A distinction without a difference

I just made an awesome tw**t. Here it is:


  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Celebrate neither; tolerate both.

    • Curt Nelson
      Posted February 23, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      And criticize both.

    • Brian Salkas
      Posted February 24, 2017 at 12:55 am | Permalink

      Yep, but unfortunately this is not a majority view.

  2. Cindy
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    The one in the hijab is a noble savage! We must pat her on the head and remark on what a charming zoo animal she is.

    The women in the FLDS wear? They have moral agency and are simply suffering from internalized misogyny.

    • Kevin
      Posted February 23, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Internalized misogyny. Nice.

      Though having never read a word of the Koran I suspect there are prescriptions for eternalized misogyny awaiting in the afterlife.

      • rickflick
        Posted February 23, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Well, I’m pretty sure they are not promised 72 male virgins after martyrdom.

        • Mark Joseph
          Posted February 23, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

          On the other hand, that would give them something to do with the uncontrollable lust they arouse (at least, once they take off the burlap sacks they are forced to wear).

          • David Redfrost
            Posted February 25, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

            I read somewhere that the term 72 virgins has been misinterpreted from the Koran, that the term originally meant 72 raisins.

            • Mark Joseph
              Posted February 25, 2017 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

              I’ve heard that too, but find it hard to imagine that it’s correct. After all, doesn’t seem like much of a reward for a life of submission.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted February 23, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Yes – or the other factor, the notion that religion and any silly doodad associated with it, must be protected and defended at all costs. Unfortunately I think an individual wearing doodads and the religion itself is too fine a hair to split easily.

      • Cindy
        Posted February 23, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        You are a wordsmith.


        ‘thingie doodles’

        You might think that I am being saracstic, but honestly, i love playful use of language like that. Half the time I cannot think of the right word so I’m like ‘stuff’ ‘thingamajig’ ‘uknowhatsit’ and so on. I also use ‘like’ a lot…I must be a Valley Girl!

        Yes, that’s it. I identify as a Valley Girl.

        • BJ
          Posted February 23, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

          Does Canada have many Valley girls? ๐Ÿ˜›

          • Cindy
            Posted February 24, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

            I live in a river valley…

            Does that count?

            • Mike
              Posted March 3, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

              Well your a valley girl, so it must do.

          • Posted February 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

            I had a friend once who was both a Canadian valley girl sometimes and a lover of logic and mathematics. Figure that one out.

            (Think, “Like, calculus is sooooo cool!”)

    • somer
      Posted February 23, 2017 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      Jerry said the ones on the right are the Mormon wives of Jeff Warren, who has been jailed for it. Mate guarding the harem of women of the harem or else ensuring the certainty of paternity of lineage in a culture that operates according to extended clan and kinship – extension from Bedoin culture and honour culture that expressly subordinates women.

      Very spiritual. Just like “the penis that never bends” of the man who enters Islamic paradise

      Sub Saharan Africa has widespread polygamy but there (traditionally) its largely a pregnancy spacing technique and a way of nabbing scarce wealthy men in a very harsh environment. The women work and infidelity is OK so long as the husband is officially recognised as the father/the offspring enter his household.

      • somer
        Posted February 24, 2017 at 5:39 am | Permalink

        Not modest for the husband. Women put on makeup and dress up for the husband at home. Belly dancing too to appeal. Just mate guarding. According to Geraldine Brooks in Nine Parts of Desire, Ayatollah Khomeinis wife had brightly dyed hair and makeup under the veil.

    • Helen Hollis
      Posted February 24, 2017 at 1:47 am | Permalink

      What is a nobel savage?

      • Diane G.
        Posted February 24, 2017 at 3:36 am | Permalink

        Kary Mullis was a little weird…but I don’t know about savage…

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted February 24, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Alice Munro? Though she’s more a denizen of the Canadian hinterland than a “savage” per se. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. bluemaas
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Oooo, Dr Coyne: .that. so is a gooood ‘ne !

    Will (shortly) REtweet !


  4. rickflick
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Are those all Smith’s wives? Well, as long as we don’t see the magic undies, I’m OK with it.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    I think that pretty well says it all. Same reason indeed.

  6. Posted February 23, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    It seems many of the commenters dont understand your point

    • Posted February 23, 2017 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Whaddya mean, Lantog? Not only is it AWESOME it’s EPIC!!!!! I’d RT it, but I don’t know if Russia Today would be interested. ROFL. LOL. ICYMI, whatever that means.

      Is ‘epic’ an acronym, as well? If it is, that’s EPIC!!!!

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted February 23, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Evolution Pwns Imbecilic Creationism(?)

  7. Lee Quave
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    The dresses from the fifties look old the other one looks more modern and better.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted February 23, 2017 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Dresses from the 50s? No, No. More like home made dress from any decade you pick.

    • somer
      Posted February 24, 2017 at 5:23 am | Permalink

      except you can see they are wearing sweaters under the dress sleeves to be extra “modest”, completely opaque stockings and clomping footwear that hides the shape of their feet.The dresses are boring, with no pattern on them whatsoever. Yes they are wearing long sleeved dresses but that is about it. Not any fifties wear that most women of the period would be seen dead in.

  8. Posted February 23, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    A niece and her four daughters all dress “modestly” according to the tenets of the Assembly of God. On at least one occasion, their dress had the opposite effect in that a fellow told them that they were quite alluring as he could only imagine what was hidden ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cindy
      Posted February 23, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      he could only imagine what was hidden

      “””If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it..whose fault is it – the cats or the uncovered meat? “”””” – Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali

      What stands out about this comment, is that he regards women as *meat*, covered or un-covered.

      Modesty is just another form of objectification.

      • Posted February 23, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        Wow. And amen. And going the opposite direction, a Fort Collins, CO, court just found that the law forbidding women to go topless is unconstitutional and discriminatory.

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted February 23, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        โ€œA woman alone is like a piece of sheep fat in the sun,โ€ she told us. โ€œEverything will come and feed on that fat. Before you know it, the ants and insects are crawling all over it, until there is nothing left but a smear of grease.โ€ My grandmother pointed to a gobbet of fat melting in the sun, just beyond the talal treeโ€™s shadow. It was black with ants and gnats. For years, this image inhabited my nightmares. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Infidel (pp. 9-10)

    • Posted February 24, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      “LETEK: Proof of their barbarism. They adorn themselves with gold, a despicable use of a valuable metal. And they shamelessly clothe their females.
      MORDOC: Inviting others to unclothe them. The very depth of perversion.”

      Can’t win. (Though this example is of course fiction.)

  9. Diana MacPherson
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    One is far more flashy as well.

    And Jerry – using the word, “awesome”. Cluck cluck!

    • Posted February 23, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      The word was a JOKE! It’s a subtle HuffPo parody, though, as someone pointed out, I should have used the word “epic”.

      • Posted February 23, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        A Well Epic Summation Of My Enthusiasms -AWESOME!

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 25, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        Totes awesomesauce

  10. Posted February 23, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Because one example lives in a sunny area? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Craw
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I must sadly criticize the execution even as I applaud the motive. The picture on the left side is quite attractive. This matters to the effectiveness of the juxtaposition. More subtly it shows a single woman, subtly suggesting independence, while the right hand side suggests conformity.

    • Helen Hollis
      Posted February 24, 2017 at 1:51 am | Permalink

      I saw that too.

  12. Rob
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Every woman I’ve ever know who left a religion with strict dress codes, eventually abandoned the dress code and started dressing like other women in the wider community.

    • Posted February 24, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      I hope that there are lots of such women!

    • Cindy
      Posted February 24, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Rules for dressing modestly in evangelical circles:


      What’s actually kinda disturbing is that evangelical women are supposed to be pure, virtuous, and yes, natural. Naturally beautiful and feminine. So they are expected to look beautiful but not as if they put any effort into it.

  13. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Excellent choice of phrase “distinction without a difference”.

    Or any of those Eastern European scarves and stuff that have absolutely nothing to do with Islam. Or the airline stewardesses who wear the thingie doodles.

  14. Ro
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Because Muslims are known for killing people, and Mennonites are known for selling produce and bulk foods?

    • Posted February 23, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Good one ๐Ÿ™‚ And for being pacifists.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted February 23, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      I’m no expert, but the ones on the right appear to be Mormon rather than Mennonite.

      Plus, there’s a rumor that some Muslims haven’t killed anybody, if you can believe that.

      • Posted February 23, 2017 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Ken – it really is hard to tell since many conservative Christian brands dress similarly. Could be conservative branches of Mormons, Assemblies and Churches of God, Mennonites, evangelical Lutherans, etc. I do not see any head coverings and there are a couple of non-plain dresses which could point toward Mormons. Maybe PCC can enlighten us ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Posted February 23, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        Yes, they are Mormons; in fact they’re all Warren Jeff’s wives! Jeffs, now in jail for life, is also in the picture.

        • Craw
          Posted February 23, 2017 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

          Then the Mormon church would deny they are Mormons actually. Jeffs’s sect is considered heretical and not part of the LDS by the LDS.

          Typo in the comment? The possessive should be Jeffs’s I think.

      • Ro
        Posted February 24, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Oh OK, Mennonites dress similarly.

        Ya some Muslims didn’t kill somebody, and some Mennonites don’t run country stores. But one group has a philosophy which tends much more towards violence than the other, even if every member does not participate.

        I do not know much about the violent tendencies of Mormon philosophy, but my general impression is that it is somewhere between Muslims and Mennonites.

    • Robert Ryder
      Posted February 24, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Just in case anyone is under the impression that Christians can’t be violent, I heartily recommend Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven. It’s a great read. I don’t make this recommendation to in any way to minimize the violence of radical Muslims.

      • Cindy
        Posted February 24, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        I have found myself defending Christianity vs Islam when it comes to violence – mainly, that saying ‘the Bible has violence too’ does not exactly excuse the modern-day violent actions of some Muslims based on the Koran…

        However, Lalo Dagach made a pretty good point on the Tw*tter which I had not really considered – in less developed parts of the world, such as South America and Brazil, Christians can be very nasty indeed. In some South American nations, violence against LGBT folks is endemic…

        However, in modern secular nations, many Christians are simply of the ‘cafeteria’ variety, whereas if you look at various polls, a large percentage of Muslims favour enforcing Sharia on the rest of us…

  15. wardaword
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Why? Well, in the US, Mormons are much more celebrated than Muslims. That probably because Mormons are more white and European and Christian than Muslims.

    • Craw
      Posted February 23, 2017 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      So your impression is that the case shown on the right is the celebrated one?

      • Posted February 24, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        I had the same reaction as you, Craw, but then I tried shifting perspectives and it kind of makes sense. Regular readers of WEIT can see instantly what Jerry is going for here, but to an Evangelical Christian from small town Bible Belt, USA, it may seem the opposite. Like that guy who mistook South Asians for Middle Easterners (and shot them), many ignorant Americans would look at this tweet and see “evil Muslim” on one side and “wholesome Christians” on the other side. A gay kid or an atheist in small town Bible belt might react the way “wardaword” did.

        • Diane G.
          Posted February 24, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

          Agree. You have to be familiar with the CTRL-left’s love of hajibs to figure out which point Jerry is going for here. But since his twitter followers presumably already are so, it was probably interpreted correctly by most…

      • wardaword
        Posted February 24, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Yes. In the US, for sure.

        The Pew survey shows Muslims are the least favored religious group in the US. They are less favored than atheists.

        The presidential candidate who issued a statement calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until…” won the election.

        That seems to indicate the left is not the celebrated one.

    • somer
      Posted February 24, 2017 at 1:52 am | Permalink

      But why is it OK in America to produce and release a musical that mocks Mormons and which has had global success and is very popular in America. Such mockery of Islam by Muslims in a muslim country would end in much bloodshed

      • komponist1
        Posted February 24, 2017 at 5:00 am | Permalink

        It has usually been my observation that my Mormon students possess a sense of humor and a willingness to joke about their own religion. Maybe this is the reason for the difference.

    • Posted February 24, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      In the USA, Mormons are a home-grown phenomenon. It makes sense for people to be more tolerant of a local cult than of an imported one.

  16. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    When I imagine a pro-hijab defense against PCC(E)’s argument, all I can imagine is special pleading.

  17. David Duncan
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear! The ones on the right are displaying their hair! They’re going to hell.

    • Posted February 24, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      David – we must remember what the scriptures proclaim:

      1 Corinthians 11:15 And isn’t long hair a woman’s pride and joy? For it has been given to her as a covering.

      And in 11:5 But a woman dishonors her head if she prays or prophesies without a covering on her head, for this is the same as shaving her head.

      And 1 Thessalonians 5:17 demands prayer at all times.

      Thus everyone should have their heads covered at all times – that’s why these women are going to hell.

    • Posted February 24, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      And if you want some chuckles, google “evangelical hairdos”

    • Posted February 24, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Yes, where is there alleged modesty? I am sure all male readers of this site are now aroused from looking at the right photo!

  18. Gabrielle
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    If you ever visit Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, you’ll see the Amish lifestyle glorified, for the consumption of thousands of tourists each year. No, make that 8.3 million visitors to the county in 2015. [see here]
    People actually think the simple clothes and bonnets that the women wear are quaint, and not something negative.
    The tourists certainly aren’t thinking of the circumscribed lives that the Amish live.

  19. jrhs
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Beacause someone in the fashion business decided to celebrate it?

  20. gluonspring
    Posted February 24, 2017 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    WTF? I slack off my reading for just a little bit (busy, nothing wrong with the site or content!) and when I come back you’re tw**ting?

    The world has gone mad.

  21. Helen Hollis
    Posted February 24, 2017 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    I am not sure what to think about this post.
    There are missing facts.

    • Diane G.
      Posted February 24, 2017 at 3:46 am | Permalink

      Pretty much the definition of a tw**t…

    • somer
      Posted February 24, 2017 at 3:48 am | Permalink

      The celebration of the hijab and blind eye towards women’s treatment in Islam by some on the left versus their severe criticism of misogyny in the western Christian church or amongst any christians

  22. eedwardgrey69
    Posted February 24, 2017 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    Well. One of the major differences is that nobody tries to FORBID Christian women to wear butt ugly dresses. If they did, I would defend their right to do so. Same for Muslim women. If they WANT to.

    • Posted February 24, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      I am sure there are millions of businesses where a woman dressed like in the right photo has no chance to pass the interview, plus many others where she would be required to wear an uniform and any “modest” rags protruding out of the uniform would be unthinkable.

  23. Bob
    Posted February 24, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    A woman whom I supervised some years ago once told me of her aunt who bathed with seven different wash cloths. One for each of the various good and bad parts of her body.

    No I do not know where the boundaries were.

  24. Posted February 24, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    More ‘modesty wear’, curtesy of Margaret Atwood:

  25. Posted February 24, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Until 1968 woman within the Catholic Church had to wear a head scarf. Evolutionary people within the church changed the rule left over from the 14th century. Same is happening with the Muslim community in western nations as reforms within denominations make changes.

    • Posted February 24, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Not quite, Dennis. Woman had to wear hats or head-scarves at mass. In everyday life, not.

      • Posted February 24, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Our home was very strict Roman Catholicism to the point where I spoke Latin and four other languages. Mother could remove the head-scarf at home. When we went out she had to wear it as a vow to the Catholic Church.

        You made a good point by showing there are many variations within the Catholic Church. Muslim men and women are reforming today within their various congregations. You will not see it without looking for it. The media and Hollywood films have replaced reality with fiction.

        • somer
          Posted February 26, 2017 at 6:14 am | Permalink

          But very far from the experience of most people in the west even 60 years ago and before – How many veils do you see in old master paintings/??
          moreover the headscarf/hijab/veil has become the norm in the middle east and most of the muslim world – and always was in the middle east. In Islamic countries even girls have to wear them.

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