Symbols of Purity

Check out this interview with Jane Kramer in the New Yorker. She says some things that it would be good to see said more often, by more people, more forthrightly.

But in France, with all its freedoms, so many young women seem to be capitulating to Islamist pressure. It usually starts with the young men who are recruited, and the symbols of successful recruitment are the women in the family. In other words, the women are the symbol of the new identity of the man. When you see a twelve-year-old girl coming to school in a chador, where for two or three generations no one had worn one, you have to look at this as the expression of an enormous pressure from the men in the girl’s family. You’re really dealing with a born-again movement, and the girls get the short end of the stick, because the boys don’t have to change what they study, how they dress, and so forth. The girls are the proof of the new purity of the family.

Just so. The boys get to go right on dressing as they like, the girls have to turn themslves into symbols. As usual – yawn yawn, same old same old. Men are people, women are things; men get to have autonomy, women don’t; men apply pressure, women become symbols.

Homa Arjomand is in Victoria today to give a speech against the introduction of Sharia law in Ontario. I hope she gets a huge turnout and a lot of press coverage.

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