What about victims of the cult of impossible femininity?

By Katharine Cukier | Published September 20 by The Montreal Gazette

The proposed Charter of Quebec Values plans to eliminate the personal display of religious symbols from the Quebec public service. Apparently this is necessary to confirm the secular neutrality of our state. The government’s posters in the métro suggest that this is a vital gesture to promote the “sacred” equality of women and men.

We are not naive. We all understand that the Muslim woman’s head covering, the hijab, is the particular target of the Parti Québécois’s action, and it is this particular piece of cloth that has been generating a panic for a number of years. For many, the head scarf has become the pre-eminent sign of female submissiveness. And even if these devout women claim it is their choice to follow the dress code of piety, we are convinced that there is some bullying bearded father or brother forcing them to do it. And, well, we just don’t like it.

I am for consistency, especially from the neutral, rational state. If we want to be consistent and truly rid the public service of symbols of female submission, I would argue that not only should Muslim women remove their scarves, but all female public servants should be obliged to remove their breast implants, spike heels, false eyelashes and the botulism they have had injected into their faces. They should be forbidden to dye their hair or wear makeup and tight clothing in the workplace. These adornments suggest individual choices that are powerfully at odds with our progressive, egalitarian society. There must be no more pretty kindergarten teachers with plunging necklines and girlie manicures. No more crown prosecutors in short skirts and lipstick.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/Opinion+What+about+victims+cult+impossible+femininity/8939151/story.html


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