Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What’s in a Burkini; No, Shakespeare didn’t say that!

Made of 100% polyester, which is the recommended swimwear fabric, burkinis shouldn't have stirred a controversy it did, because it perfectly fits the global recommended swimwear fabric specifications. I agree that every place has its own dress code, and there's also a dress code for swimmers...but a dress code which bans modest dressing is absolute b***s**t. Two pieces, one piece, or no piece bikinis look pretty cool and are comfortable too, but that doesn't give anyone or any government official the right to impose a blanket ban on modest full-piece swimwear. Sorry France, you may be the world’s most fashionable country, but that doesn’t mean you go around minding other people’s clothing line because that’s none of your business. And even more, it doesn’t suit a democratic country that boasts about its freedom and equal rights to be going around telling people how much of skin-show is required to go to the beach…because that makes you no different from the nation that does not allow its women to drive.

Mayors in France, not surprisingly all male, banned burkinis reasoning that women who wore burkinis were forced to wear it out of compulsion and saw them as victims. Even French Presidential candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, called for a nationwide ban on burkinis saying he is a defender of French values. So first, you have some male mayors who read minds of women, especially minority Muslim women, and think they exactly know what women want; and then you have a presidential candidate who makes swimwear the most pressing issue of running for office. And yeah, France, Bonjour and all that, but when did skin-show and swimwear become a marker of French values? Shouldn’t it be freedom of speech, equality, fraternity, liberty, and solidarity?

Photos of a burkini wearing woman surrounded by armed policemen on the beach telling her to remove her outer garment are what drew the world's attention to France's shameful and politically motivated burkini ban. Why is a woman in a burqa or hijab seen as a threat? As if she has some guns and ammunition hidden under her outer garments that are waiting to explode. So far, women wearing a burqa or hijab have never exploded anything. In fact, folks wearing three-piece suits, airstrike and carpet bomb nations killing thousands of civilians, children, humanitarian workers; exploding hospitals and schools...like we see it happening in Syria as I write. 

Even France's Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, resurrected France's national symbol - the figure of Marianne - to support a claim that women who bare their breasts are the ones who are representative of the French ethos than those who wear a veil. But mind you, Marianne also wore modest clothing in her days, if mentioning that is going to change ignorant minds. I respect Marianne for her style, but every woman is not Marianne. We live in a global village...we live in a digital world, in which it is impossible to live in your own nation’s cocoon ignorant of the cultures and ethos in the rest of the world. Which world do you live in, Mr. Valls?

Looks like the only logical lawmaker in France is France's president Hollande who fought against the sexist and Islamophobic burkini ban. And also the highest courts in France which suspended the totalitarian ban on burkinis, thus doing a sensible thing. Saint Ambrose's 387 A.D. famous saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” doesn't have any meaning in our tightly integrated global world today; we are no longer separated by borders. The main cause of terrorism and disintegration of society is because we mind other people's business more than our own. We don't let people do what they want to do and be who they want to be. Greed, politics, money, power is creating a rift among people. The powerful impose restrictions on the meek and less powerful because they just think they can.

Women are crucified for everything they do. They are taunted if they wear short revealing clothes, they are taunted for breastfeeding in public, they are taunted for wearing nothing, and now, for God sake, they are taunted for wearing full-body clothing. WTF!

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