My Fellow Liberals: Free the Burqa! A Secular Shaggy-Dog Story

Arundhati Roy recently said:

When, as happened recently in France, an attempt is made to coerce women out of the burka rather than creating a situation in which a woman can choose what she wishes to do, it’s not about liberating her but about unclothing her. It becomes an act of humiliation and cultural imperialism. Coercing a woman out of her burka is as bad as coercing her into one. It’s not about the burka. It’s about the coercion.

http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/1757-arundhati-roy-feminism-and-foundations-burkas-and-botox-an-extract-from-capitalism-a-ghost-story

As is customary with the Regressive Left, the logic is impeccable. But I’ve provided a few analogous ones to hit home the point a little harder.

When, as happened recently in the UK, an attempt is made to coerce women out of female genital mutilation rather than creating a situation in which a woman can choose what she wishes to do, it’s not about liberating her but about oversexing her. It becomes an act of humiliation and cultural imperialism. Coercing a woman out of her FGM is as bad as coercing her into FGM. It’s not about the FGM at all! It’s about coercion.
When, as happened some decades ago in Germany, an attempt is made to coerce Jews out of wearing yellow stars rather than creating a situation in which a woman can choose what she wishes to do, it’s not about liberating her but about silencing her. It becomes an act of humiliation and cultural imperialism. Coercing a woman out of her yellow star is as bad as coercing her into a yellow star. It’s not about the yellow star at all! It’s about coercion.
When, as happened some decades ago in Poland, an attempt is made to coerce gay men out of wearing pink triangles, rather than creating a situation in which a gay man can choose what he wishes to do, it’s not about liberating him, but about defiling him. It becomes an act of humiliation and cultural imperialism. Coercing a gay man out of his pink triangle is as bad as coercing him into a pink triangle. It’s not about the pink triangle at all! It’s about coercion.

To this, I can only add that there are just so many rich, colourful, meanings attached to this exquisite piece of finely woven cloth, that I just can’t decide which of the innumerable postmodernly fabulous interpretations I can settle on! There’s just no end to the rich tapestry of proliferating significations…

So, why don’t you all join in and invent your own meaning to the burqa? I mean, there’s just no limit to the infinite panoply of emancipatory readings and progressive interpretations we can all attach to this living document of buzzing, blooming textile! Please join in with me and #FreeTheBurqa

What glorious Utopian emancipatory significance do YOU see in the burqa? Feel free to answer below! And if you like, post a selfie of you and all the other privilege straight middle class white guys wearing your #postmodernburqa… after all, niqab liberalism and burqa socialism would be nothing without edgy #maleallies and #brominist hipster guys like you!

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