How Veil and Burqa Increase Sexual Abuse and Crime against Women – 5 Apr 11


Yesterday I said that boys have to be supported just like poor girls. There are however of course many topics in today’s societies around the world that show that gender equality is still a problem and that girls and women need support. You can see that for example at the rate of crimes and abuse against women. I would like to write today about the connection of those crimes with the tradition of covering face and the whole body and also the fact that sex is a complete taboo in many countries.

There are many countries in which young people don’t have any kind of sex education. There, sex is a taboo and nobody will talk to them about it. Their parents and their teachers won’t explain them what is going on in their body. They may learn about the sexual organs in the body, in a dry and somehow quick, superficial biology lesson. And that’s it. Whatever they want to get to know has to be taken from talk of elder teenagers or young adults.

In a modern world however, they have other ways of getting to information. There are books, magazines, films, videos and there is the very big world of the internet. What they see and find there, let’s their fantasy go wild. They watch movies and they see on TV or online what nobody wanted to describe to them. The problem is, boys may see naked women on TV, but they don’t see a piece of skin even in their real world.

You all know that in the religion of Islam women are encouraged, in some countries even forced, to wear a burqa, a piece of clothing that covers the face, the head and often even the complete body. Also in Hinduism, there are some people and traditions which say that women should cover their face and head and some women thus always wear a veil and never show their face in public.

In my opinion this can create problems in the mentality and psychology of young men who see through modern media what could be but are not allowed to talk about it. It is unreachable! They cannot talk about sex, their desires and feelings, let alone have sex! All around them they only see women covered from head to toe. Of course, what they see in movies is only drama, acting by professionals. Seeing this, what has been made a taboo, makes them however urge for it and their sexual desire can get overwhelming.

This kind of situation can create a sickness in the mind which leads to horrible cases of abuse. Young women, girls and even children are seen as soft and easy targets. They bait them and kidnap them, take them along, rape them and sometimes even kill them.

In my opinion traditions like the veil and the complete covering of the body can bring sickness to the minds of mentally unstable people. Of course the biggest problem is that a fully natural thing, sex, is made a taboo. In a modern world you cannot live like this because it is all around you.

In a modern world, you have to have gender equality. There is nothing that would elevate men above women or the other way around. If you say there is equality, then why do women have to cover themselves and their beauty? So that men don’t get excited, attracted and aroused? Why don’t men have to cover themselves then? Couldn’t women get aroused in the same way? Sometimes I hear arguments saying that women are sinful and with their bodies want to attract men towards sin which is why they have to cover it. Any religion, law or society that makes women in any way ‘second grade’ or lower in value than men is discriminating women. Men and women are equal in value. Any other idea and attitude leads to crime, domestic violence and sexual abuse.

There are more crimes against women and children in uneducated countries and those in which sexuality is suppressed in society. You need to see this good side of western culture. You say that they are too open with their sex education and they lead children to forget any kind of moral or value but because of those measurements, because of being clear and aware about sex, young women know that nobody is allowed to touch or molest them. And young men learn what is real and what is only drama on TV.


  1. Marcus O’Connor

    Whenever I talk about the topic of the burqa, one of my friends (who is always very precise about tolerance etc) says that those women may simply like to do that, that nobody forces them to cover themselves. The point is however, as you say, that they are taught they have to cover hair in front of men. It is just like you are taught that it is a sin not to say your prayers three times a day. It is a dogma, a doctrine, a law of a religion and that is in itself not tolerant. I can say five hundred times that I don’t mind them wearing a burqa but I still belief that they do it because their religion forces them to.

  2. Alexandra

    Interesting viewpoint. I personally know a few women who declare from their own free will to be wearing the burqa. When I however see that sometimes, when they think themselves unseen, it slips down and they then look around nervously if someone saw it, I feel they are too nervous about it to be from their own free will. I agree about the tolerance point though!

  3. Carl

    There are hundreds of years of suppression of women behind this tradition of the burqa – you won’t change it and neither will I, but we can write about it, make the issues public and let people know about! With public awareness, someday, it will get better.

  4. Jenni

    I remember reading some statistics about child-brides and how they are more often victims of sexual and domestic violence. The younger the bride, the more common the abuse of the wife. And, in addition to this, which was quite remarkable, if the husband is acting violently and rude towards the bride, the family of the husband will start to abuse the daughter-in-law, too.
    This is a good example for that not only the self-esteem of the girls should be increased but also that of the boys. If the boys feel themselves free to express themselves they don’t have to supress their young wifes.

    Another story assosiated to this diary comment is from my friend, who flew to Finland from Afghanistan tells me often about his past life in Afghanistan, where women are now obligued to wear the burkha. He sees it now as an act of violence. He tells me also, how in Afghanistan a love couple can be killed, if they are cought up. He analyses the result of the patriarchal and authoritative culture like this: If love and self-expression is forbidden, the poetry of life is gone. Without love the only thing that is left is violence. In thoughts, words or actions. Towards the others or yourself.

  5. Emily

    I think you are totally right about this, Swami. Hiding women only increases the sexual urge in men. They want what they can’t have. And why is it that Indian men mostly wear Western clothing but Indian women always wear saris and other traditional Indian clothing? This double standard bothers me. People should be allowed to wear whatever they want without seeming weird to others. Be free.

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