Friday, May 14, 2010

Outlawing the Burqa

Andrew Sullivan has drawn some interesting comments on the issue of outlawing the burqa. A couple of examples:

Last week I encountered a person in a burqa in my crowded suburban Baltimore supermarket. I hadn't realized how much of our public interactions require "feedback" of one sort or another. Even the minor "excuse me" requires some sort of feedback to properly "read" the other. When I moved closer, I was able to make eye contact and so complete the social dance. Ironically, this moving closer required me to invade her social space.

Is all this discomfort important enough to outlaw? Of course not. In time with more interactions like this it will become easier to read the other. I will become fluent in reading "Burqa". This is however a large problem if there is segregation like with Muslims in France. However can you become fluent enough in other cultures and so adapt to one another in the public space if you have no experience with one another?

Another:

Let me respectfully disagree with your views. The burqa has nothing to do with religious freedom or a woman's "choice" or any of that crap. It is a form of subjugation. It is a way to reinforce the notion that women are dangerous and that they belong to men. It says "you are allowed out of the house only if no one can see you. Only if you are invisible." It is akin to wearing chains.

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