France and rules for women…

France and rules for women

I am not sure I understand France’s attempt to prevent Muslim women from veiling themselves. When I first heard of this possible new law I was uncertain why a country would think this was a good idea. Is it because the French fear terrorists and therefore believe terrorists are more likely to wear veils? Could it be because the French believe women should not have to wear veils and all Muslim women living in France wearing veils don’t want to wear them and are doing so under the order of their husbands? Are there other possible reasons for this? Help me out here. I am a feminist yet this possible law seems insane to me. Why make all these assumptions? If a woman chooses to wear a veil might it possibly be because she prefers to live her life that way? Is it up to the government to choose who gets to dress in one way or another?  I am sure there are women in France who are forced to veil themselves by their husbands but there are women all over the world who are forced to do things by men.

It seems a bit like Arizona’s new law about racial profiling. The government is making a decision about how and what someone is because of how to look or dress. I find this action on the part of France unreasonable and extremely sexist. I think if you looked at who made this law it would probably be men. Sarkozy thinks because he has stated the husbands of women wearing the veil will be punished and perhaps sent to prison, he is protecting women. What he is doing is assume all husbands of women wearing veils are bad and control their wives by forcing them to wear the veil.

I can’t believe I am arguing this point as I am really uncomfortable with Muslims and find the religion frightening. I would never agree to wear a veil or even think of doing it unless it was for an experiment for a blog piece. I believe that to try to control the religious behavior of an individual is wrong in any situation unless that person is in some way hurting someone else. Making anyone give up the practice of their religion smacks of patriarchal behavior to me and I don’t like it.

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2 responses to “France and rules for women…”

  1. John McWilliams Avatar
    John McWilliams

    Bizarre is the word that pops up for me regarding the ‘no veil’ possibility in France. If it’s an attempt to control controlling men who insist on their wives never be seen without same, a likely outcome for some is that they’d be effectively under house arrest. Boo.

  2. beatrice bowles Avatar

    I agree that Sarkosy decided quite wrongly on this issue. A Muslim woman’s right to wear a veil should be defended under the right to religious freedom, but What Sarkozy missed entirely was the chance to to make a crucial distinction: religious freedom cannot and must not trump democracy’s guarantee of freedom FROM religion. A citizen’s responsibility to respect the greater obligation of obedience to the rule of law when needed for the public good–for example, when applying for a driver’s permit or an ID card or in a police investigation, a woman should be required to remove her veil. The core principle is that religion never trumps democracy in a free society. Sadly, the messy, narrow thinking we see in France is echoed everywhere. Religions must be understood as matters of private choice in a democracy, distinctly different from from the higher value of democracy, and subject to the laws of a free nation. Until then, liberty is imperiled by such intellectual ineptitude which only inflames zealotry.

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