The Emily Pankhurst Blues

Usually I blog about fluffy writing issues but recently something has really got me riled up and so I decided to share my feelings and join the debate.

I feel very blessed to have been born when and where I was, it has meant that I have been able to express my opinions freely, to protest when I have found injustice, gain as much education as I could ever have wanted and wear exactly what I want.

Usually the injustices I have railed against have occurred in the developing world and that’s because the generation of women before me fought hard and long to give me the right to raise my voice and have an expectation of being heard and for that I owe them a huge debt of gratitude. Lately, however, I think some of our politicians have forgotten just how strong women are and have decided that quick political points can be made against them in the current social climate and I have reached the point at which I have to say, enough!

What am I talking about? Well it is the headscarf issue of course, it seems to be the local darling of the political elite. Suddenly, a mere 500 years after they first came into use, it has been decided that the most threatening thing to a civilised society is the sight of a woman wearing a full head covering.

I have two problems with this, firstly the precedent that it is OK to legally dictate what a woman can and cannot wear and the second is the insidious assurances I am hearing that one of the major reasons this law should be passed is to protect women from being forced to wear something they don’t want to. Enough!

Women are women are women, whatever their religion or the country they were born in, they are strong, intelligent and resourceful, they have had to be to survive generations of injustice at the same time as raising their oppressors’ children. Women of the Islamic faith are absolutely no different from women anywhere else and, here’s a shocking thing, some of them actually have a faith of their own which is not forced upon them by their wicked husbands. If a woman, of any faith, makes a decision to honour the teachings of her religion and cover her head, then are who are we to say she cannot.

Is it really more acceptable to tell a woman what she cannot wear than what she should wear is ridiculous in itself, isn’t it? “We have to protect women from wicked men who tell her what she must wear by telling her she will get arrested if she does.” That sounds sane to me-not! We live in a society which bombards girls with images of scantily clad women in every advert selling everything from batteries to bread, where lingerie lines are marketed for three year olds and where female singers feel they have to go naked and gyrate like a whirly-gig just to be heard. With all these clothes related issues the thing the politicians feel we ought to legislate is the wearing of too many layers. Hmmm.

Now I’m not daft, I have heard their arguments of safety, trust and anti-terrorism, I would counter that argument by asking why has this suddenly become such a big problem?

Well I’m giving notice, if this ridiculous law is brought in, as it has been in France just 21 miles away, I will be buying a burka to wear as a fashion choice in the hope that I will be arrested and then they can tell me exactly why I cannot wear exactly what I want when I want in the democracy where I live.

Rant over, normal fluffy writing related service will be resumed soon. Thanks.

http://www.hellenriebold.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hellen-Riebolds-Author-Page/530521043655534

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