Ninjas, bank robbers, haz mat workers, surgeons--all of them are expected to hide most of their faces. the very sight of them scares us, to some degree and under certain circumstances. Am I right? Why? Is it only because they are armed with dangerous weapons or dangerous substances?
Would you be comfortable buying a car or a house from a man whose face is covered, so that only his eyes are showing?
Would it be natural for you to make a contract with a man who is masked/veiled, like the women of Afghanistan were/are for so long?
Would you feel doubtful of a witness on the stnad at a murder trial for which you were a juror, if he had half of his face obsccured from your view?
Are you willing to take advice from a counselor or an advisor or a plitician or a police officer whose face is half concealed by a scarf?
If the answers to my questions are "no", then tell me this: How can women live freely and independently in an egalitarian society if they cannot reveal their face in public without attracting scorn?
Who would gladly hand her their money for goods and services?
Who would trust her testimony in court?
Who would rely on her judgement in matters of politics, finances, technological knowledge, etc.?
Men cannot hide their faces in public, if they want to be given trust and respect from others. We wouldn't be at all confortable interaacting one-to-one with any guy whose face couldn't be searched for honesty.
But, some will say, a surgeoun can save our lives! And a Hazardous Materials Operative can protect us from contamination or untimely death! Yes. The extra coverings are to intended to protect, them from our blood or germs, or us from their their carried germs. In any case, someone is not safe while the mask/veil is on. Masks are barriers from danger and damage. They aren't hiding anything necessarily, right? They aren't purposefully concealing their identifying features or tell-tale emotions from everyone else, right?
By wearing their masks, they are not presuming that others cannot be trusted, that others are not in control of themselves on some level. There is no implicit judgement cast on others' characters or ethics by simply using their career-based coverings.
Do you see why I believe that keeping yourself "modest", "chaste", "pure", "proper", or "decent" by veiling yourself will prevent half of the population from ever being fully respected on their own terms as full human beings of value in society?
The veil will keep women in their status as second-class citizens, dependents, silent nonparticipants in matters of power and "flakey" in the eyes of those who are automatically given respect by virtue of the gender role assigned to them at birth.
I don't expect everyone to agree with me. Not at all. I only expect courtesy and tolerance of my personal point of view from anyone who may comment.
Maybe if I were smarter I could articulate my thoughts and feelings with more clarity, but I can only work with what I have. It occurs to me now that Mardi Gras or Carnivale participants also wear masks. It's done to hide their identities for a very short time. THe masks allow them to be somebody else for a while through concealment, but nobody wants to start a business with a stranger newly met on Fat Tuesday, who's masked! Nobody will lend him money or entrust their kids to such a man, right? Good parents NEVER let their kids run loose on the day before Lent begins. If we NEEDED to trust each other on that day, we'd be up the creek without a paddle.
Anyway, Happy Friday the Thirteenth!