The Social Climbing of the Campbell Family

by Oscar

 

Author’s note:
This story is set more or less freely in the same world as Dave Potter's tales Rebecca and The Companion. Dave describes this world like this: In short, it is a contemporary Britain where veiling is mandatory. Quite how such a world came about, I haven’t worked out yet, but it was not always so. About thirty years or so ago the Veiling Laws came into force for all girls. The culture described is very much Christian but with dress that we would probably describe as ‘Muslim’.

Introduction

The Veiling and Modesty Laws distinguish three types of requirements (mandatory, strongly recommended and desirable) so they give rise to three corresponding types of clothing visible in the public space.

Preliminaries:

Mandatory:

The legislator states: Only concerned men are allowed to see the skin or hair of a woman. Unconcerned men however can see the the hands and the feet. This rule applies in public as well as in private. To insure the application of this law:

Recommendations:

The legislator strongly recommends

Wishes:

The legislator assumes it is desirable that women

modesty types

School is over

modest schoolgirls
How the modesty laws changed the appearance of female teenagers.

It is a Friday in June. Betty (15) and Stacy (17) Campbell walk home from school. They are talking about what happened during the different lessons like teenage sisters all over the world do. With their rather tight-fitting clothes and their light faceveils they clearly look like category I females. Their classmates belong mostly to category I, some are category II (most common reason: parental pressure) and very few category III (for different reasons like family tradition but also reaction against parental liberalism). Betty and Stacy do not pay a lot of attention to how their friends dress, except that it is difficult to communicate with the ones who are gagged, and some category II girls do not speak with them when boys are around, which is quite often the case. Their mother lets them have a lot of freedom to choose their lifestyle as she since her accident is in a wheelchair and does not leave the house very often. When she does she puts a kind of burqa over her body, underneath she is wearing normal clothes and no headscarf. The girls go to the supermarket nearly every day to buy what their mother has asked them.

"Ah, tomorrow afternoon we can go for some shopping," Betty rejoices.

"Yes, maybe I will go to buy some gloves."

"Gloves? Do you make fun of me? Summer is coming and you want to buy gloves?"

"A girl in my class, she is pure category I and fashionable, nearly always wears thin gloves that match the colour of her faceveil, that looks quite pretty."

Entering the flat they are surprised to see their father already at home as at this hour of the day he would normally be in his office. He is discussing with his wife, who is wearing a colourful hijab, which she never do when at home. They greet each other and Mr Campbell says to the girls “Please join us, I have important news to tell you.” “Just a moment to release my head”, at once Betty answers. “No please come as you are, you will soon understand.” While they walk to the sofa, Betty presumes that they will probably soon go outside together.

Mr Campbell announces some important changes

Sitting on the sofa with at least their faceveils lifted, normally they would also have removed their headscarves, the girls listen to their father, who does not look like being ready to leave the flat:

“Today my boss, Mr Fitter, announced me something great, he wants me to become his business associate. As I work hard for him and he understood that my know-how is indispensable for his company he offered me to take larger responsibilities and of course to earn much more money.” “That's really great,” Betty says. “But that's not all, he also offers us to live in one of his numerous houses in town so that we can leave this flat and have a more comfortable place to live for your mother. The house we will thus move into is in a socially better neighbourhood than here as you can imagine. Unfortunately for you, you will have to change your school to attend the one in this new neighbourhood in autumn.” The girls already look a lot less happy than half a minute before. “Which school would that be,” Stacy asks. “St. Stephen's Grammar School, it is the nearest to our new home and known for its good results”. The girls turn pale, because they immediately understand what that means. “But this is a school that requires category III clothing,” Stacy shouts. “Yes, I know,” Mr Campbell calmly continuous. “You will have to adapt. Your mother and I have made a plan to make this work. Hey girls, stop crying and listen! You will finish this academical year here but as category II. Tomorrow we will go to buy some items necessary for this transformation, so that on Monday you will appear with your new look in your current school. Moreover to get quickly used to a more modest lifestyle you will keep on the modesty garments indoors as well for the time to come. You are still wearing your headscarves, that's good, here you have some faceveils being more opaque to put on immediately, of course you will remove it for eating. Then a pair of black satin gloves and socks that you will not remove until you go to bed and that you put on in the morning as soon as you get up.” Stacy obeys without saying a word, because she is too terrified of the future announced. Betty refuses categorically and shouts: “No, you will not have me following stricter rules, it is already silly enough like it is now”, while throwing the veils and gloves on the floor, taking of her headscarf and running into her room. “Unfortunately it came out as we expected,” Mrs Campbell says to her husband. “Yes I see, I will have to call them,” he answers with British phlegm and leaves the room. He goes into the office and phones. A computer-generated voice answers

"Realised modesty inc., how can I help you?"

"One of my daughters refuses to veil."

"Has she reached the age of 14 and does not want to accept the modesty laws?"

"No, she is 15, she accepted to veil last year but now I want her to switch to category II, which she refuses. You have a program to make her accept this new condition, am I right?"

"Yes, so you want us to intervene?"

"Yes, please."

"So please tell me her weight, height, age 15 you said?"

"Yes 15, she is 1m62 and 57 kg."

And they fix an appointment for the coming night.

At 3:50 am Mr Campbell's alarmclock rings and he gets up to open the front-door. A group of three tall and presumably strong women hidden under dark blue burqas enter the flat, the two of them carrying a suitcase. He leads them to Betty's room. Two of them approach the bed where Betty is sleeping and with their thick rubber gloved hands reach for the girls arms and legs as the third task-force woman switches on the light in the girl's room. At the moment Betty awakes she is gagged, the women remove her nightgown and put her into a rubber straight-jacket, the arms being tied behind the back. All her movements to resist and of despair are firmly surpressed by the ghost-like women. To complete her outfit they put a hood over her head which contains only one opening for the mouth, and they put her in a kind of rubber leggings where the legs are restricted with cuffs. A computer-generated voice breaks the silence where this violent scene took place: “So girl as you were not willing to obey your parents and to veil yourself, we did it for you. The clothes that you are now wearing will be removed by your parents when you accept to obey. Otherwise we will be back, and believe me you are just wearing the first of our possibilities.” Betty writhes on her bed, but in silence and to no avail. Mr Campbell thanks the women from REALISED MODESTY. One of them says (of course using her computer voice): “We have to leave because we have some more work this night. But you can call if there are any problems in the future. Betty is a strong girl, if one day she recognises all the virtues and advantages of modesty and veiling you can send her to us for an internship. Good luck, Mister!”

Betty in straitjacket

Several days after the intervention of the modesty task-force Betty accepts her new condition, of course not by conviction but only by fear.

A dinner at the Fitter's

One day in July Mr Campbell announces the whole family is invited for dinner at the Fitter's. Of course he asks his daughters to dress as modestly as possible, but without looking unpretty. So they opt for the so called Turkish style which is a coloured headscarf (türban) with a sort of satin balaclava underneath. The lower part of the balaclava, including the screen of veil in front of the eyes, can be flipped down to allow eating and drinking. The rest of the body is covered by a floor length coat (pardesü) that normally should not be removed, even inside a stranger's house. The hands are gloved with satin gloves matching the colour of the türban. To fully satisfy their father's wishes they also put on also inflatable gags to silence themselves. This outfit is considered as category II+ (as it is not single coloured it cannot be cat. III), the gag makes it even cat. II++.

Betty and Stacy

Arriving at the Fitter's, the Campbell family is briefly welcomed by Mr Fitter and his twins Natasha and Neil (23 years), the men in expensive suits and Natasha under a pink garment looking like a mix between a khimar and a burqa with two remarkable black trimmed eye-holes appearing inside the face opening.

Natasha with khimar

Betty and Stacy, following Natasha, wheel their mother into the women's part of the house. They enter a large room with several armchairs one of them being occupied by another khimar occupied by Mrs Fitter. It is all grey and has a heavy veil in front of the face.

Mrs Fitter with khimar

Once the door of the women's section is closed Natasha takes of her khimar, and it appears that underneath she is wearing a rubber outfit including pink mask and catsuit, black boots, corset and gloves and the mouth filled with a pink ballgag. She invites the three guests to uncover. Stacy takes off her mom's burqa. Both girls flip down the lower part of their balaclavas and deflate their gags after they have seen Natasha removing hers.

Natasha

Finally Natasha breaks the silence: “Welcome to our dear new friends. As we will soon have dinner you may, if you want, take off your coats and gloves as we will not be disturbed by any male so far.”

The guests briefly introduce themselves starting with Mrs Campbell. When Betty, who unlike her sister has removed her coat but stayed gloved however, has finished as the youngest, Natasha repeats: “Welcome once again. Mrs Campbell, I must say that we really admire your strength and your will to manage your life. You should also know, that besides the competence of your husband, it was your particular situation that made my father promote your husband, not out of of pity but to show his respect.” She then turns to her mother still sitting in the armchair like an inanimate doll. “My mother, Mrs Ellis Fitter, has chosen a particularly secluded lifestyle out of her free will, but certainly also influenced by the tradition of her family, which I am about to grow into.” She then helps her mother to strip off her outer garment. She is all enclosed in leather and lycra, with a tied up neck-piece and of course face mask and gloves. The only parts of her body visible are her red lips holding a thick ballgag and her eyes through tiny holes in the hood, nevertheless obscured by a mesh.

Mrs Fitter

“In fact my mother decided not to show a single square inch of skin,” Natasha explains and continues, “when I was 13, that is 10 years ago, she took this final step. Even before she observed the strictest purdah, but she spoke to her children and husband regularly. Since then nobody has seen her face or heard her voice. At the same time I decided to follow her quite closely. No male except my father and my brother has ever seen my face or heard my voice, and for the last 10 years I have not even shown my face to them and I only talk to them once a month. Inside the house I always wear clothes like this with hood, boots and gloves. Sometimes a gag as well, but even when I am not gagged I am used not to speak. On the contrary, you should know that, my male relatives as well as all females are allowed to see my body shape as it appears under the catsuit. The khimar I wore was just because of your husband or dad. I have some female friends and when they drop in we go to this part of the house where we ungag and chat just like now.” Soon dinner is served by a maid in a kind of catsuit with a hood with no mouth opening and on top a huge hijab.

the maid

The Campbell girls are really impressed, on one hand they are shocked by Natasha's decision but on the other they admire her strength of character and the freedom of choice. Stacy thinks loud: “You said no male except your father and brother has ever seen your face, does that mean you were veiled before the age of 13 when you decided to live completely secluded?” “Yes I was, we are one of these families in which female members are always veiled in public starting from birth. We think that never to be seen preserves a kind of purity. But until I was 13 I regularly showed hands, face and hair at home. ” Betty dares to ask: “Isn't it too hard to wear rubber like this all day long, every day?” “No, in fact the days where I am not expecting anybody, I often wear much simpler lycra suits which are easier to get in and out off. But you coming today I chose one of the prettiest rubber suits I have. The only thing that was hard in the beginning was to deal with my long hair, but once I realised that nobody would ever see it again I decided to go bald.” The two girls stare at her “Bald...?” “Yes, I shave my head once a week, why wear hair that nobody can see.” “And when you will get married?” “We will see, probably I will try to convince my husband to allow me to remain covered always in front of him as well. Perhaps I'll wear a wig from time to time on top of my hood if he wants to see me with hair, it will even have the advantage for him that I'll be able to change my hairstyle and colour every day.”

After dinner the maid comes to the chair of Mrs Fitter, who has been sitting nearly motionless next to the table during the whole dinner. She removes a little plug from the ballgag opening a tiny hole. Mrs Fitter takes the glass of juice put in front of her an empties it with the aid of a straw. The maid nevertheless leaves the hole open afterwards. Instead she brings water-pipes for the ladies. Mrs Campbell kindly refuses. Her two daughters are confused as they did not think ladies were allowed to smoke; unlike the men who they had seen doing it when passing bars. As it seems a normal custom for this strict family that females smoke Betty and Stacy become curious, and because they have never smoked before they look at their mother who nods saying “Go ahead, but be careful otherwise you will cough.” So they try and like the taste of the aromatised tobacco. Natasha says: “There has to be some compensation for the restrictions,” and takes a huge drag.

Some time later Betty and Stacy still feel a bit lightheaded because of the unusual nicotine dose when a bell rings in the women's area to notify that the men are waiting for the women to leave. The Campbell women say goodbye to Mrs Fitter. Betty covers up her mom, Natasha puts on her khimar, and Stacy and Betty put the gags in their mouths. Stacy takes the pump out of her pardesü pocket, inflates her gag and hands the bulb to her sister who pumps two times more to avoid her sister cheating. With the pump plugged to Betty's gag the procedure is repeated. They fit the eye screen and flip up the lower balaclava part.

Betty and Stacy gagging each other

In the hallway men and women line up like separated by an invisible line on the floor. Mr Fitter says: “Thanks for visiting us, I hope you enjoyed the evening as much as I did. And finally the best, Mr Campbell and I have decided that our children Stacy and Niel are going to be married this autumn.” Stacy is stoned to learn that her father actually has selected a husband for her without asking of her opinion. “Please Stacy, step in front of Niel and kneel down and bow so that your forehead touches the floor to show that you accept the authority of your future husband.” Once again Stacy is unable to refuse. She is so terrified that she does what her father asks of her.

At home again Mr Campbell announces: “Mr Fitter, his son and I have decided the following items concerning your future:

Your future husband imposes the following modesty rules:

The Wedding

With the new school year at St. Stephen's things get heavier for the girls. In fact they have to work a lot more, but they have to admit that the quality of education is better than at their former school. Moreover there are no boys around to distract them and the uniform implies that there is no jealousy among the students because of their clothes.

Betty is of course not happy at all with the new dressing rules (especially the daily gagging), but she does not protest because she has a lot of compassion for her sister who does not really know what is waiting for her.

Several times during this period the chauffeur and the maid of the Fitter's come to take Stacy to different tailors. She is told it is for her wedding gown as well as for the clothes she will wear afterwards when living with her husband. Each time she goes there she is wearing a black blinding burqa and guided by the maid into the back room where she is measured in different ways by an employee.

The Saturday of the wedding Stacy is brought to her new flat to be made ready for the ceremony. In her private room a maid helps her and explains: “So Miss, your wedding dress consists of roughly three layers to be removed according to the people present.” Stacy first is presented to a shiny white rubber dress. After putting on a pair of white above-knee high-heeled boots she has to enter the dress from the back. Starting from there she ends up in a hood with eyes and mouth holes, integrated gloves and the feet protruding from a narrow tight fitting rubber tube. Then there is a hole at the front at the height of the crotch which Stacy is left to guess what its function might be. As the maid zips the dress Stacy feels that the part around her waist is very thick and gives the feeling of wearing a corset. “This basic suit is normally not removed, except if your husband asks you to do so, but that would surprise me. And now you wedding gag, look it is all white,” the maid says with a smile. Stacy mutes herself without really thinking about what she is doing. “The next layer is for the time you will spend with the women after the ceremony.” Stacy is handed a dress made out of a shiny very light gray fabric and embroidered across the chest and around the neck, this latter piece being very stiff to prevent most head movements. She gets also matching long satin gloves which reach far above the sleeve ends. Finally this outfit is completed with a satin hood with a little mesh in front of the eyes and an embroidered hijab so that no part of the rubber underneath is visible. “Now for the final layer that you must wear when unconcerned men are around.” A gray floor-length khimar with a matching niqab and gray velvet gloves are added. Stacy feels very hot but this is more or less her only sensory input because all the layers makes her quasi deaf and blind, she cannot speak and with three pairs of gloves hardly touch anything.

the bride

“Okay Miss you are ready and pretty now. Please kneel down because your future father in law is coming to give you the instructions for today.” Stacy obeys and Mr Fitter enters the room. “Dear bride, your father is soon coming to pick you up, he will bring you to the town hall where the first part of the ceremony is taking place. As you cannot speak you are going to accept the marriage through your signature on the wedding act. Afterwards we are all driven to the hotel where the dinner is served. Your husband is going to enter the ladies section with you and remove your outer garments [Author's note: In less stricter families this is the moment where the new husband is normally to discover the real face of his wife (often he has already seen pictures). As he cannot do this in front of the other men invited he does it in the female section with the other women being still well covered. When he leaves this section after a kiss or two the females eat and celebrate together. In this case taking off one garment has a purely ritual character as the bride will neither be really seen nor kissed.] Then he will leave you with the other women and you can rejoice with them who celebrate around you. After dinner you are brought home for the wedding night.” Stacy nods even if she does not understand what it means 'you can rejoice with them who celebrate around you'.

Mr Campbell arrives and takes his daughter to the town hall where the rest of both families are already waiting in a very fancy and large room. The well shrouded women sit at one side of the centre corridor and the men at the other. The mayor officiates discoursing on the importance of the marriage, the role of both partners etc. Finally he asks Andrew if he wants to marry Stacy with his 'yes' being highly predictable. Stacy when asked nods and signs the paper put in front of her. They are then driven to the hotel. As announced Andrew accompanies his new spouse to the women's section to take off her niqab, khimar and velvet gloves. He is astonished by the beauty of the shape and gown to appear. He makes her sit on a chair and strangely buckles her with several belts to it. Then the chair lifts and Stacy discovers that she is at the centre of the room surrounded by a circular table around which all the female guests are seated. The chair slowly turns around during the entire evening to display Stacy while the guests eat and drink to celebrate. Some of those invited, especially from the Fitter family, also stay completely covered and muted. Betty, as maid of honor, is neither allowed to uncover nor to speak. She is sitting close to Natasha and Mrs Fitter who of course do hardly move during the evening.

When they are back home Andrew orders his new wife to take of the outer layer as well as the wedding gown. Then something happens that seem like a miracle to Stacy: Andrew takes the gag out of her mouth and opens the zip in the back of her rubber suit and peels her out. “This is our wedding night, I want to see and hear my wife, but most of all I want to make love with you.”

In the morning where Stacy is still naked under the sheet Andrew says “I hope you enjoyed our wedding night as much as I did.” “Yes Andrew, your were wonderful.” “But now we have to really live like a high society couple. That is going to impose several modesty rules on you. As you already know outside the house only category III (with gag) is permitted. As I am very impressed by the way my mother and sister live I would like you to adopt a similar lifestyle. So you will always stay fully covered even in front of me. I saw your beautiful face once and that is enough, I will never see it again. The same thing goes for your lovely voice, it won't be heard anymore. Go to your private room, shave your head, dress up and gag. Let me see you one last time. Do you want to say something?” “I love you,” Stacy says.

Epilogue: Daily life

After the first year, where Stacy still goes to school and has to do a lot of homework to pass the final exams, things get much calmer in the house. Andrew is a very lovely husband who does everything to make his wife happy, except of course relaxing the modesty rules he is very strict about. So even when Betty comes to visit none of the girls are allowed to speak because Andrew stated that in the flat no female voice must be heard. So both sisters have to communicate through notes. When they visit the Campbell family at least Betty can talk to her sister. Another thing he requires from his wife are the arm modesty days, so three days a week in the morning he puts his wife's arms into a monoglove or arm-binder and ties them up for the whole day. These days Stacy also has to wear a ballgag harness instead of the simple ballgag she wears the other days.

daily outfit

FINIS

 

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