Monday, May 9, 2011

Your dress is illegal (part I)

While in Malaysia, where many women do wear headcoverings of various kinds and some even cover themselves head to toe (with only their eyes showing) I came across this article.  It is not a long read, so if you are curious, go ahead and read through it.  Here's a brief summary: in some places it is now illegal for a woman to be so completely covered that her face would not show.  The author of the article argues that, although not all Muslims feel very strongly about this issue, we Christians ought to consider supporting those who do simply because we believe in religious freedom.

Egypt: Woman, Veiled, Cairo

What do you think?  I mean, what do you think about the issue of state involving itself in this matter?  Secondly: what thoughts do you have about his argument?

Specifically, I am interested in hearing what you have to say about full-body coverings.  Whether or not a woman wants to cover her head and whether or not it is modest according to some objective standard is a different subject, in my opinion. 

Women become skilled shop technicians after careful training in the school at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant, Long Beach, Calif. Most important of the many types of aircraft made at this plant are the B-17F ("Flying Fortress") heavy bomber, the A-20 (

In France, it is illegal to wear headcoverings in various public settings (like school), but not always.  Two of France's arguments I heard against covering up a woman's entire face and body were:
1. that it was an issue of security because women could not easily be identified (in fact, who is to say it is even a woman?), and
2. that it contradicts the nations ideals of equality.

I intend to write more of my own thoughts soon, and the issue was very interesting to me while visiting Malaysia, which seems to be a popular tourist destination for conservative Muslims.  Because of their work, my parents have been there many times and have told me all about burqinis, but it was still startling to see them up close. 

For now, I will just say that although a lot of the logic in the early part of the article is flawed, I do agree that people (and not just Christians) ought to work for and support the freedoms of others, especially minorities.  Even still, the question of whether full body coverings are "inherently oppressive to women" needs to be addressed first.  Whether or not some women choose it freely is kind of beside the point. 

Also, I should mention that Joseph C. is my dad's colleague, so be nice, ok?

Discuss amongst yourselves.

1 comment:

  1. All due respect to your dad's colleague, I disagree with the argument. Full body coverings represent the worse kind of objectification of women. They are demeaning to both men and women. Is the female form so debasing that every square centimeter of it must be kept from public view? Are men so debased that even a glimpse of female flesh must be prevented? This is not a matter of religious freedom. Full body coverings are an affront to human dignity in the same category as female genital mutilation.