I am so totally in love with this picture. It's from this article . I'm not usually that into Maclean's (or, well, any news) because it's always so fucking depressing. Not that this isn't, but it's interesting and informative and not just OMG
TEH WORLDZ IS SOON TO END!!!!!
Some background info
on me: during my summer after grade twelve, I decided that I was fed up with the bullshit the media feeds us about Muslims and Islam and the Middle East, so I came up with a sort of immersion program for myself--I read everything I
could: literature, poetry, history, commentary. I cooked Middle Eastern food, I listened to Middle Eastern music. I didn't go to a mosque or, you know, talk to anyone actually from the Middle East, because I am (and was, probably even more so was) very shy. But I did everything I could solo. I even had an Iranian e-pen-pal. It was extremely enlightening but I will keep my conclusions to myself, or for another rant.
Now for the controversial part: I find veils incredibly sexy. I love the air of mystery they automatically bestow. I like them on men (oh yeah, betcha didn't know about that? Wull...I didn't), I like them on women, I like them on sheep (only because I think that a sheep in a veil would be really, really cute. Jeez). My mother is one of those left-wing Atheist fundamentalist whackjobs that seem to be popping up more and more--she went (and I assume still does) up to Muslims, Sikhs, Mennonites--anyone who dressed 'differently' for religious or cultural reasons--walked right up to them and said "there is no God". *bashes head repeatedly against keyboard* I really, seriously have no idea why no one has cut her throat in an alley or at least beaten the shit out of her. It's more a testament to these people's good natures (or complete bewilderment) than anything else.
Whether or not her statement is true is not the point. All she does is sound like a total insane person who makes everyone (including me) want to become more insular and shun outsiders and nonbelievers. You're not going to convince anyone of anything like that, except the fact that we need more looney bins. My whole thing is always, 'cool' or 'what's the big deal?'
Yes, I understand the need for social freedoms and equality and democracy (at least until we can come up with something better). But so many people seem to have forgotten that freedom means just that--a state of being free. So that if they choose* to wear a veil or a burqa or several live possums...ok! As long as the possums aren't rabid and decide to bite someone's stupid toddler, who cares? Who gives a flying, monkey-propelled crap what people choose to wear (teenage daughters not included).
Maybe I feel so strongly about this because of my 'lifestyle'. BDSM gets a lot of flak. From a lot of directions, including my apparent sisters, lesbians. (Why does nobody like lesbians? Because even lesbians don't like lesbians. My 'straight' friends were like...how does that work? Because every time it's, "You're not like other lesbians" or "You're usually straight, but you just like me so much that you made an exception". Anyway.) Even within itself, BDSM gets a lot of flak--"OMG! How could you do _____? That's disgusting/horrific/repulsive/unnatural!"
As a band teacher I really hated once put it, don't yuck someone else's yum. I even hate how she phrased that, but it's always stuck in my head and overrides any better phrase I could come up with. But the point is, just because you don't like something, or even you think something is wrong...if it's not hurting you, and they've gotten into it voluntarily...leave it the fuck alone! It would be like if all gangs did was kill each other. They didn't recruit anyone and there were never any injured bystanders or property damage or anything. Well, they wouldn't be around for long, but they also wouldn't be much of a problem. Except to themselves. And that, of course, is my point. If I choose to coat myself in nail polish every morning, as long as I do it in a nicely ventilated space so I don't give anyone else headaches or other health issues...why do you care?
If someone else were coating me in nail polish every morning against my will, that would be a problem. Don't get me wrong. But "an it harm none do what thou wilt" (which I am about 98% is from something much more authentic than Wicca, but I can't seem to find the reference I'm thinking of).
Anyway. Veils. Sexy. Look at this guy! I can't see his whole face! He could have hideous warts. He could have massive scars. He could be the most beautiful man on earth and I'll never know! I read somewhere once that there is no single feature that allows for universal facial recognition (or UFR, lol). People have to be able to see the whole face in order to recognize someone. I think that's what it comes down to. People say, "Ho, yuss, women shouldn't be subjugated, turrible, harrumph." But their gut reaction is "Ahhhh!!!! I can't see their faaaaaace!!!!" And people's gut reactions, especially fear, are very strong. I don't know. Maybe my guts are just weird, but when I see them I just go "Praarrwr!" whether it's this:
(Ok, who am I kidding, especially this:)
is ok. But this:
One of the sub-plots of one of my favourite books of all time (FBoaT), Snow, is about how young women in Turkey are committing suicide over not being able to wear head scarves just like that one. They're killing themselves because the government isn't allowing them to wear a piece of fabric. Some people might say, what the fuck, why are they killing themselves over something so trivial? But they clearly don't see it that way.
And now for another weird episode from my life. Back in grade school, you know how they give you a huge stack of weird old magazines and you have to make a collage?
freaked us out so much that we ended up cutting out her eyes.
Many years later, when this was published:
I of course remembered that face, or more specifically, those eyes. They're unforgettable. And the thing that struck me about the interview with her, twenty years later or whatever, was how normal she was. She didn't care that she was 'being oppressed' or 'impoverished'. She had no idea! How dare she! If this sounds condescending, I truly don't mean for it to--I genuinely find her life admirable. She was just doing her thing, taking care of her family. She had no idea that her face had been everywhere, and she didn't give two shits. Wow.
Here she is wearing a veil, to bring me sort of back on topic:
Ok, it was apparently seventeen years. Anyway. Umm...here's some eye candy. I have no idea
what this is about, but I like it. And it's a veil. I'm sure part of the romance of veils is, for me, the pure sensual side of it. Yes, there's the mystery, but there's also the feeling of soft, gauzy material on your skin, on one of the most sensitive parts of your body (the face). You can kiss through a veil, a la Victor Hugo, and it's a totally different experience. Even the familiar becomes new, exotic, erotic. I even like walking around town with a scarf over my face and just my eyes showing during the winter. I'm invisible, or rather unidentifiable. I can be anyone and no one. The only thing anyone knows about me is my clothes and the colour of my eyes. I, personally, really like that idea. In conclusion: I like veils because they're sexy, sensual, and render a person incognito. Cool.
Anyway, it's a fantastic article and I highly recommend it. My one complaint about it is that it falls short of its magnificent cover picture (waaaaay back at the beginning) and the question it asks: what is more offensive and sexist and backward, covering every part of a woman but her eyes, or only covering her eyes? Which one makes women more of an object? How would you rather be seen?
If this sort of thing interests you, I also recommend The Terrorists of Irustan, a very well written (and very depressing) book.
*key word here