I’m not saying that Liz Jones is shallow, and spending a week in a burqa is more than I’m willing to do in the name of journalism. For one thing, I’m not going to risk the rickets. But is she absolutely sure that the right to wear a strappy top is so important it should be defended with the full force of the UK’s military? Has she really and completely thought through the politics of invasion?
In Afghanistan, the burka is known as the ‘chadri’; it became common only when the Taliban came to power.
When I think of the young men who have died fighting the Taliban and the calls to end a war that has ‘nothing to do with us’, I think of how I felt in my mobile prison and remember that, for all those women forced to hide their faces and their bodies, their fight is our fight, too.
The night I finally took off my burka, I wanted to put on make-up, spaghetti straps and the highest shoes I own. All week I’d been wearing scent, so compelling was the need to be feminine.
© Sarah Ditum, 2009