Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Veil fetishism 2

I normally get somewhere between 30 and 100 visits per day to this site. Earlier this week I was getting over a thousand a day. I have no idea why, as my site meter only lets me look at the last 100. Most of the last 100 seem to be searches on the terms “hijab porn”. In my last post on this, I linked to a Lenin’s Tomb post on the veil fetish, and I guess my hits show it is alive and well. (I also get lots of hits from "hassidic hats", but nothing yet about yarmulke porn.)

I work at a university and the new intake of students arrived a couple of weeks ago. I don’t have much contact with students, but it has struck me how many more students there are this year wearing hijabs – but, so far, no veils. This week, I’ve seen two young Asian women wearing headscarves plus very tight, figure-hugging black stretch denim jeans. What’s that all about?

Looking around, I came across this book:

“Whether seen as erotic or romantic, a symbol of oppression or a sign of piety, modesty, or purity, the veil carries thousands of years of religious, sexual, social, and political significance. Using examples from both the East and West—including Persian poetry, American erotica, Iranian and Indian films, and government-sanctioned posters—Faegheh Shirazi shows that the veil has become a ubiquitous symbol, utilized as a profitable marketing tool for diverse enterprises, from Penthouse magazine to Saudi advertising companies.”
Anyway, a good article in The Guardian by Ziaba Malik on what it is to wear a niqab for the day. The BBC provides a useful little graphic on the veil and headscarves, to help you distinguish between the different types. I love public service broadcasting!
Update: One more thing! Loads of leftish people seem to make the comparison between the excessive covering up represented by the veil or scarf and the excessive uncovering represented by bare midriffs or lads' mags. "I find the amount of female flesh on display offensive Mr Straw" is more or less the line I've read again and again in places like The Guardian from people like Mike Marqusee. Yet another form of bankrupt moral equivalence.
Update 2: Daniel's views 1 & 2
Update 3 (March 07): I'm getting over 100 hits a day most days now, but still no searches for yarmulke porn...

2 comments:

Nathaniel said...

I lived in a Palestinian neighbourhood in Jerusalem for five years and a hijab combined with tight clothing is common enough.

Anonymous said...

Guess what I searched on ;-)