I am not suggesting a ban on the burka, it would be wrong to tell anyone what they can and can't wear, all I'm suggesting is that such blatant symbols of oppression be taken more seriously, especially if they apparently conflict with the values of a society.  This idea is just that; an idea, meant to provoke a debate on the subject.  It is not meant to be invite and be weighed down by racial statements, or predjudices.  I am simply questioning the use of such a restricting garment in 21st century Britain.  Thoughts please?

Why is this idea important?

I am not in the habit of telling people what to wear, and what not to wear.  But when what they 'choose' to wear is a blatant symbol of oppression I cannot ignore it.  The fact that I even need to defend myself before I start my argument, by saying that I am not a racist, nor am I against any religion, is a worrying sign of the times.  Nonetheless safe in the knowledge that this is not a personal attack on any group, rather an argument against modern day symbols of oppression, I shall continue.

I take for example the burka worn by some Muslim women. The word is that the purpose of this garment is to keep a woman's looks for her husbands eyes only, and that in Islam this is a respectful thing to do.  Forgive me if I am wrong, of course not being a Muslim, will not provide me with all the facts.  However, whatever its purpose, it symbolises the continued oppression of women.  Were Muslim men, whose wives wear this, to also wear the burka, there would not be so much of a problem, as it would not be indicative of a male dominated practice.   While it is just the women who wear it, any self respecting woman cannot sit back and let it be.  If a man does not have to do so, why should a woman hide herself from society?  Why must she be stripped of identity, because to my mind that is what the garment does.  Women who wear it have no freedom of expression in the way they dress, outside their houses, they are only allowed to be seen as two eyes peeping out through a slit in the head-dress.  To see my fellow women being imprisoned by clothing is almost unbearable.  Women have always been undervalued, and treated unequally to men, and this is something this country has begun to be rather progressive in tackling.  Yet to readily accept the use of the burka is a big step backwards, it is accepting women as unequals.  We do not need to start on the aspect of choice, or begin a philosophical debate on whether there is such a thing, all that needs to be said is that I lean slightly more toward the end of the scale that says there isn't.  'Choosing' to wear the burka, is a difficult one, because isn't the choice made through cultural tradition or pressure, implicit and unnoticed as it may be, to one who is part of that culture?

Just as we are beginning to move away from the idea that all women should stay at home in the kitchen, and with things like the recognition of rape within a marriage, we are faced with a fresh symbol of oppression, that is permitted as it is religious!

I am making no assumptions here, but just asking this question: how do the people that advocate wearing the burka, view women? As equals or not? (This includes the women who wear it themselves).

Bear in mind the burka is just an example, I don't pretend that there are not many many more modern symbols of oppressing and objectifying women (e.g lads mads) that originate from western society.  I am just dealing with them one at a time.

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