Showing posts from September, 2016


I am in Istanbul on a religious bank holiday and the tourist sites throng with Turks and Arabs. The women all have their heads covered, some in full niqab made more sinister still with designer sunglasses. I feel oppressed and alienated.

This modesty imposed for centuries by patriarchal societies, is to protect men from their sexual desires. Whatever the historical and cultural reasons this is absolutely unacceptable to me. Is showing your hair really so inflammatory? Why can't men take responsibility for their sexual desires?

There is no hope for female equality. Millions and millions of women throughout the Middle East, across half of Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan remain second class citizens, often aborted, killed at birth, uneducated, valueless and in some societies victims of gender apartheid.
Yet as mothers, as the givers of life, we should be honoured and respected.

How many of those Istanbul tourists were genitally mutilated? (Ironically recent…