Burqa-gate notes from all over:
1) Bitch | Lab has a lovely post up inviting more examination of some of the ideas I and others expressed during Burqa-Gate. These ideas include among others: (1) the statement that it was the Taliban, rather than U.S. feminists, that made the burka a symbol of oppression; and (2) the idea that it is important to find commonalities among different types of sexist oppression around the globe and commonalities among women's experiences.
Bitch (hey I read somewhere that you like being called just Bitch!) says that the latter sentiment has been heavily criticized by women of color feminists for the last 30 years. So apparently when I made that statement that I thought was kind of generic, it went to directly to issues that people at Brownfemipower and their feminist forerunners have been talking about at length for a long time.
Anyway, I thought it was supercool for Bitch to provide a thread at her place to explore those ideas. She was also kind of enough to see both sides of the coin: feminists at Brownfemipower thinking, "We keep saying the same thing over and over again, these people are deliberately ignoring or not acknowledging what we say," but meanwhile not every self-professed feminist has been exposed to this critique. I commented at great length over there and am looking forward to following that thread.
2) Dr. Sue emailed me e-mailed me this article about Jack Straw, the British Leader of the House of Commons, who criticized the wearing of the veil by saying it was "'a visible statement of separation and difference'' and that he felt much more comfortable dealing with people with their faces uncovered." Now, see, that's just wrong.
3) This thread has turned out to be more satisfactory than I expected. There is a great discussion there from m. of Scribblepad about the practice of sathi (wives dying on the husband's funeral pyre) during British colonial rule in India, and other issues regarding the aftermath of colonialism. Also I got to hear more from Bint, who was one of the commenters at Brownfemipower, as to her reasoning behind some of her responses to me.