Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Regal Garments

Advocate of 3/4's. I love my Earths to be elegeant, cultured, feminine, etc. See a Queen is a Queen is a Queen is a Queen. She rocks Regal Garments. This is an essay I wrote a while back. Do the Knowledge.

Regal Garments
Purdah and its various manifestations amongst women of different cultures, religions and ethnic groups worldwide in a historical and contemporary context

By C’BS ALife Allah
Purdah is an Urdu (a derivative of Persian) term that means ‘veil’. The word purdah is derived from middle Persian word pardak which in turn is derived from the old Persian word paridaka which means ‘to place over or around’.i The term has been identified with Muslim and Hindu practice of sex segregation. Specifically it has been utilized to refer to the seclusion of women and those practices that promote said separation.ii For the purposes of this article purdah shall refer to the specific aspects of purdah that have to do with the conscious covering of approximately ¾’s of a woman’s body along with head covering. In this article we will examine whether purdah is misogynistic and reflective of self loathing or an expression of a cultural standard and a manifestation of self confidence.
The Relevance of Clothing
In Western Society the value of being ‘different’ appears to be the ‘cultural’ norm. I state ‘appears to be’ because after careful analysis one will see that what is meant by ‘being different’ just encompasses being unalike the majority of the world’s population. When one examines ‘being different’ WITHIN the parameters of Western Society one will see that there is an actual conformity to Western style. Thus, in advocating diversity there is actually an underlying theme of compliance to current trends in clothing.
In Western Society it is easy to forget that clothing is a subset of culture that historically has been used to identify one’s culture, one’s profession, or even one’s religion. It is easy to forget the relevance that clothing still plays on the majority of the planet, the role that it has played in our past in the West, and the role that it still plays here in West. For example, depending on the ‘name brand’ or ‘lack of name brand’ that a person is displaying on their clothing one is able to approximate their income, the relative location of their shelter in the city, what civic organization they belong to, what 'gang' they affiliate with and how ‘in tune’ they are with the media (in reference to clothing trends and fashions). Choice of clothing can reveal confidence or lack of confidence. Clothing reveals hygiene, masks bodily flaws, and accentuates the body’s natural form.
Clothing historically was first a means to protect one’s physical body against the elements. The functionality of the clothing was in keeping one cool, warm, dry, etc… In time we also realized that it was a means of adornment and a means to communicate various concepts and ideas. The marriage of both concepts took hold in most ancient societies. When you examine the TRADITIONAL garb of aboriginal people worldwide you will see that it meets both criteria.iii
Western society as a whole is a society which was founded on a nomadic ice age value system.iv Even though Western society studied many established ancient civilizations (Middle Eastern, Indian, Ancient Egypt, etc) all that ended up happening in the long run was a veiling of the nomadic ice age value system. The manifestation of this value system is recorded in history as the worldwide exportation of white supremacy, colonization, and slavery that is the legacy of the European countries. It therefore comes as no surprise that coming through this system many exploited people have adopted its morales, mores and practices as their own. Some of the adoptions that they have taken upon their selves is their ignorance in the realm of clothing that endangers their physical health, admonishing the cultural clothing standards of other original people without even examining their own, and ignoring the historical precedent of clothing in this society. One of the byproducts of the above is the perversion of traditional Purdah in various countries. What you have is after the incursion of Aryan tribes throughout northern Iran into Iraq and Afghanistan especially is a type of overly restrictive Purdah which seeks not only to seclude the woman. It attempts to remove all sense of her femininity from her. It still exists amongst groups in India, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan in the sense of the burqa and chadorv . This is related to the concept of pederastyvi where the female is devalued due to the focus of men loving each other. Ironically pederasty entered into Asia Minor and the Middle East from Greece. It still exists there in the midst of Al-Islam in isolated pockets. The byproduct though is prevalent throughout the region.
Health is not a term that is usually identified with clothing. It is usually identified with one’s diet, one’s lack of exercise, or one’s genetic predisposition. One of the first reasons that was given for clothing was that it is a means of protecting oneself against the elements of nature. Thus one’s clothing should complement the weather working in tandem. If one examines the landscape nowadays one will find anything except complements. You will find people wearing fabrics that don’t breath during the summer time (that encourage fungal growth, rashes, etc…). You will find people wearing tight/restrictive clothing that hinders proper blood circulation. You will find people wearing furs during the summer and next to nothing during the winter. All of this disrupts the optimum working of the body.
Western society tends to also pass judgment on the clothing practices of other cultures without objectively observing its own. Ironically, some of the harshest critics of women’s clothing in original cultures are women from Western society. Oftentimes though they do not examine the clothing practices of their own society. For example, the hijab of muslim or muslim influenced countries is often touted by American Feminist as the ‘height’ of misogyny. The ancient practice of Chinese foot bindingvii is often discussed in the same light. My intent in mentioning these two practices is not to condone or condemn either one. My purpose is to show that they are often discussed in Western literature without a cultural context while the writer ignores similar examples in Western society or the writer states that the western context is ‘freedom’ viii.
The corset and bustle grew as high fashion products of Victorian England which sought to emulate the Venus Hottentot ixwhom was touring the country in that era. Being that she had an ample posterior and breasts the women of that time and place developed clothing that would allow them to copy her physical appearance. x In history texts the corset and bustle are spoken of as ‘fashion’ or a ‘fad’. They are never spoken of as ‘aberrations of patriarchal society.’ The corset actually broke ribs and restricted breathing. This is the root of the whole history of fainting spells in Western society amongst women.
Another ‘piece of clothing’ that hits close to home is the bra. There has been a lot of research to show that it causes some health risks in terms of breast cancerxi. When asked why they wear bras many women will say ‘it is proper’, ‘we don’t want to be hanging out’, etc. Even when faced with information that it may be a health risk they still expet their option to make a free choice to wear a bra. In fact, the reasons given on why many women wear a bra are often IDENTICAL to the reasons that muslim women give for wearing a Burqa or Chador.
The final piece of Western women’s clothing that we will examine are high heels. Chinese foot binding is often strongly criticized by Western women. They state that it damages the feet of the women, it is humiliating, and it objectifies women.
High Heels made their appearance in the America’s via New Orleans. They were introduced to the United States via France. The prostitutes in New Orleans started wearing high heels. The Madames of that era noticed that the prostitutes that wore high heels got more business so they made all of their prostitutes wear them. The women of New Orleans noticed that high heeled prostitutes were attracting a great amount of men so the fashion crossed over from prostitutes to the common womanxii. Now today women in Western society will state that heels are a part of ‘professional wear’ or ‘formal wear’. They will state this without knowing the origin of the heels in the Americas and without acknowledging that there is ‘some degree’ that they are wearing heels (from a historical or present day context) due to man. Might I add that Western women nowadays have surgery that is related to damage that is done to their feet from wearing high heels, they have surgery to fit in certain shoes, and the wearing of high heels over a period of time tilts the spine and uterus which interferes with childbirth.xiii The current 'stripper heels' that are popular (as a direct result of porno and strip club 'chic') with the 2 inch heel and platform bass figure in the fetishes of men for the SAME reason that Chinese foot binding was 'attractive.' It limits and restricts the movement of the woman. She cannot 'run' away. She can hardly walk. Thus they are rooted in the same 'oppressive reason.'
There are many other practices in Western Society that could be examined as to whether they were acts of ‘freedom’ or ‘societal coercion’.xiv
Western society also has cultural amnesia. If one was to examine the cultural landscape of the United States just a century or two ago one would find several instances of purdah which was a normal part of this society:
-women wearing long skirts or dresses
-women covering their hair with a hat or bonnet (which survives on the books as a point of etiquette)
-women not wearing pants
-cleavage not showing
All one has to do is watch “Little House on the Praire” or any film of WWII through the 50’s.
Historical Cultures which are adorned in Purdah
There are many cultures and socio-religious groups that practice some form of Purdah. It is not, despite popular belief, just a ‘muslim’ thing. In fact, the root of Purdah in the musilm context is actually outside of the religion of orthodox al-islam. Some of the most well known groups that practice Purdah are some sects of Hebrews, Christians, Muslims, Rastafarians, and the Earths of the Nation of Gods and Earths.
The most well known group that practices Purdah are Muslims. This form of cultural clothing has been seen as synonymous with Orthodox Al-Islam since very close to it’s manifestation aprox 1400 years ago. Muslims, whom don’t acknowledge any historical relevance or precedent before Muhammad ibn Abdullah, wear Hijab strictly because Allah commanded them to do so in the Koran.xv There are many words that are synonymous with the clothing of Purdah (burqa, chador, hijab) within Islamic countries or countries that have a large population of Muslims. Ironically though, most of the words used to describe the clothing are NOT Arabic words. In fact, a large amount of them are ancient Persian words. This is not surprising when one realizes that Persia (including ancient Mesopotamia)xvi as well as the Byzantine Empirexvii practiced Purdah.
In both societies women wore veils, ¾’s clothing, and head coverings as signs of station. It was proper and a sign of proper societal etiquette. In both societies prostitutes were not allowed to wear the veil and/or head covering. It is first mentioned in an Assyrian legal document from the 13th century. This prohibition found its way into the religion of Persia at the time; Avesta/Zoarastorism. You can observe it today amongst its practitioners. The Iranian/Byzantine influence of Purdah was worn in Persia and pre-islamic Arabia. When Muhammad ibn-Abdullah came on the scene he enforced it and reinstated it within some areas. It was latter reinstated again under the Abbasid dynasty in the 8th century to distinguish muslim women from slaves and prostitutes.
The ancient Hebrews spent several centuries amongst the Babylonians. It is not unlikely that they would pick up some of the practices of the Babylonians (modern day Iraq) and translate them into a Hebrew context. One of these practices may have been the practice of Purdah rooted in the Persian tradition. It is difficult to see the Hebrew tradition of Purdah in the pluralistic Western society that has orthodox, reform, humanistic, and several other types of “jews”. When one examines the commentary of some of their Rabbis one is able to get some insight into Hebrew Purdah.
According to Rabbi Dr. Menachem M. Brayer (Professor of Biblical Literature at Yeshiva University) in his book, The Jewish woman in Rabbinic literature, it was the custom of Jewish women to go out in public with a head covering which, sometimes, even covered the whole face leaving one eye free. He quotes some famous ancient Rabbis saying,
" It is not like the daughters of Israel to walk out with heads uncovered" and "Cursed be the man who lets the hair of his wife be seen....a woman who exposes her hair for self-adornment brings poverty."
Rabbinic law forbids the recitation of blessings or prayers in the presence of a bareheaded married woman since uncovering the woman's hair is considered "nudity".xviii Dr. Brayer also mentions that "During the Tannaitic period the Jewish woman's failure to cover her head was considered an affront to her modesty. When her head was uncovered she might be fined four hundred zuzim for this offense." Dr. Brayer also explains that veil of the Jewish woman was not always considered a sign of modesty. Sometimes, the veil symbolized a state of distinction and luxury rather than modesty. The veil personified the dignity and superiority of noble women. It also represented a woman's inaccessibility as a sanctified possession of her husband.xix
The veil signified a woman's self-respect and social status. Women of lower classes would often wear the veil to give the impression of a higher standing. The fact that the veil was the sign of nobility was the reason why prostitutes were not permitted to cover their hair in the old Jewish society. However, prostitutes often wore a special headscarf in order to look respectable [79]. Jewish women in Europe continued to wear veils until the nineteenth century when their lives became more intermingled with the surrounding secular culture. The external pressures of the European life in the nineteenth century forced many of them to go out bare-headed. Some Jewish women found it more convenient to replace their traditional veil with a wig as another form of hair covering. Today, most pious Jewish women do not cover their hair except in the synagogue [80]. Some of them, such as the Hasidic sects, still use the wig [81].xx
The most obvious form of Purdah amongst Christians are nuns.xxi They wear a full ‘burqa-like’ garment (and aren’t ‘chastised’ by Feminist as being a ‘tool of the Patriarchy’) and keep their hair covered at all times. They also practice Purdah in the form of being separated from men during their sleeping, eating, and the majority of their day. The practice of Purdah in Christianity is not just limited to Catholic nuns. Prior to the Second Vatican Council, it was customary in most places for women to wear a head covering in the form of a scarf, cap, veil or hat when entering a church. In countries and services that favor the pre Vatican II liturgy it is still done, especially in Spanish and Latin countries. So you will see Spanish and Latina women do it as a matter of etiquette, courtesy, tradition or fashionable elegance than of religion. It is actually a part of the New Testament, thus by extension a part of CHRISTIAN doctrine. St Paul said this in I Corinthians 11:3-10:
"Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonours his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonours her head - it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or shaved off, she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head"
Mary C. Ali, a muslim woman who addresses women’s issues in Islam had this to say in reference to the above verses in the New Testament.
St. Paul's rationale for veiling women is that the veil represents a sign of the authority of the man, who is the image and glory of God, over the woman who was created from and for man. St. Tertullian in his famous treatise 'On The Veiling Of Virgins' wrote, "Young women, you wear your veils out on the streets, so you should wear them in the church, you wear them when you are among strangers, then wear them among your brothers..." Among the Canon laws of the Catholic church today, there is a law that requires women to cover their heads in church [82]. Some Christian denominations, such as the Amish and the Mennonites for example, keep their women veiled to the present day. The reason for the veil, as offered by their Church leaders, is that "The head covering is a symbol of woman's subjection to the man and to God", which is the same logic introduced by St. Paul in the New Testament [83].
Though the above three/four groups are rooted in ancient traditions there are many modern day manifestations of this same tradition who deserve to be addressed. Some notable modern day practitioners of Purdah are the women of Rastafari, the Earths of the Nation of Gods and Earths, and afri-centric women whom wear a gelee. Two other lesser referenced points of this dress code are the way women dress during weddings and how Black women rock hats in church.
The women of Rastafari model theirself after women in the Old Testament. They also adhere to several of the rules and regulations given in the New Testament. They conform to many of the standards of modesty that are a part of traditional Christian value systems amongst Black people in the West. Some of the commonalities amongst Rastafarian women’s wear include:
-wearing natural fibers
-wearing long skirts
-not wearing pants
-frequently wearing some type of head covering such as a headwrap
The Earths of the Nation of Gods and Earths have a legacy from the muslims of the Nation of Islam yet their interpretation of Purdah is more open ended. This is not surprising in that they do not define their selves as muslims adhering more to a self definition as civilized or righteous women. In fact it was the Earth's who decided what 3/4's was. xxii Some of the commonalities amongst the purdah of Earths are:
-long skirts with multiple prints with head wraps.
- If you don't not wrap your hair you should at least cover all "hills and mountains" (T & A) especially so that your "diameter" /diamond/belly could not be seen.
-if pants are worn head wrapped;
-if arms or legs are exposed head wrapped;
-if skirts are floor length and arms not exposed can wear our hair out.
-emphasize non restrictive clothing (not tight or form fitting)
The wearing of the gelee amongst afri-centric women took off in the United States around the same time as the Black Power movement. It was utilized as a means to identify oneself with Black people on the continent of Africa. As black nationalistic consciousness ebbed and waned amongst Black People in the United States so has the wearing of the gelee. It has and does remain though a prominent statement of cultural identification amongst Black Nationalist or Black Culturalist. Within the wearing of the gelee amongst different Nations on the continent of Africa there are many different reasons for wearing a gelee. Some include showing that you are married, showing that you aren't married, identifying which Nation you belong to via the print of the cloth, etc. There is also research showing that the manner in which the stereotypical 'head handkerchief'' (immortalized on 'mammies and such) has a connection to sub-saharan Africa.xxiii
You will rarely see a bride in a mini skirt. The majority of bridal gowns are dress with trains so long that they have to be carried. An addition to the whole bridal outfit is the veil. No matter what the previous history of the bride on this day she adopts an accepted presentation of femininity. This is purdah. In a sense she has set herself aside for the groom. As a corollary to this notice Black women in the same church. You will RARELY see them without a distinctive hat.xxiv This is a manifestation of Purdah also.
Finally sheer veils are worn by many women during a period of mourning.
Reasons that modern practitioners of Purdah give for adhering to Purdah
In interviewing several women who practice some form of Purdah many reasons for following Purdah were given. Even those who wear Purdah for religious reasons often gave a secular corollary as to way they wore Purdah and how it benefits them in Western Society. Cross culturally and inter-religiously many of these secular rationales were similar if not the same. The reasons that we will concentrate on are modesty as protection, liberation, and identity.
Modesty as Protection
When one mentions that dressing ‘modestly’ may be a form of protection for women they may be ridiculed at first. It is mentioned that ‘no matter what the clothing’ that objectification and sexual predatory practices will still take place. What is not often recognized is that though the message is that ‘women can wear what ever they want’ they are still being judged by what they are wearing. When a woman is raped one of the first questions asked is what she was wearing. The question is never whether a woman can wear whatever she wants or not. The real question what is appropriate to wear according to cultural standards and what are the consequences from wearing particular types of clothing.
The observable reality is that frequently there is a direct correlation between how much respect is given to a woman that is inversely proportional to how much of her body she is displaying. This can be easily observed by going to places where there are large amounts of women whom are displaying a great proportion of their flesh (the club, the beach, etc.) and watching the interaction between man and woman.
Katherine Bullock makes the following commentary on modesty as protection:
Some people, especially in the West, would tend to ridicule the whole argument of modesty for protection. Their argument is that the best protection is the spread of education, civilized behavior, and self restraint. We would say: fine but not enough. If 'civilization' is enough protection, then why is it that women in North America dare not walk alone in a dark street - or even across an empty parking lot ? If Education is the solution, then why is it that a respected university like Queen's has a 'walk home service' mainly for female students on campus? If self restraint is the answer, then why are cases of sexual harassment in the workplace reported on the news media every day? A sample of those accused of sexual harassment, in the last few years, includes: Navy officers, Managers, University professors, Senators, Supreme Court Justices, and the President of the United States! I could not believe my eyes when I read the following statistics, written in a pamphlet issued by the Dean of Women's office at Queen's University:
In Canada, a woman is sexually assaulted every 6 minutes", 1 in 3 women in Canada will be sexually assaulted at some time in their lives", 1 in 4 women are at the risk of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime", 1 in 8 women will be sexually assaulted while attending college or university, and A study found 60% of Canadian university-aged males said they would commit sexual assault if they were certain they wouldn't get caught."
Also, ironically, when the veil first appeared in Western consciousness via the literature of the Orientalist it was a symbol of eroticism and romanticism.
Many women accentuated the fact that the wearing of Purdah, in all of its various manifestations, liberated them.xxv In fact progressive Arab women of the 1970's went back to donning veils. This at first seems to go counter against every Feminist argument that one could think of. Each of these women were conscious that the ‘enlightened’ West is rooted in the Nomadic Ice Age value system that was mentioned above. In addition to the values mentioned they added that it’s misogynistic nature is rooted in a racist/ethnicist oppression of women that manifests itself as a Western form of Patriarchy that utilizes slavery, colonization, demonization, etc. as its primary tools. They see donning Purdah as a means of liberation from colonial legacies.
They stated that the wearing of Purdah allowed them to be assessed for their intellect and expertise rather then their physical looks or overt sexuality. In this manner they are able to approach and interact with men on a more level playing field. Purdah is not merely a covering dress but more importantly, it is behavior, manners, speech and appearance in public.
The fruit of liberation is dignity and self esteem. A woman whom is covering herself is not necessarily ‘hiding’ herself. She may be concealing some aspect of her sexuality yet many times this allows her femininity to be brought out. Sexuality just concentrates on the objectification of her physical body while femininity integrates body, brain, demeanor, etc. into one whole.
The desire to not be identified with the pervasive value system of Western Culture (it being an offshoot of the Nomadic Ice Age Value system) was a common theme amongst all women interviewed who wore Purdah. They each stressed the need to exemplify their own value system by being a living representative of that value system whether it is rooted in a religion, culture or philosophy.
None of the women interviewed wanted to look like the ‘average’ woman. They wanted to be a standard of respect for all women. None of those interviewed wanted to alienate their peers yet they wanted to present an alternative to Western Culture that was logical, comfortable, and non-confrontational.
The various religions and cultures examined all mentioned a reverence for their value system as expressed through symbolism. The very act of Purdah and whether the bosom is covered, there is head wrap, or whether or not pants or worn are all acts of symbolism. Symbols serve as place markers for a particular value. The adherence to symbolism and the permutation of various symbols can lead to a greater understanding of many value systems. In fact, many owe their initial attraction and comprehension of a particular groups value system to how well that group utilizes symbolism. Amongst many women who adhere to Purdah in the West it has become a political symbol to rebel against the current status quo.
Western Society as a whole ridicules other cultures standards. One of the easiest targets for them has been Purdah. It has always been presented as an outdated expression of oppression rather then being examined as a cultural expression that allows a society to function in a proper manner. This is the manner in which the majority of the world who utilizes this practice frames it.
In addition to the examples of Purdah mentioned in the essay there were many others not mentioned such as amongst various groups of Indians (the Salwar Kameez and Dupatta), amongst the those who practice Ifa, and just the general legacy of Western Etiquette values (For centuries up until the Tudor period (1485), European women wore veils which covered the hair, and sometimes the neck and chin, but not the face. Also it is proper for a woman to wear a hat inside a building yet not a man)..
When examining cultures one needs to be cognizant of their own cultural perspective and factor it in to their observation of other cultures. Many in the West do not do this. What ends up happening is a skewed presentation of another culture that is not in tune with the reality of the situation. The tone of how Purdah is referred to is subject to the perspective of the author using the term and the context in which it is used.
i The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000. The traditional terminology that is utilized for the dress code aspect of purdah is hijab.
Hijab: 1. The headscarf worn by Muslim women, sometimes including a veil that covers the face except for the eyes. 2. The institution of protection of women in some Islamic societies through veiling or seclusion. Etymology: Arabic ijb, curtain, veil, from ajaba, to cover.
In order to reiterate that the insitution of conscious covering is not limited to the Arabic culture in this article we will be utilizing the term purdah.
ii ibid
iiiGeorgia Scott: Headwraps: A Global Journey. This book has beautiful pictures reflecting headwraps world wide. It accents the point made above of functionality and beauty.
iv Sha-King Allah, Who is the Colored Man, unpublished article.
v Burka: an all-over garment with veiled eyeholes, worn by some Muslim women. Etymology: Mid-19th century. Via Urdu or Persian bura’ from Arabic buru’.(Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition] © & (P)2004 Microsoft Corporation).
Chador: A loose, usually black robe worn by Muslim women that covers the body from head to toe and most of the face. Etymology: Urdu chdar, cover, cloth, from Persian, screen, tent, from Sanskrit chattram, screen, parasol.
vi Pederasty is the notion of age of age structured homosexuality where a younger man is mentored by an older male and has a sexual relationship with. This was an accepted part of Greek society.
vii A recent book, The Chinese Century, describes the origins and spread of footbinding: "Footbinding was introduced in the eleventh century and spread from the ranks of the wealthy to those of more modest means (such as these two women [in the picture]) and even to much of the peasantry. Girls as young as three or four would have their feet bound tightly with bandages, folding all the toes except the big one under the sole to make the foot slender and pointed. After a couple of years, the big toe and heel were brought together, bending the arch, causing constant pain and hindering free movement. The sight of a woman teetering on her little points moving her hips from side to side 'like a tender young willow in a breeze' to balance herself was believed to have an erotic effect on men.
viiiIn defining the ‘freedom’ of Western Society it is implied that all women in Western Society ‘choose’ to wear such clothing. Ironically when women in other societies say that they are exercising the same ‘freedom’ to wear various items of clothing in their society Western Women state that the other women have been ‘brainwashed’ by ‘Patriarchy’.
ix The Venus Hottentot was Sara Bartman. She was a Khoi Khoi woman whom was taken from Cape Town, South Africa in 1810 and brought to Britain to be the ‘foundation’ of European notions about Black Women’s sexuality. She was amply proportion in her breast and buttocks in comparision to the typical European female. Even after she died the next year in France her genatelia and brain were displayed in a French museum up until 1985.
x Iceman Inheritance : Prehistoric Sources of Western Man's Racism, Sexism and Aggression by Michael Bradley
xi In the 1994 book Dressed to Kill by Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijerin, they suggested that wearing bras may inhibit the normal function of the lymphatic system in and around the breast. The result is a decreased removal of toxins from the breast and an increased occurrence of breast cancer.
xii Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices by Brenda Love
xiii There also has been large documentation that the consistent wearing of high heels produces extensive wear on women’s knee joints.
xiv Tongue piercing whose appeal has been documented as the ‘flaunting’ of oral sexual taboos. Cosmetic plastic surgery which is directly proportional to Western cultures beauty norms.
"O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed..." (Qur'an 33:59)
xvi Fadwa El Guini, Veil: Modesty, Privacy and Resistance
xvii Purdah in the Byzantine Empire is a result of ancient Greece Culture. In fact the Greek word for the veil was tegidion which means 'a little roof'. Thus it fits the whole foundation of Purdah as seclusion or set aside. Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Aphrodite's Tortoise: The Veiled Woman of Ancient Greece
xviii The Jewish woman in Rabbinic literature by Rabbi Dr. Menachem M. Brayer (
xix Ibid
xx Mary C. Ali, Women’s Liberation Through Islam
xxi Elizabeth Kuhns, Habit: A history of the clothing of catholic nuns
xxii I-Medina Peaceful Earth,
xxiii Helen Bradley Griebel, The African American Woman's Headwrap: Unwinding the Symbols
xxiv Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry, Crowns
xxv Fadwa El Guini, Veil: Modesty, Privacy and Resistance

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