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30th September 2022 (7 Topics)

The Veil on Choice

Context:

  • Turning religious narrow-mindedness into a political issue serves neither religious agenda nor women.

Defenders of cultural values:

  • Liberation and Oppression: In the fight against patriarchy, irrespective of location, women can be found marked as repositories of traditions serving both symbolic and functional.
  • Societal Regulations: Women’s behaviour and appearance are often found regulated across cultures, but it is of no use to society or the women themselves.
  • Images from Iran: The recent images from Iran where a woman chopped her hair and burned the hijab must be seen as freedom from a forced responsibility of a ‘defender of culture’.

The narrow ambit of choices:

  • Oppression is not a choice: We have inherited several tenets of patriarchy in our lives under the garb of choices. They aren’t real choices, but rather meant to internalise oppression.
  • Two concepts of liberty: “Negative Liberty”-which is the existence of a private sphere where one, can exercise free will. “Positive Liberty”- is self-actualization of the highest order. State intervention is essential for the existence of positive liberty.
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