Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fashion Plates

For a good example of the lowbrow, parochial prattle that passes for conservative commentary too often these days, read this. The opiner is a "wee bit depressed," apparently, by the women's traditional attire, which to her seems to represent female oppression, or antiquity, or something like that. What she fails to note (or probably even notice) is that the photo was taken in that backward totalitarian theocracy known as...the United Arab Emirates (photo and full caption here).

One wonders whether this photo might prompt similar consternation in the Arab world about the plight of women in the West....


Anonymous gypsy howell said...

Perhaps Laura will recommend that we bomb, invade and occupy the UAE to relieve these women of their ruthless oppression.

Oh that's right. In THIS particular case, these people are our 'friends.'

10/25/2007 7:34 AM  
Blogger Grodge said...

KJ-Lo is the poster girl for the bloated excesses of the arrogant and profligate West.

Great post.

10/25/2007 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Kilfarsnar said...

I see such a lack of sophistication coming from the right wing. These are the same people who think we are the only ones who don't speak with an accent. They just can't understand that different cultures are, um, different, and that it's okay.

I think it springs from a black-and-white worldview and insecurity about one's place in it. If there is only right and wrong, and my culture is right, then other cultures must be wrong. Or, if others are finding happiness and success in their culture, then maybe my culture is wrong. That's where the insecurity and defensiveness kicks in.

There is just no space for "different"; that my way is okay and so is another person's. Both okay at the same time! What a concept! I suppose it is natural to fear what we don't understand or identify with. but it's not very sophisticated.

10/25/2007 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

Kilfarsnar, I'm afraid you misunderestimate them -- not only do they not "understand or identify with" cultural differences, but they believe any different culture is Wrong and Evil. (The Brits are OK, but they draw the line somewhere between England and France, apparently.)

I posted about this before here, at the bottom of this entry:

> It starts from the presumption that American-style government, commerce, and quasi-Protestant Christian culture/religion are The Correct Answer for the entire rest of the world to emulate. As proven by our superpower status. Therefore the American System "deserves" to spread all over the world and replace all the other millenia-old cultures that exist in foreign lands, i.e., conquer, hopefully peacefully, but if violence is necessary, it's worth the cost, because we're only going to raise the standard of living of these foreign primitives.

> But Christian America is being prevented from achieving its true and righteous destiny by dastardly evil forces who are anti-progress and wish to harm Americans, and everyone else in the world (by preventing them from sharing in the inevitable paradise of the American system), simply because of their close relationship to Satan. Godless liberals at home, fickle allies such as the French, and heathen barbaric terrorists abroad.

> ...But every atrocity that Americans commit, well, we were forced into it in order to defend Mom and Apple Pie in a dangerous world --

> ...So every atrocity Americans commit is only further proof of how evil and depraved our enemies are!

> Because if these people would simply lay down their arms and accept their inevitable and holy destiny at our hands, why, we would never commit any atrocities at all, and paradise for everyone would be just around the corner.

...if you think I'm exaggerating, well, I'd like you to meet my conservative relatives.

10/25/2007 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

I was more struck by the expression on Mrs. Bush's face in that photo than anything else. It's just odd. That's all.

I don't pick on Mrs. Bush often. Just because her husband is a sociopath is no reason to riff on her, IMO. There's just something very...strained in her expression.

And Thomas Daulton, yes. I was expecting reams of columns telling Doris Lessing how dare she say 9/11 wasn't the worst thing to happen in the history of mankind, but then I realized most of these people have no idea who she is.

10/25/2007 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anne said...

I respectfully disagree. Facial expression is an important part of humn communication, and full face covering is, I believe, inherently isolating.

I teach at a community college with many muslim students. Ten years ago, about half of the Muslim women wore western clothes, and the other half hijab (covering the hair but not the face). Today, none wear wester clothes, 90-95% wear hijab, and 5-10% niquab like the ladies with Laura Bush (covering the face with a slit to allow vision). I have noticed that those wearing niquab seldom speak in class or in lab unless I virtually force them to.

Of course, correlation does not show cause, but I am quite sure that niquab is at least correlated with a degree of isolation.

There is also medical evidence that niquab causes health problems. Human beings evolved in an environment where exposure to sunlight was a given. (Modern housing may be an exacerbating factor- in traditional Arab societies houses had courtyards, and women did not veil in the family compound. If you live in a modern apartment, and observe Niquab, you may get no sunlight at all.)

10/25/2007 6:30 PM  
Blogger Brian Kastel said...

Wow that photo of J. Lo is depressing.

10/26/2007 11:29 PM  
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