Yesterday, I quickly threw up a post about how Saudi Arabi is trying to pass a law that women in Saudi to cover their eyes….Check it out on The Daily Beast.
My thoughts about this are endless — I find my self in a tizzy about the idea of extremes. In other words, I don’t think we can dictate what other cultures perceive as empowerment. Shrouding – wearing a hijab – may be understood by the Western Feminist as oppression, but it is not always understood by the wearer a source oppression. Let me give you two popular culture references to the opposing opinion. First, an old episode of Jack and Bobbie, which btw was a really good show – you should check it out. In this episode Christine Lahti’s character tears into a Muslim girl’s identity and belief in God as unevolved, uneducated and oppressed. The girl, Hebba responds that wearing a Hijab is part of her ‘liberation’ – fast forward to the second minute to see Hebba’s argument:
Secondly, look at this cartoon:
Clearly – this cartoon about the western feminist perspective’s failure to understand a Muslim woman’s desire to wear a hijab. So, my point is – I get the complexity here – the idea that there are women who wear a hijab and still maintain a sense of empowerment and who am I to tell them that they are wrong – that my kind of empowerment is the only kind? And furthermore, I tend to think that we have to – absolutely must – allow for “choice.”
… but I also recognize extremes – which often result from choices that are made in an uneducated, abusive or oppressed context – I think that porn stars often fall into this category and so can women who are illiterate or uneducated and completely shrouded -or women who are subjected to female castration without a genuine understanding of the consequences. In my gut I feel that this cannot be a state of empowerment because it represents a fanatic extreme that is based on a patriarchal of kyriarchal state. Does it look like empowerment to you?
Still – it’s complicated right — more complicated than we originally think. It is so easy to fall into the trap of seeing your perspective as the right one – but this of course is the flaw of colonialism and conversion – which if you ask me have been at the root of most major atrocities. And yet — I find myself asking once again…
WTF – What constitutes tempting eyes?