Feminist Mush: "What If" and "Places Where a Burqa Makes a Lot of Sense"


Feminist wacademics are trying to find excuses for not opposing even the identity-obliterating burqa:

We never bother to ask Muslim women what covering up means to them.

We are so much worse, with our “entrenched colonial habit of thinking…  if we listened respectfully we’d find a wealth of Muslim women who assert their identities unequivocally…”

Wakademic tosh, from Liz Conor‘s Ivory Tower, (The Age) who believes we are all stuck on stoopid in the sixties, when bra-burning was the progressive thing to do:

I HAVE a travel tip for young women. There are places where a burqa makes a lot of sense.

I have a burqa for ya, Liz.  Cheep, not free. One that makes sense. Just like Hotel California: you can check in any time you like, but you can never leave. Have we got a deal?

Working in Lisbon in 1987 meant running a daily gauntlet of sexual harassment. So persistent was the abuse, I ended up stashing food scraps in my bag to deflect men. Judging by the money thrust under my nose, accompanied by flicking tongues, being young, Western and alone on the streets was tantamount to being a prostitute.

It never occurred to me then to wear a burqa. But if it did I would’ve stuck to my ”feminist principles”. I had a right to walk the streets, any streets at any time, in a bikini if I saw fit. It was up to men to change their behaviour and I was not responsible for their failure to keep a civil tongue in their mouths. (no problem with catmeat?)

When I returned to Melbourne I copped as much street level abuse. Big trucks blasted their horns as I sat reading quietly in bus stops. Carloads of kerb-cruisers bawled out: ”Show us your tits”. (Don’t worry, Liz. those days are over. I really don’t want to see your tits. Ever!) When I remonstrated with them I was warned: ”You want a smack in the face as well!”

Nice. Little did I know then that this invasive scrutiny would soon dissolve by the simple device of pushing a pram. Such a time often coincides with that baffling hinterland of femininity when all that wearisome street surveillance slips behind a veil.

Did I mention the veil and Western women’s public visibility in the same breath? Surely not. Women of the West have been ”reclaiming the night” through rallies and rape reform for generations. The pinnacle of dress reform was wearing a bikini and a tampon while prancing unbridled over warm sand. The idea that we assert our identities and our civic freedoms by our public visibility runs very deep. (Try it in an Islamic country, Liz!)

The burqa is indeed an affront to this historically ingrained sensibility. It has been likened to an effacement of identity. Notably, less is said about the responsibility Muslim women purportedly lumber for male arousal by covering their skin, hair and faces. It is literally the idea of being veiled that bothers us most, and not from scrutiny, harassment and hostility, but from a show of public presence which for us equates with democratic participation – not to mention sexual autonomy.

By the 1960s, however, feminists mounted their own backlash against a kind of commercially co-opted exposure, flogging everything from sanitary pads to perfume, and increasingly limited to young, blonde, slender, tall and sexually available women. Feminists dumped their bras into a bin outside the 1969 Miss America competition in Atlantic City. In many ways, the anti-porn movement was a logical response to visibility purely on men’s terms.

We face off with the burqa under a veil of inextricably tangled emotions. We like to assert that we express ”Who We Are” with make-up, wrinkle softeners and Botox. (Muslim women use make up, wrinkle softeners and Botox too, what’s your problem, Liz?) It’s unlikely we’ll ever see any grace in being understated with Pussycat Dolls filling our screens.

Of course, what isn’t being admitted, what’s in fact veiled, is that we are facing off with difference – ethnic and religious. We haven’t bothered to ask Muslim women what the burqa means to them, because we’ve fallen into an entrenched colonial habit of thinking ”less civilised” women are oppressed and need us to liberate them, this time with spectacular arrogance, by banning them from having any choice. (They have a choice, Liz: Islam or death. You just can’t get your head through the glass ceiling to see it…)

What if Muslim women look at Western women’s made-up faces and see gender oppression? What if they see plastic surgery as an effacement of identity? What if they see wearing the burqa as a means to deflect the behaviour of drunken drongos? Maybe showing their faces has become a display of intimacy, trust and love that means ”Being At Home”?

And what if Western women are deeply attached to traditions that in their origin were patently oppressive? Like taking men’s names in marriage? Whose daft idea was that? Talk about getting bilked by gender regimes!

The condemning of the burqa is another round in our habitual failure of imagination when facing off with difference. If we listened respectfully we’d find a wealth of Muslim women who assert their identities unequivocally, with their voices. Needless to say, wearing the burqa is under constant discussion. (Get an education, Liz. Read the Koran & the hadith. Learn to respect your own before you elevate a barbarian cult above what you think you know!)

Liz Conor is the author of The Spectacular Modern Woman: Feminine Visibility in the 1920s and a research fellow in the Department of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne.

17 thoughts on “Feminist Mush: "What If" and "Places Where a Burqa Makes a Lot of Sense"”

  1. Search [“Liz Conor” muslim] for more mush:

    * Hijab means different things to Westerners and Muslims
    By Liz Conor
    September 9, 2005 (al age, of course)

    * The ideological quagmire that is female circumcision
    By Liz Conor – posted Tuesday, 1 August 2006


    [It throws into doubt the universality of human rights. When states, historically the oppressors of indigenous peoples, intervene legally to suppress this practice they invoke the long shadow of colonial assimilation, wherein initiatory and ceremonial practices which identified a people as distinct were repressed. And how can states require their indigenous peoples to cease female genital mutilation, where they are themselves frequently engaged in their ongoing violent abuse, including the sexual misappropriation and trafficking of indigenous women and girls? How can states, which grant their indigenous peoples none of the rights of sovereignty, then require that they assume responsibility in applying an imposed state law to end female genital mutilation?]

  2. The Burqu has many uses, firstly if you cant find reservations at a hotel, you can pitch the burqu. Secondly, hiding explosives beneath the dark recesses of the body. Thirdly, offer one to Obama to seal off the oil leak. Fourthly as Maxwell Smart would do, pull it done and create a cone of silence. Fifth, smuggle your mother-in-law through customs. Six, to cover those whoreish belly dancers that Muslim men find so distasteful. Only kidding about the last one. Seven, one hell of a diaphragm for contraception. Hell, those burqu’a have so many uses no wonder they don’t want to give them up, up and away to the male brothel in the sky, paradise. Yeah, the moslim witches mode of transport.

  3. Liz Connor, your articles are not worth 400 cents, but methinks you would be one of those PC who would willingly take 30 pieces of silver. You have lost it honey!

  4. liz conor

    Only the gullible would pay for your rubbish .
    They only print it here to expose the silly thinking that is current in the west .
    I’ve come across your type many times in my life , phony philosophers ,
    making a career by writing for other west -hating people .
    The burka is disgusting – you don’t need any rationalisation – just look !

  5. Liz says “It is literally the idea of being veiled that bothers us *most*, and not from scrutiny, harassment and hostility, but from a show of public presence which for us equates with democratic participation – not to mention sexual autonomy.”

    Not so Liz. The burka is worn on account of an assumption that muslim males cannot control their sex desire arousal on site of a woman’s hair or face. Muslim societies where burkas are worn represent cultures whose adult males refuse to be men and engage in mass denial of their sex obession and therefore repress it and by doing so cause much greater social and psychological problems than some bogans yelling show us your tits. In the west the obsession is expressed, not repressed, and in the process enables the issue to be recognised and for most males to take control of the sexuality rather than handing it to their women folk to handle and leading to dysfunctional violent social structures that prevail in most muslim cultures.

    It is not the burka itself that is the problem but the policy of importing large numbers of people from dysfunctional cultures into the west who bring this culture with them.

  6. * What if Muslim women look at Western women’s made-up faces and see gender oppression?

    What if they do? The Biblical God does not mandate that women make up their faces, use botox and the like, unlike allah, who mandates the [veil] in its various forms [except when it doesn’t].

  7. More mush, from “Mrs Ernest Leigh Wight” aka Liz Conor, chasing PM John Howard around and offering him yellowcake:


    * Four play first thing in the morning: that’s some fan club

    [Ms Conor, a research fellow at Melbourne University, is a member of the Greens and a three-time Senate candidate.]

    Not the typical behaviour of a Senate candidate.

    1. Haha!

      Perhaps the freedom sack does have a place in our society after all, Mullah. What a freak show, those pinko-green dames with Conor!

      Needless to mention that they’re all potential Obama voters gushers, “because he looks sexy…”


      Something I been hearing a lot lately:

      “Speedos make Abbott unelectable” seems to be the latest battle cry of the enlightened progressives…

      Perhaps only green females are entitled to lecture us on bigotry then?

      Australian Greens spokeswoman on the status of women Sarah Hanson-Young said Liberal leader Tony Abbott and Mr Bernardi have zero credibility as advocates for women’s rights.

      “If people want to start banning items of apparel, perhaps we could start with budgie-smugglers?” Senator Hanson-Young told AAP.”I personally find them quite offensive.”

      Good grief! So easily offended, these dames! Hot & cold flushes when she sees a man? And she’s not even menopausal yet, by the looks of it…..

      This Hanson-Young is also the fruitcake who brought her brats into parliament:

      These issues became the focus of attention on June 18, 2009 when the Senate President ordered the removal of her two-year-old daughter from the Senate chamber during a division. Formal parliamentary procedures do not allow for senators or members to bring their children onto floor of the Senate and House of Representatives chamber.[14] Public reaction on the matter was divided, and ignited a debate on accommodating children and their carers in the workplace

  8. Laurence Auster at VFR

    Why Moslem women are veiled

    William Muir, in The Life of Mahomet, gives a fascinating explanation of why the Koran commands the veiling of women. It’s because the Moslems are so free and easy about marriage and divorce, with a man being able to marry several women and to divorce them at will, and also co-habit with any number of female slaves, that it adds up to virtual free love, at least from the man’s point of view. Given this extraordinary amatory license, if women were not covered up, people would be divorcing and remarrying like crazy, as happened when Muhammad saw the wife of his adopted son semi-uncovered, conceived a lust for her, and married her following his adopted son’s prompt divorce of her when he heard of the Prophet’s desires. Most significantly, the very Sura (33) in which Allah–so conveniently for Muhammad–abrogates traditional Arab law and permits him to marry his adopted son’s ex-wife, is the same Sura in which Allah announces the rules concerning the veil. Muir suggests that Muhammad realized from his own experience that if women were not covered up, marriage (given the ease of divorce) would quickly fall apart and sexual chaos would ensue.

    The lesson is that the law ordering the covering of women does not, as is widely thought, stem from Moslem men’s supposed overwrought fear of women’s sexual power: it stems from the need to put breaks on the licentiousness of Islam itself, which in turn is a direct outcome of Muhammad’s own licentiousness.

    Or, as Jim Kalb put it when I shared these thoughts with him, “If the stability of marriage doesn’t come from the marital bond, it has to come from some other kind of bonds.”

    Which leads to a further thought. The ideal of Western culture is a balance between the individual and the collective, between freedom and order. As Henry Bamford Parkes said in Gods and Men: The Origins of Western Culture, order consistent with freedom requires that people voluntarily affirm and choose the good. But Islam, particularly in the sexual realm, has neither true freedom nor true order. It has organized licentiousness (multiple marriages, ease of divorce) combined with tyrannical suppression. Which, mutatis mutandis, sounds pretty much like modern liberalism.

    [See pp. 300-06 of Muir’s one-volume 1878 edition. Muir’s original four-volume edition is available online, with the relevant passages here, at pages 228-37.]

    Oner can understand the requirement for the burqa, given the ease of marriage and divorce in Islam ( for men anyway). That is all to the good in an Islamic nation, and makes sense for them in their own society.

    The trouble we have is that we have allowed large scale immigration of Muslims into the West, who bring with them a mental baggage, in which Muslim men view women as chattels or sex objects. When they see Western women without the burqa, there is internal conflict and even rage, which they deflect onto women. This may be the cause of the huge rise in rapes in western countries.

    Yet again we see the huge damage that has been done, and continues to be done, in allowing such a disparate culture as Islam to be be allowed in. It is bad for us, and it is also very bad for Muslims – men and women, to be put through the ringer of a free Western society. For men, it leads them to commit rape or kill their female relatives who may try to taste Western lifestyles. They then have to pay for the crime, which then breaks up the family. In a Muslim country of course, their crime would not be a crime. For Muslim women, having to repress their natural urge to be free, to appear beautiful and desirable, are thwarted, even as they see their Western counterparts exercise the freedom that is legally but not culturally available.

    This has to stop. We cant continue to subject Muslims and ourselves to this never ending mental and social conflict. We have to convince people that this living together with Muslims in the same society, is a ‘marriage’ made in hell. Divorce is the only answer.

  9. Liz Conor, another dhimmi blockhead. In a way we need to return to the sixties when women were burning bras and wouldn’t put up for five seconds with the burqa.

  10. Last week, the American Association of Pediatricians noted that certain, ahem, “immigrant communities” were shipping their daughters overseas to undergo “female genital mutilation.” So, in a spirit of multicultural compromise, they decided to amend their previous opposition to the practice: They’re not (for the moment) advocating full-scale clitoridectomies, but they are suggesting federal and state laws be changed to permit them to give a “ritual nick” to young girls.

    A few years back, I thought even fainthearted Western liberals might draw the line at “FGM.” After all, it’s a key pillar of institutional misogyny in Islam: Its entire purpose is to deny women sexual pleasure.

    True, many of us hapless Western men find we deny women sexual pleasure without even trying, but we don’t demand genital mutilation to guarantee it. On such slender distinctions does civilization rest.

    Der Spiegel, an impeccably liberal magazine, summed up the remorseless Islamization of Europe in a recent headline: “How Much Allah Can The Old Continent Bear?” Well, what’s wrong with a little Allah-lite? The AAP thinks you can hop on the Sharia express and only ride a couple of stops. In such ostensibly minor concessions, the “ritual nick” we’re performing is on ourselves. Further cuts will follow.



  11. Those old bra burning female eunuchs have gone very quiet, Arius.
    All written books, joined the greens, and passed their useby dates 🙂

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