Facing up to our Masks

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(Inspired by the debate about Moslem women's dress)

We all wear one, some wear more, one for work, one for home, one for the annoying man next door.

Westerners wear masks with faces painted on, to radiate a deceptive message:
“I’m happy”,
“I’m Young,
“I’m a serious person”,
“I’m Hard”, says the safety pin through the ear of the Punk
“Look at my face, Am I Bovered?”

Others wear masks for Anonymity,
To fulfil a role without experiencing personal responsibility.
The Black mask for the Hangman. The Hooded Balaclavas of the SAS, and the IRA, and the Anonymous Rapist in the night. All to conceal information, and so gain power over the unmasked.

There is a fashion in masks: Some prefer white:
The loose Alien-like mask of an ETA terrorist, looking like the Elephant man wearing a French beret. Funny Looking, but deadly.
The Witch like masks of Klu Klux Klan concealing something that is much darker than Black

For some women, Guys and God demand the Black Burka to be worn. Soft on the inside, and hard on the outside. Like some kind of Monty Python sweetie. Crunchy Frog?, No idea of the taste without taking a bite.

Our problem is the ambiguity of no information. Westerners are used to feeling trust through seeing someone’s face.

But that Dalek-like garb might conceal something shy and vulnerable, or an old woman, or the bloody violence of a suicide bomber. 

Those familiar with the Burka, hear only our anger, not our fear and vulnerability.

Richard Epworth, October 20th 2006

 

Last updated 2008-02-20