12 Apr 2011

I'd Wear A Burkha in France

The biggest issue with France's notorious 'banning the burkha' legislation is that is a futile and destructive knee jerk political reaction.

The law lacks the fundemental requirement of purposive legislation.

Were it a proclaimation on all face coverings in the name of public protection, it would be safer.

However, the reasons presented are that it prevents women from being oppressed.

What the law-makers fail to appreciate is that the burkha, the hijab and all range of other face coverings actually prevent women from becoming vaccuous, image obsessed stereotypes. The representation of a woman as something other than a sex object.

By this reckoning, I would wear a burkha. Why should I embrace makeup and the right shampoo to placate my fellow human beings? Surely my measure of attractiveness is only of interest to my husband?

While I am not denying the burkha can, and has, been used to repress women, and to retain their servitudinal role in society, banning a headcovering is no more effective than banning parking on double yellows. It will not prevent oppression, which is more rife in social representation of glamour models than muslim communities.

More so, the legislation seems targeted to muslims, and this does not only negate freedom of religious expression, but further ghettoises the muslim community as a whole.


  1. I wouldn't wear a burkha simply because I totally reject the baggage of oppression that comes with it. I have also written many times that I don't know how you can say that a woman forced to wear the burkha is oppressed and one that is made ill by aspiring to a body image projected by society as ideal isn't.

    The French law is small minded and nasty and I am glad that there's no mainstream call for such a move here.

  2. I suspect we are violently agreeing about the issues around repression of women, whether by burkha or by GQ, it's just that I would seek to wear a burkha to reject the female porn model image, where as you would not?


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