Public Spaces and Private Faces

In a video from last week, Paul Weston inveighs against the easily offended, among them the Reverend Cressida Dick*. And he goes to bat for Boris, who complained,observed, remarked upon that ugliest of female garments, the burka bag. And for that sin, the Hon B Johnson was vilified by the usual suspects:

*If I were a lesbian (no, I’m not) as is Chief Commissioner Dick, I’d change my name lickety-split. To something more dignified and Latinate – perhaps “Phallus” would be more in keeping with her exalted position.

Paul mentions an essay by Roger Scruton on taking offence. I looked for it and as feared, found it locked behind the paywall of the UK Spectator, and a gilded paywall, at that. Imagine! They want nine Euros a month for a subscription. Sheesh. Or is that pounds? Never mind; it’s still outrageous. I’ll stick with the free American Spectator. It’s the ones I steal from consistently, as I do with Dr Turley, that I feel obliged to pay.

Meanwhile, here’s a chunk of the relevant material from an English website I plan to investigate later. They clipped this from Mr Scruton:

The emerging witch-hunt culture would be an object of half-amused contempt, were we still protected, as we were until recently, by the robust law of libel. It is still possible to laugh at the absurdity of it all, if you sit at home, avoiding contact with ignorant and malicious people, and getting on with real life – the life beyond social media. Unfortunately, however, ignorant and malicious people have discovered a new weapon in their unremitting assault on the rest of us, which is the art of taking offence.

I was brought up to believe that you should never give offence if you can avoid it; the new culture tells us that you should always take offence if you can. There are now experts in the art of taking offence, indeed whole academic subjects, such as ‘gender studies’, devoted to it. You may not know in advance what offence consists in – politely opening a door for a member of the opposite sex? Thinking of her sex as ‘opposite’? Thinking in terms of ‘sex’ rather than ‘gender’? Using the wrong pronoun? Who knows. We have encountered a new kind of predatory censorship, a desire to take offence that patrols the world for opportunities without knowing in advance what will best supply its venom. As with the Puritans of the 17th century, the need to humiliate and to punish precedes any concrete sense of why.

I recall the extraordinary case of Boris Johnson and the burka. In the course of discussing the question whether the full facial covering should be banned here, as elsewhere in Europe, Johnson humorously remarked that a person in a burka has a striking resemblance to a letterbox. He was right. A woman in a burka resembles a letterbox much as a man in white tie resembles a penguin or a woman in feathers resembles a chicken.

I like his arch correspondences; is he covering his tracks with those similarities? Sometimes I watch fat feathered chickens strutting and clucking; that’s when Walter Mitty’s wife comes to mind.

But I can see the faces of penguins and chickens. A woman in a burka? Not so much.

NOTE: Paul is a sly divil. See what he says at the end, hoping to catch us Americans unawares. Fortunately, me own mither used that word.

11 thoughts on “Public Spaces and Private Faces

  1. I am supremely offended by the burka. This doesn’t mean that I am offended by the woman wearing the burka, but rather it’s the burka itself, and all that it stands for, that is offensive: it is anathema to me. Since there is no right not to be offended, my taking offence goes no further: I don’t run to the nearest police station; I don’t turn to the local Human Rights Commission; I don’t call the media to voice my extreme displeasure; and, I don’t seek psychological aid to deal with this assault on my sense of wholeness, individuality, and equality.

    But perhaps that’s part of the problem. When I see a burka-clad female, my sense of dignity as a woman is wounded—shouldn’t my feelings get as much press as those of the supposedly insulted burka-wearers who are the subject of Boris Johnson’s humourous simile?

    But taking a lighter view, maybe I shouldn’t be taking offence at a letter box. The comparison IS funny. Humour might work to “ban the burka” where legislation and earnest criticism would fail.

    Good for Boris Johnson and Paul Weston for helping expose this burka-as-female-dignity-and-empowerment-scam—a one-sided assault on our Western way of life.

    • That’s not ‘an (in the sense of ‘any old’) Australian cartoonist’. That’s Johannes Leak! His father Bill Leak was hounded arguably to his death by the Human Rights Commission for drawing a cartoon pointing out the real tragedy that leads to Aboriginal young people finding themselves on the bad side of the law (i.e., their upbringing and a manifest absence of parental, particularly paternal, care). It’s not the only root cause, but it’s one of them, and it needed outing.

  2. In the section of Boris’ article that made it out from behind the Telegraph paywall he was referring to the burqa as a letterbox when in fact it is the niqab that resembles one (in Britain the usual slang term for a burqa is a binbag, ie garbage bag). It struck me just how ignorant people who should know better are about the most basic features of Islam, for instance Theresa May who laughably said “The actions of ISIS have absolutely no basis in anything written in the Quran”.

    It is tempting to believe in a conspiracy of politicians who know the truth about Islam but who are ploughing on with their suicidal policies at the expense of their voters for some mysterious overriding reason which they only talk about at their Bilderburg get togethers. Perhaps it is the case though that they actually are as ignorant and naive as they appear and that the likely demise of Western civilisation will go down as cock up rather than conspiracy.

    Anyway, Boris needs careful watching. He simply wants to be PM and his convictions are totally open to negotiation for that purpose.

    After the 7/7 bombings in 2005 he said: “To any non-Muslim reader of the Koran, Islamophobia — fear of Islam — seems a natural reaction, and, indeed, exactly what that text is intended to provoke. Judged purely on its scripture – to say nothing of what is preached in the mosques – it is the most viciously sectarian of all religions in its heartlessness towards unbelievers….That means disposing of the first taboo, and accepting that the problem is Islam, Islam is the problem.”

    In 2008, while campaigning in the London mayoral election, he said he now believed, after having researched the Koran more in depth, that it is “a religion of peace”.

    He didn’t specify exactly what he found in the Koran that changed his mind. Most likely it was merely learning just how many Muslim voters there were in London.

    After the Woolwich murder he wrote that “There is no sense in blaming Islam, a religion that gives consolation and enrichment to the lives of hundreds of millions of peaceful people…we need to make a hard and sharp distinction between that religion – and the virus of “Islamism”.

    Of course he never explained the difference between Islam and Islamism. And nor would he be able to make a convincing distinction – after all, who could be more of an Islamist than Mohammed?

  3. The Muslims could care less about offending women. The wearing of the burka is a display of power and dominance, pure and simple. The power and dominance of Muslims in whatever territory they reside is manifested by wearing fully traditional clothes. Why would there be any expectation that Muslims in a majority-Muslim area would show any respect for keffir?

    I personally am not interested in protecting or liberating Muslim women. I”m interested in protecting Western women and in enforcing the rule of Western law. In the cases of honor killing, often the extended family is involved in planning and setting up the execution, and the father goes to prison. But, he has chosen “honor” over freedom, so he is still profiting from the crime. He lives as a respected, fervent Muslim in the midst of the Muslim criminals in prison.

    I think one way to protect Western rule of law is to give the death penalty to anyone even remotely and knowingly involved in the planned killing of a person. The father may be willing to take the fall for a prison term, but if he, his sons, wife, cousins and brothers were all actively facing the death penalty, his profit-loss calculation might change.

    All this is academic, as allowing in more Muslims displays like no other action, the eagerness of a Western country to submit to Islam.

    • Even capital punishment would not scare them. as they hope to meet their promised 72 virgins then earlier.
      The only effective punishment would be to lock them up with pigs and limit their diet to pork.

    • Ronald B – I think we should care about the freedom of Muslim women because if they can escape the shackles of Islam then it could well unravel completely. Islam is the Religion of control – Allah over the whole universe (he doesn’t even have to worry about causality), Mohammed over the Ummah, Men over women and Muslims over the kuffar. If Muslim women could break the chain then Islam would be exposed as cruel oppression masking weakness.

      That’s why sites like this could be important:

      It’s a crying shame that Western feminists have abandoned Muslim and other third world women because “it’s their right to be oppressed” etc etc. So much easier to rage about the toxic masculinity of Englishmen who hold doors open for them than to confront the real vile misogyny of you know what. If Muslim women want to escape their prison it looks as though they’ll have to do it all by themselves.

      • Islam is tribal. Individuals, as understood in the Western sense, don’t exist. It’s what your family, your clan, your tribe decides. A woman can’t give up the hijab unless her husband permits it, and he can’t permit it if the extended family, clan, etc., oppose such a decision.

        That’s just one reason Islam doesn’t belong in the West…at least the West as we once knew it. Even for Western individuals, speaking up against the regnant leftist “wisdom” can cost you your job, your friends, even your family.

        See Hirsi-Ali’s experience.

  4. Paul’s audio-visual dissertations become ever better. I’m off for a fag as well although I’m not quite sure how that phrase goes down with the cousins across the pond – meanings can change with longitude 😊😊😊 😉👍👍👍🍺🍺🍺s

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