Creeping Acceptance of Patriarchal Fashion

Melbourne based newspaper the Age jumps at any opportunity to portray the religion of Islam and its practices as just another religion that is fully compatible with Australian values. Quite bizarrely even the more draconian interpretations of this religion, which seems outdated and absurd even to moderate muslims, are staunchly defended and normalised by the Age.

On August 30th our friends at the Age published a dismal article by Naomi Wolf, the great reality-denying American writer who never lets facts come between her and an attack on common sense. And true to form this article provided some great laughs, some tears, but mostly just plain disbelief. The article, titled “Uncovering the hidden the power of modesty”, glorifies the practice among conservative Muslims to clad their women from top to toe in garments.

I don’t really want to re-publish this trash in any great lengths as I see it as an insult on our womenfolk and neither do I want open a debate on Ms Wolf’s ideas, but rather I would like to know what the Age wants go gain by constantly promoting views like these:

Ideological battles are often waged with women’s bodies as their emblems, and Western Islamophobia is no exception. When France banned headscarves in schools, it used the hijab as a proxy for Western values in general, including the appropriate status of women.

Not only in Western countries but globally, including in many Muslim countries, the practice of forcing women to wear a hijab or any other humiliating attire is not the norm, neither is it normal to accept that people cover all or parts of their head and face.

the Taliban were demonised for denying cosmetics and hair color to women…

No they weren’t. They were demonised for denying women access to education, work, justice and most other rights and institutions that women across the globe take for granted.

But when I travelled in Muslim countries and was invited to join a discussion in women-only settings within Muslim homes…

Yeah, you weren’t allowed to discuss with men or mixed groups as you were considered a lesser human being. How many invites to serious discussions did you get from men (other than from creeps wanting to lure you into sexy time)?

Indeed, many Muslim women I spoke with did not feel at all subjugated by the chador or the headscarf.

No one is opposed to people wearing what they please, it’s when this is forced upon them by family, superiors, religious police, or neighbourhood thugs, that it becomes extremely unpleasant. There is no greater sign of patriarchy enforced by the threat of violence than the chador.

The Western Christian tradition portrays all sexuality, even married sexuality, as sinful.

You made that one up didn’t you Naomi?

Why does the Age publish this viewpoint time and time again? Why must we be subjected to values that are quite alien to us? How about if the Age made the effort of travelling to some mostly Arab populated suburban estates in France where women who even in their moderately Muslim homelands in North Africa wouldn’t wear a chador, but through thuggery, threat of violence and random murder are forced to wear such attire. Wouldn’t that be an interesting viewpoint to balance the debate?

A Guide to Submissionary Fashion

A Guide to Submission Fashion Trends


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