No retreat

From The Guardian:

Alicewalker2_2 Writer and feminist Alice Walker talks to Sara Wajid about growing older, her affair with Tracy Chapman and the connection between the niqab and high heels.

I ask what she makes of the controversy that has been rumbling in the UK regarding the wearing of the niqab.

“I’m not convinced that women have the education or the sense of their own history enough or that they understand the cruelty of which men are capable and the delight that many men will take in seeing you choose to chain yourself – then they get to say ‘See, you did it yourself’. Like we wear these high heels that hurt us, well it’s foot-binding, you know, but we think by now, ‘that’s very sexy’ … “It’s very, very dangerous, that’s all I would say. I’m for women choosing whatever they want to do but they have to really know what they are doing. If I had to offer any counsel I would say [to British Muslim women] ‘Use some of this time not just to be on the defensive but to interrogate your own culture and see how much of it you really believe yourself in your heart and how much of it you can let go of. You don’t have to be a prisoner of your religion.'”

More here.