For nine years I went to a Catholic school with of course a strict dress code. Kids would see what they could get away with, but I was not one of them. I don’t like stirring the pot, so I followed the rules. Then I graduated and moved on to a public high school where I could wear whatever I wanted. What did I want to wear? I wore t-shirts, jeans, and tennis shoes. I was happy. But then the “friendly suggestions” came. How much prettier I’d be if I wore this, or if I did that with my hair. The first time I had to wear a one strap shirt I nearly cried because of how exposed I felt. Same problem with heels. I hate heels. I think they’re pointless and yet people insist I need them. As I got older, I grew more comfortable with my body. I’m still not all the way there, but in terms of dressing myself I’d consider myself normal. I’m now okay with exposing my shoulders, but my midriff is a different story. I think it’s weird that girls wear shirts that don’t cover their lower abdomen, but again that’s just me. Go ahead and wear your crop tops and stilettos. But I’m not going to wear them.
When religion forces you to wear something then that’s bad. What’s just as bad is when everyone else forces you to wear something. Case in point: the whole “burkini” nonsense going on in France.
Now I do not completely demonize France. I get it. French speaking countries face a greater threat for extremist attacks. They’re scared. And when living things get scared they lash out. France’s government has a history of restricting religious oriented fashion in an effort to maintain as much neutrality as possible. Unfortunately, most of those anti-religion policies were misconstrued. The policies were not meant for all religions. Just Islam.
Muslims to the French are like Mexicans to Americans. They have a strained relationship and while they welcomed them at one point thanks to the French colonizing Algeria, it did not last long. And while they pretend to like each other, it’s mostly a front. There are many French citizens who hate the Muslim immigrants with such fervor that they will go out of their way to suppress them. It’s in the name of safety supposedly, but does that really help?
I don’t think these lawmakers realize there’s a vicious circle happening. I want for a moment for you to think of something: Let’s say two of your family members killed a government official. In an effort to protect other innocent lives, they start putting restrictions on your family. They control what you wear, where you go, what you eat, what you watch on television, and place a strict curfew. Wouldn’t that get you mad? Perhaps you’ll see why those family members did what they did.
So what if Muslim women want to wear a hijab? So what if they want to wear a burqa? Are they afraid they’ll sneak in bombs? Let me tell you, do you know how many major events I’ve attended with knives in my purse? And they searched my bag. Basically, if they wanted to kill a bunch of people they would find a way. The burkini ban was enforced as a reaction to the attack on Nice. But it was a guy in a truck. Not a woman on the beach.
Banning burkinis is not the answer. If these people moved away from a war torn country and still choose Islam then they’re wearing those clothes because they wanted to, not because they have to. We want women liberated, but why is liberation only defined as scantily clad females? Can’t we choose to dress conservatively, too? If you want to cover yourself from head to toe, go for it. If you like wearing underwear in public, go for it. Actually, don’t. At least put on a shirt, please.
What do you think? Did France do the right thing? Or are they going too far? Share your thoughts below. And please be respectful.