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The Huntress vs. The Headline: “PR 101: Helping Burqa Banners Stay On Message”

July 20, 2011

Today’s headlines have left me in abject despair – surely they can’t get any worse than some of the tripe I have previously encountered, but evidently they do. AdelaideNow have left me in a depressed state over “Thin Wives Keep Husbands Happy”, the Herald Sun have plunged me into anhedonia with “Chooka’s outburst ‘scared people'” and have taken away my will to live with “Murdoch: The Foam Pie Hit That Backfired”.

I’ll have a bottle of wine, six Xanax and a straightjacket to go please.

Today’s article has been very well executed and I believe the author, Tory Shepherd, has posed some excellent advice to those, uh, ‘special’ people out there who feel that the burqa is offensive and should be banned. PR advice offered to those 20,000 people who have pledged to join a “Ban The Burqa” protest includes learning to spell and following the rules of grammar, conserve your time and energy for logical arguments and threatening violence has a tendency to make you look like a nutter. It all seems like sound advice to me.

Ms. Shepherd discusses how the message the protesters seemingly wish to convey is clouded by illogical connections, rantings and violence. Allegedly those people attending the “Ban The Burqa” protest are going to be wearing balaclavas and trench coats…because, um, maybe we shouldn’t wear balaclavas or trench coats? Or perhaps ladies wearing a burqa should opt for a balaclava and a trench coat? I think everyone should own a trench coat, they’re fantastic (I have one in pretty red, one with excellent 1/2 length sleeves and a trench dress with the back cut out – impractical, but very cool. In more than one way), but like Ms. Shepherd I fail to see the connection between balaclava’s, trench coats and burqas.

The ranting is definitely an issue of poor PR on behalf of the burqa banners. They do wonder why they are often accused of being ignorant, illiterate bigots, but do they really have to wonder when such messages are being added to the Facebook protest page as: “Your kid/sista/motha, whateva gets raped by a hep c carrying aids infected junkie posing as a woman dressed in a burqa! No this crook gets away but noone got a good description just saying a burqa clad person about 5foot6 dressed in black…………….Did this!” (Is it really necessary for me to note ‘sic’ for that little quote? Do you know how long it took for me to faithfully type that out? Not to mention how long it took to decipher it)? Ms. Shepherd notes that it seems the person responsible for this little rant may have some concerns about security, but, due to the incomprensible nature of the rant, has lost their point in a sea of spelling errors and non-existant grammar.

Hate-filled, bile-spitting violence is another pressing issue that seems to do no favours to the message the burqa banners are trying to convey. Quite often the burqa (or actually Ms. Shepherd states, the niqab, which is the face veil the burqa banners have probably got burqa confused with) issue is being confused with the issue of asylum seekers coming to Australia via boat, another (entirely) different contentious issue in Australia. But exclaiming “Mate do us a favor and press the fucking button already. The sooner you’s all go off the better!” merely makes you look like an uneducated sociopath with aggressive tendencies, rather than drawing empathy to your chosen cause.

As a finishing note to todays entry (and as I was reminded of this pic on the Coco Blog after cruising Coco de Mer’s site for a pic the other day) I have always loved this picture and wanted to share it.

When people talk of the burqa (or niqab) they so often speak of women being oppressed. The blog entry “Welcome Home Honey” ,written by Sam Roddick, briefly explores some ideas about western presumptions of women from other cultures. What I particularly like about this picture is that it makes you wonder who has been blinded in their ideals and had their freedom of expression removed. Just a thought, of course…


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  1. Chris permalink

    That is by the most wonderful article I have read in a very long time.
    Thank you for the gift of sharing that one.

    And now, I suspect you need to have a shower and scrub your fingers with some bleach after faithfully retyping some choice pieces.

    And in other news, here is a present for you!

    • Ah, Chris, how did you know I love the old pharmaceutical ads? They are fantastic, some I’ve not seen before too! I’m glad you enjoyed the entry, I very much liked the headline and article, it made some excellent and relevant points.

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