How nice Pat Condell took time out to mansplain this to us "girls."
Perhaps he hasn't heard from us feminists because what we say is generally ignored, especially by the press. Any one so blind to his own misogynistic attitudes has a damn lot of gall taking feminists to task about something we have been protesting long before he condescended to notice it.
If women here feel shamed by his message, that's on you alone, not feminists in general. I among many other feminists have been speaking out about this for quite some time. Maybe Pat Condell needs to get the wax out of his ears.
So what are we to do? Confront women in hijab, a scarf covering hair? Inquire? Challenge? As college instructor, when I had a student wearing a hijab I talked to her privately about her customs, how she felt about them, what made her feel better, would she like to not wear them ... stuff like that. If she stated she wore it because she liked it and wanted to wear it, I said nothing more. If she spoke to me about it or asked my opinion, I would tell her that I thought it was unnecessary to protect herself in this culture and if she had problems with aggressive men she had recourse in law and support of women and men in our classroom and in our culture. As to the burka, I didn't encounter this garb and had I, I would have requested to see her face.
Pat's criticism is a fair one and I wonder if banning it as a policy of society is better than to do it individually. Remember how we used to shun Mennonites and they continue to dress according to their customs.
If an Islamic woman or group asked for my support, I would give it in an instant.