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Egalite or Marianne Unveiled
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:21 pm    Post subject: Egalite or Marianne Unveiled Reply with quote

I have the privilege of sharing my name - Marianne - with the French Republic. But I've never much appreciated that fact. In fact, I found it almost embarrassing. Liberte, Egalite , Fraternite are marvellous aspirations, but I thought there was little evidence that the Republic really embodied them.

All countries have national myths. The USA calls itself the land of the free although it kept slavery until 1865 and indentured labour until even after that. And in the UK, we are told that we have free speech, are innocent until proved guilty and the trustworthy British bobby doesn't even carry a gun.

'It's because of that great Magna Carta/ That were signed by the barons of old/That in England today/ You can do what you like/As long as you do what you're told.'

I thought it was just verbiage. I especially didn't think equality caught up with women until the other day. There are rumours that a few propertied women could vote before the Revolution but it is certain that no women could vote after it, until 1944 which is mystifyingly late for a western European country.

In 'The Second Sex', Simone de Beauvoir spoke wistfully of how much better off women were in Anglo-Saxon countries. I don't know how seriously to take the word of a teacher that when he was on holiday in France in the 60s, he saw a woman pulling a plough, something which he claimed made a deep impression on him.

Nor do I know how seriously to take newspaper reports that women weren't taken seriously in the French job market in the 80s, one woman notoriously being rejected for a job because 'her legs weren't pretty enough.'

What we do know is that the native French took a dim view of Islamic attitudes to women in their African colonies. I read a book called 'The House of Obedience' by a French writer which critiqued the domestic oppression of women in the Muslim world. What really struck me was that it was just about identical to how women were treated in France and its dominions up to the 60s.

Under the unmodified Code Napoleon which was retained after the Republic was restored, a woman was 'a perpetual minor.' It was not until the 1940s that it was held that a married woman was not subject to her husband's authority. Even then, she needed her husband's authorisation to be given a bank account or to work outside the home until the 60s.

Is there any difference between an honour killing and a crime passionel except the semantics? We've heard of the massacre of Algerian demonstrators in Paris in the early 60s, and how Muslim citizens from France's former African colonies are treated like second or third class citizens.

So perhaps we could be forgiven for being a bit cynical about the motives of the French state in banning the burqa. Was it really the state's intention to liberate women in accordance with the Republic's fierce commitment to liberte, egalite, fraternite? Or was it to kick Muslim immigrants in the balls?

I think it was probably a bit of both. Motives are rarely pure. The French state has declared its intention of liberating women even against their will. Considering their former record, I can only say ''Better late than never.''

One thing we should admit is that mainstream French society has never had a problem with the exposure of female flesh. Traditionally, women didn't usually wear underwear except petticoats.* Can-can dancers literally exposed themselves. That's what led to the advent of tampons. 'Respectable, grave, aged people' had no problem with privates on parade but did draw the line at being splashed with menstrual blood. Mark Twain commented, ' French morality is not of that strait laced description which is shocked at trifles.' Even Marianne has her tits hanging out.

Let's grant that the French state is truly anxious to dish out liberty and equality. That's great. But I can imagine it sometimes being counterproductive. What if a teenager's parents refuse to allow her to leave the house unveiled, and she dare not appear on the street in a veil lest she be arrested? She will not be able to attend school, will lose even such liberty as she has and will become a prisoner at home.

Or am I being ridiculous? Surely, school attendance is required by law. We've heard that some women who initially vowed to defy the ban are now appearing bare faced. So is this a victory for Marianne?

Are we begging the question here? Why do we assume that the veil in Islam signifies female oppression? Perhaps it is because that is what it has signified in Christianity. St Paul - or more likely a later Christian forger - said that women should be veiled or cover their heads as a sign of subordination both to God and men.

It was not until 1942 that women were permitted to enter Anglican churches bare headed, and it is probably still not permitted in most continental churches.

In Islam women wear burqas not to indicate collusion in their own oppression but to avoid arousing men. It's still pretty negative in my view. It can be seen as a symptom of an unhealthy and negative fixation on sex even in attempting to suppress it. It really is a form of anti-male sexism, as if men can't be expected to control themselves.

And in taking responsibility for male sexuality in this ludicrous way, women are after all colluding in their own oppression. I should add that I speak only of the full face veil or shuttlecock burqa.

I don't think we can reasonably object to a veil that only frames the face. It's no worse than a nun before Vatican ii, and often looks elegant and charming. Between about 1940 and 1980, European women often wore flowered headscarves that were absolutely hideous, and no-one said they should be prosecuted for it.

I don't think all the arguments against the full face burqa are totally valid. I think it does have the psychological effect of erecting a barrier, but Jack Straw's argument that you need to see a face to communicate properly is of doubtful merit. No-one has a problem with speaking on the phone. If you were blind, you'd have to communicate with people you couldn't see anyway. Body language is over rated. It's much easier to detect deceit from tone of voice.

But what of those women who say the burqa liberates them, that it forces people to commune with their inner selves, instead of judging them on irrelevant things like their faces? I can see that it might be a sound argument if you had a facial disfigurement or a very bad squint, but otherwise, a burqa is a gross overreaction to the possibility of being judged as an object. It's unwieldly, uncomfortable, and makes it difficult to eat in public.

One woman saw the burqa as a feminist statement. No-one could see her as a sex object in a shapeless black cloth. If only she knew; at least one fiancé of a burqa enclosed woman found the shrould sexually exciting. He said, ''It's like a present wrapped up just for me.''

I have to say I find it confusing when women appear on TV to say it is their human right to wear burqas. Douglas Murray sounded condescending when he told one such,''It is absolutely ludicrous for someone to dress as you do, and use the language of human rights.''

I didn't much like his manner but did feel intuitively that he was right. Yet, to my intense frustration, I felt unable to frame a coherent argument as to why he was right. I suppose I'd have to resort to an analogy. If I went into a bank dressed in a diver's costume, and wouldn't even take off the headgear, I'd probably be told, ''You can't come in here like that.''

We may darkly wonder if the talk of human rights is just a ploy to confuse us. If so, it's succeeding. Douglas Murray says that activist Islam is keen on appealing to human rights when it's in a minority. If it's in a majority, human rights are not on the agenda. The Ayatollah Khomeini had much to say about human rights before he gained power but not afterwards.

An Iranian woman wearing compulsory Islamic dress accidentally let a few strands of hair escape from her scarf while putting her shopping in the car outside a shop. She was not even aware of it. But the Islamic police noticed it. This allowed them to indulge in some SM style fun at her expense, all dressed up as a legal penalty.

Yasmin Allibhai Brown recently published a critique of the burqa. This led to an unreasonable interrogation by 'pleasant, educated' Muslim women.They demanded,''Who gave you permission to say this? It is forbidden to even think it, and yet you have dared to publish this. Your mother would slap you if she was alive.'

Allibhai Brown responded,''Au contraire. My mother refused to veil.'' The response came,''Then I am sorry for you.She is the sinner, and has led you astray.''

It's frightening that any thoughts could be forbidden. But according to Khomeini, it is unIslamic to think at all. And if you can't think, how do you know if you're doing something voluntarily or not?

My partner thought it didn't really matter if women wore the burqa voluntarily as long as it 'is not for some nefarious purpose.' But sometimes it is. The girlfriend of the kosher shop bomber in Paris is thought to have fled to Syria in a burqa.

It's been stated that one reason the Yemeni chapter of Al Qaeda had it in for France was that they had banned the burqa.' Mae bys Marianne wedi brifo.'

Marianne, don't give an inch! It might not have mattered much whether you banned the burqa or not in the first place. But now you have paid in your blood, you can't give in.

You're a late convert to women's rights among European countries. But so what? It's great to have you on board.

Considering the last public guillotining was in 1939, I'd say you were a late convert to human rights too. But why carp about it? It's the future that matters. Don't let it be said that the martyrs for liberty died in vain. To arms, citizens! The day of glory has arrived!

*This can be seen in the crude Welsh saying, 'Paid codi pais ar ol piso', 'don't raise your petticoat after pissing', which is the equivalent of the English expression about locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Pais to mean smock is an ancient word. You can find a lullaby on the internet called 'Pais Dinogad' which was sung in Cumbria when they still spoke Welsh - or Cumbrian.


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marianneh



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:12 am    Post subject: Laicite Reply with quote

It is not just a commitment to women's rights that justifies the burqa ban. It is also the concept of laicite. Since a culture war with the Catholic Church which the state finally won in 1905, the state is entirely separate from the church.

You can practise any religion you like at home but you mustn't bring it into the public sphere. So just as there should be no women immured in mobile tents, no-one should wear obtrusively prominent crosses or stars of David either. A discreet symbol is acceptable but it shouldn't be 'in your face.'

We could argue that we have an analogous situation in Wales. For years the people of Wales were mostly nonconformists as Gladstone acknowledged. But the Anglican Church was established by law. It was daylight robbery. The priest could legally confiscate your property if you hadn't paid your tithes, even if you had never once set foot in his poxy church.

So after much agitation, the Anglican Church in Wales was disestablished. It was supposed to happen in 1914, but the little matter of world war delayed it till 1920.

Unlike England which still has an official church and the queen as the head of it, there is no official religion in Wales. All religions are tolerated but none may aspire to any authority in the land. None may give itself airs.The Anglican Church cannot in law call itself the Church of Wales, so it calls itself the Church in Wales instead.

So do we also have laicite? Is the burqa technically banned in Wales although no-one has noticed it?


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dai



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From:
To:
Subject: I liked the Marianne thread & I think that it has interesting potential
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 00:01:41 +0000

Dear Marianne,

http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?t=1155

I liked this a lot - an excellent composition of related subjects : could you find any further stuff on women's relationship with Marianne in France e.g. they have a thing about inviting film stars etc to pose for Marianne statues. Here's the wiki link -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marianne

David B. Lawrence

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marianne

" Marianne is a national symbol of the French Republic, an allegory of liberty and reason, and a portrayal of the Goddess of Liberty.

Marianne is displayed in many places in France and holds a place of honour in town halls and law courts. She symbolises the "Triumph of the Republic", a bronze sculpture overlooking the Place de la Nation in Paris. Her profile stands out on the official government logo of the country, is engraved on French euro coins and appears on French postage stamps; it also was featured on the former franc currency. Marianne is one of the most prominent symbols of the French Republic, and is officially used on most government documents.

Marianne is a significant republican symbol, as opposed to monarchy, and an icon of freedom and democracy against all forms of dictatorship. ...

... Although the image of Marianne did not garner significant attention until 1792, the origins of this "goddess of Liberty" date back to 1775, when Jean-Michel Moreau painted her as a young woman dressed in Roman style clothing with a Phrygian cap atop a pike held in one hand [3] that years later would become a national symbol across France. Marianne made her first major appearance in the French spotlight on a medal in July 1789, celebrating the storming of the Bastille and other early events of the Revolution. ... The imagery of Marianne chosen as the seal of the First French Republic depicted her standing, young and determined.[5] It was symbolic of the First Republic itself, a newly created state that had much to prove. Marianne is clad in a classical gown.[4] In her right hand, she wields the pike of revolution with the Phrygian cap resting on it, which represents the liberation of France.[5] Marianne is shown leaning on a fasces, a symbol of authority. Although she is standing and holding a pike, this depiction of Marianne is "not exactly aggressive",[5] representing the ideology of the conservative Girondins in the National Convention as they tried to move away from the "frantic violence of the revolutionary days". ,,,

... The symbol of Marianne continued to evolve in response to the needs of the State long after the Directory was dissolved in 1799 following the coup spearheaded by Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès and Napoleon Bonaparte. Whereas Mercury and Minerva and other symbolic figures diminished in prominence over the course of French history, Marianne endured because of her abstraction and impersonality.[5] The "malleability" of what she symbolised [3] allowed French political figures to continually manipulate her image to their specific purposes at any given time. ... Two "Mariannes" were authorised. One is fighting and victorious, recalling the Greek goddess Athena: she has a bare breast, the Phrygian cap and a red corsage, and has an arm lifted in a gesture of rebellion. The other is more conservative: she is rather quiet, wearing clothes in a style of Antiquity, with sun rays around her head—a transfer of the royal symbol to the Republic—and is accompanied by many symbols (wheat, a plough and the fasces of the Roman lictors). ...

... These two, rival Mariannes represent two ideas of the Republic, a bourgeois representation and a democratic and social representation – the June Days Uprising hadn't yet occurred. ... Town halls voluntarily chose to have representations of Marianne, often turning her back to the church. Marianne made her first appearance on a French postage stamp in 1849. ... During the Second Empire (1852–1870), this depiction became clandestine and served as a symbol of protest against the regime. The common use of the name "Marianne" for the depiction of "Liberty" started around 1848/1851, becoming generalised throughout France around 1875. "

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I thought that there would be some version of the Marseillaise sung by someone dresed as Marianne - but any idea why the painting has been altered here ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVbkzRQkKow
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:44 am    Post subject: liberty Reply with quote

Guests including the historian Kate Williams discussed today on 'Sunday Morning Live' the burkini ban which has come in in France, but may have been suspended. I don't agree with the bikini clad young woman interviewed on a Brighton beach as part of the outside broadcast that terror attacks are 'noting to do with Islam' but only the individual terrorist.

I had thought that the ban was understandable considering how France is constantly targeted by Isis and lone wolves. But I thought it was going too far. After all a burkini does not hide the face.

But one of the guests said that France has a different concept of liberty from the one we have. We think it means being allowed to do whatever you like.

France has a concept that they have a right to impose freedom on people. The beauty of bodies on display is also very much part of the French ethos. This is why Marianne is effectively topless.

The burkini may not cover the face but it is making a religious statement. This offends against the value of laicite.

I've changed my mind this morning. I now think the burkini ban is right for France, although it might not be necessary everywhere.

Dafydd would say you have no right to come to a free country and be a slave. If you want to be a slave, feck off! This is Freeland.
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Moritz



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Dafydd would say you have no right to come to a free country and be a slave. If you want to be a slave, feck off! This is Freeland.

Xactly and perfectly so. "I demand the right to be oppressed" is the slogan of the "women" on Jeremy Kyle etc who say they WANT to wear bin-bags. "I demand the right to be oppressed" is even worse than Reg in Life of Brian "I demand the right to have babies."

That is even if they are women: they might be men or Christians or Orang Utans under those whore-shrouds.



In geardaege, I and Alan were in Grangetown, giving Communist leaflets.
There was a woman in a burqa, she had nice eyes, I said Hi, she said Hi back. To me all burqas look alike, Alan recognized the style was of a particular denominations whose creed is the if a woman speaks to a White man she is automatically damned.

Jack Straw whinges that bin-bags make communication difficult. An infallible fatwa thou shalt not talk to Whites makes communication even more fraught.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:36 pm    Post subject: our Marianne Reply with quote

Prime Minister Manuel Valls has caused outrage by saying Marianne is topless and unveiled 'because she's free.'

But it's a fair point, whether or not that was the original intention of the artist. We've discussed on another site that it's a myth that feminists burnt their bras at a Miss World contest in the early 70s, although they may have binned them. Nor were bras, bikinis or bikini style underwear worn in Europe between the fall of Rome and the twentieth century.

Because of the lack of foundation garments other than corsets, a breast could easily slip out of a rioter's torn or ill fitting bodice during the Revolution. It doesn't have to mean anything.

I don't think you have to be literally naked or literally let it all hang out in order to be free. I don't care if women wear bras or not, but if your breasts are small and pert, they probably don't need support.

It might not originally have meant anything, but it's a delightful thought that Marianne's proud deshabile symbolises freedom.

A book on the Nazi occupation of France is called 'Marianne in Chains', what a sad image!

I'm proud my grandfather landed in France on D-Day to give Marianne back her freedom.

When Manbij was liberated from Isis a few weeks ago, women celebrated by throwing their burqas on communal bonfires.

We don't want to see Marianne - or the statue of liberty either - in a burqa. What's the point of a national symbol who's ashamed of herself?

We want her to be as pretty as a butterfly and as proud as a queen. But she is something better than a queen. She is a citoyenne!
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dai



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I just have to disagree don't I ?

I am inclined on the one hand to argue that " Freedom / Liberty " etc means exactly what it says on the tin : if Citizenne Marianne wants to wear a burka that is her own affair because she is not doing anything to anybody else - other people's reactions to her attire things which they are doing to themselves ... When I was a younger thing I wanted to be Mr Natural and live on clean water and thin air but I also had to encounter the reactions of others to my long black Hassidic locks : a landlady who after my long trek over to Canton to be interviewed to be her lodger point blank refused me at the door step ... drug dealers crossed the street to offer me all sorts of stuff and when I pointed out that polluting my body and mind with such things was not part of my natural philosophy they variously accused me of such things as working for the police as an informant or simply being weird ... OK - I am weird : I believe in Common Sense things like not recklessly abusing your body - there are enough bad things which might happen without ... doing the stupid things which I do like drinking the occasional glass of water which is coloured and flavoured to make up for the fact that alcohol is a pretty dull drink on its own ... and even worse regularly reaching for cigarettes because I have no other way to deal with the anger of being trapped within The United Kingdom ...

... of course now I am headed towards being forty years older and not wanting cleaner water or thinner hair other things occur to me e.g. about the meaning of " Common Sense " perhaps being more to do with peer pressure - group think - and our susceptibility to advertising ... which clearly works ... men who pay over the odds for the label on a bottle of beer but clearly have difficulty in explaining not only the difference between this lager and that lager but also why - despite the evidence of everybody throwing up all around them - they think that lager is actually beer at all ... Of course most men manage to avoid the problem of being deceived by the claims of advertising by handing the job over to their wives and girlfriends - who promptly recruit their mothers to advise them as to how to spend the money and as to how many credit cards to choose for the thrill of running up massive debts ... and I have to confess to a wee bit of misogyny here on the basis of my personal experience of standing over women cutting up their credit cards whilst weeping, muttering and planning how to dump me ...

... Women really like advertising : their bookshelves for the most part consist of their collections of catalogues which they have never ordered anything else from ... You trudge home in the pouring rain trying to keep the paperwork dry by stuffing inside your trouser band and covering the rest with your jacket and almost before you have stepped through the door she is wide-eyed and salivating at the sight of the massive bulge in your crotch and demanding to know if that is the Argos catalogue - or are you just pleased to see her ? ... Knowing that you can not even tell her that you have been sneaked a preview copy of Cardiff City County Council's accounts really puts you in a fix ... you might even have to pay their credit card bill or have sex with women in order to get out of that sort of situation ... or even worse book a restaurant with all of the horrors of ... what she will wear ... I am still suffering from various Pre-Prandial Shock Syndromes decades later ... I think that the only solutions to these are the extreme ones - either the one-size-fits-all black burkha in a stout hardwearing ... no, no - they would never go for that kind of thing will they ... No - I think that I am going to go with majority male opinion on this one : Welsh men in general agree that we would prefer women to wear nothing at all ...

... and apparently Welsh women in general agree that they are in favour of all men wearing a one-size-fits-all black burka - with no holes cut in them to enable them to see ... whatever it is that they only get to do otherwise when we are not able to see ...

To try to be serious for a moment about " Laicite " and The Burkha Kings in France - the problem in The French Revolution was that The French State in 1789 was more or less was The Catholic Church : the drive for secularism was not against Catholics per se but against The Hierocracy - hence the need was to remove not just those in holy orders from the offices of the state but also the symbols of their past presence i.e. to make the offices of state neutral - not Catholic, Protestant, Jewish etc - it became a convention that any such allegiances were eschewed i.e. as is the case in Wales where we do not ostentatiously display such religious allegiances because political allegiances have replaced them and so The Democrats in Wales now strive to recruit rich people of any religious persuasion ... because The United Kingdom is neither a Hierocracy, nor a Democracy, nor a Monarchy - our politicians serve The Aristocracy ... do not believe me ? ... Go and look at Cardiff City County Council's accounts ! ... " Laicite " is not about anybody expressing themselves as private citizens - it is about suppressing those who would subvert the state and make it a vehicle to impose their belief system upon others through laws to make them conform to their ideological demands : that is why the judiciary in France have struck down the ban on " burkhinis."

Note then how " Laicite " defends the right to be a Muslim in France and to express that in public - provided that you do not do so with a gun in your hand.

I could and I probably should write a bit more about this - but not now ... I really need a cup of coffee ... and anyway perhaps we should stop worrying about French burkhas and start worrying about our Welsh breakfasts ... now where did I leave my fags ...

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marianneh



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:50 pm    Post subject: what is laicite? Reply with quote

The current understanding of laicite is that you can do what you like at home but mustn't wear anything in the street that makes an obtrusive religious statement - or apparently on the beach either. I'd been thinking it was going too far to ban the burkini which does not have a face covering, but it does technically offend against laicite as it is making a pronounced religious statement.

Of course, by this logic, the black suit, untrimmed beard, furry hat and sidelocks of a male Orthodox Jew should be banned too, and perhaps so should be a cure's dog collar and most definitely a nun's habit. One might argue that Muslims are being unfairly singled out, or that the whole philosophy of imposing secular dress on people is oppressive and wrong.

But apparently, this is what laicite means, or at least that is how it is now being interpreted. As far as I know, male Sikhs have not been ordered to ditch their turbans, but in law they could be.

One rather curious consideration is that, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Christian and secular women of European stock would have worn swimwear just as concealing and unattractive, but it would have had no religious connotations.

On the other hand, the grandmothers of these buttoned up belles would have
swum naked - probably out of a secluded spot, early in the morning when they didn't expect to be seen. It would not have been much of an issue, as for many centuries, few European people ever learnt to swim, and there was no concept of a beach as a place to have a fun time.


We could have a philosophical discussion on whether the state ought to monitor dress codes in this way. But extreme Islamists would not have much of a leg to stand on. After all, dress is monitored severely in Islamic State, Saudi Arabia, Iran and perhaps other Muslim majority countries.

It might seem unfair that the French state is coming down hard on Muslims and not Sikhs for instance. But we can see all too well why it is happening.


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Moritz



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
We could have a philosophical discussion on whether the state ought to monitor dress codes in this way. But extreme Islamists would not have much of a leg to stand on. After all, dress is monitored severely in Islamic State, Saudi Arabia, Iran and perhaps other Muslim majority countries.

It might seem unfair that the French state is coming down hard on Muslims and not Sikhs for instance. But we can see all too well why it is happening.


Remember Magna Charta, did she die in vain? The rule for how to treat foreigners over here is how our people are treated over there. Burka is not a choice in Caliphate countries. They make it compulsory, so we gotta forbid it, that's logical captain.

Somerset v Stewart proved that there is no slavery in Britain, therefore the trammels and accoutrements of slavery need to be verboten too.

Is it not convenient that Political Correctors ban tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, butter, bread, nuts, Christmas, jokes, sex, jobs, self-defence etc, etc, etc but PCers insist that burkas and fox-hunting must be compulsory?
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:26 pm    Post subject: cleft Reply with quote

I'm in a bit of a cleft stick here. People in a TV studio tell me that laicite in France involves not being allowed to wear burqas or any other obtrusively religious costume in public. Dai says laicite means that you do have a right to wear a burqa in public.

How can I be sure who's right? Only by checking every word of the ruling from 1905 which would be a drag. Let us admit that even if laicite gives the state the right to impose sartorial secularism, France made little or no effort to do so until recently.

Has the state the right to adapt or interpret legislation in a way which may not embody what the drafters originally meant? I think they do, if the interpretation is not perverse or absurd.

My thoughts on banning the burqa have evolved since I put up the first post under this thread in January last year. I have now become aware of health risks associated with the burqa, the lack of exposure to vitamin D, the danger of rickets.

France has had a sad history of religious oppression under the ancien regime. There was that Huguenot guy whose son committed suicide. He was accused of murdering him because he had converted to the Catholic Church.

Every bone in his body was broken. Then enough water was poured down his throat to make his body swell up to double its normal size. Then the authorities took 'pity' on him and strangled him.

Not long before the revolution, a young nobleman failed to doff his hat as a procession of Capuchins went by. It was raining.

He subsequently had his hand cut off and his tongue torn out. Then he was burnt to death.

Voltaire said he himself was haunted by this for the rest of his life. I'm not surprised.

We've all heard of the massacre of St Bartholomew's Day. France really needed laicite. We can see that, comparitively speaking, Madame la Guillotine really was a quick and humane form of execution.

I fully appreciate the racial chauvinism that France exhibited in Algeria and its other colonies. It would not even acknowledge that they were in Africa but designated them as departments of France!

But I have now lost all patience with the Islamists of North African stock. However their ancestors may have been treated, that can in no way excuse the remorseless murderous attacks on French soil.

One very worrying aspect is polarisation. We have Islamic extremists on the one hand, and on the other extreme right wing nationalism. How surprising would it be if Madame le Pen's Front Nationale came to power? France is on the edge of becoming a failed state.

I don't think it is necessary to ban the veil everywhere as long as the person's face is visible. But in France, with its peculiar history, a stern and more radical stand may be justified.

Of course it could be counter productive. It might wind Al Qaeda and Isis up more than ever. But it would not be possible to appease them anyway. Nor, do I think, it would be desirable.

I remember my sister complaining about how awful the last Shah had been. She was not referring to his secret police nor yet to torture chambers.

She meant it was awful of him to ban the burqa in Iran. She had a long plaintive spiel on how cruel and oppressive this was.

I can't remember what I thought at the time. This conversation took place in the late 70s.

But I now have no patience with this sort of talk. Dafydd and I saw black and white coverage of a girl who was enabled to remove her veil for the first time.

A cloth grill resembling a fabric meat safe was lifted. And there in its place was a face of radiant beauty. That moment was just about the definition of liberty.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:37 pm    Post subject: at gunpoint Reply with quote

Controversy rages about the woman forced to unveil by armed police on a French beach recently. But a poll shows that an overwhelming majority of the British public favour banning the burqa in Britain. The burqa has already been banned in Russia, Belgium and some Swiss cantons.

I can quite understand that not every woman would want to wear a bikini on the beach. As a nude life model, I became a bit self conscious about my stretch marks which some artists reproduced with loving detail. I'm not sure I want to display them in public.

Short skirts came in for adult women in the 1920s perhaps for the first time ever. I read of a woman who rejected the new fashion because she thought it indecent. In 1927 she fell over the hem of her long skirt and was killed!

I often wear long skirts myself, not out of prudery but because I am ashamed of my weak and unattractive left leg. But I'm aware that long skirts are a health and safety risk. I've narrowly missed breaking my neck a number of times.

So what if long skirts were banned? I suppose I'd have to wear baggy or bell bottomed trousers.

Similarly, if you feel like wearing a burqa because you have a facial disfigurement or just terrible acne, don't despair. There are other options available such as cosmetics.

All things being equal, rational dress should be preferred.
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dai



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A fan of French postcards my Tadcu told my Dad that it was not until after the First World War when hems rose to the calf that he came to understand that women even had legs : they seemed to hover and glide and he thought that they were on wheels ... Now is it not a trifle bizarre that it was in France that you could buy postcards of nude women and go to shows where women were in various states of undress from the middle of the 19c yet now it is France which demands that they cover up ? I am surprised Marianne that you are not picking up on the obvious disparity between the sexes here - that laws are being made that are directed explicitly against women : surely this is mysogyny not laicite ? France has more or less an explicitly mysogynistic culture and this is nothing to do with Republicanism but to do with social norms which The Republicans in France were campaigning against in the 18c e.g. they pointed out how in England young gentlewomen could promenade in parks and spars without chaperones.

Surely what goes with cultures in which males control females is that whilst the latter may be praised as saintly virgins or damned as demonic whores they are being treated as objects to be talked about not persons to be talked to ? Perhaps the obsessions that women have about how to present themselves - as fashion plates or blank ciphers or protesting nudes - has more to do with their lack of any power other than to attract and court the attention of the males who have power over them ... So we are still stuck in the situation that Philip Pettit describes in his ( Oxford University Press ) book " Republicanism " - and I say " we " - not just " women " - because our cultural norms in Europe between male and female are still basically that of master and slave - which harms both.

I have actually just been having an exchange of texts about a recent R4 programme about the violent " Gonzo " pornography which has been emerging - my argument is that pornography is an emotional index - it does not promote violence against women per se but reveals it - or rather reveals perhaps how the teenagers watching this horrible stuff are using it to deal with the actual violence that supporters of the non-political system which they do not call The Dis-United Kingdom are doing to our society in perpetrating The Ancient Regime in Britain ... not to mention Le Ancien Regime en France which has ever since The Napoleonic Era clothed itself in a burkha fashioned out of Le Tricoloure ...

[ Post Script - several hours later I re-debated as to whether displaying this link is appropriate : I count it to be within the rules imposed on us by informe.com because for decades children have seen many more naked women in newspapers, television and online advertising presented in terms of soft erotica whilst selling lawnmowers etc after all this is not an advertisement for Badedas or Lillette but simply naked women : their activity is a protest using their naked bodies to confront others with the issue of women's rights - I think ( think ) that it was actually about the burkha ... certainly an Internationalist protest in favour of Non-Domination.]



( This was a protest staged in the courtyard of The Louvre.)

[ I googled " Pettit - non-domination - Feminism " but mostly everything that it turned up was a too detailed academic paper - but you will get the gist of the feminist implications of the non-domination arguments of Civic Republicanism from this Stanford article = http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/republicanism/ ]
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:51 pm    Post subject: lune Reply with quote

I've just had a quick tour of the internet, and it looks as if the banning of conspicuous religious symbols came in in France in 2004, 99 years after the state adopted laicite. I won't now quarrel about what exactly laicite signified before, as I'm not sure I'm qualified to do so.

I appreciate that women were being prosecuted in France in the early twentieth century for kissing their fiances on the Metro. Unmarried girls were often strictly chaperoned and had a dull time. Napoleon banned secular education for girls while making it compulsory for boys.

I've mentioned in the first post on this thread, misogynistic legislation in France that came in after the Revolution. We have the Code Napoleon to blame.

I'm cool with the nudity and the sashes and the black lettering in the picture above but do object to the unglamorous white lingerie in one instance. What a wimp!

If you're going to be naked in public, do it properly! It's good to see that public hair is making a come back.

Oh, I meant to say pubic hair! It was a Freudian slip.

I'm unusual in not liking obscenely provocative clothes but having no problem with nudity. I would say the latter is natural. The red sash over a nude body was great though. It provided a lovely splash of colour.

Of course I have no right to impose my taste on other people. What is modest and what is not is subjective. The time was that a flash of ankle was daring.

The burkini ban may sound harsh. In different circumstances, it would be harsh.

But the rationale for the ban is not how much flesh it does or doesn't cover. It's that it's making a sartorial religious statement. This has technically been banned since 2004, although the law has largely been ignored.

Do you disagree with the ban on religious symbolism on principle?
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dai



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The issues around Symbolism excite me ... I have always liked the principle underlying Symbolism as an artistic movement i.e. the creation of seductive but meaningless imagery which leads the beholder to supply their own meanings ... an example of this is Y Trilliw - the red, white and green - which by 1848 had become a problem : almost anybody could string together three panels of these colours - usually as the triband actually, as still being used by The Democratic Republican Party ( mostly an English outfit ) - and launch it into a parade or demonstration with intentions other than those who were carrying it ... I think that this is why Dr William Price declared that red, white and green were the " Welsh national colours " and how some clever person decided to revive Henry VII's banner and claim it as the " Welsh " flag ( it never was - the battle flag of Gwynedd - Y Faner Wen - was the closest there had been to a national flag previously - especially when Owain Glyndwr put Y Ddraig Aur on it ) ... the point I suspect is that it was very difficult to make Y Ddraig Goch so nobody could quickly run one up before a demo - which thus excluded anyone from having one except the middle class who sponsored the 19c cultural revival whose Republicanism was of a the more respectable drawing room type to do with Wordsworth and Byron - and of course Mary Wolstencraft whose husband the philosopher William Godwin was not under the same sort of suspicion as Thomas Paine because Godwin's books were thick and expensive and difficult to read and therefore not so dangerous despite actually being more radical : Y Ddraig Goch was tolerated for much the same reasons despite its cryptic references to a militant Republicanism whose aim was to break up The United Kingdom ...

... the British establishment began to have problems with Y Ddraig Goch as soon as it became possible to print masses of them - instead of sew or paint them one at a time - because then the flag became available for the masses to use and then the same objections were raised which they had made against Tom Paine's " The Rights of Man " - that it was dangerous in the hands of those not like themselves ... and of course the same reasoning is now being argued over our access to the internet : just as in the 19c those who believed that we are their property were pleased to see The People in Wales getting stupendously drunk and dulling their pain with drugs but very anxious that we should not learn to read - so in the 21c their successors are pleased to see The People in Wales still getting stupendously drunk ( but even better - agreeing to be taxed to do so ) and dulling their pain with drugs ( but even better - agreeing to be taxed to to do so ) but they are even more anxious now that we can read a to what we are reading on the internet - but feel somewhat reassured to find that most of us are substituting pornography for sex which of course might lead to love, marriage and the solidarity in the face of oppression ... ( ... anyway - they are planning to tax pornography in the same way they have taxed marriage ... after all - if you can not break The People in Wales in order to utterly exploit them as slaves you ought not to miss your remaining opportunities to make a profit ... ) ...

... Now any piece of speech or writing like this relies upon the use of symbols - i.e. spoken and written words - and whether they are airy noises, marks on a piece of paper or dancing lights upon a computer screen or the subtle bumps of braille markings - or even more intriguingly the bewildering hand and arm gestures of sign languages - and whether or not these things which we believe mean things - because we have been brought up in a particular culture - a lot of the meanings that we give to them are inferred by the context in which they occur ... right now as I write what this means to me is that I can express my thoughts to an old friend and have then considered with respect - and the particular context is my escaping from the frustration of having to write to the city council whose officers will automatically treat me with the same disrespect which they have for all of those they profess to serve but in particular for those who challenge their behaviour - and for those who persist in resisting them they insist on being very nasty, and so it is much more pleasurable to write upon Y Repwblic ... this bulletin board - for those who can not see into the decades of the pre-history of it in The Cardiff Illuminati - has a particular context culturally which is not available for most who are reading it ... So what that means is that - whilst they may think that they understand what we are writing about it - it is better to treat these Conversations with Wales' Republicans as being akin to a work of art in The School of Symbolist Art : The Beholder is in The Eye of Our Duty.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Locke
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoine_Destutt_de_Tracy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simone_de_Beauvoir
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Foucault

That remark " The Beholder is in The Eye of Our Duty " is not as off-beat as it might appear - but I am not about to trace out the history of the connections between John Locke and Destutt de Tracey and Simone de Bauvoir and Michel Foucoult here ... but one point to pick up on is as to whether women and men have the same culture i.e. is there a demonstrable difference in the way that the sexes construct the world ? There are so many jokes about this I think that the answer has to obviously be " YES ! " and I think that I would prefer to leave you to elaborate upon that one Marianne ...

... In terms of the burkha issue the agreed meaning of it is clearly being hotly debated in France and part of that debate hinges upon the idea that it has an agreed meaning amongst Muslims - which it clearly does not, which more or less explodes the idea that the women who are wearing it are making some kind of public statement : they wear it for a variety of private reasons, some good - some bad ... but none of these involve any publicly declared assertions of political intent : they are matters of personal choice which are not directed towards persuading other people either to wear them or even approve of them ... compare that with the naked bodies of the protesters above which were being bared to make a public statement to persuade others ... recently in England a man was trying to walk naked from Lands' End to John o' Groats and he was arrested several times for outraging public decency and that sort of illustrates the point better because I do not believe that he was making a public statement but a private choice : I think that he should have been left alone, especially since all sorts of other displays of nakedness are being allowed like mass nude cycle rides etc which deliberately confront others not giving their consent to something which offends them ... If a hundred women in black burkhas rode around Cardiff on bicycles would that persuade those who object to the appearance of a single woman in a burkha walking down City Road to feel better about burkhinis on Barry Island ?

I share the same - or similar - objections to the burkha as you do Marianne ... but I would include things like it in those objections which you do not mention which can be argued to be against The Public Interest and which are far more objectionable ... e.g. those who insist upon willfully putting themselves at unusual risk of injury - whatever their motives - should buy private health insurance and be refused NHS medical care for self-inflicted injuries such as sports injuries - and fashion injuries : wearing high heels, mascara, liposuction, botox injections, breast implants, hair perms etc cause more injuries and ought to be placed in the same category as parachuting, football, squash, cricket, rugby, boxing, horse-riding, canoeing etc ... and besides those risks taken by individuals to themelves there are the activities in which others are automaically harmed which should be banned outright like tobacco, alcohol, drugs, education and Democracy : let us deal with The Democrats first and then tackle all of the others in reverse order and then - if you still feel that it is right to do so - let us ban all cyclists - whatever they are not wearing ...


Last edited by dai on Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:54 pm    Post subject: albi Reply with quote

One scar left on the French national psyche by religious persecution back in the day, has not been mentioned on this site yet. It was the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars in the Langue d'Oc.

This is now in the South of France.I'm not sure it was seen as part of France at the time. It might have been outsourced to the Plantagenet kings of England. For three generations, they married noble women from the Langue d'Oc. It was before the Salic law, and it looks as if they were the feudal masters, possibly ultimately as vassals of the French kings.

Or did King John lose everything in what is now France? Were the Capetian kings just ruling the ile de Paris?

The extermination of the Cathars was as thorough and successful an episode of genocide as you could hope to avoid. Yes, they were Gnostic Christians. The Yazidis who are ethnic Kurds are also Gnostics.

Which episode of genocide are we on now with the Kurds, now that that Erdogan has joined in? If we count this separately from the IS effort, I estimate it as the eleventh.
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Moritz



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=387158&start=2750

This site debates burkinis, but you gotta join.

Public hair, it is so rare.

I like porn where the woman smiles. I xpecially like porn where her eyes smile. Molly Rose and Gina Gershom are good at smiling eyes.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:22 am    Post subject: nudity Reply with quote

I think they might as well let the nudist alone as he's not harming anyone. What I can't stand is this craze called a Mexican or a Brazilian.

I've heard people say they've shaved off their public hair for hygienic reasons. If they had public hair, it would be a site for bacteria.

You're covered in bacteria anyway, you dickheads! You're a metropolis of bacteria.

I don't know that it's necessary to ban stiletto heels and breast implants, but I don't think they should be actively encouraged.

Roger thought I was being emollient in saying that priests and nuns are not arrested for wearing their distinctive garb - and that's a good thing. I said, ''You misunderstood. I think priests and nuns should be shot on sight!''

I was a bit concerned to hear about the woman forced to peel off her burkini at gunpoint on the grounds that it offended against secularism 'and morality'. It would have been better not to have mentioned morality, as it's a subjective concept.

She might say the same about bikinis. Bikinis are apparently called after Bikini Atoll, the site of a nuclear or hydrogen bomb test. It sounds crass now. There's nothing amusing about atom bombs.

The implication was that it was a shocking, blinding sight. They took a while to catch on , because they did offend against current ideas of modesty.

Now we would say that if a costume covers everything a bikini would cover, it is decent. While we have to make some allowances for local standards - Australian Aborigines went totally naked very often as did Pygmies - I think you can rationally object to a full face veil on grounds that should be universally applicable.

The face is what you recognise people by. It gives them their individuality.

If you think that even a woman's face must be covered on the grounds of decency, you've lost it. It's as if her whole body is one big sexual organ. You're also robbing her of individuality.

This doesn't apply with the burkini. But we have seen attempts to overthrow the French republic and turn it into an Islamic theocracy. Doesn't the republic have a right to strike back?
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:24 am    Post subject: pubes Reply with quote

Oh bugger, I've said 'public' hair when I meant pubic hair again! I've said it twice! I might as well fall on my sword.
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dai



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No no no - her hair in the photo is definitely public ... I have not got time to say much at the moment - or rather I am too knackered to think straight - but given the drift of this conversation I wonder if you would be interested in listening to the programme about pornography that I was discussing with Y - because what I see in men insisting that women cover their bodies up and men insisting that women uncover their bodies are two sides of the same coin : but what is the currency ?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07qbcbs

Anyway why worry about pubic/public when for some reason I have been writing " burkha " - i.e. where did I get that spelling from ? ... Cymraeg ? ... Oh - Wenglish ... or maybe it is an example of ... Kearduffyaeg ? ... hell - I do not even know how to spell that either ...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burka

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burqa

--------------------------------------------------------------

( 13.40 ) ... still laying here body aching and now mind aching after listening to other people's problems - other people's shit is never so bad as our own but it sticks more to our minds than our own ... and it is so much easier to give advice than to take it ... I was thinking of the links posted above being rather French when plenty of other streams of thought have poured into our Modernist and then Post-Modernist Republicanisms ... I thought that Moritz / Dafydd really ought to be lectured upon post-Marxist theory e.g. The Frunkfart School of Uncritical Theorising - which emerged out in the final part of Karl Marx's life once he had inherited a load of money and property and shaved off his beard and retired to live off stocks and shares on a luxury yacht in the Mediterranean where the younger Sigmund Fraud psycho-analised him and declared that he was not suffering from " The Oedipus Complex " at all but was just very complex ... Anyhow I picked on a video lecture to distract myself with the arguments of Post-Marxist Critical Theorists and unfortunately I thought this one looked interesting - he not only thinks that immigrants are to blame but that Muslims are The Spawn of Satan etc etc so it is sort of appropriate ...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wqBgK3LrW98

= The Devil's Pleasure Palace : The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West =

Michael A Walsh - former editor of " Time " - lecture at - The Institute of World Politics
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:02 pm    Post subject: Depravity Reply with quote

It's both public and pubic in this case. In the Rupert Bear Obscenity trial in 1971, the jury convicted the three editors of the underground magazine Oz. The judge had misdirected the jury on the meaning of obscenity.

He said that if you were at the Olympic games, watching the athletes, magnificent physical specimens, and their costumes slipped and you saw their private parts, that would be obscene. But that is not what obscenity means, and that is why the conviction was overturned on appeal.

Obscenity means something designed to deprave and corrupt. Perhaps, the definition could be applied to pornography, although literally, the latter means writing about prostitutes.

In my world, pornography is drama, photography or art about sex that makes me uneasy. I'd read Robert Graves' 'I Claudius' as a teenager. So I picked up a paperback called 'Gore Vidal's Caligula' in Coventry Market.

I expected the story to carry on from where 'Claudius the God' left off. It was just vile, describing in detail how Caligula forced himself on a young bride and then on the groom for instance. It would have been different if there had been any empathy for the victims. But it was all objectifying.

I can't even stand soft porn like the Carry On films, where a doctor will look at a leg in plaster cast, and say, ''It's about time you had it off.'' The patient, eyeing a pretty nurse, says, ''That's just what I've been thinking.''

They obviously wanted to make films about sex. So why didn't they make films about sex, instead of giving us this pathetic, tedious innuendo?

My son was forced to watch graphic images of coprophilia and bestiality by older boys. He didn't appreciate it. For him, it was an ordeal. He'd never imagined that such things happened.

To my mind, it's this nasty stuff that is pornography. If it is beautiful or has artistic merit, it's not pornography at all. It's erotica.

Yes, French politicians are sure they are more enlightened than Muslims about dress codes. But perhaps the irony is that they are playing the same game. They too are laying down the law on what women should be permitted to wear.
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