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« Real People | Main | 90 days . . . »

October 23, 2007



Although you have put these people in a box, the reality is that the only reason people make these type of comments is because they can't see out of their box. You have related all of your comments to your perception of reality and the reality is, not everyone shares it. You have no idea why these women dress the way they do, how they feel about it or what their point of view is. You can only see from your perspective what words like freedom, liberation, oppression, etc. mean. They would look at women in the west with their painted faces, eating disorders (from low self esteem of course), exposing their bodies to any who want to see, their complete and total exploitation (that they take it upon themselves to do now) and would think that women here are oppressed. And yes she is an interchangalbe part to those who aren't supposed to see her and she could probably care less. But she is in a picture with Barbara Bush which means she is a leader of an organization or heads a group of some sort and I bet you those people know her very well. The women see her face, know her laugh, her personality, her charcter and have a very personal relationship with her I'm sure. The same goes with the other people that matter in her life, her husband, her father, siters and brothers, grandparents, uncles etc. But because you can't see her, you are "infuriated". Give me a break. If you are infurated by that, you have some other issues or desires that should be addressed. She is much less of a problem for soicety than the women walking around half dressed, but you could not possibly understand that becasue of your close-mindedness. When you look at the statistics of rape, child molestation, sexual abuse, pornography, etc. you should be able to understand it, but I know your type you will think of another reason why the lewd dress of women in the west and the "freedom" that they have has nothing to do with it.

Let me ask you this, what would you say if there was a man who had a beautiful fine jewelry collection and put it outside of his house for people to look. Some people looked and kept walking, some looked and touched, some thought about taking it but didn't, others stole it when they saw there was not protection there. You would say he's an idiot and it he should have protected it. The women of these countries regardless of what you see on CNN from the people who don't practice their religion are seen as much more priceless and valuable than any fine jewelry, and the burqa is a protection for them. Just like you don't see our president going around town without gaurds and secret agents all around, these women don't go out without their gaurd. You know that woman you probably stared at and had lewd thoughts about the other day, if she was dressed like this you wouldn't have had the chance. Women are the most valuable resourse there is on this earth. You too were born from one and I hope you wouldn't have like your father's wife, your mommy to be groped or sexually harassed or even looked at in a sexual way. If you do, you have a sickness in your heart. Don't feel bad, most of us in the west love to be admired, especially by strangers. We crave the attention, hence we have all the problems we have now. So get out of your box, it is extremely crowded...and grow up.


And, no it is not like standing next to a slave in a photo. These women are definitely slaves, to the One who created them, but they do so willingly. Whereas our society here in the west are slaves to the dollar, fashion, mass media, and get our personal morals, values and character from the idiot box. Whether you know it or not, you are a slave to the One who created you too. You don't think so? try not to pee for a few days, try not to blink, try not to sleep again, try to prevent yourself from can't. The only way to free yourself from that slavery is by accepting it and living according to it, which is what they are trying to do. And that is real freedom.

James F. Trumm

Why is it that it is only women who need the "protection" of the burqa? Why is it that the men can walk around, show their faces, talk with whomever they want, conduct business, and drive, but women (in some countries) cannot? Why is it that men are not socially required to avail themselves of the "freedom" of the burqa?

If there was a society where everyone--male and female--wore the burqa, I might think it unusual but not pernicious. However, when only women have to abnegate themselves--and where women are systematically excluded from power and denied the protection of law--I do feel infuriated.

James F. Trumm

Why am I not surprised to find that Jackie's e-mail address is phony?


Firstly I have no idea who would try to email me from this site, so don't take it persoanal. I have enough junk mail as it is, I don't want hate mail to add to it.

And of course I agree that it is not only women who need to protect themselves, but the protection is different. If a woman went outside without a shirt the reaction would be much different than a man doing the same thing, we can agree on that right? Also men and women are created very different physically, emotionally, etc. (no matter how much we deny it and call inequality). We understand here in America the separation of sexes when it comes to the bathroom and sports, but any other time it's okay to do just about anything. Those same sensitivities and differences exist outside of the public restroom. And I do agree 100% that men should practice self control and not commit crimes and injustices against women, but in other societies people work together to help each other reach a common goal. The women do their part to help themselves, but also to help those who may not have the strength to not stare and fight their desires. We are so used to the individualistic society where everyone is only worried about themselves. How do we ever expect to live in harmony with one another when we can't even get past judging everyone who is not like us.

And the woman is not denied protection of the law, but instead the law is there to protect the woman (as well as the man). If you look at Islam (or even take the time to talk to a muslim neighbor or someone in your community who understands their religion) and not just misguided Muslims in some arab countries you will find that it is ordained for women by God (the koran and prophetic traditions) that women can own property, inherit, vote, marry and divorce freely, study (yes out of their house), keep their "maiden" names, and many other rights that only were given to Western women in the last decades or last century...and we're talking like 1400 years ago. In the states we had women's suffrage, where women could not even cash a check without her husband's signature not that long ago (and I am one of those women), and could not inherit property in some of the southern states. Yes we have come a long way, but you have to remember that we western women have just gotten in a position to look down upon the women of this religion recently. Now that we think we are liberated, we are placing judgement. We should just think about it and try to step out of our tunnel vision that makes us think that we are always right. We are not always right, but when coming from a place that considers itself the police of the world it is no wonder we feel we are.

I am just challenging you to think about it in a different light. The problems the women are having in those countries are no match for the problems the women are having here...really. It seems soooooo horrible on the nightly news, buy you know if I watched the nightly news from the states and shaped our opinion of Americans based on that news we would think that all Americans are thiefs, rapists, brutal killers and just plain sinister. We know that most Americans are hard working, "normal", nice people. Let's just not be so quick to spread more hate without fully understanding what it is we are hating so much.

James F. Trumm

Regarding the e-mail, I tried to send you a note thanking you for your comments and expressing my appreciation for the dialogue. It was far from hate mail. Indeed, I am trying to find some common ground.

One thing I think we might agree on is that the wearing of the burqa is a cultural, rather than a religious, phenomenon. Perhaps we could even agree that some of the cultural traditions regarding women that are practiced in some parts of the Middle East are, in fact, contrary to the spirit, if not the letter, of the Koran. Finally, I suspect we also are simpatico on how western media present a distorted image of foreign cultures.

I don't want to rehash my previous posts about how suspect I find a culture that puts women, but not men, in cloth bags. You are right, this is placing a judgment. But I don't buy the idea that just because a particular culture practices particular acts, those acts are automatically insulated from moral assessment by people outside the culture.

While of course men and women are different, I'm disturbed by your characterization of men as creatures who "may not have the strength to not stare and fight their desires." Do women not also have the urge to stare? Do they not also have sexual desires? You seem to be positing a world in which men are naturally predatory; in such a world, women need the protection of the burqa. But if some of the men in the cultures where burqas are worn are predatory, then it is those men who need to be put into bags and have their public personae erased, not the women. To hold otherwise is to blame the victim, just like the Saudi court that recently sentenced a woman to a flogging for the "crime" of being gang-raped. See my post at


I think you misunderstood me on one thing...I have never used any of these types of sites before. I just stumbled upon this one when looking for a gift for my muslim neighbor and saw a place to write a comment and I did. So I don't think YOU will send me hate mail, but rather am not sure who has access to the email address once it is posted. So do please forgive me, I thought that was clear when I said I have no idea who would email me from here.

We do agree on many things. And I am not saying that any culture should be insulated from moral assessment from people outside their culture. What I am saying is that what we think is moral, others may view as immoral and vise versa. That is the whole point. We can all make moral assessments, but when the morality changes from decade to decade how can we truly assess. Our mothers (well I don't know your age), dressed very "conservative" and we don't have this same outrage and disgust when we see a nun in her habit or the virgin Mary in her gown (which looks exactly the same without the face covering). We don't say that they are oppressed, instead we revere them.

I did mention in my post that men have the responsibilty to control themselves as well, but our physical nature in appearance and in desire is different. If we say it is not, we are lying to ourselves. Are women sexual? Of course. Do we have the same sexual nature as men? NO. We were created equal, but different. There is nothing wrong in saying that. And I think you just didn't understand what I said in my last post. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

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