Offended by a veiled woman holding a bra?

Published: April 19, 2012

Frankly, what I find offensive is the idea that women in niqab or abayas need to be “humanised” in the first place. PHOTO: SCREENSHOT

I have been asked to comment on this picture by the blog editor of The Express Tribune, probably because the last time I blogged about the niqab, I took a controversial stance that earned me hundreds of comments, at least a thousand “likes” and retweets on Facebook and Twitter, and the ire of several dozen internet trolls who branded me as the blogger who “supports nudity”.

Rather than provoke an equal amount of ire this time, I decided to do things a little differently: I posted the picture on my Twitter account and asked people what they thought about it.

Given the fact that Pakistan has been recently ranked fourth in the world in a global intelligence survey, I thought I’d be on the receiving end of some very intelligent commentary on this provocative image. I should have known better. Here’s a sampling of the comments I received:

“Wrong size”

“Forget what we think. What do you think? Is she going to put bombs in it?”

“Niqabis need support too”

The only matter of fact comment came written in Urdu:

“Zaroorat hai, is mein sochne wali kya baat hai?”

 (It’s a necessity; what’s there to think about?)

That was my first thought, too, even though I knew the context of the photo: a Canadian photography student, Sooraya Graham, took a picture of a friend in a niqab doing her laundry and holding up the piece of lingerie.

She showed the picture in a photography exhibition at her university, with no context explaining the photograph, but said that her intention was to “humanise women who wear niqabs” (Graham wears one too).

Then the controversy began: a visiting international faculty member, a Muslim woman who said she was acting on behalf of other Muslim students, tore the photograph down and held it hostage in her office, refusing to give it back until Graham promised not to put it up again.

The university stood by Graham and her right to freedom of expression. The debate about whether or not veiled women are oppressed reared its no doubt hijabed head yet again, while elsewhere in the world, the Taliban attacked Kabul in multiple locations and more Syrian people died in the siege against protesters in Homs.

In other words, ho-hum.

I am kind of wondering why anyone would find this picture offensive in the first place. Have you ever been to a mall in Saudi Arabia where women aren’t allowed to work, so it’s Indian men selling the raciest of lingerie to heavily veiled women in abayas? (Recently women have won the right to sell lingerie to other women.)

Or have you been to any of the markets here in Pakistan where a man sits behind the counter selling contraband lingerie in Marks and Spencers packages, and assures you that he can tell your exact size just by looking at you? If you’ve been through that delightful experience, this picture won’t even faze you.

Frankly, what I find offensive is the idea that women in niqab or abayas need to be “humanised” in the first place.

When I taught writing at a local university, I was confronted with a student who wore a niqab. I felt awkward not being able to look at her face, however I quickly learned that she was the most intelligent person in the class. Not only did she outperform everyone on her assignments, but she was the most brilliant speaker and debater. Once I got over the fact that I couldn’t see her, I actually learned to listen to her words.

In conclusion, all I can say is that this photograph gives a new meaning to the phrase “Agent Provocateur”.

 Read more by Bina here or follow her on Twitter @BinaShah.

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Would you feel uncomfortable in the presence of a woman who wears a face veil?

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bina.shah

Bina Shah

Author of A Season For Martyrs. She tweets @BinaShah (twitter.com/BinaShah)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Fahad Raza

    I feel the author like to blog for seeking attention. This is a totally pointless blog. What next an Ehram wearing “Haji” Checking under-wears for himself. One last ever criticism on her workis that her style is more like Kim Kardashian talking to other but more to herself, in her own world commentary. Recommend

  • http://rorolia.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/bcb-blames-zaid-hamids-deceptive-propaganda-for-asia-cup-loss/ Xain Gardezi

    Exactly. Shouldnt be an issue. In these very blogs, one of the bloggers mentioned how awkward she felt by seeing lingerie in the bazaar near Hazrat Ali a.s shrine in Najaf. I mean what the hell? Bazaars are made for things that are a necessity and since these are necessity they would be in bazaar and woman whether veiled or not need them afterallRecommend

  • Asad

    What rubbish kinda writings are being published on ET. Only revolving around bra, mathira and veena. Come on. Get a life. There are many more sensible things to write and debate. These mom dad kinda writers just find these issues to write up. Completely baseless and senseless writing.Recommend

  • Shadytr33

    Now I didn’t get whats the point being made by this article :SRecommend

  • Adeel Khan

    The people protesting over this photo belong in the times of the cavemen. So,she’s holding up a bra what’s wrong with that?
    Wearing a burka doesn’t make anyone more pious,good or shareef than someone in skirts or jeans.
    Men should stop fixating over the length of women’s clothing. Stop attaching your ghairat to the clothes of women.
    The cavemen who judge women by the clothes they wear need to sort out their own insecurities and inferiority complexes.Recommend

  • alicia

    What is this blog about? All women wear bra’s whether they are hijabis, niqabis or else.
    I think you were unable to get your message across. Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal

    The men in our society need to realise that the honour old a man does not lie in between the legs of a woman. Stop making women responsible for maintaining the ” Honour” that the mullahs preach about all the time.

    A woman’s body is not something she should feel ashamed of . The religious fascists who brainwash girls from birth that their bodies are evil things that lead men astray need to tell these men of theirs that there’s a difference between human beings and animals. Don’t put women in fabric prisons just because you are too weak to behave as humans. Women should not be made to pay the price of weak men who have no self-control. Recommend

  • talha

    what kind of pointless crap is this article ???Recommend

  • Fahad Majeed

    @Asad:

    Pathetic comment . why can’t you tolerate anything written on women. To you women are best kept locked up at home, behind the chaar diwari to wait all day for their majazi khuda to return.
    Funny , the religious fanatics didn’t complain the other day when ET published a blog by a religious apologist glorifying the Niqab and playing the victim card . Why so uneasy when a sensible blog has been published.Recommend

  • Saira Rauf

    Women who are ashamed of who they are, who are ashamed of their gender, their bodies are nothing to be appreciated or applauded. Walking around in a black tent doesn’t make any girl ”naik” or ”masoom” . They are just doing what the patriarchal society wants them to do- feel ashamed of their sex and their bodies.

    Capitulating and doing what the men demand isn’t anything to be proud of. Hating your body is nothing to be proud of.

    Women in Burkas,Hijabs and Niqabs are no different from the women doing item numbers in movies. Both these kinds of women are doing what men want them to do, both these women are acting as slaves to the wishes and desires of men.Recommend

  • Bilal Afridi

    What do want with such useless posts? It delivers negative thoughts automatically. Isn’t it? Recommend

  • fazhan

    Seriously the express tribune should focus on producing quality work!!!.. extremely disappointed with the kind of work tribune is producing these days.. Recommend

  • Amna

    Not at all senseless, keeping in mind the way this whole hijab and burqa cladding women are stereotyped by some people and how those endorse burqa find it disturbing to see one holding a bra. somehow women havea lways been a center of debate on either being too oppressed or too liberal. About time we all let them be. I being a woman myself believes that its women alone who can decide and choose to live their lives. They are struggling in both cultures and sadly not reached the pinnacle of freedom that is their right in a right way. long long way to go for us.Recommend

  • MarkH

    The only clothing that gets a reaction out of me are fat girls wearing skinny girls clothes. I’ve been in the presence of a woman wearing a face veil and it amounted to thinking “That’s uncommon” and not caring afterwards.
    Chances are if I was in the presence of someone wearing that and holding up a bra my reaction would be the same as anyone holding one. I’m also a little weird, though. I’d probably say something like “it’d look better on me” and then walk away leaving them confused.Recommend

  • fazhan

    Express Tribune and The Express Tribune Blogs plz go get a life… there are better things to write about than sex, niqaab, hijaab, nudity, drinking, bars, etc etc.. This country has better things to which you can address and highlight….Recommend

  • muhammad adnan

    goood one… i never feel comfortable wit ha female wearing a naqab.. ive never spoken to one.. but it will be very spooky.. face is yr identity.. u just cannot hide yr identity…. if ur out in public this must not be allowed….Recommend

  • shepard

    Chandler Bing Style : Can this BE even more pointless?Recommend

  • Anonymous

    Bravo!

    Brilliantly written article. Agreeing 100% on your point of view.

    This article deserves good crediblity points! I’ve noticed ET does point out social life issues.

    My comments and a few questions are as follows, kindly look at a broader picture here:
    – There’s nothing wrong with this picture. It’s a basic necessity of every woman.
    – In a non-muslim country where muslims are counted as terrorists, do you think Graham shouldn’t have written the caption with this picture?
    – In a broader picture, keep yourself in a layman American shoes and tell me what would have been his first reaction when seeing this picture? ‘See this horny terrorist’? The way intelligent Pakistan made fun on your tweets, don’t you think the same thing would have been happening on that exhibition?

    It’s just a normal issue. I’d agree with ASAD above that there are many more worthy things to debate about! Recommend

  • Ahsan

    Is it really a need to discuss this??…i think we have much more serious issues…… Recommend

  • Hala

    i don’t think you read this blog because that is not what the author is saying at all
    why do so many people read the title then leave comments without reading the actual article. if you have something to say, then say it. but if you are responding, then respond to their actual thoughts, otherwise you are just talking to yourself and that’s not really a dialogue. and if you have never spoken to a female wearing naqab how do you know it will be spooky? your face is your identity and nothing else? do you really believe this to be trueRecommend

  • Anon

    @Saira Rauf: You are implying that all the women who observe purdah or niqaab are doing so because some men in their family said so? I’m sorry, but I disagree.Recommend

  • akhroot

    why would a woman need to wear a bra under a burqa anyway? The Burqa hides the bounce.Recommend

  • Shadytr33

    @Fahad Majeed:
    What kind kind of sick mentality people like you have.. the comment was not made on women but to the pointless article that has been written.. What kind of article is this which questions whether women in niqab needs a bra or not.. doesnt she need support like other women do in t-shirts and jeans ??Recommend

  • salman lali

    i think this is really sad that we talk and debate about such a private options of an individual.
    whether some lady like to have wear niqab or not. what we have to DO with that. who give us this right to make them do what we wish OR stop them from what we don’t like.to hell with our comforts and thought. a lot of us who claim to be very liberal by discussing this kind of thing are actually interfering in space of another human being. its depressing to note that our so called literate people are doing this AND feeling proud to call themselves LIBERALS. Recommend

  • salman lali

    what is being done in markets of Pakistan or Saudi Arabia is sad undoubtedly.Recommend

  • Asad

    @ Fahad Majeed : lol. You are so funny man and I really bet you don’t even know what is writing about women. Man if they have to write then they should write about women being victimised, women being harassed, raped, lack of education, women being used as call girls. There are lot of sensible things. About women, about men, about law, about tolerance, civilisation, about religious extremism, about inter faith harmony, love, peace.Recommend

  • Sane

    @Author
    Pointless crapRecommend

  • somia rizwan

    Well as much as I think this article is pointless , I suddenly realize tht I do hve seen many shops in our typical bazaars wth bras dangling arnd..bt hvnt cme across any which sells mens innerwear n dangles on its shops openly..I mean its mens neccessity too aint it.. Shdnt it be projected as openly as womens.. If nt tht then why womens innerwear is so openly presented.. Wht msg r we getting..?!?.Recommend

  • EyeRoll

    Another pointless activism article. The problem is not the picture. The problem if the fact that the photographer of the pic HERSELF though that it was a NOVELTY for a niqabi to be holdign her laundered bra and took a picture as if it was a statement in itself. And this is the problem, first liberals and such people themselves typecast niqabis as different or a novelty in itself. This lady took the photo for her art class. Do you would one have taken a pic of another random woman holding a bra for her art project or a gori holding up her bra? No right? This is exactly the hypocrisy, niqabis being contextualised in binaries of niqab vs bra, covered vs uncovered, extreme conservative vs liberal. These binaries then translate into other prejudices and pre conceived notions about what is it like for a women to be in a niqab, why would any woman want to be THAT coverd?? And the oriental notions that liberation of such women is pulling their niqab of and putting them in a sexy bra.
    How about everyone just chill out and stop making a big deal about niqabis. They are normal girls who happen to wear bras amongst various apparels. It’s you liberals who make such big deals about such pictures and juxtapositions and then write long winded activist articles about some things that is essential a non-event and non-issue in the first place.Recommend

  • Mirza

    @Amna:

    I agree with your point. We stereotype persons without knowing. In this context the personal experience of the blogger is quite true. In fact, there should be no comment on this picture except the one given that it is a necessity. Now this is true for beard men also as every one points out to them if they are having good time with their friends and family at some restaurants etc. We should learn to respect a person’s right to take hijab and have beard as the case may be.

    Good Luck BinaRecommend

  • Bilal

    Seriously are we able to solve all our social issues and econmic issues??now this is a matter of concern for us??? I cant believe i wasted my 3 mins on this piece of crap….. Recommend

  • Sadia Hussain

    @ author
    Pakistani are ranked the fourth most intelligent people…can you cite any credible sources please?

    By the way, this blog is one of the most pointless and absurd blogs I’ve read in quite some time which is surprising since your last blog was actually good…So you got cr@p for writing your last blog, and you thought you would say a few nice things to niqabis? Sounds neither reasonable not sincere.Recommend

  • Haniya

    It’s blogs and write up like these makes one disgusted with own self. Kindly, do not make issues out of nothing!!!Recommend

  • Umair

    I have been reading ET blogs for some time now. I am not only familiar with the names of authors but also commenters. Although this article is not as good as author’s previous article was but I still want to read some comments from Ayesha Pervaz (commenter); an aspiring lady with women empowerment vision. :-) . No offense please.Recommend

  • Big Rizvi

    Just great. Another stupid blog that is just demanding attention point blank! I have yet to see a blog or two about our poor men in Siachen. Recommend

  • Faisal

    its jsut a piece of clothing ! everyone wears it ! whats the big fuss !!! Recommend

  • sumaira khan

    there are loads of other disscussable issues out there.Recommend

  • cefspan

    Great Article ! Its Simple , Its A Fact , I Being An Amateur Photographer myself know that very few people actually deduce what the photographer wants them to perceive !

    Not only did she outperform everyone on her assignments, but she was the most brilliant speaker and debater. Once I got over the fact that I couldn’t see her, I actually learned to listen to her words.

    Recommend

  • faraz

    Can we get out of petty issues related to clothingRecommend

  • qaisar wali

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/13/niqab-photo.html

    Why we bring everything to Islam n veils??!lol read above article and you will learn some interesting information… and for heavens sake dont bring it to Islam, liberalism and mullah..Recommend

  • um

    “Graham counters it’s up to the viewer to interpret the meaning, but says she had hoped the photo would show the public that women who wear the niqab are the same as everyone else”
    I totally disagree this sense.. This is not a piece of this is just provoking the isolation of hijab women from others.. if that was the case why shouldnt she poster a bikini woman holding a bra ? woldnt that come under hers beautiful piece of art?
    I think art is all today selling controversiesRecommend

  • Askari

    what is wrong with this photo. those people who are protesting again this photo are sick people. These people are like those Taliban’s who protest against the burning of Quran in Afghanistan and in reaction they do suicide attack in the Mosque in Pakistan in which they burn Quran by themselves. Recommend

  • ALi

    another waste article by ET to take away our shame. Discuss more about stuff which we normally don’t do and end our morality. Good going ET!Recommend

  • Wajiha Mohsin

    Its totally one’s own right to decide clothing,Religion puts some limitations on women as well as on men regarding wearing appropriate clothes,but it is considered to be as ones right to wear whatever one likes to and its not an issue that people start writing about it ,dnt even worth a photograph in exhibition !!.. grow up people .Recommend

  • ahmad

    i never read such pointless or rubbish article in my life. what a wasit of time. Recommend

  • DevilHunterX

    @ahmad:
    “i never read such pointless or rubbish comment in my life. what a wasit of time.”

    See? It is very easy to rubbish someone without facts or reasons.Recommend

  • Musthaq Ahmed

    @Saira Rauf:
    Madame ! Your words were the most bitter. As a father of a girl and as a son to a woman I can not but respect women. No religion can teach me what I learned from history. I dream of a world where women work and women rule. Men shall be really happy. All religions will take shelter in disused caves.Recommend

  • Pollack

    @MarkH:
    “it’d look better on me”

    HahahahahaRecommend

  • Noise

    I’d be offended by any woman holding a bra just like I’d offended by a guy holding a chadda . You shouldn’t wave underwear around.

    Andar ki bad ko andar hi rehnay doRecommend

  • rumasanoor

    @Saira Rauf where exactly did you get this idea that women cover themselves up because the are ashamed of their bodies? I heard that from a muslim cleric one time that, women are asked to cover themselves up because they are beautiful and precious. I never heard the notion of “women are ashamed of their bodies that’s why they cover themselves up” from anyone who advocate pardah. I myself do pardah but never heard of any of those reasons that you mentioned about covering up. I don’t know where you guys come up with such stuff. LEARN TO RESPECT OTHERS’ BELIEFS AND PRACTICES IF YOU WANT TO BE RESPECTED.

    @author although i think it was a very unnecessary topic to discuss but there is still a point in it. If a veiled woman carrying a lingerie is doing something wrong or immoral, means that telling someone that you are getting married, have kids, or your taking a shower, changing your clothes, going to the bathroom, all these things are immoral too. Aren’t they? It’s pathetic how people think in our society. Such narrow and shallow thinking. Recommend

  • Mariam

    The student who took the photograph and then displayed it for exhibition is an attention seeker, and then u go ahead and write this blog.
    Obviously hijabi’s are humans. They eat drink sleep poop the same way we all do. Its time we all stopped labelling people. There is nothing wrong with this picture.
    Its good that this blogger had nothing negative to say atleast.
    If u see a picture of a caucasian girl passed out on her bathroom floor in a puddle of her own vomit, what would that picture say to you? Would she be labelled an animal or a human? Would u feel the need to humanize her too? Stop labelling people. Stop stereotyping today.Recommend

  • Mariam

    @ Adeel Khan ur comment: The people protesting over this photo belong in the times of the cavemen. So,she’s holding up a bra what’s wrong with that?
    Im sorry who and where are these cavemen? Can u possibly be referring to Saudi Arabia? Because that is the only place where by law women have to wear a burka and it is the cultural norm to take a veil over there. So are Saudi’s the cavemen ur referring to? Have u ever been to Saudi Arabia? Just FYI women cannot drive there. So its their MEN who take them for whatever shopping they need done, and that includes lingerie!! They will select the lingirie items with their women and buy it from a male salesperson! They are human and normal people just like everyone else! There is noone protesting over this photo.
    Stop calling them cavemen, there is no such thing in todays day and age! The only caveman here is u who’s living under a rock!Recommend

  • jansher yusufzai

    who we r to impose our view on the woman who wear Hijab. wearing hijab has nothing to do with her mentality.Recommend

  • Parvez

    If you had the same picture with the woman without a veil, it should prompt the same reaction because its not about the veil, its about the bra being held up that takes centre stage.Recommend

  • raw is war
  • Jahanzaib

    @Saira Rauf:
    I’m Totally disagree with your thinking….
    I think you took the comment as you think about women yourself, Because all women are not like that, Your peseption about women is not right n your approach tooo…
    All women are not doing all this to persuade the male, But maximum number of the women covers there body to fulfil there religious obligation in order to persuade the Supreme authority The ALLAH ALMIGHTY

    I hope you understand it…Recommend

  • What The

    @Saira Rauf

    But I could also argue that whatever you wear, be it jeans and tshirts, or shalwar kameezes, is something that has been decided for you by men. The argument would be fallacious, as is your argument, but I could make one anyway. Your problem is that your belief system. Because you don’t believe in God, the only entity of significance for you is men, and it is then in relation to men that you draw your own significance. You are alien to the idea that someone could be doing something to please God, not as subservience to men. And you levied that blame of weakness on millions of women, your own gender, in one single sweeping statement. Shame on you woman.Recommend

  • faridy

    and finally u got some viewership after such a bizzard blog …..Recommend

  • http://birmingham elementary

    @What The: You wrote:
    emphasized text“Because you don’t believe in God, the only entity of significance for you is men, and it is then in relation to men that you draw your own significance”.

    How do you arrive at this brilliant conclusion??.

    You actually proved sara’s point.This is religious way of thinking ” reducing woman’s world to pleasing their men and therefore God”.Recommend

  • Vikram

    Anything is possible now a days. Read below the experience of this poor Muslim man.

    hubby-watching-porn-online-finds-movie-starring-his-wife

    http://www.emirates247.com/crime/local/hubby-watching-porn-online-finds-movie-starring-his-wife-2012-04-15-1.453767Recommend

  • Vikram

    Author says “When I taught writing at a local university, I was confronted with a student who wore a niqab. I felt awkward not being able to look at her face, however I quickly learned that she was the most intelligent person in the class.”

    It just proves niqab and brain are not connected. A woman wearing niqab can still think like a bikini wearing women and actually behave like one on the Internet.Recommend

  • Vikram

    She showed the picture in a photography exhibition at her university, with no context explaining the photograph, but said that her intention was to “humanise women who wear niqabs” (Graham wears one too).

    Picture was taken with consent of woman holding the bra and phtographer is also a niqab wearing woman trying to show off, Just proves these women are ready for anything. Recommend

  • http://birmingham elementary

    Female figure is a source of evil and therefore should be kept strictly hidden.All girl children be taught to be ashamed of their own bodies.Any reference to female anatomy meets with a response of disgust,or lust or even violence.

    Menstruation is another reason to consider women inferior and “Napaak”,during this period they should be furthur isolated.

    Image of woman is that of a temptress (inciting “innocent”men to sin)if they manage to get raped/harassed it’s all their fault as they were not careful enough,afterwards they should just keep quite and not make fuss about it,so that not to draw even more attention to shameful act they have been invloved in.

    Any mention of women undergarments by another woman makes us uncomfortable, endangers our peity;necessity it may be but they must talk about it in secret as if they are committing a crime,a sinful act.

    These were the golden rules I grew up learning in an average lower middle class pakistani family.I struggled for a long time before finally growing out of it. Recommend

  • http://www.insaf.pk Antebellum

    I have been asked to comment on this picture by the blog editor of The Express Tribune,

    Truly sums up the mentality of ET’s pseudo-liberal Editors and the direction this news company is taking!Recommend

  • GlobalNomad

    @Asad: could not agree more, too much of Veena Malik on ET blogs!! or maybe they put what people read. I noticed that if there are one of these senseless (for some of us only) blogs, they get 50+ hits in a day, they publish what people read. Really not sure what is going on.Recommend

  • rafazliban

    Where Islam begins, you dont need to take or publish these so called artistic attention grabbing “art” work. I feel like our society is becoming more and more americanized day by day.

    Shame!Recommend

  • Nonia

    Somehow this article seems a bit pointless, just like I would think a discussion on whether blondes are dumb or not would be…..And the earthshaking revelation by the author that she found that a girl in a hijab was actually the most intelligent person in her class??? Duuuhhhh!!!!Recommend

  • Usman

    Sorry WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THIS POST ???

    Niqab and women private clothing a cover picture ? can you please STOP WASTING precious internet space with these types of woman clothing articles ?

    SENSELESSRecommend

  • Lone Star

    Let me comment on your survey first, you asked a question
    “Would you feel uncomfortable in the presence of a woman who wears a face veil?”
    I do feel quite uncomfortable if some woman does it in the west. They need to realize they get more un-necessary attention for this face covered veil, which I find OKAY in the Arab and some rigid Islamic states.
    ThanksRecommend

  • hej

    we don’t have electricity, water, jobs……….everything getting expensive day by day…………and you are discussing bra…………pathetic….Recommend

  • reader123

    I WANT MY 5 MINS BACK!Recommend

  • khan

    Seriously ET! could you stoop lower than this…..c’monnnnn….this picture shouldnt even be taken in the first place…and then to write a blog about it….even pointless…something worth writing a blog would be about a photo of a white bikini wearing girl holding a burka in her hands….now thats a blog I would really want to read…you can’t just take a photo of a woman holding a basic necessity and call it humanizing that woman…Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Only a man – a very ignorant man – can find this picture offensive.

    I’m sorry to disappoint you with this breaking news, but yes, women need undergarments too. It’s a necessity of life. And I personally think the photographer did an outstanding job in her objective to humanize veiled women – to remind people that beneath the veil is a woman like any other.Recommend

  • Sarah Haider

    This is a non-issue!! Recommend

  • Maulana Dumbledore

    So i understand the point the writer is trying to make and i appreciate it! I would like point out a weakness in this Article, that is, since its not wrong for a hijaabed woman to hold a C-cup brazzier such as the one being held in the picture above, would it br wrong for women whether hijaabed or not hijaabed wearing such brazzier on top of their clothes/hijab?? Its the mind that had to adapt, to accept to get use to. So would women including the writer be embarrased for wearing a brazzier on the outise as opposed to the inside? If the answer is NO, then this Article is shakey and the reasons are kumsee kumsaa because for the writer it is simply clothing material. I on the other hand have no problems with women irrespective of whether they wear hijaab or not can hold any lingrie item and it will neither offend me and nor will i lose respect for the ladies.Recommend

  • maz3tt

    there are must larger issues in life then this. Recommend

  • Mazher Arshad

    Very pointless Blog. Recommend

  • http://Birmingham elementary

    Saadat Hassan Manto used to say if you find my short stories offensive or worse arousing, then you are sick in your mind.
    He was also always accused of writing such stuff to gain attention and sell his stories.Now we know he was highlighting importand issues and unveiling hypocrisies of our society.Recommend

  • amer

    Crap and pointless article…. please, don t try to make things out of nothing…
    feel pity on Saira Rauf’s comments…. try to reconcile ur emotional paradoxes
    Life is big and so should be our thoughts……..Recommend

  • http://www.halaltamweel.com/ Faizan

    Amid publishing this sort of blog continuously, The name of “Express Tribune” should be replace with “Entertainment Tribune”Recommend

  • http://Birmingham elementary

    This is not pointless article.It’s making us uncomfortable ,we want to sweep it under the carpet and keep it there,but question is why does it make us uncomfortable?Recommend

  • Nowhserwan

    I prefer your erstwhile approach binaRecommend

  • Ayesha Pervez

    I am so sick and tired of womens bodies being made SUCH A BIG DEAL OF! Give it a rest everyone,,,, womens bodies are really nothing special… its the media that has made it appear to be something extra ordinary for its own gains. Islam says be modest. I think that means dont go around naked so stop making such a big deal of each and everything! Let every woman do what they want and they shall bear the fruit of their doings either good or bad.Recommend

  • Umer Rasheed

    Can this blog be any lamer?Recommend

  • a 54321

    “I am kind of wondering why anyone would find this picture offensive in the first place. Have you ever been to a mall in Saudi Arabia where women aren’t allowed to work, so it’s Indian men selling the raciest of lingerie to heavily veiled women in abayas? (Recently women have won the right to sell lingerie to other women.)”

    wt was the point of mentioning that when women sell lingerie to other women?
    also um if you think it’s okay for this picture to exist and loads of people to see it men and women alike or whatever then what’s wrong with men selling lingerie to women? that happens worldwide.Recommend

  • vigilant

    Total waste of spaceRecommend

  • Cynical

    @Loneliberal PK

    “…beneath the veil there is a woman like any other.”

    The beauty of this truism, like with all truth lies in it’s simplicity. I can understand when some men don’t get it. But what is baffling is that there are women who are only too willing to deny themselves the femininity they are blessed with.May be a psychiatrist can explain. Recommend

  • a 54321

    @Mariam:
    awww pooor babyyy. you have no correct knowledge of saudi arabia or its laws.first of all a burka is different from an abaya. laws are not as strict as you think they are. abayas must be worn, yes, but over ht eyears they have grown tighter and flashier and some even defeat the purpose of an abaya, yet these women are never in trouble. no, women can not drive there. but inshallah they will. also women dont have to drive to be ‘free’. people nowadays have no idea what free even means.

    also women are allowed to go out in malls without mahrams. they can go out alone or they can go with female friends, it’s only driving that requires a male. of course a woman can go inside a lingerie store herself while the man waits outside, or she can go in with him as well, if he’s for example her husband. there’s nothing wrong iwht that. please stop generalising. and there are many female salespeople and also the women that feel uncomfortable purchasing it form a male salesman can purchase it from a female one, or they just wont shop from there.

    ps— YOU get out form under YOUR rock :)Recommend

  • maryam

    end these blogs they are so silly!Recommend

  • Ali Nasir

    Wastage of time :) Recommend

  • naz

    what the hell is this Recommend

  • Clarus

    the Niqab is a sign of male dominance and female oppression according to some women and on the other end we have another group of women shouting and protesting that they should have a freedom to wear niqab and they are doing it out of their choice. So its basically Non-Niqabis Vs Niqabis who have a problem among themselves as one group cant stand the other group being perceived as pious but as usual for every problem in this society women have to conclude it by blaming the male gender. Women wear niqabs or they don’t, the majority of men are not even bothered. If woman is being forced to wear niqab that’s her personal matter between her husband or father, the ENTIRE MEN in this planet are not forcing her to wear the niqab, and as said earlier may be she is wearing it out of her own choice!Recommend

  • Ehtasham Mehmood

    Wasted my precious 15min reading this crap!Recommend

  • Nobody

    @akhroot:
    Women don’t wear a bra just to ‘hide the bounce’ my genius friend. Recommend

  • peace-seeker

    LOL. Cant believe people in this age could be so illiterate about Hijabis being human beings.Recommend

  • AQEEL HUSSAIN

    what is the connection of Picture and article pointless, I mean what is the problem with naqab.Recommend

  • Anonymous

    ET sinking to new lows in the name of journalism …Recommend

  • MJ

    useless article, even tribune is getting trashy day by day !!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Fahad Awan

    An Excellent rhetorical debate. Infact, the messaged provoked by the picture was more deep then what everyone perceives it to be,calling it pointless. Its an incredibly thought provoking extract depicting the patriarchal and wrong stereotyping the society delves into. Moreover, it comes with a message. A message that relates to alot of women in Pakistan being a result of discrimination just because they wear “burqas” and “scarves”, which in turn poses a satirical question to the community we live in. A Thumbs up to the writer, I must say you have a brilliant way to approach a concept. Recommend

  • Aaliya

    Anyone who has ever had an arab lady as a friend would know .. how terribly useless this whole debate is. They cover head to toe when out in the open, dress in the classiest gowns, and are proud to own a considerable lingerie collection. Its just who they are. And its a private matter to them.

    On a side note, I find it a matter of concern that MEN in our society are more intrigued and interested in imagining intimate details of a woman under the veil than the girl passing by in normal shalwar qameez. They like to make a whole big deal of women who do pardah. I mean even this useless piece came about cause the ET editor asked for it. Recommend