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» Ship of Fools   »   » Oblivion   » Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs campaigning against Moslem women? (Page 1)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs campaigning against Moslem women?
Chamois
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I find the latest HMRC campaign against undeclared income disturbing. Why should a campaign about fraud be advertised by pictures of an olive-skinned woman's eyes peering through a small hole in brown paper? Does anyone else find this image disturbingly like a Moslem woman's veil?

Is HMRC trying to frighten us with subliminal cultural fears of the Mongol hordes? Or is there another agenda? If so, what on earth is it?

It seems to me these adverts are going to make people less tolerant towards Moslem women, and because the negative message is subliminal it's all the more insidious.

What do other people think?

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leo
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I think i agree with you.

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Anglican't
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I think you're looking too much in to it. The woman looks white to me and doesn't resemble a Moslem at all. (I can see more of her than I can see of the average niqab wearer.)

The woman in the advertisement has green eyes. Don't olive-skinned or Middle-Eastern people tend to have brown eyes?

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wanderingstar
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Is there anything to suggest the woman is not in fact the investigator, breaking through layers of obfuscation?

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CL
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The leap of logic involved in the OP's proposition seems to be of the 2+2=71 variety.

Do you often go around looking to be offended?

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Garasu
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I do see it. But I'm not sure if I see it because it's been suggested to me...

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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The woman in the linked picture looks as though she is intended to represent a tax inspector.

What have the Mongol hordes got to do with this?

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Firenze

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quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
Does anyone else find this image disturbingly like a Moslem woman's veil?

Nope.

Would it be more/less disturbing if it was male eyes looking through, say, a letterbox?

It's not - and it's not meant to be - a particularly comforting image: it is, after all, saying We SEE you, trying to defraud the state!

But I do think you are bringing your own preconceptions to this - including the rather odd one that a Muslim woman = a Mongol horde.

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ExclamationMark
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walked past the ad yesterday. I thought it was a tax inspector peering out at me. Even with the postings I can't see it in the way you describe.

If it could be seen like that, I'm as sure as I can be that in this very multi cultural area, the issue would be raised and the poster removed or defaced.

Nothing to see here; move along please.

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ExclamationMark
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If that's what you see, then could you also claim discrimination against builders and taxi drivers as they were targetted by HMRC in the last round of investigations.

Seems like the only ones to escape are some large corporations who have the ability to make the kind of deals with HMRC that most of us can only dream about.

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Enoch
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I don't get that impression. As she's obviously wearing make-up, I read her as a tax investigator.

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Garasu:
I do see it. But I'm not sure if I see it because it's been suggested to me...

Same here (to both sentences).

It reminded me rather of this image ... including the green eyes.

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Chamois
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quote:
Originally posted by CL:
Do you often go around looking to be offended?

I'm not offended. I'm disturbed. No reason for me to be offended - it doesn't affect me directly since a) I'm not Moslem and b) I've declared all my income anyway, such as it is.

quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
Would it be more/less disturbing if it was male eyes looking through, say, a letterbox?

Equally disturbing I think, but in a different way. Someone peering through a letter box suggests to me an invasion of private space. A person peering through brown paper wrapping suggests that they are trying to conceal themselves for some reason, which might be cultural (as with Moslem women) or might be because they are intending to rob somebody and escape unidentified.

quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
But I do think you are bringing your own preconceptions to this - including the rather odd one that a Muslim woman = a Mongol horde.

Yes, of course I am bringing my own preconceptions, that's my point. This is iconography - employing an image to convey certain definite messages. The message conveyed by any image depends entirely on the personal and cultural preconceptions of the audience. I don't conceive a Muslim woman as a Mongol horde. My point is that there is a lot of fear of Islam in Western society which probably dates back to the Crusades, and somehow veiled women are seen as particularly threatening.

I'm just puzzled and disturbed by the image and I'm having trouble "decoding" it.

quote:
Originally posted by wanderingstar:
Is there anything to suggest the woman is not in fact the investigator, breaking through layers of obfuscation?

OK, I can sort of see that now you've suggested it. But it doesn't really convey that to me. An investigator "breaking through" should be a much more dynamic image - maybe a fist breaking through the paper, or at least the whole face visible. Not someone peering out of a parcel which has been badly handled by Royal Mail.

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Jane R
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quote:
My point is that there is a lot of fear of Islam in Western society which probably dates back to the Crusades, and somehow veiled women are seen as particularly threatening
I doubt it dates back as far as the Crusades for most people. I know 'crusade' is still a dirty word in the Middle East (for very good reasons) but I suspect about 80% of modern Islamophobia can be dated to 9/11.

Veiled women are threatening to some people for two reasons: (a) you can't see their faces which means they might not be women at all; there could be a terrorist under there for all you know, even if it just looks like Mrs Hussein from the corner shop and (b) they are flouting the unwritten dress code for women, which as the writer of Proverbs could tell you is Wronger Than A Wrong Thing That Is Mistaken. The fact that they are covered from head to foot is irrelevant; if everyone else is walking around in hotpants (which heaven forbid) they are drawing attention to themselves which is Immodest and Unfeminine.

[ 21. November 2012, 09:50: Message edited by: Jane R ]

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daisymay

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Some of the women have been forced by their husbands to cover themselves with niqabs, and some wear it from their own ideas, and of course there have been some men who stole in a shop wearing niqabs to pretend they were women.

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Felafool
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The eyebrows! It's Fiona Bruce

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Matt Black

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I don't find anything offensive about it. Disturbing, yes, but then it's meant to be. I think the OP is reading prejudice into it where there is none to be found unless you go looking.

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Felafool:
It's Fiona Bruce

I initially thought the same thing but then thought 'surely HMRC wouldn't inflict her on us?'.
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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Felafool:
The eyebrows! It's Fiona Bruce

I've never noticed her eyebrows.

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Boogie

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My best friend is a tax inspector and she looks just like the woman in the photo (scary!).

I never thought of the niqāb until I read the OP - and I still don't agree. The woman in this photo trying to make me feel guilty for hiding my 1000s of millions of £ unpaid taxes by peering through my paperwork.

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moron
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quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
Is HMRC trying to frighten us with subliminal cultural fears of the Mongol hordes? Or is there another agenda? If so, what on earth is it?

ISTM she looks like a gay taxi driver.

And DO Muslims avoid paying taxes more than non-Muslims?

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Anglican't
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Co-incidentally, I've just walked by a full-sized version of this poster on an advertising hoarding in a Moslem-dominated part of East London. Looking up at the giant green eyes, I thought the lady looked much more like Fiona Bruce than the niqab-wearers in the street below.
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Jane R
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Boogie said:
quote:
My best friend is a tax inspector and she looks just like the woman in the photo (scary!).
Tax inspectors are meant to be scary...

I'm waiting for the sequel to 'Skyfall', where Bond teams up with a sexy HMRC inspector to track down all the supervillains he hasn't killed yet and make them pay their tax arrears. He could wipe out the National Debt single-handed!

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Chamois -

Just re-reading this, it seems to me it's only you and perhaps Leo who see it this way. A few others can see what you say though doubt they may have thought of it this way if you hadn't first pointed it out.

So maybe this para. of yours holds the key -
quote:
Yes, of course I am bringing my own preconceptions, that's my point. This is iconography - employing an image to convey certain definite messages. The message conveyed by any image depends entirely on the personal and cultural preconceptions of the audience. I don't conceive a Muslim woman as a Mongol horde. My point is that there is a lot of fear of Islam in Western society which probably dates back to the Crusades, and somehow veiled women are seen as particularly threatening.

I'm just puzzled and disturbed by the image and I'm having trouble "decoding" it.

There are a couple of things I think you may have overlooked or misread. Two of them being -

- It's not brown paper - it's grey card. And quite thick card at that.

- It's been broken through from the other side, not just torn randomly.

And of course as several have pointed out, the person in the ad. is staring at you full-on. The person in the ad. is in control, and that is not a friendly stare you are on the receiving end of. You are clearly supposed to be unsettled.

I'm not sure why you have missed these visual cues - was it perhaps that you had been reading about, personally involved with or thinking about an example of islamophobic behaviour somewhere? And if so did it cause you read these elements in the way you did? Just wondering rather than offering any explanations.

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lilBuddha
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I do not see what the OP sees unless I strain to do so. ISTM, she is supposed to be peering through your attempts to conceal your taxable income. Reveal, not conceal, opposite of a niqab. Might be a subltle Roschach test though.

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Bob Two-Owls
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Yes it's a fiendish plot by the HMRC to stop women racking up huge credit card bills on nice dresses by forcing them to wear grey cardboard tubes. Any offence is a sign that you are really a raging tubist...
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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
The woman looks white to me...

As are about a hundred million Muslims or more.

quote:

and doesn't resemble a Moslem at all. (

"Resemble"? What does a Muslim "resemble"?

That said the idea in the OP is absurd.

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Ken

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Firenze

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BTW, a quick skip through Mongol history indicates that they were not, by and large, Muslim. They fought everybody (and usually won). But once they had established an empire, they seem to have been unusually tolerant, for the times, of the faiths of their subjects.
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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
The woman looks white to me...

As are about a hundred million Muslims or more.
That's as maybe. But in the United Kingdom (with which this advert - and presumably by extension this discussion - is concerned) the vast majority of Moslems are not white.

quote:

and doesn't resemble a Moslem at all.
quote:
Resemble"? What does a Muslim "resemble"?

I think it's fair to say that in the UK, the vast majority of Moslems* come from the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent. My point was that the lady in the photograph doesn't resemble someone of that background.

*I accept that there are white Moslems, black Africans Moslems, etc. in the UK but these aren't so prevalent and do not conform to the 'Mongol horde' stereotype to which the OP refers.

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
BTW, a quick skip through Mongol history indicates that they were not, by and large, Muslim. They fought everybody (and usually won). But once they had established an empire, they seem to have been unusually tolerant, for the times, of the faiths of their subjects.

Mostly pagans to start with, with a significant minority of Christians. Later on they became almost entirely Buddhist in their homeland and the territories they'd conquered in the East, (as they are still) and mostly Muslim in the West. where their population was pretty much absorbed by Turkish-speaking peoples and lived on in name only.

[ 21. November 2012, 15:29: Message edited by: ken ]

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angelfish
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HMRC are usually very careful to include all ethnic groups in the photos on their website. One day you log on and there's a smart African man holding a pencil thoughtfully to his chin as he works out his tax calculation, the next day there's an Asian lady on the phone arranging her child support direct debit payments, occasionally a white person is depicted, because apparently the are some of those paying UK tax too. I am sure that any attempt to depict tax evaders, inspectors and any other person HMRC wants to portray will be covered by the same ethno-inclusive policy.

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by angelfish:
I am sure that any attempt to depict tax evaders, inspectors and any other person HMRC wants to portray will be covered by the same ethno-inclusive policy.

I'm sure someone (or possibly a whole team) is employed for this very purpose.
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moron
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Please pardon the tangent.

quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
I find the latest HMRC campaign against undeclared income disturbing.

quote:
Our new technology and extra staff make it easier for us to find you – no matter who you are.
How many people do you suppose are sitting around waiting for people to click on the various links on that page? What do they do when you do?

What can they do? [Paranoid]

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leo
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I saw the full-sized advert 'in the flesh' for ther first time last night. I don't think the woman looks Asian.

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Erroneous Monk
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
My best friend is a tax inspector and she looks just like the woman in the photo (scary!).


Maybe it *is* her, and, like Howard from the Halifax, she will achieve a degree of celebrity [Smile]

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Chamois
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quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:

quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
My best friend is a tax inspector and she looks just like the woman in the photo (scary!).

Maybe it *is* her, and, like Howard from the Halifax, she will achieve a degree of celebrity
Well, that would at least be a good outcome of the campaign!

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:

quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
My best friend is a tax inspector and she looks just like the woman in the photo (scary!).

Maybe it *is* her, and, like Howard from the Halifax, she will achieve a degree of celebrity
Well, that would at least be a good outcome of the campaign!
I'm not so sure. I've heard that the relationship between Howard and the Halifax didn't end well.
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Erroneous Monk
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:

quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
My best friend is a tax inspector and she looks just like the woman in the photo (scary!).

Maybe it *is* her, and, like Howard from the Halifax, she will achieve a degree of celebrity
Well, that would at least be a good outcome of the campaign!
I'm not so sure. I've heard that the relationship between Howard and the Halifax didn't end well.
Betcha he's still turning some Christmas lights on...somewhere....

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Mudfrog
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In a veil the eyes are allowed to peer through a deliberately placed opening. In the picture the hole is forcibly made in a covering that should be intact. It has nothing to do with a muslim veil. It's a hole ripped into a paper wrapping.

Tut.

There is too much of this willingness to be offended.
Am I alone in recognising that church goers are always too easily offended about stuff?

According to my Bible love is not easily provoked. The OP reveals a willingness, an eagerness, to be provoked too readily.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
My best friend is a tax inspector and she looks just like the woman in the photo (scary!).

You mean tax inspectors have friends?

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Chamois
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# 16204

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There seems to be a series of these posters. I saw a different one today, with a brown woman's eye peering round the corner of a peeling sheet of paper. Very pleased to see that this one is definitely not a woman in any sort of veil.

I still think HMRC are skating close to the wind - the other poster still seems to me to be very open to misinterpretation.

I would have expected better from a government department.

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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases

Posts: 978 | From: Hill of roses | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged
Doublethink.
Ship's Foolwise Unperson
# 1984

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
In a veil the eyes are allowed to peer through a deliberately placed opening. In the picture the hole is forcibly made in a covering that should be intact. It has nothing to do with a muslim veil. It's a hole ripped into a paper wrapping.

Tut.

There is too much of this willingness to be offended.
Am I alone in recognising that church goers are always too easily offended about stuff?

According to my Bible love is not easily provoked. The OP reveals a willingness, an eagerness, to be provoked too readily.

While we are playing biblical slam-dunk, perhaps you should read this.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

Posts: 19219 | From: Erehwon | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Chamois
Shipmate
# 16204

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:

There is too much of this willingness to be offended.
Am I alone in recognising that church goers are always too easily offended about stuff?

According to my Bible love is not easily provoked. The OP reveals a willingness, an eagerness, to be provoked too readily.

This seems a very odd post. Are you saying that it's un-Christian to be concerned about how particular groups are portrayed in the media?

Clearly different people will have different ideas about how to interpret these images (and that's exactly the reason why I started this discussion). But I don't see how being concerned about the way the media portrays Muslim women, or women in general, or Asian men, or disabled people, or white middle-class men, or the clergy, or any other group in society, is in any way un-Biblical.

Or do you regard subliminal stereotyping of particular members of society as showing Christian love?

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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases

Posts: 978 | From: Hill of roses | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:

Or do you regard subliminal stereotyping of particular members of society as showing Christian love?

This would be a fair comment if the ad were subliminal stereotyping - but it isn't.

I agree with mudfrog - to see it as subliminal stereotyping is looking for offence where none was intended.

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 13030 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
My best friend is a tax inspector and she looks just like the woman in the photo (scary!).

You mean tax inspectors have friends?
Hehe - yes, my dearest friend - and she gets a lot of ribbing about it at Church (her husband is a tax collector) [Smile]

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 13030 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
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# 13815

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
My best friend is a tax inspector and she looks just like the woman in the photo (scary!).

You mean tax inspectors have friends?
In years gone by, tax collectors had at least one friend.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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I used to get one with the tax collectors quite well when I worked for the Inland Revenue many years ago. Nice people. The actual Tax Inspectors were a bit too posh to mix much with the likes of us - except for some rather pleasant members of one of the smaller far-left groupuscules, CPBML or something like that. Where else but the Revenue would they send Maoist senior civil servants?

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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"Get on" I used to get on with the tax collectors...

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

Posts: 39579 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
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# 13815

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I was thinking of a couple of millennia ago.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

Posts: 7028 | From: Warrawee NSW Australia | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
Chamois
Shipmate
# 16204

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
This would be a fair comment if the ad were subliminal stereotyping - but it isn't.

That's your opinion. My opinion is different.

quote:
I agree with mudfrog - to see it as subliminal stereotyping is looking for offence where none was intended
So you think it's wrong to challenge stereotyping, or other behaviour which causes us concern, when the person doing it didn't intend any offence?

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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases

Posts: 978 | From: Hill of roses | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged



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