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French Burqa Ban

ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
edited April 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
A few days ago, I made a passing comment in the chat thread, "am I the only one who doesn't really have a problem with the French burqa ban?" I was expecting to get a bunch of "yeah, you are," and a couple people agreeing with me, but what I got was basically universal revilement. I got accused of being a racist, a xenophobe, a Fox News talking head... Not what I'm generally used to.

So, I've been mulling it over in the back of my head for the past couple days, thinking "with this many people against me on this, am I actually in the wrong?" And after some deep thought and introspection: no, I'm not actually wrong on this.

To begin with, technically the law isn't a burqa ban; technically, it's a ban on wearing any sort of face-covering (with exceptions for things like motorcycle helmets and sterile masks) in public, though there's no real doubt at who it is intended to target. Now, if I had said that I didn't have a problem with a French law banning female circumcision, I have no doubt that there would have been nothing out of anyone aside from nigh-universal agreement. So, what is the difference between the two practices?

Well, if they're done "voluntarily," why should we have any problem with either, right? I mean, the woman is choosing to do it, regardless of what familial or cultural pressures there are. They both come from the same place: a belief that the female body (and only the female body) is an evil, corrupting vessel, that must be covered/mustn't feel joy. They're both religious/cultural practices with a long history, practiced primarily by darker-skinned people. And they both have some pretty serious negative side effects for women, though the physical side effects caused by female circumcision are quite a bit worse than those caused by wearing a burqa.

So, I guess all we're talking about here is a matter of degree, and when you feel religious freedom trumps equality, how far misogyny should be allowed to go in the name of Moses/Jesus/Muhammad. Which I guess is really why I don't get the vehemence behind the condemnation of this particular law; it's not like it's some huge step from banning female circumcision; if anything, it seems like it's the next logical degree of a process of legal empowerment of women by banning "voluntary" practices which are, essentially, exercises in oppression. The French have taken a position whereby equality trumps religious freedom to a greater degree than it does in the U.S., but again, I don't think it's that much of a greater degree.

Would I support that law in the U.S.? No, probably not; I think it would run afoul of the first amendment. But the French don't have the first amendment to get in the way, and I really don't think that that means this is the end of religious freedom in France. Though, I'm sure many of you will disagree.

Thanatos on
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Posts

  • SenjutsuSenjutsu fiddy too Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Well, if they're done "voluntarily," why should we have any problem with either, right? I mean, the woman is choosing to do it, regardless of what familial or cultural pressures there are. They both come from the same place: a belief that the female body (and only the female body) is an evil, corrupting vessel, that must be covered/mustn't feel joy. They're both religious/cultural practices with a long history, practiced primarily by darker-skinned people. And they both have some pretty serious negative side effects for women, though the physical side effects caused by female circumcision are quite a bit worse than those caused by wearing a burqa.

    I see less equivalence between the Burqa Ban and a ban on Female circumcision than, say, the Burqa Ban and a ban on Abortion. Which is to say, they both come from the same place: a belief that the female is incapable of correctly choosing what she will do with her own body, and that the state must step in and tell women what they can and cannot do, For Their Own Good™.

    It feels fundamentally patriarchal to me in much the same way that ordering women to wear Burqas is reprehensible.

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  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    For me its a freedom thing, you are telling someone what they can't wear because you don't like it. And that's wrong. No matter why they are wearing it, you should be allowed to wear it.

  • DiorinixDiorinix Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    Well, if they're done "voluntarily," why should we have any problem with either, right? I mean, the woman is choosing to do it, regardless of what familial or cultural pressures there are. They both come from the same place: a belief that the female body (and only the female body) is an evil, corrupting vessel, that must be covered/mustn't feel joy. They're both religious/cultural practices with a long history, practiced primarily by darker-skinned people. And they both have some pretty serious negative side effects for women, though the physical side effects caused by female circumcision are quite a bit worse than those caused by wearing a burqa.

    I see less equivalence between the Burqa Ban and a ban on Female circumcision than, say, the Burqa Ban and a ban on Abortion. Which is to say, they both come from the same place: a belief that the female is incapable of correctly choosing what she will do with her own body, and that the state must step in and tell women what they can and cannot do, For Their Own Good™.

    It feels fundamentally patriarchal to me in much the same way that ordering women to wear Burqas is reprehensible.

    This would be my position, as well.

    What the French should be doing (and they probably have been, I don't keep up with news there), is encouraging a progressive social change within the communities where a burqa is required dress for women so that they don't have to wear them at all. But enforcing a ban is over-stepping boundries for me.

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    Well, if they're done "voluntarily," why should we have any problem with either, right? I mean, the woman is choosing to do it, regardless of what familial or cultural pressures there are. They both come from the same place: a belief that the female body (and only the female body) is an evil, corrupting vessel, that must be covered/mustn't feel joy. They're both religious/cultural practices with a long history, practiced primarily by darker-skinned people. And they both have some pretty serious negative side effects for women, though the physical side effects caused by female circumcision are quite a bit worse than those caused by wearing a burqa.
    I see less equivalence between the Burqa Ban and a ban on Female circumcision than, say, the Burqa Ban and a ban on Abortion. Which is to say, they both come from the same place: a belief that the female is incapable of correctly choosing what she will do with her own body, and that the state must step in and tell women what they can and cannot do, For Their Own Good™.

    It feels fundamentally patriarchal to me in much the same way that ordering women to wear Burqas is reprehensible.
    Does a ban on female circumcision also feel fundamentally patriarchal? I mean, you're telling a woman what she can or can't do with her body there, too.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I honestly see this on the same level as a ban on the swastika, or a ban on burning crosses; it's a symbol of hate.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I honestly see this on the same level as a ban on the swastika, or a ban on burning crosses; it's a symbol of hate.

    But you're wrong. Its not.

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  • SenjutsuSenjutsu fiddy too Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    Well, if they're done "voluntarily," why should we have any problem with either, right? I mean, the woman is choosing to do it, regardless of what familial or cultural pressures there are. They both come from the same place: a belief that the female body (and only the female body) is an evil, corrupting vessel, that must be covered/mustn't feel joy. They're both religious/cultural practices with a long history, practiced primarily by darker-skinned people. And they both have some pretty serious negative side effects for women, though the physical side effects caused by female circumcision are quite a bit worse than those caused by wearing a burqa.
    I see less equivalence between the Burqa Ban and a ban on Female circumcision than, say, the Burqa Ban and a ban on Abortion. Which is to say, they both come from the same place: a belief that the female is incapable of correctly choosing what she will do with her own body, and that the state must step in and tell women what they can and cannot do, For Their Own Good™.

    It feels fundamentally patriarchal to me in much the same way that ordering women to wear Burqas is reprehensible.
    Does a ban on female circumcision also feel fundamentally patriarchal? I mean, you're telling a woman what she can or can't do with her body there, too.
    In many ways, yes.

    It's an extreme form of body modification that I wouldn't recommend to anyone, but if an adult female of her own free will wanted to pay for it, I don't think she ought to be stopped.

    But it's a reprehensible practice when forced on a child by others. So at the very least I'd support a ban for children having the procedure done with parental permission wrt female circumcision. On the Burqa front, since it seems far less permanently damaging, I don't think I'd support a similar restriction.

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  • DiorinixDiorinix Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    Well, if they're done "voluntarily," why should we have any problem with either, right? I mean, the woman is choosing to do it, regardless of what familial or cultural pressures there are. They both come from the same place: a belief that the female body (and only the female body) is an evil, corrupting vessel, that must be covered/mustn't feel joy. They're both religious/cultural practices with a long history, practiced primarily by darker-skinned people. And they both have some pretty serious negative side effects for women, though the physical side effects caused by female circumcision are quite a bit worse than those caused by wearing a burqa.
    I see less equivalence between the Burqa Ban and a ban on Female circumcision than, say, the Burqa Ban and a ban on Abortion. Which is to say, they both come from the same place: a belief that the female is incapable of correctly choosing what she will do with her own body, and that the state must step in and tell women what they can and cannot do, For Their Own Good™.

    It feels fundamentally patriarchal to me in much the same way that ordering women to wear Burqas is reprehensible.
    Does a ban on female circumcision also feel fundamentally patriarchal? I mean, you're telling a woman what she can or can't do with her body there, too.

    Typically, female circumcision isn't performed on a fully grown, rational women. It's performed on younger girls, prior to the age the culture deems appropriate for procreation. In that case, it's child abuse since the child doesn't get a choice in the matter, and is always done without medical expertise. This is where the objection comes from, I think.

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  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Preacher wrote: »
    For me its a freedom thing, you are telling someone what they can't wear because you don't like it. And that's wrong. No matter why they are wearing it, you should be allowed to wear it.

    Basically this. People should have the right to believe what they want to believe, and to express those beliefs in a manner that doesn't harm others. Wearing clothing of a particular type doesn't hurt anyone. France, as far as I am aware, is pretty much a free society - if these women are being oppressed and forced to wear a burqa, don't they have some recourse to escape that?

    Meanwhile there are plenty of Muslim women who believe that wearing a burqa is the right thing to do. Who are we to tell them they're wrong?

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  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Doing silly things for nonsensical reasons is pretty much what religions do. Starting to ban (admittedly contentiously) harmless practices for flimsy reasons is a pretty dangerous road to go down.

    Really if the French people felt strongly enough about it they should at least be consistent about it and just ban religions. Instead they've taken this bizarre piecemeal approach where they target individual practices and it becomes a quagmire of "is a turban really a religious symbol, or a practical way of dealing with a religious requirement?" type debates.

  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Does a ban on female circumcision also feel fundamentally patriarchal? I mean, you're telling a woman what she can or can't do with her body there, too.

    This is an incredibly dumb comparison. You should know better than to make it.

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  • ThomamelasThomamelas Bro!Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    So, I guess all we're talking about here is a matter of degree, and when you feel religious freedom trumps equality, how far misogyny should be allowed to go in the name of Moses/Jesus/Muhammad. Which I guess is really why I don't get the vehemence behind the condemnation of this particular law; it's not like it's some huge step from banning female circumcision; if anything, it seems like it's the next logical degree of a process of legal empowerment of women by banning "voluntary" practices which are, essentially, exercises in oppression. The French have taken a position whereby equality trumps religious freedom to a greater degree than it does in the U.S., but again, I don't think it's that much of a greater degree.

    You're defining empowerment as limiting their choices. This generally goes against the common usage of empowerment, which for most people means increasing the number of options. And it's a very massive step from female circumspection. One is a permanent practice done to young women that isn't reversible. The other is a piece of clothing that will be replaced a number of times. And since the primary reason for the French law has little to do with protecting women and everything to do with forcing assimilation, your defense of it is odd.

  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Does a ban on female circumcision also feel fundamentally patriarchal? I mean, you're telling a woman what she can or can't do with her body there, too.

    This is an incredibly dumb comparison. You should know better than to make it.

    Yeah I really don't get this comparison at all. The state has a vested interest in protecting children from abuse, which is what most forms of female circumcision is. Adult women wearing clothes isn't abuse.

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  • Donkey KongDonkey Kong Don't treat me like potato. Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I can't drum up enough enthusiasm for either side to have any real passion on the issue. My default position falls to "they should be allowed because I can't think of a convincing reason they shouldn't".

    The whole equality argument is ridiculous. You can't legally enforce equality. You can only allow and protect it. Imagine if in response to the bus boycott, Montgomery Alabama made it illegal for black people to sit in the back of city busses.

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  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I honestly see this on the same level as a ban on the swastika, or a ban on burning crosses; it's a symbol of hate.
    Do you think the head scarves or wigs Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish women wear after marriage are symbols of hate too? They're the same religious statement, just taken to a different extent.

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  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Diorinix wrote: »
    This would be my position, as well.

    What the French should be doing (and they probably have been, I don't keep up with news there), is encouraging a progressive social change within the communities where a burqa is required dress for women so that they don't have to wear them at all. But enforcing a ban is over-stepping boundries for me.

    This is made very difficult by the existance of the burqua. It dehumanises the women wearing them, and reduces their human contact with outsiders from the community, forcing them to rely upon it, and reinforces the seperation and essentialism between the sexes. Even ignoring the meaning of it, which is quite literally 'well if you get raped, it was your fault for whoring around and showing your body, you know men can't control themselves', and the ideas that promotes.

    Now whether this ban is the right way to go about it, the sheer fact that so many people have previusly raised the point 'well if you ban them from wearing it they simply won't go outside/be allowed out' demonstrates the extent of the problem no?

  • SenjutsuSenjutsu fiddy too Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I honestly see this on the same level as a ban on the swastika, or a ban on burning crosses; it's a symbol of hate.

    Not a terrible equivalence, actually, because the swastika pre-dates Nazism and has positive meanings in Hindu and Buddhist cultures.

    So a ban would be an equally misguided unsuccessful attempt to stomp out an underlying cause (hatred) with the collateral damage of restricting the freedom of people not motivated by or engaging in hatred

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thomamelas wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    So, I guess all we're talking about here is a matter of degree, and when you feel religious freedom trumps equality, how far misogyny should be allowed to go in the name of Moses/Jesus/Muhammad. Which I guess is really why I don't get the vehemence behind the condemnation of this particular law; it's not like it's some huge step from banning female circumcision; if anything, it seems like it's the next logical degree of a process of legal empowerment of women by banning "voluntary" practices which are, essentially, exercises in oppression. The French have taken a position whereby equality trumps religious freedom to a greater degree than it does in the U.S., but again, I don't think it's that much of a greater degree.
    You're defining empowerment as limiting their choices. This generally goes against the common usage of empowerment, which for most people means increasing the number of options. And it's a very massive step from female circumspection. One is a permanent practice done to young women that isn't reversible. The other is a piece of clothing that will be replaced a number of times. And since the primary reason for the French law has little to do with protecting women and everything to do with forcing assimilation, your defense of it is odd.
    I guess it's less empowerment, more egalitarianism. And just because something doesn't do permanent physical damage to you doesn't mean that it doesn't have a lasting effect on you psychologically.

  • hardxcore_conservativehardxcore_conservative Registered User
    edited April 2011
    The law is reprehensible because it's not going to work. People will justifiably ignore it in the name of religious freedom. Either it will be challenged in the courts and struck down, or there will continue to be a penalty attached to being a devout female muslim.

    What can this law possibly accomplish? It has no use as a deterrent. The most it can do is force Islamic religious worship underground, disenfranchise a particular class of people and stimulate cultural division.

  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    How is the burqa a symbol of hate?

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I will say that I can see how one might come to support such a ban from a direction that wasn't outright xenophobia.

    But I'll follow that up with this; I don't really feel like limiting the right of expression is a good way to deal with a situation like this.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    To me it completely misses the target anyway. You want to address the problem of sexism and oppression in fundamental muslim societies? That's great, it should be addressed.

    But how does restricting their right to express their religion do anything for that?

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  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I don't have a problem with a ban on face coverings based on security reasons.

    However, I haven't seen security being touted by the ban's backers in France. Instead I see Sarkozy and friends using it as a way to buddy up to social conservatives and shit on immigrants for not being "French" enough.


    I do wonder how the "things that cover your face are a security risk" applies to things like big sunglasses and facial hair. After all, a guy could rob a bank wearing big sunglasses and a beard, then throw the sunglasses away and shave, and no one would know what he looks like.

    And would the French ban Marcel Marceau?

    264px-Marcel_Marceau_%28cropped%29.jpg

    I can't see what his face really looks like either. If he were a terrorist with an identifying facial scar or birthmark, I'd never be able to tell under all that makeup.

    Heck, just googling "celebrities without makeup" makes me wonder if I know what any actress actually looks like.

  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I honestly see this on the same level as a ban on the swastika, or a ban on burning crosses; it's a symbol of hate.

    Its not, especially since a burqa in France is going to be largely meant as a means of identifying your religion, as opposed to a burqa in, say, some of the nastier parts of Iran, where its more a thing you wear to avoid being stoned.

    Context kind of matters.

    I suppose its accidentally a great analogy though, as banning a burqa to fight for womens' rights is about as intelligent as banning swastikas to fight anti-semitism.

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  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Thomamelas wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    So, I guess all we're talking about here is a matter of degree, and when you feel religious freedom trumps equality, how far misogyny should be allowed to go in the name of Moses/Jesus/Muhammad. Which I guess is really why I don't get the vehemence behind the condemnation of this particular law; it's not like it's some huge step from banning female circumcision; if anything, it seems like it's the next logical degree of a process of legal empowerment of women by banning "voluntary" practices which are, essentially, exercises in oppression. The French have taken a position whereby equality trumps religious freedom to a greater degree than it does in the U.S., but again, I don't think it's that much of a greater degree.
    You're defining empowerment as limiting their choices. This generally goes against the common usage of empowerment, which for most people means increasing the number of options. And it's a very massive step from female circumspection. One is a permanent practice done to young women that isn't reversible. The other is a piece of clothing that will be replaced a number of times. And since the primary reason for the French law has little to do with protecting women and everything to do with forcing assimilation, your defense of it is odd.
    I guess it's less empowerment, more egalitarianism. And just because something doesn't do permanent physical damage to you doesn't mean that it doesn't have a lasting effect on you psychologically.

    Not a snark, genuine question: are you approaching this with the assumption that any woman wearing a veil or a burqa is the victim of domestic abuse?

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Lord Yod wrote: »
    How is the burqa a symbol of hate?
    It's not hard to see it as an outward symbol of misogyny. It's gender-specific, and to westerners the covering of the face is somewhat dehumanizing.

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  • SenjutsuSenjutsu fiddy too Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Leitner wrote: »
    Diorinix wrote: »
    This would be my position, as well.

    What the French should be doing (and they probably have been, I don't keep up with news there), is encouraging a progressive social change within the communities where a burqa is required dress for women so that they don't have to wear them at all. But enforcing a ban is over-stepping boundries for me.

    This is made very difficult by the existance of the burqua. It dehumanises the women wearing them, and reduces their human contact with outsiders from the community, forcing them to rely upon it, and reinforces the seperation and essentialism between the sexes. Even ignoring the meaning of it, which is quite literally 'well if you get raped, it was your fault for whoring around and showing your body, you know men can't control themselves', and the ideas that promotes.

    Now whether this ban is the right way to go about it, the sheer fact that so many people have previusly raised the point 'well if you ban them from wearing it they simply won't go outside/be allowed out' demonstrates the extent of the problem no?
    So do we ban homes to prevent that problem, or do we acknowledge that banning behaviors forced on them doesn't actually solve the "women shouldn't be forced to do things they don't want to" problem?

    It feels like trying to solve 1950s gender-inequality by requiring women to wear shoes and stay outside of kitchens.

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I honestly see this on the same level as a ban on the swastika, or a ban on burning crosses; it's a symbol of hate.
    Do you think the head scarves or wigs Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish women wear after marriage are symbols of hate too? They're the same religious statement, just taken to a different extent.
    Uh, you mean the headcoverings that are worn to show a deference to God? The same headcoverings that men who are members of those religions are expected to wear? The ones that don't cover their faces, or completely dehumanize them, or make men say "well, if you're not wearing that, and showing your ankles or your eyes like a slut, you totally deserved to get raped?" So, you know, not at all like that?

    The moment Muslim men start having to wear burqas, too, I will remove all objection to them.

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    It didn't seem particularly objectionable to me, either, although I would have favored it being combined with a wider campaign to pressure the more conservative religious institutions toward liberalization. It is way too easy to dump the required effort of social reform onto weaker social classes.

    (I recognize that this would wholly abrogate any pretense of religious freedom in favor of social engineering, yes; I think speed is of the essence in such attempts. The end-goal must be to establish a new status quo in which French Islamic institutions do not generally successfully apply the undesired social pressures on French Muslim women - without which the restriction would never be liftable - doing this by punishing French Muslim women if they submit to those pressures would certainly eventually work, but strikes me as an unjust way of achieving said goal)

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  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I'd rather see some sort of additional punishment for assault/murder/whathaveyou if it's shown that it was at all motivated by a woman's lack of a burqa.

    Well, what I mean is, that would be more in tune with my opinions on the subject, that women should be free to wear whatever the fuck, and people who try to control their choices shouldn't get to.

    The thing I'm proposing in the first sentence is 1) horribly ineffective since something like that is incredibly hard to enforce/prove, particularly when some witnesses probably would side with the attacker, 2) doesn't really help the victim much after the fact, 3) runs into all the problems with hate crime legislation (criminalizing motivation, etc.). Problem is, I can't think of a law with more teeth that would effectively protect women who don't want to wear it without touching the rights of the women who actually do want to wear it.

    Seems like you can only get shifts away from that sort of choice by changes in society, and an outright ban on the things doesn't really seem like an effective way to force society to change - instead of moving toward "women can wear what they want," you move toward "women have to obey us, not them."

  • SenjutsuSenjutsu fiddy too Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    (I recognize that this would wholly abrogate any pretense of religious freedom in favor of social engineering, yes; I think speed is of the essence in such attempts. The end-goal must be to establish a new status quo in which French Islamic institutions do not generally successfully apply the undesired social pressures on French Muslim women - without which the restriction would never be liftable - doing this by punishing French Muslim women if they submit to those pressures would certainly eventually work, but strikes me as an unjust way of achieving said goal)

    This is a little-articulated but important point:

    If we are supposedly acting out of sympathy for oppressed women being made to wear the Burqa by force of physical threat, in what sense are we helping them by threatening these same women with legal repercussions if they submit to the physical threat?

    Isn't this just the state further victimizing the victimized?

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  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Banning the burqa is completely useless at accomplishing any of those goals considering almost no Muslims actually wear one in France. It is like trying to fight racism in the modern day South by banning KKK outfits.

  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    Well, if they're done "voluntarily," why should we have any problem with either, right? I mean, the woman is choosing to do it, regardless of what familial or cultural pressures there are. They both come from the same place: a belief that the female body (and only the female body) is an evil, corrupting vessel, that must be covered/mustn't feel joy. They're both religious/cultural practices with a long history, practiced primarily by darker-skinned people. And they both have some pretty serious negative side effects for women, though the physical side effects caused by female circumcision are quite a bit worse than those caused by wearing a burqa.

    I see less equivalence between the Burqa Ban and a ban on Female circumcision than, say, the Burqa Ban and a ban on Abortion. Which is to say, they both come from the same place: a belief that the female is incapable of correctly choosing what she will do with her own body, and that the state must step in and tell women what they can and cannot do, For Their Own Good™.

    It feels fundamentally patriarchal to me in much the same way that ordering women to wear Burqas is reprehensible.

    So banning burqas is the same as requiring them to be worn?

  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I honestly see this on the same level as a ban on the swastika, or a ban on burning crosses; it's a symbol of hate.
    Do you think the head scarves or wigs Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish women wear after marriage are symbols of hate too? They're the same religious statement, just taken to a different extent.
    Uh, you mean the headcoverings that are worn to show a deference to God? The same headcoverings that men who are members of those religions are expected to wear? The ones that don't cover their faces, or completely dehumanize them, or make men say "well, if you're not wearing that, and showing your ankles or your eyes like a slut, you totally deserved to get raped?" So, you know, not at all like that?

    The moment Muslim men start having to wear burqas, too, I will remove all objection to them.
    So what you're saying is you oppose the practice of a radical offshoot of the religion and its barbaric customs, not the wearing of a burqa by Muslim women to show deference to their God?

    Because in your OP it seemed like you supported attacking a symptom of the problem and punishing those who will be forced choose between governmental punishment or religious.

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  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I honestly see this on the same level as a ban on the swastika, or a ban on burning crosses; it's a symbol of hate.
    Do you think the head scarves or wigs Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish women wear after marriage are symbols of hate too? They're the same religious statement, just taken to a different extent.
    Uh, you mean the headcoverings that are worn to show a deference to God? The same headcoverings that men who are members of those religions are expected to wear? The ones that don't cover their faces, or completely dehumanize them, or make men say "well, if you're not wearing that, and showing your ankles or your eyes like a slut, you totally deserved to get raped?" So, you know, not at all like that?

    The moment Muslim men start having to wear burqas, too, I will remove all objection to them.

    Catholic nuns have to wear penguin suits, but priests don't. OTOH priests have to wear collars, but nuns don't. Which gender is more oppressed.

    Amish women have to wear long dresses, while Amish men have to wear long pants. Is one gender more oppressed by that religion's dress code.

    And FWIW, Muslim men have dress codes too. They're often ignored - such as when the Iranian soccer team does not wear loose, non-revealing clothing covering from their navels to their knees.

  • SenjutsuSenjutsu fiddy too Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Julius wrote: »
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    Well, if they're done "voluntarily," why should we have any problem with either, right? I mean, the woman is choosing to do it, regardless of what familial or cultural pressures there are. They both come from the same place: a belief that the female body (and only the female body) is an evil, corrupting vessel, that must be covered/mustn't feel joy. They're both religious/cultural practices with a long history, practiced primarily by darker-skinned people. And they both have some pretty serious negative side effects for women, though the physical side effects caused by female circumcision are quite a bit worse than those caused by wearing a burqa.

    I see less equivalence between the Burqa Ban and a ban on Female circumcision than, say, the Burqa Ban and a ban on Abortion. Which is to say, they both come from the same place: a belief that the female is incapable of correctly choosing what she will do with her own body, and that the state must step in and tell women what they can and cannot do, For Their Own Good™.

    It feels fundamentally patriarchal to me in much the same way that ordering women to wear Burqas is reprehensible.

    So banning burqas is the same as requiring them to be worn?

    They both involve forcing women to behave a certain way, whatever they may wish, yes.

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  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I honestly see this on the same level as a ban on the swastika, or a ban on burning crosses; it's a symbol of hate.
    Do you think the head scarves or wigs Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish women wear after marriage are symbols of hate too? They're the same religious statement, just taken to a different extent.
    Uh, you mean the headcoverings that are worn to show a deference to God? The same headcoverings that men who are members of those religions are expected to wear? The ones that don't cover their faces, or completely dehumanize them, or make men say "well, if you're not wearing that, and showing your ankles or your eyes like a slut, you totally deserved to get raped?" So, you know, not at all like that?

    The moment Muslim men start having to wear burqas, too, I will remove all objection to them.
    So what you're saying is you oppose the practice of a radical offshoot of the religion and its barbaric customs, not the wearing of a burqa by Muslim women to show deference to their God?

    Because in your OP it seemed like you supported attacking a symptom of the problem and punishing those who will be forced choose between governmental punishment or religious.

    I didn't know France was experiencing an outbreak of beatings and slut-raping among its Muslim populace.

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  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    BubbaT wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I honestly see this on the same level as a ban on the swastika, or a ban on burning crosses; it's a symbol of hate.
    Do you think the head scarves or wigs Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish women wear after marriage are symbols of hate too? They're the same religious statement, just taken to a different extent.
    Uh, you mean the headcoverings that are worn to show a deference to God? The same headcoverings that men who are members of those religions are expected to wear? The ones that don't cover their faces, or completely dehumanize them, or make men say "well, if you're not wearing that, and showing your ankles or your eyes like a slut, you totally deserved to get raped?" So, you know, not at all like that?

    The moment Muslim men start having to wear burqas, too, I will remove all objection to them.

    Catholic nuns have to wear penguin suits, but priests don't. OTOH priests have to wear collars, but nuns don't. Which gender is more oppressed.

    Amish women have to wear long dresses, while Amish men have to wear long pants. Is one gender more oppressed by that religion's dress code.

    And FWIW, Muslim men have dress codes too. They're often ignored - such as when the Iranian soccer team does not wear loose, non-revealing clothing covering from their navels to their knees.
    And there were several stories of Muslim men executed by the Taliban for having shaved their beards off, also.

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  • KorlashKorlash Registered User
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    A few days ago, I made a passing comment in the chat thread, "am I the only one who doesn't really have a problem with the French burqa ban?" I was expecting to get a bunch of "yeah, you are," and a couple people agreeing with me, but what I got was basically universal revilement. I got accused of being a racist, a xenophobe, a Fox News talking head... Not what I'm generally used to.

    So, I've been mulling it over in the back of my head for the past couple days, thinking "with this many people against me on this, am I actually in the wrong?" And after some deep thought and introspection: no, I'm not actually wrong on this.

    To begin with, technically the law isn't a burqa ban; technically, it's a ban on wearing any sort of face-covering (with exceptions for things like motorcycle helmets and sterile masks) in public, though there's no real doubt at who it is intended to target. Now, if I had said that I didn't have a problem with a French law banning female circumcision, I have no doubt that there would have been nothing out of anyone aside from nigh-universal agreement. So, what is the difference between the two practices?

    Well, if they're done "voluntarily," why should we have any problem with either, right? I mean, the woman is choosing to do it, regardless of what familial or cultural pressures there are. They both come from the same place: a belief that the female body (and only the female body) is an evil, corrupting vessel, that must be covered/mustn't feel joy. They're both religious/cultural practices with a long history, practiced primarily by darker-skinned people. And they both have some pretty serious negative side effects for women, though the physical side effects caused by female circumcision are quite a bit worse than those caused by wearing a burqa.

    So, I guess all we're talking about here is a matter of degree, and when you feel religious freedom trumps equality, how far misogyny should be allowed to go in the name of Moses/Jesus/Muhammad. Which I guess is really why I don't get the vehemence behind the condemnation of this particular law; it's not like it's some huge step from banning female circumcision; if anything, it seems like it's the next logical degree of a process of legal empowerment of women by banning "voluntary" practices which are, essentially, exercises in oppression. The French have taken a position whereby equality trumps religious freedom to a greater degree than it does in the U.S., but again, I don't think it's that much of a greater degree.

    Would I support that law in the U.S.? No, probably not; I think it would run afoul of the first amendment. But the French don't have the first amendment to get in the way, and I really don't think that that means this is the end of religious freedom in France. Though, I'm sure many of you will disagree.

    ...what? Why even mention this? You have me raising an eyebrow here...

    Do you realize that you are putting "wearing a big hat" on the same level as mutilation? These are not even close to being comparable. A woman can choose to remove the burqa at any time. Not so much in the other scenario...

    Even if it were truly an issue of degrees, then so what? Plenty of things are about degrees. How about the fact that murder is punished differently depending on the barbarism of your act? The world is not binary. Clearly, putting on a big hat is not very high up on the list of atrocities...

    Let's be honest here. The real issue is not women's rights. The real issue here is that France let in many Muslim immigrants into their country, and shortsightedly decided to pack them into ghettos. Only now, they're starting to realize that they have not been properly integrated into French culture, and they feel threatened by this. Well, duh! This law is 100% a way of "fighting back" against what they perceive to be a foreign religion invading their country. I would not be surprised if something like a mosque ban was attempted in the near future, or at least, more severe measures to repress this religion.

    Banning their religious clothing is not the appropriate way to deal with this. Other countries have managed to deal with an influx of muslim immigrants just fine. The French should try to make the immigrants feel welcome in their society instead of attacking their religious rights. If they decide that to defend their culture, they must attack the rights of religious minorities, then they will have to deal with the disapproval of the international community.

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  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Lord Yod wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I honestly see this on the same level as a ban on the swastika, or a ban on burning crosses; it's a symbol of hate.
    Do you think the head scarves or wigs Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish women wear after marriage are symbols of hate too? They're the same religious statement, just taken to a different extent.
    Uh, you mean the headcoverings that are worn to show a deference to God? The same headcoverings that men who are members of those religions are expected to wear? The ones that don't cover their faces, or completely dehumanize them, or make men say "well, if you're not wearing that, and showing your ankles or your eyes like a slut, you totally deserved to get raped?" So, you know, not at all like that?

    The moment Muslim men start having to wear burqas, too, I will remove all objection to them.
    So what you're saying is you oppose the practice of a radical offshoot of the religion and its barbaric customs, not the wearing of a burqa by Muslim women to show deference to their God?

    Because in your OP it seemed like you supported attacking a symptom of the problem and punishing those who will be forced choose between governmental punishment or religious.

    I didn't know France was experiencing an outbreak of beatings and slut-raping among its Muslim populace.
    Wow, it almost sounds like there's no basis for this ban at all then. Imagine that.

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    All my fuckin life I lived a normal fuckin life
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