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Incapacity to Manage Differences

Exemplified by policies on the hijab, the niqab and the burka (Part #1)

Religious "Plastic Turkeys" -- Hermes vs the Hijab

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Religious "Plastic Turkeys" -- Hermes vs. the Hijab, 2003)

The President of France, the country that has promoted toplessness and clothing that conceals nothing, chose a purportedly historic occasion -- marked by a major policy speech -- to question the clothing of some citizens of France (Sarkozy speaks out against burka, BBC News, 22 June 2009). This follows the banning of Islamic headscarves in French state schools in 2004.

In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity...The burqa is not a religious sign, it's a sign of subservience, a sign of debasement -- I want to say it solemnly... it will not be welcome on the territory of the French Republic.

France has set up a commission to study the wearing of burkas and niqabs after President Nicolas Sarkozy said the Islamic veils turn women into prisoners. The 32-member commission will hold hearings that could lead to legislation banning burkas from being worn in public. France has western Europe's largest Muslim population, estimated at 5 million. A growing group of French women wear burkas and niqabs, which either cloak the entire body or cover everything but the eyes. On Monday Sarkozy told lawmakers he supported a ban on burkas, calling them "a sign of debasement" for women.(Commission inquiry in France could lead to burka ban, The Guardian, 23 June 2009)



long dresses

devoilement / voilement


institutions / convents

18th century

identity associated with faces -- acid / wound

dressing or undressing

dignity of women -- delayed debate on exposure

substitute dressing for undressing in arguments

peer group pressures


why do women dress or undress

visage = ame / refuse contact -- social netwoling -- anonymity

dans notre culture not evrything accepted --

dont show your face

religious pathology

external signs but not internal

cant use rights to justify extremes

veil 18th

variety as in India

prison clothing

nudism ???

clothing -- organge people


extreme styles of clothing


plus rien d'human --

sect ou fashion


phanome noire

pauvrete / discrimination

vehicule for hidden discrimination projected onto clothing

don't have matching interviews of nudist

niqab is killing the status of the women


no experiment with women trying it out

choose one's clothing



assume that face seeing = communication

le voile c'est mon choix





why are the French so threatrened?

me rapprocher de mon createur

wearing multiple piercings

bourrage de crane -- what else


see faces in order to be able to pass judgrment on them -- control freaks?

women associate freedom with clothing

dates when women were covered or uncovered -- cod piece

nothing to do with Islam

submission? versus invisible pressures

husband obliging wife to wear certain clothes

token political action -- avoiding other concrete issues

showiung breasts is a question of identity

victim strategy --

look strategies in face to face -- advantage in interviews -- making an impression

declaration visible de separation -- nuns, double breasted, ties

why cover, why uncover

religiosite naive?

crispation identite

justifying NATO action in Afghanistan -- bombing them out of their burkhas

nos valuers n'admet pas qunad voile nos femmes

voile is a symbol of the lack of coimmunication -- others dont wear such a symbol -- dont smile -- dont talk

why dont they discuss:

  • goths etc -- under bad influence? signs of gangs -- goths are minority too
  • piercings
  • nudism
  • mums
  • uniforms -- monks

imposing a definition of identity -- clothes

a certain idea of living together

women wearing different clothes to change identity

men wearing nonstandard clothes

clothing extremisim ! norms struglling with extremists

imposer des croyances parce que "legitime"?

forced alienation through clothing -- a moving prison -- dont consider other women trapped in homes -- domestic violence

is fashion a religion or a substitute for it -- Vogue?

bricole une tenue pour se bricloer d'une identite

se caricaturer

liberty = unclothing






complementarity: covering/unconvering


introducing cultural biases into law

a European law


introducing cultural biases into law

a European law

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