Saturday, February 07, 2009

Face Of The Day - Comment Of The Week II

(Updated)


Getty

Madona Najarian of Iran returns serve against Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan during their singles match of the Fed Cup in Perth on February 5, 2009. Voskoboeva won the match 6-0, 6-0.

UPDATE: I'm moving this back up to the top of the page because the discussion is nothing short of scintillating.

UPDATE: Comment Of The Week II

HoiHa said...

It seems very clear that we must all be very careful about the assumptions we make, myself included of course.

Karen - Ironically, I was born and raised in Jamaica so I too am a Jamaican like yourself but I have made my home in Hong Kong and China for the past 12 years now. So I have lived in cultures and countries impacted by colonialism, racism, sexism and homophobia. I also travel for 6 months out of the year and have spent time on every continent - so I am not ignorant of other cultures and am very open to ideas and views that are decidedly not "western". My business partner is from Pakistan and is Muslim (though she is not observant).

I really do not care what a person chooses to believe for themselves provided that all persons are treated equally and have the same equality of opportunity.

I do not believe that women should be required to modify their dress according to how it will impact men. Women should be free to wear whatever they choose to wear. If they want to walk around in a bikini down a busy road - well IMHO they are idiots but I will fight for a woman's right to do that if that is what a woman wants to do.

My discomfort with the hijab and the concept of dressing "modestly" (be it Christian, Jewish, Islamic etc) is that it takes responibility for men's sexual behaviour out of the hands of men - where it belongs - and places it squarely on women. I believe that men have full control over their sexual impulses and to say otherwise not only infantalises men but also sets us along a very dangerous and slippery slope toward blaming the victim for male sexual violence.

In some religions the head is covered as an act of subservience to a/the higher power. Head covering in those religions is about the woman's (or man's)direct and personal relationship with her/his God. The hijab however is not about a woman's direct and personal relationship with Allah but rather is about womens' relationships with men and society and concern that human beings - and especially men - are somehow less than capable of controlling their sexual impulses and desires. I refuse to believe this is true.

If a woman chose to wear the hijab and told me that it had nothing to do with how men perceived her and had nothing to do with sexaul issues, then I would have no problem at all with it. But that is not what the hijab is about.

One can try and say that men also are expected to dress modestly in Islam but the truth is that Iran's (very talented) football team is not wearing the same outfit that the women's tennis team are wearing are they?

Having said all that, if a woman freely and after due consideration makes a personal choice (not one imposed on her by the State or by her family etc etc) to wear the hijab, then, while I may not like what it represents (same as I would not really like a woman who chose to wear a bikin down the high street), i would nevertheless support her right to wear it.

And of course their sexism in other religions and other cultures ... noone is claiming otherwise.

And BTW - Iranian sportswomen have admitted widely and freely that they do not have any choice over what they wear as their uniforms are state mandated and many feel that they cannot compete at the same level as other women as a result and feel hard done by because of it (http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/sep/16flip.htm).

Yes, Safina is a Tatar Muslims. Sania Mirza is also Muslim.

Finally, I hope nobody on these boards is offended by comments here - this is a good and important discussion and especially so in the context of sport. All the best everyone and Happy Year of the Oxe (Gung hei fat choi).


38 comments:

rabbit said...

Iran is competing for the first time in 37 years! They did not do so bad in doubles, losing 2-6, 5-7.

Hope some medium between following Islam and being able to play professional tennis is reached soon.

Helen W said...

Can you imagine playing in that attire at the last Australian Open, in that heat wave?

Very dangerous to the health.

rabbit said...

They were playing Perth, Australia...

Helen W said...

Perth is on the west coast, so it was probably not nearly as hot there as it was in Melbourne. Let's hope.

Wouldn't it be nice if playing tennis led to a general relaxing of Islam's dress requirements for Women?

tangerine said...

I hope they didn't stone her to death for losing.

Savannah said...

Who knows what Iranian, and other Muslim girls will think when they see one of their own in international competition?

It's a baby step, but one that should be applauded.

Ajid said...

Thanks Savannah for your post. As a Muslim it's nice to knpw that some people appreciate what Madona is doing.

To Tangerine, your comment is unkind.

Craig Hickman said...

Amazing the dialogue a single picture engenders.

Thanks y'all.

HoiHa said...

Ajid - why is Tangerine's comment unkind? Since when is it unkind to speak the truth? If we do not speak the truth then change will never happen. One day we hope that all talented women will have the same opportunities to compete and achieve in sport.

To pretend that women are not being oppressed (even executed in many circumstances) in Iran and other fundamentalist cultures/countries for acts or behaviour deemed "immodest" will get us no where.

Ajid said...

Please calm down, Hoiha.

What I meant was I don't think players are stoned to death for losing in sports.

My response was in that context, that's all.

HoiHa said...

Ajid you are perhaps right ... but my blood does start to boil when I think about the way women are treated in Iran these days. And while they may not be stoned to death for losing at sports they are certainly put to death for the most unjust and arbitrary reasons.

rabbit said...

This is an interesting conversation, especially because 2009 is the 30 year anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, a revolution that promised to bring freedom from a repressive monarchy and forced westernization.

The position of women in Iran is more complicated than it is made out to be in the west. For example, I know that women constitute more than 50% of the undergraduate population and are in general more educated. There are female taxi drivers, businesswomen and professors in Tehran. And most women in Iran would probably keep wearing hijab even if it was not required, because of their own comfort level. But of course, it is true that the Islamic laws are expressly discriminatory and make life much harder for women than men. Just a sample from here:

The value of a woman’s life is one half of the life of a man. The testimony of two women is equal to the testimony of one man. Daughters get half the inheritance that the sons get. A woman does not have the right to divorce her husband. A man can divorce his wife any time he wishes even without her knowledge. Men are allowed to marry 4 wives and as many temporary wives as they want. Women can not travel, work, go to school, or even leave the house without the husband’s permission. A woman must live where her husband decides. Mothers do not get the custody of their children when the husbands divorce them. Husbands can take the baby away from the mother and have another woman nurse and raise the infant.

So, I also agree with what Savannah said. It takes small steps to reach the revolution. There are many aspiring, intelligent women in Iran, and the possibility of gaining glory for their country could motivate both the government and its people to throw off some of the self-imposed shackles put on.

Also, on another note, I do not see why it is absolutely impossible to have a dress that follows both the Islamic rules and is adequate for playing high-level tennis. I have heard of Muslim swimsuits and tracksuits. An interesting related story here.

pompelmo said...

I think people are confusing Iran with Saudi Arabia or Sudan. Ofcourse Iran is not the place of ultimate gender equity, but a woman playing tennis is acceptable there as you can see.

HoiHa said...

pompelmo - absolutely not confusing Iran with Saudi Arabia or the Sudan (or Yemen for that matter) - but allowing women to play tennis on the condition they are covered from head to toe is not my idea of freedom - sorry - check out: http://www.iranhumanrights.org/themes/womens-rights.html

However one step at a time and tennis (or any sport for that matter) might be one baby step in the right direction ...

rabbit said...

HoiHa, you should also consider that sometimes women cover themselves because that is what they think is consistent with their faith, independent of governmental regulations.

Helen W said...

rabbit, I appreciate your moderate views, but after looking at the article and at the pictures, I still think that having to wear such dress to compete in sporting events is a tremendous liability for the participant that has to wear it.

And as for women choosing to "cover themselves", well as long as they are forced to do so, either by law or by cultural tradition, there is no real way of knowing how many actually choose it and how many are coereced into it.

Karen said...

The problem that I have always had with the Western way of thinking as it relates to other cultures, is that everyone thinks that their idea of freedom should be practiced everywhere in the world. This is why we had a war in Iraq. This is why people from my country (Jamaica) are demonised as being culturally irrelevant etc. This is why Europeans are classifed as being locked into the 15th century and this is why most Muslims are characterise as fundamentalists and terrorists. Believe it or not there are some women who like wearing these long clothes that cover their bodies, wish that more women would be as stringent about their morals and the way they present themselves in public like some Muslim women. Are we really comfortable as a society when we see women parading themselves in all manner of things that leave little or nothing to the imagination. Why should we not let men imagine what is underneath all that rather than showing them the goodies. What is so wrong about wanting to live a moral and righteous life according to the tenets of your belief system, whether it be God, Allah or Yahweh. It is about time that Westerners stop criticising a culture of which they know little or nothing about. Why dont we start with the man in the mirror rather than looking far and wide to other people's cultures that have little or no bearing on our daily lives. In most Western countries, as a result of loose morals (and loose clothes) we have seen societies reach a point where grown men are defiling young girls, older women are consorting with men who could be their sons, and the rise of STD's as a result of loose morals and even looser clothing. At some point in time we have to wonder whether it is not a good thing when there are restrictions about the way a woman (or indeed a man) conducts himself. People always talk about the fact that women are restricted in Muslim societies, believe it or not there are restrictions placed on the men as well and it is not only in Islamic societies, it happens in Christian societies as well. The Roman Catholic Church still does not allow women to be priests and the Adventist Church as well (even though the latter was founded by a woman - go figure). You would be surprised at the rules that are placed upon women in these churches. It is just not as publicised.

oddman said...

Wow, what an exchange of ideas here. Like Craig said about the picture.

(weighing in here) I agree somewhat with what Karen says. But, but, but.... you have no idea about the kind of choice these women have really been given, Karen. If they've been given every option, freely, with no ramifications for ANY choice of clothing, including going naked (to make a point), then fine with me if they choose to wear what you see here. But it's been widely documented that many have not been given that kind of a choice.
And there's restrictions in ALL societies.
As to your comments about loose morals and grown men defiling young girls because of a Western culture, well, that is too friggin' much.

Unbelievable.

b said...

I'm a bit shocked about this thread - since I consider most of the readers on this site to be quite open minded and socially conscious

WHAT A LOAD OF ASSUMPTIONS, SEXISM, AND GENERALLY PATRONIZING ATTITUDE

1- Who says she was forced to dress as she did? Just the fact that people assume that she did not choose her outfit, or is somehow in need of enlightenment or "rescue" is a completely ridiculous and imperialist attitude....

2- If she did feel obligated to dress in such a manner how is that any worse than women feeling obligated to dress in ridiculously revealing clothing in order to play the game

3- Well covered clothing is not necessarily hotter - in all of the traditional clothing for hot arid climes you'll find Men and Women dress alike in loose head to toe clothing.... HelenW I think this is the first time ever (in years? of reading your comments) that I've actually disagreed with/been shocked by something you said

The comment about stoning was really disgusting - I'm sorry tangerine..... How many Muslim women do you know personally? I mean personal friends, you have been in their homes, shared meals, gone shopping, stayed up studying with? How many are from the Middle East? I come from several different cultures (all of them ravaged by colonialism, I must add) and there is nothing I hate more than people passing judgment on what they see simply because it is not how they do things. This is no worse than the missionaries telling equatorial/rain forest peoples from South America, Africa, Polynesia (etc etc) that they needed to cover up....

Has she given an interview where she stated that she was forbidden to play tennis?

Props to this young woman for daring to do things her way.....

b said...

THANK YOU KAREN

Nice to see I was not alone in the response....

You said what I wanted to say, so much more patiently and eloquently.

Given your location and mine it is clear why we see this issue very differently and in the context of colonialism and the unfortunate idea of ethnic superiority..... which now manifests itself in other ways....

This whole debate reminds me of the difference between Jankovic and Venus response to reporters at the YEC. JJ was quite rude, while Venus refused to let herself be dragged into judgments about her host country.....

Can you imagine, a muslim country values women's tennis enough to be willing to finally equalise the ATP and WTA prize money...... not only that, her Royal Highness comes out to award the trophy personally. What other country had willingly done that much for women's tennis? NONE.

The women weren't asked to change their outfits, the only thing I know that was changed was the billboards had silhouettes, entirely reasonable as many of the women's outfits are extremely revealing.....

The Muslim women I know who do dress modestly do it for the same reason as the Christian ones - THEIR CHOICE.... and I am referring to educated women with advanced degrees, jobs etc etc

Theirs plenty of oppression and violence against women in the US and Europe (and yes I've lived in both places and had exposure to plenty of people from different cultures within) except when her name is "Jane Smith" no-one attributes any misfortune to her culture or ethnicity....

To me this is up there with people saying Serena is fat and out of shape (and they always said she was, even in her catsuit years) for having a bottom that is highly prized in the Southern Hemisphere.

My apologies for the typos & unfinished sentences - I guess this thread hit too close to home.... and no I am not Muslim, nor do I dress particularly conservatively....

oddman said...

(rolls eyes)

I'm NOT talking about this particular tennis player. Along the comments I believe the discussion became more broadbased.

I know plenty of Muslim women who dress modestly, AND as they choose. That's great.

I'm simply saying that for some women, 'choice' is a relative term.

b said...

Here is an interview with the "oppressed" Iranian Fed Cup captain - she is extremely well-educated (doctorate), particularly for a tennis player, and is a well-traveled, multisport athlete... Perhaps they fared poorly because she apparently hasn't been "hothoused" like most pros.

http://www.pendar.asia/index.php/site/comments/an_interview_with_shadi_tabatabaie_iranian_tennis_player_in_fed_cup/


The interview does not mention the fact but I believe the team outfits are Nike sponsored

=====================================

An interview with Shadi Tabatabaie, Iranian tennis player in Fed Cup

Shirzanan – Shabnam Shakorian: She got her PhD in Seismology from Tehran University. She did her thesis with a team in Florida University in US where she currently lives. She plays in US tennis league. Shadi Tabatabaei a trained pianist, who grew up doing swimming, gymnastic and volleyball. Along with Madona Najarian, Ani Nazari and Ghazaleh Torkaman, Shadi Tabatabaei is playing for Iran in Australia Fed Cup 2009. She is the team’s captain.

You did very good in school and your academic classes, how come you became interested in sports?

I started with swimming and gymnastics when I was 5. My family are sports fan, so I continued. I have a twin brother and a younger sister. Our parents put us to as many as sports classes you can imagin.

When did you become seriously involved with sports?

I was in the last year of my secondary school when I was chosen for the district volleyball team. I played tennis as well but we didn’t have any women’s tennis team. In High school I competed for tracks and field teams and I was a member of Tehran University track and field team. I had many competitions and I won some medals.

How come you become a member of women’s tennis team?

I played tennis in Iran. Then I went to see my sister and finish my PhD thesis in US. When I came back to do my paperwork I got invited to the national team. I left Iran and I didn’t participate in the national team qualification games.

Why did you go back to US while there was a match in Iran for the national team?

Back then Iran tennis federation was in the process of getting permission for the Islamic athletic outfit from the international tennis federation and I wanted to get into some Tennis Coaching classes in US. I bought my thicket and then they say there will be a match so I missed the qualification match. I didn’t think they would accept me. But the federation gave me a second chance. I pass the required tests and I was accepted.

How was your preparatory camp in Kish Island?

It was great; we could practice in a standard hard court. The camp was one of the most organized camps I participated in.

How was the designed Islamic athletic outfit?

It is a comfortable cloth. It is easy to move in it. It may reduce our speed but there will be only that.

Do you think Iran’s team will have a good result in Fed Cup 2009?

All of us want to get the best result, but we shouldn’t forget that we are have limited international experience; we only played with other Islamic countries. Iran’s men’s team has more international experience.

But they don’t have any good results? Do you think if women had the men’s team possibilities they would have done better?

that’s right, they have more opportunities than women’s team but they stayed the same. We need to find young and new talents. Every sports need to start from young ages.

Do you know you opponents in Fed Cup 2009?

The federation gave us the rankings of our opponents. We are studying them more or less.

During the time you lived in US didn’t you play tennis?

I was a member of Triton Club in Texas. It was in a university level.

have you seen the games in Iran’s tennis league? Can you say how different Iran’s tennis is from US?

No, I just followed its news. Well in the US tennis is more professional.

Now that you have a coaching certificate, don’t you want to stay and have some classes?

well I love that. There have been some talks with the federation and we are planning to work something out.

rabbit said...

Thanks b for quoting the interview! It was very interesting.

I agree with you that it is as bad to automatically assume that every player in headscarves needs to be rescued. What about the thousands of Muslim women in Europe and the US who choose to wear hijab? Of course, there are problems in Iran and the rest of the Islamic countries, and those should not be belittled. But to pity the player in the photo, without knowing any other information, is demeaning to her.

I also agree that the comment about stoning was really uncalled for.

As much as I agree with Karen about her views on Roger :), I have to disagree with a lot of your post. The crimes that you mentioned do not go away with the women wearing hijab, sadly. They occur a lot in Islamic countries also, and what is even more unfortunate is that the criminals are often prosecuted mildly because of the biased law system. State or culture sanctioned morality does not always work on the individual level.

But avoiding further disagreements, this is now a huge opportunity for Nike, Reebok and others to research and develop Sharia-compliant tennis gear that is totally comfortable and does not reduce court speed. Here come the Iranians :)

MMT said...

"I hope they didn't stone her to death for losing."

Actually I think you're confusing Iran for Iraq, and that had nothing to do with Islam - there the olympic committee was headed by a psychopath who happened to be Saddam Hussein's son, and had a habit of torturing poor performing athletes.

"And most women in Iran would probably keep wearing hijab even if it was not required, because of their own comfort level."

and

"there is no real way of knowing how many actually choose it and how many are coereced into it."

This is not true - the way to know it is how many Iranian women cover when they are either not in Iran or not in the presence of those who take it upon themselves to execute Islamic law.

Very few Iranian women outside of Iran wear hiijab, and many women in Iran do not wear it indoors, even in the company of men that are neither their husbands nor fathers.

I also think it is just great that they are playing tennis - everyone in the world should be able to. Unfortunately we cannot enforce our cultural standards on the rest of the world. If the players are willing to wear it, then that's their prerogative.

I also agree that many tennis players (professional or otherwise) wear clothing that is less than flattering. I hardly find it liberating to see a women in a spandex body suit playing tennis or faux-leather tight shorts. But that's not my decision and if the rules allow for it, then they are within their rights.

The truth is they likely would only dress this way if playing in a conservative muslim country or if they feared that dressing otherwise, even in a more liberal cultural environment, might expose them to harrassment upon return to their own conservative countries.

That said, at least they're playing tennis.

Karen said...

I have read through the comments and whilst I agree and disagree with some, I am going to put my final thoughts on the matter. At this year's Australian Open, Margaret Court (I think it was her) said that the women of the WTA were playing in clothes that were immodest at best and downright degrading at worst. This comment from one of the stalwarts of the game was in relation to an up and coming player called Alize Cornet from France. Alize's breast was showing through her "dress" whilst she played at this year's Hopman Cup. How humiliating it must have been for Ms. Court to see a professional woman demeaning herself by wearing something that some so called designed made for her to play a professional sport. Add to that at this year's Australian Open, there were comments made by Craig Tiley, the tournament director that a strict dress code would be enforced. As a woman and a lover of woman's tennis, I was very upset that someone had to call into question the immodest dress of some of these professional women. In that context, I am sure that Western woman should perhaps take a leaf out of the Muslim women's books and try to dress as modestly as possible, even when you are playing a professional sport. And another thing ... how good is it to see a woman from Iran playing tennis, hajib and all. That to me is the story. I also saw a woman from Saudia Arabia I think it was at last year's Olympics competing in the women's 100M sprint. She came in last and she had a full body suit, but she looked good competing for her country.

b said...

Oddman, I actually wasn't responding to you, sorry if it seemed that way.

"I'm simply saying that for some women, 'choice' is a relative term."

I completely agree with you, but believe that sentiment applies equally in all cultures... not just ones that are different.... (I believe this is also the point Karen was trying to make)

To me (personally) it seems ridiculous that a liberated tennis player/athlete wears skimpy clothes but also is expected to religiously remove underarm and other body hair before donning such outfits.... For that matter why not crusade against societal requirements that women shave (in my view) that's as much oppression as anything else.

Another example - there is an Uzbek tennis player, Akgul, who plays in a baggy t-shirt and long shorts. I have no idea if she is religious but got the general idea that she is not interested in wearing the flimsy
What does she get for exercising such choice? Do a search of the web and you'll see that she is called a "man", her femininity and sexuality are questioned. I have no idea if she's gay and don't care. If she is I don't think you can tell from what she's wearing. To me she looks and sounds like a woman. What I have a problem with are all the comments that come her way because her outfits do not conform to a Western Liberated standard of what a Woman is supposed to be wearing.... She apparently doesn't care to play with her legs and/or briefs showing.... and neither does the Iranian team....

I had two friends - whose mothers (1 white american 1 south american) were very good at sports as children but they were prevented from competing by their (christian) religious families, not because of the sport but the uniforms. Pity there couldn't have been some compromise back then....

For one, I found some of the female athletes olympic uniforms to be quite demeaning and not advancing women's sport in positive manner. For example the Volleyball players are required to wear a very small bikini while their male counterparts can wear shorts and a loose top.

If there's only one standard of dress, then how is there any freedom?

Rabbit thanks for the link on the MD runner.

oddman said...

b said:...that sentiment applies equally in all cultures...'

Yes, b. I thought that statement, which I agree with, was implied in my comment. I was responding to Karen's comment on Western societies contributing to loose morals and defiling of young girls.... STDs? I don't wish to debate any of this, but I would just like to add this kind of thing happens in ALL cultures and societies. By the way, STD's such as AIDs has devastated much of Africa, most likely due to ignorance of disease transmission, and cultural factors, and far less than Western society factors.

Savannah said...

It's not talked about much but Marat and Dinara are both Muslims.

Marat Safin was born in Moscow, USSR (now Russia), to Mikhail Safin and Rauza Islanova, an ethnic Tatar Muslim family.
(from Wiki)

I believe that the Tatar's practice Sunni Islam.

This has been an extremely interesting conversation. Thanks for posting the interview that points out Iran did work on getting an outfit for it's women that suited their religious and cultural beliefs.

Craig Hickman said...

I'm still loving this.

I have nothing of substance to add except to say I'm learning a lot.

Carry on...

HoiHa said...

It seems very clear that we must all be very careful about the assumptions we make, myself included of course.

Karen - Ironically, I was born and raised in Jamaica so I too am a Jamaican like yourself but I have made my home in Hong Kong and China for the past 12 years now. So I have lived in cultures and countries impacted by colonialism, racism, sexism and homophobia. I also travel for 6 months out of the year and have spent time on every continent - so I am not ignorant of other cultures and am very open to ideas and views that are decidedly not "western". My business partner is from Pakistan and is Muslim (though she is not observant).

I really do not care what a person chooses to believe for themselves provided that all persons are treated equally and have the same equality of opportunity.

I do not believe that women should be required to modify their dress according to how it will impact men. Women should be free to wear whatever they choose to wear. If they want to walk around in a bikini down a busy road - well IMHO they are idiots but I will fight for a woman's right to do that if that is what a woman wants to do.

My discomfort with the hijab and the concept of dressing "modestly" (be it Christian, Jewish, Islamic etc) is that it takes responibility for men's sexual behaviour out of the hands of men - where it belongs - and places it squarely on women. I believe that men have full control over their sexual impulses and to say otherwise not only infantalises men but also sets us along a very dangerous and slippery slope toward blaming the victim for male sexual violence.

In some religions the head is covered as an act of subservience to a/the higher power. Head covering in those religions is about the woman's (or man's)direct and personal relationship with her/his God. The hijab however is not about a woman's direct and personal relationship with Allah but rather is about womens' relationships with men and society and concern that human beings - and especially men - are somehow less than capable of controlling their sexual impulses and desires. I refuse to believe this is true.

If a woman chose to wear the hijab and told me that it had nothing to do with how men perceived her and had nothing to do with sexaul issues, then I would have no problem at all with it. But that is not what the hijab is about.

One can try and say that men also are expected to dress modestly in Islam but the truth is that Iran's (very talented) football team is not wearing the same outfit that the women's tennis team are wearing are they?

Having said all that, if a woman freely and after due consideration makes a personal choice (not one imposed on her by the State or by her family etc etc) to wear the hijab, then, while I may not like what it represents (same as I would not really like a woman who chose to wear a bikin down the high street), i would nevertheless support her right to wear it.

And of course their sexism in other religions and other cultures ... noone is claiming otherwise.

And BTW - Iranian sportswomen have admitted widely and freely that they do not have any choice over what they wear as their uniforms are state mandated and many feel that they cannot compete at the same level as other women as a result and feel hard done by because of it (http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/sep/16flip.htm).

Yes, Safina is a Tatar Muslims. Sania Mirza is also Muslim.

Finally, I hope nobody on these boards is offended by comments here - this is a good and important discussion and especially so in the context of sport. All the best everyone and Happy Year of the Oxe (Gung hei fat choi).

oddman said...

HoiHa -

Applause!

oddman said...

I am not offended at all, loved your informative post.

And a Happy New Year to you too.

dapxin said...

just to subscribe to this.

scintillating indeed !

Savannah said...

HoiHa thank you for your post and for breaking down what wearing the hijab is all about.

It is also a very good idea to keep in mind that beliefs other than Islam require "modest" dress from it's female members while the men can wear whatever they so desire. In the United States this was seen very recently in the dress of a polygamous sect in the state of Texas. In fact many fundamentalist Christian sects have strict dress codes for their women.

Savannah said...

As for Dinara I think that because the Soviet Union/Russia was officially atheist for so long it's peoples no matter their religious affiliation changed from traditional to modern dress in order to comply with state law. When you see her mother she is always dressed "modestly".

I'm not sure what traditional Tatar women's attire is though.

Matt said...

An unrelated comment but somethind equally as fascinating: Why is there this recent wave of players now representing KAZ? I've notived Yaroslava Shvedova, Galina Voskoboeva (both formerly Russian) and now Sesil Karatancheva (formerly Bulgarian) are all representing KAZ. Does anyone know why this is??

Craig Hickman said...

Great question, Matt.

HoiHa said...

A timely article about women in Iran beginning to pressure for greater rights has just been filed by the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/world/middleeast/13iran.html?_r=1&hp