Swimming in a burka: It’s just not Kiwi

Porirua City Council is considering permanently scheduled women only swimming lessons.  Read the full story hereQuote:

There’s nothing more Kiwi than a dip in the pool and Porirua’s Muslim women want to jump right in.  End of quote.

In their burka’s and hijabs.  Doesn’t sound Kiwi at all to me.  Quote:

Permanent, women-only swimming sessions have been floated in a submission to the city’s council by members of the Islamic community keen to hit the water.

It’s a way of embracing the New Zealand lifestyle while adhering to religious requirements that prevent men seeing their bodies, Esra Qatarneh said.[…]  End of quote.

You know, the way to embrace New Zealand lifestyle is to do what kiwi’s do.

Go swimming in togs.

New Zealand does not have religious requirements that prevent men from seeing their bodies.

You have chosen to come to our country, and you need to fit into our way of lifeQuote:

[…] Cannons Creek Pool had held women-only sessions in the past two years but there had not been a big take-up and they had stopped over winter, Porirua City Council recreation manager Sue Chapman said.[…]  End of quote.

There was actually very little demand for the women-only sessions.  Quote:

[…] Qatarneh came to New Zealand from Jordan, which had women-only facilities but an abundance of rivers and beaches made it important for all new Kiwis to learn to swim, she said.  The women were asking for a weekly two-hour session, with female staff, from 6pm till 8pm.[…]  End of quote.

That means once a week, men will be denied the chance to go to the pool, and men will be denied the chance to work at the pool, because … Muslims want us to conform to their beliefs. In our country.

Let’s take a look at Jordan, the country Qatarneh comes from, and see how they expect foreigners to behave when they are in their country.

Would it be ok for Kiwi women to wear their traditional clothing in Jordan?

I consulted the Rough Guide for advice.  Quote:

Female dress codes
To interact as a Western woman in Jordanian society with some degree of mutual respect, you’ll probably have to go to even greater lengths than men to adjust your normal style of dress, although it is possible to do so without compromising your freedom and individuality too much. Loose-fitting, opaque clothes that cover your legs, arms and chest are a major help in allowing you to relate normally with local men. On women, shorts appear flagrantly provocative and sexual, as do Lycra leggings. T-shirts are also best avoided. The nape of the neck is considered particularly erotic and so is best covered, either by a high collar or a thin cotton scarf.

Hair is another area where conservatism helps deter unwanted attention. Jordanian women who don’t wear a headscarf rarely let long hair hang below their shoulders; you might like to follow suit and clip long hair up. To some people, women with wet hair are advertising sexual availability, so you may prefer to dry your hair before going out. If your hair is blonde, you must unfortunately resign yourself to a bit more inquisitive attention – at least when walking in more conservative areas.  End of quote.

Jordan, it seems, is very keen to hold on to its dress code, and that’s fair enough.  When in Jordan, do as the Jordanians do.  In New Zealand, we need to be equally determined to hold on to our values, lest our way of life be gradually eroded.

 


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