From the archives: If the adequation of women is ‘sacred,’ conceivably Quebec should rid the accessible account of spike heels and bound clothing.
Women are able of authoritative choices, be it about whether to abrasion a hijab or fasten heels, alike if those choices are afflicted by cultural armament that some may disagree with, Katharine Cukier writes. Dario Ayala / Montreal Gazette
From the archives: This oped was aboriginal appear in the Montreal Gazette on Sept. 21, 2013 in acknowledgment to the Parti Québécois’s Charter of Values:
The proposed Charter of Quebec Values affairs to annihilate the claimed affectation of religious syms from the Quebec accessible service. Apparently this is all-important to affirm the civil neutrality of our state. The government’s posters in the métro advance that this is a basic activity to advance the “sacred” adequation of women and men.
We are not naïve. We all accept that the Muslim woman’s arch covering, the hijab, is the accurate ambition of the Parti Québécois’s action, and it is this accurate allotment of t that has been breeding a agitation for a cardinal of years. For many, the arch bandage has become the pre-eminent assurance of changeable submissiveness. And alike if these adherent women affirmation it is their best to chase the dress cipher of piety, we are assertive that there is some blowing barbate ancestor or brother banishment them to do it. And, well, we aloof don’t like it.
I am for consistency, abnormally from the neutral, rational state. If we appetite to be constant and absolutely rid the accessible account of syms of changeable submission, I would altercate that not alone should Muslim women aish their scarves, but all changeable accessible agents should be answerable to aish their implants, spike heels, apocryphal eyelashes and the botulism they accept had injected into their faces. They should be banned to dye their beard or abrasion architecture and bound accouterment in the workplace.
These adornments advance alone choices that are effectively at allowance with our progressive, autonomous society. There charge be no added appealing kindergarten agents with coast necklines and girlie manicures. No added Crown prosecutors in abbreviate skirts and lipstick.
If we absolutely accept that our secular, non-patriarchal accompaniment can be compromised by what women wear, accessible agents who accept been indoctrinated aback bearing by a battery of media ism to abide to a feminine ideal brought to you by Hugh Hefner or Walt Disney should be brought to heel. Flat heels, of course. Women, you charge abrasion flat, adequate shoes or you lose your job.
We apperceive these adverse women are victims of the band of absurd femininity, with its sacraments of appearance and narcissism and its cast side: a ambiguous self-loathing absolute from an aboriginal age by the manipulative, available gods of media and customer culture. These appearance victims alive in alarm of the carbohydrate and the anatomy beard that all-overs into the amiss places. They consistently abide to the self-mortifications of fad diets and ritualized waxing or atom of their — well, you apperceive where. They all will affirmation it is their choice, that they are absolved like that freedom-fighter Miley Cyrus to accurate themselves, but I am assertive there is some greedy, leering macho announcement controlling in the accomplishments banishment them to do it. And, well, I don’t like it.
In truth, I don’t absolutely appetite to appoint my dress cipher of gender adequation on women. I am absent by the burrow from-men/reveal-to-men imperatives of the feminine dress codes of (respectively) eastern/western provenance.
The advance to adequation amid the es is still in progress. The advance of women continues to be one of the best cogent and, let me say it, august developments in animal history. There accept been many, abounding accomplish forward; but yes, from time to time, there are a few accomplish back.
The best important accomplishment of gender adequation is a charge to alleviative women like they are adults, able with both acumen and dignity. They are able of authoritative choices, alike if those choices are afflicted by cultural armament that some of us may disagree with. Persecuting pious Muslim women and excluding them from lucrative, abiding application in the government is a huge, animal bound backward. And I absolutely don’t like it.
Katharine Cukier is a Montreal teacher.
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