Recently I saw a TV show based in Australia that explored the issues around why people have a problem with those that make the choice to cover their face or body. The common thread was that people generally have this misconception that either these women are hiding something or they are forced to cover up. Both of these are incorrect. It's not to say that these aren't reason's at times and particularly in middle east countries but the thing that was learned is that is not the reason in this country.
The answer received by the women who do wear these items made it quite clear that the number one reason was they felt that people actually got to see their brains and personalities instead of looking them up and down and just concentrating on their bodies. Even though I can't convey in words, if you saw this special you would see that this is pretty true. In fact even Aussie men agreed and admitted to the fact that they only look at a woman's body.
Now from my experience this is true. What caught me by surprise in this show is that I can relate to this and I'm a man albeit a gay man. The truth I got from this show is that I like the freedom we have to wear whatever we want but at the same time I really respect the muslim women who don't because it takes the sexual aspect out of the equation and seriously it makes life simpler.
I know my views are not going to gel with everyone but it made me think that sometimes we take choice too far and we have lost modesty and respect. I'm not saying that we shouldn't have choice but really people I speak to choose what they wear based on the attention they will get and that is also wrong.
I truly believe that there is middle ground but that would only happen with a combination of respect for oneself and the desire to be more than a sex object and in western society I don't think that will happen.
I just find it interesting and appreciate the differences. Society has definitely gone too far on the sexualising of both men and women but that is what we have to deal with. I can chose not to participate and as a male probably don't but that just means I don't fit into the way the western world is working but I'm ok with that. I guess I just found this take on things interesting. If I can find the show again I will post the link but I think it was on Australian ABC or SBS.