No, I'm not talking about Rosie O'Donnell's kimono. I'm talking about that curious Middle-Eastern garment known as the burka. Marnia Lazreg, an Algerian-born professor of sociology at the City University of New York, says this has nothing to do with piety, and everything to do with "political ideology and male power". Robert Fulford discusses Professor Lazreg's book on the subject - Questioning the Veil: Open Letters to Muslim Women - in the National Post.
I suppose a rough Western equivalent would be the chastity belt (which a quick Google search reveals to be of interest only to a small group of people who are given to, er, rather outré fantasies).