Here in Canada there has been much debate about whether women who wear traditional head coverings like the niqab should be forced to uncover their faces in situations like court appearances and citizenship ceremonies.
Zunera Ishaq made news recently by refusing to remove her niqab for her citizenship ceremony and caused all kinds of uproar. There has been much public debate, some of it rather offensive. Prime Minister Stephen Harper even made a statement about how oppressed Ishaq must be to cover her face.
I have just one question.
Why are BEARDS not considered to be face coverings?
Dude, what are you trying to hide?
Is a guy with a beard likely to run into issues with the courts or authorities because his face is obscured by facial hair?
I highly doubt it.
How do I know you are who you say you are? And what’s with the weird sweater?
OMG that’s not a sweater!?
The problem is, women are constantly judged by their choices whether they choose to show their skin or cover themselves up.
Zunera Ishaq has spoken out and explained why wearing a niqab is important to her. It’s unfortunate that her opinion has not been considered important in the ongoing public debates about what was, and is, her personal choice.
Personally, I think a lot of things women wear should be banned, and good riddance.
High Heel Shoes
High heels are not only bad for your balance, they’re bad for your back. As in, they cause your body physical harm when you wear them.
They’re also, when you think about it, extremely dangerous to women’s safety.
They tend to make a lot of noise when you walk, and make it extremely difficult to run. This makes women in heels pretty vulnerable to potential attackers. Considering that 683,000 adult American women are forcibly raped each year, you’d think this would cause some concern.
You’d think someone might even suggest a ban on high heeled shoes in the best interest of women everywhere.
Nope? Okay then, moving on…
Handbags and Clutch Purses
The reason clutch hand bags are considered chic and sexy is because, like high heels, they make women vulnerable. Unlike more practical purses with straps that can be worn hands-free, little teeny hand-held purses really limit your actions.
You have one less hand to open a door for yourself, carry items or drinks, or grab your keys, or do anything really practical with your handbag hand. This is why they’re considered sexy, and it’s by design.
It’s the same reason mermaid dresses are so glam. They are so restrictive it’s very difficult to even walk normally while wearing one.
Ooh…that’s pretty oppressive. We should ban mermaid dresses for sure.
I mean what if, for some foolish reason, women decided to wear mermaid dresses AND high heel shoes at the same time? The financial costs to our health care system would be enormous! BAN THAT SH!T.
Don’t even get me started on why piling tons of makeup on your face is not only a waste of time and money (money that could be better spent on tuition, travel, RRSP savings, or pretty much ANYTHING ELSE), it’s a great way to load your skin with all kinds of toxic garbage.
Besides, using makeup can dramatically alter your facial features and therefore misrepresent what you look like.
If only because it can obscure your true identity, we should ban women from wearing makeup at their citizenship ceremonies and when testifying in court.
I can’t not include this one.
Who invented these ridiculous, torturous leg-encasers? Great, my legs look some weird shade of tan and unnaturally shiny, and the rest of me is still pastel ghost white.
Also, I generally expect an article of clothing I spend money on to last more than 1 or 2 wears before the slightest contact with anything sort of pointy causes it to INSTANTLY SHRED TO TATTERS.
Why? So I can look “respectable” in a business environment when I’m rocking my best pencil skirt?
So getting back to my point… Before we as Canadians judge women like Zunera Ishaq for their choices, let’s:
a) hold everyone to the same standard and demand that we all show our true, unmasked faces – no beards, no makeup,
b) be really honest with ourselves about what kind of “oppressive” choices we feel comfortable making before judging other people’s choices.
Yes, there are women who are forced to wear the niqab against their will. There are women here in Canada forced to wear high heels against their will. Neither is okay.
If we aren’t prepared to ban beards, makeup, or high heel shoes, then what right do we have banning the niqab?