Charlie Hebdo

The example of ‘consciousness raising’ was not intended as an analogy with any issues around dress - rather as one piece of evidence that not knowing you are oppressed in no way implies that you are not. It’s just not that simple. (The allusion to Huxley was trying to point to the complexity involved).
Nor is there any neat division of views along religious, national culture, class, sex or any other lines I can see; rather there are complex divisions and shades of opinion across all these. The one possible, partial exception to this may be level of education - but twas ever thus.

Yes - it is of course true that the meanings attached to clothes change not only across countries and cultures, but also with the times. A woman choosing to wear a burka in Paris now is perhaps making a pretty similar statement about her society as a woman in Riyadh choosing not to wear one makes about hers.
But that, surely, is the point: it’s not what you wear, but having the choice that’s important.
Any article of clothing strictly required by a culture will ultimately become a symbol of oppression, won’t it? - but the same article, in changed circumstances, might equally be worn as a protest against cultural dissolution.

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You have a point there Eddie and I did reference white middle class intelligentia as against diverse working class people who may hold and debate different views.

Their views should indeed be taken into consideration, not least the views of women, including British or French etc Muslim women.

I don’t know many of the latter but those with whom the subject has ever come up have talked of coverings more as an expression of religious piety than the result of subjugation.

But I have moved/mingled in particularly religious or interfaith circles which have shaped my opinions.

You are imagining a world where women have a choice.
Denying your womanhood because it might inflame the sexual thoughts of other men is not allowed here in France and should not be allowed anywhere else in the world.
Has anyone asked me whether I am offended when I see pictures of women totally covered, no way, yet my opinion is as valid as any one else’s.
I can tell you that I was mightily offended when I saw women covered from head to toe following their menfolk in Gloucester.
I was totally offended when burka wearing women were given a woman to take them round an Ikea store here in France. Thankfully that is now illegal.