10 July 2009

That's MY Opinion

So I’d got my opinions on banning the Islamic veil all worked out, and was already to do a big fat blog post on them. Then I find out some Frog’s nicked all my ideas five years in advance.

Now my main objection was that hijab is, essentially, a differing standard of nudity. Therefore a ban is nothing more than forced self-exposure. Alain Badiou says:
Clear something up for me, please. What exactly characterizes Republican and feminist rationality on what is to be shown of the body in different spaces and at different times, and on what is not? As far as I understand, nowadays still, and not only at school, neither nipples are shown, nor pubic hair, nor the male member. Do I have to get angry that these parts are “withdrawn from the sight of others”? Must I suspect husbands, lovers and eldest brothers?
Which is basically what I’ve always said. Badiou goes further though:
It used to be taken for granted that an intangible female right is to only have to get undressed in front of the person of her choosing. But no. It is vital to hint at undressing at every instant. Whoever covers up what she puts on the market is not a loyal merchant.
Let’s argue the following, then, a pretty strange point: the law on the hijab is a pure capitalist law. It orders femininity to be exposed. In other words, having the female body circulate according to the market paradigm is obligatory. For teenagers, i.e. the teeming center of the entire subjective universe, the law bans any holding back.

My other, more general, objection is that the best way to liberate people maybe not placing restrictions directly on them. Badiou thinks similarly:
Grandiose causes need new-style arguments. For example: hijab must be banned; it is a sign of male power (the father or eldest brother) over young girls or women. So, we’ll banish the women who obstinately wear it. Basically put: these girls or women are oppressed. Hence, they shall be punished. It’s a little like saying: “This woman has been raped: throw her in jail.” The hijab is so important that it deserves a logical system with renewed axioms.

The only thing I can add is that banning a symbol of oppression is like giving firefighters a great big fan for blowing away smoke. Bloody French.

Edit: Not sure about the translation mind.

1 comment:

  1. *rolls eyes*

    I agree with you entirely. I tried to articulate this point in my comment on a comment on Laurie Penny's article on the subject (she's agin the ban).