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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Laura Bush Dons Hijab

posted by on October 25 at 13:50 PM

Hey, remember when Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went to Syria and donned a hijab, the traditional head covering worn by women in Islamic countries?

Who could forget comments from right-wingers like this:

It pains the left too, I’m sure, to see the most powerful woman in America having to yield, however slightly, to a misogynistic culture’s expectations.

Or this:

Feminist in America, subservient in Syria.

Or this:

“This picture disgusts me. What message is Nancy Pelosi trying to send?

Or this, this, this, and this.

So I’m sure the right will have a lot to say about Laura Bush’s decision to wear a hijabagain—during a visit to Saudi Arabia this week.


[Crickets chirping]


RSS icon Comments


the terrorists have won

Posted by kinkos | October 25, 2007 1:51 PM

Empress Palpatine?

Posted by Packratt | October 25, 2007 1:58 PM

God. You gave her headline. That's like giving her head. What are you doing?

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 25, 2007 2:02 PM

I hate those damn things. I DO think they are a security risk when women have to wear them for IDs. I think it's fucking absurd that the women are forced to wear them, resent them. And that muslim who aren't allowed to wear them want to wear them.

They should be burned. It's a petty disagreement and demeaning to all of us. We can thank Muhamad's first wife for that! No evidence to suggest any of his other wives wore or bought any of it!

Posted by OR Matt | October 25, 2007 2:02 PM

I think it's fucking absurd that we went after Afganistan and Iraq after 9/11 and didn't instead bomb the fuck out of Saudi Arabia. Oh yeah, oil.

Posted by monkey | October 25, 2007 2:10 PM

at least pelosi was wearing a scarf that was clearly designed for the fall season [cream and beige, covered with autumn leaves], even though her visit was in the spring. if you can't bomb them with real bombs, bomb them with bad fashion, i always say.

Posted by brandon | October 25, 2007 2:11 PM

That last photo makes it look more like she's wearing some sort of designer hoodie...

Posted by COMTE | October 25, 2007 2:25 PM

Strict Muslims see women's hair the way we see tits. We arbitrarily say that some parts of the body must be covered, and they arbitrarily say there are others that must be covered. Depending on the country and the context and how strict they are.

I'm just glad there are no nudist nations who want to bomb us because we wear pants. No really: The Spartans, for example were like "Pants? Die, you wearer of PANTS! DIE!"

Posted by elenchos | October 25, 2007 2:26 PM

Uh, isn't it a bit imperialistic to condemn a piece of cloth as misogynistic or subservient? If the woman wearing it doesn't see it that way, then it isn't. One could argue for a lack of education, etc., but it doesn't mean a woman hasn't made an informed choice about wearing a hijab. Aren't we trying to kill a similar kind of prejudice about women (and hell, men) who choose to stay home and raise kids rather than work?

Elenchos mentions breasts (hey, when aren't we?) so is it misogynistic if I cover mine up? Sure, I don't like that one reason I do that is because if I don't, some men would probably harass me, but I don't feel oppressed. Plus, they get cold really easily.

Posted by Gloria | October 25, 2007 3:03 PM

@4: Your fiery rhetoric makes me unsure as to what you want burned: the headscarves, or the women?

Posted by John | October 25, 2007 3:44 PM

@4 - as others have noted, I don't really see how covered hair on women is necessarily a more or less arbitrary social norm than, say, covered breasts. Nor does hair covering introduce any particular practical issues in everyday life. (The same might not be said about a burqa, however.)

Posted by tsm | October 25, 2007 3:46 PM

in the First Lady's defense, she WAS probably drunk when she did it...

Posted by michael strangeways | October 25, 2007 3:48 PM

I think she's saying that she's in favor of FGM.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 25, 2007 3:53 PM

Hmmm...what should we think when we
see a nun wearing her habit or a
bride with veil walking down the
aisle at a marriage ceremony?

--- Jensen

Posted by Jensen Interceptor | October 25, 2007 4:29 PM

@14 - We should think "Congratulations!"

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 25, 2007 4:45 PM

Uh, because breasts are actual sexual characteristics, while hair is

It's a shame the hood didn't close in the front with no air openings.

Posted by Fnarf | October 25, 2007 4:46 PM

I think if you're traveling in public places in a culture where hajib is the norm that it's only polite (and diplomatic) to dress accordingly. It's different if you're a Westerner who's only visiting official places that are used to receiving foreigners.

I would be more worried if either Pelosi or Laura Bush were disregarding local custom.

Many women who dress in hijab do not consider it repressive, just like many women in this country who wear a shirt and bra in summer heat don't consider it repressive. In fact, in both cases, it's often seen as more comfortable and less embarrassing than the alternative.

Posted by Cascadian | October 25, 2007 4:53 PM

Nancy Reagan wouldn't be caught dead wearing one of those tacky things. You just know that Nancy saw that on MSNBC and thought to herself "That Laura really is just a piece of common trash!"

Posted by Nicole | October 25, 2007 5:40 PM

All GOP women should wear these. Their dry, unused crotches will be covered.

Posted by isabelita | October 25, 2007 5:50 PM


Some people have a sexual fetish for hair. Like me. Mmmmm...grey.

"It's a shame the hood didn't close in the front with no air openings."

It's a shame the chick to the left didn't bludgeon her to death with a big fuckin' rock.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 25, 2007 6:32 PM

I think it's her Halloween costume.

Posted by bigdeal | October 25, 2007 9:23 PM

Uh, Fnarf? Please explain how breasts are "sexual characteristics." Last time I checked, they were a mammalian characteristic.

Posted by elm | October 26, 2007 9:58 AM

Actually, the right-wing has taken Laura Bush to task. Start with Little Green Footballs, move on to Hot Air.

Before you cry hypocrisy, first make sure it has actually occurred. Speaking of hypocrisy, how about that "feminist" Nancy Pelosi wearing a hijab when she went to Syria? Screaming "Laura Bush did it too!" doesn't change the argument.

Posted by Chanman | October 26, 2007 11:08 PM

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