My Head My Choice


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This afternoon.

The European Parliament Office, Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2

Activists from Irish human rights organisations and Irish muslim women’s groups protest the recent European Court of Justice ruling allowing employers to stop their workers from wearing hijab and “other religious symbols” in the workplace.

the ECJ ruled that when an internal rule “prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign, it does not constitute direct discrimination”.

*tears off crucifix*


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145 thoughts on “My Head My Choice

  1. Thomas Edward Lawrence

    I assume similar freedoms are afforded to women in every muslim majority nation?
    I wonder how long you’d get away with holding that sign up, headscarf-less in the UAE, for example.

    1. Rob_G

      We’re supposed to the good guys who allow people to dress however they want.

      If you start telling people that they aren’t allowed to dress in a certain way because it doesn’t conform to your values, you’re losing.

    2. Rhianna Dwyer

      What people don’t realise is that burkas/hijabs are used to cover up bad haircuts and greasy hair. These women need greater justice.


  2. Anomanomanom

    So whats the problem, it allows employers to stop ANY religious symbols being worn, not just muslim. And most irish companies won’t give a fupp what you wear once you do your job.

  3. mildred st. meadowlark

    It’s actually quite a tricky situation. The hijab is, to the women who wear them, considered sacred to them. The way someone put it to me, which I found helpful, is that the hijab is akin to a skirt or trousers, in that it covers up more… private aspects of a person’s physique. To ask a woman to go without her hijab is like asking her to go out without a skirt or trousers.

    I found it helpful in understanding their position, even if I don’t necessarily agree with it. Now, as it is, I don’t think this EU law is the way forward either, but I do feel that religion has no place in the workplace, unless you happen to work in a convent or something.

    1. Gers

      Yeah thats it, give them this and next they will be missing for the Ramadan period, need a space to pray few times a day and breaks to go along with it. Next comes the food in the cantines, the swimming pools also…. How Do I know? its happening in France and causing huge problems in SMEs

        1. mildred st. meadowlark

          Just because you don’t see it as a good example, that doesn’t make it irrelevant. If it helps people understand, does it not do some good?

        2. Deluded

          Here’s a different example.
          Most Irish people get all weird about nudist beaches,we just can’t give up our budgie smugglers.

    2. Clampers Outside!

      Hi Mildred, this is not me having a go at you, I’m having a go at the explanation you were given which I find really odd to say the least.

      ” the hijab is akin to a skirt or trousers, in that it covers up more… private aspects of a person’s physique. To ask a woman to go without her hijab is like asking her to go out without a skirt or trousers. ”

      That a person of any gender would become socially conformed through practices put upon them by a religion from such an early age that they become so entrenched with the idea, that they then feel in some way ‘naked’ without it, is a true and proper example of actual patriarchy.

      Feminists kick off about so called oppression in the west but through some really, really, really, really, really warped logic will justify the oppressive nature of this real and genuine patriarchal practice.

      See the visit to Iran by the feminist government of Sweden recently where all the female ministers wore headscarfs on the visit – ( I know DailyWire is a right leaning website (and Ben Shapiro is in there too), but it doesn’t change the fact that a so called “feminist” govt kowtowed to this patriarchal practice and turned them all into a hypocritical joke )

      On the other hand, this woman showed the Swedish govt how not to kowtow to such nonsense when Germany’s Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen on her visit to Saudi refused to wear a head scarf –

      But hey… they’ll scream, feminists, bloody murder of any Catholic nun or priest who may pipe up about social issues of the day. The double standard is truly astonishing.

      I would also add that there is nothing in the Quran about covering ones head. It’s only in the hadiths, and at that it is only an interpretation, from what I have read on it.

      It is helpful in understanding their position, I agree. It is helpful in understanding the oppression and control. But to pretend it is not patriarchal, and for many millions living under Sharia, to pretend that it is not oppressive is truly astonishing willful blindness by the Wests leftist ‘right-on’ types (hopefully, not your good self Mildred).

      I’m sure some will have some name callin’ to send my way for writing this, it’s the norm at this point, unfortunately.

      1. Clampers Outside!

        I should mention, I personally have no issue with head coverings that shows the face. But I also recognise that many Muslims do have issue with Sharia enforcement, which can include the hijab.

        Here’s a young Pakistani woman, who wears her hijab, but recently protested the intruduction of a foolish hate speech law that gave special privilege to Islam. As she says herself, she left Pakistan to get away from such laws and practices, and she’s somewhat freaked by the introduction of laws that she views as heading the way of what she was running from….

        ( Again, ‘rebel media’ is right leaning. But hey, you wont hear opposing views if one only watches, listens or reads only left leaning news sources. And I no of no left leaning sources that have conducted vox pops like this one, so we have to view it there. According to some on here, that makes me an alt right nazi or some other made up nonsense accusation. But hey, I dont care, leftists even called this Muslim woman a “nazi” ffs…. they are that so far up their own hoops and living in the echo chamber of their own buttholes, sadly )

      2. mildred st. meadowlark

        See I know very few Muslims, and most of them are male, but the one female I did speak to wanted to put it into layman’s terms, because my own understanding of their religion is so far from perfect that it falls under downright ignorant.

        And while I think you make some interesting points, to be honest, I really wish religion™ were not so much a part of everyday life and so heatedly discussed, because I am firmly of the belief that religion is a private matter and absolutely none of my business.

        I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think these women have a right to wear their religious garments/icons/whatever unmolested, and that I think this EU law goes too far. I don’t know that I agree with telling someone they can or cannot wear something. It strikes me as… odd.

        And finally, Clamps, my comment is more to do with understanding their position here, not to do with the feminist side of it. I think a huge problem we have these days is polarising our views because of an unwillingness to sit down and attempt to understand. As I said before, I am only going by what was explained to me, and I felt that it gave me some insight into the importance of it for Muslim women.

        1. Clampers Outside!

          I hear ya. Again, I wasn’t havin’ a go, and I understand where the explanation came from.

          On that last bit, the polarising views. That’s a result of leftists refusal to speak of the problems inherent in Islam.

          The far left is in bed with Islam, or still courting it, and are happy to see Sharia coming your way…. when they support the like of Linda Sarsour… and set up regressicve institutions like Southern Poverty Law Centre…
          v sad…

          1. anne

            Leftist feminists refusal huh..

            You’re an awful categorist.

            Lots of men are feminists you know.

            And we all conform socially btw.

          2. Yep

            Southern Poverty Law Centre has been around for decades and done good work. They have certainly taken a bad turn but please don’t go down the route that everything “left” is and always has been regressive, Clamps.

          3. Clampers Outside

            Categorising… ah hear, feminism lives off categorising. It’s its bread and water.

            It loves it so much, it came out with that total garbage categorizing theory, intersectionality.
            Welcome to the “matrix of oppression” as Prof Patricia Hill Collins put it in the book Race, Class & Gender (no i didn’t read it). To create the matrix, everything needs to be labeled, categorized, put in it’s box, the removal of nuance, and instead the systematic view of everything from a privilege and domination relation to each other. And in later years…. there’s the bones of microaggression theory and more nonsense…..

            Get off the bus! :)

        2. veritas

          I fully agree with your point about religion being a private matter, that is why I don’t want to know what religion a person I am dealing with is. Don’t bully others using signs or symbols of an organisation that bullies its members into submission.

          1. Nigel

            If religious observance requires them to wear an item of clothing, why should they care what you do or do not want to know? Personal is not synonymous with hidden or concealed. Nobody is forcing you to use religious symbols, and if they are you are entitled to protest just as much as these women.

      3. Painkiller

        Well said and honest. It reads like you are conscious of walking on egg shells on this topic when it’s obvious the emperor has no clothes (pardon the pun mildred!)…

        The pictures are blatantly intended appeal to the feminist movement and the feminist movement has been vocally supportive of the hijab to date – it’s borderline symbolic at this point. I guess the rationale is that if women want to wear them, then it becomes a rights movement – and all womankind should be expected to stand in support as a monolith, regardless of the some the finer details like the ones you’ve pointed out.

        Some of the prominent atheists of the day like Sam Harris have noted that the regressive left has the trappings of pseudo religious cult-thinking and have started moving in opposition. Jordan Peterson recently rationalised the current trend within a narrative of post-constructionist thinking. As long as the left refuse to acknowledge double standards, pragmatic conservatives and libertarians will continue to have a monopoly on reason…and you will continue to be driven to Rebel Media for better understanding.

        1. Nigel

          Pragmatic conservatives and libertarians gave us Trump. Believing you have a monopoly on reason and having be are not the same thing. And it’s easy to sneer at double standards when you wilfully mis-identify the principles involved.

          1. Nigel

            That would be a stinging criticism, but you think ‘LOLOLOLOL get off the bus’ is what passes for good argument, so it isn’t.

  4. Reubun Sidedish

    So presumably Rastafarians would be required to cut off their dreadlocks, as they are a religious statement.

  5. ReproBertie

    I have no problem with the Hijab (beyond the lie that it’s a choice). I do have an issue with the Burqa however and my issue with the Burqa is not based on any fairy tales nor on the sexist notion that men are unable to control themselves in the presence of a woman. My issue is the blatant discrimination that makes me remove my motorbike helmet to pay for petrol but allows the wearing of a Burqa for the same transaction.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      you should wear a burqa underneath your helmet. and refuse to remove your helmet until there’s quite a scene underway. then remove it to reveal your burqa.

      1. ReproBertie

        I do occasionally wear a balaclava-like cover under the helmet for the really, really cold days but the head only view would make me look like I was trying to be a ninja so how do I convince them it’s for religious reasons?

    2. Deluded

      Is there a lot of burqa-related crime, outside of Hollywood comedies? I can see practical problems with your analogy, ReproBertie

        1. Deluded

          Anne, motorbikes for a quick getaway and the helmet to conceal identity are frequently used in robberies and shootings,

          This is not a defense of that mobile prison, the burqa, but having grown up with a generation of Catholic apologists I will say it is very easy for the religious to dismiss counter-arguments and frame them as part of a general assault on religion.

          I believe there are a number of points to this including:
          a) religious coercion borne of:
          b) modesty and an expected freedom from general lechery and molestation
          c) possession and purity, a rejection of “damaged goods”

          Only one person has mentioned that personal freedom is an important tenet of our civilisation; I would hope that a generation of muslims might learn enough about respect and self-confidence to throw off their restrictions, like the Irish have with Rome.

          1. Deluded

            … I was being a bit ironic there at the end but I know my grandmothers covered their hair in the House of the Lord and our mothers were “churched” to be allowed back to mass:
            I don’t know why an Irish person of our age would be amazed at all this muslim stuff (considering we still have such hang-ups about sex and nudity).
            I don’t like the Islam, I can see it has co-opted morality just like christianity but I think the conversation could be about communicating with the individual people and offering a civilised alternative, not some of this bizarre foam-flecked ideological hypocrisy.

        1. Clampers Outside

          To even believe they don’t have an oar in is just silly considering the hijab wearing at the womens march. Feminism got into it itself at that point, publicly. Add to that, the self declared feminist government of Sweden which very much solidified and confirmed that fact when they visited Iran.

          1. anne

            What are you on about – feminism got itself to what point publicly?

            Are you saying feminism and hijab wearing are not compatible? Why don’t you let the women who want to wear a hijab decide that for themselves?

            What’s your problem with feminism btw? Do you believe women have been treated equally in let’s say this country since the foundation of the state?
            Do you think inequality stopped when women could vote? Stopped when they didn’t have to leave the civil service when they got married..when they could join men in the bar of a public house? The fight for women’s rights shouldn’t need spelled out the myriad of ways women have been/are subjugated in this country.

            Your denigration of feminism is tiresome to say the least. It looks like thinly veiled misogyny to me.

            I think you have slight issues with women you need to deal with.
            You’re more focused on feminism than any woman I know.

          2. Clampers Outside!

            What are you on about – feminism got itself to what point publicly? – into the whole ‘we support the hijab’ hypocrisy.

            Are you saying feminism and hijab wearing are not compatible? – Yes. Absolutely. 100%. Defo. Nail it in one. That’s it. Now you’re on the right track. Feminism is built on patriarchal theory and the oppression of man, and his tools, including religion. The hijab is an embodiment of real patriarchal misogyny.

            Why don’t you let the women who want to wear a hijab decide that for themselves? – they can wear what they like. I don’t have to swallow the buill sold to the world by feminists about it, and Sharia, being benign for millions of women. That’s the hypocrisy of feminism getting into bed with Islam.

            What’s your problem with feminism btw? – it’s vomitous lies and misinformation; it’s bullpoo theory of patriarchy as it applies it in the west yet ignores the problems for millions of women around the world suffering under Sharia; The Duluth Model of DV intervention… that’s just a couple of things.

            Do you believe women have been treated equally in let’s say this country since the foundation of the state? – Nope.

            Do you think inequality stopped when women could vote? – Nope.

            Stopped when they didn’t have to leave the civil service when they got married. – Nope.

            when they could join men in the bar of a public house? – Nope.

            The fight for women’s rights shouldn’t need spelled out the myriad of ways women have been/are subjugated in this country. – I don’t see anything I didn’t already know in what you have said here, in all truth and fairness.

            Your denigration of feminism is tiresome to say the least. – It’s denigration of men has been going on longer than I have been alive. I have some catching up to do, and siphoning through the bullpoo is not easy when so many are blinded by the lies and misinformation, particularly around DV and The Duluth Model’s application through DV services.

            It looks like thinly veiled misogyny to me. – What does? Are you just making accusations again… with nothing to back it up… sad. More demonising without evidence.

            I think you have slight issues with women you need to deal with. – No, I have issues with feminism, which I am dealing with quite well, thanks, poking holes in it’s misinformation and lies. It’s healthy for society to counter the lies around DV and patriarchy theory. Doing so in Canada and the UK is already saving lives by changing the approach to DV that feminism promotes. Great news, is that that change is spreading and the monopoly of feminist lies around the matter of DV is coming to an end. That’s good news for everyone that has ever had an abusive partner, whether they are male or female and better for children trapped in DV situations too. Children under the feminist approach have for years been used as witnesses, but now those children, no thanks to feminism, are being treated as victims too. That’s a win for rationality and reason over ideology.

            You’re more focused on feminism than any woman I know. – Isn’t that the problem. Too many women are following feminism without looking at it’s entire picture. Just rallying behind slogans because they sound right, or “feel” right without regard for what is factual and true.

            I’ll finish with this bit…

            “feel” – meaning, “have a belief or impression, especially without an identifiable reason” is not something to make policy decisions on. Yet it has been going on in DV intervention for decades due to the informing of that “feel” through patriarchal theory, one sided research, badly conducted research, advocacy research and just plain old fashioned lies and misinformation that men are the only perpetrators of DV.

            No Anne, I’m not a monster :)

  6. Gorev Mahagut

    Why is it such a bad thing that you might know what your colleagues’ religious/philosophical leanings and cultural affiliations are? Did something happen where someone was badly hurt and employers said “gee whiz, we need to make sure that never happens again”? Or did nothing happen and this just a racist assumption by employers that white European people dress “normally” and anything foreign is weird and has to be regulated?

    Because in my experience people usually get along fine without needing nonsense rules like this.

  7. Grace

    Oh but this is Ireland! A patriarchal state that seems to take an almost perverse delight in denying choices to women.

    1. rotide

      Except that this is a European decision, taken by people of both genders.

      Not that I agree with it, but there’s far better whetting stones to get that axe nice and sharp.

  8. nellyb

    Can anyone coherently explain how a removal of a non-essential religious symbol can diminish one’s faith? Surely the faith is in the heart, not in a piece of fabric. And what about muslim ladies who do not wear scarfs – are they depraved or less muslim? My mom wears a scarf in similar fashion when it gest cold – but does it make her a muslim?
    My place of employment does not allow casual clothes – no jeans, no runners, no fleece. Like in many work places. Should I sue my employer because it’s oppressive, it deprives me of comfort and that’s not what I would chose? You can run with that logic until it brings you into stupid conclusion. It’s time to chill. Protesting ladies didn’t think it though.

  9. Spaghetti Hoop

    I don’t see what is so offensive about wearing a hijab? The burqa however would not be permitted in any workplace I now where you need to identify yourself on entry.

  10. mauriac

    love the woman (?) in the first pic.sure what company wouldn’t want to hire her? this protest is the thin end of the wedge.if these women don’t feel comfortable keeping their faith to themselves maybe they should move to a suitable theocracy.

    1. mauriac

      just to be clear I was referring to the person in the first picture with her head totally obscured.i believe if you can’t even show your face then Europe might not be for can their kids be expected to integrate when their parents are nuts?

  11. Junkface

    Hijabs are fine. Burqas are not.
    All religions follow ridiculous rules imposed by men originally, but Burqas are downright weird in a western society.

  12. spudnick

    I do love how oppression of women by men is bad, until race comes into it, in which case it must be a cultural thing and we western types just don’t understand.

    Now personally I wouldn’t have an issue with the hijab, is someone wants to wear it that’s fine in my book. But don’t try to tell me its origins aren’t in misogyny.

    1. Clampers Outside

      It’s origins are in that men are animals and it’s not their fault they can’t control their urges, and so women shouldn’t tempt them.

      It’s a blame shifting cultural aspect (for want of a better wording) of Sharia Law, and gives “reasoning” to the condemning, to put it very mildly, of rape victims.

      Bananas, two for a fiver, three for a quid, wha. No nuts?

    2. Deluded

      100% spudnick
      There is no relatable restriction on men and the prostitution industry seems to manage just fine, once a woman or child isn’t owned or has been abandoned.

      1. Deluded

        (um… I veered off there, our own society has struggled with these issues of restriction and public shaming yet the men seem unscathed)

  13. smiffy

    There’s a bit of comment on here about how this EU law goes too far, or that this is someone telling women what they can – or can’t – wear. That’s simply not true.

    There’s no new law introduced here. This is a ruling by the European Court of Justice, interpreting the law that already exists. It’s not saying that employers must ban religious clothing; it’s simply saying that European anti-discrimination law as it currently stands does not prohibit employers from banning religious in the workplace, provided that such a prohibition is applied equally, and doesn’t single out any one religion. Therefore, if employers want to allow people to wear headscarves, nothing in the new ruling prevents them from doing so.

    To be honest, therefore, it seems a bit daft to protest – like the woman in the last picture above does – against the European Union (well, the European Parliament and the European Commission, neither of whom had anything to do with the decision) for someone preventing her from being who she is, or for forcing women to uncover. The ruling does no such thing. Those kind of protests should be better directed at employers who do actually require their workers not to wear headscarves, if there are any.

    1. anne

      They could be well aware of the ruling, and rather than protest ad hoc decisions by employers maybe they want a better ruling that wouldn’t allow the employer to decide what to enforce.
      Just playing devil’s advocate.

      1. smiffy


        Yes, I see the point. But this ruling doesn’t allow the employer to decide what to enforce (i.e. an employer still can’t single out wearing a hijab, while allowing turbans, for example). It just says that a blanket ban on all religious garments wouldn’t be classed as discriminatory under EU law.

        Unless the demonstrators can show that the ruling itself is wrong, that EU law actually says the opposite, they should be picketing the government, and asking them to try to raise the issue within the Council of the European Union to get the European Commission to put forward revised equality legislation to do what they actually want. If you don’t like a law, get the law changed, but don’t expect the Court to issue a different ruling based on the legislation that actually exists.

  14. itsamemario

    a bit of religious education wouldn’t go amiss. something like “Stop believing in all that religious nonsense”

  15. Listrade

    Fascinating number of men with an in depth knowledge of feminism as always. To go for the old line: it’s complicated.

    The Hijab has been taken as a symbol/cause among more modern feminists. Not all. But I see their view on it isn’t for anyone to say what you can and can’t wear (except when BuzzFeed tells men not to wear cargo shorts or numerous articles on the evils of men wearing bootcut jeans…). It took on a greater significance with the surge in anti-Muslim sentimentality, particularly with Trump’s rise. It was less of a religious symbol and more of an eff-you symbol. I like the notion of reclaiming it in that way.

    However, this is largely in the West where there isn’t the oppression associated with the Hijab. It’s usually second generation Muslims who were born in the West to immigrant Parents. Their mum’s wore it and they initially saw it as a symbol of oppression, but chose to wear it at a later stage as part of cultural identity. I get that too. Wasn’t it a Dara O’Briain line about the number of Irish who describe themselves as Atheist Catholics? There may be no clothing associated with the cultural aspects of Irish Catholicism, but there are traditions that many still go along with even without the practicing religion side. Same happened in Judaism. The religion became cultural, it became an identity. It can be tough as a second generation immigrant, you have the local accent, but you’re not local. It can be hard to know who you are. At first you probably rebel against your parents (as all kids do), then you probably warm to the traditions as you mature.

    But that’s the kids for you. There are many feminists who are against the hijab, mostly older feminists, but also those from areas where the hijab is compulsory. Bit like the discussions on the North and the Troubles, there’s a generation who have no experience of what happened, they weren’t alive, they didn’t live through it. Most of those who are reclaiming the Hijab don’t seem to have had direct experience of those regimes (and it is a minority of regimes, even in Libya, outside of of Tehran, the country is remarkably liberal) they don’t directly associate it with “oppression”.

    Hard to go full throttle one way or the other on this. I like the Eff-You nature of the symbol, especially in the times, but there has to be some acknowledgement that it continues to be a symbol of oppression for some women, which seems to be lacking from some.

    I would say that this attitude is more symptomatic of Millennials rather than all feminists. But I’m a bloke who’s just mansplained the whole Hijab issue.

    1. Nigel

      It shouldn’t be that difficult to understand being against the compulsory wearing of the hajib and in favour of the freedom to wear a hajib if you choose. Women in oppressive Islamic states need feminism pretty badly (so do men) but feminism can’t fight to take away women’s religion, it can only fight to give women the right to choose their religion, or none. Oppressed groups have transformed the symbols and language of oppression into symbols and language of empowerment before. But apparently empowering women is getting into bed with Islam, now. We’ve seen the real way to free people from Islamic regimes: massive decades-long wars that spread across continents.

      1. Listrade

        It shouldn’t be and the sudden surge in interest in feminism in oppressive Muslim regimes by the right is just reactionary whataboutary.

        1. Nigel

          Before Afghanistan and Iraq War 2, there was a lot of, ‘oh don’t you care about women oppressed under Saddam and the Taliban?’ The idea that a great big war might not improve their lives appreciably was not a consideration. A portion of the reactionary right want their clash of civilisations and they want it now, and to be anti clash of civilisations is to be pro-Islamic extremism, and arguing that freedom for women means freedom to choose their religion is pro misogynistic oppression. This is the monopoly on reason referred to in a comment above that pragmatic conservatives and libertarians are giving us.

          1. Listrade

            Agreed. It was spun again after the wars when more extreme groups such as ISIS popped up and used as stick to beat the left and feminism.

            The issue of complexity I referred to are to those who are uncomfortable with the reclamation of the Hijab as a symbol, mostly from their own experiences of being forced to wear it or actively opposing those regimes, not me supporting the lines from the right about modern feminism.

          2. Clampers Outside!

            Bullpoo on this… “to be anti clash of civilisations is to be pro-Islamic extremism”. That’s an assertion. Any evidence or is it just your belief? Is that based on facts that you can provide or is that based on “feels”? I think it’s based on feelings, not any informed logic.

            Where do you get this from? – ” arguing that freedom for women means freedom to choose their religion is pro misogynistic oppression.” – where did anyone make such a ridiculous and moronic assertion, statement or otherwise even infer such?

            ” This is the monopoly on reason referred to in a comment above that pragmatic conservatives and libertarians are giving us. ” – This is nothing you’ve not actually given anything, just made waffle like statements pulled out of thin air.

            Assertions are not facts Nigel.

          3. Listrade


            “Feminism was in the past never been interested in fighting the oppression of Islam”

            “Assertions are not facts Nigel.”

          4. Nigel

            It’s incredibly tricky and dodgy. For centuries Irish Catholcism was repressed and Cathoilcs horribly repressed. Then we gained our freedom and look what happened. Society has to have secular laws, and that must include freedom of religion, and most important the freedom to walk away from religion. There are people who will never accept the rehabilitation of Martin McGuinness, but it happened just the same, and it helped end a brutal conflict. The hajib will never not be associated with oppression of women, but it can still be rehabilitated in a way that empowers Islamic women. Hopefully. Maybe. Better than bombs and bullets anyway. This is pragmatism and incrementalism which nobody likes, but seems to actually work in the long term.

          5. Nigel

            ‘That’s an assertion.’

            Yes, it is. Ridiculous, isn’t it?

            ‘where did anyone make such a ridiculous and moronic assertion,’

            It’s your central thesis in this thread.

            ‘Assertions are not facts Nigel.’

            Oh, sorry, here’s a YouTube video that will clarify:


        2. Clampers Outside!

          That’s a stretch. Who are these right wingers. At least they, as you have labeled them, are interested.
          Feminism was in the past never been interested in fighting the oppression of Islam, and in the past few decades has been too caught up cockamamie nonsense like “microaggressions” and “manspreading” in the West.
          When feminism finally did get interested… it decided to promote the symbol of oppression for millions of women, and supporting Islam.

          Jaysus !

          – – – –
          Yes, this vid is by PragerU, yes, it’s a conservative think tank. No, it’s not an alt right nazi group…. *eyeroll*
          Check the message this woman, Ayaan Hirsi, is making….

          1. Listrade

            Clampers, go beyond Youtube please. Its not hard to research if you are really interested. There has been a plethora of feminists writing about Muslim issues for a long time. Try these for starters:

            Arundhati Roy
            Eve Ensler
            Katha Pollitt
            Ahmed Rashid
            Asma Jahangir
            Rachel Woodlock

            All have written and spoken about Muslim women and the feminist movement.

            Just because you don’t know about it or partisan videos misrepresent the past, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

            something, something, get out your echo chamber, something, something.

            And the more you research on feminism for Muslim women, the more you see a different picture. Like how for many women, the

          2. Nigel

            The more worrying right wingers would be Steve Bannon and Mike Flynn. Otherwise I encourage you to google search ‘clash of civilsations’ and you can judge whether their interest is to their credit.

            Islamic women the West can, of course, avail of all the benefits gained for them through western feminism, including the right to wear what they choose.

            Feminists in oppressive Islamic countries are doing more and risking more for freedom than you with your sneering at microagressions and manspreading.

            As for Ayaan Hirse, like yourself, she seems to be awfully fuzzy and vague about what it is feminism is doing wrong or what it’s doing at all. There’s a lot of generalised ‘this is what feminism said and what feminism is doing’ that, in a world where the term ‘feminazi’ is a thing, I’m not going to take critiques of feminist ideology that seem to rely on straw feminism at face value.

          3. Clampers Outside!

            The more I research feminism and Muslim women, the more I see that western feminism has done f’all for them. And is currently doing more damage than good with the like of the self declared feminist Swedish govt arriving in Iran all wearing hijabs when so many in the regime are oppressed by it.

          4. LW

            How, precisely, did the Swedish government do more damage than good by this? You really have a hard on for imagined transgressions by Swedish authorities

          5. Nigel

            Yeah, why haven’t western feminists completely overthrown repressive Islamic states and liberated all the women inside? Get on with it, western feminists!

            So they showed solidarity with Iranian women by wearing hajibs? Good for them! (Also, required by law, I believe so the alternative would be to not send women at all.)

            Iranian women aren’t oppressed by the hajib, but by men who impose religious practices and observances on them, on pain of death.

          6. Listrade

            “The more I research feminism and Muslim women,”
            Feminism was in the past never been interested in fighting the oppression of Islam” – see the video below.”

            I did see it. I responded that she was misrepresenting the facts. As part of your research look at the 6 names I gave. There is a long history of support for the feminist movements in Islamic countries.

          7. Nigel

            No, I am being flippant because they had to obey the law of the country for diplomatic reasons and your relentlessly negative interpretation is hardline, inflexible and disproportionate, especially for someone who wouldn’t have to wear one if he ever goes to Iran.

          8. Clampers Outside!

            There is a long history of support for the feminist movements in Islamic countries.

            My point has been about western feminism and it’s lack of support for women under Islamic oppression. Citing the work of feminists from the middle east does not give credence to any claim that feminists in the west have been fighting for them. The struggle of feminism in the middle east does not get support in as big a way as you purport.

            Even uber feminist Gloria Steinman admits as much –

            More here –

            More here – I recommend a good read of this one. While I don’t agree with everything in this, it is a good discussion on how western feminism views that ” the root cause of women’s oppression everywhere was the same ” and there are plenty arguments as to why this is simplistic. There’s a paragraph in italics on p136 which gives a good round view of what is covered in this link.

            – – – –

            It’s lunchtime guys…

          9. Nigel

            Yeah, those look quite interesting, actually, but I’ll be putting them aside till later. Cheers.

          10. Clampers Outside!

            ” they had to obey the law of the country for diplomatic reasons ”

            Nigel makes excuses for a genuine patriarchal law.

            They had to obey the law… jesus fuppin’ criminey. So, if that was the law here, it’d be cool with for every woman to be wearing hijabs, whether they like it or not…. because that’s the law, a religious law…. wtf…

            * slow clap *

            And what about the German Defence Minister on her visit to Saudi where Sharia Law is the state law, and she didn’t wear one.
            She must be one of them nasty anti-diplomacy women or something for having created a fuss. I really dunno, maybe she should have given up her beliefs and worn the damn thing, for diplomacy, and to hell with human rights concerning women.

            Your excusing of the enforcement of an oppressive law in the interest, as you say, of ‘diplomacy’, and the kowtowing is beyond belief really…. well and truly.

          11. Listrade

            “Nigel makes excuses for a genuine patriarchal law.”

            He doesn’t. Not that I saw, he has never defended the law.

            “They had to obey the law…And what about the German Defence Minister on her visit to Saudi”

            Just as an FYI. Iran and Saudi are not the same. They do not have the same laws. Saudi is very strict for Muslim women. However, it does not have the same strictness for western women especially not diplomatic visits. Iran is different. Whataboutery doesn’t quite work so well in this case.

          12. Nigel

            Oh boy. Observing that they were obeying a law os the same as excusing the law they are obeying? What did logic do to deserve this torture?

            Are you sure visiting female foreign dignitaries are required to wear head coverings in Saudi Arabia? I was under the impression that was not the case.

            But this was a pretty disingenuous comment on the whole. People obey laws because they have the force of law not because they think they’re ‘cool.’ Observing laws you don’t respect is an everyday facet of diplomacy and often a facet of everyday life. PointIng out that someone was obeying a law in no way implies approval for that law.

            You are making a bad faith argument in that comment, whether you realise it or not, and it’s kind of offensive.

          13. Clampers Outside!

            Law v Custom… so what.
            It is still a statement for Ms Leyen to not wear it, is it not. It is, I do believe. We can differ on the power of that statement, fair enough.

            On the Swedish kowtow… where was the solidarity with Iranian women?
            Oh… it’s the “law” said the men ….some solidarity that, eh.

            Well, Iranian woman and organiser of My Stealthy Freedom campaign differs from you guys, and the Swedish govt, and would prefer some solidarity…. From Independent link below:
            ” Ms Alinejad, the restrictions imposed on women’s dress are a key part of the government’s “discriminatory laws” and should be opposed by Western politicians and diplomats visiting the country.
            Iranian authorities have labelled her a heretic, whore and CIA operative for her activism but has vowed to continue her fight for women’s rights.
            “I feel that we are raising awareness every day,” Ms Alinejad said.
            “Our campaign is having an impact inside Iran and even some politicians, including elected officials, agree with us that hijab should be a choice.”

            A missed opportunity by the Swedish feminist govt to show some integrity for their position. Now.. they just look like they stand by it when it suits them.

          14. Clampers Outside!

            ” You are making a bad faith argument in that comment, whether you realise it or not, and it’s kind of offensive. ”

            Jesus fuppin’ criminey Nigel… get your head out of your own hoop.

            What “bad faith argument”, I made no such thing. Please point out what you have seen to make that statement.
            And while you are at it, plse do let me know what it is that you find offensive about what I’ve written.


          15. Nigel

            Bad faith argument: you know perfectly well that I do not support oppressive misogynistic laws. When I pointed out, neutrally and accurately, that they were obeying a law, you insisted that this meant I was ‘making excuses’ for and ‘excusing the enforcement of’ and oppressive misogynistic law. That is to say you used faulty logic (as explained in my previous comment) to accuse me of something you know not to be true about me. That is arguing in bad faith. It’s possible, of course, you do not really understand what a ‘bad faith argument’ is, just as I’m not sure you know what solidarity means, or how logical arguments actually work.

          16. Nigel

            Oh, the offensiveness was derived from how bad your logic and your arguments were. Offensively bad, not because of what they said, though that too, but because they represent poor critical thinking skills for someone so definitive in his judgements.

          17. Clampers Outside!

            ” Bad faith argument: you know perfectly well that I do not support oppressive misogynistic laws. ”
            I do. But I didn’t say that you did. I said you made excuses for, not that you supported the law. Big difference.


            ” But this was a pretty disingenuous comment on the whole. People obey laws because they have the force of law not because they think they’re ‘cool.’ ” – where are you going with this boss?

            ” Observing laws you don’t respect is an everyday facet of diplomacy and often a facet of everyday life. Pointing out that someone was obeying a law in no way implies approval for that law. ” – Did anyone say that it did? I didn’t.
            What I said, was it was an opportunity for ‘feminists’, the Swedish govt, to stand by their beliefs and do so in solidarity with Iranian women’s struggle against the hijab.

            As often happens here, you see what you want to see, not what was written.

          18. MoyestWithExcitement

            “The more I research feminism and Muslim women, the more I see that western feminism has done f’all for them.”

            What have YOU done for them? Please keep your answer below 10 paragraphs and no more than 3 hour long youtube video featuring some head the ball spouting hysterical nonsense ge thinks is an intellectual argument. Thanks.

          19. Nigel

            The ad hominem fallacy, for example, is where you ignore the substance of what a person says in favour of arguing that they must be wrong because of who they are.

      2. LW

        +1 Logically, it would seem to me that being against the compulsory wearing of religious clothing and in favour of choosing to wear religious clothing are compatible: don’t tell people what to wear or what not to wear

      3. Clampers Outside!

        ” Oppressed groups have transformed the symbols and language of oppression into symbols and language of empowerment before. ” care to provide a few examples…. please.

        ” But apparently empowering women is getting into bed with Islam, now. ” – who said that? Feminism is in bed with Islam.
        Women are empowered by more things than simply feminism Nigel, things like education. That’s why more women than not, say they dont need feminism.

        1. Nigel

          Words like ‘queer’ and ‘Ni***r’ spring to mind. The hats worn at the women’s march to protest the p****y grabber in chief.

          Educations is a part of feminism. Allowing and enabling and campaigning for women to be allowed to avail of educational opportunities is such a huge part of feminism that you must know literally nothing about feminism.

          1. Listrade

            Your link to a site constructed in 2008 doesn’t really counter Nigel’s point. It has been reclaimed by generations of black youths, just as queer has been reclaimed.

          2. Clampers Outside!

            2008… is less than a decade ago. And you are talking about societal change… them kids grow up fast Listrade. it’s a mixed bag. It’s not ’empowered’ for all in the way Nigel claims.

          3. Nigel

            That’s okay, I didn’t claim it was all empowering, just that it was a thing that happened, but I eagerly await the jury’s verdict, I’m sure.

          4. Nigel

            *Hands Clampers keys to lorry for moving goalposts*
            *Hands Clampers course in critical thinking to gently explain the fallacy of thinking that finding someone critical of people adopting a negative a term an act of empowerment proves that the term was not adopted as a term of empowerment*
            *Notices Clampers has changed the subject, wonders if it’s time to pedal into the distance before things gets nasty again*

          5. Nigel

            Well, let’s say the subject has drifted. I’m not sure I’m up for a debate about the social, cultural and political context and overall effectiveness of US black culture taking ownership of that word, Clamps. I may not be woke enough.

    2. Clampers Outside!

      A fine post Lstrade.

      One note at the end… I believe that the last bit, about mansplaining is wholly incorrect. If the hijab was brought about, introduced by, the Quran’s “instruction”, which was written by man, and interpreted by men, and enforced by men, then men understand the hijab perfectly well, and there is no mansplaining to be done…. surely. Happy to be corrected on this, as always.

      1. Listrade

        It was me mansplaining. I was mansplaining. I’m aware I was mansplaining. I’m going to mansplain some more.

        Hijab is a concept of modesty, not an item of clothing. The veil/headscarf was not introduced by the Quran, it had been a feature of dress and attire across Persia and the Mediterranean for millennia. Its also essential for the Divine Beast Vah Naboris in Zelda Breath of the Wild. It didn’t just appear when Mohammad came along. Romans had them (VESTA virgins), Greeks wore them, Mesopotamia and Byzantine. All predate the Quran substantially.

        Second, the Quran doesn’t instruct. It calls for modesty, that is the concept of Hijab. It doesn’t instruct on what should be worn though hence different interpretations with just a head scarf, or Burqa and niqab. The concept of modesty also existed in the Judaism (tzniut), Corinithians refers to it too. In fact, archaeology and text from the time show that veiling and seclusion of women spread from Judaism and Christianity to the Arab world.

        1. Clampers Outside!

          I agree with all that except the first two lines.

          Under Islam the veil takes on a meaning all of it’s own. The other historical uses are not central to what is being taught, dictated or enforced by Islamists or sharia law. otherwise, everyone would see Peig in the same light, and fashion is not the same as a religious instruction.

  16. Friscondo

    Maybe some women find the objectification and sexualisation of women from childhood on is not something they want to be a part of and feel more comfortable presenting themselves to the world more modestly. The sleazy porn saturated western culture where young women are increasingly pressured to present an overtly sexualised image of themselves may not be for all women. I don’t know, I’m a man, who is increasingly worried about the culture his 8 year old daughter is growing up in. Both extremes are all about men controlling women.

  17. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    ‘Don’t prevent me from what I am by what I choose as a woman to wear’

    Hmm. Y’see, my problem with that is that she’s wearing the hijab as a religious symbol, not clothes.

    Now I’ve typed that, I’m not sure that’s a great argument, but I’ll post it anyway. Fupp it.

  18. EightersGonnaEight

    The hijab is like cannabis: those that do, probably shouldn’t. Many of those that don’t, should.

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