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Should feminists find the burqa or niqab offensive?

Asked by: ErinMagner
  • Women carrying the burden of male weaknesses.

    There are cultures where women bear most of the responsibility for being sexually assaulted or raped. These cultures use such garb to control women. When you see the struggles of the people of Iran (and worse still - Saudi Arabia) against compulsory hijab, I am suprised that women in free countries happily wear such head and face coverings that are the very symbol of someone else's oppression. It reinforces the notion that women are controlled by being expected to wear this clothing. And girls as young as seven or nine having the wear them too? What does it say about a culture's opinion of women when a child is expected to dress "modestly" so as not to appear sexual? Whilst I believe freedom of choice is important, the burqa needs to be seen as a relic of female oppression. I have heard men from Muslim countries say that you (western men) need to "fix your women". I say, Muslim women: you need to "fix your men".

  • Women being burdened by weaknesses of men.

    There are cultures where women bear most of the responsibility for being sexually assaulted or raped. These cultures use such garb to control women. When you see the struggles of the people of Iran (and worse still - Saudi Arabia) against compulsory hijab, I am suprised that women in free countries happily wear such head and face coverings that are the very symbol of someone else's oppression. It reinforces the notion that women are controlled by being expected to wear this clothing. And girls as young as seven or nine having the wear them too? What does it say about a culture's opinion of women when a child is expected to dress "modestly" so as not to appear sexual? Whilst I believe freedom of choice is important, the burqa needs to be seen as a relic of female oppression. I have heard men from Muslim countries say that you (western men) need to "fix your women". I say, Muslim women: you need to "fix your men".

  • Oppressive and offensive

    Wearing this costume severely limits the opportunities of women. It has no place in a free society. The argument that it is the women's choice doesn't hold water, as the alternative is death. This is the product of a culture in which the men are insecure to the point that they force their women to hide themselves. These women are victims. When we see these victims, we have a duty to tell them that they don't have to endure this oppression in America. We also have a duty to tell the men that this isn't an acceptable way to treat women in our country. In America women are equal to men and we should not tolerate those who refuse to acknowledge this fact.

  • Why does anyone defend this?

    It is a disgusting symbol of the absolute suppression of female equality. What if women were expected to wear a collar and leash because of their 'culture' and 'freedom of religious expression'? I think that women should be free to wear whatever they want , if it is indeed what they would choose freely. This is an insult to anyone who believes in a free society.

  • It has no place in the 21st century

    It's based on women being nothing more than sex objects, so they have to hide beneath these garments, because men of a certain culture do not see them as human beings with equal rights. Their only value is for sex and raising children. It's primitive, repressive and completely offensive in this day and age.

  • Something out of a horror movie

    How can you trust anyone that looks like a billowy black ghost with eye slits? Halloween only comes once a year people. The niqab and all it represents is centuries of female oppression and slavery. These women claim it's their choice? It's not a choice if the alternative is beatings or being stoned to death.

  • It flies against feminist tenets

    Previous post says it all, only women wear it.
    It prevents open communication ( studies show how much communication is non verbal).
    It is a remnant of patriarchy, a throwback to the past. It is not a mainstream requirement of Islam but rather one of the many interpretations of Islam. In Western society it's wearing appears to have a political component

  • Fine for women to wear Niqab.....

    Fine for women to wear Niquab if the husband also wears it. Sounds ridiculous to suggest a man should cover his face? Then don't ask women to hide their faces. It's from a bygone era when men owned their wives and has nothing to do with the religiion. We've moved on from the days of slavery . If you can't stand equality and western liberalism then move to an Islamic state. Before you shout racism i'm an African Moslem father with 3 daughters and I hope they grow up to be independent strong women with all the opportunities to succeed and excel in this country that boys have.

  • Fighting for the rights for women

    Having been brought up in the 60s and 70s,fighting for equally for women, I find it abhorrent to see women in western society partially or fully covered especially if they are accompanied by a male in normal western dress. This might be acceptable in Muslim countries but not in liberated western countries. I feel personally insulted by seeing women degraded in this way in western society.

  • It is the flipside of sexism

    There is no difference between porn and the niqab. Both relegate the worth of women to the physical. Both think they are empowered. The niqab hides the women until invisibility and stifles any expression of personality because her worth is solely placed upon the physical and believes that even revealing the face is nudity! I might be inclined to accept it more if there was an equal Islamic jurisprudential prescription for men to dress in this way. Surprise surprise there isn't, and this interpretation, just like the religion itself, comes from MEN.

  • Focusing on clothing is not helpful

    When we focus on clothing that we associate with oppression, we are not addressing the problem the clothing symbolises. Taking away the niqab or the burka can not end oppression, it can only add another layer of control.
    When we focus on clothing that we associate with oppression, we are focusing on the victim of that oppression and not the perpetrator. As the clothing becomes the focus, we risk vilifying people who need help.
    When we focus on clothing that we associate with oppression, we discount those women who wear that clothing by their own choice. We might say that women only choose to wear the burka or niqab because of social conditioning that tells women to dress to enjoy dressing to please others but we should also realise that we only put our own bodies through the daily discomfort of make-up, high heels and bras because of social conditioning that tells women to enjoy dressing to please others.

  • Do any of you know someone who wears one?

    Try talking to someone who wears it and their reasons behind it. Try changing bikini for niqaab and re read your arguments back. You are supporting a patriarchal society , trying to force women to wear particular clothing to suit your views. Support women to wear what they want and inscribe their own meaning on their bodies. I have a face, I have hair, I have a voice and I will choose what I will show and what I won't. For reference I was told that I deserved to be raped because of the clothing I wore and now apparently I'm oppressed. Neither are true

  • A woman's right to choose

    As a long time feminist I believe that we should all be able to choose how we dress. It's not up to me or anyone else to judge someone else's choice, although we all do it. To wear the niqab or even a burka in certain circumstances will be life saving. Some Muslim women choose a modest form of dress and there are many different reasons. I do think in most societies it is safe for women to show their faces if their head is covered, and I think many situations require an uncovered face. But women have been wearing head coverings forever, and it's ok. Their choice.

  • The niqab is culture

    It is culture, no one should feel insulted. It's there choice to wear the face cover,
    People are taking it to far with thinking it insulting . If she wants to wear the niqab, she can go ahead and wear the niqab. I'm also pissed that they might banned the hijab....


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