dance of the veils
October 6, 2006
Oh dear, cuddly Muslim-friendly Mr Straw has got into hot water over his request to Muslim women to remove their veils when coming into his surgery. personally, I think wearing veils is one of the least offensive things that Muslims do and I would much rather see the features of quite a lot of people a little less exposed than they are currently. There’s a wonderful picture which makes this point on the Spine. Mr Straw apparently denied requiring Muslim women coming to see him to do Salomé’s dance, saying removing one veil would satisfy him. He pointed out that ‘asking women to consider showing the mouths and noses could lead to true “face-to-face” conversations with constituents, enabling him to “see what the other person means, and not just hear what they say.”‘ Mr Straw has clearly made a major discovery in paralinguistics here, that meaning is actually conveyed by using the nose. Why, I wonder has SOAS not published any papers on ‘Nasally conveyed connotative sense and denotative reference in northern dialects of Wolof’? Fiction writers will, I am sure be able to make use of this discovery: “I see what you mean, darling, said Jack as he gazed intently at the expression that crossed her nose.” “Mabel’s words were serious but there was a mischievous glint in her nose”.
Fortunately we are not obliged to view the part of the anatomy used by politicians to communicate.
Labour chairman Hazel Blears, in a shocking display of cowardice, said “I do not think it’s right for government to lay down laws about what people should wear and what they shouldn’t,” she said. Why ever not? Of course government should decree what may and may not be worn. They should start by banning sleeveless vests in public places and laying down maximum size restrictions on hats.
Now, it should be pretty obvious who these hooters belong to as well as their semantic function. If not, you’ll have to look in the comments.