Chapter and Verse, Newswordy

Volleyball in a hijab: Does this picture show a culture clash?

This picture has apparently been causing a bit of a stir in the English Speaking press. The question being is it a culture clash or just two countries playing sport, some focused on the culture some on the sport. The net result was that the press began playing Adjective Top Trumps.


Culture clash?

For the Times it was a “culture clash”, for the Daily Mail “a massive cultural divide” between “the cover-ups” and “the cover-nots” – and for the Sun the cultural divide was not “massive” but “colossal”. The BBC web site asked the question – Does this image represent cultural differences between humans, two different ways to oppress women, or does it simply represent two athletes at the absolute pinnacle of their game playing in attire in which they feel comfortable? It made me think of what an excellent example of stereotyping this was. Geert Hofstede explains that if you could draw a graph of the values of two different cultures there would be large areas of commonality between both. Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 18.43.19 However, it is never the common ground and the common ground is that here is a picture of two women playing a sport. Disappointingly however, we see rarely see the things we have in common, no, we see the extremes, the startling, surprising or astounding. … Whoops I went into adjective overdrive! Who needs journalism school!