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Veiling Female Statues By: Phyllis Chesler
Pajamas Media | Tuesday, March 11, 2008


There was a time when feminist groups did high concept performance art/political theatre as a way of shocking, enlightening, and entertaining us all. That time has not passed. In the past, the late, great art critic, Arlene Raven, kept me apprised of whatever Suzanne Lacey and others were doing—and they did great things.

In honor of International Woman’s Day which just passed, (March 8th), a number of anonymous European feminist groups had expanded their mission to veil-and-shroud the female statues and monuments in the cities of Moscow, Finland, Germany. In their press release they stated that they wished to “inspire the public to discussion concerning Islamisation and associated taboo subjects. ” They had veiled some eight statues with a Burqa or a headscarf. Each statue had been fitted with a signboard which compared western-style concepts of gender equality and human rights to be contrasted with a quote from the Qu’ran. The press release further stated:

“The aim of the campaign is to refer to the creeping Islamisation endangering the European idea of UNITY IN DIVERSITY and other similar cultural achievements of the liberal thinking world. Particularly, the phenomenom that Muslim women wear increasingly Burqa or headscarfs, is a visible expression of the challenge and threat to our liberal societies with their values such as women’s rights, democracy, liberal and secular thinking.

Through our action we want to show that there exist taboo subjects in a certain religious movement…,It is not racist to point out these issues, it is racist to keep ourselves from protecting and advocating the rights of the women in the Muslim world, whether they live in foreign countries or in ours. So, where are the women’s rights activists who used to stand up for women’s rights for the Western women in the our world? There is no reason and no need to leave these Muslim women alone without help in sight.”

Well, I am in complete agreement with this goal and have staked my reputation on it. I am saddened that people can no longer safely use their own names or the name of their group to express their ideas—lest they be mocked as “racists,” stalked, exiled, imprisoned, and murdered for them. This is now the case for so many Muslim dissidents in the Muslim world—and for civilians everywhere who are at the mercy of terrorist intimidation. For instance: two African models, both of whom were anti-FGM activists, have been found dead in Europe. As Fausta Wertz asks, “is this a coincidence?” Is this another kind of cultural honor murder? See Fausta’s blog HERE.

For more information: http://veiledstatues.blog.de/
 
LINK to the pictures:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/veiled_statues

LINK to the press release and former actions:

http://veiledstatues.blog.de/


Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) The New Anti-Semitism (2003) and The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (2005). She has just published a new edition of Woman's Inhumanity to Woman (2009). She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women's studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women's Health Network (1976). Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.


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