France was once again in the middle of the stupidiest polemic ever this summer. This piece of cloth on the beach unleashed hatred and passion far beyond what was expected. So for a start, let’s be honest. Who knew what was the burkini only a few weeks ago? Probably not many of us. But once it entered the media sphere, it was like a burkini invasion on the French coast. It had become the symbol of a radical islam that French people loathe. Religion is a private matter there, every religion is respected but no one really likes when it’s right on your face. So when a few muslims women brought the burkini back from Algeria or some other muslim countries, instead of ignoring them, the authorities made a big fuss about it.
I agree in a way that radical islam needs to be monitored and their view on women is not the way we see women in the western world. Being a female muslim and wear a bikini at the beach should be compatible, at least you should be able to have a choice. This concept of choice is very important in all feminist issues, so bear with me. If the burkini is supposed to become the only way all female muslims should appear at the beach, because they feel that they have to or be pressured to wear it, that is a big no, obviously.
Burkini should not become a “muslim” uniform
I am pretty sure that those women who wear the burkini were not going to the beach before, because they were not comfortable of showing too much flesh in public.
I am not a big fan of the idea that women should hide their body, or be ashamed of it. But nevertheless, giving options for those who don’t want to abide to the bikini rule is pretty sane. Imposing on women what they should wear or not wear is not what we stand for.
I have two anecdotes from girl friends that are related to this topic. One was talking about holiday the other day. She hates the sun and is very afraid of jellyfish. So she was explaining casually that she bought some kind of thin suit that covers the body, so she avoids at the same time sunburns and jellyfish stings. Then I told her that she was basically wearing a burkini and she agreed that her outfit was pretty close. If the burkini is initially designed for muslim women, I am pretty sure that for some very different reasons other women might be tempted as well.
Another friend posted on social media the other day that no, thank you, she did not need sleazy remarks by perverts when she was sun bathing wearing a bikini in a public park.
Burkini at the beach would be too much, bikini in a park as well, what is appropriate for a woman to wear and not be judged? What if we left women alone and wear what they want and trust them to make the right decision for themselves? It would be about time.