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18 February 2007

Comments

Osman

I keep seeing stories like this. It seems that the press are quite keen on them.

Ted

You're correct that the Mail headline incorrectly identifies the reason for the complaint.

I don't understand this bit - "According to Islam, women are forbidden from exposing their bodies to any man but their husband." Are Muslim women swimmin' nekkid in the council pools?

Osama

Haha, by way of example those that wear the headscarf would regard exposing their hair outside immediate family members e.g. father, brother, husband as not allowed. So it's not about exposing ALL the body, it's about parts of the body. Nakedness means different things to different people.

aineliva

Osama, "Nakedness means different things to different people." Not sure that I agree there, and wonder if you are operating from the widely held notion that all is permissible in "western culture".

Osama as a teenager, I was severely remonstrated by the nuns at my school for being out on a hot June day wearing a top whose sleeves skimmed my elbows. I have always preferred to see a female doctor, purely for the reason that any discussion about the personal and private (my body, and that would include my physicality as well as my emotions, are easier to dicuss with another woman.

Do not mistake the commodification of the body by mostly greedy and lustful men, as a sign that women who are not necessarily religious, are happy to be seen walking down the high street or froliking in public swimming pools without a screed of clothing.

And believe me, I have been at the local swimming pool when some women and men come in wearing pieces of fabric, that if they actually paid money for this designer stuff, then they were robbed.

It is not the female body in itself that is a danger to anyone, it's mostly in the minds of men; and the minds of men where most of the dangers of this world lie. Because it is always about making a buck.

Sohaib

Aine, that is all interesting (no sarcasm there), but I don't see how it contradicts Osama's view that "Nakedness means different things to different people." It means something different to you (and those who feel similarly) than to other women in this society who feel differently.

Sohaib

Aine, that is all interesting (no sarcasm there), but I don't see how it contradicts Osama's view that "Nakedness means different things to different people." It means something different to you (and those who feel similarly) than to other women in this society who feel differently.

aineliva

Sohaib, no sarcasm taken. (So good you said it twice :-) )

Nakedness can mean different things to different people, however, there is dressing to accentuate sexuality, which is different and to my mind an unnecessary extreme.

And there is another extreme, to hide completely, because sight of a female ankle/elbow/face/hair could cause aneurysm in a male, or offence or what, I cannot imagine, that takes the definition of nakedness to another level. And nakedness in this context is again, and always a judgment directed at women. Now why is this?

Topically, and unfortunately a Pakistani woman government minister has been shot dead for not wearing a veil ( though it sounds like that was an excuse ) the real reason more likely that she was encouraging women's rights in her country.

However, was her bare head considered naked? To whom did she cause offence? And death, it appears was the only option because she had the temerity, as a woman, methinks, to go against the prevalent attitudes and make choices for herself. The message here obviously is, dare as a woman to take power over your own destiny and you will be killed.

Now, strangely enough that is a message that I have personally never discovered in the holy texts of any religion I know. It is mostly a societal and male attitude. And is about power and control.

I don't believe that her naked head was the reason, I believe that her most fearsome aspect was her taking power over her own life and encouraging others to do so. And ask, to whom did she pose a threat in doing so?

I really don't think that women have to cover up or uncover; I think men have to begin to ask themselves some serious questions before judging anyone else by what they wear.

Nakedness is not the real issue. When men are subject to/and subjected to the same treatment as women, instead of setting themselves up as judge and jury on women, we will have that which is just, and not that which suits only a certain section of the population.

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