Purpose of the veil: to show off what it conceals

Veiling is pornographic in itself. Because it highlights what it conceals: sex. And it divides women into good and bad. Liberals who speak of "choice" perpetuate a patriarchal practice of which gender identity is the ultimate expression.
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There is one thing that Covid has demonstrated: a masked society does not work. 

Supporters of the veil were immediately enthusiastic: "Yes, you see, the mask is like the burqa, but yes, it's the same, it's fun to feel more laïcard (secularist), what do you say?'. But comparing surgical mask/full face veil is more or less like comparing a scarf on the nose on a cold winter's day and a burqa(...). the afghan burqa protects women from sexual harassment written by Lila Abu-Lughod and published by  Harvard University Pressnot on Twitter. I mean, let's go beyond these little endemic academic lapses. 

An ostentatious practice

More than a garment, veiling is a practice (...) Indeed when you are veiled you have to act modestlyYou have to be in a certain way with men, perhaps devote yourself to a life of prayer and so on. The repeated and heavily regulated nature of the veil is similar to a practice.

Comparisons with skirts and masks are meaningless. The veil is the choice of a constraint (...) Today I'm wearing a skirt, tomorrow I'll wear trousers, the veil, with its code of conduct, is long-term. I'm wearing it today but tomorrow I won't give it up because it's 27 degrees (...)

The full veil stands out like a stain in the crowd. We see it from afar, this long, thick fabric that sticks up like an age-old shame. In these circumstances, we can better appreciate an essential characteristic of the veil.is necessarily ostentatious. 

Why do we need to see the veil?

The veil is ostentatious because it is symbolic. It is put on the head (symbolic place) and covers the hair (also symbolic). Since it does not respond to any practical need (like the cap for the cold) it only belongs to the symbolic order like a turban or a crown. 

Like any symbol, it communicates something. And if a symbol communicates, it is not a monologue: it must be perceived by others, otherwise it disappears.

(...) By hiding, the veil reveals exactly what it conceals. In this hidden/revealed paradox Chadortt Djavann sees a pornographic element in itself. 

The veil necessarily suggests sex: female sex, coital sex. It creates an obsession with this: it remembers the sex of the woman and says what we can or cannot do with it. It is a indicator of sexual availability. The veil says to other men: down here is a female belonging to another male - be it 'God', Jesus, husband or father. The veil shows men what they cannot touch. In a patriarchal culture where, to quote the rich thought by Andrea Dworkin marriage is a purchase, rape a theft, prostitution a rent (...) the veil is the sign of ownership.

The veil is therefore a symbol which distinguishes good women and bad women. Like with prostitution! What a coincidence! Life is indeed made up of surprises. As if the first veil laws were not created precisely to distinguish prostituted women from married women. This was the case in Assyria in 1050 BC. The same in many French territories or in Italy in the Middle Ages. Until the 15th century in Dijon, removing a woman's veil meant accusing her of prostitution. In Iran a rapid movement of unveiling/revealing signals prostitution. 

(...) What about theimplicit insult to women without headscarves? For there to be veiling, there must be non-veiling (...) Covered/uncovered women. As with the binary code, the eternal state/non-state and man/non-man, the veil does not allow for the incorporation of difference. The veilless woman is the negative of the veiled, a failure (...) 

But how? I thought that the veil was a sign of emancipation! 

If the veil is a symbol, couldn't its meaning have changed over the centuries? 

First of all, as Andrea Dworkin thinking of the word 'vagina', which means 'sheath', 'sheath': 'if the word has not changed, the meaning has not changed'. The same applies to practices. That the veil, a product of a patriarchal society, has survived as it is to this day still suggests a clue to its patriarchal nature. Frankly, thinking that veils and feminism are compatible is like thinking that there can be butchers in an anti-speciesist society.

Secondly, if it were not already obvious, it should be remembered that the veil is only worn by women (...) Obviously a man can disguise himself as a veiled woman, we will talk about this in a moment, but the daily wrapping of a veiling object on the head would be another practice and would be assimilated to a turban or other headgear: there is no veiled man. This shows imposed and necessary sex discrimination for the veil (...) An egalitarian society does not need distinguishing marks hierarchical, remember Sheila Jeffreys studying the veil.

The two sexes are not only different, as he explains. Antoinette Fouqueare asymmetrical. The role of women in the perpetuation of the human species is clearly more substantial. In a patriarchal context, the male sex is dominant. A man or a woman can do exactly the same thing, but the meaning of this thing is not the same because of their gender (...).

When the second sex is covered with shame, there is no liberation. The position of women should change so that the meaning of the veil changes. But veiling is exactly the kind of practice created to degrade women. In a society where the position of women is clearly established, where the meaning assigned to being a woman is clearly established, the reproduction of sexist practices only confirms this meaning and position. 

The erasure of women

The veil is an ostentatious symbolic practice that serves as a sexual distinction and that signals male ownership. But its function does not stop there (...) The veil erases the woman. We women, by veiling ourselves, erase ourselves from space.  pubic-masculine (...)

Today we discuss the erasure of women because of gender identity and the disappearance of the word 'woman'. But the denial of women goes back to the veil. The normalisation of the veil paved the way for 'pregnant people' (...) No more gender differences. Only one man and one object

By erasing the woman, the veil gives way to the object (...) Normally, he explains Janice Raymonda woman is reduced to pieces: breasts, legs, sex, feet... the fetishization that follows gives life to each of these parts, which in truth have no autonomous existence. Like objects, they are assigned their own existence and function. Woman = breast. These parts detached and transformed into objects come to symbolise the whole woman - the part for the whole, a metonymyfor the fanatics of rhetorical figures. Boobs = woman. A man bombards his chest with silicone, we call it breasts, we say he is a woman. For the veil things go in the opposite direction. We have here a  whole woman  which is covered with an object. There is no longer any need to fragment it to objectify it, the object defines it (...)

When the terrorists tried to escapein London in 2013, they did not just hide: they disguised as women in burkas. The aim was not just to be anonymous, but to make the object speak: 'Here below is a respectable, pure and pious woman, belonging to god/husband/brother/father/spirit'. As with breasts = women, we have veil = woman. The veil also contributes to the myth of the woman-object. 

Scopo del velo: ostentare quello che nasconde

Hasn't the veil been talked about enough already?  

Apparently not as much as would be necessary to make the practice obsolete. Traced back to cultural and religious practices, the veil distracts by bringing the discourse to bear on the critique of that culture or religion (...) You can still see the veil between supposed feminist images celebrating the 'diversity' of women. Yet we do not feel so much the need to represent women with high heels or cosmetic surgery: stereotypes and violence do not participate in the 'diversity' of women. This overwhelming urge to add veiled women everywhere shows that the essence of these women is defined by the veil, as if they were no longer themselves without it - always this idea of the incomplete woman (...)

The intellectual short-circuit of thought advocated by liberalism confuses us even more. Is veiling oneself a choice? Does the veil have negative consequences or not? Does it interfere with the freedom of others or not? (...) No matter what either prostitution or gender identity, as long as it is choices nothing is harmful. Here we see to what extent liberalism lacks critical thinking. It is the sociology of the philosopher: I am content to observe, I refrain from expressing myself. The chosen/not chosen binary code replaces the vital "But why?".  

The veil discriminates against women and girls. This gender practice is linked to other sexist institutions such as marriage and prostitution (...)

To understand the injustice of the veil, it is enough to see a fourteen-year-old girl wrapped in a sort of K-way fuchsia pink under the beating Aegean sun, mired in fabric while trying to swim. It has its  mouthpiece but she can't dive, the air bubbles in the garment keep her on the surface (...) Go tell her she can be proud of being a woman when she has been covered from head to toe. 

Go and tell him that the world is his. 

So, for or against the veil? (...)

Full article by Yagmur Uygarkizi here

Translation and adaptation: Marina Terragni

Image: The Disappearance of Women by Iranian photographer Shadi Ghadirian


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