Monday, December 11, 2006

Moslem women

A little while ago among friends, we had a discussion about Moslem women and their clothing. We even had a gay Moslem man among us, but he did not offer an opinion.

It was a detailed discussion about the whole Moslem in Australia business and aside from the silent Moslem man, their was a Buddhist and a Hindu to offer their views, along with mostly WASPS and a catholic. No Jewish representation.

The general consensus was that if you come to a western country to live, then you adopt the country's ways, dress and language. By all means keep your traditional and religious clothing for your special days, but generally, you dress like as a westerner would, be it good or bad (don't let me start on the bad) (Ok, I will add this. If you are a moslem women and a anglo women says something to you about your head scarf, just say loudly, 'muffin')

But what really struck me was the real dislike of the Muslim letterbox women. That is the ones who cover up so that you can only see their eyes. Perhaps I suggested it, but all agreed, how can humans communicate with each other if they cannot see their face properly. We really depend on facial expression added to the words that we hear when talking to people. Even the lower form of our life, monkeys, chimps and apes depend on this. Just ain't natural.

Later edit: Just remembered that one of the Hindu bloke's boyfriend who was there too lives in Elsternwick. Add up two and two and I would guess he is Jewish.

6 comments:

  1. I have seen alot of these lately, the 'letterbox' and it just blows my mind.

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  2. i think, in australia of all places, they should be allowed to wear what they want.

    you can't deny it, australia is a multi-cultural country with a rich diversity. it's that diversity that makes australia so great

    you can't force people to change their views and beliefs. it is like trying to assimilate them into society against their will. look how that worked for aborigines

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  3. I'm not about telling anyone what they can wear. I am unsure why 'they' don't want to wear what 99% of Australians wear and yet expect to be embraced. Leaving the aborigines out, as they were conquered and had no say in it, what is wrong with assimilating into a society and becoming part of it without losing your own identity? I think it was only the original white arrivals that did not assimilate. Everyone else did up until recently.

    I think all my many workmates who were born overseas have assimilated very nicely into Australia (maybe there were a couple of exceptions many years ago). They still practice their religions and national celebrations but they love Australia. They chose to come here. They are Australian. They have chosen to be.

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  4. Anonymous5:22 pm

    Not everyone has chosen to live in Australia; many come as refugees or displaced people. Should they be forced to assimiliate in a culture not of their choosing? Many people suffer greatly before arriving in Australia, why should they be forced to suffer more? Does it really hurt mainstream Australian society if people wear different clothes? I believe clothing represents our identity as much as our ethnic/cultural/religious backgrounds do. The world is full of diversity - how about embracing it instead of insisting on uniformity?
    Andrew, think of it this way - if you were told you had to be straight because the majority of Australians are, would you? Could you? I know I couldn`t.
    Vik.

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  5. I hoped no one would mention refugees as they don't necessarily choose where they go and it rather does put a hole in my argument. It is really only the letterbox women I have trouble with and through a couple of pesonal experiences, I know what a raw deal Moslem women with Moslem husbands can receive. I do have issues with the argument that a Moslem women who exposes her flesh will encite men to goodness knows what. Men do a have a little self control at times, even Moslem men I would hope. And if they don't want to appear attractive, why do they pluck and shape their eyebrows?

    I think I have the runs on the board for living and working among diverstiy.

    If I wasn't able to be gay in my country, I would very grateful to whatever country would accept me and make an effort to fit into their society.

    The rest we will bash out over a chard in January. :)

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  6. Anonymous6:11 pm

    You should know by now I'm gonna put up a counter-argument - can't help myself!! :)

    I have a huge problem with women being forced to wear the burka or a headscarf, but if they choose to wear such items, I think they should be allowed to, irrespective of where they live. For me, it's a choice thing.

    Anyway, as you say, we can finish this discussion over a bottle (or two!) of chards. Looking forward to a stimulating debate! :)

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