The Burkhini Ban…
…and why I find this so offensive, on so many levels.
2015 and 2016 saw an increase in the number of terrorist attacks taking place across Europe and the Middle East, committed by people in support of the same group that has come to be known as ISIS.
Firstly, I suppose I should say, I do not believe that ISIS stands for Islam or the Muslim people.
ISIS is really a terrorist organisation like no other. Not only does it commit acts of terror, using people for its own bitter ends, but it also uses the internet and the media to instill fear in the minds of the public. Fear mongering has often been a tool used to get what governments want, so as far as I’m concerned, playing into that fear, is giving up on your liberty, your freedom.
And France has just done that.
For a country who preaches “Liberte, egalite, fraternite“, I am finding it quite hard to swallow that they are now telling people what they can and can’t wear to sit on a French beach. But wait, they aren’t telling people what to wear, but rather just women.
However, being shit scared of terrorism happening on your home turf – nasty, horrible, terrorist attacks, I’d like to point out, that were committed by men – doesn’t entitle one to ban clothing that women wear to the beach, giving some flimsy excuse of “for sanitary reasons”.
I’m also not the only one who feels this way – a Twitter storm occurred as tweeters lost it over the image of armed French policemen forcing a woman to strip out of her burkhini: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/people-are-really-not-happy-frances-burkini-ban-1272586932
My favourite tweet had to be the one comparing a policeman in 1925 policing what women wear on the beach, with the image of the armed French policemen forcing this woman to strip her burhkini off in 2016 – 100 years, and men still think they have the right to tell us women what to wear?!
Wet suits and dry suits are worn all over. What about those guys who are REALLY WHITE SKINNED and can’t sunbathe, so they wear t-shirts and long shorts on the beach? And nuns?! Why is it only Muslim women in burkhini’s who have been targeted for these “sanitary reasons”?
What upsets me the most about this whole thing is that France has basically succumb to the fear-mongering, and is in turn spreading fear and causing divisions in society (not only secular divisions, but also divisions between the sexes), simply by picking on women of Muslim faith.
It’s disgusting. I’m sick of women being picked on just because a man is feeling insecure. At the moment France can’t unfortunately hit the culprits where it hurts, so they are just picking on what they perceive as the next best thing – except it isn’t.
The following illustration pretty much sums up how I feel about France’s decision to ban the burhkini, but with a slightly broader comparison:
I am obviously not the only woman out there, or man, who feels that this burkhini ban is a step in completely the wrong direction. Since the media picked up on the image, of the Muslim woman being told to strip, thousands of people worldwide have joined in the discussion, activists even going so far as to set up days on the beach wherever they are, in support of “Swim however you want” on the beach:
This weekend I’m heading down to a beach on a lake – well, Luxembourg is landlocked! I’m going to wear whatever the fuck I want to wear, because that’s how I roll… I’m inviting a few friends, and we are all going to wear whatever we want, because that is our right – not only as women, but more importantly as HUMAN BEINGS!
What tickled me this morning, however, was the new petition that has been started, asking for all overweight men to stop wearing Speedos on the beach. I mean, is there beach attire that is any more offensive than Speedos over the last century? I think not.
People, please – we are meant to be a society of free thinkers, of liberals. Stop using your fear to stomp on other people’s lifestyle choices – whether it’s religion, or sex. As long as people are not hurting one another with their choices, just allow them to get on with it.
Peace. Jojo xx
Here’s an interesting perspective: The French Burkini story explained to my American Friends