Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Night I Wore A Burqa

"F" at Blunt and Disorderly wrote an interesting piece yesterday regarding the British Airways ban on staff wearing crosses. I was particularly struck by her comments on people adopting a particular religious appearance for non-religious reasons:
I remember in the 1980's the 'young and hip' wore crosses all over, in their earrings, bracelets, even tatooes. They meant nothing, except maybe a tendency to listen to Madonna, Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet.

Then I realised - I've worn a burqa for non-religious reasons. It was October 31st, 1979, Sussex University. I was going to a Halloween party dressed as a Nazgul from Lord Of The Rings. My costume was basically a sheet dyed black - except I didn't use enough dye, so that the sheet was a battleship grey. I wasn't a very scary Nazgul, actually.

But basically I was effectively covered up in something resembling a burqa (although I hadn't heard of the word at that time). Wearing something similar like that today might be seen as a sign of theological sarcasm, rather than poor fancy dress skills.

From what I can recall, wearing that costume didn't make me act more modestly than usual - in fact I was probably a bit, uh, frisky and , er , slightly more tactile than usual in my behaviour. Looking back at that night I've realised that for some women it might feel empowering in the short term.

Even so, if God told me I had to wear one of those in public for the rest of my life I'd tell Her to keep Her advice to Herself...

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

You were probably very cute in your burqa

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