I had intended to leave the subject of Islam. What is there to say to those people who understand the dire threat it represents to our way of life, and what can be said to the dolts that don’t? The recent ridiculous controversy over the burka drew me back to the subject.
Tony Abbott made perfectly measured comments on the confronting nature of a woman dressed in a beehive suit (as Bill Maher described it) and the creeping Jesuses came out in force. Tanya Plibersek apparently finds Abbott in Speedos, performing a public service by patrolling our beaches, confronting. I find Plibersek confronting no matter how she is dressed or whatever she is doing. Superciliousness personified. I find Christine Milne and Andrew Wilkie and Chris Bowen, among other pissants, confronting. Do Australian values mean nothing to them? Is their national self-esteem so low that any alien cultural abomination passes muster? Or is it just a tawdry case of their being votes in it?
Let me say it in simple terms. Women in Australia don’t dress like that. Subjugated women may dress like that in Saudi Arabia, in Yemen, in Iran and in other benighted Islamic backwaters, but not in Australia. Women in Australia live the truth that they stand equal with men before God – “there is neither male nor female for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”. (Galatians 3:28)
Of course in our free society, unlike the societies from which most members of our Muslim community or their parents came, women and men are — and should be — legally allowed to dress as they like. Provided, that is, they don’t walk down Main Street flashing their bottoms or genitalia. That doesn’t mean we can’t have opinions on the way people dress. And it doesn’t mean in this age of worldwide Islamic terrorism and barbarism that we can’t implement sensible security measures.
Beehive suits are permissible on public streets and in parks. Entry into private establishments is entirely up to the proprietors. I was not allowed into a Newtown pub wearing a cap. Entry into potential terrorist targets — airports, courts, state and federal parliament buildings, and the like — should be disallowed, full stop, no exceptions.
Even if the identity of a person is checked on entry, if there is more than one of them, how can they individually be tracked? Two or more beehive suits go into the washroom together; which one comes out first? And, by the way, presumably extra administrative cost has to be incurred by ensuring women staff are on hand to usher the Muslim ladies to a separate room where their facial feature can be examined away from the prying eyes of strange men.
Give us all a break. Have we completely lost our collective common sense? Is it a joke? No, unfortunately it is not.
Every woman wearing a beehive suit deserves the same respect and kindness as an individual as everyone else. But they must bear the responsibility of their choice, even if it has been effectively forced on them by a medieval patriarchal culture. They can’t expect the same level of entitlement.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty) put it well, as he often did: “When a person’s conduct affects the interest of no persons besides himself … there should be perfect freedom, legal and social, to do the action”. But he added instructively “… and stand the consequences”.
There are consequences to dressing from head to toe in a beehive suit. One of them is being regarded as a potential security risk. There is an option: When in Australia dress as an Australian.