Here in Canberra ABC news presenter Virginia Haussegger also writes a weekly column for The Canberra Times. Her latest piece calls on the Government to ban the ‘unAustralian’ burqa.
John wrote a letter in response to The Canberra Times. Here it is:
Virginia Haussegger has joined the authoritarian right with her call to ban the burqa.
Haussegger says she wants to yell at women who wear this piece of clothing. This is outrageous and has nothing to do with women’s liberation.
She is supporting the very processes that deem women incapable of making decisions for themselves.
Certainly her article may well embolden the racists to shout at or attack Muslim women and force them to stay inside.
Haussegger believes liberation comes from on high, from the very class which benefits from women’s oppression.
I believe true liberation comes out of the struggles of ordinary women and men against their oppression and exploitation.
But her support for liberation from above in Afghanistan (often in the form of drone missiles) shows she has little understanding of what liberation is about.
Haussegger has joined Sarkozy in his racist and Islamophobic attempts to divert attention away from the Great Recession as some sections of the French working class show through general strikes their real opposition to the President’s anti-worker and anti-women policies.
To talk, as Haussegger does, about being unAustralian – whatever that is other than a set of ruling class concoctions – is to adopt the language of racism, exclusion and cultural imperialism.
What next? A House Committee for unAustralian Activities?
And who makes a judgment as to what disempowers women? If burqas, why not bikinis?
I might for example think that beautified female TV news presenters are a more subtle and nuanced form of women’s oppression than burqas under capitalism. Should they too be banned?