What Is Acceptable?

Finally, the weekend begins…..I am up to my ears in the speculation over flight 804…..like most trendy MSM topics it is 5 minutes of news and 55 minutes of speculation……I cannot wait for the next high speed chase in Lower Dipshit, MT……

My granddaughter dropped by the other day and we set about doing what we always do….talk and bitch…..Since school only has a couple of weeks left in session I asked her if there was anything new…..she thought awhile and told me of an incident where one of her classmates was catching Hell from the “in crowd” because he had some cheap knock-off sneakers…..she did not understand what the big deal was all about….

I told her that it was a never-ending thing….told her about the grief I got back in the day with my long hair and faded jeans….that it was always the way….the “leader of the pack” dictated the fashion….(and then I gave her a historical perspective)….(yeah she had the same response as everyone else)……

And now for that history lesson……you are welcome!

Peter the Great: Shave that Beard!

Tsar Peter the First of Russia was one of the first great sartorial modernizers. Strongly influenced by his journeys in Western Europe and determined to remake Russia in Europe’s image, he began with European aesthetics. Returning from a tour of the continent in 1698, he greeted members of his court, pulled out a razor, and began forcibly shaving them so they would look more like Europeans. His contemporaries took this as a sign of his godlessness, since many Russians saw beards as an essential sign of the Russian Orthodox faith. Peter didn’t stop there. Needing money for his military campaigns against the Swedish Empire, he imposed a hefty beard tax. Any member of the public who wanted to keep his beard had to buy and carry a special token that read, “money has been taken” on one side, and, in some cases, “the beard is a superfluous burden” on the other.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk: No More Fezzes!

In 1826, the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud made the red cylindrical felt fez part of Turkish national attire. But in the 1920s the modernizing secular nationalist Mustafa Kemal Ataturk set out to abolish it, and toured the country haranguing Turks with rhetorical questions like “Is our dress nationalistic?” and “Is our dress civilized and universal?” in 1925, Turkey passed a “hat law” requiring that all men wishing to wear hats should stick to western styles. In some parts of the country, this led to armed clashes, and penalties for violating the law could be severe, including imprisonment with hard labor and even death. Ataturk imposed other sartorial restrictions as well, requiring women to abandon the Islamic headscarf in state institutions like universities and government offices. That rule is no longer in force, but the hat law remains on the books.

Reza Shah: Take off that Veil!

Iran’s own secular nationalist strongman, Reza Shah, passed a uniform law in 1928 requiring all men to adopt western dress, although exceptions were made for recognized members of the Islamic clergy. An admirer of Ataturk, he also brought in a hat law in 1935 following a visit to Turkey. As in Turkey, the new dress laws led to violent clashes in Iran. Perhaps provoked by religious opposition, in 1936 Reza Shah became the first leader to abolish the Islamic headscarf. That year, he held celebrations around the country and ordered members of government and the military to appear in public with their unveiled wives. Many Iranian women resisted the ban, and in some cases had veils forcibly torn off by police. When Reza Shah was forced to abdicate following the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran in 1941, some women went back to wearing the veil. Others did not don it again until 1979.

Hitler: No Slim Models! Aryan Birthing Hips!

Few regimes have taken greater interest in fashion than the Third Reich. In 1933, the year the Nazis took power, they established the Deutsches Modeamt, or German Fashion Institute. Adolf Hitler had strong personal opinions about fashion and beauty. He didn’t like makeup or fur since they came from dead animals, and found perfume disgusting. Nazi Germany prized German folk costume, which should ideally only ever have been touched by Aryan hands. Nazi fashion ideals were largely a reaction against French dominance of European fashion, and the preeminence of famous Jewish designers. Hitler regarded French fashion as decadent and didn’t care for the French fashion industry’s predilection for slim-hipped models, a feature he thought unsuited for child-bearing. “No more Paris models,” he announced. The fashion house Hugo Boss famously supplied military uniforms under the Third Reich.

Mao’s Red Guards: Everyone in Uniform!

In 1966, Mao Zedong, chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, feared his position within the party was vulnerable. In retaliation, he launched his “Cultural Revolution,” setting radical youths against the party elite, as well as wider Chinese society. Fanatical young men and women, answering his call, donned the androgynous military uniforms and red armbands of the Red Guards, and humiliated, tortured and murdered perceived “class enemies” en masse. “The underlying aim,” as one historian puts it, “was to subsume individual personality in order to allow the political ideals of the time to be carried out.” The cultural revolution ended with Mao’s death in 1976.

The Taliban: Nothing Goes–Except Beards!

These days, historic images of women donning western fashions in Afghanistan in the 1970s serve as a mind-blowing novelty. But according to Amnesty International, women in Afghanistan achieved a steady progression in rights during the 20th century, gaining the vote in 1919, and a degree of constitutional equality in the 1960s. Soviet occupation from 1979 to 1989, and the civil war it left in its wake, left women at the mercy of men of violence. When the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban took control of the country in 1996, they forbade women to study, work, speak publicly, leave home without a male chaperone, or show any skin at all. In practice, this meant wearing the all-encompassing burqa, which made them completely invisible. Men, by contrast, had only to show their commitment to Islam by growing beards.

I told her to not hurry herself…..it would all change to something new by next school session……

She looked bewildered and said….”now that is not very encouraging”.

We will enjoy our time together and so should you guys…..go enjoy the weekend and do something fun.