Friday, February 22, 2008

Shorts vs. headscarf

[A headscarf affair, a women’s affair? from The Immanent Frame by Nilufer Gole
Women who are proponents of the headscarf distance themselves from secular models of feminist emancipation, but also seek autonomy from male interpretations of Islamic precepts. They represent a rupture of the frame both of secular female self-definitions and religious male prescriptions. They want to have access to secular education, follow new life trajectories that are not in conformity with traditional gender roles, and yet fashion and assert a new pious self. They are searching for ways to become Muslim and modern at the same time, transforming both.
7:21 AM] [Rethinking secularism: A headscarf affair, a women’s affair? posted by Nilüfer Göle
In Turkey, the recent parliamentary vote put an end to the headscarf ban, but not to the public controversy that has severely divided and deeply polarized Turkish society since the post-1980 period. The battle in the public sphere continues among groups with different interpretations of secularism, but also among women themselves. As the most visible symbol of Islamization for the last three decades, the headscarf has been considered a threat to secularism and gender equality, two values that are cherished by those who are devoted to the heritage of Ataturk’s republican modernity.]

[She came to break the conventions and superstitions
ELIMINATING SEX-CONSCIOUSNESS: A dress to fit and be comfortable with
Deccan Herald Sunday, April 25, 2004. The Mother introduced white shorts and shirts with kitty caps way back in 1944, for the girl students who took part in games and athletics. Not merely for convenience, the most potent point was to eliminate sex-consciousness among the young people. To her critic she said that she came to break the conventions and superstitions. But she respected all cultures. She herself learnt wearing kimono in Japan, veil in Algeria and sari in India. One takes from others when the wind of fashion blows, but it is better not to give up one's own cultural treasure altogether. In diversity remains the unity, not necessarily in uniformity.
Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 9:24 AM]

[I find Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s teachings on gender to be far more radical
My soul has rebelled against gender stereotypes since as long as I can remember, even when I was a Hijab-wearing Muslim girl. I often tell people that I find Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s teachings on gender to be far more radical (and certainly more liberating) than even the most radical feminists.
5:43 AM] [Frankly even the term "feminism" seems divisive to me
Re: Simplification and Divine Rights within Gender Roles? ned Thu, June 21, 2007 - 4:02 PM I myself am a student of the Indian philosopher-sage Sri Aurobindo Ghose and the French occultist-mystic Mirra Alfassa -- read their writings for some common sense teachings on gender, i.e. that instead of trying to be a "real man" or a "real woman", we should just focus on being individuals and unique instruments of the Divine. As a woman, I am amazed at times when I see women buying into this "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" nonsense. 5:51 PM]

The Mother's Turkish lineage is an interesting dimension of the headscarf controversy that is raging in that country. Just an instance of how futuristic the appeal of Savitri Era Religion is. [TNM]

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