "Hey, this repressive regime whose values we don't like does it, so why shouldn't we be able to do it too?"