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22.9.10

Buah Si Malang Kama

There is a concept in Indonesian called "buah si malah kala." In English, it literally translates as "the fruit of the opposite outcome." The English equivalent is "damned if you do and damned if you don't." Another equivalent is "stuck between a rock and a hard place."

So, what could possibly inspire me to talk about buah si malah kala?

How about the French ban on burqas and full-face scarves?

Let's start with what the buah si malah kala is. According to legend, there is a fruit that is forbidden (sound familiar?). If you pick the fruit, you must eat it, or your mother dies. If you don't eat it, your father dies. Talk about a conundrum. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Many people, in the West, argue that the whole face-scarf thing is completely foreign to the culture, not to mention that it hides potential terrorists from face-scanning technology. It must be banned in order to protect the public order and to ensure the safety of all citizens. Also, it represents a threat to Western culture from invading Muslim traditions, and we can't have that, can we?

To all of that, I call, "Bullshit."

I was raised in pre-Vatican II Catholic tradition, which required all women to cover their heads with a veil on Sunday. If you do a Google search on "catholic women wear veils," you will find a long list of muslim-related articles. If you do a Google search for "photos, bathing suits of the early 1900s," it gets all of two results, of which neither has anything to do with the topic. Looks to me like someone is systemactically trying to erase the past. It was not uncommon for women to wear veils in America in the 1960s, and photos of turn-of-the-century bathing suits should return thousands of sites.

Maybe we in the West don't want to remember that we weren't all that different just short time ago.

In dozens of cultures throughout the world, women's hair is considered erotic. Lord knows I find it very arousing. Men wear short hair because long hair is a sign of subservience. Someone can grab your hair and make you do something. Ergo, men like women to have long hair. Ergo, women wear veils to cover long hair so that they do not seave anyone but the people they expose their hair to.

When you think about it, a veil is empowering to a woman. It takes away the power of strangers to make her subservient. But feminist idiots see it as a form of slavery. I know both from my life as a catholic and from talking to women in Indonesia that the complete opposite is true. Many women here wear a "jilbab." Search for that on Google and it brings back over one hundred hits. The interesting thing is that men here don't make women wear jilbab, the women make the women wear them. They are covering their vulnerability, not submitting to male power.

In the same way, the women here wear full-body swimsuits that, quite frankly, are far more alluring than the real thing. Face it guys, air-brushed Playboy is much better than the saggy, wrinkly, blotchy, mole-covered reality. In the same way, the skin-tight Lycra from ankle to wrist to hoodie leave much more to the imagination than any Brazillian postage stamp ever would. It's all in the mind, in the end.

Here in Indonesia, many women wear the jilbab, but there are many more traditional women, known as ninjas, who wear the black, amorphous dress with the full head and face covered. My guess is that it gives the men bragging rights. After all, if you can't see his wife, he can say anything about her and it's true. Once she drops the veil, though, there's no mystery left. In other words, under the veil, every man married a 10.

So, what does this all come down to?

Simple. Let the women dress however they want to. In the West until 40 years ago, it wasn't much different, no matter how hard they are trying to cover that up now. The whole argument is specious. They want to claim that only terrorists cover their faces. Bullshit. It that is true, then why do US DEA, BATF and police cover their faces? Are they terrorists? I'll let you answer that question. But, while you are pondering that, the original definition of the word 'terrorism' meant abuse of government power, not individuals fighting it.

Every day, I get on an ojek (motorcyle taxi), and put on a helmet and mask to keep out the dirt and pollution. They sell them here on the street corner for a dollar. At home, I'd be arrested for trying to hide my face from scanning technology. Here, I'm just one of many trying to maintain respiratory health. Whose right? Me, of course.

governments are always afraid of what they can't see. Everything is a threat to their survival and propagation. Governements thrive on sucking the life out of their subjects and keeping the masses afraid of some boogyman that drives the masses home to Big Brother's bosom.

Gimme jilbabs and burqas. I prefer the mystery and the Eternal Dance.

And screw the overpaid, blood-sucking bastards. I'm tired of their charade. They are the terrorists, not the woman wearing a burqa. Cave-dwellers with cell phones and box cutters are not the problem. Para-military police with machine guns and licenses to kill are the problem. They can wear a mask and we all applaud. What is wrong with this picture?

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