Wednesday, 10 February 2010

If you don't do as you're told, it means you're oppressed.

Late home tonight, bite to eat, a phone call and it's a midweek Smoky-Drinky! I have samples arriving soon and if they're here by Friday I'll be working all weekend so best take the chance while it's there.

Before I dash off, I couldn't help commenting on the French feminists who are in uproar because a woman won't do exactly as she's told. You'd think it would be the other way round, but no, this particular woman won't do what the feminists demand she do, therefore she is causing oppression of women (no, me neither).

She's a candidate for some lefty bunch of humourless idiots or other, she's Muslim and she wears a headscarf. No veil. No huge black dress. Just a headscarf. Oh, and ordinary clothes too. She doesn't go around in nothing but a headscarf.

My grandmother was so Protestant you'd think James I was still on the throne. She used to speak of all other denominations as 'those Chapel people' in tones that made me imagine them with horns and tails. I don't think she had even heard of Islam.

She. and her gang of senile delinquents, were never seen in public without headscarves. It was a mystery to me why she would spend so long in the hairdressers to have her hair styled and dyed electric blue and then never let anyone see it. The headscarf wasn't like the Muslim one, it was a square of flowery material folded into a triangle and tied under her chin, but it was the same in principle. Outside the house, her hair was always covered. It was nothing to do with religion as far as I could tell, it was more a sort of geriatric hoodie gang thing.

I'm not at all bothered by headscarves. I don't even care about the black dress. Veils, different matter. if someone approaches me on the street wearing a veil I'll be very uneasy about that. I can't judge your intent if I can't see any expression so I'm going to default to 'defensive'.

But surely, feminism is all about women being allowed to do as they like with nobody ordering them around? Hiding your face in a bank or post office is definitely a no-no, but surely a headscarf is of no consequence? It doesn't obscure the face, in fact it makes the face clearer by holding back the hair.

critics have said that the young activist's headscarf, which conceals only her hair, goes against values of laïcité – secularism – and women's rights.

Women, the feminists have spoken. You have the right to do as they tell you.

Well, smoky-drinky beckons. Must dash. On the way, I'll have a chuckle as I imagine these 'feminists' trying to get the headscarves off my grandmother and her friends. They were all brought up in rough mining villages, in a time when nobody took attackers to one side and explained how they felt about being attacked.

Well, they did. Just not verbally.


Anonymous said...

Feminism,oh how utterly boring
and so "yesterday".So I will finish
now before I really upset the twisted pathetic tarts.

Miss Hogonist

subrosa said...

My grandmother wasn't scruffy (as you admit to!) but she always wore a hat. Even when visiting she kept her hat on and I never understood why.

Then my mother's generation decided hats were 'out' so moved to headsquares. When outside as a teenager I always wore a headsquare. You couldn't have your home Toni perm destroyed by the weather.

There was nothing religious in wearing of hats or headsquares although, 50 years ago, presbyterian women always wore a hat to church. Then again so did the men, although they removed it when entering.

A decent headsquare is hard to find these days. Most scarves are fashion statements and long, thin things.

I'm not complaining, but explaining.

JohnRS said...

I was brought up in the North East - all my female relatives wore headscarves just as you describe....and, never mind the menfolk, the old dears wouldn't have been backwards in giving some friendly female advice to anyone that "tried it on". The men would just finish off anyone that was left standing.

Cynarae said...

I can really feel the oppression. There is only one thing to do, "Off with her head"! :S

Mrs Rigby said...

Women always covered their hair, but not tightly because it squashed it. A covering kept it tidy, kept it cleaner because it was probably only washed once a week and there was a lot of soot and dust around, and it kept the heat in too.

I don't see anything wrong with anybody wearing a scarf or a hat, I don't see why some think they should be taken off when going indoors - ladies were never expected to take off their hats, imagine trying to put it on again without using a mirror.

I don't like veils because I like to see the person's face, and I don't like masks either, but as long as it's real personal choice and not coercion who'm I to say what somebody else should wear?

But I'm in Britain. The French don't like religious symbolism so, if a Christian shouldn't wear a little cross and the few French Sikhs shouldn't carry a little dagger then why should it be reasonable for a Muslim to cover her head?

PT Barnum said...

The Bible declares that it is a shaming thing for a woman to enter the house of the Lord (church, synagogue) with a bare head. But, then, women were also not permitted to speak or preach but were advised to 'ask their husbands at home'. To which one feisty Civil War wife replied, 'But what if he should he be a dolt, what then would she learn of him?'

Anonymous said...

Babushka. It used to be common among women in Eastern European countries and common in the US among immigrants from Eastern Europe.

So someone feels comfortable wearing a headscarf, headsquare or babushka. Why is that such an alarming thing, to wear something someone's grown up with and is comfortable with wearing?

If people keep going on about banning headscarves and babushkas, then the next thing you're going to end up with is someone suggesting a ban on smoking.

It's known as a slippery slope, once you ban headscarves.

Stewart Cowan said...


Ladies still wear hats in the Free Presbyterian Church I sometimes visit (Ian Paisley's 'lot') as they do in the Gospel Halls.

They are the opposite of what feminists would have you believe, i.e. second-class citizens. They tend to be strong women who keep their husbands in check despite recognising them as the boss.

Feminism is about destroying the fabric of society and doubling the tax take!

Anonymous said...

ref. eastern europeans,for hundreds of years they were a part of the muslim otterman empire,hence the headscarves.Andy M

Anonymous said...

I can well remember sitting in church with my mother as a child, and her never being quite able to explain why the old ladies were allowed to wear hats in church and yet I wasn't. The old men never did though.
It is a cultural thing. And why not? I've no problem with anyone wearing anything (or nothing!) they like. And yes, I think Sikhs should be allowed to carry a sword. And so should I.

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