Friday, March 30, 2007

Quote of the Day: On Women





















"Veiling and nakedness are two sides of the same coin.
Both mean that women are bodies without a mind that should be covered or uncovered in order to suit national or international capitalist interests."

Nawal El Saadawi

29 Comments:

At 9:20 AM, April 02, 2007 , Blogger Reign of Reason said...

Good quote II...

They are two sides of the same coin... hadn't thought of it that way before.

However, in one case: covering -- it's mandated by the state... In the other: 'exposure' -- its a 'capitalistic choice' of the individual (in some cases used to "get ahead" economically, socially, etc.)

I'd argue that veiling is the more oppressive practice.

 
At 10:37 AM, April 02, 2007 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

RoR -

Anything that is not a choice is, by definition, oppression. But if a veil is worn by choice, then it is no more or less oppressive than anything else.

 
At 12:46 PM, April 02, 2007 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd rather see my little sister in a veil than with her tits out getting screwed in night club bathrooms, etc. I betcha the Islamic world has already been through what the west is going through--a period of intense objectification of women--and they know how bad it gets. Bikini or the Burkha? Gimme the burkha.

I think the USA pre-the 1990s had a good balance. It's OK to be a little sexy, but don't be "out there" with it.

Big J

 
At 1:44 PM, April 02, 2007 , Blogger mrsleep said...

On a different note, the veiled lady looks far more attractive, ie, sexy. Lindsay looks like a slut.

 
At 4:51 PM, April 02, 2007 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Can we please try to keep the discussion civil Skip?

 
At 4:53 PM, April 02, 2007 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

I betcha the Islamic world has already been through what the west is going through--a period of intense objectification of women--and they know how bad it gets.

Veiling is no more or less of an objectification of women than nakedness but, in any event, I doubt that the Islamic world ever had their women on display the way America does.

 
At 7:30 AM, April 03, 2007 , Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Perhaps Freedom without values will destroy itself?

I first pondered this when the Warren Burger SCOTUS allowed that it was O.K. to allow a "communist" to work at a "Top Secret" defense plant.

Allowing the freedom to destroy freedom just seems to lack common sense.

Is it O.K. to allow people to advocate the destruction of our system of freedoms, i.e. the Bill of Rights?

ii, the loss of Hebus Corpus (sp?) at Gitmo worries me greatly, especially if we are talking about U.S. Citizens. Are they applying this to U.S. Citizens?

FAR.

 
At 9:15 AM, April 03, 2007 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

II,

For me, the reality is that men, unbridled, are like animals. Unfortunately. Thus, women unclothed release the worst in us, and there's no way for men to control themselves. Thus, conservative dress keeps order. I don't support veiling, but I do support modest dress for women and men. If it were up to me, women would not wear skirts above their knee, for example, and if I ever have a daughter, she's gonna have to sneak behind Daddy's back to wear her slutty material.

 
At 9:55 AM, April 03, 2007 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Allowing the freedom to destroy freedom just seems to lack common sense.

Isn't that the ultimate paradox FAR? Once you deprive someone of freedom, even if it a deprivation of the freedom to destroy freedom, you are now using force and oppression.

Perhaps Freedom without values will destroy itself?

Perhaps. But that begs the question of which values and who gets to define and enforce those values. We then end up at the paradox above.

Is it O.K. to allow people to advocate the destruction of our system of freedoms, i.e. the Bill of Rights?

I think it is. People can SAY whatever nonsense they want. It is whether their ACTIONS harm others that becomes the issue in a proper society.

Your choice of the phrase "system of freedoms" is interesting. I'm going to ponder it because I am not sure it is accurate. The Bill of Rights is a statement of rights, not freedoms. In other words, it tells us what the government can't do to us, which presumably then leaves an entire sphere of government conduct that is permissible. It starts from the premise that government is all powerful, but then carves out little islands of rights for the people. A system of freedom, on the other hand, should be the other way around; it should enumerate 10 things government is allowed to do and everything is left to individuals. What do you think?

the loss of Hebus Corpus (sp?) at Gitmo worries me greatly, especially if we are talking about U.S. Citizens. Are they applying this to U.S. Citizens?

From what I understand, the gov't has held Jose Padilla (a US citizen, right) without charge with the unconstitutional definition of "enemy combatant". In any event, it is irrelevant whether the prisoner is a US citizen or not. That is an arbitrary distinction when we are talking about fundamental human rights. A country that does not have habeas corpus is a tyranny and it is and should be no comfort to us if the government is limiting its use of force to those who do not share our passports. It's just a matter of time before they get to us. Precedent is a powerful thing in the law.

Anon,

That's cool that you make the point that modest dress should apply to men and women. By example, in a Muslim country, you will never see a Muslim man walking around without a shirt on and almost never see a guy wearing shorts. Indeed, a number of the NBA players who are Muslims wear wraps that go below the knees to comply with rules about modesty.

 
At 10:32 AM, April 03, 2007 , Blogger Reign of Reason said...

II...

unless the "choice" has been couched as in the following:

"If you don't wear the veil you're gonna burn in hell for all eternity" ...

I don't know how many Muslim women actually buy into that crap, but I'd guess many do... it's oppression via social conditioning -- convincing people they want to do something for the good of society/god.

 
At 10:41 AM, April 03, 2007 , Blogger Reign of Reason said...

I like your reply to FAR II...

As for "Thus, conservative dress keeps order" -- what kind of crap is that? Am I now supposed to worry about what effect my clothing has on others when picking my outfit? I wear/do what I want -- if it offends, excites or otherwise perturbs you too bad: we live in a free society.

Yes, we are animals, but we have higher brain functions that are usually brought into play. e.g. - If someone makes a very forward pass at my wife I may feel like killing him, but I realize such behavior isn't constructive: either personally or socially.

To say that "women unclothed releases the worst in us" is silliness... Tempting, yes -- but we expect people to control their primal urges in many different situations of which this is not the most trying.

 
At 11:18 AM, April 03, 2007 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

I don't know how many Muslim women actually buy into that crap, but I'd guess many do... it's oppression via social conditioning - convincing people they want to do something for the good of society/god.

RoR, your argument proves way too much. You are trying to justify your conclusion that all Muslim women are oppressed, even if it's their choice to wear the veil, by creating a new definition of oppression that includes social conditioning.

If that is true, then how is that any different than conditioning people to go die in Iraq for the good of the country/God? I presume you aren't suggesting that US military people are oppressed even though they are subject to social conditioning "to do something for the good of society".

How is that any different from social conditioning people to have more respect for the environment because it benefits society as a whole?

Isn't social conditioning just another word for culture? Why would social conditioning women to be whores be any more or less oppressive than social conditioning them to wear veils?

 
At 3:40 PM, April 03, 2007 , Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

"I think it is. People can SAY whatever nonsense they want. It is whether their ACTIONS harm others that becomes the issue in a proper society."

I agree with you on this completely.

I just find the paradox interesting and have come to the same conclusion as you, but wanted to play devils advocate to provoke thought as I like to revisit this paradox from time to time and see what others think.

It starts from the premise that government is all powerful, but then carves out little islands of rights for the people. A system of freedom, on the other hand, should be the other way around; it should enumerate 10 things government is allowed to do and everything is left to individuals. What do you think?

I think our form of government is saying that only a few things are within their juristriction...Protecting us from foreign agression, and protecting our freedoms from both others and from other governments, while the Bill of Rights is to say..."In case it is not clear, here are 10 things that are NEVER to be denighed."

We have rights that are not to be abridged by anyone or any group, including governement. I think we let the government know that all else that is not in the Constitution is to be left to individuals and the several states.

I see both sides on the non-citizen "habeas corpus" issue.

While it is important to recognize Universial Human Rights, on the other hand it is also important to recognize "Rules of War" in that the proper combat rules make it clear that if as a "World" we allow those who qualify as "spies" by not wearing uniforms, to not be held seperately accountable for thier tactics, we are exposing our troops to undue risk.

Also we have a habit in this Country to allow anything but a "speedy trial" and we don't want prisoners or foriegn troops tying up our courts with protections that should not be extended to "spies."

Other countries put spies in front of firing squads, and perhaps rightly so?


FAR.

 
At 3:41 AM, April 04, 2007 , Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

I would hope that we agree that "the people" hold the power and delegate some of that power to it's governement, and not that the government is all powerful except for the Bill of Rights....

"...That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

The government should only be allowed to have the power that each individual has and it is not cumulative.

FAR.

 
At 4:39 PM, April 05, 2007 , Blogger Boris Yeltsin said...

I find it hard to imagine that women in other countries "choose" to wear veils.

My brother was a superintendent in an apartment complex where a majority of the tenants were Muslims from Somalia.

He said his boss told him he had to announce his intent to enter each room he had to go in, to fix something, because if a woman was seen by a male, non-family member without her veil, she'd get a one-way ticket back to Somalia where she'd be publicly burned to death in an "honor killing."

The most sick and twisted part of it is, it was her family's duty to report this to the Imam back home - their family honor was at stake if they didn't.

Also in these apartments, the Koran was always open on an art easel under a light. My brother was told if he valued his life, he wouldn't touch the Koran or the easel - he'd have to ask someone in the apartment to move it for him. Evidently, non-Muslims aren't allowed to touch the Koran, or anything the Koran itself is touching, or it's some type of huge, earth-shattering deal.

I'm all for religious tolerance, but these two examples seem way beyond reason.

I understand there are more moderate Muslim states, but I'm sure that even in the moderate Muslim states, even though these practices aren't widespread, they're probably at least grudginly tolerated by those in the minority who do practice these barbaric beliefs.

As far as the belief that all men are animals: what about the Andrea Yates of the world, or the Susan Smiths, or the woman who threw her kids off the San Francisco bridge? Don't tell me: they were somehow oppressed by men, which drove them to these acts, and is therefore, not their fault - I know - I'm sure of it.

I believe the extreme feminists believe that all men should be led around in shackles, and their only purpose is to open jars and be indirect sperm donors.

I took an English class whose professor was one of these ultra-extreme feminists, and she told us that the extreme feminists believe that extreme Islam is a good idea, because Islamic socieities are segregated by gender, which in most circumstances, creates an all-female environment.

 
At 8:58 AM, April 06, 2007 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Boris,

There are a lot of women who choose to wear the veil. You'd be surprised. Many women in my family believe it is their religious duty to do so and, thus, wearing the veil is no different to them than any other religious obligation. And most of them are highly educated career women who are nowhere near oppressed.

That said, what you described about the Somalis is probably true. That is a bunch of nonsense that non-Muslims can't touch the Quran, but there are brainless idiots out there who love to come up with rules like that. It seems to me that it would be pretty f'ing difficult for people to convert to Islam if non-Muslims weren't allowed to read the Quran first.

As for honor killings, they do happen. It's not based in Islam but there is definitely an overlap between the cultures where it is prominent and their adherence to Islamic principles. Although Arab Christian families do the same thing.

I understand there are more moderate Muslim states, but I'm sure that even in the moderate Muslim states, even though these practices aren't widespread, they're probably at least grudginly tolerated by those in the minority who do practice these barbaric beliefs.

I am not sure what your point is. So what if they do tolerate it? There are plenty of things the people of the US grudgingly tolerate. The US has grudgingly tolerated the KKK since its birth, yet White people will scream bloody murder if anyone suggests that this country is racist.

 
At 6:00 AM, April 10, 2007 , Blogger Boris Yeltsin said...

Sorry I haven't been online for a while. My job has me working some pretty crazy hours.

The KKK...here in the Midwest, they're not anything big - or even existent - unless they're so underground, that nobody knows about them. I don't know about the South, because I don't live there - and there's a reason for that. They haven't let go of the Civil War, and when you're a "Yankee" - especially a male Yankee, you can have some unintended trouble with the wrong cops.

In fact, they always tell you - and this is soooo true - if you're going to drive in the South - if it's at all possible, drive a car with license plates from a Southern state, or you're just asking for it - and it's true. I've been hassled quite a bit and singled out - every time I've been in the South - and I don't go there anymore.

That's kind of off the point, but not really - it's a whole other world where the KKK is.

But let me ask you this II: do you think that moderate Muslims have taken enough of a stand against the honor killings, the desire of the Wahhabists to force every non-Muslim to pay an "infidel" tax, etc.?

From the perspective of someone who has grown up in the Midwest, it just seems that...whether you're talking the KKK or the Aryan Nation, or radial Islam, to alot of us, it all seems the same.

I mean, around here, you're either a farmer or factory worker, or a professional who has a majority of his or her clientel who are farmers or factory workers.

We don't have alot of time to differentiate between one hate group to another.

Do you know if there is some type of dialogue in the realm of the moderate Muslims, where they might plan to take a high-profile stance against the honor killings, "infidel tax," that type of thing?

Just wondering.

 
At 7:25 AM, April 10, 2007 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Boris,

I am not sure how to answer your question because the terms are quite loaded.

How shall we define a "moderate" Muslim? I get the sense that Americans equate moderate with secular and that simply isn't the case. Islam is more than a religion, it is a lifestyle and, thus, I don't think it's possible for Muslims to be secular and still be Muslim. It's not like the American form of Christianity where you show up to church once a week and then return to being an asshole the other 6 1/2 days. So I need you to tell me what a "moderate" is within that framework.

As far as the Wahhabis go, they are a lunatic group supported by the Saudi Royal family and would not exist if the US didn't militarily keep them in power. Think about that next time some yahoo starts blabbing about "infidel" tax - our tax money and soldiers keep them in power, support them and help them grow. Wahhabi Islam is the most extreme, ignorant form of Islam, roundly rejected by scholars across the Islamic world. When the corrupt, barbarians who became the ruling family of Saudi Arabia needed a way to control the people (especially the Shia) Wahhabism was perfect. It exists in very few places outside of Saudi Arabia.

I am unaware of what is being done in Muslim countries to combat honor killings, although Mukhtar Mai in Pakistan has quite an inspiring story. http://www.mukhtarmaiwwo.org/

 
At 9:39 PM, April 12, 2007 , Blogger Michael Fisher said...

If you think Muslims are fanatics when it comes to veils, you should check out the Lubavitcher and Satmar Hassiddim.

In any case. If women want to run around naked, that's on them. Have that go on for a while, and you lose interest anyhow. (Well, not completely, but it does have a numbing effect, ya know?)

 
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