In the wake of a legal ban on the burqa in Belgium, and impending legislation in France, the debate on whether the government should bring in a similar ban in Australia has been officially launched. I confess, as a feminist, I am torn.
On the one hand, I think the burqa and hajib are offensive. The muslim cultures that say a woman must be hidden so other men don’t want to have sex with her are cultures where men don’t take responsibility for their own actions and instead, are happy to blame women for basically everything. So covering up women is just another way to retain control of them.
In doing so, the woman is not just cut off from the eyes of men, but also from other women. With the full-face veil, there isn’t even the opportunity for two women to share a glance of understanding. But that isolation is deliberate. By preventing women from even casual communication – especially with westerners – keeps them under the control of their men. Helps keep them enslaved.
So I’m against the burqa and hajib and all that they stand for.
On the other hand, should governments legislate what people can and can’t wear? Is it not just another example of oppression for women to be told what they can’t wear in public?
Of course, whether these women are really choosing from genuine free will is the real question. Religion and culture convince them that they’re evil and men need to be protected from them. This is rubbish and a big fat lie such cultures should be made to pay for. The women are brainwashed and as such are not really able to make a free decision on wearing anything.
But how can we ever give these women the real freedom to make a choice, if they’re never released from the shackles of the burqa in the first place. I don’t believe in telling people what to wear – but in this instance, I’m afraid I opt for the lesser of two evils.
Ban the sucker and be done with it.