Sunday, December 05, 2004

musing about uniforms

I walked past a goth the other day. Not the variety which sacked Rome, but the kind with long black leather overcoats and black jeans and black books with metalwork on. It occured to me that the cool thing about being a goth or a punk or a member of another clearly-defined fashion subculture is that moving city is really no problem. All you have to do is hang around in the market square of the new town for a couple of hours on a Saturday, and you'll guarantee to meet people with the same taste in music, literature and film, and probably with similar political and moral views too.

Religious clothing laws are not the same shorthand. A goth wears goth stuff to show his gothicness; a plymouth brethren, amish, or Hassidic Jewish woman wears modest dark clothes similarly to identify herself as part of a group, sure. But there's more to it than that - it is a morally good act not to send signals of sexual availability with provocative clothing if one is not actually available. It is easier to focus straight in on the person and the mind of someone in neutral clothing - the person IS the mind, the wrapping is largely a distraction.

But the burquha is different again, IMO, because it is hard to interact in person with a mind whose mouth and eyes are invisible.

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