Page 1 of 11 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 107

Thread: Burqa

  1. #1
    Scobblelotcher Sistamatic's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    4,362
    INTPx Award Winner

    Burqa

    I subbed a freshman bio lab today, and one of the participants was wearing a burqa of the type that covers the entire body except the hands and eyes. Though I'm familiar with their use, and have come across many burqa clad women in my life, this is the first time I've ever had any real interaction. Though I have no religious affiliations, and therefore no emotional bias against the voluntary use of a burqa, I found the experience disconcerting. The following thoughts occurred:

    1. When looking at only the eyes, the expression of the eyes becomes all important. The eyes are remarkably unreadable.
    2. When the eyes are the only point of contact, the feeling of eyes upon you is very disconcerting.
    3. If I see this person again, and she is not wearing a burqa, she will know me, but I will not know her.
    4. In a room full of burqa clad women, identity would be tricky at best, but perhaps less superficial.
    5. I truly had less of a sense of having "met" this person than I otherwise would have. But she probably doesn't have the same issue.
    6. When in a western culture where the burqa isn't mandated, the burqa wearer has a decided advantage over you. The flow of information is not as bidirectional as it would otherwise be.
    7. I wonder if people in burqa mandated cultures have the ability to pick up social cues and information despite the burqa, and if the ability to recognize individual burqa wearers via body language, voice, and eye characteristics is well developed in members of these societies.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    1,754
    Clearly those that wear full burqas MUST also wear a set of brain activated cat ears. It's a marriage mandated in heaven.



    I spent several months in Saudi Arabia and saw many crowds of burqa clad women just as you described. I never got close to any of them. The whole looks says 'stay away' to me.

  3. #3
    libertine librarian sandwitch's Avatar
    Type
    intp
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    flyover territory
    Posts
    1,356
    I remember when the sight was rare and uncommon to me. I quickly realized that the only reason I found the clothing forboding was my own inability to read cues, or to make casual conversation starters of complimenting someone's clothing (I wish I was better at talking to women and didn't need to do that). I'm sure it's even more difficult for men, but I can't help but think that the immediate reaction of discomfort or fear is culturally conditioned.

  4. #4
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Maņana
    Posts
    7,005
    INTPx Award Winner
    I disagree with point 6. I think they are at a disadvantage when they're deprived of the most basic means of expression in personal interaction - the face. Why should I be more interested in hiding myself than in communicating my responses, be they controlled or not? I think the burqa is a fascist instrument.
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

  5. #5
    Senior Member skip's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Tatooine
    Posts
    1,324
    Quote Originally Posted by sandwitch View Post
    I quickly realized that the only reason I found the clothing forboding was my own inability to read cues, or to make casual conversation starters of complimenting someone's clothing
    I can think of many more reasons to find the sight of a burqua unsettling.
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that a problem.

  6. #6
    Member
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    gone
    Posts
    920
    It may be extremely un-PC of me but, culturally determined or not, I'm always taken aback and a little shocked when I see a woman in a burkha or niqāb. My impression is that I'm looking at a persecuted person living an extremely proscribed life. I've heard the religious and cultural arguments but, to me, they're all bullshit rationalizations for dominating women.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,112
    I've always thought if I put on a burqua I'd find I loved it. It would be nice to move around in the world but still have that barrier between me and everyone else. I might suck though if people started ignoring me when I needed their attention.

    The answer to #7 is yes. I work in semiconductors and we gown completely, with everyone wearing the same thing. The only thing showing are our eyes, which are behind safety glasses, and in some cases you can't even see the eyes because people who work with lasers have to wear filtered safety glasses. You can still tell people's moods and tell them apart. I could identify coworkers down the hall from their posture alone - they don't even have to be moving. Though I'll admit that there are pairs of coworkers who I'd get mixed up, and in many cases these people looked nothing alike when they degown, and oftentimes they weren't even the same gender. It's really confusing when you are new in this environment. You have no idea where anyone stands in the hierarchy, and you're just kind of feeling around blind until you can watch people and discern from watching interactions between folks where everyone stands. I imagine it's all a bit harder in a burqua, which also obscures a woman's body to a large degree.

  8. #8
    In it to win it 99Problems's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Oklahoma coast
    Posts
    479
    I am so disturbed when I see someone in a burqa I get them out of my visual field and force myself to think of something else.

  9. #9
    Merry Christmas Dot's Avatar
    Type
    INFP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    near a castle
    Posts
    3,465
    I don't see anything intrinsically wrong with burqas. It's the interpretations that are often irritating (for that matter, interpretations of all women's fashion tend to be obnoxious, not just burqas). It's great when some guy who likes to rate women 1-10 and cat call thinks he has the right to criticize [blank] for "oppressing their women" by "making them"* wear burqas. yeah, I'm sure you like women to be exposed, the more the better. Because that's "liberating."

    (I guess women are forced to wear burqas sometimes, but that's not the burqas' fault. It's the interpretation's fault. And I'm sure that many women do wear burqas because they want to.)

    I think they can look elegant. Creepy, because I'm not used to seeing such austere clothing except on nuns, but elegant.

    Eyes can be communicative. People from different cultures focus on different facial features for social cues. In the US, smiles mean a lot more than they do in many Eastern European countries, for example. It's a cultural thing, not a biological thing.

  10. #10
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    New World
    Posts
    3,231
    INTPx Award Winner
    Quote Originally Posted by Sistamatic View Post
    I wonder if people in burqa mandated cultures have the ability to pick up social cues and information despite the burqa, and if the ability to recognize individual burqa wearers via body language, voice, and eye characteristics is well developed in members of these societies.
    I would call this a safe assumption. The cues you learn to rely on for communication are part of your culture, and you are taught to recognize them as part of your acculturation.


    That said, the cultural impulse behind a custom of women covering their faces does seem (to me at least) rather obviously intended to promote social distance. From what I've heard/read, it's actually less of a religious thing among Muslims than a cultural thing among Arabs which has been imitated in a few other predominantly Islamic cultures. (Islamic doctrine doesn't really have any specific dress code, other than the same general admonitions to modesty that you'd find in the Bible.)

    That women do it but not men tells you that part of the intent is to distinguish between genders, in the sense of gender being a social role with differentiated expectations of individuals. I'm hardly an expert here, but my impression is that the cultural ideology behind the tradition is very much one of men occupying public roles in a community while women are expected to devote themselves mainly to private family roles. The covering of the body and face when in public places communicates that the woman is "saving herself" for someone who probably isn't you, not just in a sexual sense but in a much more general way--intimacy of any kind belongs at home, with your parents/spouse/children/siblings/etc, and covering the face emphasizes that she's talking to you strictly for the sake of whatever business she has to conduct with you.

    So, in other words, what she can express this way is all you're supposed to have any need to know about her, she may consider the desire to know any more than that about her invasive, and she lets you know that by dressing this way--this is how Arab people of both genders have occasionally tried to explain it to me, anyway. Where Westerners see the dichotomy regarding clothing the body as hide/don't hide, it's seen in traditional Arab communities as more a dichotomy of show/don't show--and if you choose to show a part of your body, it's assumed that you have some specific reason for wanting people to see it. Young, single men shave because they're hoping to attract potential wives with their pretty faces, but once married it's like "you're shaving? Why are showing off your lips?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •