Free Your Mind

Prejudice, wrote a song about it
Like to hear it? Here it go . . .

Okay, no, I didn’t actually write a song about prejudice. But I felt like En Vogue was the perfect way to start this post.

I haven’t been super active in blogging recently (more on that later) but I have has a post fermenting in my mind for the past week or so that is finally ready for sharing. Often I’ll have an idea of something I want to write about but there is a piece missing. This piece was just delivered to me by one of my excellent co-workers on Saturday when we were driving back from a weekend conference.

I am reading a book of essays called “The Veil: Women Writers on it’s History, Lore, and Politics” by Jennifer Heath for my last assignment of my college career.

This is exactly how I feel about this development

One essay in this book is talking about the power that veiling can give to women in Islam. The line that really stood out to me is that (and I’m para-phrasing here) there is great power is seeing but not actually being seen. What an interesting idea. I’ll say it again: There is great power is seeing but not being seen.

How many of us feel that Islamic women are being oppressed when we see them fully veiled?

Are you more likely to see this?
Or this?

On the flip side, my co-worker was telling me about an experience he had while visiting St. Louis recently. He was there with his girlfriend to celebrate his grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. They were at a fairly trendy restaurant in downtown St. Louis when they saw a parade of bikes go past. It took them several seconds to realize that all the people on the bikes were naked. Utilizing mobile technology his cousins realized that this was a nationwide movement to promote body acceptance.

To me, this is amazing. However, I realize how two such polar opposites accomplishing the same thing could be difficult to digest. How can showing off your entire body or showing almost none of your body accomplish the same goal?

In short, I believe this is possible because the individuals on both sides of the spectrum are doing whatever it is that they’re doing because they choose to. Choice is so critical in empowerment. However, it is difficult to tell from the outside if a person is making a choice or not. While this results in usually negative results (judgement, etc) I believe this could actually be a positive. Rather than closing dialogue we can open it up and understand our mutual goals.

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