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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

But There are Surgeons in Riyadh Who Dress Like This!

Smurfistan No, this isn't Smurfistan's Olympic swimming champion. This is an unidentified Muslim girl about to dive. I don't know whether this girl is in Saudi Arabia or Canada or parts in between. The picture accompanied this story about Muslim girls playing sports while maintaining "modesty." (H/T, the Manolo.) The article features an interview with Tayyibah Taylor, editor-in-chief of Azizah Magazine, a publication geared toward Muslim-American women.

"The idea is that your modesty in dress and behavior is a passport to public space," Taylor said. "It makes the statement that a Muslim woman's body is not a part of the public conversation."

Right. Because if a girl wears a swimsuit like the one above, it won't become part of the conversation. Not to mention that people's bodies are always part of the public conversation: Fat, thin, male, female, covered, uncovered, it matters not. As for the "passport to public space," hmm...I like to think my passport to public space is that I am a human being who makes up part of the public.
I believe that in our (Western, more or less secular) society, a woman should be free to dress however she pleases. Veil? Burqa? Knock yourselves out. The problem, of course, is exactly how much choice is involved when women dress this way. And the, "it's not about oppressing women, it's about modesty," argument has always irked me. Clearly, it's about oppressing women. Saying that women should cover everything but their hands, feet and face is about anything other than that, is like saying that going on a diet is not about losing weight. One can be "modest" without being covered up. There is a happy medium between chadors and thongs.
Regular readers of this blog, and of my articles, know that I used to live in Turkey. At the time (mid-90s), my students were disturbed at the rise in fundamentalism in their quite secular country. Women that they mischievously referred to as "grim reapers" (full-on black burqas) were evident, numbers growing. My female students, in particular, were concerned. And trust me, they weren't concerned because they were afraid they would be forced into "modesty." They were concerned for their personal freedom. (I have stayed in touch with some of them, most of whom have left Turkey to study in the U.K., France and the U.S.)
On a related note, take a look at this posting from the Spirit of Man. Now, I'm glad to see those Iranian girls playing soccer. As well, it is a positive thing that the girl pictured above is competing in sports. But seeing the German team all covered up makes me wonder how long it will be until female sports teams in Western nations will be asked to wear headscarves and long pants so as not to "offend" the visiting team. Or how long it will be until we allow Muslim girls on a Western team to not wear the accepted uniform, because they want to be "modest." In the past few months we have shown (think cartoons) a hasty willingness to surrender our civilization to thugs and theocrats. I'm not confident it isn't going to get worse before it gets better (and it has to get better).

Cross-posted at Wonkitties.

Posted by wonkitties on May 2, 2006 in Sports | Permalink


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Muslim women dress like that to hide their hairy bodies. No wonder their men are insane.

Posted by: Duke | 2006-05-02 9:58:01 AM

Except for the 72 virgins.

Since they're all 300 pounds, they wouldn't be able to fit into a slinly outfit like that.

Some Egyptian blogs say Egyptian women are hot.

Yeah, baby.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-05-02 10:10:31 AM

The best looking woman i've ever seen in my life was an Afghani. True story. So the reason the make them cover may be because the men (who are some of the ugliest people on earth) worry that their women would all get scooped by foreigners who are clearly have more to offer.

Posted by: WinnipegLibertarian | 2006-05-02 10:16:39 AM

I can't believe my eyes! I used to be a competitive swimmer long ago and we had to choose the right bathing suit in order to go faster. I mean this outfit is totally insane for a swimmer.
anne campagna

Posted by: anne campagna | 2006-05-02 11:13:13 AM

Freedom for Iranian people NOW

Posted by: Maziar | 2006-05-02 1:06:29 PM

If we are afraid that our choices will be removed, I can understand the interest, but I don't find the 'suits' themselves offensive.

Many women in sport could stand a little more covering up. I sometimes wonder which man made up their costumes.

I suspect that there are some women who are grateful for the costume, as they are more comfortable dressing modestly. That 'idea' in itself shouldn't be our concern. The concern should not be (necessarily) what the restrictive beliefs of Islam are, but that one of the beliefs is that there is no freedom to choose religion.

Posted by: lwestin | 2006-05-02 1:34:13 PM

The smurphette dress code is put in place so that the Islamic male's mind will not be corrupted by thinking about the beauty of the female form, and will instead remain undefiled, and thus undeterred from focussing on kidnappings, suicide, and murder.

Posted by: DCM | 2006-05-02 2:33:22 PM

Muslim women are naked under their robes are they not? A pair of pants would seem more modest.

Posted by: infidel | 2006-05-02 2:37:48 PM

If thier dress code must be followed in order for a visiting team to compete there is choices.Either capitulate or not.We still have the freedom to choose.If they come here,they can do the same.I think watching a team of burqa-wearing women playing soccer would be quite amusing.

Posted by: wallyj | 2006-05-02 7:03:08 PM

How about this: For every muslim male I see drinking or in a strip bar, one female muslim gets to wear a two piece

Posted by: ward | 2006-05-03 12:14:09 AM

And that goes for the obnoxious group of drunken Egyptions who sat leering at the table behind me at the Moulin Rouge a couple of years ago. If they want to see titties so bad, why do they make their women cover up?


Posted by: RightGirl | 2006-05-03 8:16:36 AM

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