protest gear of a new generation of kids being pushed
The head scarf and hijab, or veil, are different things.
One covers the face (hijab) and the other ... adorns it.
They are very much in the news around here, but mostly
in reports of things going on in other places... notably,
in France, I think Denmark? and in the USA.
There are three generations of women out there wearing
head-scarves, let alone the whole hijab thing. And any of
them could be wearing it for one of three reasons:
Reason number one: Forced!
Reason number two: Ignorant.
Reason number three: Wants to.
There are governments – to use the term loosely – in some
middle-eastern and eastern countries that actually demand
women wear “covering” veils. Whether that or the
dominating attitudes of a husband who demands it, a great
many of the veils you see in the news or on the street are
due to reason number one. This is – of course – pathetic.
There are a lot of sheep in the world. Christianity does not
hold a monopoly on this kind of behavior. Reason number
two speaks to the huddled masses that have no clue what
kind of discontent they sew by flying the flag of male
domination and female submission.
The veils you see on the news... are good candidates for
reason’s one and two. Reason three, however, is a whole
other ball of wax.
The biggest reason hijabs and head scarves are in the
news is the controversy surrounding governments that
are making laws to “ban” the scarves and hijabs.
Who are the people targeted by this? The waddling 55 – 75
year old muslim woman that you see walking with her hubby
once a week? No... it’s kids. It’s students... It’s schools.
Who has all the big vocal opinions on this? Average Joe
Hiccup with a NEWS10 mic shoved in his face... that’s who.
And he usually says something really stupid like: “That’s just
not how we do things over here...”
Remember those “reasons”?
Did you notice that NONE OF THEM WERE “RELIGION”????
There is nothing in the Quran that speaks to the notion of
veils or scarves. This is completely an affectation created
by men in the last couple of hundred years and is in no way
a reflection of the teachings upon which the muslim faiths
“Men” they tell everyone “are not to be tempted by the
beauty of a woman.” And basically created a system by
which women are made to take responsibility for the
theoretical actions of men. Not only is this stupid... it’s
bloody insulting to both men and women.
Be that as it may, the problem remains that for reasons one,
two and three, there are women wearing veils among us and
they are the targets of some pretty pathetic examples of
governments in a total state of panic.
The scarves are not religious artifacts and religion does not
mandate that they be worn. The rules of men, ignorance
and the strange-but-true “fee-will choice” are behind the
wearing of these scarves.
We cannot make laws that force men to treat their wives
fairly and expect to effect sudden change. We may think
we can, but there’s a line up of social workers and residents
at women’s shelters that would like to share their opinions.
Those kinds of changes to culture take time and a will on the
part of society to breathe life into the new ideas.
We cannot make laws against ignorance. Just look at how
many people voted for Bush... It’s every man and woman’s
right to be stupid, ignorant, and pathetic if they so choose.
And ... to top it all off... If you think you can make laws to
mandate how young girls dress in high school... you’re off
your freaking nut. I would protest the incredible waste of
my tax dollars, as a first complaint, and then I would move
on the ridiculous nature of such a law.
Don’t fool yourself... there are a lot of women in scarves and
veils that are choosing to push a little attitude. Just because
they’re muslims, does that mean they aren’t allowed to have
normal teenage feelings of rebellion, angst, social awkwardness,
Ok... so back to the schools. France wants to pass a law...
or have they already? A law to mandate fashion in high schools...
fashion? Um... change that to fad. This is, of course, completely
wrong. A school board is certainly well within it’s rights to
demand that women not wear low rise jeans and thongs, or
tube tops or PARKAS for that matter. A school board has
every right to make rules about dress-in-school and head
scarves and hijabs are nothing more than fashion elements,
so they fall squarely into the realm of the school boards
prerogatives. A stupid rule, for sure, but a rule never-the-less.
But “rules” and “laws” are totally different things and Laws
have no place in this argument.
Now if it was my kid’s school (and if I had a daughter) ...
I swear to god I would lobby my white anglo-saxon daughter
to wear a head scarf and get all her friends to as well... and
to protest that kind of stupid behavior in a school board. They
have the right to make rules and we have the right to protest
This isn’t about religion, fashion, or fear. It’s about xenophobia.
If they could, the French government would have peoples brown
flesh tattooed white at the boarder. The mid west towns that
are getting panicky about head scarves in high schools... are
teaching kids that racism is ok, just as long as you get the
“System” to back you up.
If you want to have a school uniform... then fill your boots.
I can totally see saying “no hats, scarves, veils...”.
But if there’s no uniform... then shut up about the head-scarf.