Melbourne: The burqa vs the FMBs

(I assume this defintion of FMBs)

Brisbane Times, August 2007, John Birmingham

We met for lunch down in Melbourne, as you do ...

It was just outside the pub that we passed them. Three women in full burqas, with only the eyes showing.

Now, they were kinda swishy, blue burqas, about as stylish as it's possible to be, when you're wearing a two-man tent with a peephole, but it set off one of my old buds, Rachel, the hardest charging, most stupidly fearless of all my surf grrrl crew.

Long story short, Rachel has as many issues with the burqa as she does with, say, rapists. For her it's like the dark ages reached out down the years and smacked her in the face. Being confronted with a phalanx of burqas leaves her feeling little different to being confronted by a wall full of Penthouse or Hustler centrefolds. It's all about oppressing the chicks and it sends her into an insensate rage ...

So you can imagine how this scene played out.

There wasn't a lot of tolerance.

It made me think though. This is a debate you don't see very often. For a country that's raised such a healthy crop of arse-kicking feminists they seem kinda quiet on the position of women within the Muslim community ...

Me? I'm afraid I'm mostly with Rachel. I don't simply see the burqa as a jolly piece of ethnic costuming. Yeah, I can pay it as an individual statement of faith, but I also see it as a tool of oppression, something that goes well beyond an individual's choice - assuming of course they have a real choice in whether or not to wear it.

To be flippant for a moment - because, you know, I so rarely am - it's worth comparing the meaning of the burqa with the meaning of one of post modern do-me feminism's iconographic artefacts, the FMB.

There's nothing submissive about a woman donning FMBs. It is a loud and very public statement of her existence as a sexual being, but it is not an invitation to every drunken real estate salesman at the bar to feel her up, and it is most definitely not a rebuke to any other woman who chooses to wear, for instance, a sensible pair of comfortable hush puppies. The FMB is an individual choice of apparel that contains no message or meaning for anyone but the wearer and at the very most, the person or peeps she wore it for.

I'm willing to stand corrected, and doubtless will be in furious tones, but there seems inherent within the burqa an admonition to all women who do not wear it. To don the burqa is not a fashion statement. It's many things, but foremost amongst them there seems to be a moral component, a statement that women's very bodies are such powerful sexual totems that they must be hidden away, because men are ethically weak and frail and prey to animal urges they cannot possibly be expected to contain. This was the core of Hilaly's cat meat argument, a pathetic excuse that's had no standing as a defence against charges of sexual harassment or worse for a long time now. At least not in the modern world ...

My sentiments about the burqa exactly. Full marks for raising the issue and questioning the silence. But then, strangely, he says in the comments ...

JB: Well put Dennis, and to clarify, I specifically DONT support a burqa ban.

and ...

JB: In fact I've known plenty of mod Muslims. Lived with a couple over the years. Muslim chicks that is. Not particularly observant, in that they liked a drink and a root, but they identified as the big M anyway, and the thing I love about our country is that it protects their right to do so, while drinking and rooting up a storm.

There's that liberal attitude again. One wonders where he will draw the line with creeping Islamisation: if not the burqa, then what?

More: Brisbane Times


Birmo said...

'There's that liberal attitude again. One wonders where he will draw the line with creeping Islamisation: if not the burqa, then what?'

When they try to put a burqa on my chix. Then it gets bloody. Real bloody.

But not until then.

Abandon Skip said...

Ouch, that liberal last-minute line of defence. Just like we can't deport Haneef until we can legally tie him to blowing something up.

Cultural defence should start proactively way before it gets physical. Cultural rebellion happens visually, behaviourally and conceptually. But the liberals won't do anything about these rebellions until a crime is committed.

Meanwhile a potentially hostile culture is allowed to take root.

It's a brave move Birmo, Bruce Willis would be proud. But, personally, I much prefer a proactive solution. It's good that you raised the issue though.

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me."

Colonel Robert Neville said...

Dear Abandon Skip, Er, waiting until the last non burqua wearing helicopter leaves the Packer helipad surrounded by beheadings, mayhem and fire, eh? Good luck!

Um, the burqa is…horrible and no amount of fashionable Left/Liberal/Radical PC mental gymnastics, or betrayal of all our hard won and through blood in wars freedom, will change that.

The host country doesn't change to the immigrant but visa versa. Ignoring the previous and adopting the latter is what defines the nullity and vacuum of 'multiculturalism'. Re: the artificial maintaining and of separation as opposed to multi immigrant and societal cohesion.

Anyway, the burqua freak show and trailer for the coming nightmare attractions of Islamism, scares my Japanese wife and son.

Maybe because it looks like a hideous joke from a madhouse or a delirium or because it looks like Klatu from ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ in drag. All the best.

Colonel Robert Neville said...

Dear sports, the last post was in reply to Birmo and not a direct attack or anything on him, just that well, I don't support the burqua.

I mean why? What does Australia gain exactly? Only another step to social atomisation and cultural relativism. All the best and hope I wasn't out of line with the crack about Klatu Chief!

Abandon Skip said...

Not out of line, Birmo is a big boy, he can take it. I think Birmo speaks for a lot of people.

The burqa is but one part of a big problem and there are few articulating a clear way forward. It's quite a shock for the West to wake up and find burqa fashion.

The West is on it's own channel with bum crack and FMBs and to be confronted with burqas, well, I think we're all still in shock.

Even if we start banning the burqa and trying to put the clamps on islam, we just end up like Turkey: beaten eaten by demographics, and lack of sustained resolve, and ending up with burqas eventually. So maybe it is better to let them wear burqas until the west fully comprehends the totality of the problem.

So it's a major challenge to the psyche of westerners how to deal with this walking rejection of our freedoms.