Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Why Face Masks may be Here to Stay

Philosophy News image
 Wearing a mask is a burden but, in some cases, also an advantage, especially for women in a patriarchal society. Traditionally, a mask allowed a certain anonymity and a chance for occasional sexual license. Could it be that the current diffusion of the habit of wearing face masks is a reaction to the more and more invasive "surveillance state" in the West? In this post, I explore this issue also in relation to the biblical story of Tamar and Judah  (above, Tamar and Judah in a painting of the Rembrandt school) (Reposted from "Chimeras")  The fashion of wearing face masks in the West is surprising, especially after that the epidemic has practically vanished from Western Europe. Yet, Westerners cling to their masks as if their life depended on them, even in conditions when they are not needed, for instance in the open air.  The new fashion of face masks in the West is all the more surprising if you consider that practically no known society in history has ever enforced wearing face masks or veils for everyone, except in areas where protection is needed against sand blown by the wind. In the standard Western iconography, someone who wears a mask is a criminal or an outlaw. Who would need to hide his face if not for some evil purpose? True, sometimes a mask is worn by good characters in fiction, such as Batman, but there is always a dark side to the story. The only exception to the rule is the veil worn by married women. It is sometimes said to be an Islamic tradition, but there is nothing specifically Islamic in it. In Southern Europe, up to less than one century ago it was common for married women to wear a veil in public and, even today, a Western bride sometimes wears a veil at her marriage. In general, it is typical for women to be veiled in public in patriarchal societies, as it is still the case in some Middle Eastern and Asian countries. I would argue that the veil can be seen as a burden, but also as. . .

Continue reading . . .

News source: Cassandra's Legacy

blog comments powered by Disqus