Friday, October 06, 2006

Jack veils the issue

Jack Straw's column which prompted debate about the veil has been published in TheGuardian today. Now, I am not going to argue whether or not he has a right to ask women what to wear in his presence (who is he anyway - the Queen?), or whether his concern that wearing the full veil "makes relations between the two communites more difficult" is valid. No, I am going to say that he has his head so far up his arse that he has overlooked the most important point.

In the middle of his article he says he had a "really interesting debate" about veil wearing with a "lady". He was surprised, he said, to discover that she wore the veil of her own accord and it had nothing to do with her husband. He says, "She explained she had read some books and thought about the issue. She felt more comfortable wearing the veil when out. People bothered her less."

People bothered her less. Interesting use of language Jack. Not trying to be controversial or anything but, knowing what some of us know, I think we could safely substitute "people" for men, and "bothered" with harrassed. If she feels "more comfortable" (safer?) wearing the veil, and is harrassed (and blamed for the harrassment) without it, how can we say the choice to wear the veil is a free one? It isn't. It's just a better alternative.

Jack Straw, stop telling women to remove the veil in order that you feel more comfortable. Stop telling them they're responsible for creating conflict in the community. Next time you have an "interesting debate" with a woman, how about listening to what she says? Open your eyes and target the "people" who are responsible for "bothering" unveiled women.

At the end of the article he says, "My concerns could be misplaced. But I think there is an issue here."

Yes they are Jack. And yes there is.


Blogger sparkleMatrix said...

The first thing that hit me was here we go again men telling us how we should dress. Secondly, behind the scenes, I still see a ‘cockfight’ with the males using the women as the pawn in their manly games.

4:59 PM  
Blogger jo22 said...

Men using women as pawns in their manly games....
Sparkle you know that would never happen! What are you, some kind of male-basher?

10:48 AM  

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