Maajid Nawaz begs women to stop wearing the burqa.

He seems to be under the impression that these women (and girls – some are put under the burqa at eleven, twelve, years old) are able to make this decision for themselves. Maybe some are.

But UD finds it odd that Nawaz addresses not a word to the many men who make their wives and daughters wear burqas.

[W]e have no assurance that Muslim women put on the burqa or don the veil as a matter of their own choice. A huge amount of evidence goes the other way. Mothers, wives, and daughters have been threatened with acid in the face, or honor-killing, or vicious beating, if they do not adopt the humiliating outer clothing that is mandated by their menfolk.

It’s kind of like telling eight year old girls that they really should think twice before getting their clitorises removed and labia sewn up. Or fourteen year old girls that they probably shouldn’t get married. It might be better to address your concerns to their parents and guardians.

Taking a Leaf out of United Airlines’ Book…

… the New York Times (scroll down to the Celia Duggar statement) will now refer to this practice as Female Genital Reaccommodation.

*************

A thoughtful review of terms.

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“You were born into a female body which automatically labeled you a defect[ive] human being in need of reconstruction.”

Fascinating, lengthy, follow-up in the Atlantic to a cultural relativist’s take on don’t-call-it-mutilation.

I feature the above comment because it reminds us that in many pro-mutilation cultures, it’s not just removing the clitoris and tying up the labia of three year old female bodies; it’s about hiding those bodies under burqas and punishing their misbehavior with honor killing.

Honor killing is too brutal a term for it, though, isn’t it? It will only alienate these communities. UD proposes honor cutting.

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.

“Men need to feel comfortable, to say, ‘Yes, I am proud to marry a woman who is not mutilated,'” she says.

“A Danger to the Community”

The Butcher of Livonia goes to jail. No bond. Good.

Since she’s a product of one of this nation’s best medical schools – Johns Hopkins – and because the name Johns Hopkins is about to be dragged in the mud big time, I’m thinking a statement dissociating themselves from this woman would be a good idea.

An even better idea would be revoking her degree. If degree revocation means anything, doesn’t it mean this?

***************

Zero tolerance will also include some of the following:

The parents could face charges of child neglect, child abuse, and transporting their children across state lines for the purpose of criminal sexual activity. Since they transported the children across state lines, the charges are federal and have combined penalties that could lead to sentences of over ten years in federal prison. Even if the parents aren’t charged with crimes, their children could be permanently removed from their custody. Additionally, depending on their immigration status, they could also be deported from the United States. Federal law allows for the deportation of immigrants if they break the law, explicitly mentioned in the statute is “aggravated felony.”

******************

[One of the victims’] father told a child protection investigator that “if they knew what would come of it, this would never have happened,” the petition stated.

All we wanted to do was sentence our seven year old girl to a life of humiliation, shame, pain, anguish, and sexual mutilation; had we known we could get picked up for it, we’d for sure not have done it.

******************

It’s all the more shocking that a female doctor would engage in such practices. As an American female physician myself and as a human rights defender, I demand that, if guilty, the doctor be prosecuted to the fullest extent with the harshest punishments, though a federal imprisonment of five years (the current maximum sentence) seems paltry in comparison to the crime.

Without question, if found guilty the doctor in question must be stripped of her license to practice medicine permanently and be rendered a felon. Her alleged longstanding deception of parents (who claim they did not know, some reports suggest) and of the local medical community should also influence the severity of her punishment.

… These girls can never be made whole again. At age 7, years away from their own sexual knowledge, denied an intact clitoris, they will never experience sexual gratification as consenting women. Yes, they may be able to have babies, but their pregnancies, labor, and deliveries will be high-risk because of the profound anatomic destruction to the birth canal. And this is not even accounting for the incredible psychological injury they will come to experience.

“FGM: Detroit doctor Jumana Nagarwala faces life in jail”

A good strong headline. A woman who allegedly butchered many seven-year-olds confronts justice. Here’s hoping it discourages other butchers in this country in the same line of work.

*****************

Half a million girls.

For all who love universities.

And democracy.

‘The footage showed boys entering the bus from the front and the girls from the back.’

They’re never too young to enslave – especially when they live in democratic countries that might start giving them ideas.

Update on the Burqa.

UD has been writing against the burqa for years.

It has been gratifying to track global efforts to suppress it. Here’s the latest.

The European Parliament’s biggest political grouping has said it supports the introduction of a European Union-wide ban on Islamic face veils.

The European People’s Party adopted the measure as an official policy at its annual congress in Malta this week, claiming that the ban should be introduced “both for reasons of security and because seeing one another’s faces is an integral part of human interaction in Europe”.

The EPP, a centre-right liberal conservative grouping, holds 216 seats in the 751 member European Parliament and is affiliated with major governing parties such as Angela Merkel’s CDU, the French Republicains and Spain’s People’s Party.

I’d revise that statement about “seeing one another’s faces” and “human interaction.” Seeing women’s faces; and, since they can barely see (and have virtually no peripheral vision) out of their eye netting, and since their mouths are covered, female interaction. Let’s be as honest and precise as we can about this: Burqas and niqabs erase women.

Sic Semper …

Mulieribus!

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[UD thanks Mary for the correction.]

The Looming Easter Egg Roll Disaster

The New York Times writes a scary, hard-hitting piece about Melania Trump’s refusal to assume the position of first lady.

Unanswered requests for White House tours, traditionally run by the first lady’s office, have been piling up by the thousands, according to people familiar with the process, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it. It is not clear how much planning has gone into the elaborate White House events that are among the heaviest tasks for first ladies, such as the annual Easter Egg Roll, which draws 35,000 attendees.

Whither the Easter Egg Roll?

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The only thing UD likes about this ugly new administration is watching Madame Trump flip the bird at the beyond-regressive first lady joke.

UD remembers how excited she got when Judith Steinberg Dean said fu-u-u-ck that, I have a medical practice in Vermont. Naively, UD thought at the time that Jacqueline Kennedy whispering along the corridors about the new curtains might be on its way out. But then Michelle Obama, of all people, announced she was going to be “First Mom.”

***************************

UD is fully aware of the irony that the first first lady in this country to finally fuck over First Lady but good is a rich idle beauty queen. UD doesn’t care. She wants to get the job done, and Madame Trump is getting it done. Brava.

مبارزه ادامه

My Stealthy Freedom

They should be thrilled she showed up at all.

Few self-respecting women would.

First they came for my daughter’s niqab…

… Then they came for my child bride

From the world of the winding sheets.

The number of times I have heard Saudi women here, who are conditioned to believe that covering is an unquestionable issue, sigh as they watch uncovered women on TV and say لهم الدنبا ولنا الأخرة (they get the world and we get the afterlife).

**************

Kill the whore!

A contemptible and badly argued attack on burqa bans.

In the aftermath of Merkel’s call for a German burqa ban, it was inevitable that someone would write the following:

Such actions toward a religious group are not new for Germany, and one might believe that lessons learned long ago would be transferable to new times and circumstances.

Put aside the pissy prissy style in which the writer, more in sorrow than in anger, instructs Germans not to be Nazis again; think rather of the world of fascist burqa-banning states the writer conjures up, those other notorious Nazi regimes – Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, France, Switzerland – that have passed partial or full bans.

UD also finds remarkable the writer’s claim that since some women have been kept masked and swaddled all their lives, it would be an unkindness to unwrap them:

It is simply what they have been taught that decent women should do in public. It has been the practice of all the women they know for as long as they have been alive. For these women banning the veil has several possible effects. At best it makes them profoundly uncomfortable when they are forced into the public realm. It would be like passing a law that says I can’t wear a shirt in public. I don’t have a religious rational for shirt wearing, but having always worn shirts I’m quite uncomfortable with making my body an object for public viewing and quite possibly public judgment… It is difficult if not impossible to change a lifetime of learning reinforced through practice. Even if these women changed their minds, changing the emotional response to their own behavior would be nearly impossible. And frankly no one is trying to change their minds. The result for these women will simply be to drive them indoors, to keep them from going out in public.

Let’s unpack this, shall we? Note that the writer has suddenly decided he’s not talking about veiling the face – and this whole argument is about face, not body, veiling – so that really just as he gets to wear a shirt, they get to wear burqas, see?

And anyway, once you’ve been raised inside a cloth cage, you get comfortable with that and you find you don’t want to be uncaged. Again we’re treated to the writer’s pissy condescension:

It is difficult if not impossible to change a lifetime of learning reinforced through practice.

I don’t know… The Germans managed to de-nazify, didn’t they? … But wait! Maybe not…

One begins to discern a philosophy of life here, ja?

And here’s the kicker.

Even if these women changed their minds, changing the emotional response to their own behavior would be nearly impossible. And frankly no one is trying to change their minds.

Again, it’s “nearly impossible” for people to change so fuck it. And anyway… What does the writer mean when he writes that frankly no one is trying to change their minds?

Well, let’s see. We could take this frank admission of the frank truth a couple of ways.

1. These women live in Salafist environments and that’s just the way it is and that ain’t gonna change so leave them alone. You can’t change Nazis and you can’t change Salafists. Taking off their burqa would simply make these women hypocrites.

2. These women don’t live in democracies where everyone every day – from the baker on the corner to their children’s teachers to lawmakers – is in fact in various overt and covert ways trying to change their minds. Where the very legislation at issue is about trying to change their minds. No, no. Democracies do nothing to establish, protect and affirm themselves; they do nothing to teach the values of democracy to their citizens. Frankly no one’s trying with these women – and with the men who in many cases are the real problem here – so let it be.

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