A friend of mine, an internet friend, of whom there is certainly more I do not know than I do know, posted the following picture on Facebook.
I know my friend from an online literary group: Better than Starbucks.
I know she lives in Washington state, I do not if she is Arab or Muslim, I know she, like myself, is concerned with the oppression of Muslims, and others.
I responded: “Good question, unless of course either is dressed that way because some thugs will throw acid in her face if she wants to dress like she lives in the 21st century, then it is oppression, in either case.”
And further: “At times and in different places, both have been not a matter of choice, and in both cases, it is oppression. As long as it is a matter of choice, then it is nobody’s business, just like if a woman wants to die her hair pink, spike it, wear a tiny top and low cut shorts with a thong. You and I might not approve, but it isnt our business! Each person should be responsible for and in control of their own body, male or female. Anything else is oppression.”
I have heard from more conservative Muslims that a woman exposing her face and her form is responsible for inciting rape. I have heard almost as stupid crap from “Christian judges, police, juries, defendants and lawyers. I have spent many hours on public beaches and around public pools, and even though I am a vigorous admirer of the female form, I have NEVER, EVER, NOT ONCE, had the urge to rape a girl or a woman because she “didn’t have on enough clothes.”
I support laws that say if a woman has to appear in court, or wants to drive a car, or wants to access secure places, say an airport, that she has to not cover her face, but any other place she wants to cover her face, her body or whatever, she should not be mistreated for. If she wants to enter a private business, the owner of that business should be able to require her to show her face or not, or be able to not let enter or stay on premises.
I also support laws that say you have to have on shirt and shoes to enter a public establishment. But whether a woman is in a burqa or walking completely naked down a public street, the reaction of all passer bys should be to leave the woman alone. If she asks for a cover or asks to have a cover removed, a gentleman would oblige, but a gentleman would not assume naked or completely covered, he is justified in so much as addressing her, much less laying a hand on her. Why is this so hard?
Between frat boys raping drunk girls or Indian men raping a woman to death on a bus or Republican congressional candidates saying really stupid insulting stuff in defense of rape or Pakistani men killing their daughters for “honor,” there is no cause.
And certainly the woman never caused herself to be raped. Walking down a dark alley might be risky behavior, but no one ever mugged themselves. Same here. So let a Muslim woman be free to wear or not wear what she wants, with some exceptions for public safety, and stop the stupidity, the bigotry and the hate. Nobody’s God approves of that crap!!!!