/ UKC women, what would you do?

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
When we were filming in Pakistan, our reseacher was a young girl, we had to do a shoot in the market for our film. The girl had been wearing shorts and a T shirt all the time we had been shooting in the mountains. The guide said, 'If you go in the market dressed like that, you will be stabbed'
There was no question of this according to the guide, so for the sake of the film (and her life) she covered up, including her hair. I was furious, not with the researcher but with the stupid rules of Pakistan, I vowed I would never go there again and I haven't. What would the UKC women do in this situation?
Blue Straggler - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

I imagine that most "UKC women" (nice phrase Al) would have respected the culture of the country in which they were guests, and not made a terrible fuss about it.
What year was this? I suppose people may be better informed and more respectful these days.
dale1968 - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans: erm, cover up and go home alive?
Tall Clare - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

You say 'young girl' - how young? Under ten?
Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> I imagine that most "UKC women" (nice phrase Al) would have respected the culture of the country in which they were guests, and not made a terrible fuss about it.
> What year was this? I suppose people may be better informed and more respectful these days.

This was early 90's, do you really think it is reasonable to stab a women who was showing her hair, or come to that showing any bit of her body within reason?
Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> You say 'young girl' - how young? Under ten?

She was in her early twenties, but what on earth has that got to do with the point? This girl was going to be stabbed for wearing shorts and a T shirt, what does it matter what age she was?
Alyson - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans: Whether I agree with the reasons behind it or not, I always respect the culture of any country I visit and cover up accordingly. It would feel aggressively rude to do otherwise - to me personally.
Darren Jackson - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
>
> ... showing any bit of her body within reason?

I'm quite open to women showing me bits of their bodies without reason

winhill - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> I imagine that most "UKC women" (nice phrase Al) would have respected the culture of the country in which they were guests, and not made a terrible fuss about it.
> What year was this? I suppose people may be better informed and more respectful these days.


Yup, when in Rome, bring petrol.

A young mother accused of sorcery was stripped naked, doused with petrol and burned alive in front of a crowd including schoolchildren in Papua New Guinea, reports said on Thursday.
Tall Clare - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

Sorry - I thought by 'young girl' you meant a child, rather than a woman. I was struggling to understand how a child would have a job as a researcher, mind.
Robert Durran - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

Two women I was with on a trip to Pakistan insisted on wandering around Rawalpindi in skimpy clothes. They complained about the unwanted attention they received. I found it hard to have much sympathy - it was probably the equivalent of a woman wandering around London topless. This was 1990. This does not mean I condone stabbiing on religious grounds though.
Blue Straggler - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)
> [...]
>
> do you really think it is reasonable to stab a women

Do you really think that it is a "Pakistani rule" to do so?!
nickyrannoch on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

I suppose the point being you patronisingly referred to a professional woman and a work colleague as a "young girl" whilst at the same time affecting mock outrage for women's right for another thinly veiled dig at the "bloody asians"/muslims under the bed again.

However, you are quite right. If a people's culture offends you you shouldn't go back and fed their economy and condone their behaviour. Which is why you'll never find me in Dubai or Riyadh on my holidays.
Steve John B - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans: You know they cheat at cricket as well? The swines.
Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> [...]
>
> Do you really think that it is a "Pakistani rule" to do so?!

I thought it was a real danger then, Pakistan is the most frightening country I have ever been to, you could buy AK47's on the corner of most streets, and I suspect you still can.
Caralynh - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

I have always tried to adopt and respect the culture of places I visit, even if I don't share that culture. It's hardly fair to moan about veiled women in the UK if I don't even cover my head and shoulders when in an Islamic country. (for that matter, I do the same if entering any religious building that's also a cultural/tourist destination, such as St Peters in Rome, various far east temples, etc, etc).

Also, sometimes refusing to comply really is cutting off your nose to spite your face. Just under 20 years ago I spent some time with a female friend backpacking round Morocco. We adopted local dress and had no hassle from anyone, plus were welcomed into places where locals ate, and offered all the help and assistance we needed. We met two American girls in Marrakech, in vest tops and shorts, complaining that they felt intimidated and treated like whores, and they hated the whole country. Says it all, I think.

J and I looked into climbing Mt Damavand a while ago, and I think that would have been a bit more problematic. I would have had to wear either a burka or a knee length tunic and baggy trousers, with a headscarf, until past the altitude of the highest shepherds hut. I wasn't sure how expedition rucksacks and burkas would work at 3800m!! Had we gone though, I'd have tried, and thought it all part of the experience.
Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to nickyrannoch:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> I suppose the point being you patronisingly referred to a professional woman and a work colleague as a "young girl" whilst at the same time affecting mock outrage for women's right for another thinly veiled dig at the "bloody asians"/muslims under the bed again.

That is so blatenly untrue and rubbish, she was young to me because I was 20 years older than her and so obviously felt protective. And yes I didn't like the people or their values, the only ones I met that seemed at all decent were Imran Khan and his sister (lets hope to god he gets in and sorts the country out).
Tall Clare - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to nickyrannoch)
And yes I didn't like the people or their values, the only ones I met that seemed at all decent were Imran Khan and his sister (lets hope to god he gets in and sorts the country out).


Propably easiest to just say 'I hate most Pakistani people' and have done with it.
Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Caralynh: The way women are treated in Islamic countries is way beyond the tolerance of respecting their culture. I sympathise with your american friends.
rockstoned on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Caralynh:
> J and I looked into climbing Mt Damavand a while ago, and I think that would have been a bit more problematic. I would have had to wear either a burka or a knee length tunic and baggy trousers, with a headscarf, until past the altitude of the highest shepherds hut. I wasn't sure how expedition rucksacks and burkas would work at 3800m!! Had we gone though, I'd have tried, and thought it all part of the experience.

You were seriously misinformed. A headscarf covering most of your hair and making sure you don't show your bare legs would've sufficed. Iran's not like Saudi! This is something a simple internet search would tell you.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> [...]
> And yes I didn't like the people or their values, the only ones I met that seemed at all decent were Imran Khan and his sister (lets hope to god he gets in and sorts the country out).
>
>
> Propably easiest to just say 'I hate most Pakistani people' and have done with it.

Actually two of my best mates are pakistani, Rayhan and Nadim Siddiqui, Rayhan was the big wheel in the BMC until last year. WE climbed together for about 30 years.
Steve John B - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to nickyrannoch)
> [...]
>
> the only ones I met that seemed at all decent were Imran Khan and his sister (lets hope to god he gets in and sorts the country out).

Casual racism AND namedropping in one sentence! Top drawer.
Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans: The other thing to say is if the women don't rebel how are things ever going to get better?
Robert Durran - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
And yes I didn't like the people or their values.

I thought Pakistan was one of the most genuinely humblingly friendly countries I have been to. However, a woman is more likely to have some difficulty with the culture.
Caralynh - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

Have you thought though, that the very women you mention may also be offended at western tourists or visitors walking round flashing their flesh?

There are also plenty of Islamic countries where women aren't as "oppressed" as you put it. Malaysia, for example seems to have a happy medium where young women wear skinny jeans, a skintight tshirt, and a headscarf. When I was in Tanzania/Zanzibar over Ramadan, covered shoulders (as easy as a tshirt instead of a vest) were required, but most local women, especially those under the age of 50 had uncovered hair. One safari ranger we met was a single mother who started studying to be a ranger when her boyfriend left her. No headscarf there, just the usual trousers, shirt, sunhat and rifle! I do see what you mean re. Syria, Pakistan, Iran etc, but you can't tar all nations sharing a religion with the same brush.
Caralynh - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to rockstoned:
> (In reply to Caralynh)
> [...]
>
> You were seriously misinformed. A headscarf covering most of your hair and making sure you don't show your bare legs would've sufficed. Iran's not like Saudi! This is something a simple internet search would tell you.

That's useful to know for when we do decide to go there. I asked 2 different guiding companies and both said the same. One even said women had to wear long tunics or overcoats even to get off the plane. More research needed, I think. Decided on Andes instead for this year though, so won't be for a year or so now.
rockstoned on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans: regardless of whether you agree with the customs, religion and culture of a country, you as an individual are a guest when you are visiting, it's arrogant & conceited to try and force your values upon people, you will not earn the friendship & care of locals like that.

That being said I agree there are certain freedoms that people and women particularly would be better off having in most of the world outside Europe. But we're not perfect and I find myself to be somewhat arrogant too with that statement... look at the objectifying of women that we do every day, and how it's so widely accepted (even by women).
rockstoned on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Caralynh: but a tunic is not a burka... and it won't be a tunic anyway. Anyhow, just look online. You'll be shocked at how the women dress and how made up they are.
Mark Collins - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans: There are a lot of men replying to this ladies thread, doh!
Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Caralynh:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> Have you thought though, that the very women you mention may also be offended at western tourists or visitors walking round flashing their flesh?

Of course they are, it's all they know and even if they are not jealous they must wonder what it would be like to have the freedom to choose what they wear on a hot day.
Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Mark Collins:
> (In reply to Al Evans) There are a lot of men replying to this ladies thread, doh!

I noticed that, sad isn't it, I was hoping women would come out and stand up for each other.
Tall Clare - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Mark Collins)
> [...]
>
> I noticed that, sad isn't it, I was hoping women would come out and stand up for each other.

We are - we're agreeing that a lot of your thinking here is somewhat wonky.
nickyrannoch on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Caralynh) The way women are treated in Islamic countries is way beyond the tolerance of respecting their culture. I sympathise with your american friends.

Apart from the broad sweep of "islamic countries" I agree with that. The answer is don't go and as much as possible dont deal financially with them and put pressure on your local MP to do same. Our relationship with Saudi and other regimes in the arabic world is a national disgrace.
dale1968 - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Mark Collins:
> (In reply to Al Evans) There are a lot of men replying to this ladies thread, doh!

but I do at least have a women's name
John_Hat - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to various:

I guess to me there are certain things that other countries do which I really don't care about, and file under "when in Rome". In fact, that's a case in point, if you want to go into the churches in Rome you have to cover your shoulders. Doesn't bother me at all.

However, I get a little more irritated when the behaviour you have to enact is, to a certain extent, dehumanising, and especially in a country where the attitude to women is currently that they are - at best - second class citizens. As an individual who belives in equality this raises my hackles.

So it's a matter of degree, and like any matter of degree, where you draw the line is personal.
Ava Adore - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

Covered up with no qualms about doing so. If that's what is expected, it's a small thing for me to do so I'd have no issues at all. Just as when I went round the churches in Rome I wouldn't be so disrespectful as to show acres of bare flesh. Not that I have THAT many acres, you understand...
Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: But Clare, surely you agree that the Islamaic treatment of women is inhuman, for rape its the woman who is stoned to death, not the perpetrator. The recent case of the cleric that raped tortured and killed a 6 year old girl to death and was given a suspended sentence, surely there has to be something wrong with a male orientated society that condones that?
Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Ava Adore:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> Covered up with no qualms about doing so. If that's what is expected, it's a small thing for me to do so I'd have no issues at all. Just as when I went round the churches in Rome I wouldn't be so disrespectful as to show acres of bare flesh. Not that I have THAT many acres, you understand...

If you are not careful I'll post that shot of you again :-0)
Tall Clare - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

I agree that treatment of women by *some Islamic groups* is inhuman.

Do you, in turn, see where people have issues with your approach and thinking on this one?
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

What a lot of people on this thread are forgetting, either due to ignorance or some kind of political intention, is that a little earlier than the 90s, in the 70s for example, women in muslim countries were breaking out of these macho "customs". In Iran, for example, you didn't see women covered, especially in Tehran where they were mostly in modern dress, and even in Afghanistan, one of the poorest most conservative countries in the world, the burqa was to be seen in the South round Kandahar but much less so in Kabul - the big cafe/restaurant in the town centre insisted on modern clothes, went to the other extreme even by banning baggy knee length trousers for men. Out in the country side, in the North at least, the burqa was absent from the villages.

What you are all referring to as "traditions" that we should all "respect" are not this at all, they are the result of a comparatively modern political islamic movement that started, more or less, with the overthrow of the Shah in Iran and the development in parallel of various reactionary salafist movements in Arabia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

These movements were all politically motivated, part of the dying moves of the cold war on the one hand and a backlash against US/UK interference in Iran on the other. If you really want to be on the side of the angels instead of sheepishly going along with the archaic, macho political forces trying to put women "back in their place" you could try having a bit of real respect for people under this religious/political yoke and encourage those who are trying, often with great difficulty, death and maiming being quite frequent, to advance and turn back this latest backward turn of the page and fight for women's rights in the countries concerned.

You all take these rights for granted, maybe you should show a little solidarity for your abused sisters in islamic countries?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: Hmmm!, I'm not sure, I cannot ever condone or understand the Islamic treatment of women, even the supposed milder version that we see in the UK. Sharia law is outrageously medievil and should not be condoned by any modern society. I think we have a duty as a 'grown up world society' to protect womens rights in backward states.
I have no idea how on earth we do this, but I'm sure it's important that we do.
Carolyn - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

Personally, I tend to dress in a way that won't attract attention. Not simply out of respect for local customs (which may or may not warrant challenge), but because I want to be able to observe local people, rather than be the centre of attention. So rather more selfish reasons on the whole.

Similarly to Caralynr noted, in Tanzania I attracted very little attention wearing a long travel skirt and short sleeved top - clearly not a native, but similar dress to westerners who'd settled in the country, and so not too noticeable either. Another woman in the group who went into town in tight jeans and strappy top got a considerable amount of pestering.
Dauphin - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

Bomb them back to the stone age. That'll teach em.

D
Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans: What you said Bruce, a lot better that I could.
the power - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> Two women I was with on a trip to Pakistan insisted on wandering around Rawalpindi in skimpy clothes. They complained about the unwanted attention they received. I found it hard to have much sympathy - it was probably the equivalent of a woman wandering around London topless. This was 1990. This does not mean I condone stabbiing on religious grounds though.
Is it religious grounds?

Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Carolyn: I'm getting terribly depressed that the worlds females are not supporting or represnting their cause. No wonder that the dominant male religious society continues to exist in Saudi Arabia and other muslim countries, What is going to happen unless the Islam countries Women start to rebel. NOTHING, and we as modern people shuld support them
Carolyn - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

However, I'm unconvinced that causing outrage in the local market will do much to achieve change?
nickyrannoch on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Carolyn) I'm getting terribly depressed that the worlds females are not supporting or represnting their cause. No wonder that the dominant male religious society continues to exist in Saudi Arabia and other muslim countries, What is going to happen unless the Islam countries Women start to rebel. NOTHING, and we as modern people shuld support them


I agree, so what are you doing other than fighting their cause on an internet messageboard?

When the women and liberals of Saudi rise up they will be gunned down with british supplied weaponry. When the people of Bharain tried to rise up David Cameron was taking tea with the crown prince of Bahrain at Downing Street.

People are more interested, and i don't entirley blame them, on what affect BAE's share price will have upon their pension.
Scarab9 - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> I imagine that most "UKC women" (nice phrase Al) would have respected the culture of the country in which they were guests, and not made a terrible fuss about it.
> What year was this? I suppose people may be better informed and more respectful these days.

as Blue said. Doesn't matter if you think someone getting stabbed due to not covering up is fair or not, it's the local culture and should be respected. It is seen as highly disrespectful of that culture.
Ramblin dave - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Carolyn:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> However, I'm unconvinced that causing outrage in the local market will do much to achieve change?


Agree. If anything, western tourists doing this sort of thing is likely to strengthen the position of the local religious conservatives rather than weakening it...
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to nickyrannoch:

> I agree, so what are you doing other than fighting their cause on an internet messageboard?

It's a start at least! If at least around us we react against this cosy politically correct notion that all "traditions" deserve to be respected and realise that islam is spilt by political currents as much as the rest of the world it's at least a start. You can't take action without being clear in your own mind.

Then, as you say, the next step higher is in terms of national politics, getting Cameron out would be a step in the right direction but only a tiny step if labour continues to have such a fluffy two faced attitude on such issues. How to change this if not by discussing and arguing the subject with people around you?
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Scarab9:

You're talking bollocks here, 40 years ago in Pakistan it wasn't like this - Bhutto was in power and there was a movement towards social democratic politics, and a progressive limitation of feudal and religious power.... Then the army got involved, Bhutto was hanged and it's been going down hill ever since.

A bit like Father Christmas we all think of as an old English tradition when in fact he was invented by Coca Cola last century! In Pakistan and elsewhere women and girls are being murdered and disfigured in their fight back against this the re-imposition of these archaic customs - the least you, and others, could do is show some respect for these courageous women rather than calling for us to respect the barbaric men who attack them.
John_Hat - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Scarab9:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)
> [...]
>
> It is seen as highly disrespectful of that culture.

Just a straw man, if "local culture" stated that a man's wife should be in chains and follow three paces behind him with their eyes downcast, what would be your view?

I actually think that disrespect of some cultures is perfectly acceptable, and personally I would be quite happy both not to respect them and be seen not to respect them. Basically because I *don't* respect them.

On the other hand I wouldn't visit the country either.

However, if they said "respect my culture or you're going to be knifed in the marketplace" that's another thing, and some practicalities come into it - like getting home alive.

Carolyn - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> Agree. If anything, western tourists doing this sort of thing is likely to strengthen the position of the local religious conservatives rather than weakening it...

Yes, partly this. But also other things. Dress code by itself is a fairly superficial issue, for starters. If women have access to education, are able to hold professional jobs (even after kids), travel alone or drive a car, but still choose - or are expected - to wear a headscarf (as was the case for an Egyptian I once worked with), is that a huge issue? There are still plenty of dress conventions in the western world (although, I admit, less likely to lead to stabbing).

Yes, I agree the fundamental issues should be challenged. But that's likely to need to be a complex, long term process, and need a detailed understanding of the subtleties in each local area.
nickyrannoch on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to nickyrannoch)
>
> [...]
>
> It's a start at least! If at least around us we react against this cosy politically correct notion that all "traditions" deserve to be respected and realise that islam is spilt by political currents as much as the rest of the world it's at least a start. You can't take action without being clear in your own mind.
>

Whilst it is certainly true that Islam is as diverse a political and scoial ideology as any other on earth i would suggest that framing the debate in terms of muslims/ islam do this or 'islamic countries' do that detracts from having that debate rather than inform it. It tends to put the backs up of those who should be your natural allies.

I wouldn't necessarily blame Cameron, there hasn't been an ethical foreign policy in the history of these islands. I have genuinely had liberal friends tell me that BAE being the UK's largest exporter is one of those things you just have to accept for the good of the economy. Blair and Brown did not lift one finger to stop the sale of arms to a repressive regime in Indonesia or our usual top customers in the arabic world.

I agree that debate and awareness amongst friends is agood starting point but is all too often the end point too.
KarenR - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans: I had two work trips to Islamabad last year, and will be going back in a couple of weeks. I am not looking forward to it. Islamabad in general, and the people I am working with are pretty 'westward looking' and as long as I dress in conservatively I have no problem. If I was to walk around the city by myself it would attract a lot of attention, so I don't do it. This is not because I respect the local culture however. How can I respect a culture that makes me uncomfortable to be out on my own? Life in large parts of Pakistan is utterly miserable for men, and particularly women. Try reading the newspapers over there. Every day people are maimed and killed in terrorist attacks. Every single day. Women are subject to ludicrous impositions on their lives and barbaric punishment if they resist. Pakistan is, generally, an awful place to live. This is a simple statement of fact, and is not incompatible with another fact: many Pakistanis are friendly helpful people that do not treat each other, outsiders, or women badly.
Flinticus - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Scarab9:
I think I would distinguish between adhering to and respecting a culture.

How far do you suppress what you feel is right when 'respecting' a culture? Would you walk pass a stoning, muttering about 'respecting culture'?

Slavery has been a part of various cultures through the world at various times as has mutilation / execution, severe internal oppression etc. Its a form of hypocrisy and selfishness to tolerate what you would fight in your own country, if imposed on you, your family & friends, what you seem to deem acceptable in other places under the broad label of 'culture' but is really institutional oppression. The brutal suppression of women and other minorities (how do gay people fare?) is fairly well documented in many Middle Eastern countries.

You have to ask what do you get from passing this all off under the convienent 'culture' label? An opportunity to climb a mountain?

Culture is not genetic, its a set of ideas & beliefs and you can oppose them / disagree with them intellectually and in practice.

All Pakistanis are not Muslim and , of course not all Muslims are Wahhabists and other Muslims, such as Sufis suffer from the violence of the more intolerate, fanatics.
Oujmik - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Flinticus and KarenR: I think your last two posts are the closest to summing up how I feel about this. It is absurd to respect something simply because it is ingrained or institutionalised. Should we 'respect' the culture of misogyny and abuse that apparently existed at the BBC in the 70s? Should we 'respect' the culture of habitual gang violence on some estates in our cities?

On the other hand, it is wise to *be seen to respect* something if otherwise you would be stabbed or molested. 'Respecting' a culture is a different thing to not antagonising the people who exist within that culture (and may never have known anything else).

What we have to be very careful of here is simply assuming our own culture is 'correct'. For example, in our culture it's not normal to walk around naked in public, although I can see nothing objectively wrong with that. But if someone rocked up stark naked and started having a go at you for wearing clothes, you'd probably be pretty annoyed.

Similarly for some reason it is normal to intensively breed, kill and eat cows, whereas it is only socially acceptable to breed horses, make them race for the delight of gamblers then possibly kill them but NOT eat them. This would seem absurd to cultures where is is normal to (a) eat horse meat (b) eat no meat (c) not gamble...

I think basically where I'm going is you have to decide for yourself what is wrong or right, but it is very difficult to separate that judgement from the prejudices of the culture in which you yourself are immersed. This is becoming easy as global communications allow (some) people to see beyond their own cultures.
Flinticus - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Oujmik:
Totally with you there.

For myself I hope that our own culture will continue to evolve, and that someday we will not intensively breed animals for food, etc or so exploit our world that we are bringing many species to the point of destruction and screwing it up for ourselves at the same time.

As you say, you have to decide what is right or wrong for yourself: a good way to do this is to put yourself in the place of the person whose freedoms or rights you would limit, 'Does that feel fair' or 'That would make me intensely umnhappy' etc.

Start with compassion & empathy then reason & criticism
Carolyn - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Oujmik:
> (
> What we have to be very careful of here is simply assuming our own culture is 'correct'. For example, in our culture it's not normal to walk around naked in public, although I can see nothing objectively wrong with that. But if someone rocked up stark naked and started having a go at you for wearing clothes, you'd probably be pretty annoyed.

Or looks up from page 3 of their tabloid to tell you it's obscene to breastfeed your baby in a cafe.....
Gudrun - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

Make your feelings and the reasons behind them known to the Pakistani Tourist Board for a start.the way women are treated in some of the more extreme Muslim cultures is absolutely disgusting as we all know.That we have a long history of implicit support to countries and regimes that have promulgated and exported their extreme brand of Islam is something we chose not to discuss.
Since Sykes Picot we have manipulated,controlled and caused utter mayhem in the Middle East which has accounted for the deaths of many millions in country after country.
In Soviet occupied Afghanistan for example women were trained as doctors,teachers, lawyers you name it,with complete freedom to wear western clothes they could also work in the government,police and the army.In 1978 there were only 5,000 women employees,by the late 1980's there were 250,000.Women were given much greater access to health care for the first time and literacy rates amongst women rose very dramatically.
So the West chose to destroy all of this and support the woman-hating mujahedin,eventually going on to create an army of 100,000 Jihadi fundamentalists who would spread their backward brand of Islam throughout the world.
We are implicated in the destruction of many progressive democratic countries or movements in the middle esat as well as support for fundamentalist dictatorships.
henwardian - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans: Err, you are sounding pretty naive and ignorant here. You would expect to get arrested for walking round the market in the UK wearing nothing but a scarf round your neck, wouldn't you? Are you so angry about the clothing laws/traditions of the UK that you want to move to a nudist colony in Germany or live on a beach in Spain where it's ok to be naked?
Quite appart from this evident hypocrisy in your attitude, you are visiting THEIR country. I'm amazed that you have reached your current age without hearing the statement "when in Rome, do as Romans do" - i.e. If you visit another country, you live up to standards epected of its other citizens. If you are Dutch, you wouldn't expect to get away with smoking a spliff in Germany. If you are Spannish you wouldn't expect to get away with organising a rally against the government in N Korea.

I find it rather arrogant that you would assume that you can travel anywhere in the world and do anything that _you_ decided _you_ should be entitled to.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Oujmik: " whereas it is only socially acceptable to breed horses, make them race for the delight of gamblers then possibly kill them but NOT eat them."

Err, I can gladly say we , as a nation have taken this on board and are making great strides in correcting this ubsurd behaviour.
KarenR - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Carolyn:
>
> Or looks up from page 3 of their tabloid to tell you it's obscene to breastfeed your baby in a cafe.....

Or is in real danger of being killed for wearing the wrong clothes in a market. Sometimes there really are no shades of grey, and there is nothing wrong with Mr Evans feeling furious about this situation, and hating the people who feel entitled and justified to kill a person because of what they are wearing. Or who they refuse to marry. Or because they go to school..... wrong, wrong, wrong.

winhill - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Scarab9)
>
> the least you, and others, could do is show some respect for these courageous women rather than calling for us to respect the barbaric men who attack them.

It's incredible how people can actually say respecting these idiots is a virtue, totally devoid of any political input, just emoting.

I'm not sure if it's PC, it simply isn't well enough informed or thought through. More likely Gap Yah Third World Tourism guilt.
henwardian - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans: In reply to Al Evans:

I wrote that first reply based just on your OP, now I've read through half the thread, I'm beginning to think you might just be a troll. If so, this isn't very funny. You are making the generally accepting and laid back climbing community look like a bunch of racist assholes.

In response to a couple of your other replies:

> I thought it was a real danger then, Pakistan is the most frightening country I have ever been to, you could buy AK47's on the corner of most streets, and I suspect you still can.

So... Just like America then?
You feel in "real danger" when you go there too?

In reply to Al Evans:
> And yes I didn't like the people or their values, the only ones I met that seemed at all decent were Imran Khan and his sister (lets hope to god he gets in and sorts the country out).

This makes you a racist. No argument. Congrats.
Carolyn - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to KarenR:

> Or is in real danger of being killed for wearing the wrong clothes in a market. Sometimes there really are no shades of grey, and there is nothing wrong with Mr Evans feeling furious about this situation, and hating the people who feel entitled and justified to kill a person because of what they are wearing. Or who they refuse to marry. Or because they go to school..... wrong, wrong, wrong.

Apologies, I certainly didn't mean to condone the situation. I agree that there are things there that are clearly wrong, and shouldn't be "respected".
KarenR - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Carolyn: Apologies not needed. It's just that some people here seem to think that the real problem is the woman wearing inappropriate clothes, rather than members of the society she was visiting thinking it is proportionate to deliver summary execution for the offence caused. This is utterly indefensible.
Sir Chasm - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to henwardian: When you refer to the generally accepting and laidback climbing community could you excuse me from your misogyny? What's wrong with a dislike of how women are treated in various countries?
Al Evans on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to henwardian:
> (In reply to Al Evans) Err, you are sounding pretty naive and ignorant here. You would expect to get arrested for walking round the market in the UK wearing nothing but a scarf round your neck, wouldn't you? Are you so angry about the clothing laws/traditions of the UK that you want to move to a nudist colony in Germany or live on a beach in Spain where it's ok to be naked?
> Quite appart from this evident hypocrisy in your attitude, you are visiting THEIR country. I'm amazed that you have reached your current age without hearing the statement "when in Rome, do as Romans do" - i.e. If you visit another country, you live up to standards epected of its other citizens. If you are Dutch, you wouldn't expect to get away with smoking a spliff in Germany. If you are Spannish you wouldn't expect to get away with organising a rally against the government in N Korea.
>
> I find it rather arrogant that you would assume that you can travel anywhere in the world and do anything that _you_ decided _you_ should be entitled to.

That post is just so stupid as to not be wortgh thinking of a reply
In reply to Al Evans: From reading this thread, I sense that in PC-land racism is worse than sexism, although you also get your sexism badge for referring to someone significantly younger than you as a young girl.

They really should write a rule book so everyone is clear.
henwardian - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> When you refer to the generally accepting and laidback climbing community could you excuse me from your misogyny? What's wrong with a dislike of how women are treated in various countries?

I'm confused about where you are getting mysogyny from so I'll skip over that one.
There is nothing wrong with disliking discrimination against women but that isn't Al Evans tone. His tone is about disliking people who are from Pakistan and encouraging a kind of collonial attitude to the world that should have been laid to rest a century ago.
henwardian - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> That post is just so stupid as to not be wortgh thinking of a reply

Really?
I was pretty sure the correct forum ettiquette would either be to:
a) Formulate a reply relating to my points.
OR
b) Not reply when you realise how totally incapable you are of defending your own racist, sexist diatribe of discrimination.

I had thought that the "not going to reply because you're stupid" response got left behind by most people at around primary 5.
Sir Chasm - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to henwardian: Oh, I see, you don't like his tone. But stabbing women for dressing incorrectly is ok.
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to henwardian:

> Err, you are sounding pretty naive and ignorant here...

You too brother, mistreating women in this way is not "their" culture any more that gassing Jews is a fundamental part of German culture, what is happening now is a phase, a reactionary swing back towards attitudes that are imposed on whole peoples by violence. If you had visited these countries a few years ago you would know this, so your calling Al "ignorant" is a bit strong.
henwardian - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to henwardian) Oh, I see, you don't like his tone. But stabbing women for dressing incorrectly is ok.

I assume that's a rhetorical question? On the offchance that it isn't. No, it is not ok.
However I do have to point out that someone saying "she will be stabbed if she wears the wrong wrong clothes" is very different from the actual event happening, these are words of caution from a guide (who, btw would be a world of shit if something did happen to any of his clients, guides will always act to mitigate hazards, even if the risks relating to those hazards are very small).
People in the UK are pretty good at attacking/abusing people who wear the wrong clothes too:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Sophie_Lancaster
I couldn't find statistics on attacks in the UK based on people wearing head scarfs but I'd bet when you do find them there are plenty that happen based purely on dress sense.

What this boils down to is the question: How can you start hating people in another country for doing the exact same thing that happens in our country?
Sir Chasm - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to henwardian: If you can show me that killing goths is socially accepted then I take your point.
Skyfall - on 08 Feb 2013
I do think it's an interesting subject; different parts of the world's view on women and dress codes etc.

In Pakistan (about 1990?) we found that in the mountains (near Afghanistan as it happens) that, yes, the people were very conservative but welcoming and the attitude towards women fairly normal. Incidentally, together with my then girlfriend, and much to our surprise we were invited into a mosque to take photos (!). On the other hand, when in Peshawar and other large cities, even completely covered up, western women were stared at and people spat on the pavements behind them.

In Nepal I have seen a much more aggressive attitude towards women in the course of more recent visits. T

Bear in mind that whilst working in a then very remote eastern area of Turkkey in about 1985, our local guides on taking us around a local market showed us the amount of western porn on sale and said that this was having a marked effect on the view of western women generally.
In reply to henwardian:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
> [...]
>
> I assume that's a rhetorical question? On the offchance that it isn't. No, it is not ok.

> People in the UK are pretty good at attacking/abusing people who wear the wrong clothes too:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Sophie_Lancaster
> I couldn't find statistics on attacks in the UK based on people wearing head scarfs but I'd bet when you do find them there are plenty that happen based purely on dress sense.
>
> What this boils down to is the question: How can you start hating people in another country for doing the exact same thing that happens in our country?

Please tell me you're trolling!
henwardian - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> You too brother, mistreating women in this way is not "their" culture any more that gassing Jews is a fundamental part of German culture, what is happening now is a phase, a reactionary swing back towards attitudes that are imposed on whole peoples by violence. If you had visited these countries a few years ago you would know this, so your calling Al "ignorant" is a bit strong.

I'm judging Al based on what he has said in this thread and so far he has done nothing to make me revise my opinion.

I understand what you are saying about swings one way and another. And I wasn't meaning to infer that stabbing a woman for not wearing the right thing was part of the Pakistani culture. However, a code of dress for women _is_ part of their culture and as other people have pointed out (and I have heard from countless folk I have talked to about travelling), when in a foreign country, you should respect their customs and laws.
ads.ukclimbing.com
henwardian - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to henwardian) If you can show me that killing goths is socially accepted then I take your point.

I doubt that stabbing women is socially acceptable in Pakistan but I'm prepared to be proven wrong.
henwardian - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> Please tell me you're trolling!

I suppose telling uncomfortable truths could possibly count as trolling. But no, that isn't the intent of my posts.
Timmd on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans: I've sometimes wondered if things to do with not liking women not being covered up to that degree might have something to do with repressed sexuality, with it not being something which some men find attractive, so they find a religious reason which is something to latch onto, as the cause of how they're feeling other than what's being repressed, and go loopy with frustration and then anger at what they're seeing and feeling.

I might be talking through my hat of course, but it quite often seems to be in countries where honosexuality is repressed/frowned upon where that kind of thing can happen, or where women are 'encouraged' to cover up at least.
Skyfall - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Timmd:

I remember walking into a room of locals in Peshawar who were oggling a TV showing a rather racey Indian TV show with girls much more undressed than in Pakistan. When they realised that I was there you should have seen their reactions and it got turned over immediately.

So, yes, I think it's safe to say there is an element of repressed sexuality but I would have thought that is more as a result of their own women being covered up than causing them to impose that. I do think they probably then misinterpret how western women dress and don't know how to react - as I was partly trying to say in my post above by giving examples. Sometimes it obviously goes too far and becomes violent even.

I don't particularly approve of that sort of society but then I don't approve of quite a few aspects of our own.
Carolyn - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to KarenR:

Yes, I think the point I was trying (probably badly, and almost certainly too subtly for UKC) is that's a complex interplay of what's legal, what's culturally acceptable, and what's seen as "normal" - and that's what makes change more difficult than getting a few westerners to challenge by wearing different clothing.

We're very fortunate in the UK that whilst there are some perfectly reasonable activities that a fair few people would frown on, and there are still women who'll be punished by their partners for what they choose to wear, at least the law isn't on their side.
Tim Chappell - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

I'm not officially one of the "UKC women" but I imagine they would probably prioritise survival over making a political point.

Women are, as Sally points out to Harry, very practical.

If your point, Al, is that the treatment of women in Islam is (as a rule) abominable, I don't think anyone sane will disagree with that. But there are ways and means. And getting lynched in the bazaar is neither a way nor a means.

That is all.
matthewtraver - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

I'm not a female, though I'd definitely cover up. Respect the wishes of the local culture or don't bother going is what I think.
Timmd on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

plus 1
Cthulhu on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

Scraping the barrel a bit, Al. You've told exactly the same anecdote, and asked exactly the same question of UKC's women before.

Run out of things to be gratuitously angry about? Why not just come out and admit it - you're an islamophobe and a racist.
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to henwardian:

> How can you start hating people in another country for doing the exact same thing that happens in our country?

It's true that acid attacks, face slashing, burning and at a lower level spitting and abuse of women who don't cover themselves happens in some areas with a strong muslim population in Britain and in other European countries but it is not an intrinsic part of European culture, it's a problem imported from those countries described higher up the thread.

As for Pakistan though the same swing to the right has taken place in the islam of immigrants in Europe has taken place over the last decades - not that long ago you hardly even saw burqas or headscarves in London, occasionally around Kensington where there were Gulf state embassies but not in East London like today - the same rise in influence of political islam and the more extreme reactionary forms that this implies are at work throughout the world, not just in places like Pakistan.
ice.solo - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

A few thoughts, having spent time in pakistan, often in the company of women:

Being stabbed, tho not impossible, is exaggerated. Made uncomfotable, yes. Knifed, unlikely.

She didnt know the clothing issue before you were about to enter town? Someone hadnt done their homework.

Quetta is different to karimabad. Where were you?

The ladies ive been with have covered up. They dont need burkhas, simple long sleeves and hair scarves are usually all.
Staying in the mountains is a better option - tho due to conditions, one often wears sleeves and a hat there too.

Filming at all in parts of intensly islamic cultures is often unwelcome. It may not have been just her.

I agree SOME elements of islam suck - treatment of women being part of this. I also dislike this trait in some sects within christianity and buddhism. The hindu attitude to women i find often more appalling.

In the 14 years ive been going there ive not seen guns freely available everywhere. Usually just in gun shops like anywhere else.

Most pakistanis are not evil taliban members who would ever stab a young girl.

I have a good friend who was glassed in sydney for no apparant reason at all.
Skyfall - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to ice.solo:

> The ladies ive been with have covered up. They dont need burkhas, simple long sleeves and hair scarves are usually all.
> Staying in the mountains is a better option - tho due to conditions, one often wears sleeves and a hat there too.

Ditto as above.

> Filming at all in parts of intensly islamic cultures is often unwelcome. It may not have been just her.

Yes, hence our surprise at both of us (incl a woman) being invited into a mosque (Chitral) to take photos.

> In the 14 years ive been going there ive not seen guns freely available everywhere. Usually just in gun shops like anywhere else.

I'm guessing you weren't there shortly after the CIA had stopped gun running into Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion? Guns were everywhere and I even won an impromptu shooting comp on the Afghan/Pakistan border. But seriously they were everywhere.

ice.solo - on 08 Feb 2013

>
> I'm guessing you weren't there shortly after the CIA had stopped gun running into Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion? Guns were everywhere and I even won an impromptu shooting comp on the Afghan/Pakistan border. But seriously they were everywhere.

Nope. By the time i was there we were trying to evaluate and desaturate the effects of that era. Darra adan and besham had passed their hey days and were quietening down as lonely planet destinations as the soviets had abandoned enough hardware in afghanistan to last another few wars.
Heroin was everywhere instead.

Bruce Hooker - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to ice.solo:

So you wouldn't say there is a conflict going on in Pakistan between conservatives and more progressive elements and that women are often both on the front line and victims of this?

This girl, who is recovering from a bullet in the head, might have an opinion on the subject:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-21387139

To simply say that what is going on now is part of "their" culture is insulting people like her and all the other women that have died in Pakistan and Afghanistan since the rise of extreme islam in the late 70s and 80s. As you know the place you also know who got the ball rolling back then - good ol' uncle Sam with a little help from the UK.

Before then women were less at risk, car bombs and other such massacres were rare and the arms mentioned were not the kalashnikovs they are now. This is not "their" culture it's the culture of some extreme islamists, aided and abetted by the aforementioned - there were no madrassas in Pakistan, no taliban, no kalashnikovs and so on in the area before Afghanistan became the battleground between East and West.
Skyfall - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Yes but you can't just blame the west for its more liberal culture not bring understood in Pakistan etc. The extremes of both cultures create conflict.
Al Evans on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker: I find it surprising that the country that spawned the suffaregettes and Emily Pankhurst has so few positive respondents from UKC females on this topic. About the only person who has made sense in his replies is Bruce. Where are you women out their supporting your sex
Blue Straggler - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to John_Hat:
> (In reply to Scarab9)
> [...]
>
> On the other hand I wouldn't visit the country either.

Therein lies the hidden second crux of the matter.
You have to think "why was Al visiting the country?"
Al's OP states that he was making a film. I would assume that this was a commercial venture, and (because Al did not state otherwise) that it was not particularly in the interest of the Pakistani people.
So we have him and his "young girl" assistant turning up in a foreign country, spectacularly unaware of how best to comport themselves, and then being outraged at the response of the locals, and then posting about it on UKC, around 20 years later.

I feel inspired to dress up as Boy George and take a mate dressed up as RuPaul, and flounce around Saint Peter's Basilica during Mass with the Pope, and then complain about what happened next :-)
Blue Straggler - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Steve John B:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> [...] > the only ones I met that seemed at all decent were Imran Khan and his sister (lets hope to god he gets in and sorts the country out).


>
> Casual racism AND namedropping in one sentence! Top drawer.

You missed the sexism! Imran Khan's sister doesn't even get a name! She's just "the sister". Genius stuff. I think I will fight for her right to have a name. It's just barbaric otherwise. Though I suppose that that would be disrespectful to Al's culture :-)
birdie num num - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
Mrs Num Num gets away with it in Pakistan because of her beard.
Alyson - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker) I find it surprising that the country that spawned the suffaregettes and Emily Pankhurst has so few positive respondents from UKC females on this topic. About the only person who has made sense in his replies is Bruce. Where are you women out their supporting your sex

Al, you asked us what we would do in that situation. The answer you got is 'cover up' and now you're accusing us of not supporting our sex. What answer do you want to hear? Challenge the male dominated culture by turning up to the market dressed as Lara Croft and wielding two handguns shouting "try stabbing me now yer bastards!"? Do you think a Western woman dressing with flagrant disregard for the culture of the country she is visiting is in any way helpful or likely to bring about change?

'What would you do in that situation?' is not the same question as 'lets discuss this appalling oppression of women and how best to challenge it'.
ads.ukclimbing.com
summo on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> I was furious, not with the researcher but with the stupid rules of Pakistan, I vowed I would never go there again and I haven't. What would the UKC women do in this situation?

you were furious because you and the girl chose to go there, then were outraged by the culture you saw? If so outraged, what have you done since to improve women rights in Pakistan etc.?

floss_81 on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

Its their rules get over it! Its not for you to understand or agree with but for you to accept. If you dont like these kind of things dont go to these places.

Number 1 rule of travelling anywhere, is try and fit in seamlessly! And if that means cover up you do.
ice.solo - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to ice.solo)
>
> So you wouldn't say there is a conflict going on in Pakistan between conservatives and more progressive elements and that women are often both on the front line and victims of this?

Etc

How the hell did you construe all that from anything said????

Al Evans on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to John_Hat)
> [...]
>
> Therein lies the hidden second crux of the matter.
> You have to think "why was Al visiting the country?"
> Al's OP states that he was making a film. I would assume that this was a commercial venture, and (because Al did not state otherwise) that it was not particularly in the interest of the Pakistani people.

Actually it was a film to promote tourism trkeing in Pakistan, so much to their benefit.
Al Evans on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to floss_81: The term "Suffragette" is particularly associated with the actions of the women's suffrage movement in Britain in the early 20th century, which included chaining themselves to railings and setting fire to mailbox contents. One woman, Emily Davison, died whilst trying to throw a suffragette banner over the King's horse at the Epsom Derby on 5 June 1913. Many suffragettes were imprisoned in Holloway Prison in London, and were force-fed after going on hunger strike.

And they won! I as a man can't do that, but it would be a simple matter for some brave women to test the water in Pakistan, If a mass movement started it would be difficult to put down without the world condemming it. I alas can only remove my trade such as it is from that foul country.
dek - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
Was it a local ( native) guide who warned you she would be stabbed?
summo on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)
> [...]
>
> Actually it was a film to promote tourism trkeing in Pakistan, so much to their benefit.

benefits in who's eyes though? The environmental damage caused by deforestation and increased farming (to feed tourists) is now much document and it's for them to deem something beneficial or not.

If tourism and environment had been better managed in the past 20years, since your promotional film, then perhaps the benefits to them would have been greater in the long term, but we digress!
summo on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to floss_81)> If a mass movement started it would be difficult to put down without the world condemming it.

Well there have been quite a bit of mass movement in Syria and much condemnation, but what's changed so far, other than more loss of life?

You know as well as anyone else, if women in Iran or Pakistan etc. tried to voice their opinion, they would be silenced, by one means or another, long before it became a mass movement.
dek - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to summo:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> [...]
> Well there have been quite a bit of mass movement in Syria and much condemnation, but what's changed so far, other than more loss of life?
>
> You know as well as anyone else, if women in Iran or Pakistan etc. tried to voice their opinion, they would be silenced, by one means or another, long before it became a mass movement.

http://www.onebillionrising.org/pages/about-one-billion-rising
There, channel your moral outrage, rather than shoot the messenger.
Mark Collins - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to dale1968:
> (In reply to Mark Collins)
> [...]
>
> but I do at least have a women's name

Hahahahaha, nice one. :-)
Al Evans on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to dek:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> Was it a local ( native) guide who warned you she would be stabbed?

It was our guide appointed by the tourist board.
Al Evans on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to summo:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> [...]
>
> Well there have been quite a bit of mass movement in Syria and much condemnation, but what's changed so far, other than more loss of life?
>
> You know as well as anyone else, if women in Iran or Pakistan etc. tried to voice their opinion, they would be silenced, by one means or another, long before it became a mass movement.

Which is exactly why something needs to be done about it.
Al Evans on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to summo:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> [...]
>
> benefits in who's eyes though? The environmental damage caused by deforestation and increased farming (to feed tourists) is now much document and it's for them to deem something beneficial or not.
>
> If tourism and environment had been better managed in the past 20years, since your promotional film, then perhaps the benefits to them would have been greater in the long term, but we digress!

Oh come on, thats weak as a reply even from you ;-p.
tlm - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Al Evans) The other thing to say is if the women don't rebel how are things ever going to get better?

Maybe the men could rebel? It's up to the whole society, not just the women.

I don't think that you can just separate dress codes and behaviour like that - if a woman wandered around in the uk topless of a Saturday night, what do you think she would be treated like? Yet in other societies, this would be perfectly respectable.

tlm - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Carolyn) I'm getting terribly depressed that the worlds females are not supporting or represnting their cause. No wonder that the dominant male religious society continues to exist in Saudi Arabia and other muslim countries, What is going to happen unless the Islam countries Women start to rebel. NOTHING, and we as modern people shuld support them

Al - who holds the power in those countries? It isn't just about dress - that is one of the least important things. It's about who owns property, who is in government, education, contraception, medical care etc. And there ARE people (not just women) doing all sorts of things to support other women around the world.

http://www.feminist.org/global/index.asp
Al Evans on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to tlm: But not enough. Or it's clearly not working. It needs to be a global womens movement. Surely it's not impossible to get half the worlds population (at least) working as one?
Tall Clare - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

Any thoughts on tlm's points about changing men's behaviour?
John Roberts (JR) - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Caralynh:

Having been to Damavand, whilst what you say is technically true, I have to say the dress was far far more relaxed in Iran, basically western dress with a headscarf and plenty of headscarf substituted for ski helmets, and tunics for ski-wear. Didn't see anyone in a Niqab. Unfortunately I don't think you'd be able to go at all at the moment, but if you get chance it would be a great experience and no0where near as daunting as a country to travel in as you might imagine.

The forced dress and treatment of women in Pakistan seemed far harsher on average.

Have a read of this: http://jr-climbing.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/iran-and-success-on-mt-damavand.html
Bruce Hooker - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)

>
> How the hell did you construe all that from anything said????

I was asking your opinion.
spearing05 - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans: I think tlm gets it right, the dress code isn't the issue. We all have preconceptions about dress and judge people on it. As a comedian pointed out, if you see someone in a police uniform you expect them to be a police officer similarly for every other uniform. He then said if a woman dresses as whore why I'd she apprised that people assume she is one? I'm not saying that it is right to mistreat women or abuse then simply for what they are wearing but pointing it that dress code does have a very real power to convey information and a such is used by many groups world wide to provide an identity whether that be a uniform or the outfits that we all really associate with say bikers, goths, office workers etc.

Failure to comply with an accepted dress code is no reason for being stabbed our molested adherer you are a western woman in Pakistan, a girl on a night out in skimpy clothing or a goth walking through a park. However it is fair to say nothing is an excuse for that behaviour but equally it is fair to expect certain clothing to lead to certain behaviour. I wouldn't expect to get a job in a bank if I turned u p i rippted jeans and passing
ads.ukclimbing.com
Tall Clare - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to spearing05:
> (In reply to Al Evans) I think tlm gets it right, the dress code isn't the issue. We all have preconceptions about dress and judge people on it. As a comedian pointed out, if you see someone in a police uniform you expect them to be a police officer similarly for every other uniform. He then said if a woman dresses as whore why I'd she apprised that people assume she is one? I'm not saying that it is right to mistreat women or abuse then simply for what they are wearing but pointing it that dress code does have a very real power to convey information and a such is used by many groups world wide to provide an identity whether that be a uniform or the outfits that we all really associate with say bikers, goths, office workers etc.
>
> Failure to comply with an accepted dress code is no reason for being stabbed our molested adherer you are a western woman in Pakistan, a girl on a night out in skimpy clothing or a goth walking through a park. However it is fair to say nothing is an excuse for that behaviour but equally it is fair to expect certain clothing to lead to certain behaviour. I wouldn't expect to get a job in a bank if I turned u p i rippted jeans and passing

I think this line of thinking becomes problematic in cases where women who have been attacked were found to be wearing short skirts or other 'revealing' clothing, with some people believing that their clothing choices mean they were 'asking for it/easy/available' etc.
spearing05 - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans: oops not finished. Turned up in ripped jeans and paint covered t shirt so obviously there has to be a line where we say ok this is acceptable clothing and this isn't or at tyre very least this us the image I want to portray so I'll wear this. That does not mean that we have to condone stabbing someone out pestering a woman even simply for what she is wearing.
Al Evans on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> Any thoughts on tlm's points about changing men's behaviour?

Yeh but how do you do that? Surely it was the women who stood up to them that got it through in the UK and US, and we're not even completely there yet in those two countries.
Carolyn - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

> Yeh but how do you do that? Surely it was the women who stood up to them that got it through in the UK and US, and we're not even completely there yet in those two countries.

Yes, but maybe it's also relevant that it was the women within those countries who managed to create change? Not just that they were women.

I also find it a touch ironic that you appear to want to tell the "UKC women" how they should behave......

summo on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans: nothing will change for centuries, between dictatorships, a younger religion and male population that has no intention of giving a voice or power to the other 50% of population, the West can't change them and shouldn't even attempt too. There just isn't a single historical example proving it would end well.
Cú Chullain - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to spearing05)
> [...]
>
> I think this line of thinking becomes problematic in cases where women who have been attacked were found to be wearing short skirts or other 'revealing' clothing, with some people believing that their clothing choices mean they were 'asking for it/easy/available' etc.

Indeed, I think it's the attitude of many men that need to change and not what a girl wears. Blaming the victim of sexual assault is not the way forward.
David Martin - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

> This was early 90's, do you really think it is reasonable to stab a women who was showing her hair, or come to that showing any bit of her body within reason?

We lock people up for growing certain plants, taking pills, or being naked in public. The ridiculousness of laws and the punishments they incur are subjective and exist in a context of that locality. Best when somewhere else is to abide by the laws of the land or accept whatever wrath they might incur. You can decide afterwards if you ever want to return or campaign.

Bruce Hooker - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to summo:
> (In reply to Al Evans) nothing will change for centuries, between dictatorships, a younger religion and male population that has no intention of giving a voice or power to the other 50% of population, the West can't change them and shouldn't even attempt too. There just isn't a single historical example proving it would end well.

At the risk of being repetitive this is the whole point; the present "dress codes" to use a euphemism which is pretty disgusting when one sees what is behind it in many countries at present haven't taken centuries to develop, just a few decades. I visited this region in 1970 for Afghanistan, right across the country, to Kabul then right up the Pakistani border to Nuristan, and in 1974, again through Afghanistan, always overland through Turkey and Iran, on to Pakistan then up that side to Chitral, then along the paths along the N frontier of Pakistan. Hundreds of miles on foot, through villages and valleys.

At that time we wandered about with no guns, no protection and saw no armed men, women dressed without the present "dress code"... all generally relaxed, not at all like nowadays. At one point two of us crossed over the watershed from the Bashgul side to the Panschir valley, famous for its resistance against both Soviet and Taliban invasion under Massoud. Now it is littered with rusting tanks and probably mined but then it was a quiet backwater. In the village we visited, Shari Pari, we were welcomed but no food was to be bought hardly, it was an economy without money, the women weren't covered and not an arm to be seen. The only guns we saw were those of two cattle herders high on the side valley we'd taken who each carried an old match lock rifle! Again calm and cool, whereas starting just a few years later this area became a battle ground which continues to this day.
http://www.windmillweb.info/climbing/HinduKush/Panschir_trip/images/dave&kids.jpg
http://www.windmillweb.info/climbing/HinduKush/Panschir_trip/images/dave&locals.jpg

So please don't say this is a centuries old situation, back then there were no mosques to be seen, except one small ruined hut in a village of Chitral, the women weren't treated as today, the violent imams and bandit chiefs didn't exist... all this has come, has been imposed, from outside over three decades. It is a political problem which can be changed by political changes in the countries concerned, and also by outside countries changing their attitudes. It needn't take centuries to turn back a situation that was created in about 20 years.

Which doesn't mean that few tourists in a market place can do much when confronted by an aggressive group, provocation would be unwise, but out of cowardice and survival instinct, not out of respect for the unrespectable. Until things change going there to gawp at the picturesque poor is probably best avoided anyway.
Bruce Hooker - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to David Martin:

> The ridiculousness of laws and the punishments they incur are subjective and exist in a context of that locality.

So you think that stabbing a woman, or slashing her face, or throwing acid as is also done, because of the way she dresses is something that falls within "subjective" quirks of local laws? With friends like you muslim women don't need enemies!

People are asking, with good reason, what can any of us do about it... we can start by being careful about making such revolting statements as yours and arguing against such machism whenever we encounter it.

PS. Same remark to the delicate poster who spoke above of women being "dressed like whores"... I thought this sort of expression went out with the neanderthals.
spearing05 - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to spearing05)
> [...]
>
> I think this line of thinking becomes problematic in cases where women who have been attacked were found to be wearing short skirts or other 'revealing' clothing, with some people believing that their clothing choices mean they were 'asking for it/easy/available' etc.

Totally agree, I was typing on my phone hence sending before I finished (and typos)

What I went on to say is that we all recognise that certain clothing is aceotable in certain circumstances but clothing is never an excuse for bad behavoir whether hasseling a scantily clad woman on a night out or stabbing a goth.

What I'm trying to say is clothing does bring with it preconceptions that are widely recognised in a society. For instance if I asked you to create a mental picture of say a policeman, a nun, miss whiplash, a nurse, a masai warrior or a native tribeswoman from south america your mental pictures would be broadly similar to mine and they would all include a style of dress. It is a fact that our dresss code portrays a certain image and if we know that in certain societies that image is going to be a negative one then we can't get upset when that is the view those people have of us. This does not though ever excuse bad behavoir. I would find it slightly strange seeing a guy in 'y' fronts in the local library but this wouldn't make it right for me to stab him.

I think this is where the problem arises with the original OP in that there is a distinction to be made between tha inate human behavoir of forming an assesment of someone based on their appearance and the way that some people treat women. Every society has what are acceptable and unacceptable dress codes. I would be arrested in this country if I went about in the accepted clothing of some African tribes so why should we take umbrage at Saudi etc arresting someone who doesn't fit their dress code? This is however a totally seperate issue the mistreatment of women, or anyone else in any society muslim or otherwise.
David Martin - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> So you think that stabbing a woman, or slashing her face, or throwing acid as is also done, because of the way she dresses is something that falls within "subjective" quirks of local laws?

If I walk around my local housing estate waving a wad of hundreds and a laptop under my arm there's a good chance I'll be mugged. Doesn't make it right, something anyone agrees with, or even legal. But within that local context those are the facts of life.

If warned of this possibility I have a couple of options.
1. Claim this isn't representative of the values I hold and go ahead anyway, perhaps convincing myself I am affecting some sort of social improvement in the process, but more likely just being relieved of my possessions, sporting a few scrapes and reinforcing the profits made from such criminal activity.
2. Heed the advice and if I want to do something about it perhaps have words with the local plod or community.

Similar to dealing with a bunch of aggressive hoodies, alone, on the top deck of a bus late at night. We'd all like to give them a good talking to, but the reality is it is best not to antagonise the situation and better finding other ways of resolving the causes of such issues. Doesn't mean I accept it one bit.

Sorry if that sounds revolting.

As to women being "dressed like whores". Perhaps it is accurate. In these remote tribal areas, showing anything more than ankle flesh and bushy eyebrows could be the dress standard of a prostitute. Maybe being stabbed is the way such individuals, if found in daylight in the local market, are treated.

Some of these areas do indeed operate as if they are in the dark ages....but then again, in every other facet of life they probably are in the dark ages. How can they be expected to adhere to specific standards held by any outsider who happens to come walking in? You wouldn't walk around Indonesia carrying a few grams of coke in your bags just because you consider Indonesian drug laws draconian compared to Portugal's would you?
tlm - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to tlm) But not enough. Or it's clearly not working. It needs to be a global womens movement. Surely it's not impossible to get half the worlds population (at least) working as one?

Why only half? I know plenty of men who are working towards equality.

tlm - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

> Yeh but how do you do that? Surely it was the women who stood up to them that got it through in the UK and US, and we're not even completely there yet in those two countries.

I don't think that was it, Al. The 2nd world war meant that women moved into different jobs. It was men who actually changed the laws that gave women the vote. Not all men are the same - there are probably plenty of men in countries all around the world who think that sexual equality is a good plan.

dek - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

>
> PS. Same remark to the delicate poster who spoke above of women being "dressed like whores"... I thought this sort of expression went out with the neanderthals.

Not according to the 'Muslim sharia Patrols' who have been terrorising women for the way they dress, gays, and Jews in London, who had the temerity to be near their 'Muslim areas'.
tlm - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> So you think that stabbing a woman, or slashing her face, or throwing acid as is also done, because of the way she dresses is something that falls within "subjective" quirks of local laws?

Well - in this country, we sometimes imprison people for 6 years because of the way that they dress.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Gough
summo on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to summo) > So please don't say this is a centuries old situation, ..... It needn't take centuries to turn back a situation that was created in about 20 years.

Never said it's a centuries old tradition, but it does depend at which stage in the past 2000years there you choose to look at.

20 years, no chance. I've had the pleasure or displeasure to be in some of these places in the past decade, 20years won't fix anything. An American general said it would take a 100years to sort the mess out now, he's probably peeling potatoes now for saying that, but it's the truth.

The ME east / SW Asia will never be the same again we, the west have changed it fundamentally. They have money, modern technologies and a reason or two dislike the west. The male leadership in most nations is corrupt and uses religion as a tool, to manipulate the male population to control the female one. Plus you can never win a physical or mentally war of ideals against people who are prepared to die for their current beliefs. Beliefs being either religious or purely lifestyle.

People are so selective on what they want to be outraged by, so much has happen and is happening in China, N Korea, Zimbawe, Syria.. but nothing has been done about it, despite a decades worth of opportunities. Sanctions, oh that'll scare them!

Al Evans on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Carolyn: Carolyn, it was a question, admittedly a slightly loaded one, but a question nevertheless. basically do you care about how women are shabbily treated in other cultures, in fact shabbily is a very mild way of describing it, attrocity is perhaps more appropriate.
tlm - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Carolyn) Carolyn, it was a question, admittedly a slightly loaded one, but a question nevertheless. basically do you care about how women are shabbily treated in other cultures, in fact shabbily is a very mild way of describing it, attrocity is perhaps more appropriate.

I care about the fact that women aren't educated:
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.7%
male: 88.3%
female: 79.2%

I care about the fact that women aren't represented:
http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm

I care about the fact that women don't own land:
http://southasia.oneworld.net/archive/globalheadlines/database-that-shows-gender-gap-in-land-ownersh...

I'm not that worried about what women in different cultures wear - in fact, I think it can be quite relaxing for me to be in a country where it is normal to cover up, as I can hide a multitude of sins and not worry so much about keeping up appearances.
Al Evans on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to tlm: I agree with all you say, but I do think the way they are compelled to dress is an issue relevant to all you say.
Bella - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> [...]
>
> I don't think that was it, Al. The 2nd world war meant that women moved into different jobs. It was men who actually changed the laws that gave women the vote. Not all men are the same - there are probably plenty of men in countries all around the world who think that sexual equality is a good plan.

And it still took until 1928 for all women in Britain to have the vote. The whole movement wasn't just about a couple of suffragetes chaining themselves to gates, either. Many women went on hunger strikes but were then force fed in their cells, some of the force feeding was through their vagina or rectum too, in 20th century Britain.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Bella - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Carolyn) Carolyn, it was a question, admittedly a slightly loaded one, but a question nevertheless. basically do you care about how women are shabbily treated in other cultures, in fact shabbily is a very mild way of describing it, attrocity is perhaps more appropriate.

I'll answer your OP - yes, I would cover up if visiting a country where that was the norm. And especially if I was threatened with stabbing if I didn't. Just as, if someone warned me not to walk through dark alleyways in Liverpool at night on my own, I wouldn't do it.

The way women are treated in many cultures is very very poor, but looking at how women are treated in our own society and trying to change that may be a good starting place.

And fwiw, I would have objected to being referred to as 'a young girl' when in my early 20s.
Bruce Hooker - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to summo:

Why suppose that a situation which has been created, or at least aggravated very seriously, in 20 years need more than that to turn it back? The problem is a political one, essentially in Pakistan. Bhutto was executed, the father, and the military/religious crew came to power with the help, enormous help, of Western arms and Saudi money. If both were cut off and progressive movement came to power the situation could be turned around - a coup d'état by young officers as happened in many Arab countries after WW2, backed by all those people who are sick to death with Talibanesque violence is nor beyond imagination. It would have to be a violent movement as the imams wouldn't give up without a fight but such movements have happened in the past.

Two factors would be essential: my hypothesis that Pakistanis were nor such extremists as most posting on this thread seem to believe would need to be true, and secondly the "defenders of democracy" in the UK, USA, France and NATO in general would need to be kept out of it to avoid them putting their preferred villains back into power... This is the hard bit but if China, Russia, Iran and rising powers who oppose Western "good works" might be able to veto them, who knows? A change of regime in Saudi Arabia and Gulf States would be a useful prerequisite too - again, they look stable now but who knows if a real Arab spring, not the emasculated version we've seen up to now, might just happen - no one expected the last one after all.
winhill - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to summo)
>
> who knows if a real Arab spring, not the emasculated version we've seen up to now, might just happen - no one expected the last one after all.

George Galloway is doing his bit for Newham:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2605118/galloway1.jpg
summo on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker: good in theory, but 1 years of weeds, seven years of seeds etc.. so it's going to take generations. IMHO.
tlm - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Bella:

> And fwiw, I would have objected to being referred to as 'a young girl' when in my early 20s.

I think that if you think about someone referring to a 'young boy' and what you would take that to mean highlights the issue....

Tall Clare - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to tlm:

That was my thinking in mentioning it... It's proving to be a very interesting thread. There's a lot that's got me thinking, in particular Bella's comments about force feeding - I didn't know that had happened. I also didn't know about some of the things Bruce has mentioned - I know that Afghanistan effectively 'went backwards' but not various other things he's said.
Enty - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

It's a very interesting thread this Clare - for me it's highlighting UKC hypocrisy at it's worst.

Thread would have gone in a completely different direction if it was someone other than Al who had started it and worded it slightly different.

E
tlm - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

They had that whole 'cat and mouse' act:

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/cat_and_mouse_act.htm
tlm - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
>
> It's a very interesting thread this Clare - for me it's highlighting UKC hypocrisy at it's worst.
>
> Thread would have gone in a completely different direction if it was someone other than Al who had started it and worded it slightly different.

Is that hypocrisy, or is it human nature?

I do think that most climbing women I know do tend to wear local clothes when travelling, but don't condone violence against women.

tlm - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to tlm) I agree with all you say, but I do think the way they are compelled to dress is an issue relevant to all you say.

But in the UK we are compelled to dress a particular way too. Do you think that is wrong?

redsonja - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to tlm: i dont condone violence, period
tlm - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to heidi123:
> (In reply to tlm) i dont condone violence, period

I was going to write that...

but then I thought... what if a maniac was about to kill a mother's child, so she killed the maniac?

Bruce Hooker - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> [...]
>
> But in the UK we are compelled to dress a particular way too. Do you think that is wrong?

Are we/you? Could you explain this odd assertion? No one has ever told me how to dress, not since my Mum when I was little or at school when we had uniforms.... Why do you feel the need to say such ridiculous things which you know full well are untrue?

Compared to a girl being mutilated for not wearing traditional gear by acid, razor or burning petrol, all of which happen in Europe, never mind in places like Pakistan, what events in your own life justify saying such whoppers?

tlm - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Are we/you? Could you explain this odd assertion? No one has ever told me how to dress, not since my Mum when I was little or at school when we had uniforms.... Why do you feel the need to say such ridiculous things which you know full well are untrue?

Hello fluffy bear!

Well - Stephen Gough has spent 6 years in prison for the way he wanted to dress.
I probably would get sacked if I wanted to sit topless at my desk at work, or if I wanted to teach topless.

We are so used to our dress culture that no one needs to tell us how to dress in the normal run of events, because we all instinctively follow the rules in an obedient fashion, just as most people do within their own culture.
mac fae stirling - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
try spending the rest of the day in a pink frock and let us know how you got on...
Bruce Hooker - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to tlm and mac:

And you really think these example are comparable with the imposition of obligatory headscarves or burkas for all women everywhere in public, even for a walk in the park at the weekend, with stabbing as the sanction?

The naked hiker wasn't given 6 years for just one "offence", and wandering about completely naked is hardly the same as showing your nose... or is it for you? If it gets talked about so much it's because the case is rare.

As for nudity in the office there is the efficiency side of things, if you and your colleagues were sitting about in hot offices starkers all day I wonder how much work would get done? You are both arguing by going to the absurd as well as forgetting that the covering up rule is only for women... The rule about men having to wear beards is rarely imposed outside of Al Qaeda controlled zones, as it was in N Mali until a few days ago.

Dress codes aren't all that's involved, there's also walking so many steps behind hubby, hubby voting in your place in countries where there are votes, only having half the inheritance of males - this is applied frequently even in Europe in muslim families who don't see themselves as hardliners and all the other archaic rules which existed in other religions centuries ago but have been dropped since.

Arguing for one's own submission! Something I just can't get my mind round, but there you are.
tlm - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:


> And you really think these example are comparable with the imposition of obligatory headscarves or burkas for all women everywhere in public, even for a walk in the park at the weekend, with stabbing as the sanction?

Well, we have obligatory tops for women, everywhere in public, even for a walk in the park, or even to climb at a hot crag or climbing wall.

I don't think stabbing was a 'sanction'. It's like saying that if a woman walks in some areas of the uk in skimpy clothing, she is likely to get raped. No one agrees that either of these things is right. I think stabbing anyone, for most reasons, is pretty wrong, let alone for what they are wearing.

In our culture, Sophie Lancaster was stabbed and killed for what she wore.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Sophie_Lancaster

I do think it is not right for anyone to be stabbed. But to think that we have no rules in our own culture is - well - understandable, because you are so indoctrinated that our own rules are normal.

> The naked hiker wasn't given 6 years for just one "offence", and wandering about completely naked is hardly the same as showing your nose... or is it for you? If it gets talked about so much it's because the case is rare.

Not wearing a headscarf is pretty rare in some cultures. I see no real difference between one part of your body and another - hair, genitals, bosoms, ankles, legs, shoulders - all of them have been considered acceptable in some cultures and unacceptable in others. It's funny how there are stricter rules for women in every culture though.

> As for nudity in the office there is the efficiency side of things, if you and your colleagues were sitting about in hot offices starkers all day I wonder how much work would get done?

The same amount of work would get done if nudity was considered normal. I don't change into a raving sex-fiend at the sight of nudity. You are using the same argument that men in Saudi use - that if they see a woman's hair, then they will be overcome by uncontrollable lust.

> You are both arguing by going to the absurd

So you truly believe that there are no rules about clothing in our culture and we can wear whatever we want to? Ah well - if that is what you see, then that is what you see...

> Dress codes aren't all that's involved, there's also walking so many steps behind hubby, hubby voting in your place in countries where there are votes, only having half the inheritance of males - this is applied frequently even in Europe in muslim families who don't see themselves as hardliners and all the other archaic rules which existed in other religions centuries ago but have been dropped since.

Yes - I discussed that further up. I agree with you that dress codes are pretty much the smallest of the many issues that we could look at when looking at sexual inequality.

> Arguing for one's own submission! Something I just can't get my mind round, but there you are.

I'm not arguing that it is right. I'm just saying it is not as important as many other things - it's a symptom of a lack of power, rather than the cause of it. And that it is not really so different to the subjugation that people endure in our own culture - which doesn't seem that bad when it is something that you are used to. How many women do you know who rail against the fact that they are prevented from going topless, and how many women think it is right to cover up and that boobs are disgusting and perverted in public?
Bruce Hooker - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to tlm:

> You are using the same argument that men in Saudi use - that if they see a woman's hair, then they will be overcome by uncontrollable lust.

A similar argument, but not the same. As animals we are turned on sexually by certain parts of the body more than others... Some may argue that this is conditioning but some zoologists say that the forms of our bodies have evolved the way they have in order to attract partners and excite them when breeding is required. I don't have the means of saying which side is right but I really don't think that it is true to say that seeing the hair on someone's head is such a natural turn on as seeing breasts, bottoms or whatever. I really find it hard to believe that if you were sitting in the office naked with a naked male colleague you half fancied who had a hard on that you might not be put of your customer telephone list just a little bit? Try to visualise the scene and then tell me I'm wrong.

Some things are social conditioning which serve mostly to allow one gender to dominate the other but I think that objectively there is a difference between imposing a burka, total cover up denying even the identity of the wearer, denying their humanity in fact, and a self imposed rule which keeps things cool enough to think of other things in public places than sex.

PS. Sorry if the post seems over explicit but it's difficult to discuss the subject without this. If some find the mention of somebody parts disturbing then this maybe proves my point a bit too, doesn't it?
Bruce Hooker - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to tlm:

PPS. As for climbing topless, I think there are practical problems concerned here, especially on steep ground and on granular rocks like granite or mountain limestone. Clothing is also to protect the body from cold, heat and abrasion... it's not just to hide the body. Even in the South of France where going topless is quite frequent not many climbers take the option.

The important thing in all this is whether the wearer chooses freely what they wear rather than it being imposed.
Carolyn - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

But there are also plenty of cultures where it's normal for women to have bare breasts. Admittedly they tend to live in rainforests rather than work in offices, but I can't see that that is particularly relevant? Which does seem to suggest it's a dress code in the developed world, rather than anything more fundamental.

I realise that women covering their heads is only the tip of the iceberg in Parkistan - however, I think some of the confusion is that it's also the dress code in many more moderate Islamic societies, where women are otherwise free to most things western women are (get an education, job, go out alone).
ads.ukclimbing.com
redsonja - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to tlm: thats not exactly violence though.
Bruce Hooker - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Carolyn:

> I realise that women covering their heads is only the tip of the iceberg in Pakistan - however, I think some of the confusion is that it's also the dress code in many more moderate Islamic societies, where women are otherwise free to most things western women are (get an education, job, go out alone).

Such as?

For the bare breasts I was thinking more of the practical problems. But in all cases the big point is whether these "codes" are imposed or not, if they change with time after discussion and debate or fixed in a centuries old text, written by "god" is quite different. Apart from office codes imposed by an employer the way we dress in most societies is accepted by all, except the naked rambler but how many people want to imitate him?

If many did then one can imagine mass naked rambles and a change of the law.

Concerning islamic dress codes the trend is the opposite, a few decades ago this sort of thing had disappeared for most muslims, if it has come back and become an issue it is for political reasons, it's the sign of the rise of a reactionary and dehumanising branch of islam, not an "age old tradition that should be respected".
tlm - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> I really find it hard to believe that if you were sitting in the office naked with a naked male colleague you half fancied who had a hard on that you might not be put of your customer telephone list just a little bit? Try to visualise the scene and then tell me I'm wrong.

But Bruce - haven't you ever read national geographic? You seem to have a wide grasp of the world, but you don't seem to realise that there are plenty of people who spend all day around each other naked without this happening. Nudity simply doesn't equate with sex for many people, especially if it is a normal thing to see. Look at the naturist movement.

And as to me personally, I don't get turned on by seeing a penis. I get turned on by a man's mind. I've seen my own father naked loads of times and never had an urge.
tlm - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> The important thing in all this is whether the wearer chooses freely what they wear rather than it being imposed.

Exactly.

Enty - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> [...]
>
> Exactly.

Why are you arguing then? I'm genuinely bewildered by this thread.

As for Sophie Lancaster - what a silly comparison. I come from that area. She was killed by 5 teenage scrotes - not the local Councillors who had made up some sort of medieval dress code.

E
tlm - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> For the bare breasts I was thinking more of the practical problems.

Bare breasts tend not to give rise to any more practical problems than bare arms, or bare knees, or a bare nose or lips...

> But in all cases the big point is whether these "codes" are imposed or not,

What do you mean by 'imposed'? That implies an outside agency, making decisions, and often it is actually the result of more complex interactions than that - what does a 'respectable' woman look like and how will you give that impression to your friends and neighbours, which clothes will give that impression in your own culture, and does that then make those clothes something that you freely choose to wear...

> if they change with time after discussion and debate or fixed in a centuries old text, written by "god" is quite different. Apart from office codes imposed by an employer the way we dress in most societies is accepted by all, except the naked rambler but how many people want to imitate him?

Even office codes aren't simply decided upon by the boss - people within an organisation might enjoy dressing smartly for work and feel that this gets them taken more seriously.
People don't want to go naked, because they want to fit in. When people move to a new culture, they will either cling to their old dress codes in an attempt to keep their old culture, or they will quite quickly change their dress code (particularly if they are the only one wearing their old dress code).

Look at how many women in the UK choose to wear headscarfs for example...

> If many did then one can imagine mass naked rambles and a change of the law.

So by your own logic, if women in Pakistan didn't want to wear headscarfs, then you would expect mass bareheaded marches, and a change of the law? By the way, being naked is not against the law in the UK - they had to keep on arresting him for disturbing the peace and stuff like that, because he actually hadn't broken the law in any way. They just didn't like the fact that he was naked - it's quite interesting if you read a bit more about it.

> Concerning islamic dress codes the trend is the opposite, a few decades ago this sort of thing had disappeared for most muslims, if it has come back and become an issue it is for political reasons, it's the sign of the rise of a reactionary and dehumanising branch of islam, not an "age old tradition that should be respected".

I agree with a lot of that - this is a great film, with a little girl growing up wearing jeans and t-shirts and then having to adopt a headscarf:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persepolis_(film)

But if the women in Iran were able to wear western clothes, but everything else was the same, would this be OK? I think the clothes are the least of it...
tlm - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Enty:

> Why are you arguing then? I'm genuinely bewildered by this thread.

I think that all women should be able to freely choose what they wear.

However, I don't think this happens anywhere.

I think wherever you look, dress codes are imposed on both women and men.

You argued that this was not true, that we are free to wear whatever we like, and I gave you examples where this is not the case, and then you said I was being stupid and extreme, whereas I thought that maybe you didn't notice the imposition of a dress code, because you are so used to it and have no desire to break it.

> As for Sophie Lancaster - what a silly comparison. I come from that area. She was killed by 5 teenage scrotes - not the local Councillors who had made up some sort of medieval dress code.

I don't think it was the local councillors who were planning to stab the woman in Pakistan in the market... I think it was probably some teenage scrotes who might have done so...
Carolyn - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> If many did then one can imagine mass naked rambles and a change of the law.

Maybe no mass naked rambles (brrrr, the thought!) - but quite a number of mass "nurse-ins" in the US and UK - women protesting that the accepted dress code prevents them from getting a breast out to feed their baby. Admittedly slightly different as the law's broadly on their side, at least for younger children, even if society isn't.

(First example provided by Google....
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2013/01/07/hollister-nurse-in_n_2425541.html)

More moderate Islamic countries - I was thinking of Eygpt, where I knew a woman who'd trained and worked as a pharmacist, continued to do so after marriage and after having a child, and could travel alone without any great problem. But still covered her head in public. Admittedly it was probably 10 years ago now, so things may have changed?
tlm - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I've just remembered the protests at my school in the 1980s by the female members of staff who were not allowed to wear trousers, but had to wear skirts...
mac fae stirling - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
hi. i was responding to your comment - 'No one has ever told me how to dress, not since my Mum' - i find that difficult to beleive. we are clearly not completely free to choose how we dress. we mainly conform to our own cultural codes and expectations. that was it. that was the point. in isolation. just a wee point. all of it's own.
Bruce Hooker - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to tlm:

> What do you mean by 'imposed'? That implies an outside agency, making decisions,

Like some "older brother" throwing acid in your face, for example? This happens often enough where I live in the Paris suburbs... But it's a fairly recent development, only since the rise of "political islam".

> Even office codes aren't simply decided upon by the boss - people within an organisation might enjoy dressing smartly for work and feel that this gets them taken more seriously.

In which case it's not a dress code at all, a dress code is one imposed by the employer, not the individual choice of employees - even when this choice is imposed to a certain extent by the desire to be "taken seriously", or as in my last job where I had a commercial role dealing with people who wore jackets and ties all day and thought this was normal, so I did to fit in with their prejudice... my choice though.

Seriously though, how can you compare these sorts of constraints with those faced by muslim women more and more of late due to the development of salafism and similar violent, dogmatic versions of islam... losing your job isn't the same thing as being dowsed in petrol and set alight, is it?
Bruce Hooker - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to mac fae stirling:

We are not completely free but the C of E is not organising a world wide campaign to intimidate us to go back to medieval ways of dressing! Let's get a bit of perspective in all this... the return to archaic dress rules is accompanied by a return to the sharia in parts of the world where the extremists come to power - the stories coming out of Mali are an example.

There is an attempt, and one that is succeeding judging by the way it has befuddled many, to present this trend as anodyne, as if women accept voluntarily to lose the few rights they had gained in post war years, muddling dress choice, naked rambler, and now the murder of a couple by a group of thugs with a determined political attempt to reverse history, which is what Al was complaining about, in his own style.

Someone said what can we all do to help girls in Pakistan, I think the answer is obvious, we still have a lot of work to do in Europe, getting our own house in order :-)

Incidentally our governments have a lot to answer for in the way Pakistan has gone and this whole jihadist/salafist movement got under way but turning that around is a bigger problem.
Gudrun - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to tlm: In reply to Enty:

> I think that all women should be able to freely choose what they wear.

> However, I don't think this happens anywhere.

> I think wherever you look, dress codes are imposed on both women and men.

Excluding certain tribal communities in Africa or the rainforests, parameters exist for all other societies which dictate that we cover up our most intimate parts.This is a given.
Now i cannot think of any instance where i am not free to chose what i wear
and your talking to someone who has worn cyber dancewear during the day in the middle of town on many occasions and cragged in my bra.I even went to work after clubbing still dressed in cyberwear.

What can i wear to work tomorrow ?The choice is endless.
What choice does a woman in a Burka have? Different colour.

We know there are more important matters such as equal rights in law but the thread was about dress.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to tlm:

A lot of these islamic dress codes is straightforward bullying of women by men for the purpose of controlling who they have sex with.

When the US Army went to Saudi Arabia the Saudi clerics issued an edict saying the laws did not apply to women in the US army because legally they were soldiers rather than women. Maybe. But it's illuminating how fast these laws get dropped when faced with women in a position to fight back.
John_Hat - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to various:

Just to note, Sophie Lancaster is a situation quite close to my heart, in that I have plenty of first hand experience of the abuse that goths get because the the way they dress. I wasn't a friend of Sophie, as I didn't know her well, but know plenty who were.
Gudrun - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:

It's gender apartheid but Western liberals get blinded by political Islam and it's violation of women's rights,perhaps it's residual subconscious guilt from a century of imperial conquests.
Al Evans on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Bella:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> And fwiw, I would have objected to being referred to as 'a young girl' when in my early 20s.

Ah but not when the person saying it was over 50 surely?
ice.solo - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

aha, a classic UKC pig-circus (my new favourite term). go away climbing for a few days and the usual cogs grind on.

im still interest to know where Al was. is the bazaar in question peshawar? because the attitudes will be different in lahore, gilgit, islamabad or quetta.

as for stabbing? im not convinced this is anything more than an exaggerated, throw away comment to illustrate a point.
confrontation, abuse etc i can see (and have seen) - stabbing?....a young foreign woman?... for her dress? nah, i dont see it.

afghanistan and pakistan in the 70s? in the regions tumultuous history that was one of several eras of openness - its grim now and its been grimmer before then. bruce on his hippy climbing caravan thru the nice bits doesnt sum it up then or now. the baluchis then were as bad as they are now, the uzbeks have been on their best bahaviour now for 100 years.
the persecution of women in the region goes back centuries. the culture of war and tribal unrest (and the gun culture and atrocities that goes with it) is as old as guns and people.
theres large canons of research and records detailing the assassination politics of the region - the 70s was a rare moment of relative stability.

what do i think about Malala? having worked directly with international projects in the swat valley (madyan and kwazekhela) i am keeping my thoughts to myself on that one. thats a serious subject, this thread is pissing contest.

as for comparing dresscodes: my female friends here remark how they cant dress as they do in england or the US as they do at home (tokyo) because of the attiude they get. they dont feel safe.
its all a matter of degree.
JJL - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to the thread:

Hilarious. A little bit of everything (actually quite a lot of some stuff).

Vintage.
Al Evans on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
>
> It's gender apartheid but Western liberals get blinded by political Islam and it's violation of women's rights,perhaps it's residual subconscious guilt from a century of imperial conquests.

bolloxxxx
ads.ukclimbing.com
Gudrun - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

So Western Liberals don't feel any guilt for 'a century of imperial conquests.'?
Or it's not gender apartheid?
Or the violation of women's rights due to political Islam is not ignored from a sense of not wanting to annoy Muslim countries anymore than we have been doing for yonks.
Or do you just like saying bollox?

x
panz - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
taken into consideration cultural aspects,

i would suggest discussion be shifted to the competition between
patriarchat and matriarchat

and some countries balancing over equality

while patriarchaic tendencies gaining further positions world over
even in countries that were more equality bound in memorable past.

I suppose it is a question of us surviving as humankind, in terms of Darwin theory.
In postindustrial communities equality wins.
Bruce Hooker - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to ice.solo:

Funny, one of my employers said the same about going on the "hippy trail" when I resigned to go climbing in the Hindu Raj in 1974! Perhaps you should avoid stereotyping, a lot of people climbed in the area at the time who weren't drug crazed hippies! Austrians, Brits, all sorts.

As for it being a window of calm, it was a fairly wide window. Well before the 70s people were driving across Asia, a lot of Ozzies came the other way too. At the time Turkey was one of the heaviest bits to go through, especially the East. In terms of guns, people in Afghanistan and N Pakistan were just too poor to have modern weapons but the area had been fairly open to travellers for quite a while before... The Afghans didn't like being invaded by the Brits but that is understandable. I think from WW2 onwards travelling was doable, but this was before my time. When Newby went there he had no problems with the people, and others went before. Baluchistan is further South and was a different kettle of fish I believe.
Al Evans on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> So Western Liberals don't feel any guilt for 'a century of imperial conquests.'?
What has that got to do with the fate of women in Moslem countries?

> Or it's not gender apartheid?
It most certainly is

> Or the violation of women's rights due to political Islam is not ignored from a sense of not wanting to annoy Muslim countries anymore than we have been doing for yonks.
I doubt that

> Or do you just like saying xxxxxx (obviously not)


This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.