Recall the myths of the gorgon Medusa? Beware you do not gaze upon her and she upon you lest lest she turn you to stone! From young boy to great warrior all were warned of her power.
Remember the Sirens? Beware of their melodiously sweet voices and songs lest you be entranced, find your ship dashed against jagged rocks and lives lost in the cold dark depths below. Sailors were warned of their power yet stories of people choosing to be securely tied to the masts, bulwarks and other parts of the ship so they could hear the voices and lessen the risk of commandeering the ship or themselves jumping overboard.
I will not speak for females, girls and women but as a male that was a boy and is now a man (in continued works) I can attest at having the gaze the fairer sex turn me into a living breathing stone with a slow, oh so terribly slow heart beat. Some sort of Gargoyle both hoping the gaze of the twin stars that were somehow standing in for what we norms call eyes continued and at times wondering how unappealing I may look.
I can attest to having few words, let alone paragraphs worth of them capable of being strung together to from even a mockery of a conversation when in the presence of certain divine beings, only to have the memory of these flustered exchanges wrack my brain for days, weeks, months years to the point of minor (and once rather major) psychosis.
Now think of the Burqua, Hijab, Niqab and other cultural or religious garb. What power dynamic this practice is trying to address? Who is is being protected, which one is weak? If Medusa were to walk around covered from head to toe would be less a sign of male power but instead fear. Would the sirens be asked to be seen not heard, if they had nothing of substance to say or is it in acknowledgement that their words had a way of driving all substance from the brains attached to whichever ears took in their melodious prose?
Now this is not intended to be a judgment of the varied levels of coverage practiced by Muslim and Arab cultures. I have discussed how many if not most are doing it with some level of choice and not an insignificant percent of those do so it with pride. You can debate whether my assessment is valid or not on your own. This level of covering could be, as many claim, a way to achieve the modesty and chastity encouraged by many other faiths and cultures.
Men are to be held accountable, as they tend to and should be. Women should acknowledge and understand their power and most do. A majority of those that claim they are powerless flex it non the less even if simply in the expectation that their demands for power are powerful enough to be listened to. Back to the men though, or rather the boys. Hormones can play havoc with ones mind, but to be a human adult, in this genders case a man, there is a level of control one must assert over ones urges. This is specifically directed to the female readers here, how much of the responsibility is there for the women? When Anna Nicole smith married that octogenarian billionaire, was he manipulating an unaware young woman?
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
1 Corinthians 13:11
Adulthood brings responsibility granted by exercising ones agency. To an extent humanity brings responsibility. When you take away responsibility from any group of people, be it defined by gender, faith, pastime, race or any other arbitrary division. You strip them of their humanity.
Women weaponized to use feathers to weaponize men to kill other men. Is this what female empowerment looks like?
- The White Feather Campaign: A Struggle with Masculinity During World War I – Inquiries Journal
- The White Feather Campaign in the Second World War-History of Feminism