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Muslim fashion show

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Muslim women look at a model wearing a creation by brand Meem Clothings during Tokyo Modest Fashion Show, a Muslim fashion show, at Halal Expo Japan in Tokyo, on Tuesday.

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Not long ago feminist would have called such garb oppressive byproduct of patriarchy. Now its celebrated by the counter culture, never mind the oppression and patriarchy. The media, JapanToday included, love these topics too. It's sensational and conflict oriented. But is this news or clickbait? I'd say latter.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

"Now its celebrated by the counter culture..."

Indeed, they're called the "regressive left." They dont realize that the denial of basic freedoms tends to get in the way of creativity and expression.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Good to see the embracing of different cultures.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Not exactly a sell out crowd now is it?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

On a trip to Malaysia, I was fascinated by the young women's clothing. They were shear body tight and very attractive. Definitely showed the beautiful body shapes they had. Thin and sexy.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

But is this news or clickbait? I'd say latter.

Probably both.

The photo looks like a meeting of shamans more than the customary view of a fashion parade.

Or is it just the angle, which seems almost surreptitious.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now its celebrated by the counter culture, never mind the oppression and patriarchy.

They dont realize that the denial of basic freedoms tends to get in the way of creativity and expression.

I'm confused, but perhaps less than yourselves. Are you saying you find it attractive or not?

I think it's pretty sexy.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

notasapNOV. 23, 2016 - 06:40AM JST Not long ago feminist would have called such garb oppressive byproduct of patriarchy. Now its celebrated by the counter culture, never mind the oppression and patriarchy.

You seem to be confusing this fashion aimed at Muslims with oppression and patriarchy. Let me help you understand better:

Muslim women in practice wear a wide variety of clothing styles. I've personally known Muslim women all along a continuum from women who wear full abaya with a veil that completely obscures everything but the eyes to women who dress virtually identically to western women, though admittedly the tights in-lieu-of-pants trend isn't something I've seen happen yet. Garments are not, cannot be, oppressive. What creates the oppression is the condition under which the person wears them. If a Muslim woman chooses to wear traditional Muslim garments of her own free will, that's not oppression or patriarchy. It could even be an act of feminism depending on the mindset with which she chooses to wear them. Likewise, a woman who wears skimpy, revealing outfits isn't free of patriarchal oppression if she doesn't do it for her own reasons.

There are without a doubt huge pockets of patriarchal oppression within the Muslim community, just as there are in communities of all religions and no religion. Trying to attach the notion of patriarchal oppression to Islam itself is self-serving and counter-productive. If you really want to help Muslim women, then you should listen to them tell you what they want, all of them, including the women who want clothes exactly like these.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

@katsu78 Do you think most or many Muslim women in Muslim communities would feel free to drop the various types of coverings? Would they be supported by the family and community? Are you saying that people cannot become habituated to oppression or choose to be oppressed? Don't you think it happens all the time and throughout history? You say if someone chooses to do something, it's not oppressive. I think feminists would argue that patriarchy needs deconstructing and that it's not about a simple choice, but about a kind of deep propaganda (what is a woman? what is a man?). I also wonder if there is a correlation between the societies with the worst records on patriarchy and these kinds of coverings? The female Trump supporters who wore signs that said something like, "you can grab my p&#@y," were not expressing messages of patriarchy and sexism because they chose to wear the signs?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@katsu78

"Muslim women in practice wear a wide variety of clothing styles."

I knew a Malaysian woman at college, She dreaded going back home because of "growing peer pressure" concerning coercion to cover up such "offensive" things as her arms and her head. And this is one of Islam's most easy-going, liberal socieities.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Jeff, are you sure? Most of my male friends prefer their women to shave their legs and arm pits. But I guess everyone has their own desires.

Then you have strange tastes, to say the least. Surveys find that women's hair is one of their top physical attractions, according to men in various countries.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Would these women be allowed to not to cover their head? What would happen if one of these women went out with just a t-shirt, say in Iran or Saudi Arabia?

How can some people still justify this?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Agree with Msd. I have worked with Muslim women who wore extremely tight outfits and beautiful veils and were absolutely stunning. Same in Muslim countries although slighlty less 'tight' but still very classy and sexy.

I actually like the fact that we non-Muslim men and women can genuinely appreciate Islamic fashion amd find Muslim women beautiful. In my mind this shows that Islamic fundamentalists who want to objectify Muslim women have lost: its not up to them to decide who/what is attractive or beautiful. It is my right to find hijabs or loose fitting clothing beautiful.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

notasap: "But is this news or clickbait? I'd say latter."

And yet here you are.

JeffLee: "They dont realize that the denial of basic freedoms tends to get in the way of creativity and expression."

From a guy that doesn't tend to post favorably of Muslims and their choices in general.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Muslim women look at a model wearing a creation by brand Meem Clothings during Tokyo Modest Fashion Show

I think one thing non-muslims find objectionable is the use and abuse of the words 'modest' or 'modesty' (and similar words in other languages). When you call your clothes 'modest', you are by definition implying that those who are not dressed like you are immodest. It's a deliberate provocation in what is supposed to be a modern multicultural/multiethnic/multifaith society.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If you really want to help Muslim women, then you should listen to them tell you what they want

Sorry, but what women say they want and what they really want are always 2 different things. Meanwhile, I am wondering when Tokyo will have an Amish fashion show.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

commanteerNOV. 23, 2016 - 03:50PM JST Sorry, but what women say they want and what they really want are always 2 different things.

Nothing says, "I'm genuinely interested in helping eliminate the oppression of Muslim women and not pursuing any kind of Islamophobic vendetta," like "women can't be believed when they say what they want but I know what they want so they should dress the way I think they should because I know what's best". A very convincingly sincere argument, that.

Meanwhile, I am wondering when Tokyo will have an Amish fashion show.

Well, there are probably tens of thousands of Muslim women in the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area, but I would be genuinely surprised if even a single Amish woman lives here, so I'm guessing it won't be for a while. If you genuinely care about serving the needs of Amish women and aren't just playing rhetorical games to pursue a petty grudge, I'd recommend relocating to Pennsylvania or Ohio.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is the bottom of the list from the world economic forum: 133 Côte d’Ivoire 134 Saudi Arabia 135 Oman 136 Egypt 137 Mali 138 Lebanon 139 Morocco 140 Jordan 141 Iran, Islamic Rep. 142 Chad 143 Syria 144 Pakistan 145 Yemen

This is definitely a complicated question. I think coercive/cultural covering of women is a tool of patriarchy and oppression. The fact that some groups of women may believe it's their choice is not very convincing evidence to the contrary. This is how propaganda/ideology works.

If you really want to help Muslim women...

I think it's legitimate to offer an opinion about reality whether you want to help or not. Furthermore, pointing out what one believes to be reality may very well be helpful. @smithinjapan I'm not up on everyone's history here. There was something of an argument there to address. Liberal humanism, notwithstanding its faults, is good for everyone!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

i prefer to see Japanese women in a fashion show, but this is still ok

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

shallots: "@smithinjapan I'm not up on everyone's history here. There was something of an argument there to address. Liberal humanism, notwithstanding its faults, is good for everyone!"

People who would deny others the right to practice their religion, and practice far worse against them still, don't really have the right to talk about how these women are being oppressed when they are just using what they themselves would do as a tool to rant about "the Left". If someone supports the idea of banning Muslims altogether from their nation, why on earth would you take them seriously if they claim to be championing a Muslim's rights or fighting against oppression?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

BTW: the figures above are from a gender equality index. Sorry, I forgot to put that. @smithinjapan You lost me. I don't know the person's history about that. Arguments are easier to follow than everyone's comment histories. Everyone should have the right to express themselves: religiously, artistically, or otherwise. And, we should all have the right to pose criticisms of any expression. Banning Islam altogether is a very bad idea. On the other hand, preserving, protecting and encouraging liberal/humanistic values is a good goal in my opinion. That includes dismantling patriarchy, homophobia, etc., and spreading free expression, science and human rights. If the left doesn't do it, I worry we'll be stuck with the right. Some of the world is going in a bad direction.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

shallots: "Everyone should have the right to express themselves: religiously, artistically, or otherwise."

Agreed, but again, when those posters simultaneously seek to oppress those they claim are not having their 'oppression' (choice of fashion) recognized by "the Left", you really can't ignore the hypocrisy and contradiction. It's like saying you can't point out Trump's daughter's contradiction in supporting her father but claiming to be a champion of women's rights: it's great that she claims to be the latter, but the former undermines if not altogether makes moot such claims. I use that only as an example of how a person's history should not be left out of the debate.

"If the left doesn't do it, I worry we'll be stuck with the right."

First, where does the left not do it? And second, you think the right, which in many cases calls for the outright banning of Muslims to the US, is for spreading free expression and human rights? Bizarre.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

...you think the right, which in many cases calls for the outright banning of Muslims to the US, is for spreading free expression and human rights? Bizarre.

I said no such thing. Shame on you. You're in attack mode. No conversation is possible if you're going to straw-man and misrepresent what I think. Why bother?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Readers, no more bickering please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Comparing to the usual one I have seen - a big bed sheet with couple of holes that a man can disguise himself as a woman, this is way better. You can see the curves. That means, it may not pass the extremists' dress code.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Garments are not, cannot be, oppressive. What creates the oppression is the condition under which the person wears them.

I don't think that is correct. Full-face veils like the niqab and the burka are inherently oppressive because they effectively erase the individuality and presence of the wearer in the public space. They are essentially mobile prisons as they prevent contact between the woman wearing them and the community around here, keeping her isolated and dependent upon her husband, father or other male guardian.

Now, as to the more regular type of clothing Muslim women wear, yes, there is nothing inherently oppressive about headscarves and the modest style of dress they wear. Personally, I find it rather elegant and classy, a bit like the traditional kimonos a few Japanese women still wear. And it's not like headscarves are unique to Muslim cultures, in most of Eastern Europe, headscarves were usually worn by women in the Orthodox Christian communities, because of the strong Greco-Roman influence caused by the proximity to the Byzantine Empire, where it was still expected for married women to veil their hair in public like in Antique Rome.

The issue comes with the fact that this is not really out of choice, the wearing of headscarves is compulsory in Islam, at least according to most coherent interpretations. The covering of one's body is also compulsory. Many Muslim women don't think they really have a choice. And this is only the tip of the iceberg, because Islam as a religion is tremendously controlling and micromanages every aspect of the believers' life, for the better or the worse. Islam is in fact more than a religion, it is a culture, an entire way of life, a political ideology, a legal system, frozen in time by religious Revelation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

anyone who finds a woman wearing a burka sexy has had trauma in his/her life.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No. It's a modesty custom. The west has them, too. I've been to several capitals and major cities in the USA and western Europe and Asia, and the number of persons I observed not conforming to any modesty custom whatsoever was zero.

Plenty of people behave in ways in the West that violates whatever modesty custom is left. Though nowadays the West has flipped so hard to the opposite side that it is people who dress modestly who are mocked and pressured to dress in a more sexualized way. For example, a woman who would show up at the beach wearing a 1920s-style swimsuit would probably be laughed at, borderline harassed.

The covering of the hair is actually a religious duty to Muslim women, according to nearly all interpretations of the religion. It was a modesty custom in the Roman empire, the Middle-East and Persia, but when Muhammad came to power, he was asked about it and he said God told him to tell his followers to tell their wives to don the veil so as not to be molested. Verse 33:59 if anyone is curious.

That way, the custom based into religious law. That's how most of Islamic law was made, people went to Muhammad to ask about this or that and he would give an answer based on current practices in the area, making contemporary customs into eternal religious law. Thus for example, the Muslim position of prayer is taken directly from the Persian custom of prostrating before the emperor.

For the record, Eastern European women often wore things very similar to the hijab, at least at Church, because the Orthodox Church orders women to cover their hair in church, and many women also wore headscarves in their daily lives, since Eastern Europe has been under the influence of Greco-Roman culture for far longer than the West since the Roman Empire survived there until 1453, and Russia notably styled itself as the "Third Rome" because of their proximity to the Eastern Roman Empire. So old Roman norms stayed influential there for far longer than in the West, including the habit of women wearing headscarves and veils.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Can anyone explain, in a coherent rational way, why women's arms that are not entirely covered are "immodest"?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

JeffLee: Can anyone explain, in a coherent rational way, why women's arms that are not entirely covered are "immodest"?

Why expect Muslims' idea of modesty to conform to yours?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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