Women – Dress – Religion – Oppression

April 8, 2014

One of the most interesting observations in Israel – and Jerusalem in particular – is the “dress” of the women. Whether they were Jewish, Christian or Muslim their ways of dressing were distinct and certainly signified their religious background.MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

The religious women of all three religions covered their heads and were modestly dressed. On the other hand, some young women of all three religions wore skin tight pants and bosom hugging tops, and some wore colourful, matching head scarves with their modern outfits.

Imagine seeing every curve, crack and crevice of their bodies, but their heads properly covered!

Anyway, two things set me thinking. First, US and European opinion of Muslim women tend to be that their style of dress is associated with oppression. Throughout history, the men in all the Abrahamic Faiths have used religion to oppress their women. No one can dispute this claim.

A Jesuit priest once told me that if men were making the rules, would they make rules against themselves? In conversation, a Rabbi also admitted that religion oppresses women.

Is the world ready for women to be equal to men?KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Second, it is a fact that Jewish and Christian women in those same parts of the world dress in a modest manner, but there modest dresses are not connected to oppression. However, the Muslim women, with their head scarves, are seen as oppressed because of the head scarf.

I think that all men and women should dress with decorum in public places. To associate women’s clothing with oppression is missing the point. It is man made laws – in the name of God – that oppress women.

We need to change those laws to end women’s oppression. But that will never happen! Men will never be content to play second fiddle or to accept that God gave women stuff in their heads too!


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