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Who the hell made Virginia Hausegger god?

By johnboy 30 June 2009 156

Apparently in Saturday’s Canberra Times the ABC newsreader Virginia Hausegger held forth on how she felt muslim women choosing to wear the burqa were in such breach of the basic tenets of our society that there “orta be a law agin it”.

This has sparked furious agreement by the letter writers of the Canberra Times.

I know that ABC newsreaders are made to feel important, but since when were they given the power to adjudicate what is acceptable clothing?

As a sensible man I like to stay as far away as possible from what women choose to wear. And amongst the sisterhood Virginia is free to argue that choosing to wear the burqa is counter-productive to woman-kind.

But once we start legislating clothing choices because they fly in the face of some perceived quality of Holy Orstralianess where are we going to stop?

What else will we ban on Virginia’s whim?

UPDATE: The original article can be found on Virginia’s blogspot.

What’s Your opinion?


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156 Responses to
Who the hell made Virginia Hausegger god?
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Deano 10:28 am 30 Jun 09

I find it ironic that in a supposed ‘free’ society there are calls to ban something because it is associated with a supposed ‘repressive’ society. Pot meet kettle.

NoAddedMSG 10:25 am 30 Jun 09

This is presumably inspired by the debate going on in France, which seems to be operating under the assumption that if a woman is being forced to wear the naquib/burka type arrangement against her will, that banning it will somehow free her to wear whatever she wants…. ignoring the other possible outcome which is that she ends up confined to her home unable to ever leave it because she can’t go out dressed appropriately.

Either way, I don’t want to live in a society which legislates at a govt level (beyond OH&S type reasons) what I or anyone else can’t wear in public. If the burka becomes illegal, are we going to also ban people going out in public in costumes (such as for example, a giant bunny suit) which completely obscures their features? It’s the same principle, you can’t see the face of who is in there….. if the concern is about being able to establish the identity of the person for official reasons, there surely there are culturally sensitive ways around the problem which don’t require the banning of items of clothing.

FC 10:25 am 30 Jun 09

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

FC said :

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

Another example of stupid feminists working against genuine progress towards equality, acceptance and real choice.

Or one persons opinion. Don’t let you stop you jumping on the bandwagon though.

Seems fairly consistent with other feminists I know and/or have read/heard. “If you choose to behave in a traditional role you are hamstringing the cause of women everywhere”.

Seems that you may be oversimplifying things. Things are not that black and white and being a feminist, and knowing many other feminists, I doubt any of them would see anything as simply as you are putting it.
Oh, and most people I know that own v8s are bogan w-nkers – so I guess you must be one too? (it would seem fairly consistent, that’s all)

vg 10:23 am 30 Jun 09

For Christ’s sake it was an opinion piece. If you don’t like her opinion then write your own……or just choose to have your own one that differs.

Storm + teacup = OP

Clown Killer 10:19 am 30 Jun 09

I only know one Muslim lady. She definately chooses to cover her hair and to derss modestly when in public. I have spoken to her about this and she feels that it is a very bold and liberating statement that she can make about her faith and who she is.

I’m with JB on the point of distinguishing our society by the ability to make choices. Sure in some parts of the world maybe women don’t have a choice about what they wear – but why on earth would we want to make our society more like that.

caf 10:17 am 30 Jun 09

When Virginia says this:

Wearing the burka – or niqab -in Australia is an aggressive way of saying ‘I will not integrate into your society, and I care nothing for the cultural mores and social traditions of this country’. Instead, the woman wearing it is demonstrating that she would rather submit to gender apartheid, than embrace the social norms of this place. The burka is an arrogant display of disrespect to Australia and the Australian way of life.

…it may well be true, but “banning the burqua” in this context is treating the symptom, not the problem.

You can’t force people to free themselves. You can only give them the opportunity, it is up to them to take it.

(On a lighter note, Google Ads has selected dating agency “singlemuslim.com” for this thread!)

deezagood 10:16 am 30 Jun 09

Virginia is allowed to have an opinion. Virginia is allowed to publically state that opinion. Virginia is allowed to try and convince others to agree with her opinion. Virginia is allowed to call for bans on things if she wants to….. because the last time I checked, we live in a free country. You are entitled to disagree with Virginia, but that doesn’t stop her from being allowed to express her own opinion. I think labling Virginia a ‘stupid feminist’ is really stupid too.

I also think the ‘single muslim.com’ advert on this page is amusing media placement.

FC said :

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

Another example of stupid feminists working against genuine progress towards equality, acceptance and real choice.

Or one persons opinion. Don’t let you stop you jumping on the bandwagon though.

Seems fairly consistent with other feminists I know and/or have read/heard. “If you choose to behave in a traditional role you are hamstringing the cause of women everywhere”.

FC 10:03 am 30 Jun 09

Interesting posts Spectra and Ant.

johnboy 10:02 am 30 Jun 09

Spectra, I’d argue that having been horrified by an authoritarian society the worst possible response is to make our own more authoritarian.

As for the poor petals “culturally confronted”? Well seriously, harden up.

Or even thank these people for reminding you that different people think and do different things and wouldn’t it be a miserable world where we all fell into the same drab conformity.

grundy 9:58 am 30 Jun 09

Can we ban Spectra?

ant 9:58 am 30 Jun 09

Hausegger is an author of some note, she has published several sociologically-focussed books. She also happens to read the news on the ABC. I guess she’s entitled to write articles commenting on social issues.

Her point in the article under “discussion” (well, at some point we’ll discuss the article, rather than leaping up and down screeching and flinging poo), was the confronting nature of seeing a figure walking along (behind the husband and kids) in a full burqua, in the Canberra Centre.

The figure she was shocked by was wearing the covering that hides the eyes behind mesh. She made the points that it is dehumanising to the woman, and is confronting and offensive to many in our culture. How do you talk to someone in such a costume… what or who is in there?

I’ve felt the same reaction when seeing this. Hausegger also felt the husband’s expression showed animosity towards her… plainly she felt affronted at the whole interaction, brief as it was.

As for banning this clothing, I’m with Sarkozy in feeling it’s inappropriate to go that far, but we should at least be able to speak out about it.

It is culturally confronting.

Spectra 9:56 am 30 Jun 09

In Virginia’s defence, she’s actually visited Afghanistan and seen first hand the kind of repression of females that goes on there. If it’s her opinion that the burqa is a key tool of that repression (which I’d imagine is the crux of her argument), well she’s probably in a better position to judge that than most of us. I really doubt that the issue for her was “women choosing to wear the burqa”, but then I haven’t seen the article.
I’m not saying she’s right (that’s a whole separate argument), I’m just suggesting that an ad hominem argument, as you so often preach against on this site, JB, should maybe not be the first line of attack here…

Skidbladnir 9:55 am 30 Jun 09

Nothing quite like having a media personality say “Use the power of law to compel these women to interpret their identity\traditions\culture\religion in a way I find acceptable! Expressing her identity\traditions\culture\religion through a non-mainstream clothing choice is offensive!” to show how open minded our feminists really are.

FC 9:53 am 30 Jun 09

DarkLadyWolfMother said :

She should clearly ban anyone (including women) from telling other women what they can, and cannot wear.

I wish I could say “I thought we’d go past this.”.

Good point. people should be able to wear what they want.
Even if it was interlinked with problems of opression etc (not that I am saying it either is or isn’t) but banning the clothing wouldn’t be solving the problem anyway.

FC 9:50 am 30 Jun 09

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

Another example of stupid feminists working against genuine progress towards equality, acceptance and real choice.

Or one persons opinion. Don’t let you stop you jumping on the bandwagon though.

AG Canberra 9:50 am 30 Jun 09

stuff, not staff…

AG Canberra 9:49 am 30 Jun 09

Virginia likes to call for bans on stuff – burquas, summernats, drunk footballers – it’s all pretty amusing reading really.

She doesn’t seem to suppport much staff – must be a glass half empty person….

DarkLadyWolfMother 9:41 am 30 Jun 09

She should clearly ban anyone (including women) from telling other women what they can, and cannot wear.

I wish I could say “I thought we’d go past this.”.

grundy 9:37 am 30 Jun 09

Can we ban the name Virginia?
It always makes me cringe that name…

Actually, lets ban German sounding surnames too!

Another example of stupid feminists working against genuine progress towards equality, acceptance and real choice.

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