Posted by Niko on May 07, 2001 at 05:22:14:
In Reply to: Re: The Pope's visit to Greece posted by b on May 07, 2001 at 01:28:53:
Since my email had been so long I didn't ellaborate on many of my issues. As far as the headscarves goes I will make a few more comments. I have dated a few persian (I know Iranian is the correct way, but they prefer to be called persian because of the terrorist stereotype associated with Iran.) girls and although they don't wear the chador, they do have relatives that do. I asked them to comment on the perception of the veil being demeaning or oppresive by the west and they had this to say. They said that women in Iran felt that women in the west had fallen trap to the desires of men. By wearing more revealing clothing they were conforming to what the androcentric society wanted. Many felt more comfortable and safer because they did not have men checking them out. I know this drop dead gorgeous girl from Morocco. In Moroccco, you can wear what you like. She is engaged now to a Saudi guy and they are going to live in Saudi Arabia after they get married. I asked her if she had thought about the full covering she would have to wear, and she said that inside the home (in all most all muslim countries) you are not covered. As for outside, she felt very equal and united with her fellow women, and she didn't have to worry about being harrassed or stared at when she was just trying to take care her daily errons. It is an interesting concept isn't it? I took a class a while back that dealt with these varying perceptions. You are right there is a need for basic human rights, and you are right that some traditions should not be kept, but it is still so hard to draw that line, unless you can really look through the different social lenses.
: Just this year the Greek Patriarch accompanied the Pope during the Stations of the Cross during lent. The relationship between the Pope and the leaders of Greek Orthodoxy over the past few years have been terrific. No I don't believe the Orthodox Church would have attempted to block the Pope's visit. The tension between the two religions is, how did you put it, "cliche" at best. The Churches are working towards unity, the question is, are the followers following in step.
: I stand behind my statements regarding the Pope's influence in Eastern Europe and in particular the reunification of Germany. Their is an abundance of supporting evidence for this, least of which would be statements by the CIA which have given much credit to the Pope. It should be noted that I am not saying the Papacy, I refer only to Pope John Paul II. The man, not the office.
: I don't think there are general accusations of racism being made. I do beleive that term is being used when the subject of the need for ethnic purity is addressed. In those cases, the term racist is likely being used correctly.
: Back to the bargaining power issue. Though I know Greece is not a Theocracy, the very fact that 98%+ of the population is Greek Orthodox makes the power of religion a power, whether express or merely implied.
: There is great strength in your argument regarding what is accepted culturally is traditionally a matter of context. However, regardless of culture, there are certain practices which, regardless of what tradition holds, are utterly dispicable. It is an accepted custom in parts of China that if you give birth to a baby girl, tradition and custom say it is OK to drown the child and send it floating down the river. This is done because custom and tradition have placed a great amount of importance of carrying on the family name. The argument that custom and tradition should always be honored is silly at best. Your example in regard to female headware defies logic. The fact that woman began wearing them again did nothing to disprove that custom and tradition were opressive. They put them back on to assert a statement regarding an issue that was at best indirectly realted.
: None the less, I did like your comments and enjoyed reading them. They have given me much to consider.
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