This week we have seen an uptick in body policing and body shaming.We saw armed police surrounding a Muslim woman on a beach in Nice and forcing her to remove clothing. This is part of the racist and sexist policy being imposed on Muslim women in France, where so far 15 towns have introduced a ban on the burkini. The bans are claimed to be “protecting the population” of France from terrorism and religious ideas, but women choosing to cover up on the beach is no threat to society.
We should be ashamed of this because forcing an old lady, to take off her Burkini, throws all values of freedom it has straight into the trashcan, so far removed from the message of Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité. Practicing hypocrisy and double standards seems to be the new order of the day.missing the real opportunity to acknowledge female diversity that comes in various shapes and forms.Intentionally marginalizing Muslim women, highlights the country’s own issues with misogyny and racism by ironically dictating what women can and cannot wear, treating them as ideological commodities, to be denied the freedom to define or express themselves surely must be questioned.It is simply absurdity born of paranoia and the impulse to dominate others.
The burkini symbolises leisure and happiness and fitness and health, worn voluntarily and sold by popular high street and haute couture brands alike, burkinis have become a widespread sartorial choice for many practicing Muslim women in France and beyond. Being praised for blocking sun-rays and the male gaze, the attire is often also embraced by non-Muslim women, most notably also by TV chef Nigella Lawson. Hopefully, the next generation will look at this burkini ban much as we view the chastity belt.People should be allowed to wear what they like, at a time when politicians should be doing everything to avoid tension between communities, they have done exactly the opposite.Sadly though it is not surprising that it is men who are the ones fighting over what women ought to be doing with their bodies. Depending on the era — and often the prevailing religion — women are either showing too much or too little
So who is better, the Taliban or French politicians? An interesting link that discusses this further can be found here:-
There is a demo at the French Embassy, 58 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7JT this Friday, 6pm, to protest the burkini ban.
This protest is called by Stand Up to Racism and supported by MEND