Burkini ban is Islamophobic and sexist
Earlier this week a woman was stopped by the police, and they forced her to take her shirt off.
With that information alone, it is an obvious outrage — clearly the police have abused their power to satisfy voyeuristic needs. Why, then, when including the fact she wore a hijab, is this any different?
This happened in France, where there is a long history of Islamophobia and masking their prejudice as liberating. They sugarcoat all of their absurd laws against Muslims as justified. They have a habit of calling countries, like Saudi Arabia, oppressive for forcing women to cover, when they are just as guilty of oppression by forcing women to strip down to levels they are not comfortable with.
Specifically, France recently banned women from wearing burkinis on the beach — which is, first of all, a very arbitrary law, because burkinis very much resemble wetsuits. The only difference is that burkinis are looser around the torso. It is also noteworthy that it is very hypocritical and specifically targeted toward women who appear to be Muslim.
Asked about the burkini law, French officials said “The wearing of distinctive clothing, other than that usually worn for swimming, can indeed only be interpreted in this context as a straightforward symbol of religiosity,” which goes against French values of secularism. Why, then, have only Muslim women been stopped, fined and forced to strip, while Nuns are allowed to visit the beach in their prefered religious attire? Why is it okay for scuba divers to dress that way, but not a woman who simply prefers not to show her midriff? Their non-secular beliefs begin and end with silencing the Islamic community of France.
I implore people, when looking up articles about this subject, to please avoid looking at pictures of the woman who was forced to strip. It is great that this issue is getting so much attention (so much so that France is now pathetically trying to sue people who are sharing those photos), but the woman in those images is NOT consenting to being seen like that. It is a complete violation of her rights as a human being.
France is not only being Islamophobic, but their burkini ban is also incredibly sexist. They claim the burkini is a symbol of oppression — that muslim women are forced to dress like that to please the men in their lives — but, if you are forcing a woman to wear a bikini, is that not the exact same issue? Do men not stand to gain from you forcing a woman to show more of her body? Eliminating a woman’s autonomy is sexist — regardless of whether you’re telling her to put clothes on or take them off.
The notion that a woman needs to show skin to be liberated is ridiculous; let women wear what they want and find another excuse to mask your Islamophobia, France. Your current methods are not working. The answer to telling women what to wear is NOT to tell women what to wear.