Jane Anderson suggested we should ban the burqa (Letters, Byron Shire Echo October 14). Australia is a democracy and as such we should be entitled to worship (or not) how we wish and wear (or not) whatever we choose without government interference. Would she also suggest we ban nuns from wearing their habits? Or tell men to shave off their beards so we could better see their faces?
While I understand and support Jane’s abhorrence of practices that oppress women, I think we have more urgent issues to deal with here in Australia than the burqa, such as the early sexualisation of young girls (eg marketing aimed at the ‘little princess’), the objectification of women (look no further than the Wicked vans), equal pay for equal work (that old chestnut), and the all-too-common self-loathing that causes many western women to either starve their bodies or surgically change them. All the recent focus on the burqa only serves to isolate and stereotype the women wearing them, which is oppressive in itself.
L Andrews, Byron Bay