Wednesday, 13 May 2009
I had a discussion with a liberal feminist friend the other day about women's freedom to wear what they want. Her sister works in Kuwait and has to cover up and she sees muslim dress codes for women as oppressive. I do not disagree with her in essence but we do disagree about the relative freedom of being able to wear what you like. On a saturday night my local city is full of young girls wearing next to nothing - even on very cold nights. I question that this is an expression of freedom - as many of them are chained to behaving in certain ways to pick up a man. If a woman dresses as she wants for herself it is one thing, but if it is to attract a man and this often involves being freezing cold or uncomfortable, then to me she is potentially less mentally free than a muslim girl who chooses to take the veil. Obviously, living in a free state to pass comment may seem trite, but still I think there is often the illusion of external freedoms, when actually mentally we are far from free.