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Judging a woman by her cover

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Adel Heine’s weekly column

Facebook informed me that I am pleasant to Satan. Little did I know when I got out of bed this morning that my day would deteriorate to the point where I am being nice to the personification of evil. I always thought I was a pretty good judge of character but I guess I have spent my life in a delusional fog that prevented me from seeing that that nice girl or cute guy were actually the devil in disguise.

The way this sad truth was brought to my attention was accompanied by a drawing that showed eight different women wearing different styles of clothes, from shorts and a crop top to full galabeya and a long veil covering hair and shoulders. The woman in the beach wear is allocated the number one and as the numbers go up, the length of the clothes increases as do the steps the female figurines are standing on. Number eight looms high over her sisters, lording her righteousness over all and sundry.

Looking closely at the depictions poses some interesting observations. While it is obvious why number two is low on the totem pole, she is clad in a t-shirt and wears Capri pants, her neighbour is dressed in what would be considered demure in most areas of the world; a long sleeved shirt and long pants, yet she is still only ranked third in the row of shame. Four and five are nearly twins, with both covering their hair, yet five wins by covering her neck as well.

Six scored her points undoubtedly by wearing a shirt over her pants that reaches hip height and her veil covers the top of her chest, yet her arms are still fully visible. Seven covers shoulders and wears a thigh hugging shirt and probably only lost to eight because of her galabeya. A friend remarked that number nine and ten do not appear because of course they stayed home. I bet you they are wearing whatever they want.

Strangely enough, it is not until we get to number seven that the clothes stop being skin tight. I have never understood how the desire for modesty goes hand in hand with bra-strap showing shirts and panty lines visible through pants. Then again, I am friends with the beast from below so what do I know?

Whoever drew the picture has done us all a big service by finally putting the age old question of who is holier than thou to rest. And now we know as well that as long as hair and neck are out of sight you can wear clothes that require a shoehorn to get into in the morning and you still are considered to be over the halfway mark of proper dress.

I am also grateful to know that it does not matter in which country you live; as a woman you will be judged by how you look. Scores of years of feminist fighting to change the perception of women have obviously been in vain as proven by the author of this educational piece of information. The one page guide of pictures, handy for those of us who do not read, makes it clear once and for all what the pecking order of respectability is.

In case you wonder how all of this relates to me being chummy with the fiend of the furnace, there is one more addition to this inspiring classification of women. In case the numbering, nor the growing stack of blocks that each woman stands on, was not clear, two arrows, each pointing in the opposite direction are drawn underneath. The top arrow points towards number eight and carries the description Pleasant to God. The arrow underneath points to the hussy in the shorts and states: Pleasant to Satan.

So there you go, I am a friend of the fiend.

About the author

Adel Heine

Adel Heine

DNE Art & Culture, and Lifestyle Editor


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