WE foolishly claim ours is an enlightened society. We war on nations we feel are in desperate need of a little of our take on liberation.
We mock Victorian bashfulness in covering the legs of tables, which they never did. In many ways the Victorians were far more liberated than we are. Better educated, less bigoted, they were simply more discreet about it. They could read books since burnt on the bonfires of political correctness.
Such is current hysteria over grey area sex that men dare not stroll past playing fields for fear of being labelled a pervert. I am surprised we don’t throw tablecloths over Victorian works of art that depict child bathers.
A newspaper published my photographs of youngsters happily splashing about in the surf of a local beach. A British friend was horrified that I should take such pictures yet they were typical holiday brochure content.
Meanwhile, on newsagents bottom shelves are magazines aimed at pubescent girls, the contents so torrid they would make a sailor blush.
In less censorious times there was a time and place for everything including pornography. This was not in children’s school textbooks. There was probably more sauciness and eyebrow-raising behaviour to be found in 19th century music halls than in 1970s’ television studios.
Have we decided? Are we prurient or prudish? We are certainly hypocritical. Society today has more faces than a town hall clock.
We get ourselves in a tizzy because women of some faiths wear burqas or niqab veil. There is no Koran requirement for them to do so. Let’s stop getting hot under the collar about the dress preferences of some Muslim offshoots. It is none of our business, we have enough problems of a moral nature of our own without wagging the finger at others.
Western Christianity has its share of odd religious sects. Do you open the door to a Jehovah’s Witness? Born again Evangelists of the United States make your hair curl? The multi-wife Mormons are a strange bunch but okay because they are not Muslim. How many of us discard their ways and adopt simpler Amish lifestyles?
To preserve female modesty some Muslim women do cover up. Why do Westerners want to strip them of their clothes and their modesty; deprive them of respect, their menfolk of dignity?
We rant about being able to see only the eyes of clad Muslim women. The less bigoted know that a woman’s eyes are the most appealing part of a woman’s anatomy. Ironically, the eyes are the only part of Western woman covered up when she is wearing little else but sunglasses.
Many faiths, not just Muslim, are offended that strangers see parts of sunbathing or partying Western woman that should be seen only in bedrooms or by their gynaecologist. In truth, when it comes to closed minds, there isn’t that much between ourselves and various extreme sects.