Category: Structure

SUMPTUARY LEGISLATION

SUMPTUARY LEGISLATION


Was very widespread in the 16th century, and in fact for many was carried over into the 17th century.  The process was orchestrated by governments mainly to keep people in their place.  So in England you had to wear a woolly hat if you were an apprentice, if you did not do so you could be arrested.  If you were not at the level of Knight or Baron, then you could be arrested if you dared to wear purple.

The whole Idea was to keep a ‘moral line’ so you needed to be able to quickly tell a milkmaid from a countess, if you did not then the whole of society would unravel.  

For example:

Greenwich, 15 June 1574, 16 Elizabeth I

Wherefore her majesty willeth and straightly commandeth all manner of persons in all places within 12 days after the publication of this present proclamation to reform their apparel according to the tenor of certain articles and clauses taken out of the said statutes and with some moderations annexed to this proclamation, upon pain of her highness’s indignation, and punishment for their contempts, and such other pains as in the said several statutes be expressed.


None shall wear

            Any cloth of gold, tissue, nor fur of sables: except duchesses, marquises, and countesses in their gowns, kirtles, partlets, and sleeves; cloth of gold, silver, tinseled satin, silk, or cloth mixed or embroidered with gold or silver or pearl, saving silk mixed with gold or silver in linings of cowls, partlets, and sleeves: except all degrees above viscountesses, and viscountesses, baronesses, and other personages of like degrees in their kirtles and sleeves.

            Velvet (crimson, carnation); furs (black genets, lucerns); embroidery or passment lace of gold or silver: except all degrees above mentioned the wives of knights of the Garter and of the Privy Council, the ladies and gentlewomen of the privy chamber and bedchamber, and maids of honour.

None shall wear any velvet in gowns, furs of leopards, embroidery of silk: except the degrees and persons above mentioned the wives of barons’ sons, or of knights.

Cowls, sleeves, partlets, and linings, trimmed with spangles or pearls of gold, silver, or pearl; cowls of gold or silver, or of silk mixed with gold or silver: except the degrees and persons above mentioned; and trimmed with pearl, none under the degree of baroness or like degrees.

            Enameled chains, buttons, aglets, and borders: except the degrees before mentioned.

            Satin, damask, or tufted taffeta in gowns, kirtles, or velvet in kirtles; fur whereof the kind groweth not within the Queen’s dominions, except foins, grey genets, bodge, and wolf: except the degrees and persons above mentioned, or the wives of those that may dispend £100 by the year and so valued in the subsidy book.

            Gowns of silk grosgrain, doubled sarcenet, camlet, or taffeta, or kirtles of satin or damask: except the degrees and persons above mentioned, and the wives of the sons and heirs of knights, and the daughters of knights, and of such as may dispend 300 marks by the year so valued ut supra, and the wives of those that may dispend £40 by the year.


And so on and so on…


So what France has tried to do with legislation on Burkini’s and other countries are trying to do in terms of legislating for dress, particularly woman’s dress is really nothing new.


It’s all about control, but let’s be upfront and know that this kind of legislation, power, instructions, do not just come from the hands of government – religions also use their power to try and control dress, again I say particularly woman’s dress.  It’s about power, control and I think male chauvinism.   I did read also that the Burkini had been condemned by religious authority too, as you could distinguish the outline of the female form – oh help!


Such laws that control our dress are facile, and actually should be resisted; but let us not think as has been widely published that the woman are free to chose how they dress, that too is a facile view. Also do not think that it is just Islam, or the French government that tries to control such things.  My wife comes from a particular Christian group that also tried to list such laws as to what to wear and particularly what goes on  your head – what is it with female heads, maybe it’s me but I just don’t get the problem?

Anyway coming from a background of working in the fashion industry, when I met my wife, and supplied clothes the family definitely labelled me as the horror that had turned their daughter into Jezebel, for those who know that meaning.  There’s that moral prerogative again got to keep those morals right and its woman’s apparel that will do it isn’t it.

So back to that simplistic statement that the women who want to wear the Burkini should be free to do so.  What does that ‘free’ mean?   Now I do meet Muslim woman who tell me that they wear it out of religious choice.  Some maybe are doing so, but I really don’t think the majority are.

I have travelled to the Middle East many times and watched groups of giggling young woman on my flight, and just before landing going to the toilets and coming back to their seat in a full Burka, western clothes disappearing.

 I watched the same procession in the airport facility too; a lot of young ladies just disappear and out comes women in black.  Are they free or what?


Let me tell you a story, I was in Kenya working with some churches, a young 16 year old helped me with translation, and came around with me.  After working with me for a week he turned to me one day and said Adrian, are you telling me I can be a Christian without wearing a suit?

I was surprised, saying I haven’t mentioned clothing, but although I had not mentioned it I had noticed he was always dressed in a suit and tie, while I was my scruffy self.   I then asked him, did your church tell you, you had to wear a suit, he thought for a bit and then said no. I then said let me come with you to your church, I did and as I expected I was the only one without suit and tie.  Freedom to wear what you would like, I am not sure that I would call that freedom.

Of course in many Islamic countries they would go one step further and you would be at the mercy of the clothing police; who enforce Islamic dress-codes.


I once went to visit a house, a young Muslim lady was there having her hair cut, as I walked in she grabbed her head covering quickly covering her head, I asked in a long conversation what was the idea of being so covered in the presence of a male, her answer was well men need protection as they cannot control themselves, I am sorry but I am insulted, and I think the majority of men would be too (or should be)


So is it true that the males have no control? Which if that’s what is believed to be true then of course males have no responsibility regarding controlling one’s self. It can’t be done!

Again if that is the belief I am more insulted. What this kind of thinking does it transfers all responsibility to the woman actually that means those deciding on the women’s covering are the ones allowing men to shirk the responsibility of controlling their desires and behaviours. I do not for one minute believe that men cannot control themselves but I do believe that allowing both men and women to believe that men are not capable of controlling themselves then the responsibility for sexual propriety lies solely with the women, making men innocent of any sexual crime; Which is why I guess raped woman in some countries are then imprisoned for allowing themselves to be raped. Are we free yet?


So freedom, most of the time I think not, rather even if only symbolic the male chauvinism is the controlling power, and I think that control needs to be undermined if it’s coming from the national government of a country or the religious power house, it’s wrong.

Not the freedom that I call freedom.



NB.A great book on Fashion if you can get it is: Fashion and Style By Mike Starkey

ISBN 1854242385

Adrian Hawkes

Adrianhawkes.blogspot.com

W. 1275

Edited by Gena Areola

Refugees: the current issues – is there a solution?

Refugees: the current issues – is there a solution?

I was privileged to have been able to speak at the United Nations on the subject recently. The reality is that this is the worst refugee crisis since World War Two; actually, in regards of displacement and movement of people, it’s worse. According to UNHCR there are currently 59.5 million displaced people in the world at the moment.

In the UK there is a lot of anti-immigration press, telling us how many “illegal people” there are and the fact that they are taking jobs, school places, and homes. This has created a great deal of tension and distrust.  Many of the figures quoted are not true, and when you look at real figures from reliable sources you find that the story is very different.


There is another story too, that is not being talked about much and that is one that needs to be brought to Europe’s attention. In Europe, UK, Germany, and Italy particularly, there is a need for young workers who pay tax. The reason being that in the UK and other European countries the indigenous populations are getting older.  Most of us have things like state pensions, paid from taxes.  When these were originally introduced with a male retirement age of 65 and female retirement age of 60, life expectancy was between 68 and 69, very different to today predictions. The current life expectancy in the UK is heading towards 100 years. Who is going to pay for all those retired people? Whose taxes will fund it? We need the refugees’ help to do that.  Politicians don’t have very much to say about this.

FENCE ON CLIFF TOPS

Fences on Cliff Tops

Often times when we make new laws or change old ones, we are not thinking of the consequences unseen up the road.  We would do well to do so; even when those decisions or laws are made with the best intentions in mind.

Early on in the UK, a law was brought in to make tenancy of rented housing more secure.  The good reason for it was that some people were being put out of their rented house for very little good reason.  However, the unforeseen consequences were that for a period it actually created homelessness. People were reluctant to give others a room in their house if they thought they would turn out to be a bad tenant.  That of course was not the intention, but that was what happened.

I wonder, as I look at recent changes in legislation in the USA and the UK, if we are heading for unforeseen circumstances that we will not like. Of course, from a legislation point of view it may have been done for good reasons like equality and freedom, but are we really sure of the outcomes?

I don’t know, but I do wonder what our new freedom so called, our new equality so called, the removal of fences if you will; I wonder what they will bring up the road.  I wonder if they will have good or bad effects on our society.

POWER

Power

  
It’s an old adage, and probably correct that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely!

Thinking about the subject, I am somewhat puzzled by:

a.) The unwillingness and fight against federalism in the UK.

            ‘We don’t want it at any price’ seems to be the politicians’ mantra; what is the difference between that and localising government, or giving more power to local areas, be it Manchester, Scotland, London, or Wales.

b.) Isn’t the localising government some form of Federalism?

 

Rochdale

Rochdale


Listening to the news coming out of Rochdale I know, as everyone is saying, that this is not the end of the story. For my readers who follow what is happening in the  British news, or those that don’t watch the news, there has come to light the fact that some 1,000 plus young people have been abused, prostituted and beaten, giving them lifelong problems.  Yet they were under the care of the authorities and had allocated social workers.  Police were also aware, but no one did anything in case political correctness was interrupted or their carers where put in jeopardy.


When I look at the regulations governing social work, fostering and the care of young people in the UK so much of it is good.  Good regulations, good intentions with an emphasis on good practice.  However it’s not so much the regulations that are at fault, rather the culture.  A culture that from many social workers is a culture of, I must protect my back at all costs.  I must make sure if something goes wrong then I don’t get the blame, and if it does go wrong how I can make sure I do not take any responsibility.  I must protect my career and my income my salary my job!