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French Burqa Ban

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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    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?

    An important note along these lines: the fine for women in the French law is small, to the tune of ~150 EUR, plus counseling. The fine for fathers or husbands who force their daughters or wives to wear headcoverings is up to a cool 60,000 EUR.

    Which strikes me as appropriate, but the problem would be the difficulty of prosecuting the latter provision.

  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” 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.

    And it's not about egalitarianism either. The ban exists solely to force assimilation. The statement it makes is about making part of their population not be different. It's a punishment for not being French enough. Which also is going to leave some psychological issues. You're not making people's lives better, just changing the source of shame.

  • Lord YodLord Yod 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.

    I mean, it's certainly possible that this sort of thing is going on all the time. But:

    a) I don't see how banning burqas solves the problem;
    b) Wouldn't we have heard something about it?
    c) If the problem is that Muslim men are raping and beating women for misbehaving, why is punishing the women the proposed solution?

    Most of what I know of the situation comes from things like NPR, which has had a number of women on who were against the ban because it gets the state involved in their religion. This is, to me, almost always the wrong move. Sometimes the state will have to bite the bullet and get involved in this sort of thing, for instance in child abuse cases or with absurdly weird Scientology stuff or something like that, but for wearing a certain type of clothing? I don't think the threshold has been met.

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  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS 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?

    How is any of that different from a shirt? Would you support legislation forcing all women to go topless?

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    http://islamineurope.blogspot.com/2009/07/france-burka-wearing-marginal.html
    France: Burka wearing 'marginal phenomenon', popular among converts


    French newspaper Le Monde reports on two recent reports prepared by the French police intelligence agencies for the government on the topic of the burka in France. Both conclude that it's a very minor phenomenon, but the investigators point out that less than ten years ago, the burka and niqab, were unknown in France. These documents, seen by Le Monde, come to inform the government, precisely at the moment when a parliamentary commission was set up on the topic.

    The first report, from July 1st, is titled "Islam in France: the issues of wearing the full veil in France". It was prepared by the SDIG. The second study, which was published eight days later, was prepared by the DCRI. It includes a precise tally of those wearing the full veil: 367 women in France.

    This figure, which is not claimed to be comprehensive, is the result of observations through the country by the DCRI teams. Starting from this 'snapshot' the service drew other conclusions: a majority of women identified as wearing the full veil do so voluntarily; more are under 30; 26% are French converts to Islam. Almost all live in the major urban centers, in the Paris, PACA (Marseille), Nord (Lille) and Rhône-Alpes (Lyon) regions. The DCRI report says that the youngest wearer of the full veil is 5 years old.

    The SDGI report is 15 pages long and does not give any figures, but its conclusions are not different. The agency estimates that it's a marginal praictice of young women. Again, it emphasizes the importance of French converts. The agents of the SDIG say that wearing the full veil comes from a desire to provoke society, or even her family. It displays militancy, coming from Salafism.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/14/world/europe/14burqa.html?_r=1
    While the numbers are unclear, the French police estimate that only about 2,000 women in France wear the full facial veil out of a Muslim population of five million to six million.
    How does banning something that 0.04 percent of the Muslim population wears going to do anything?

  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Lord Yod wrote: »
    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.

    I mean, it's certainly possible that this sort of thing is going on all the time. But:

    a) I don't see how banning burqas solves the problem;
    b) Wouldn't we have heard something about it?
    c) If the problem is that Muslim men are raping and beating women for misbehaving, why is punishing the women the proposed solution?

    Most of what I know of the situation comes from things like NPR, which has had a number of women on who were against the ban because it gets the state involved in their religion. This is, to me, almost always the wrong move. Sometimes the state will have to bite the bullet and get involved in this sort of thing, for instance in child abuse cases or with absurdly weird Scientology stuff or something like that, but for wearing a certain type of clothing? I don't think the threshold has been met.
    I think we're on the same side here.

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Bagginses wrote: »
    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?

    How is any of that different from a shirt? Would you support legislation forcing all women to go topless?
    Covering the face is very different from covering the upper body.

    Our species has evolved highly expressive facial muscles for a reason. Covering someone's face at least partially cuts them off from the rest of the world.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    An important note along these lines: the fine for women in the French law is small, to the tune of ~150 EUR, plus counseling. The fine for fathers or husbands who force their daughters or wives to wear headcoverings is up to a cool 60,000 EUR.

    This feels like fining the victim if the given reason is to believed. If wearing one of these things is oppressive to women why the hell are we fining the woman wearing one at all?

    It would be like if during the hey day of the civil rights movement we fined every black person who road at the back of the bus or used segregated facilities.

    By all means go after the people who force this on women, but its no ones business if they choose to wear it of their own will, and its certainly fucked up to fine them for it either way.

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    An important note along these lines: the fine for women in the French law is small, to the tune of ~150 EUR, plus counseling. The fine for fathers or husbands who force their daughters or wives to wear headcoverings is up to a cool 60,000 EUR.

    This feels like fining the victim if the given reason is to believed. If wearing one of these things is oppressive to women why the hell are we fining the woman wearing one at all?

    It would be like if during the hey day of the civil rights movement we fined every black person who road at the back of the bus or used segregated facilities.

    By all means go after the people who force this on women, but its no ones business if they choose to wear it of their own will, and its certainly fucked up to fine them for it either way.
    An argument could be made that the existence of a fine, however small, gives the woman something to point to if she wants an institutional reason to remove the garment. If "I don't want to" doesn't fly, maybe "I don't want to be fined" would.

    I would hope that is the reasoning, at least in part.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    So we're fining victims to give them an excuse to fight supposed oppression?

    That doesn't seem very palatable.

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  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I don't see what the ban accomplishes. Making it illegal to wear a Burqa will not somehow magically turn all of the fundamental misogynists into secular rationalists who believe in equality; it just sweeps the problem under the rug.

    What the French government could have / should have done is given vocal support to the muslim women being pressured into or otherwise forced to wear clothing that they do not wish to wear and made a case against the kind of supernatural nonsense underlying the issue. But governments in general are reluctant to do that for fear of offending their constituency.
    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

    Again, I don't see what a ban accomplishes. Neo-Nazis & Klansmen aren't going to disappear just because you made it illegal for them to distribute their pamphlets - you're only hurting public knowledge. Personally, I want to know who the racists lunatics are, so I say let them spill out their hatred to their heart's content (especially in today's age, where the ability to reproduce and playback hateful or insane rhetoric to the horror of the viewer or listener has become so easy).

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  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    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.

    At the same time, even if something has a lasting effect on you psychologically, that doesn't imply that there's a compelling governmental interest in banning it. Verbal abuse may hurt somebody's self-esteem; but the social damage done to free speech in criminalizing it would far outweigh the benefits of sparing some people from getting their feelings hurt. A sexual partner cheating on me would certainly hurt me psychologically and render intimacy and trust more difficult in future relationships; but we don't really want the government regulating who you may or may not have sex with.

    The issue here is that the cure can easily be worse than the disease. To solve the problem, we'd have to identify whether burqa-wearing is itself harmful. I recognize that it can be a marker of sexual subjugation, but banning the marker doesn't necessarily get to the root of the problem. Meanwhile, even if we accept the assumption that only a minority of burqa-wearing women came to the decision to wear a burqa out of an empowered mindset, by banning burqas we've infringed on that empowered minority's freedom while doing very little to stop the victimization of the subjugated majority... (not to mention any other legitimate face-coverings people may want to wear).

    (That assumption, BTW, is one that I think should be made with care. It feels very Orientalist to me. I don't want to sit around impotently in a gooey puddle of weak-minded cultural relativism, but neither do I want to jump to conclusions about populations for which I have no direct empirical data.)

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  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    So we're fining victims to give them an excuse to fight supposed oppression?

    That doesn't seem very palatable.

    Europe has been sliding into extremely anti muslim as the years go on. Didn't some country ban minerrettes or something ridiculous? This is nothing more than a blatant fuck you to muslims couched in "social equality". Par for the course for the current french government.

  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    An important note along these lines: the fine for women in the French law is small, to the tune of ~150 EUR, plus counseling. The fine for fathers or husbands who force their daughters or wives to wear headcoverings is up to a cool 60,000 EUR.

    This feels like fining the victim if the given reason is to believed. If wearing one of these things is oppressive to women why the hell are we fining the woman wearing one at all?

    It would be like if during the hey day of the civil rights movement we fined every black person who road at the back of the bus or used segregated facilities.

    By all means go after the people who force this on women, but its no ones business if they choose to wear it of their own will, and its certainly fucked up to fine them for it either way.
    An argument could be made that the existence of a fine, however small, gives the woman something to point to if she wants an institutional reason to remove the garment. If "I don't want to" doesn't fly, maybe "I don't want to be fined" would.

    I would hope that is the reasoning, at least in part.

    Except that it won't play out that way. What happens is that the women is forced to remain home, completely cutting her off from the world. If the point of the fine is give an excuse then it's a poorly thought out point.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    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.

    Two things with this part actually.

    1) We don't generally hold that people have religious freedom because of the 1st amendment, but that people have religious freedom and the 1st amendment exists to make sure the government respects that. It strikes me as wrong to think that our notions of religious freedom don't apply to people not under the 1st amendment.

    2) No one thinks this means the end of religious freedom in France, but that's really just a statement to make people who object to the law look like chicken little screaming the sky is falling.

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Couscous wrote: »
    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.

    Number I heard on NPR was I believe 1200 women.

    It strikes me as a hamfisted use of government power to combat a problem that doesn't really exist, and I oppose it on those grounds alone.

    Kind of like Voter ID laws here in the States.

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  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    It would be far preferable to engage in community outreach, to make the mainstream secular culture more inviting to assimilation, and to make sure that social services and law enforcement are educated in how to discern and investigate objective evidence of abuse within Muslim marriages.

    Further alienating the immigrant culture by prohibiting one of their common practices (without a very compelling objective reason to do so) is counterproductive.

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  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I fully support the idea behind the ban, that Islam is a backward religion and the practitioners thereof need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty first century wherever possible, but I don't think banning the burqa actually does that, as women in fundamentalist households now simply can't go outside without risking severe physical retaliation by male family members.

    So yea, it doesn't solve anything or improve anyone's situation, no point to it.

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  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    It would be far preferable to engage in community outreach, to make the mainstream secular culture more inviting to assimilation, and to make sure that social services and law enforcement are educated in how to discern and investigate objective evidence of abuse within Muslim marriages.

    Further alienating the immigrant culture by prohibiting one of their common practices (without a very compelling objective reason to do so) is counterproductive.

    This. If the goal really was to prevent abuse then this is how you do it. But this isn't the goal of the ban.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    So we're fining victims to give them an excuse to fight supposed oppression?

    That doesn't seem very palatable.
    That's because it's not. At least to most people.

    It's kind of a burn the village to save it thing, and there are a good number of people in France that are more than happy to burn this particular village.

    With little or no concern as to whether there's any actual saving going on.

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  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    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.

    So it's the same in one way? Is it the same in any other ways?

    Because I sure as hell don't believe that outlawing a piece of clothing that is basically misogynistic, religious oppression and forcing it on people are the same thing in any meaningful way.

    I mean sure it's a restriction on clothing but what the hell does that matter? We put restrictions on that shit all the time.

  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I fully support the idea behind the ban, that Islam is a backward religion and the practitioners thereof need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty first century wherever possible, but I don't think banning the burqa actually does that, as women in fundamentalist households now simply can't go outside without risking severe physical retaliation by male family members.

    So yea, it doesn't solve anything or improve anyone's situation, no point to it.

    Not that you're going to make a broad statement about a religion or anything.

  • DiorinixDiorinix Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I fully support the idea behind the ban, that Islam is a backward religion and the practitioners thereof need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty first century wherever possible, but I don't think banning the burqa actually does that, as women in fundamentalist households now simply can't go outside without risking severe physical retaliation by male family members.

    So yea, it doesn't solve anything or improve anyone's situation, no point to it.

    Backward religion is sort of redundant, dontcha think? Catholicism, Judaism...the religions that grew out of the middle east can all be viewed in light of their most radical supporters and judged accordingly.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that Islam itself is no more backward than Christianity or Jewish faith. It's the practioners who are backward.

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  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Preacher wrote: »
    I fully support the idea behind the ban, that Islam is a backward religion and the practitioners thereof need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty first century wherever possible, but I don't think banning the burqa actually does that, as women in fundamentalist households now simply can't go outside without risking severe physical retaliation by male family members.

    So yea, it doesn't solve anything or improve anyone's situation, no point to it.

    Not that you're going to make a broad statement about a religion or anything.

    Christianity is no better, it's just less misogynistic because society has forced it to be and people pick and chose parts of the bible they like and ignore the others.

    Edit: To further clarify, Islam's holy book isn't any worse than any of the others. In fact afaik the Burka isn't even in there but it has become a thing with the faithful, the world would be better served with it being gone, but this law doesn't actually do that so it's moot.

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  • Donkey KongDonkey Kong Warning: Donkey Kong is not a real doctor Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Preacher wrote: »
    I fully support the idea behind the ban, that Islam is a backward religion and the practitioners thereof need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty first century wherever possible, but I don't think banning the burqa actually does that, as women in fundamentalist households now simply can't go outside without risking severe physical retaliation by male family members.

    So yea, it doesn't solve anything or improve anyone's situation, no point to it.

    Not that you're going to make a broad statement about a religion or anything.

    Christianity is no better, it's just less misogynistic because society has forced it to be and people pick and chose parts of the bible they like and ignore the others.

    Most people do the same with Islam, to be fair.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Can this not turn into a "religion sucks" thread?

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  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    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?

    An important note along these lines: the fine for women in the French law is small, to the tune of ~150 EUR, plus counseling. The fine for fathers or husbands who force their daughters or wives to wear headcoverings is up to a cool 60,000 EUR.

    Which strikes me as appropriate, but the problem would be the difficulty of prosecuting the latter provision.
    The thing is, this really gets to the heart of the matter - this law isn't about the women wearing the burqa, it's about the men involved. At some point, your right to exercise religious freedom is going to be constrained by the woman's right to not be abused. Whether you draw that line at burqas or FLDS style polygamy with 12 year olds depends on how abusive you think the practices are.

    However, this law is rediculous - if the French society has decided that burqas are universally abusive and intent is to punish men for abusing women by forcing them to wear burqas, then punish the men who force women to wear burqas, not the women for being abused. And if the simple act of wearing a burqa is not enough to prove abuse, then don't punish women across the board just for wearing one.

    Also, a powerful legal entity telling a vulnerable population what to do or face the consequences because they know better what's Good For You is not 'empowerment'; it's the exact opposite.

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  • SenjutsuSenjutsu fiddy too Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Julius wrote: »
    So it's the same in one way? Is it the same in any other ways?

    Because I sure as hell don't believe that outlawing a piece of clothing that is basically misogynistic, religious oppression and forcing it on people are the same thing in any meaningful way.

    I mean sure it's a restriction on clothing but what the hell does that matter? We put restrictions on that shit all the time.

    I think it's basically misogynistic when we take it upon ourselves to decide for women what they may and may not do with themselves.

    I'm not sure what it is you think you're arguing, here. It is disagreeable when we decide that women must do something, and it is equally disagreeable to decide they must not. If women are being forced to do something they do not wish to do, fining those women for doing it does not address the actual problem (women being coerced into doing something), it merely victimizes the victimized while infringing on the right of women who are not being coerced to make decisions about themselves and what they will and will not do.

    I am not aware of any other restrictions that we "put on that shit all the time" that are at all equivalent.

    Sarksus wrote: »
    I'm gonna get a PhD in incest.
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Preacher wrote: »
    I fully support the idea behind the ban, that Islam is a backward religion and the practitioners thereof need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty first century wherever possible, but I don't think banning the burqa actually does that, as women in fundamentalist households now simply can't go outside without risking severe physical retaliation by male family members.

    So yea, it doesn't solve anything or improve anyone's situation, no point to it.

    Not that you're going to make a broad statement about a religion or anything.

    Christianity is no better, it's just less misogynistic because society has forced it to be and people pick and chose parts of the bible they like and ignore the others.
    The Amish probably make up a greater percentage of the USA than burqa wearers make up of France.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amish
    Assuming 200k in the USA, that comes out to about 0.06 percent of the US population.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Korlash wrote: »
    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...
    Because I was accused of being a racist for saying that I didn't really see the burqa ban as all that big of a deal,and I wanted to point out that you could also be painted as a racist for being anti-genital-mutilation.
    Korlash wrote: »
    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...
    The day a major world religion starts forcing their women to wear sombreros if they don't want to be raped or stoned to death, and the sombrero becomes a way of preventing a woman from functioning in modern society, I'll start putting that on the same level as a burqa, too.

    Korlash wrote: »
    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.
    Yeah, I'm inclined to agree with you here, other than I think the international community should spend less time disapproving of France, and more time disapproving of Saudi Arabia.

    I think I've done a poor job of expressing myself, here: I don't think there should be a burqa ban, but I don't think burqas are a good thing at all. I think burqas are an incredibly evil thing. But the reaction I got when I posted in chat wasn't like "oh, yeah, they probably shouldn't do that, it's a violation of religious freedom." I was literally called a racist and a Fox News talking head. And I didn't even say it was a good thing, I just said I didn't really have that much of a problem with it, and saw it as pretty much a wash (the gain in egalitarianism making up for the loss in religious freedom).

    It's not that I don't think this is a violation of free speech (because it totally is); I just don't see it as a violation on the level of banning the Koran, it's a violation on the level of banning the swastika or cross-burning.

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    On the 'fining victims' point - since I did introduce the point, I do wish to emphasize that I recognize that trying to prevent the enforcers of this particular social pressure from acting is likely hopeless. KalTorak made the point here -
    KalTorak wrote: »
    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.

    [...]

    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.

    Which brings me back to the top quote - insofar as the point is to engineer social change, it would yes fuck over people who are already victims and fail to prosecute a lot of people who are at fault, and there is little that can be improved upon that - the goal should be to engineer the change quickly, establish a new status quo, and then lift the restriction.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    There is the fact that most European nations think we're a bit crazy for our whole "free speech" thing.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    But there is no real analog between the head coverings and the swastika. Its just a silly comparison.

    sig.jpg
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    So it's the same in one way? Is it the same in any other ways?

    Because I sure as hell don't believe that outlawing a piece of clothing that is basically misogynistic, religious oppression and forcing it on people are the same thing in any meaningful way.

    I mean sure it's a restriction on clothing but what the hell does that matter? We put restrictions on that shit all the time.

    I think it's basically misogynistic when we take it upon ourselves to decide for women what they may and may not do with themselves.

    I'm not sure what it is you think you're arguing, here. It is disagreeable when we decide that women must do something, and it is equally disagreeable to decide they must not. If women are being forced to do something they do not wish to do, fining those women for doing it does not address the actual problem (women being coerced into doing something), it merely victimizes the victimized while infringing on the right of women who are not being coerced to make decisions about themselves and what they will and will not do.

    I am not aware of any other restrictions that we "put on that shit all the time" that are at all equivalent.

    I can, but I don't want to mess up the thread with more strained analogies.

    We can do the cost:benefits analysis for other areas where sexism and gender roles might lead us to legislate one way or another (prostitution, polygamy, BDSM, pornography, etc.). Each of these areas involve a situation where adults are doing something in their sexual relationships that is kind of weird and may be a marker for abuse. The basic calculus is the same: how much harm is actually being done, will the law prevent that harm, will the law cause other harm?

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Because I was accused of being a racist for saying that I didn't really see the burqa ban as all that big of a deal,and I wanted to point out that you could also be painted as a racist for being anti-genital-mutilation.

    The difference is that genital mutilation is objectively harmful, while wearing a head covering is only harmful given certain assumptions about the marriages of those who wear them.

    Edit: I'm going to do the annoying thing and quote myself because I was botped.
    Feral wrote: »
    We can do the cost:benefits analysis for other areas where sexism and gender roles might lead us to legislate one way or another (prostitution, polygamy, BDSM, pornography, etc.). Each of these areas involve a situation where adults are doing something in their sexual relationships that is kind of weird and may be a marker for abuse. The basic calculus is the same: how much harm is actually being done, will the law prevent that harm, will the law cause other harm?

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    It's not like fundamentalist women are the only ones who wear burqas. If a women chooses to wear it, well, why shouldn't she?

    And if she feels forced to wear it due to the culture she lives in, will banning the burqa improve the culture? Or will the men whom she apparently feels bound to obey just tell her to stay home so that no one will see her? Probably the latter. Or she will go without out it in public but feel anxiety and stress--yes, experiencing psychological damage.

    Some fundie Christian communities make all the women in their community wear dresses, yet I am 100% certain that banning dresses is not the appropriate response.

    The whole thing reminds me of Japanese-Americans being jailed during WWII "for their own protection." Don't worry, you backwards brown-skinned Muslim people! France will save you from yourselves!

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    But there is no real analog between the head coverings and the swastika. Its just a silly comparison.
    I guess it's closer to the gold stars and pink triangles Jews and gay people were forced to wear in Nazi Germany.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    All the ban does is restrict free speech of those who make a choice, and keep the people that are actually suffering from oppression inside, and away from public awareness.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    But there is no real analog between the head coverings and the swastika. Its just a silly comparison.
    I guess it's closer to the gold stars and pink triangles Jews and gay people were forced to wear in Nazi Germany.

    Maybe if jews started putting gold stars on their clothes voluntarily as part of their faith....

    sig.jpg
  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    KalTorak wrote: »
    There is the fact that most European nations think we're a bit crazy for our whole "free speech" thing.
    Post Citizens United it's kind of hard to argue with them there; we do take it too far sometimes. But this isn't really one of those times - it's infringing on expression and religion, and does so for no actual benefit to society.

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