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Babies & Burkhas
July 23, 2007 3:38 AM   Subscribe

A never-before-seen look inside a hospital in the Middle East. Yemen is a country where women have an average of 7.9 children compared to 2.7 in the rest of the world. This disparity might have something to do with a culture that censures contraception and allows marriages to be consummated when the bride is as young as nine years old. VICE gains exclusive access to a Yemeni hospital maternity unit...
posted by domdom (73 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is no doubt a subject worthy of attention, but I must say this particular blog post is pretty thin: it consist of 4 photos and very minimal commentary. It would appear there's a "part 2" on the way, but with this vey scanty amount of material currently up you'd think they would've gone ahead and posted it all at once. Perhaps this VICE site assumes an extremely short attention span on the part of its readers.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:00 AM on July 23, 2007


there is a part 2 with some crazy pictures here:
http://www.viceland.com/int/v14n7/htdocs/yemenid.php?country=uk
posted by domdom at 4:04 AM on July 23, 2007


Demographics of Yemen
posted by mdonley at 4:22 AM on July 23, 2007


lol islamo-fascists. If we don't fight them in Iraq they'll chase us "back here" and impose on us their "culture that censures contraception and allows marriages to be consummated when the bride is as young as nine years old."

And no, it's not worthy of attention. It's their culture, their country, if they want to live in the 9th century LET THEM.
posted by three blind mice at 4:22 AM on July 23, 2007


Attention can probably be paid to other humans without it being a prelude to a "bomb them" / "do not bomb them" decision.
posted by ~ at 4:49 AM on July 23, 2007 [7 favorites]


And no, it's not worthy of attention. It's their culture, their country, if they want to live in the 9th century LET THEM.

You say that as if by "attention" I am insinuating "intervention" or "involvement" or some such. And yes, inasmuch as I have no plans to go to Yemen to try to stop them from doing whatever they're doing, I indeed plan to LET THEM keep doing what they're doing. That doesn't mean I don't find this a subject of INTEREST. Worthy of ATTENTION. Perhaps you should consult your dictionary from time to time to ascertain the actual meaning of words rather than presume that those who use those words are saying something that they're actually not. At any rate, don't presume to tell me what is and isn't worthy of MY attention.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:52 AM on July 23, 2007


And had I previewed before posting that comment, I would've included:

"what ~ said."
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:54 AM on July 23, 2007


Would it be accurate to say that the baby boys born in those pics instantly have more social standing than the women who gave birth to them, just by virtue of being male?
posted by domdom at 5:01 AM on July 23, 2007


...if they want to live in the 9th century LET THEM.

As long as everyone is given this choice, sure. But will a Yemeni travel agent sell a woman a plane ticket to reality?
posted by DU at 5:05 AM on July 23, 2007


It's their culture, their country, if they want to live in the 9th century LET THEM.

"It's their culture, it's their country, if women want to only vaguely be persons and children want to be raped by adults LET THEM."

Fucking relativists.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:06 AM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


And no, it's not worthy of attention. It's their culture, their country, if they want to live in the 9th century LET THEM.

Top prize for stupid quote of the day?
posted by liquorice at 5:15 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


Man, Vice has been knocking it out of the park lately.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 5:21 AM on July 23, 2007


Hmm. To me, the article promises a lot and is then brief & devoid and content. Seems like standard Vice to me. Titillating, but then kind of disappointing.
posted by ~ at 5:33 AM on July 23, 2007


Yes, we must not impose our Cultural Imperialism on them.

So three bm, you endorse countries that practice female circumcision?
posted by Dagobert at 5:34 AM on July 23, 2007


(Feck. Devoid of content. Back to not posting for me!)
posted by ~ at 5:47 AM on July 23, 2007


It's their culture, their country, if they want to live in the 9th century LET THEM.
This presumes that we're speaking of consenting adults. And we're not.
posted by orange swan at 5:57 AM on July 23, 2007


you can see More Pics Here
posted by domdom at 5:58 AM on July 23, 2007


(Feck. Devoid of content. Back to not posting for me!)

I would say "devoid and content" is just as correct...devoid of real, VII or Magnum-worthy substance, but content with what they present. And I agree, Vice is generally long on promise and then short on deliver.

Still, interesting. Thanks for posting this.
posted by nevercalm at 6:22 AM on July 23, 2007


This presumes that we're speaking of consenting adults. And we're not.

This presumes that you have any say in the matter. And you don't.
posted by nevercalm at 6:25 AM on July 23, 2007


The comments on that site are shocking in their hatefulness.
posted by agregoli at 6:45 AM on July 23, 2007


The comments on that site are shocking in their hatefulness.

Unfortunately those sorts of comments are the norm rather than the exception on many a website out there. That's why I pretty much stick with MetaFilter when it comes to reading comments. That's why for me this place is, in the comments department especially, about the only game in town.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:49 AM on July 23, 2007


The internet is full of of shocking and hateful people.
posted by chunking express at 6:50 AM on July 23, 2007


Too much noise about the value of the post here. If you don't like it don't comment. Anyway, I have a question: Are the women, who appear to be in a mostly all-female environment, completely veiled because of the presence of the photographer? (Is the photog male?) Because I thought women in these cultures only had to be veiled if there's an unrelated man around. Anyone know about this?

I won't even get into the whole deal with veiling women, to avoid the inevitable cultural imperialist label. I'm sure they all love being oppressed and erased. (oops) Just wondering about the subtleties.
posted by nax at 6:58 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


Top prize for stupid quote of the day?

Day ain't over yet, liquorice! Quick, someone say something about about these women were "asking for it"!
posted by Greg Nog at 7:19 AM on July 23, 2007


Ah classic Vice. My favorite thing about Vice is that it adds unreliable narrator to the art of journalism, yet does so without the self-awareness of a less publication. I used to think it was just lazy, indie journalism to publish without doing their research or relying on unverified accounts, but somehow they manage to just make it work.
posted by geoff. at 7:32 AM on July 23, 2007


I don't think this post or any of the resulting commentary will stop the flood of professionally educated women to countries with Muslim governments.
posted by ewkpates at 7:46 AM on July 23, 2007


Decent article. I expected more text for some reason.

And this freaked my shit out : 23 per cent of women in rural areas still perform vaginal cutting as a form of contraception.

I'm afraid to ask.....
posted by Afroblanco at 7:49 AM on July 23, 2007


I don't think this post or any of the resulting commentary will stop the flood of professionally educated women to countries with Muslim governments.

Care to explain?
posted by Afroblanco at 8:00 AM on July 23, 2007


Afro, I think ewkpates was being a little sarcastic. One of the problems with countries like these and issues like this is the lack of knowledge of any other way to do things....that's why education from outside countries is imperative if things are going to change. New ideas and expectations from different perspectives will bring change, slowly, very slowly, but surely.
posted by brneyedgrl at 8:25 AM on July 23, 2007


I agree that I expected more too, but it was still interesting. And anyone who says this isn't something we should be understanding of and educated eachother on? Well they apparently don't understand the importance of being an interested and involved citizen of the world and not just a self-absorbed citizen of their own backyard. I have to admit I find some of the comments in here are a little strange and worrisome. But, whatever. I'm too asleep right now to start up one of my patented long-winded "what I learned in the middle east/why we should always at least lift a finger to respectfully understand other cultures" comments. It's back to sleep for me. [Yawn]
posted by miss lynnster at 8:41 AM on July 23, 2007


So disgusting how they show the newborn baby without her burqua.
posted by b_thinky at 9:12 AM on July 23, 2007


Top prize for stupid quote of the day?

I was going to nominate this one:

Would it be accurate to say that the baby boys born in those pics instantly have more social standing than the women who gave birth to them, just by virtue of being male?

Although phrased as a (rhetorical?) question, the assumption here underlies a lot of Westerners' thinking about women in Islam. Although in the more hardline Islamic countries, women & men are assigned to separate private & public spheres respectively, this does not mean that women are necessarily devalued. It's just a different model of how the sexes should behave, and one that has been common in the West as well, perhaps as recently as the 1950s or 60s, elements of which persist to this day.

Contrary to the perceptions caused by relatively exceptional events like honour killings & public stonings, women are well respected in Islam, provided that they stick to their socially-sanctioned role (a concept largely anathema in the West). No better authority than the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) can be cited here:

Heaven lies under the feet of mothers
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:25 PM on July 23, 2007


I would suggest to those who are interested a good read: Guests of the Sheikh by Elizabeth Warnouk Fernea. I've always had a problem with the way the women of the Middle East are treated by men, but they have their own ways of dealing with it. It's a very insightful book about an American Woman's two years in a village in Iraq, and how she learned that these women have a power of their own over the men. Not saying it's right that they are covered from head to toe in the black abayah, missing out on some serious Vitamin D, etc., but interesting nonetheless. It was a page turner, and I grew to have a lor of respect for these women.
posted by WaterSprite at 4:48 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


ugh, where is the spell checker?
posted by WaterSprite at 4:48 PM on July 23, 2007


Although in the more hardline Islamic countries, women & men are assigned to separate private & public spheres respectively, this does not mean that women are necessarily devalued. It's just a different model of how the sexes should behave, and one that has been common in the West as well, perhaps as recently as the 1950s or 60s, elements of which persist to this day.

Yeah, structures which assign women to powerless, devalued positions and assign men to powerful, valued positions aren't misogynist or anything! They're just different! We have to respect that! It's not moral cowardice or anything!

I say again: Fucking relativists.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:37 PM on July 23, 2007


The stat that jumped out at me in mdonley's wiki link (above) was the final one on the page:
Literacy:
total population: 50.2%
male: 70.5%
female: 30% (2003 est.)
In poorer countries, gender disparity is not unusual, but that's a huge gap.
posted by rob511 at 6:05 PM on July 23, 2007


I have to say I find this photo extremely creepy. Never thought I'd see a midwife in a burqa. Also this one caused an involuntary "Gloves!WhereareyourGLOVES?!"

Oh and who would've thought that Vice Magazine would be able to give us a such a rare glimpse into the lives of pregnant women in Yemen. It seems to have evolved quite a bit from when I remember it.
posted by inoculatedcities at 6:13 PM on July 23, 2007


Pope Guilty: Yeah, structures which assign women to powerless, devalued positions and assign men to powerful, valued positions aren't misogynist or anything! They're just different! We have to respect that! It's not moral cowardice or anything!

I say again: Fucking relativists.


That depends on your definitions of "power" and "value".

Your definitions within your thought structure seem to relate only to the public sphere, which has been traditionally dominated by males throughout most societies, throughout history. In doing so, you yourself assign to the private (feminine) sphere a lack of power & value, which is an inherently misogynistic position.

In cultures with a strong emphasis on extended private family networks, you might just find that it's the women who rule the roost, with the men only maintaining a semblance of power in peripheral public pursuits like business & politics.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:17 PM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


This whole issue's pretty amazing, as usual.

Make sure you check out the Enrique Metinides stuff.
posted by fungible at 7:00 PM on July 23, 2007


It looks like the opening montage of Dead Like Me.
posted by stavrogin at 10:04 PM on July 23, 2007


Your definitions within your thought structure seem to relate only to the public sphere, which has been traditionally dominated by males throughout most societies, throughout history. In doing so, you yourself assign to the private (feminine) sphere a lack of power & value, which is an inherently misogynistic position.

In cultures with a strong emphasis on extended private family networks, you might just find that it's the women who rule the roost, with the men only maintaining a semblance of power in peripheral public pursuits like business & politics.


Go peddle your bullshit to the Arab feminists who have spent years being killed and persecuted. Go tell them that the private sphere is full of power and value.

Your apologetics for patriarchy would be sickening if there was even a hint of thought behind them.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:50 PM on July 23, 2007


Pope Guilty: Have you ever experienced a Muslim country first hand & spoken with the women & men there? Granted, it's not all perfect, but what is, especially if you quote the example of radical activists trying to disturb a strongly-held social system? There's going to be a backlash against that sort of activism from sections of society anywhere in the world.

In contrast to the Arab feminist positions that you refer to, I've heard many people in Islamic countries rail about how poorly women are treated in the West, what with all the rapes & child abuse & prostitution & divorces & so on, and how they're forced to conform to ridiculous standards of beauty just to compete with males in the public sphere, and are still not treated as equals, and moreover, are generally disrespected & marginalised if they choose to stick to the domestic sphere.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:15 PM on July 23, 2007


I don't need to visit burn wards to understand that full-body 3rd degree burns are a bad thing.

Teaching women to deny that rape, child abuse, and prostitution exist in their own society and to internalise the social conditioning that holds them in place is not a process of liberation. Conflating the two processes, however, is beneficial to patriarchy, and is certainly something that assists one in accepting multicultural relativistic asininity about respecting other cultures even when they fundamentally deny full personhood to all but the members of a particular sex/sexuality group.

That women aren't in a perfect position here doesn't make, say, Iran any less of an abomination.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:30 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Having seen your misleadingly vivid inductive fallacy, I'll raise you one: "I don't need to visit child addicts in pornography to understand that, um, child addicts in porn are a bad thing".

Teaching women to believe that systematic inequalities exist more everywhere else than in their own society and to internalise the social conditioning that holds them in place is not a process of liberation. Conflating the two processes, however, is beneficial to patriarchy, and is certainly something that assists one in accepting western hegemonic asininity about cultivating ignorant & patronising perceptions of other cultures even when they fundamentally deny full personhood to all but the members of a particular sex/sexuality group within their own.

That women aren't in a perfect position in Iran (often according to values that many of the women themselves reject) doesn't make, say, the situation in America or any other Western country any less of an abomination.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:49 PM on July 23, 2007


A couple months ago, I found the opportunity to ask a woman about her burkha. It was a typical day in the location, quite warm and humid. So, being very polite, I simply asked about the color, and whether it wasn't terribly hot.

She cheerfully explained that the fabric was very gauzy and all manner of air came right through, and she was comfortable.

Now, the lady in question was educated, and had just done me a professional favor. I can imagine her life fairly happy. Mind, she's not living in a Muslim country, rather, in South Africa. And she is a pharmacist, and had just given me some medication I needed w/o bothering over paperwork. Don't know whether she owned the place, but she certainly was, at that moment, the Person in Charge. (nothing sneaky, I just needed more anti-malaria pills than my home pharmacy had on hand).

Part of my point is: Don't judge a woman by her burkha.
posted by Goofyy at 4:31 AM on July 24, 2007


UbuRovias, where the fuck do you get the idea that I like our society? We live in a terribly sexist society. What do you take me for, a liberal?
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:57 AM on July 24, 2007


Actually, I take you for somebody who has never been to an Islamic society & seen it first-hand - especially not Iran, which is probably the most civil place I've ever been - and who regurgitates exceptional & sensational aspects of those societies in the same manner that people living there regurgitate Pamela & Tommy Lee in order to further their particular arguments.

(Not meaning to be particularly antagonistic, btw)
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:04 AM on July 24, 2007


I also never saw the antebellum South first hand. I suppose I can't claim that slavery was bad, then, since I don't have firsthand experience of it.

C'mon. You're making apologies for a country that kills homosexuals simply for existing and keeps women out of any place of actual power. Your arguments are nauseating. If that's what it takes to allow you to exist in such a society day to day without actually doing something, so be it, but please don't pretend you aren't providing cover for monsters.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:09 AM on July 24, 2007


Strange people are bringing up Iran, which has more women then men in universities currently, and fairly high literacy rates for the region if i'm not mistaken. There look to be no shortage of feminists in Iran. People in the West seem to assume all these middle eastern countries are interchangeable.
posted by chunking express at 6:27 AM on July 24, 2007


UbuRoivas, as an honest question: how similar are these societies? Is it valid for you to extrapolate from your experience in Iran to reach conclusions about Yemen? Are they like America and Canada, America and England, or America and some other place?
posted by jacalata at 6:27 AM on July 24, 2007


It is biased and unfair to claim that Yemen is the "middle east". Go to a hospital in Jordan and you can get a good diagnosis/treatment for the cost of a few lattes.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:47 AM on July 24, 2007


chunking express knows some facts, which is nice.

jacalata makes a good point, which i would extend by suggesting that countries like Indonesia & Malaysia should not be tarnished by the same brush that might apply to Saudi Arabia & Yemen. part of the problem is that people in the west seem to think of Islamic countries as identical, and tend to assume that - OMG! - some Paki in England killed his daughter so OMGEVILMUZZIES!

C'mon. You're making apologies for a country that kills homosexuals simply for existing

If you'd ever been to a hamam in Iran, you'd *know* that this is not the rule.

and keeps women out of any place of actual power.

That is simply not true. Iran has female judges & parliamentarians, for example. Not many, but probably not too different a gender gap to the United States, for example. And as chunking express points out, there are probably more women in higher education in Iran than in the US. Last time I checked, Iran also has a higher proportion of professional females than the US. Can you please repeat your point?


Your arguments are nauseating. If that's what it takes to allow you to exist in such a society day to day without actually doing something


I live in Australia & you have no idea what I do.

so be it, but please don't pretend you aren't providing cover for monsters.


No, I'm calling for people to know what they are talking about before resorting to media cliches. Speaking of cliches, doesn't America "rendition" and torture people outside of judicial supervision? Monstrousness is relative & charity begins at home.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:50 AM on July 24, 2007


I also never saw the antebellum South first hand. I suppose I can't claim that slavery was bad, then, since I don't have firsthand experience of it

(as a philosophy major, you *do* realise you are begging the question here, don't you?)

posted by UbuRoivas at 6:59 AM on July 24, 2007


oh, jacalata: i wasn't the one to bring up iran. i've never been to yemen, but to various other muslim countries (or countries with a large number of muslims), such as indonesia, malaysia, singapore, india, iran, turkey, syria, egypt, morocco & mali. yemen remains on the cards, though.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:08 AM on July 24, 2007


I too have been to some of those countries (plus other muslim majority nations) you listed, UbaRoivas, and it's awesome to know that even people with experience in these places can still come away so deluded.
posted by liquorice at 7:42 AM on July 24, 2007


care to explain that?
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:12 PM on July 24, 2007


You seem to be extrapolating from your own experiences in these countries, asking one woman about her view on her burka does not then cover the millions of others that are then forced to do so by law. That's the difference, that's the bottom line. I wouldn't give a flying fuck whatever they chose to do, so long as it was actually their choice. Harping on about the public sphere/private sphere is irrelevant when they’re unable to have any choice in the matter. You argue they wield the power in the private sphere and yet that is power that can be withdrawn at any moment. Statistics like there being more females in government in Iran cannot be used to argue the same point in Yemen. A country like India and a country like Singapore (mentioned on your lists) are very distinct in their own treatment of women and a population of muslims does not somehow unify them on this.

“women are well respected in Islam, provided that they stick to their socially-sanctioned role” pretty much says it all.
posted by liquorice at 5:13 PM on July 24, 2007


liquorice: I wasn't the one who told that story about one woman and her burqa.

What I originally responded to was the suggestion that the sons in the photos are automatically valued more than their mothers, by virtue of happening to be male. I countered that by asserting that women within Islam are actually accorded a high deal of worth and respect, provided that they do not transgress social norms of dress & behaviour (norms which, incidentally, apply to males as well - in their own way - and which exist also in the west - you can't walk around the city centre in a bikini, can you?). Note also that the dress codes tend to be for the public sphere only: hejab when out of doors, miniskirts & stillettos inside. True.

In particular, a lot of this value & respect derives from a conservative split between private=feminine realm & public=masculine realm, a split which existed until very recently in the west, and which continues to cast a heavy shadow over gender relations even today.

Even this split is itself not so clear-cut, as (with variations from country to country) women do, in fact, often hold important public positions. Pakistan, for example, had a female political leader long before America or Australia ever will.

Anyway, the point seems to have shifted from whether or not women are valued to whether or not they have freedom of choice in all matters, which is quite a different point. The western liberal-democratic model is to assert that all people have formal freedom, even if this actually belies a substantive lack of relative freedom. Personally, I think this myth causes all kinds of social problems, but that's a different story.

So where were we? Everybody on earth should follow the western model, because it's clearly the best? All people should be told that they are free to choose whatever they want to do? Clearly, that's a lie anywhere in the world. Women in Yemen are oppressed & should at least be raised up to the level of their sisters in less authoritarian Islamic states? I can potentially go with that, but I've yet to visit Yemen. Put it down as a tentative, but largely abstract position.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:26 PM on July 24, 2007


As unsettling as the photos are, I'm curious about health statistics in Yemen, overall. Infant and maternal death rates are disproportionate, but the population is disproportionate. What about overall life expectancy, and healthcare overall? Setting that information into context would say a whole lot more, but would likely (I'm guessing) be less sensationalist and far more simply sad.
posted by Dreama at 6:58 PM on July 24, 2007


UbaRovias, my mistake regarding the burqa comment.
posted by liquorice at 7:08 PM on July 24, 2007


Dreama: CIA to the rescue!

infant mortality rate is apparently the 48th worst in the world. life expectancy overall is quite reasonable.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:16 PM on July 24, 2007


Life expectancy isn't really all that reasonable if less than 3% of the population makes it to age 65. I mean, for developing nations it's not bad but it's horrible compared to the western world -- and thus we shouldn't try to frame the issue of maternity care and infant care compared to western numbers either. Frame Yemen against mid-African countries, central American or southern Asian nations, and then look at the numbers again.

The quality of life overall and healthcare overall is compromised, which shouldn't be surprising when we note that it's one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, is reliant upon foreign aid just to meet its budget, and awash in corruption and fiscal irresponsibility. This is not a nation that's going to have good healthcare or good health outcomes for the majority of its people, and that's reflected in the historically frangible area of maternal/infant care.
posted by Dreama at 8:18 PM on July 24, 2007


Life expectancy isn't really all that reasonable if less than 3% of the population makes it to age 65.

And yet, the average life expectancy at birth is around 62, compared with what? - about 70 for Australia? I have no idea how they calculate this, but if only 3% of current Yemenis are over 65, that suggests that the current crop of youngsters is expected to have it better. If there was a serious war or a famine in the past, that might explain why there are so few over 65. /derail
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:41 PM on July 24, 2007


(oh, almost 81 for Australia. 8th highest in world - heh)
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:45 PM on July 24, 2007


you can't walk around the city centre in a bikini, can you?).

Why not? Even if I did, I could expect not to be stoned for it, or some other ridiculous punishment.
posted by agregoli at 10:07 AM on July 25, 2007


how about putting it this way? if you walked around the city centre topless, you *could* expect to be charged with public indecency. muslims just set their standards for modest dress - for both men and women - higher than we do in the west.

and being stoned? granted, you might want to be stoned *before* setting out on your walk, but there's that inductive fallacy again (misleading vividness). it's not as if everybody who breaks the law is stoned to death, otherwise we'd be hearing a lot more about it (or, a lot less, the way the media work). stonings are likely more rare than the killing of retards & poor people in the US.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:43 PM on July 25, 2007


Shrug. I'm not afraid of being stoned, and that's my point.
posted by agregoli at 2:44 PM on July 25, 2007


True. I wonder what the penalty actually is for dressing immodestly, and which crimes invite capital punishment? (which I find completely abhorrent, btw, no matter whether it is done 'humanely' or not - that comparison is a bit like saying that horse shit is OK, because it doesn't smell as bad as dog shit)

On the whole dress code thing, I was thinking that there exist today peoples in the Pacific, SE Asia & Africa, for whom it is perfectly fine for men to wander around with their tackle hanging out, and for women to go about with bare breasts, and nobody thinks twice of it. Can you imagine how ridiculous it would sound to us if they assumed an air of cultural superiority & smug infallibility, saying things like "I don't mind that men in the land of elephants & donkeys have to wear shirts & suits & ties to work, as long as they have the choice! They should be allowed to dangle their goods in the breeze if they want, without fear of recrimination!"

Who is to say that we are right & not they? Sheer numbers? Rationality? At least the tribals might - and the Muslims certainly do (contentiously) - have some sort of higher or divine law that compels them to dress the way they do. Here, it's only fashion, no? "Your inferior God is no match for our superior fashion houses & magazines!"
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:16 PM on July 25, 2007


Why would that be ridiculous?
posted by liquorice at 4:26 PM on July 25, 2007


because it would be one culture imagining that it has the right to impose its arbitrary standards upon another, and not realising that its own standards are no more natural & normal than the other culture's - they just seem that way becoz that's what the people there are accustomed to. they are not aware of their own cultural blinkers.

personally, i'd love to go to work dressed in nothing other than a bone septum piercing, and i think women should have their breasts bared at all times. this is why i sympathise with feminists in hardcore muslim countries, at the same time as realising that they are largely tilting at windmills. with feathers. and the windmills are made of concrete.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:34 PM on July 25, 2007


This presumes that we're speaking of consenting adults. And we're not.

This presumes that you have any say in the matter. And you don't.


Oh, sorry, I thought this was a discussion forum. My mistake. I'll just listen to you from now on.
posted by orange swan at 7:12 PM on July 25, 2007


shut up, orange swan! nobody asked for your opinion!
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:26 PM on July 25, 2007


[throws away keyboard]
posted by orange swan at 10:33 AM on July 26, 2007


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