Carol Platt Liebau: Gwen Stefani Dresses Down

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gwen Stefani Dresses Down

In my new column at Townhall I address Gwen Stefani's recent wardrobe change in response to complaints from Muslims in Malaysia.

Recently pop singer Gwen Stefani made news by making what she referred to as a “major sacrifice” by performing her concert in Malaysia with shoulders, legs and belly completely covered. The reason for ditching her usual attire, which often consists of short skirts and midriff-revealing halter tops, was in reaction to protests from the 10,000-member National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students who said such clothing would clash with Islamic culture and values and provide a poor role model for Malaysian youth. The revealing costumes routinely worn by Stefani and other performers are not only found offensive by Muslims. There are many Jewish, Christian and other religions and cultures that discourage immodest clothing, too. Some groups representing those religions have even complained in the past about the bad example being set for girls and young women by so many in the entertainment industry.

So why would Stefani respond to the protests from a Muslim group, while ignoring similar complaints from Christian and other groups? About 60 percent of Malaysia's population is Muslim, while those in the United States identifying themselves as Christian is over 75 percent. The reason Stefani would bow to Muslims protesting her dress therefore could not be about numbers.

Read the rest at Townhall.

3 Comments:

Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Such an elementary logical error here:

About 60 percent of Malaysia's population is Muslim, while those in the United States identifying themselves as Christian is over 75 percent. The reason Stefani would bow to Muslims protesting her dress therefore could not be about numbers.

The error is the assumption that equal proportions of Christians and Muslims object to scanty clothing. This assumption is demonstrably false. Simply watch a few hours of American television, or look at magazine covers in the stands, then compare them with what you see in Malaysia. Here in the USA, scanty attire is an accepted mode of female dress. In Malaysia, it is not.

I'd like to expand on this point, because it's a perfect example of some points made in a book I've been reading recently: The Authoritarians, by Bob Altemeyer. This guy has been researching the psychology of "right wing authoritarians" for thirty years now and the results he has established -- through rigorous scientific experiment -- are really quite frightening. RWA's (his acronym) are weak in their logical powers (which is what Lorie Byrd's article demonstrates). They're also quite uninterested in opposing arguments. That's why there have been so few responses to my arguments against postings here -- if a statement doesn't agree with an RWA's established opinion, he ignores it. Inconsistencies don't bother RWAs, because their truth comes from authority, not logic. The true function of RWA blogs is to provide them with affirmation of their beliefs, not pursuit of the truth.

It's funny, I have been struggling to understand conservative thinking for years now, and my interactions with conservatives on blogs such as this have not proven very illuminating. But this one book makes everything snap into place. All the strange behaviors I have witnessed on conservative blogs now make sense.

I realize that few readers here will be interested in reading such heresy, but it's my duty to truth to post the link to the book, which is a free download:

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

8:34 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

It might have something to do with the notion that Christians who are offended by immodest dress are much less likely to kill immodestly dressed people than Muslims who are offended by immodest dress.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Earth to Carol said...

It is a business decision of what sells in a particular market. In western societies sex sells.

Young girls look up to Britney types because the world loves them, they are so beautiful, talented. and rich (gag).

Young boys look up to sports players because they are physically talented winners (on steroids).

The marketers have a pretty good idea how to turn various groups of people into consumers.

10:45 PM  

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