A friend was pondering recently about women wearing burkas and headscarves. My response was perhaps a bit quick and I decided to give it a little more thought.
Commanding anyone to do anything is a two sided blade. One side cuts to oppression, the other side cuts to the necessity to live in an ordered and safe environment. Some commands are both necessary and good, like not killing, stealing, or raping. Think of the basic commands or laws of every society that allow safety and security to all members.
Then there are commands that impinge on personal freedoms. These are the laws that go far beyond the basics, and often are exceptions to the basics. For instance, ‘thou shalt not kill’, except you can kill your wife if she sleeps, or even casts glances at another man, or your daughter if she has a boyfriend, or wants to marry someone you might not approve of. What if it’s OK to kill someone of another religion? Someone living in another part of the world. Someone who doesn’t share your beliefs?
We have lived through a time of freedom, where people had more personal liberties than found before in history. Money was plentiful, standards of living worldwide were improved. Just as life was starting to look peaceful, there was a drastic change.
Now the world is facing groups insisting on commanding personal freedoms once again. Commanding women to cover themselves, a freedom accepted for millennia. If the women chose to do so, then preventing them from covering themselves is also against a personal freedom.
What if laws were passed that all men had to be circumcised? Women have to be in some cultures. What if men were all required to be bare chested and only wear loincloths? Just the reverse of burkas and headscarves. Imagine the brouhaha. What about women is so offensive to men that they must be covered? Is it a fear of beauty? A fear that other men might covet them? A fear that women might be attracted by another man’s attention?
The more people command others, the more it draws attention to the lack of self worth in the one commanding.
If one is pleased with their own existence, generally they leave the rest of the world alone. Look at those fundamentalists on both sides of the globe. They hate each other, but both insist on the same things, bringing society back to the Middle Ages. A time of no women’s rights, harsh laws taking away hard fought for personal rights.
Making the world a better place to live is considered a fools dream. Scoffing at science and disbelief in historical facts are the new mantras. All are attitudes of, not necessarily the uneducated, but those who instill their anti-education beliefs in the gullible. If the populace is uneducated or educated only in the party line of rewritten history, then they become malleable. Nations of sheep to be sent into the world with bombs strapped to their chests, or misinformation engrained in their brains, both equally dangerous.
Gone are the dreams of creating a better society. They have been replaced by the reality of society slowly turning into waking nightmares of buffoons or malevolent men creating theocracies to justify their perverted aims.