This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

201curzonst's Profile

201curzonst's Avatar Joined almost 5 years ago
Gender: Female

Latest Discussions Started by 201curzonst

More Discussions by 201curzonst

Latest Comments by 201curzonst

Go to: Mormon, and feminist too

201curzonst's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by 201curzonst

Guess it's a good thing she's not a lesbian who wants the legal protection of marriage for the sake of her children, or to visit her dying partner in the hospital, or to obtain adequate health insurance for her family. Tresa probably thought Prop 8 wasn't a feminist issue anyways, and went blithely back to her casserole.

I bet she's one of these people who's "totally cool" with the gheyz (brings them cookies and all!) but "believes" that marriage has always been defined as a union between one man and one woman...

Wed, 11 Aug 2010 13:01:47 UTC | #498961

Go to: The burqa is a war on women

201curzonst's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by 201curzonst

I hate the burqa with a passion but I wouldn't want it banned, if only because the misogynistic creeps that force or coerce their wives and daughters to wear them would just lock them up. Seriously, the silent ghost-mothers who wear the burqa that arrive at Parent-Teacher Nights have no input into their children's education, let alone their own choice of attire.

A school campaign aimed at Muslim girls might be better. Since Australia has voluntary religious study periods in public schools, might some less fundamentalist Muslims explain during a girls' study group that the burqa is not actually worn by most Muslim women around the world? At least the next generation would have the information to make the "choice" to wear it or not, and perhaps their daughters will eventually have the choice to become atheists.

Fri, 21 May 2010 05:25:01 UTC | #471932

Go to: In Your Face

201curzonst's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by 201curzonst

I didn't say I thought the burqa should be banned - I said I dislike it. The proposed law is counter-productive for just this reason - it has the extremists on either side drawing the line in the sand around their respective camps. I'm neither an accommodationist nor an Islamist. I have no problems, for example, with the hijab. You can wear a Sikh's turban, a yamaka or a damned jester's hat for all I care. None of these are in any way comparable to the burqa; they're just forms of headgear. They don't interfere with a woman interacting with the world in normal fashion - like being able walk around outside her home without an escort as if she were a criminal, or to be able to feed herself like any other adult human being.


And no, it's not something that women can choose, because they've been indoctrinated into the belief that as women their individuality, sexuality and humanity is worthless (or worth less than a man's). The indoctrination starts in early childhood and is backed up by religion. I've taught in several schools around the world with large Muslim populations, and whenever I encounter a family whose women wear the burqa, this is the culture of the home and the culture adopted by the children. The boys are treated as princes, and the girls are silent little ciphers. This is not my experience with children who come from Muslim cultures where the hijab or modified Western dress codes are the norm - these behave as any students from any background. It is only in the fundamentalist Muslim families that I've seen such a divide. If it weren't validated by religion, in many cases I would have to report these children for this behaviour. The extreme narcissism of the boys and the extremely phobic girls would be seen as abnormalities and possibly indicative of child abuse. 


I live in China; if foot-binding was still practised here and I opposed it, would I be anti-Chinese? The burqa is a form of psychological foot-binding - it's deliberately designed to smother a woman's individuality and restrict her freedom of movement. Sure, in a healthy society there might be a handful of women with the kink to be treated as an infant, and I'm cool with that. It's when it is so pervasive that people need to step back and stop kidding themselves that wearing such a garment was some kind of rational decision on the women's part.  


Tue, 11 May 2010 10:11:06 UTC | #468807

Go to: In Your Face

201curzonst's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by 201curzonst

Some women call me antifeminist when I speak of my dislike for the burqa. I'm starting to think that they have this romanticized notion of being all cozily secluded from the world like a bunch of latter-day Emily Dickinsons.


I'll never forget the first time I travelled to the Middle East: I saw women in cafes having to be fed by their husbands/ male relatives off of long spoons. People want me to believe that these women have chosen to have their personalities and individualities obliterated, to be rendered as helpless as infants? Sorry, I don't buy it. 

Tue, 11 May 2010 06:38:28 UTC | #468725

Go to: Buzz off, Harry Potter – we need reinventing

201curzonst's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by 201curzonst

Good sci-fi and fantasy offer a view of alternative realities.  As a kid growing up that encouraged me to ask the all important question: does the world have to be like this just because everybody thinks it should be ?


Excellent point. I think that familiarity with fantasy/ sci-fi narratives also helps children learn to distinguish between fact and fiction. 

Tue, 11 May 2010 06:21:45 UTC | #468717

More Comments by 201curzonst