Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


A series on an American woman who chose to wear a Saudi style veil, apparantly so she could write a 4-part series complaining about the experience, and particularly complaining that women who veil should be discriminated against more.

*sigh* If she'd bothered to, you know, try asking someone who covers, Muslim or not, we could have told her a little about it, and far less of it would come as a surprise. (Such as: most people in a grocery are not going to even look at what you're wearing. They're there to get their cornflakes, baking soda, and tomato soup and couldn't possibly care less.) Heck, half of her complaints had to do with not knowing anybody (or asking anybody) who actually wears a covering on a regular basis. And most of the rest seemed to be that nobody actually hassled her, though some people *did* whisper about her at her gym.


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Blogger Little Black Car said...

Wait--what does she mean "The sight of fully veiled women has become disturbingly familiar in shopping malls, airport lounges and Muslim neighbourhoods across North America." "DISTURBINGLY familiar"??

"Disturbingly familiar" as in, "The prevalence of brain-sucking zombies in suburban kindergartens has become disturbingly familiar . . . " or "The inanity of writings by paid bloggers has become disturbingly familiar . . ."?

And this remarkable example of urban provincialism appears to work from Tysons Corner, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., which ought to be one of the most diverse regions of the United States. What, does she live under a rock?

And she could pay for the privilege of being weirded out by it all with PayPal!! Like . . . you can buy Amish clothing with PayPal, too. No, don't tell her that; she might embark on another experiment.

Although I do think it's funny that the Pakistani guy told her she looked like Zorro. I think her real problem is that she is too focused on Muslim women as articles of clothing and not on Muslim women as human beings.

1/04/2008 1:20 PM  
Blogger Little Black Car said...

Okay, sorry to bogart the comment department here, but this is just hateful: "And yet, what the Klan outfit represents to someone of African-American descent is exactly what the burka should represent to every free woman."

First of all, she's wrong.

And second, Who is she to say? After one week in a garment she clearly didn't know how to handle--try a hoopskirt next time, dear; I assure you the abaya is a walk in the park--and completely out of context, in the sense that she made no apparent attempts to network with Muslim women, abaya-wearing or not, or to learn (or at least to divulge to her readers) anything about the significance of the garment from any perspective other than that of a cynical and prejudiced outsider.

1/04/2008 1:52 PM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

I think the real problem is exactly what you said in your first comment: seeing a garment, rather than seeing a person. Last night, I attended an astronomy lecture and arrived a little late, so I sat at the back. A little ahead of me sat a family with 3 children. The parents and the oldest child all seemed interested in the lecture. The middle child seemed very, very bored, but comforted herself by sitting on her mom's lap, and the youngest paid absolutely no attention to the speaker, but stared with bright attention at all the different people in the audience.

Eventually, they gathered their coats and went home. I could not help but think of the different reactions that this woman would have had to the family, depending on how the mother was dressed. Had she been dressed in "business casual" - perhaps a pair of dockers and a coordinated sweater, the reaction would undoubtedly have been positive. As she was dressed, however, in a veil with face covering, I thought sadly that that would be likely all that would be noticed by this blogger.

My main reaction was to think about my own childhood which included many such scenes.

1/06/2008 9:26 AM  

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