It seems ridiculous that a piece of clothing has become a global thing now. Usually this is the way it goes with a fashion item (don’t we all love to talk about how ugly Crocs, Uggs and man buns are? ) but in this case, suddenly the law is involved. Because it is about a piece of clothing that hides most of the person.
Meant to display a woman in the only way that is allowed by their religion, or so it seems.
In reality, France has tried to get the burkini banned by law in means of trying to prevent their country for more disasters. Something you could relate to in a way, since so much has occurred in France in means of attacks since a few years ago. In that sense, you can understand how France wants to be able to protect itself and its citizens from further attacks. Not completely weird there.
Then the item itself. What does a burkini mean?
It means that the person is islamic, as stated before, but mainly: a woman. And probably one with a strict view on her religion, or at least her husband has, if the choice for beach- or swimmingpoolwear goes to the burkini.
Is it obligatory wear? You know it isn’t, or else the burkini would have spiked discussions much earlier. It is, in other words, the free choice of women from any type of views to wear this. Because more religions have the ‘women need to be covered as much as possible’ etiquette. Usually the more strict ones, those who call themselves orthodox.
And stricter views are the views that are watched far more precaucious these days, as extremists appear to hide under these exact views. Seems, since we read so many times a week or month how in the USA someone has performed a mass shooting again, but that’s another side story.
People shooting other people for being gay, black or in any other way a minority, aren’t nearly as important to focus on as people who decide to go to the beach with a massive bathing suit on.
So what is that all about then? Do we all care that much?
I know I don’t.
But I do get it. From a different point of view, however.
I come from a family of strong women. Women that meant something during the war, who made their own living, who had a family, who stood up for themselves if necessary and had the blessing of their spouses to do so. Spouses who didn’t hit their women, who went to church and didn’t think of telling their wives, my grandmothers, what to do. One was a nurse, the other one a dentist. They both had hobbies, they both had contact with mixed companies, meaning men and women. Their husbands had no problems with this whatsoever. They were allowed to speak to these men without hiding any aspect of themselves. There were never any seperate occasions.
Given that I myself used to live in a neighbourhood where I was called ‘whore’ by a bastard on a scooter of a certain culture, I do have my concern about these burkinis and about burkas and niqaabs.
You see, our (Dutch) court, has ruled once that a young woman, who got raped after a night out, where the suspect had said that ‘she was asking for it, with that short skirt’, that the suspect was wrong about this. That no girl or woman is EVER ‘asking for it’, dressing the way she does. This is the country I live in. It’s the law I live by. It is the law that respects my being a human being, just the way I am. I love that. Because it means I can dress however I want, knowing I still have the complete right to my own body, without anybody else having a say about it, nor access to it. By law and by culture.
A burkini is telling me: ‘that suspect in the court was right. It was the girls’s fault. She should not have worn a skirt that short. It exites men. That’s our <women’s> fault’. A burkini tells me there’s yet another place I should suddenly be careful for myself and be aware there’s such a thing as a religion. The burkini says that everything I believe in, including ‘men and women are equal’ is wrong.
And I do not wish to become a victim of that, because I myself do NOT choose to wear a burkini. I don’t wanna be called a ‘whore’ because some pesky bastards choose to teach their boys that girls and women, no matter what they do, are always wrong. And by wearing these burkinis I feel like they indulge men by not showing too much. I’v never heard of a burkini being obligatory anywhere, and if it were, I’d strongly want men to wear one aswell, because otherwise I don’t think it’s fair. Why should only women have to cover themselves up?
So do I think this law should be law? No, because it would only make things worse. It wouldn’t help a thing, except from estranging these women even more from outer life. I’d say make these women stronger. Let them know there’s life outside the shell they’re being kept in. Make ‘m feel heard instead of make ‘m a criminal. But also: teach these women there is a life outside the shortsighted shell that they choose to live in. That there are people who will love them, embrace them as their own, as soon as they try to escape that life that denies them the freedom to be so.
I’ve published this blog before. I had a few responses of women who told me they could be just as strong wearing exactly the type of clothes that they were told to.
“I know women who wear it by choice, and they love that”. Yes. Ever heard of Stockholm syndrome? Being told it’s the only way to live a good life, doesn’t make it voluntarily.
But then again, that’s just me.