Myself in Public

A Question I Have - Men in Skirts - After Replies From BBC Question Time Regarding the Veil

BBC Question Time 19th September 2013.

Would you be happy to be treated in hospital by someone wearing a full face veil


I know this question was specifically aimed at women as it is only they who wear the full face veil therefore the replies will obviously be about women. Below are extracts of replies given by the 5 panalists as well as David Dimbleby the Chair. I'm not going to discuss this question here as this site is about men in skirts and the discrimination that I feel men have with regards freedom of choice, rights and equality. Look at the context of the replies, and ignore reference to veil and apply the context of the replies to my question:


why do some, mainly women, have an issue with a man in a skirt?”


...I was brought up at a time when we use to hear about the strugles of women in Turkey or in Egypt or in Algeria to not have to, or in Afghanistan to not have to cover their face but to be able to choose not to so I have always been kind of in solidarity with those women in the arab world who have wanted the choice not to wear the veil, now we've got, erm, and cover their faces, now we've got people, er women ascerting the right of wanting to choose to wear the veil, I remember one time coming back on a plane from Qatar and I, there we a load of women going on the plain with very, you know completely veiled and then, one by one they went to the toilet in the plane and they came out in mini skirts and you know in one context they were wearing the veil and in another context they were making a different choice...”

...we have to be quite careful about this discussion because actually for me it's a discussion about womens rights and womens autonomy...”


Harriet Harman MP Labour


We can't dictate to male or female what you should wear in their private life and going out to the shops and things like that.”


Antony Worrall Thompson Chef


...sexist for any man to tell any woman what she may or may not wear be that a burka or bikini...”

...and deeply sexist and whether or not it makes us uncomfortable as Harriot has said, I appreciate that there is a big question of womens rights and womens choice involved here but the people who should be talking about choice and talking about what should be allowed are Muslim women and nobody else.”


Laurie Penny New Statesman Columnist


...we should remember I think that er 50 60 years ago it was unacceptable for women to wear trousers to work in this country and it was unacceptable for women 50 years before that, who for example to show their ankles its realy important to recognise that a lot of this is the culture that passes on and my own belief that in 50 60 years we will see the disappearance of the Hijab but it will be a cultural shift as women become accepted as equals within the Muslim community...”

... the crucial, the absolutely crucial issue is getting across to our Islamic brothers and sisters that women are the equal of men...”


Baroness Shirley Williams Lib. Dem. Peer


Well I think we are all free to wear exactly what we like and I think it would be ludercrous to start legislating about what people wear or don't wear on almost any occasion unless there is a public reason for it.”

Ken Clarke MP Conservative


David Dimbleby “a couple of our panalists have said it's up to people what they wear or whether they wear nothing...”

He continues and makes reference to him recently passing “the naked rambler” on the Downs, in walking boots only, adding he said good afternoon. He said “...I looked him up and noted had spent 6 years in jail over his life time for walking around naked which seems to me”

Shirley Williams “but he goes on doing it”

David Dimbleby “yes, yes he does go on doing it's perfectly, it's perfectly harmless, quite surprising”

Ken Clarke “so long as you are decent”


My Conclusion


Going around naked is a completely different issue and I'll stick to choice of clothes and let the Naturism movement advocate that side.

Throughout the replies all spoke of the rights of females, all correctly and the comments from Harriet and Laurie, both known and regarded Feminists does not suprise me. As I say elsewhere on this site you do not have equality until all are treated equally in all aspects. Society unfortunately still places labels and expectations towards each gender therefore until this stops we will always have him and her, man -v- woman etc. Clothing is just one area within society, there are many others and it will not change when society still holds men or women to set expectations, codes and conduct where a blind eye for the same is turned for men or women. All the comments above apply equally towards men in skirts especially the comment from Laurie Penny:


...sexist for any man to tell any woman what she may or may not wear be that a burka or bikini...”


David Dimbleby sought clarification from Shirley Williams & Laurie Penny:

but you do think its a sign of, a demonstration of women being perceived of inferiority to men”

Shirley Williams: “yes”

Laurie Penny: “If somebody tried to make me wear a face veil against my will they would quickly find an uncomfortable position...”

...It's about whether or not everyone else will feel uncomfortable about women wearing face veils in public and of course that is not the issue we are talking about but whether or not that really matters it what we really need to be thinking about, does it matter if we are uncomfortable, really...”


I do not doubt each of these replies to David Dimbleby's clarification. In fact I agree but I go further and add that many women these days, to gain their equal standing, they too must be dominant and emulate men in macho behaviour, stance, dress and have the human emblem of trousers as the sign of “I am just as good as you”. Why else does the phrase “I wear the trousers in this relationship” have a purpose? Certain feminine traits that certain female individuals prefer for themselves are of course exempt!


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