Re: Burka Barbie, Barbara Kay, Dec. 2.
I am extremely disturbed by Barbara's Kay's narrow-minded ideas about the burka. In teaching about different cultures, we need to include the experiences and perspectives of women and men from different socioeconomic classes. We should not look at one particular group of people within a culture and use only those experiences to portray a whole society. After all, wasn't this the model that colonialism and slavery were built on?Yeah, we Western chicks are such "slaves to fashion" which, to those with Keli's mindset, is equivalent to being compelled to live under the inequities of sharia.
Perhaps to some, burkas do symbolize oppression. Or maybe Ms. Kay is just quick to jump to certain signifiers or stereotypes constructed by the West. Did Ms. Kay consider the millions of educated women around the world who choose to wear burkas or hijabs? Or the women who take pride in wearing these garments? Probably not.
And how empowered are women in the West? After all, it is men that dictate women's fashion here also. It is true women in the West don't get stoned in the streets for not being dressed appropriately -- instead, we are shunned for not conforming to the norm, resulting in a culture full of young girls with eating disorders and high suicide rates.
Perhaps the most astonishing thing is how Ms. Kay refers to the Barbie doll as having "cultural innocence." Barbie is world-famous for her blonde hair, big breasts, impossibly long legs and high-fashion wardrobe. What part of the population relates to her?
Keli Maksud, Toronto.
Here's my Burka Barbie limerick: An infidel chick known as Barbie/Was accustomed to high fashion garbie/But they thought it would work/To stick Barb in a burka/Now Barbie is no Dar al-Harbie.