I’d like to think I’m pretty laissez-faire. I subscribe to the view that people should be able to live as they wish, so long as their actions do not negatively impact the lives of others. For one, this means I’m against religious laws concerning matters of piety.
Religion + law = disaster.
O’Canada how I love thee.
So the other day, I was having an argument with my friend. I was telling my friend about a Filipino (let’s call him Tagalog), who I had just met. So Tagalog had recently arrived in Toronto. He had mentioned that he previously lived in Saudi Arabia. WHAT? FILIPINOS IN RIYADH. Well, apparently Filipinos will travel pretty much anywhere for work and Saudi Arabia has the three largest Filipino population in the world (after the Phillippines and the United States). Intrigued, I asked him how he liked his time there. He didn’t. In fact, what he had to say pretty much verified every single stereotype about the country and then some.
Later that evening, I started describing my conversation with Tagalog to my friend. For instance, a woman can never walk alone in the country as a matter of law and would probably never dare as a matter of fact because she would be swarmed by strange men. I further went on to disparage laws dictating that Saudi women cover from head to toe. IT IS FUCKING HOT IN SAUDI ARABIA.
Well, this opened up a whole can of worms.
My friend responded that maybe the Saudis are on to something. We, in the Western world, have too much freedom. This isn’t an accomplishment, my friend argued, but a failure. In Saudi Arabia, “modesty” (however rigidly defined) is a virtue.
My friend began by describing evolutions in fashion, tracing the ever shortening hemline of skirts. “In the 1950s, poodle skirts with their knee length hem shocked everyone … and now women have their tits and asses hanging out of their tops and dresses… and no one says anything.”
Yes, touche. But I defended my inalienable right to dress like a tramp. “Okay so what? How does their dress, in any way, affect your life?!”
Aha. I thought I had really challenged my friend.
My friend responded that the problem was that society had become too passive and too indifferent. What kind of message were we sending to children and future generations?
I didn’t know what to say.
In the past week, I had seen the seriously disturbing children’s exploitation …eer beauty pageant, “Toddlers in Tiaras,” watched another program highlighting sexual active tweens, and had come across an interesting poll. Respondents were asked if they thought that their children would have a better life than they had and most said no.
Interpret that how you will.
I still think that it is a woman, or a man’s, prerogative to wear the shortest skirt that she or he can find.
However, I think we all have a MORAL OBLIGATION to judge.
Judge one another.
Do it daily.
Be as brutal and as merciless as you can.
Because it is my ultimate belief that it is the fear – not of god’s wrath but, of the judgement of others that keeps us all “in check.”
I know this blog wasn’t entertaining but hopefully, if you were able to follow my random thought process, it has given you something to think about.