When we accept the unacceptable | Montreal Magazine

It’s a very terrifying picture.

A woman presents the news on television with her entire face hidden under a black piece of cloth. She is not sad. She grieves for her dignity and grieves for her identity.

Her mouth and nose are covered with a black cloth as if gagged, gagged and muffled.

How did the image of an Afghan broadcaster forced (like all her colleagues) to hide her face by the Taliban not provoke more reactions in the West?

Hide this woman!

I think you should thank the Taliban for not asking female announcers to read the news in burqas. I think they thought women would have a hard time reading the teleprompter through the little holes in the wire mesh.

But you might be wondering why these bad guys from the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice didn’t just stop women from appearing on TV.

The answer is simple: by keeping them on air and hiding behind this muzzle, the Taliban is sending a clear message: women’s bodies, their mouths, their noses, their ears, their hair is dangerous. They knew very well that this image of a woman with sad eyes would spread throughout the world.

When I saw this picture, I immediately thought The Scarlet Maid. In the case of this fantasy, enslaved women are forced to wear red clothes that they obliterate from public places. In the real case, enslaved women are forced to wear black clothes.

While women in Afghanistan are forced to hide their faces on television, here in the West the hijab is downplayed by its inclusion in advertisements.

When it’s not a sports company that shows us tracksuits completely covered in bulky loose clothing that hides her body, it’s banks, dental societies, and hardware stores that show us “variety” with veiled women, and sometimes even young girls.

Of course, in one case the flexion is forced, and in the other it is selective. But isn’t the picture given to us of the female body the same?

In solidarity with fellow female colleagues who were forced to hide their faces, TV presenters in Afghanistan wore a black mask.

In solidarity with their “Afghan sisters,” what have Western feminists done? They did nothing.

They’ve been too busy, I imagine, writing columns about the horror of Western patriarchy, about “wastefulness” (when a man explains to a woman something she already knows) or “stretching” (when a man spreads his legs on public transport).


When we felt that abortion was threatened in the United States, we denounced the control of women’s bodies. But when the Taliban controls women’s bodies by turning them into “dark maids,” should we remain silent? Makes me crimson.

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