Symbolic repression at the Democratic convention

In the background of far too many speeches made by Hillary Clinton, who I thoroughly admire, are a few Muslim women wearing head scarfs. This is troubling for several reasons, not the least of which is the symbolic message that these are women who accept being controlled by the wishes of their male dominated religion. They need to be covered to hide their sexuality and that’s fine with them. That this is antithetical to what the Democratic party is trying to promote is obvious.

Democrats are caught between a rock and a hard place; not wanting to exclude anyone on one hand and promoting women’s equality on the other. I don’t know the answer and neither does anyone else; at least for the time being.

It seems obvious that most Muslims living in this country are here to enjoy its freedoms and to their credit in most cases have given women the option of wearing a head scarf and big dark sun glasses in place  of the ghastly looking  burka. How often I have seen the joy on the face of a young Muslim female ordering coffee at the Starbucks I frequent in Malibu with joy on her face to be able to look as sexy as she can under the loosened restrictions that her religion still places upon her. Hopefully the scarf and sun glasses will soon be discarded.

Why don’t they reject that religion you might ask? I speak from experience. As a high school sophomore who had been raised to believe that god was not to be questioned or insulted, I literally shuddered when I drew up the courage to say “god damn.” When I read that Einstein did not believe in god I stood in disbelief when my favorite math teacher told me he didn’t either. Everyone believed in god, didn’t they? It would take a long time after for me to dispel completely what had been so deeply ingrained in me from birth. I imagine that similar thoughts are going through the minds of those Muslim females sitting behind Hillary when she makes her speeches. I can see that they are enjoying be part of the democratic process.

It’s perfectly understandable that Hillary knows this is not the time for her to make religion an issue, she has enough on her plate, but it is the time for pundits and news commentators to point out that religion continues to denigrate women’s rights. I understand that people like MSNBC’s Cameron Hall and Rachel Maddow can not speak as freely as I, a blogger and self published author, but it needs to be done. Bill Maher seems to be the only voice brave enough to speak out. More of us need to follow his lead and not kowtow to the whims of religion, whether they be Muslim, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu or Mormon. It’s time that women had their full day in the sun.




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