Let me illustrate how we must let women choose to wear niqab if we are OK with kimono.
The samurai. The ninja. Shogun. Kimono. Canadians are fascinated by the romantic Japan.
The first thing you do when you put on a kimono – wrap yourself in towels and ribbons to make you into a cylinder. Some say it is so no one can see the woman’s beautiful figure. Some say it was so that the kimono makers (men) didn’t have to worry about who’d be wearing it, like the wearer is just a display.
And they developed the 12-layer formal kimono. 12 colours were used like a haiku – to show the season and individuality, they convinced the women. Some say it was so women couldn’t run away. Under the weight of 12 layers, women often passed out (and found much later because the layers would keep them propped up).
Growing up, TV showed men pulling on the obi and women screaming and spinning like a lettuce spinner. It was kind of a regular occurrence on TV. History drama. Comedy skits. I found it comical and laughed as a child. As an adult, I realised it was a horrifying scene of a man forcibly undressing a woman and incapacitating her at the same time.
I love wearing kimono. I believe I wore it to my UBC graduation banquet by my own free will. Because I have separated it from the symbolism and history and appreciate the artform.
Sidebar: I did read that niqab should be banned because it symbolises oppression. First, that’s not the topic of this post – this post deals with the government using niqab to turn Canadians anti-muslim. Secondly, “Oh Niqab takes away a woman’s autonomy over herself. Therefore, ban niqab” is the complete opposite of giving the women back the choice.
It does make me nervous where Canada is headed.
Harper’s Canada is elitist. A lot of comments on social media indicate they consider themselves belonging to Harper’s elite group. I wonder what takes them to realise they aren’t.
How would we know they won’t turn against us next.