(Original post by Potentiallawgirl)
Hello, I just want some feedback on this essay and what I should do to improve. I did it timed, I know my conclusion is quite weak and I have made a few spelling mistakes. Any help is appreciated, thank you!
Is the Burkha in the West as offensive as the Bikini in Arab countries?
The Burkha is a piece of religious clothing worn by Muslim women, predominantly in Arab countries which represents values of modesty and the idea that a women's full beauty should belong to her husband only [You know what, I like this definition, but it may not be strictly necessary if you have a restrictive word count]
. On the other hand, the bikini is a piece of fashion swimwear worn mainly in the west and in western influenced countries which has
been seen as both a symbol of sexuality and of female liberation and their freedom to express themselves and show their bodies. These two items of clothing juxtapose and each can be seen as an assault on the values of the opposing culture [It's great that you've understood the idea of the question, but this sentence could be a perfectly good intro by itself! We know what burkas and bikinis are, get to the point!]
, however in my view I dont think it can be said that the Burka is seen in such a harsh view in the west as the bikini is in Arab states and in this analysis I will attempt to demonstrate why. [Always good to outline the substance of your argument - the why]
Firstly it is important to establish the premise of why each clothing is seen as offensive in either country. The Burkha has been seen in western eyes as a method of supressing females and upholding a patriarchal society. The west has made great strides towards gender equality which was kickstarted by giving women the right to vote and has been seen in recent years in attempts to close the gender wage gap (which is a contro
versial issue on its own), put women in more positions of power and increase female education both globally and nationally in different sectors like encouraging girls to enter STEM subjects. The Burkha is seen by the west as a way of both masking the individuality of the female and implying that females exuding any sexuality in a public sphere is something that should be frowned upon. This is going against the movements of feminism to allow women to express themselves how they want and is argued to be used as a mechanism to keep women subservient to their husband. [First bit of repetition. It's also not clear why feminist views on education go against the implications of the burka, which is an item of clothing. See the comment below for more on this.]
Many in the West believe the Burkha is forced upon women so further denying their freedom of choice and expression. These points all demonstrate how the Burkha appears to go , [Be careful with your punctuation and spacing!]
not just against the movement of feminism, but against the liberal roots of our political system itself so is seen as highly offensive in the West. [This is closer to the root of the problem - you don't want women to be subjected to the will of men. If, in Western societies, we don't like the idea of men telling women how to be educated, why should we like the idea of men telling women how to dress? This question is about power/control.]
The bikini is seen as offensive in Arab states for various reasons. Like how the Burkha goes against the idea of freedom of the individual (in western eyes), the bikini could be said to be going against family and religious values. Disrupting these values disrupt the communities which many Arab lives are centred around. The bikini on women opens them up to the lustful stares of men other than
husband. This encourages a culture of promiscuity which can break up families and goes against the teachings in the Islamic religion that the womens se
xuality should be preserved for her husband only.[Make it clear that this is what is PERCEIVED, not the truth. It sounds like I'm reading the words of a fundamentalist right now!]
The bikini could further be seen as a symbol of female liberation as they are making the choice to display their bodies so could disrupt the power balance seen between males and females in Arab states, changing the base of their communities as a whole which could lead them to collapse.[Maybe explain why Muslim communities is so male-dominated? Or at least state it openly?]
Community is held in high esteem in these countries and the risk of their collapse as well as the insult to their religious teachings makes the bikini a highly offensive item of clothing in these countries. Both the Burkha and the bikini represent something larger then themselves which is going against values of a culture so could be argued to be equally offensive.
Despite all this the Burkha is not as offensive in the West [Make sure that capitalisation is consistent! Burka with a capital B, West with a capital W, etc.] and it comes down to the following reason: [colon, not semicolon] the liberal value of tolerance . One of the cornerstones of the ideology of liberalism is that each individual is unique and should be free to express themselves. This naturally leads liberals to favour diversity in a society and for aforementioned society to function there must be a culture of tolerance and acceptance of different beliefs and religions. As the philosopher Voltaire [again, caps!] once said “I detest what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it”; although a western liberal may disagree with the belief system which is behind the existence of the Burkha they accept that individuals are free to believe what they choose and practice these beliefs as long as it is not harming others. This is clear now in liberal societies as multiculturalism has grown and has been accepted as a new type of society where many different beliefs can coexist with each other. [Fairly standard stuff, but good]
The recent rise of terror attacks has led to a right wing movement which has been anti immigration and highly anti Islamic. This is seen in various ways such as Trump's ‘Muslim ban’ and the ‘Burkha ban’ in France. This could lead some to believe that the principle of multicultralism is eroding. But also on the rise and ,increasingly so due to technology and transport links, is globalisation. This is not going to stop anytime soon and as cultures become more interlinked different values will become more accepted if not integrated. Arab states are less prone to masses of immigration then the west due to less job opportunities so this acceptance of opposing values is seen more here. This means that Islam [caps] and its values are becoming more commonplace and therefore more accepted here. [You know, I lost the point in this paragraph. The bit about Trump and France would suggest that parts of Western populations should be more anti-burka. The bit about globalisation not stopping is both very ambitious and slightly normative - you seem to be suggesting that the burka ought to not cause offence because... of... immigration? Islam becoming entrenched? You really need to make the argument clear!
However, it's a good thing that you didn't mention the very un-PC thing that Muslim countries are likely to remain... backwards and introverted - to put it nicely - for the foreseeable future. You'd be surprised at what people can say when they're under pressure.]
Overall, [again, punctuation!] although the roots of both the Burkha and the bikini show a strong antithesis to each other, the West is much more likely to find the Burkha as less offensive due to their ideas of tolerance and multricultralism and the mass immigration which has made the Burkha more commonplace so forced acceptance.