Sunday ka Funda

"Out with stereotypes, feminism proclaims. But stereotypes are the west's stunning sexual personae, the vehicles of art's assault against nature. The moment there is imagination, there is myth."

— Camille Paglia

"Do not put garbage in our mind." This graffiti on the wall outside Tunis City Hall has been quoted to explain the attitude towards women's dress following the Arab Spring.

As happens with all such studies in a cocoon, it uses a small sample and reaches broad conclusions, that too about what the respondents thought 'might' be appropriate but is not necessarily practised. Worse, it is actually based on the false premise of what constitutes "MidEast countries". Tunisia, Egypt and Pakistan are not in the Middle East.

While the research, and mainstream commentators, assume a superior attitude towards "secularism", they forget that their obsession with what is termed "Muslim dress" is anything but. They are working their way backwards, and become as veiled as the veils they find constricting when their idea of "women's choice" becomes selective.

This is not even the imagination or myth that Paglia speaks about. It is merely a lame excuse to falsely manufacture how free they themselves are.

The above tongue-in-cheek response in the web world to the research chart shows us just how hollow such statistics and stereotypes can be, using mere mode of dress to formulate a point of view. Are you what others wear?

To paraphrase the graffiti, the garbage is in their minds.

© Farzana Versey


  1. FV,
    My 2 cents, the statistical methods are pretty clearly defined on choosing the sample size,predicting margin of error and software applications make them almost "idiotproof" so to conclude that the study in discussion lacks statistical merit will be a little far fetched .
    That said, conclusions out of statistics are a function of the individual's perspectives .my personal observation is that more people connect sense of clothing with religion , reality may be to the contrary ...someone very sorted i know said ...islam mein daadhi hai ...daadhi mein islam nahin hai .... Manish

  2. Manish:

    The link has details of the study, which is in fact restrictive even as far as the sample goes. Also, as mentioned, the media played it further up as a "middle eastern" thing. Such ignorance is galling. 

    I don't entirely agree that conclusions from stats are a matter of perspective. At least not if it lacks nuance. For example, in this post there is a pointing out of error zones, and the stereotypical notions. If clothing is associated with religion, we do not see studies on other faiths.  And that is the reason the other chart, facile as it is, helps show up the facetiousness. 

    {someone very sorted i know said ..islam mein daadhi hai ...daadhi mein islam nahin hai}

    Time to check out the Commie beards, too!


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.