Thursday, August 30, 2007

3 Indicatives ... No Imperatives (Yet)

An obvious reality when one compares the Muslim world -- just the common, run-of-the-mill Muslim world that exists in good and growing numbers in, say, northern Virginia -- to that of the non-Muslim world that coexists right beside it is the sharp distinction of the sexes in terms of gender roles and appearances.

Some of the most obvious distinctions, at least to the untrained eye, are (1) women's head-covering (hejab) and flowing garb (rather than jeans and a tee) as a norm rather than an exception, while men generally wear western garb; (2) the preponderance of women in such apparel to be seen (a) are exclusively following their husbands while shepherding at least three children close in age to one another, or, if not married, (b) are with two or three other young women similarly garbed; and (3) are quite capable of carrying out conversations with great facility in either English or Arabic, usually the latter in and among themselves.

This is the indicative, if you will; I make no judgments; mere obvious and banal observations that can be noted by anyone. To be honest, I have also seen young Muslim women (they may be of other faiths, but they speak Arabic) dressed, shall we say, in more contemporary western garb: jeans and tops, nothing covering their heads and hair, and, I may be projecting but it seems like rather a rather rebellious expression on their faces, as though waiting for a boom to be lowered from some where on high, but they are the great exception.

Where do we observe a similar demarcation of the sexes among non-Muslims, at least in the U. S. A.? Clothing? Number of children from the same and, apparently, present husband in public? Coming from the Midwest, I can think of perhaps the Amish, the "old order Baptists," the Mennonites, but such clear distinctions are fading, in my observation (though not among the Amish). Anywhere else? I can't think of any (leave a comment if you can).

What does this add up to, the reader may ask? These are indicatives, I am not offering any imperatives, for now.

A second indicative is that if you don't believe in global warming, the statistics on "demographic winter" in the west are taking on greater and greater validity as we speak. How to address this? Well, Russia has proffered an interesting solution: set up compulsory youth farms (electronically monitored) at which sex is encouraged and condoms aren't to be found, as Gil Bailie has noted. United States citizens seem to prefer less crowd sexual situations, more "safe sex" (sometimes), and the sacrament par excellence of choice, abortion on demand, which, of course, defeats the purpose of the Russian baby explosion project.

A final indicative is that there is great deal of polarization and animosity going on -- on the internet at least -- pointing toward Muslims as the bane of the west. Hmm. Kind of seems that we're doing a pretty darn good job of that without pointing fingers at Islam and its adherents, if one looks at a few indicatives (above).

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