By: Megan Graves, Columnist
We’ve all heard stories about women being “too exposed” or showing “too much skin,” but have you ever heard of a woman being lawfully punished for being too covered up? Well, that’s exactly what’s happening in France with the “Burkini Ban.”
A burkini is a swimsuit, usually worn by Muslim women, that covers the whole body except for the face, hands and face.
They are currently being banned by multiple French mayors, who are suspected of implementing this ban out of Islamophobic fear.
In an interview with CNN, one of the mayors, Marc Etienne Lansade, stated, ”If you don’t want to live the way we do, don’t come. You have to behave in the way that people behave in the country that accepted you, and that is it.”
What a charming guy…
Obviously that statement is xenophobic and prejudiced. Moving into or visiting a new country should never require you to entirely give up your own culture, especially when the cultural issue is this harmless.
Women who are showing up in burkinis to beaches under these mayors’ jurisdictions are being arrested or forced to remove their burkinis down to a level that responding police officers are satisfied with.
Any situation wherein a woman is forced to undress to any degree is traumatic and horrific. The fact that this is happening because of an actual law is putrid beyond words.
On the (relatively) bright side, France’s highest administrative court has ruled that mayors do not have the power to create these bans and that the ban itself “seriously, and clearly illegally, breached the fundamental freedoms to come and go, the freedom of beliefs and individual freedom,” according to Reuters.
The downside is that the mayors are continuing to implement the ban, despite the ruling that says they cannot. This means that there will be more court cases to follow, and we may not see this resolved for a while.
What’s beyond ridiculous to me about all of this is that the modern two-piece bathing suit didn’t come around until 1913, and the bikini didn’t exist until 1946. Before then, it was scandalous and against the law to show too much skin on the beach. Now it’s against the law to show too little?
Give a woman a break, already.