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Reblogged: Banning the Veil?

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Might the government of a free society ever be justified in banning the veil? I’m on the fence on the issue. In some cases, I’d say — very tentatively — that such a ban might be justified as a means of protecting rights. How so?

First, I don’t think that the veil could be banned on the grounds that it represents some kind of threat, implicit or otherwise. The veil signals the subjugation of women, not jihad. In contrast, the mere wearing of KKK garb is clearly an unspoken threat in certain circumstances, such as when a parade of clansmen march up and down the street of a new black family in the neighborhood. Such would be cause for vigorous investiation, if not arrests.

The case of the veil is far more similar to the following scenario:

Imagine that people from a certain far-away country keep chattel slaves. This slavery is not merely permitted by law, but encouraged by most of the culture as just and proper. Those slaves are marked not by their skin color, but rather by certain kinds of jewelry — loose manacles that limited movement and a mouthguard that prevents most speech. If seen without the manacles and mouthguard in public, a slave would be severely beaten, if not killed.

Some people from the slave country immigrate to a free nation. In free nation, chattel slavery is absolutely forbidden and regarded with abhorrence. Nonetheless, some of those immigrants bring their slaves with them — and keep them as slaves, out of the sight of the law. These slaves are so ignorant of their proper freedoms that they don’t know that they have rights, nor how to seek assistance from the law. Also, some slaves think that slavery is their proper condition in life, due to being raised with that ideology beaten into them, literally and figuratively. Of those who want to live free, they fear that any attempt at escape would mean death: they know that their owners, aided by other immigrants from the slave country, would seek them and likely kill them.

Law enforcement in the free nation works diligently to identify and free any chattel slaves imported into the country, as well as prosecute the slaveowners. However, because the immigrant community from the slave country is so insular, that government is unable to do so effectively. Slaves — in their manacles and mouthguards — can be seen walking the streets. If these slaves are questioned about their condition by law enforcement or others, they’ll deny that they’re slaves. They’ll say that they’re wearing the jewelry of their own free choice. Some will have a look of fear in their eyes. Others will warmly defend the jewelry as a positive good because they don’t want to move or speak much.

At its wits end and unwilling to tolerate slavery within its borders, the government of the free country bans the manacles and mouthguards as tools and symbols of slavery. They hope that the slaves — freed from the restrictions of their jewelry — will be able to interact with other people in society in normal ways and thereby escape their bondage. Of course, howls of protest are heard from the immigrant community, including from some slaves, about this violation of their rights to wear what jewelry they please.

However, the government argues that to wear the jewelry is to be a slave — symbolically and in fact. The clear symbolic meaning of the jewelry — as well as its isolating effect on a person — cannot be ignored. The manacles and mouthguard are not just some wacky jewelry: they’re part and parcel of a massive violation of rights. In addition, the government cannot know that those who claim to want to wear the jewelry actually want to do so of their own free choice, precisely because the jewelry marks a slave. The word of a person wearing the jewelry might actually be coerced by his or her master. Hence, the government bans the wearing of that particular kind of jewelry.

Is that just and proper? Perhaps so.

A proper government must doggedly protect the rights of all people within its jurisdiction. Apart from murder, slavery is the worst possible violation of those rights. Slavery cannot be tolerated, nor can slavery be voluntary. To speak of the derivative rights of the slave — like the right to wear certain jewelry — is sheer nonsense. Given the violation of his fundamental rights, that can only mean the “right” of his master to force him to wear the jewelry, if the master pleases. Only once the slaves are free people — free from the domination of and violence by another — can the question of their right to wear jewelry be sensibly discussed, because only then can they do so or not of their own choice, rather than by force or permission.

Hence, I doubt that to ban the jewelry would be a violation of rights — or perhaps, it’s a minor and temporary violation of a trivial right for the sake of securing the fundamental liberty. A person must be free of slavery — free of forcible domination by the will of another — before he can be free to choose anything else, including what to wear.

Similarly, millions of women living in Muslim countries and enclaves elsewhere exist in virtual slavery to their fathers, brothers, and husbands at present. Some women embrace that subjugation, yet it’s still indefensible. The veil is part of parcel of that slavery: the veil is a symbol of subjugation, as well as a means of isolating women from the broader culture in which they live. Many women are forced to veil themselves, under threat of violence.

So to speak of the “right to veil” ignores the fact that these women are not yet free to refuse to veil. They must be freed from their subjugation before they can exercise a free choice to veil or not. That might require banning the veil for a time, to allow them to become full-fledged members of the society.

Notably, I don’t think that banning the veil could be justified in the United States at present: most Muslim women are free to veil or not, as they see fit. I’m more sympathetic to bans on the veil in Europe, as the subjugation of Muslim women within Muslim enclaves is a serious problem. Even there, however, other measures might be far more effective — better policing, shelters from women fleeing their homes, posters informing women of their rights, and so on. I’m more inclined to support banning the veil in Muslim countries seeking to westernize — and hence, liberate their women from bondage. It’s a minor measure, and instantly liberating for many women. Alas, such might force women from devout families into complete seclusion, which would be worse. Hence, even in such circumstances, different measures might be more effective.

As I said, I’m up in the air. What do you think?

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You're making the same exact argument minimum wage advocates are making: the government knows better what's good for the "slaves" who would agree to work in inhumane conditions than they themselves know.

If fact, the definition of slavery is someone being held AGAINST their will. A slave is someone who wants to be free but can't. What you are describing (people who don't know enough to want what's good for them, and therefor the state should do their thinking for them) is a myth used by statists to justify rights violations.

Such people don't really exist. Mind control (brainwashing) is an urban legend, not a scientific fact. (except for Sgt. Brody in Homeland: he's totally the real deal, and don't anyone dare ruin the premise of that show for me)

Hence, I doubt that to ban the jewelry would be a violation of rights — or perhaps, it’s a minor and temporary violation of a trivial right for the sake of securing the fundamental liberty.

And I think that allowing the government to engage in rights violating behavior would in fact achieve the opposite of securing fundamental liberty: it would secure fundamental bondage for everyone.

Edited by Nicky
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However, the government argues that to wear the jewelry is to be a slave — symbolically and in fact.

Then the government's position doesn't even come close to being logical or rational.

The clear symbolic meaning of the jewelry — as well as its isolating effect on a person — cannot be ignored.

"The" symbolic meaning of the jewelry? As if there's only one possible symbolic meaning of it? So if someone interprets their choosing to wear a piece of jewelry to mean something other than what you've asserted that it can only mean, then they're just 'really wrong' aesthetically and should be forcibly prevented from expressing their symbolism?

As I said, I’m up in the air. What do you think?

I guess that what I think is that it's odd that you're up in the air on the issue based on such an irrational argument.

Your conflict appears to be that you have the desire to use the initiation of force to control symbolic expressions that you don't like, you seem to recognize that Objectivism doesn't allow for that, so you seem to be trying to see if there's a way to bend Objectivism and reality to your desired outcome.

There isn't.

So the solution to your conflict is to abandon your irrational desire to initiate force.

J

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Your conflict appears to be that you have the desire to use the initiation of force to control symbolic exp<b></b>ressi&#111;ns that you don't like, you seem to recognize that Objectivism doesn't allow for that, so you seem to be trying to see if there's a way to bend Objectivism and reality to your desired outcome.

I say let’s first ban Mormon underwear. ‘Cos Mormon’s are bad, mmmkay? They subjugate their women and such. The only problem is now we’ll have to have everyone wear their underwear on the outside, otherwise we’d have to have an intrusive police state (Egad!) to check for compliance.

mormon%20underwear-thumb-565x423.jpg

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I say let’s first ban Mormon underwear. ‘Cos Mormon’s are bad, mmmkay?

I think that banning Mormon underwear would be the third thing to go under the method being proposed above. The first would be the veil, and the second would be Objectivism. After all, a lot of normal, psychologically well-adjusted non-Objectivists think that Objectivism is a cult, and that Objectivists are brainwashed. These rational and psychologically healthy people observe that some Objectivists even give up the idea of having a normal, productive career and of focusing on their own lives and happiness in order to spend all of their time and energy promoting Ayn Rand's ideas and trying to get other people to believe in them. They see that some Objectivists have long personal histories of very angrily ending close, valuable relationships with family members, friends and associates due to a cult-like passion or fever for Objectivism. With that type of behavior, how do we know that they're freely choosing for themselves rather than being threatened or otherwise pressured by others in a cult? So, maybe we should ban Objectivism for a generation, use government force to protect Objectivists from harm, pressure and themselves by isolating them from each other, and then, some years from now, maybe we can allow Objectivism to be read and discussed again and see if the braiwashed fanaticism aspect of it has faded or disappear? And if not, we ban it again.

Anybody "up in the air" on that?

J

Edited by Jonathan13
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I think that banning Mormon underwear would be the third thing to go under the method being proposed above.

No no no, you’re not getting it. Oppress the Mormon’s first, because at least since Mountain Meadows they’ve been progressively pussified to such a point that they had a new revelation in order to comply with civil rights legislation. I’m saying their corner of the tent is the easiest to get the camel’s nose in under. Then, once we’ve undermined that pesky First Amendment, we can start implementing Objectivist solutions to all our most pressing problems, like that imminent theocratic takeover that Objectivism predicts. Also, the culture must be saved, for instance, no more of that caterwauling and headbanging, Adam Lanza must give way to Mario Lanza, there are two America’s and we must make a choice.

That’s all I’ve got time for now, but maybe I’ll share some more Modest Proposals later.

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No no no, you’re not getting it. Oppress the Mormon’s first, because at least since Mountain Meadows they’ve been progressively pussified to such a point that they had a new revelation in order to comply with civil rights legislation.

I don't think that the idea is to "oppress" anyone, but to save them from themselves. So, I think that what you meant to say is that the Mormons should be the first because they are the easiest to save from themselves, no? The initiation of force just sounds so much better when disguised in the language of virtue!

I’m saying their corner of the tent is the easiest to get the camel’s nose in under. Then, once we’ve undermined that pesky First Amendment, we can start implementing Objectivist solutions to all our most pressing problems, like that imminent theocratic takeover that Objectivism predicts. Also, the culture must be saved, for instance, no more of that caterwauling and headbanging, Adam Lanza must give way to Mario Lanza, there are two America’s and we must make a choice.

No, Mario Lanza sometimes sang about being a dedicated servant of God and stuff like that, so he's out, along with the False Friends of Objectivism who promote his art. In saving people from themselves, we can't allow any music that is obviously objectively inferior due the fact that it promotes religious beliefs.

J

Edited by Jonathan13
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I don't think that the idea is to "oppress" anyone, but to save them from themselves. So, I think that what you meant to say is that the Mormons should be the first because they are the easiest to save from themselves, no? The initiation of force just sounds so much better when disguised in the language of virtue!

Well dagumit. You can tell I wrote hurriedly, since I neglected to substitute a good euphemism for “oppress”. Even the Doctor doesn’t bat a thousand.

No, Mario Lanza sometimes sang about being a dedicated servant of God and stuff like that, so he's out,

By that standard even Rachmaninov is out. There’s no evidence Lanza was ever exposed to Objectivism, even though he died a little after Atlas was published, so he gets a pass. Like Aquinas and Aristotle. As for religious music, we can always retrofit it with secular words for all future performances. Like the opening of Handel’s Messiah: “Comfort ye producers, saith John Galt…”

Edited by Ninth Doctor
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Hsieh has an actual philosophical claim buried in her article.

A person must be free of slavery — free of forcible domination by the will of another — before he can be free to choose anything else, including what to wear.

In other words, this is a claim that rights are hierarchical. This is true and aligns with Rand's identification that "There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. The particular identification Hsieh makes here is another bit of the structure of rights.

Also note that in no case should the testimony of a chattel slave be given credibility in a court if the slave is to be returned to the custody and possible retribution of a master after testifying. Given Hsieh's hypothetical of massive redundant evidence enabling an objectively justified conclusion about the significance of the jewelry, a single individual's subjective claim to the contrary about her own state of mind cannot be believed.

Edit: Hsieh is right.

Edited by Grames
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Hsieh has an actual philosophical claim buried in her article.

In other words, this is a claim that rights are hierarchical. This is true and aligns with Rand's identification that "There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. The particular identification Hsieh makes here is another bit of the structure of rights.

Also note that in no case should the testimony of a chattel slave be given credibility in a court if the slave is to be returned to the custody and possible retribution of a master after testifying. Given Hsieh's hypothetical of massive redundant evidence enabling an objectively justified conclusion about the significance of the jewelry, a single individual's subjective claim to the contrary about her own state of mind cannot be believed.

Edit: Hsieh is right.

The state doesn't return adults to people's custody. Edited by oso
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The state doesn't return adults to people's custody.

What Grames is talking about did apply to the Elián González case. People argued that nothing the father said should be taken at face value, since he was (with his family) trapped in a dictatorship. However within the US, and at the family and “community” level, one can leave a bad situation, by going to a battered women’s shelter, or whatever. Part of what made me think of Mormons is that they are known to shun anyone who leaves the church, so yeah, you want to stop wearing the veil (er, special underwear), you’re probably going to lose your family and friends. The Government has a proper role in this, where again?

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"The" symbolic meaning of the jewelry? As if there's only one possible symbolic meaning of it? So if someone interprets their choosing to wear a piece of jewelry to mean something other than what you've asserted that it can only mean, then they're just 'really wrong' aesthetically and should be forcibly prevented from expressing their symbolism?

Damn straight! There's no possible scenario under which this woman chose to wear this "necklace":

www_plus613_net_image017.jpg

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In other words, this is a claim that rights are hierarchical. This is true and aligns with Rand's identification that "There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. The particular identification Hsieh makes here is another bit of the structure of rights.

Also note that in no case should the testimony of a chattel slave be given credibility in a court if the slave is to be returned to the custody and possible retribution of a master after testifying.

How do we know that you haven't been threatened into agreeing with Hsieh? I mean, there have been many instances in the past of Objectivists being shunned/excommunicated. Their "crime" was nothing but the fact that they had expressed disagreement with a self-proclaimed authority's opinions and thereby challenged their imagined authority. They were thus cast out as untouchables, and separated from longtime friends and associates, as well as from previous sources of income -- in some cases their sole sources of income. With a public track record like that, how do we know that you're not under the threat of losing relationships and your source of income? For all I know, you're standing up for Hseih's irrational argument because you fear losing something that you value. Just the simple fact that you're supporting such a clearly irrational argument makes me very suspicious that someone might be holding some sort of power over you.

Given Hsieh's hypothetical of massive redundant evidence enabling an objectively justified conclusion about the significance of the jewelry, a single individual's subjective claim to the contrary about her own state of mind cannot be believed.

Why do you assume that an individual's claim about her state of mind or about the symbolic meaning that she finds in the jewelry must by "subjective"? Perhaps the point that you're missing is that there is not only a single "objectively justified conclusion" when it comes to symbolism. The "massive redundant evidence" that Hsieh cited could also be used to objectively support additional interpretations or expressions of symbolism.

For example, if a group of activists were to announce on television that they were going to wear the "jewelry" or the veil as a symbol of solidarity with all other oppressed women, suddenly the jewelry is not only a symbol of slavery, but also a symbol of defiance.

Are you aware of how the symbolism of the cross has changed over time? Do you imagine that there has always been only one single objectively justifiable interpretation of its symbolism? Think of its potential meanings before and after Christ. Understand?

If one person uses an image of a flame as symbolically representing the warmth of human benevolence and the passion of the intellect, and another uses it as a symbol of destruction, do you grasp how both symbolic uses of it are "objectively justified"?

Edit: Hsieh is right.

She hasn't taken a position. So are you saying that not taking a position is right? And when she decides one way or the other, is that then the right position? Sorry, but I'm getting the impression again that you're not really thinking freely and clearly, but that perhaps someone is holding something over you and demanding that you support an irrational position.

J

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Hsieh has an actual philosophical claim buried in her article.

That's only true if you define freedom properly: freedom from physical force. "forcible domination by the will of another" is a purposefully vague phrase, that fails to establish that standard.

In reality, like I said, there's no such thing as mind control (domination by the will of another without force or the threat of force).

P.S. To suggest that slavery cannot be ended by the full investigative and punitive power of a state that forbids the initiation of physical force, but it can be ended if that same state is allowed to just start banning symbols, is ridiculous. In any scenario.

Slave ownership isn't caused or facilitated by symbols, it is caused and facilitated by the use of physical force. The solution is the banning of the use of physical force, not the banning of symbols.

Edited by Nicky
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That's only true if you define freedom properly: freedom from physical force. "forcible domination by the will of another" is a purposefully vague phrase, that fails to establish that standard.

In reality, like I said, there's no such thing as mind control (domination by the will of another without force or the threat of force).

Given Hsieh's definition of slavery — "forcible domination by the will of another" — if 'forcible' refers only to the use of physical force then there is nothing vague about it.

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Hsieh has an actual philosophical claim buried in her article.

In other words, this is a claim that rights are hierarchical. This is true and aligns with Rand's identification that "There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. The particular identification Hsieh makes here is another bit of the structure of rights.

Also note that in no case should the testimony of a chattel slave be given credibility in a court if the slave is to be returned to the custody and possible retribution of a master after testifying. Given Hsieh's hypothetical of massive redundant evidence enabling an objectively justified conclusion about the significance of the jewelry, a single individual's subjective claim to the contrary about her own state of mind cannot be believed.

Edit: Hsieh is right.

The idea that rights are "hierarchical" refer to the fact that one properly first understands that man has a right to his own life and then one understands that man has a right to property, etc. It proceeds in that order and on that basis; one doesn't instead move from a right to property to a right to life, or hold a right to property as being provable "on its own merit."

However, it does not mean that one's right to his own life is therefore somehow superior to his right to property (or someone else's right to property). It does not mean that we implement a "right to life" first, and then, when we're able, we also implement "property rights." Once we have come to the (hierarchical) conclusion that a right to life necessarily and inescapably demands property rights, then we also realize that the only way to implement a "right to life" at all is by a strict observance of property rights:

The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible.

So, we do not advance the cause of rights or someone's "right to life" by restricting their right to, for instance, wear a veil. That is rather a direct violation of a man's right to life. It is not a blow against slavery, but the implementation of government-enforced slavery.

What is the basic, the essential, the crucial principle that differentiates freedom from slavery? It is the principle of voluntary action versus physical coercion or compulsion.

The OP is flirting with the implementation of governmental physical coercion -- that is what it would mean to ban the veil. And while the ends are understandable, the proposed means would strike a blow against freedom, as such, and for that reason should not be undertaken.

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BTW, would anyone object to banning Catholic nun's habits?

Sound%20of%20Music%20Nuns%20Marni%20Nixon%20Second%20from%20left.jpg

Oh wait, there's a difference, nuns choose to become nuns. Sure, some (all?) are brainwashed, but, um, it's different mmmkay? And then if they don't like it, they can leave, it's always easy to leave, get a regular job and so on, no one's ever felt trapped I'm sure. People are usually born to Mormonism or Islam, so maybe we ought to forcibly stop that. No? Ok ok, substitute a soothing euphemism for 'forcibly stop', now are you onboard?

I'm afraid that where the phrase "forcible domination by the will of another" is being used above, we ought to substitute "a hungry man is not free". Doesn't it amount to the same thing? Living in the US, if you want to leave a situation where you're being "forced" (or "strongly encouraged", at the risk of being euphemistic) to wear particular clothing, you can do it, but you might lose your meal ticket. Hell, that could happen in a hippie commune, if you're the lone wolf who won't wear Birkenstocks. That's it, I've got the solution, it's been staring us in the face all the time: uniforms! Like in a lot of private schools, and even some public ones, everyone gets a uniform, and that's all anyone's allowed to wear.

Edited by Ninth Doctor
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I'm afraid that where the phrase "forcible domination by the will of another" is being used above, we ought to substitute "a hungry man is not free". Doesn't it amount to the same thing?

No, because hunger is not physical force. Physical force is demonstable, provable and objective as a standard because it leaves physical evidence behind.

As part of the de-Nazification of Hitler's Germany after WW2 the swastika and other accouterments and souvenirs of the Nazi era were simply banned. That was not a rights violation but a justified retaliatory use of force against Nazis, their fellow travelers and their useful idiots. The Reconstruction period after the American Civil War was ended prematurely so the Klu Klux Klan and Jim Crow laws were not prevented by an occupying army, enabling additional generations of massive rights violations for former slaves and their descendants. In Hsieh's example it is justified to use force to retaliate against and defeat slavers.

What remains to be established in the case of banning the veil is that the subordination of women in Islam is an initiation of force. Given the outrageous record of decapitations, shootings and maimings (definitive examples of physical force, not mere social pressure or brainwashing) of muslim wives and daughters by muslim husbands and fathers that is not an impossible case to make.

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No, because hunger is not physical force. Physical force is demonstable, provable and objective as a standard because it leaves physical evidence behind.

Obviously I’m saying it’s not really physical force, and there’s a bogus attempt to equate the two afoot here.

As part of the de-Nazification of Hitler's Germany after WW2 the swastika and other accouterments and souvenirs of the Nazi era were simply banned.

Muslims in the US are like Nazi’s in Germany? Come on. Now that I think of it, I recently posted a clip of Christopher Hitchens (on the D’Souza thread) claiming that you can rewrite any history of Fascism in the 20th century by substituting “Catholic right wing” for Fascism, and have an equally valid result. Let’s get back to banning nun’s headgear!

What remains to be established in the case of banning the veil is that the subordination of women in Islam is an initiation of force. Given the outrageous record of decapitations, shootings and maimings (definitive examples of physical force, not mere social pressure or brainwashing) of muslim wives and daughters by muslim husbands and fathers that is not an impossible case to make.

“Outrageous record”, in the US? Now I know there have been cases, but how do they stack up to abortion clinic bombings and various other outrages that can be chalked up to Christianity in the US?

How many Muslim women swearing on how many stacks of Korans that they choose to wear a veil, that it’s what they want to do, husband or no, would be necessary for banning it to be a violation of rights? How about if we find a widow whose children are all secularized and who even tell her they wish she’d stop wearing a veil, but she keeps on doing it anyway because dammit she regards it as part of her religion? Think there are no such people?

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“Outrageous record”, in the US? Now I know there have been cases, but how do they stack up to abortion clinic bombings and various other outrages that can be chalked up to Christianity in the US?

If abortion clinic bombers belonged to some kind of club and often wore a jaunty hat or something so they could recognize each other to trade tips and stories then they would be relevant to compare to the muslim veil or Hsieh's hypothetical slave jewelry. But they don't so ...

How many Muslim women swearing on how many stacks of Korans that they choose to wear a veil, that it’s what they want to do, husband or no, would be necessary for banning it to be a violation of rights? How about if we find a widow whose children are all secularized and who even tell her they wish she’d stop wearing a veil, but she keeps on doing it anyway because dammit she regards it as part of her religion? Think there are no such people?

As each maimed or murdered muslim female has a terroristic effect on multiple other muslim females creating silence, there should be some kind of multiplier put on the victim count to offset the pro-veil count.

If the problem is one of finding some way to set a threshold or degree of correlation that must be exceeded before taking action then the principle that such things can be banned at all has been conceded.

Edited by Grames
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If abortion clinic bombers belonged to some kind of club and often wore a jaunty hat or something so they could recognize each other to trade tips and stories then they would be relevant to compare to the muslim veil or Hsieh's hypothetical slave jewelry. But they don't so ...

They wear crosses, carry bibles, and have bumper stickers and such like. How about banning those things?

If the problem is one of finding some way to set a threshold or degree of correlation that must be exceeded before taking action then the principle that such things can be banned at all has been conceded.

Not at all. When I wrote “how many”, I was assuming the answer was one.

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Damn straight! There's no possible scenario under which this woman chose to wear this "necklace":

www_plus613_net_image017.jpg

if this is a poll, my answer is probably real. which given today's 'day and age' is sayin' sumptin

I would like to add here, that as far as I know, there is no casual link between appreciaction and degradation nor should there be.

Edited by tadmjones
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Given Hsieh's definition of slavery — "forcible domination by the will of another" — if 'forcible' refers only to the use of physical force then there is nothing vague about it.

She's not referring only to physical force. The whole thread is about something other than physical force: symbols, such as the mouth guard and the veil. She is suggesting that these symbols are tools for subjugation, and that banning them would help remove subjugation.

Can something other than physical force be a tool for subjugation? Simple question. Yes, or no?

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She's not referring only to physical force. The whole thread is about something other than physical force: symbols, such as the mouth guard and the veil. She is suggesting that these symbols are tools for subjugation, and that banning them would help remove subjugation.

Can something other than physical force be a tool for subjugation? Simple question. Yes, or no?

Yes. Absolutely.

Referring back to an historical case of actual slavery, the fact that the chattel slaves in the United States were almost uniformly Africans or descendants of Africans and so were an obvious 'black' minority in a 'white' majority population made such outward marks and signs of ownership as uniforms or jewelry unnecessary. The black-white distinction was an incredibly useful enabling factor in perpetuating the slave system.

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