Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Burqa's Insult

The burqa insults me. I as a man am insulted by the burqa because it attacks my character and gender, and implies that men cannot be trusted around women even modestly dressed, and therefore women need to be covered up almost completely. Many critics of the burqa have focused on the plight of the women having to wear it, even though Islam doesn't mandate it officially, but my take on the effect of the burqa is that it is just insulting to men as it is to women.

The forced submission of women to the will of men is partly because of men's fears of the desires of other men. Men stereotype themselves just as much as women do, often more. However, as a man I give more credit to our nature: we aren't always all about sex. I think that many men feel they have to live up to the image society has anointed them and behave like stereotypical sex-craved dogs in order to be "normal." This has the larger effect that is mostly in my mind, economically driven to get guys to spend more money on products designed to make them think they are more sexually attractive. I don't always agree with the excesses of capitalism, and I know that it often conflicts with many of the traditional ways of Islam. I do think that the answer to the problem concerning this money-driven, over-sexualization of our society, for both men and women is not Islamo or the burqa, but rather another more rational path that uses science and reason.

I can behave myself around women as can many men, who are modestly dressed, that is not having their head covered, or a sheet covering their full body. The burqa is going to far, plain and simple. It's overkill. I can understand that a woman provocatively dressed in some situations is inappropriate and that modesty is something that is needed, but the answer is not to cover our women with tarps. That would be like putting out a lite match with fire hose.

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