Pest-control practices raise questions

A reader wonders how unqualified people get jobs in pest-control companies. Other topics: hijab, health insurance, X-Men, biking

A reader wonders how unqualified people get jobs in pest-control companies. Christopher Pike / The National
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You have reported that poorly trained pest-control staff and the use of ineffective chemicals are failing to rid residents' homes of insects and other vermin (Untrained pest-control staff 'putting lives of Abu Dhabi residents at risk', May 19). My question is this: why are they getting the job if they are not qualified?

Jacqueline Craig, Abu Dhabi

Hijab issue is not so simple

I disagree with Faisal Al Yafai's opinion that the American man, Gill Parker Payne, dislikes the hijab so muchthat he turned violent (Hatred of the hijab is part of a broader anger against women, May 18).

He wanted her to blend in with other American women. If she had been wearing a hoodie or a cowboy hat, he wouldn’t have touched her at all. No way was it sexual assault, it was about him trying to hide her religious symbolism.

Lisa Kereliuk, Duabai

Although I agree with some observations in the column, in my opinion the writer has oversimplified the issue of why (some) westerners object to women wearing the hijab. Indeed, while its forceful removal is a sexist and violent act that I would never condone, but let’s consider the possibility (not raised by Faisal Al Yafai in the column) that the hijab perpetuates sexual stereotypes, inequality and paternalism.

While it’s true that “the male gaze” in any society, and particularly in the western media, contributes to the objectification of women, hiding one’s “crowning beauty” as a way of repelling that gaze may not be the proper reaction.

This is especially defensible, I think, if – as is sometimes the case – wearing the hijab is not always a choice made by women but is ordained by husbands and fathers. And aren’t we absolving men of the responsibility for controlling their own thoughts and actions by requiring the object of sexual curiosity to cover, or making her feel naked and/or exposed when uncovered?

We should teach our daughters to be modest, yes, but also teach our sons to be respectful and responsible. Lastly, I believe I would have fewer reservations about the hijab/ abaya/ niqab wearing if males were also required to cover in a comparable fashion, or women were able to alternatively wear these items (or not) as national dress – as we see men doing here in this country – rather than as protective covering.

Name withheld by request

More worries on health cover

There have been many instances where I've been sent for unnecessary tests because I have an insurance plan that covers it (Residents run for cover as health insurance policies shrink in the Gulf, May 16). Doctors no longer care about time and money their patients spend. And now with mandatory insurance, they are flying even higher.

Sangeetha Bhaskaran, India

Companies are indiscriminately reducing the insurance cover for their employees, including those who need to travel overseas frequently as part of their job. In fact, more needs to be done to monitor healthcare providers and prevent doctors from overprescribing, which hurts insurance providers.

Shameena Amer, Abu Dhabi

X-Men can’t be so so bad

I haven't yet watched X-Men, but it can't be as awful as Batman v Superman: (X-Men: Apocalypse is unconvincing and riddled with clichés, April 19). I suspect the reviewer is just getting on the bash-a-superhero-movie bandwagon.

Jeffrey Martin, Dubai

Bikers must use protective gear

I am glad that Fareed Al Hammadi is OK, thanks to the swift actions of Dr Talal Mouzaek (Dedicated doctor’s roadside aid saves Emirati injured in motorcycle accident, May 19), but I can’t help but think that it should be compulsory for all motorbike riders to wear full protective clothing. Riding in shorts and a vest is plain dumb. A high-powered bike should always be ridden with the protective gear – helmet, gloves and full leather suit.

Vijay Ramburuth, Dubai