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Turkish women freer ‘than we believe’

Ethnic prejudice can lead to hilarious ironies. In an earlier post, I wrote about the orientalist ideas of many Europeans (and European Americans, Australians, etc.), and specifically about the idea that the Islamic world is characterised by its oppression of women. In that post, I quoted an eighteenth-century English visitor to Turkey who experienced an…
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Turkish women shocked at restrictive British clothing

Orientalising images of women’ s clothing are common enough. But how about occidentalist views? Many Europeans and North-Americans regard Muslim women who wear a veil with an orientalist eye. This means that they see them as specimens from outlandish and traditionalist Asian and north-African cultures that differ fundamentally from their own. Often, these women are…
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The artist’s arrogance (excused)

Recently, I have been reading in the works of Multatuli. He is well-known for a.o. Max Havelaar and Woutertje Pieterse and, if you ask me, one of the best writers of nineteenth-century Europe. What immediately strikes the innocent reader, is Multatuli’s arrogance. He referred to himself as a man who throws his honour, his name,…
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