Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Scarf Tax

The Scarf - by Anne VisThe Dutch parliament is back from summer holiday. After a peaceful summer we are now facing the public humiliations of our country again.
The discussions around the budget gave an impression of something between a stand-up comedian act and a preschool on their day out. (mind you: this is discussing the serious crisis the country is in!)
Culmination was the proposal to impose a tax on wearing a scarf.

I still don't know if this is a serious intention, but it is generally booked under the chapter of "comedy". However, I think there is a serious undertone reflected by the irritation amongst many people provoked by women wearing a scarf.

Traditionally in the Netherlands women who were cleaning houses would wear a scarf. As the nature of this work does not require a high intelligence, these women were regarded as fairly "simple".
We all know how outfit influences the way people respond to you. A person wearing a uniform is easily regarded as having some sort of authority. A man dressed in rags is thought to be homeless. None of these have to reflect the actual situation or character of the person, nevertheless, the tone is set.
So it is easy to understand that women wearing scarfs, upon first impression are seen as not very intelligent. It's just how this culture and human brain work.
If that is the intention of the women, then they get their result.

Another aspect that also has to do with culture is how you would like to be treated. A matter of respect to your fellow citizens.
For instance, it would be highly inappropriate for a woman to walk around in Syria wearing shorts and showing a cleavage. As a sign of respect to the local population you just don't do that.
Unless you want to make a stance of revolt against the general status quo, it is rude to disregard the local feelings.
Many Dutch people take offence when foreigners do not follow the local codes of respect. The scarf is just one expression. Worse is probably when people who have been here for twenty years or longer still do not show any sign of wanting to learn the local language and adapt to this country.
Of course it is politically incorrect in this time to publicly say so (...)

From a new age viewpoint we strife to see man and woman as equals.
Watching women follow a man, as if we were still living 2000 years ago, goes against that. And then I am not even mentioning feminism.
Islam promotes the ideas of a guy who would for sure be behind bars according to current standards. Following these theories has big implications for daily life. It takes away the power and freedom of women.
I was talking with a good friend a while back and asked her if she would still sunbathe nude in the park, like when we were younger. And why not any more? Well ... the foreign men react badly so that you just can't do that any more. There are more ways in which the muslim religion makes our life "smaller", it goes gradually and almost unnoticed. My friend had not even realized that she had lost her freedom.

Of course the other religions are also very woman-unfriendly. I state that religion is just not from this time any more and is better to be left alone. A liberated person has their own connection to "God" or Source or whatever you want to call it. No need for mediation through old bearded guys ...


ruma2008 said...

This is a very fantastic work. It is beautiful.

Sandy said...

Oh totally agree with this post and very well written. I like the image of the scarf.