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Wearing a hijab in Iran

(151 Posts)
CanadianJohn Fri 30-Sep-16 07:11:36

Top women chess players are threatening to boycott the world championship in Iran because they will be forced to wear hijabs.

Female Grandmasters will risk arrest if they do not cover up to compete in the strict Middle Eastern country due to host the knock-out tournament next year.

There is a variety of opinion:
- when in Rome, do as the Romans do
- if you don't like it, don't go
- complain to the governing body (FIDE)

I'm wondering what posters on this board think.

Read more:

treaclesoda Fri 30-Sep-16 07:18:20

If I was a top female chess player I'd be complaining to the governing body about the decision to hold the competition in a country that dictates I must cover my head.

I think I would be refusing to attend, but that's easy for me to say from a distance. I'd imagine if I actually was a world class competitor in something I would be reluctant to miss a huge tournament...

PrincessOG16 Fri 30-Sep-16 07:20:53

If you're in a country that the custom is for women to cover their heads. You do it.

If they told you you'd have to do it in the UK, then they would be being ridiculous.

treaclesoda Fri 30-Sep-16 07:23:02

Yes, if they go they'll have to cover their heads. But the governing body shouldn't be putting them in that position in the first place. They should have thought 'actually, that's not a suitable venue'.

PoldarksBreeches Fri 30-Sep-16 07:24:33

I think it's extremely dodgy for top sports events to be held in countries with blatant human rights abuses (see also Qatar World Cup). However it's all about politics and money and the sports bodies aren't going to take a stand so where does that leave athletes? (Or in this case chess players). Either they take a stand and refuse to participate, or they fuck their careers.
In this case I think the women will have to cover up and get on with it. It's the governing bodies who are responsible for these decisions and it should be taken up with them.

eurochick Fri 30-Sep-16 07:25:19

They should complain.

In a previous job I had a case about a plant in Iran and there was a possibility I would need to go there. I found it incredibly objectionable that to do my job I would have to cover. Fortunately the visit didn't happen while I worked there so I didn't directly face the choice of putting up with it or refusing to go (I doubt one lowly lawyer objecting would have had any effect so that wasn't really an option for me).

AllPowerfulLizardPerson Fri 30-Sep-16 07:25:43

Why did FIDE award the championship to Iran?

And when is the investigation into its boss's role with Syria expected to be concluded?

sashh Fri 30-Sep-16 07:35:22

I'd be complaining to the governing body that the competition was being held in a country that discriminates against 50% of the population and has a crap human rights record.

Then I'd turn up in a Burka to freak out my opponent. That would be day one, every day I would wear some ridiculous thing that would comply with the dress code of the country but show how stupid the rule is.

Maybe a long flowing scarf that knocks the pieces over when I move, or a scarf with LED lights in it. You can get battery LEDs in pound shops.

ChocChocPorridge Fri 30-Sep-16 07:55:46

I think the thing is, it's not about wearing a headscarf (oh, and long sleeves and legs), it's about the position of women in their society - all the people in the comments on news articles saying 'well, just wear it, it's just a bit of cloth' are missing the point that it's being forced that's the issue, that every woman is forced to do something or be arrested is the problem.

If we're to obey the customs of the country without complaint, I hope all the blokes competing will be presenting themselves at the local hospital for circumcision without complaint too? Oh, no, whilst genital mutilation is a custom of Iran, it's not an offence not to be circumcised, unlike not putting a scarf on your head - does that seem just a touch out of whack to anyone?

JacquettaWoodville Fri 30-Sep-16 08:06:20

I do wish countries with extreme discrimination against women were reviled for it as much as apartheid was.

WinchesterWoman Fri 30-Sep-16 08:12:32

What jacqu said - and agree with those who deplore the decision if the governing body.

BarbarianMum Fri 30-Sep-16 08:51:59

I can think of quite a few reasons why holding the competition in Iran is a bad choice for women. I disagree having to wear a hijab is one of them. It is generally accepted that you may have to adjust your clothing/what you eat/how you behave to travel, so as not to offend against local custom and only cultural imperialists think that's wrong.

WinchesterWoman Fri 30-Sep-16 09:17:38

In that case there are an awful lot of Muslim cultural imperialists in the UK.

barefootinkitchen Fri 30-Sep-16 09:24:59

Yes agree it's not such a big deal to follow dress conventions when in another country. It's the done thing. Like avoiding wearing shorts so you don't draw attention to your self.
It's a different matter being against Iran holding the competition because of human rights. I guess the same people would be against it being held in China, or other non Muslim countries.

Ifailed Fri 30-Sep-16 09:27:46

Could they self-identify as a man for the duration of the tournament, then say they realise they have made a terrible mistake?

Cathaka15 Fri 30-Sep-16 09:37:29

If the law says you cover your head you should cover your head. Or don't attend at all.

VestalVirgin Fri 30-Sep-16 09:39:08

Could they self-identify as a man for the duration of the tournament, then say they realise they have made a terrible mistake?

Probably not, but worth an atttempt.

If I was that good of a chess player, I would refuse to set a foot in Iran. I value my safety.
Having to wear a hijab is only the shit cherry on top of the shit sundae that is having to enter such a woman-hating country as a woman.

What WERE they thinking?

... actually, I have a pretty good idea. Money, money, nothing, money.

MorrisZapp Fri 30-Sep-16 09:43:44

Never played chess in my life but this is a fucking outrage. If I was a 'grandmaster' (which sounds ace) I'd be kicking up the biggest stink ever about this.

I wouldn't insult locals by say, wearing shorts in a cathedral. But headcovering isn't a when in Rome issue. It's just misogynistic, regressive shite.

JacquettaWoodville Fri 30-Sep-16 10:23:21

I am glad some players are boycotting.

Cathaka, the law in South Africa used to say people with black skin could only live in certain areas and had to carry ID documents. The law in the US used to say black people could only sit in a certain part of the bus.

If the law applies to blacks and not whites, rather than women and not men, how is that different?

HairyLittlePoet Fri 30-Sep-16 10:33:55

The governing body should never allow a country to host a tournament that discriminates against women. It should never expose its competitors to differing conditions where half the competitors are legally compelled to a humiliating requirement that the other half are not.

The governing body have several choices:
Reject Iran as an inappropriate and discriminatory host.
Make a political point by requiring ALL competitors, MEN and women, to wear a hijab.
Issue all players with hijabs that have a political message printed on them "Hijab worn under protest - Equal rights for Women - One Law for All"

Cathaka15 Fri 30-Sep-16 10:38:46

Jac- I didn't say it's ok. But it's the law of the land. If the players or anyone doesn't like it don't go. I personally will not set foot in that country.

TotallyOuting Fri 30-Sep-16 10:44:04

It is generally accepted that you may have to adjust your clothing/what you eat/how you behave to travel, so as not to offend against local custom and only cultural imperialists think that's wrong

Ah... "relativism, the anthropologist's heresy, possibly the most absurd view to have been advanced even in moral philosophy" (Williams, Interlude: Relativism)

aquawoman Fri 30-Sep-16 10:48:01

You are willingly going to a country which requires you to cover your head = you cover your head.

I wore hijab in Iran. I have no problem with it.

HairyLittlePoet Fri 30-Sep-16 10:55:24

Actually, I doubt many of the chess playing women are willingly going to a country which makes them cover their head. In fact, they are being given no choice to compete and NOT cover their heads.

But clearly some people here support the idea that women in sports or competition of any kind should be faced with a choice to leave the competition to the men.

Here's an idea. Hold women's car racing competitions in Saudi Arabia.

Shiningexample Fri 30-Sep-16 10:55:36

If it was poker you could wear a hijab with dark glasses, that would give you an advantage wouldn't it😎

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