May 1st, 2012
Source: The Huffington Post
Comments posted today:
"To us, it is deeply troubling to be patronized by a person who insists the hijab is never a choice made of free will."
This is from the 77 Feminists response. You didn’t say that. You said it was debatable. These feminists, and now The Feminist Wire (to their eternal shame) are trying to ban debate. You are right, it is wholly legitimate to discuss the ethics and underlying motivation for wearing the hijab in the same way as these feminists, I am sure, debate miniskirts and breast implants. It is pure cultural relativism in which, yes, race trumps gender.
Cultural relativism makes me furious, it allows otherwise sensible people to fail to see the glaringly obvious. It seems to me an extraordinary idea that women would freely choose to wear the hijab, in the same way that it is ridiculous to imagine that women freely choose to wear stiletto heels. Both are the products of countless generations of male-dominated society. How to unthread sexism from the fabric of our society today is a subject well worth debating.
Adele keep speaking your truth and never be cowed into silence by the vitriol of those who would deny humanity’s progress so that they may abide in the comfort of a status quo that elevates their rights above those of others
Thank you for your comments. What concerns me the most in this debate, aside from the horrendous cultural relativism, is the privileging of ’race’ above ’gender’. How racism is now generally deemed a far worse crime than sexism among even so called left-wing, liberal men and women. The fact that ’one million hijabs’ was seen as appropriate and on a par with the hoodie, demonstrates how anti-racist discourse (particularly in North America) is now perpetuating and supporting patriarchal values and culture. I have written another article on this issue about how derogatory racist language is considered to be more offensive than derogatory sexist language: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/01/reclaiming-words-adele-wilde-blavatsky/
Adele Wilde-Blavatsky is that rare breed of writer who sticks to their story: damn the torpedoes. She’s vilified for speaking up for women around the globe, and dropped by her publication (TFW) apparently for being excellent. This is but another clash in the gender wars which have raged since men and women crawled out of the swamp. Does God/Yahweh/Allah really care what clothing you’ve got on? If I remember correctly, He/She sent all of us here naked - a clear sign that the Creator isn’t picky about having us covered in cloth from head to toe. It is religious leaders and societal czars who’ve added requirements like veils and ashes on your forehead to our cultural matrix - demanding that the faithful align precisely with their edits or face condemnation and expulsion. Pish posh. I maintain my own relationship with the Spirit, unwilling to ever again abdicate my faith to the hands of another soul. It is my conscience which dictates appropriate dress; my dialogue with God, one-on-one, that compels me to treat women as equals (or better) with me, a man. Unfortunately, many world citizens aren’t in a safe place where they can rebel against the tyranny of patriarchy. I wouldn’t die so I didn’t have to wear a certain thing: neither will most others. But changes are coming, regardless, and people like Wilde-Blavatsky are the reason.
The basic premise of multiculturalism is that people of different cultures can live together in peace and harmony as long as they are tolerant of each other’s belief systems.
Political correctness has prevented us for decades from raising this question:
’’What about situations when value systems of traditional culture are in conflict with modern concepts of human rights?’’
In the contemporary world there is now a global confrontation taking place between Moderns with their conception of human rights based upon their ethics and laws, and Premoderns with their conceptions based upon tradition, custom and religious prescription.
There is no easy solution to this confrontation. However, we Moderns in the West, we should be sure of two things.
Firstly, we have the right to say what we want about the conduct of others regardless of who or where they are. This is part of the global discourse to advance humanity.
Secondly, we must develop ways and means to enforce conformity to modern standards from those Premoderns in our midst. There are those who support religious education of the most conservative kind in all major faiths.
This situation is rife with emotion and crosses over into issues concerning migration, racism and minority rights. However, there is a struggle between two forms of civilisation taking place. One is based upon traditions of subordination and obedience. The other is based upon laws and individual consent.
The present Conservative Government is on many issues in social policy and education moving towards Premodern positions.