So You've Been Publicly Shamed So You've Been Publicly Shamed discussion


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Isn't this really just about political correctness?

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message 1: by Robert (last edited Jan 23, 2017 08:44AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Robert This book is interesting and thought-provoking, don't get me wrong. I just find it frustrating that Ronson hasn't got the confidence to name this stuff for what it is: political correctness.

The Justine Sacco affair was possible because nowadays it's fashionable for people to pretend things are racist even when they know they're not. It's not enough any more to just know in your head you're not racist. Now, in order to prove to everyone else you're not a racist, you have to call everyone racist even if you know deep down they're probably not. I'm not a political supporter of Trump or Farage at all, but this is the sort of tactic I see used on them a lot. Then, of course, if you ask for evidence that means you must love them. Asking for facts to be substantiated is in itself a crime.

Ronson could have come to much stronger conclusions but didn't have the balls to. I worry he didn't want to alienate his own audience by outing himself as one of those people who says political correctness is bad. This would then result in damaging accusations such as being right-wing.

What makes political correctness so poisonous is that it's politically incorrect to talk about political correctness. In the eyes of people who think it's a good thing, if you criticize it you're basically saying "I'm a racist, sexist, misogynist and Islamophobe."

Discuss.


Alan Hughes I think you may well have a point. The main problem with political correctness is its inability to tolerate different views: it is not adequate to quietly disagree with others, but now it is important to express the accepted line. This is clearly a major component of the problems he correctly identifies in the book - people are too afraid to express potentially discordant beliefs and thus self censor, and leap with joy on anyone that does make a mistake and express and unacceptable thought as by attacking them they show their own goodness.

A few times he gets close to recognising the problem but I think he is aware that his audience, the people who buy his books and pay his mortgage, are too blind to these issues to be ready to consider debating political correctness. He knows the logic runs "Those that complain about political correctness are right wing bigots" and he can't risk being tarred by that brush. As he himself said
Maybe there are two types of people in the world: those who favour humans over ideology, and those who favour ideology over humans. I favour humans over ideology, but right now the ideologues are winning,



message 3: by Robert (last edited Jan 25, 2017 06:42AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Robert Yes, that quote stuck with me too, funnily enough. He mentions this idea of "ideology" but never names it. I suppose we're just meant to consider this the ideology of Twitter shaming.

Self-censoring is a very dangerous and damaging aspect of politically correct culture. Ronson, in my view, has written a book entirely about political correctness and has self-censored in going the whole hog because of that very same political correctness.

You can imagine the headlines in Guardian opinion pieces by the likes of Suzanne Moore or Hadley Freeman:

John Ronson: Just another white man complaining about 'political correctness'

Perhaps the Buzzfeeds and Salons of this world would go further:

Is John Ronson a white supremacist?

This is another aspect of the "ideology" Ronson leaves unnamed. Opinions vary in validity depending on the skin colour or gender of the person expressing them. Political correctness is racism, sexism, hatred, anti-intellectualism and intolerance all wrapped up in one, but it thinks of itself as nothing more than good, solid decency.


Alan Hughes I think you are broadly correct but this whole area is bedevilled by the changes (quite deliberate) in language. Those who describe themselves as 'liberals', particularly in the USA but also over here, are amongst the most illiberal of people. It is usually this group which promotes what is described as 'political correctness' with their censoring through 'no-platforming', 'safe spaces' and using accusations of 'privilege' to invalidate people's views.

Even the term 'political correctness' is a ghastly misuse of language. It can never be correct, politically or otherwise, to stop or close down discussion. Rather than to correctly use political means (such as, debate and discussion) to change hearts and minds those espousing PC ideas do not permit debate.

It is very reminiscent of the powers of Blasphemy in years past. To even think the question (a doubt about faith or credo for example) was evidence of the crime. There was no need to do anything just to believe the wrong view. This was an effective way for the church to avoid dealing with debate and powerful in spreading self-censorship and fear. PC themes have the same role today - even if you don't discriminate adversely against someone, even if you don't treat anyone unfairly, you might have thought bad thoughts and need either correction or punishment. Only those in power, who know the credo and believe themselves to be correct and pure in mind are safe - he rest of us should be very afraid.


Mickey I don't think you necessarily have to name the disease in order to start effective treatment (figuratively speaking). In fact, putting a name to it might cause some people to reject considering his points out of hand, so it was a good strategy to avoid using the polarizing term. The ideas are there, and hopefully, those who engage in this sort of public shaming without stopping to consider its morality (even while in the throes of their righteous indignation at the evil-doer) will perhaps not so easily succumb to the temptation to join the dogpile.

Personally, I rather doubt it. Righteous indignation is a powerful emotion, and some people really revel in it. Ronson starts the book with describing his own experiences with being a public shamer. He wants to reach those people who would be most likely to be drawn to behaving like this, many of whom adamantly deny there is such a thing as political correctness. Calling it "political correctness" would alienate many of the people he wants to reach, and it wouldn't add anything substantial to his book. If he were cynically writing this book strictly for the money, why choose this subject at all? I think Ronson is fighting the good fight here. It is much more important to get the ideas across than to be unnecessarily combative.


Robert I think you're right. Although it's a shame it has to be like this.

I guess if Ronson had called this phenomenon a feature of political correctness (and he would have been correct) then the sorts of people who regularly engage in public-shaming would have been repelled from ever reading the book at all

If you abide by political correctness, you're hardly going to read a book saying it's bad, right?

Our only hope is that people can be educated out of this harmful behaviour without realising quite what they've been educated out of.

In my opinion, there's a wider point here: people just don't want to be calm these days. I feel like there's a cultural trend to make events more extreme than they are so they can be countered with an extreme reaction. Think of Trump's travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries. This becomes a "Muslim ban". Then, Trump's an Islamophobe. Then he's a racist. Nothing can be a little bit bad or wrong. Everything has to be a scandal and outrage. The same goes for David Davis's kiss fiasco. Look up the react quotes from Labour MPs. It's self-parody.


message 7: by Mickey (last edited Feb 15, 2017 11:36AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mickey Ronson's book (and-disclaimer!-I've only read half of it before getting distracted by the bright, shiny object of an eight book fiction series) is unabashedly geared towards persuading fellow liberals against public shaming. You can see this in the way that it is framed. He first talks about his own experiences in which he portrays himself as someone who simply becomes carried away. In the section where he writes about the Texas judge who incorporated public shaming into his sentencing, his disdain for the judge is palpable as well as his discomfort at being involved in anything that might be considered as occupying adjacent spaces in the same moral universe. (Although I will say that Ronson including some quotes by people who disagree with his take on the situation was noted and appreciated.) Ronson's interviews with those who have been publicly shamed seek to humanize the subjects and show that they are actually not racism or sexism personified. Ronson is obviously appealing to the better nature of his readers to look at their own actions in a thoughtful way. I absolutely support such a development. I don't think the 'fire and brimstone' approach would lead to any results except maybe a chortle for those who are on the other side of the aisle, and wouldn't that be essentially useless?

There has always been a certain section of the population that entertains itself with politics and makes it into a stark morality play. This happens on the left and right. Unfortunately, it's human nature to think that holding certain opinions make you a moral person and then to allow yourself to indulge in some acceptable hurtful behavior towards others.

The stripping away of the humanity of people and projecting onto them such concepts as 'Racism' or 'Sexism' or 'Hatred' is a huge problem. I didn't follow the story closely but the projection of 'White Supremacy' onto the American football team, the New England Patriots is the first recent example that comes to mind. I can see where this comes from: Hollywood movies often depict the teams opposing the heroes with traits to get us to dislike them, but it is a very damaging thing when it gets translated into real life. No person or group of people is the embodiment of a concept or a social ill. That's letting everyone else off the hook.

The public hysteria over the Trump presidency isn't an entirely new phenomenon. There have been Republican presidents before, and the United States has not and will not become Oceania or the Republic of Gilead. Personally, I have survived the Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II years without being subjugated. Most people who have been alarmed by these pronouncements will soon detect their falseness and learn not to trust those who make them. (Unless they are truly emotionally invested in living in this state of hysteria, which does have some unhealthy perks.)


Joel OFFENSE-BY-PROXY/ VICTIMHOOD APPOPRIATION That's what this is, African victims of the AIDS crisis were not those exacting judgement, it was white American liberals taking offense on behalf of a community they do not represent -- I call this "offense by proxy" and nobody seems to notice how absurd it is. it's a kind of victimhood appropriation whereby entitled college students get to absolve themselves of privilege and act as cruelly as they wish. Who says those suffering from AIDS want to exact vengeance on some young liberal in New York who made a clumsy and self-aware joke about privilege? Perhaps they have other things to worry about? Perhaps they don't want a young woman branded a racist and socially ostracized? In any case, no actual person was likely offended -- those living in Aftica with untreated AIDS
don't tend to have Twitter accounts, iPhones, and steady WiFi. The "offense" was entirely hypothetical

The left acted shamefully, nobody had the guts to come to her defense and, de facto, it's acceptable and even virtuous to judge others -- a cornerstone of Christanity and moral philosophy in general that is universally condemned as immoral, throwing stones, is righteous. It's so transparent, if one cares about "justice" and the feelings of others, sympathy is the appropriate emotion to feel for the girl. And they reveled in her disgrace -- it was a grotesque spectacle. That's the opposite of justice.

Even Ronson offers a pretty flimsy defense -- I don't blame him, he was afraid of being shamed himself. But these words -- racism, transphobia -- they have fixed definitions, and fumbling a joke that was intended to be a privilege-check is not evidence of racism. And making accusations without basis is unequivocally unethical. There's no exception for racism -- that's the very worst charge this side of pedophile one can make.

I'm a liberal myself and these asses have weaponized social justice and are doing a disservice to liberalism. And the left in general needs push-back. I'm glad Ronson shed light on the issue, but he framed it as though the joke were worse than it actually was and in doing so made her accusers seem justified. It's was pure bullshit -- one has no right to take offense on behalf of minority groups of which you aren't apart, that isn't how ofense works. The only victim was Judtine herself. And it hasn't gotten much better sense.


Robert Yes. This seems to be a trend that's becoming ever-more popular. It's as if, until you've clearly expressed that someone else is a racist, you could be one yourself.

I think we're also becoming lazy. This is an age of newsfeeds and one-minute clips of interviews. It's an age of scrolling through your phone on the train and ignoring the newspaper. There's no incentive or desire to look deeply into things. You just identify the enemy, call them racist and Islamophic, and carry on thinking you're a great person on the right side in the fight.

We might feign horror that Ireland was able to use it's laws to investigate Stephen Fry for blasphemy but like the offense-by-proxy you point out, we practice Islamic blasphemy law on each other.

If I went into a city centre and publicly criticised Islam to any degree, it's guaranteed that my white-skinned, atheistic, left-leaning friends would be horrified at my behaviour. I'd be branded a racist by some, and an Islamophobe by all. Of course, none of them are Muslims nor have they been to a mosque (I have, for what it's worth) but that wouldn't stop them.

It's funny you mention racism is the worst insult in the world other than peadophile -- I've made that observation too. When someone says "Nigel Farage is a racist" -- and I've heard this -- it's not the beginning of an interesting point for discussion. It's a signal that no discussion ought to be had. Just like saying "Nigel Farage is a peadophile".


message 10: by Mickey (last edited May 19, 2017 11:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mickey Robert wrote: "It's funny you mention racism is the worst insult in the world other than peadophile -- I've made that observation too. When someone says "Nigel Farage is a racist" -- and I've heard this -- it's not the beginning of an interesting point for discussion. It's a signal that no discussion ought to be had. Just like saying "Nigel Farage is a peadophile". "

I actually find the opposite about the charge of racism. Instead of excluding the intended from polite society, I think there is a tendency to expand the label of "racist" to everyone. (Of course, this could be a difference between American society and English society.) Lately, I've heard that Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Beecher Stowe were racists. I've also seen an article (although I didn't stop to read past the headline) that babies are racists, too. Racism is becoming an increasingly difficult charge to deny because the threshold has become so low for qualifying.


message 11: by Mickey (last edited May 19, 2017 08:36AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mickey Robert wrote: "If I went into a city centre and publicly criticised Islam to any degree, it's guaranteed that my white-skinned, atheistic, left-leaning friends would be horrified at my behaviour."

What I find odd about that is the people who will call others out for "othering" Muslims are perfectly content to "other" Christians. It seems like the impulse to attack exists in every ideological stripe, even among those who believe that they have the moral high road (which-let's face it-is everyone). This is why books that speak to each group (like this one did) are important calls to rein in those destructive impulses.


Robert Regarding message 10, I don't think this is in contradiction to my point -- it's just adding to it. The bar for racism has to be at an all-time low. But in spite of that it's still powerful.

The tendency to call everything everywhere racist is why Abraham Lincoln can retrospectively be called a racist. Via that same mentality, Nigel Farage is racist for being openly against mass immigration. What used to be merely right-wing is now racist.

As for the Christian thing, this happens because Christianity is viewed in the West as a white religion, so it's open season. The funny thing is, I love talking about how Christianity in anything other than a moderate form is terrible. It's just I want to extent those reservations to Islam as well. However, when Muslims practice ultra-conservative, women-hating ideas that's just diversity and to criticise it is racist.


message 13: by Mickey (last edited May 20, 2017 11:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mickey Robert wrote: "The funny thing is, I love talking about how Christianity in anything other than a moderate form is terrible. It's just I want to extent those reservations to Islam as well. However, when Muslims practice ultra-conservative, women-hating ideas that's just diversity and to criticise it is racist. "

Approval or disapproval of other people's religion strikes me as an academic exercise. It's more interesting to hear about how one treats others than what one thinks about other people's faiths. The disapproval tends to work more as an excuse for rude behavior than some high-minded rejection of tenets or practices. I think this tendency is what Ronson had in mind when he discusses how we take people and affix abstract labels to them such as "white privilege" to Sacco.

I don't think that disapproving of groups of people for social ills that cross every possible border is useful. What group does not have "women-hating" going on? (Ultra-conservatism is such a fuzzy term that it's difficult to define, so I'll leave it out.) What good does it do to point to others as a cause or emblem of widespread social ills? I think Ronson made a point about such a thing feeling cathartic but it also being destructive.


Robert I think here you're saying what really matters is individual good and bad behaviour, more than whether not an ideology is good or bad. That's very sensible and I try and apply it to my life.

Ideologies are out there though, and individuals take them seriously. Those ideologies provide a legitimacy for individuals to act in ways that would simply be horrible and bad were it not for the respect an established ideology commands.

If Islam had never existed and I chose to make my wife (if I had a wife) wear a black cloak over her head, I'd be a horrible person. However, because this is done in the name of Islam and Islam commands respect, I'm a nasty EDL-loving racist to call out this terrible behaviour. If you go to Bury Park in Luton, this individual terrible behaviour is occurring en masse. There's no way all the women you see just coincidentally chose to wear a black cloak over their head all the time.

To this end, I believe it is worth criticising religions and it's more of an academic exercise. The consequences of fundamentalist interpretations of religions are absolutely taking place in the West and these dreadful ideas are popular.


Mickey Robert wrote: "If Islam had never existed and I chose to make my wife (if I had a wife) wear a black cloak over her head, I'd be a horrible person. However, because this is done in the name of Islam and Islam commands respect, I'm a nasty EDL-loving racist to call out this terrible behaviour. If you go to Bury Park in Luton, this individual terrible behaviour is occurring en masse. There's no way all the women you see just coincidentally chose to wear a black cloak over their head all the time."

Have you met and talked to many Muslim women who wear a veil? Your scenario is very specific-that men force women to cover their heads. Do you think that a woman could ever choose to wear the veil? Would that be "terrible behavior" and on whose part? How exactly do you "call out" this "terrible behavior" that has others around you calling you a racist?

It seems to me that you are taking a conspicuous element of another religion and attaching sinister meanings to it. This isn't a thorough examination and rejection of an ideology or religion but a way to take a group of people dissimilar to yourself and blame them for social ills that are certainly not their fault.

A specific ideology is less of a problem in the world than a certain bent that exists in all ideologies: the itch to demonize others and to make straw men out of them. This is where the power in Ronson's book lies-he is trying to get people to look at the consequences of their own behavior. Not the consequences of some other religion or other creed. The impulse to change this book into a weak protest against political correctness is another deflection. This book is about looking at your own behavior outside of one's championing "equality" or "fairness" or "democratic values". It's about how individuals are treated when they transgress and become unwitting emblems of "white supremacy" or "racism" or "disrespectful to the military" or "unethical narcissisism".


Robert I have actually lived in Pakistan for three weeks and I spoke to Muslim women there, but they didn't wear any kind of headdress at all. This was in an office and hadn't yet been "married off" meaning it was okay for them to have long hair showing.

How could a white, atheist person like me go about speaking to a Muslim woman in a burkha or niqab? Regarding the niqab, I only ever see these women when accompanied by their husbands. I can't just go up to them and ask why they're wearing it can I? I go to Leicester and London a lot so I've easily seen thousands of women like this in recent years. Especially given the current lust for hate crime reporting, I'd be taking a huge risk to engage in that behaviour. I don't want a criminal record. I'm not even going to insult you by explaining how that could be viewed as a hate crime.

Out and about in normal life, like pubs, clubs, football stadiums, coffee shops, live music venues, I don't see women by themselves wearing a long black cloak with only their eyes showing. Perhaps there's a trend here. Perhaps the women who wear that stuff aren't allowed to do that sort of thing on their own.

I'd love to sit down with one of these women and find out the details of who's making them dress like that but I don't see how one can in the UK in 2017. Have you ever got to do that? If so what did she say?


message 17: by Mickey (last edited May 22, 2017 11:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mickey I put the question "Why Women Wear Hijabs?" into the search bar on YouTube, and there were about 189,000 results. There is more than enough information there for you to learn from individual women on why they wear head coverings. Happy viewing! Or you could always go low-tech and read books written by Muslim women or even by Muslim men. I listened to an excellent audiobook last year by a Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid called Discontent and Its Civilizations: Dispatches from Lahore, New York, and London. He has interesting thoughts about Muslims and the West. Did you not think to ask the Pakistani women you worked with about head coverings? That seems like a lost opportunity.

I see Muslim women wearing hijabs at the grocery store, at the mall, at my gym, and at the library. I myself don't go to pubs, clubs, football stadiums, or live music venues, and I'm not a Muslim. I could say that I go to coffee shops only if the little Starbucks inside the book store counts. Nobody is preventing me from going to these places. Why do you automatically assume that Muslim women are being prevented from going to these places? And, if they are being prevented, is this a solely Muslim phenomenon? I know non-Muslims who are "not allowed" to go to clubs or pubs for a wide variety of reasons. What's the reason behind this singling out of Muslims as if they alone embody these characteristics?


Robert Okay, I guess I'm not talking about hijabs. I know Muslim women who wear hijabs go to the gym and go running. I've seen that myself. There's a difference between a hijab and full body covering where even bare ankles is not allowed. That's currently what women have been forced to wear in IS-controlled areas of Iraq like Mosul and coincidentally, what lots of them wear in Muslim-dominated areas of Luton, London and Leicester. It's hardly the maddest thing in the world to propose that those women are being forced to fully cover their body. When we know for a fact that full-body coverings on women are a feature of the most oppressive forms of Islam in other parts of the world, why would it be happening for a different reason in the UK?

As for the Pakistan thing, I was a tall, white man who didn't speak Urdu in a country full of people who looked and spoke differently to me. They also took their religion seriously, it appeared. My main concern was to be respectful and not cause awkwardness or trouble. There was a semi language barrier anyway. A conversation along the lines of "Why do/don't you wear a hijab?" would be like prodding a hornet's nest.


message 19: by Mickey (last edited May 27, 2017 05:34AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mickey Robert wrote: "Okay, I guess I'm not talking about hijabs. I know Muslim women who wear hijabs go to the gym and go running. I've seen that myself. There's a difference between a hijab and full body covering where even bare ankles is not allowed. That's currently what women have been forced to wear in IS-controlled areas of Iraq like Mosul and coincidentally, what lots of them wear in Muslim-dominated areas of Luton, London and Leicester. It's hardly the maddest thing in the world to propose that those women are being forced to fully cover their body. When we know for a fact that full-body coverings on women are a feature of the most oppressive forms of Islam in other parts of the world, why would it be happening for a different reason in the UK? "

I think it is a stretch to draw parallels between IS controlled places in Iraq and the West. There are no legal or social incentives in the UK or the US for Muslim women to dress in a way that marks them out as practicing Muslims. I'm sure there are many reasons that any particular woman might choose to dress this way: as an expression of her faith, force of habit, cultural identity, family pressure, social convention. This is not peculiar to Muslim women. You also dress the way you do for the same mixture of reasons. Your main point of contention seems to be that what you choose is "normal" and what they choose is not. Normal is a relative term.

I'm sure there are some Muslim husbands who dictate that their wives dress a certain way, but I'm also sure that there are many non-Muslim husbands who do as well. Pushing that onto one group of people isn't an accurate reflection of reality. There is no stark morality play here. Going back to Ronson's book, his use of the term "ideology" wasn't specific (I believe) because he was making a point about looking at individual people without fitting them into an ideology and the habit of making individual people emblems of abstract concepts.


Mickey On a YouTube spree today, I ended up watching some clips from old Oprah shows about child abuse. The comments sections were really interesting. The focus was more on the evil of the perpetrators and the insincerity of any apologies. (There were also many admissions from victims of child abuse as well and most replies to them were supportive and respectful.) It reminded me of Ronson's point about the almost gleeful participation in public shaming as a kind of cathartic release of inner tension. It's almost like a narcotic: the rush, the intensity of the high, the craving for more. It's almost obscene when you think about how such things are used to-I'm not sure what exactly-channel aggression, release anger, express outrage, bond with others, feel better about oneself?


Robert The need to feel better about oneself is extremely damaging. Growing up as a middle-class white person, it's a tragically big problem among my contemporaries. I'm not joking.

Look at the Sarah Champion debacle. She dares to suggest that rape gangs who exclusively rape white girls might be racist against white people. I mean, hello? But what happens? A backlash of outrage from other white people, feigning disgust that someone could express such blasphemy!

The conclusion: Sarah Champion, in her attempt to open up an important conversation, is kicked off the shadow cabinet and every white journalist to the left of Tommy Robinson or Douglas Murray agrees to carry on behaving is if it's not an issue.

Isn't that just wonderful? In order for us to feel better about themselves, a racist rape epidemic has to continue not to be talked about. Wonderful, just wonderful.

Oh, but don't worry, at least we can carry on getting angry about Ched Evans. He's one of us after all, so we're allowed to call him bad.


Mickey As an American, I don't really know of the specific stories that you are referencing. I don't see the connection between what I said in message # 20 and your idea that British men of Middle Eastern descent are not being prosecuted for rape or, probably more accurately, their crimes are not tied to their race.

There's a pretty big history of accusing minorities of crimes against women. No doubt there are some actual instances of it-people being people. But committing rape isn't really restricted to one race or another. Pretending that it is seems the exact sort of projection that Ronson is talking about in his book; when people become symbols and are stripped of their humanity. You could even say that this type of thinking is eerily similar to the "political correctness" that is being condemned.


Robert Ah, right, sorry I assumed you were British.

There's no pretending going on here. I know every race is capable of rape.

And yes, there is a big history of minorities being accused of crimes against women. There is also a big present-day issue of one minority not being properly dealt with for crimes against women.

The tragedy of political correctness is that the problem has been merely turned on its head: now we're too scared to deal with rape gangs if their members comprise of Muslim men and the victims are white girls. Not only that, we're incapable of calling it racist because political correctness has redefined racism as something white people can't be a victim of, even when they are. Even when white people are raped for being white!

In the UK, around the start of this decade, a story emerged that in a town called Rotherham 1400 girls were raped and groomed over a period of 12 years by gangs of Muslim men. The police were reluctant to address it for several years through fears of being accused of racism (even though Islam isn't a race). Social workers who raised concerns were initially doubted and made to feel like trouble-makers.

Since then, similar stories of Muslim grooming gangs targeting young white girls have been exposed in Oxford, Rochdale and most recently, Newcastle. It's the same pattern each time. So I'm afraid this isn't "my idea" it's just reality.

All I want to do is hold everyone to the same standards. I'm anti-racism for everybody. That's it. I don't want to have a civilisation that shies away from dealing with racist rape gangs because the racism taking place is in the wrong direction.

White guilt is bad news, honestly. If there's one religion that keeps on having grooming gangs white other religions don't, that needs to be talked about. If all Muslims were white that would make no difference to me. But it doesn't get talked about, because we're scared. As white people, we wish so hard the rapists were white instead. Then we could call it "rape culture" and "toxic masculinity" and all feel good about ourselves.

Instead, it's people who happen to be brown-skinned and happen to follow a religion that political correctness says is perfect. So this happens.


message 24: by Cary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cary B It's quite amazing how discussions of this kind always seem to come down to the issue of the hijab and burkha and other muslim clothing. in the end. Personally, I think that women are perfectly entitled to wear what they like. However muslim women who do this from true choice in the West should be aware that it is seen as a huge barrier to their acceptance and integration by large sections of the British population who are not muslims.

I also think that the women who adopt this dress as a choice should realise that they are perpetuating a form of dress which is used as a severe political form of control of women in Wahabi and other muslim countries. Some women and girls are persecuted, maimed and even killed for incorrect or neglectful wearing of this garment. This is now happening in European countries too, a very unhappy development. This is far too common and not a rare occurrence, even in so-called moderate muslim states. I have been studying the rise of this form of dress, in Muslim countries and in the West for the past 40 years. The first Egyptian feminists over a hundred years ago very bravely discarded their hijabs. They were the true feminists in my opinion.

And yes, before anyone asks, I have spoken to quite a lot of women who wear muslim clothing and hijabs. Some hate it, some put up with it, others do it because they're devout. Other muslim women do not wear it.


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