Assad supporters are circulating a video titled “Burqa is not feminist,” a contrived little propaganda farce in one act. It’s one thing to address coercion by regimes like Iran, Saudi Arabia, or by ISIS. Women’s attire should not be dictated by law. It’s another to address the issue as one of feminist attire–as this stupid video does. There is no such thing as feminist attire. Are bras feminist? Bikinis? Girdles & shapers? Strapless gowns? Long underwear? There is no dress code, no feminist proscription on what women may or may not wear but only an insistence that women be allowed to dress as they choose.
There are those who do the song & dance about veils being mandated by men & religion & thus we must speak for those women who are afraid to speak for themselves. That’s a sophisticated crock of patronizing horse manure. Whether women who wear the burqa object to it or not it is up to them to decide what to do about it. Thousands of women in Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt, Kashmir, Myanmar, & elsewhere have or are leading social revolts against war, occupation, ethnic cleansing attired in a burqa. What kind of presumptuous numbskull would have the temerity to chide them for lacking proper & liberated attire for revolutions? Revolution is a come-as-you-are affair. Those who haven’t led one or participated in one should keep their ignorance to themselves. But of course the Assadist video siding with the counter-revolution in Syria exposes the Islamophobia that is fundamental to that ideology.