I rarely get furious about these sorts of things these days…but anyone can have an off-day. The discussion and debate on the burkini matter grows apace. Sarkozy, bidding for the Republican nomination to run as French President, has made in his book, Tout pour La France, an attack on what he terms the ‘Anglo-Saxon model’ of multiculturalism (this fight is at least ten years old, actually, and the, ahem,’Anglo-Saxon’ model has been attacked by the French left as much as by the French Right). The French State continues to ‘ban the burkini‘.
Many women, across a range of cultures, faiths, communities and so on, professional apparatchicks and non-aligned amateurs like me, have made a number of varying statements, protests and ‘actions’ about the burkini ban – and we are all making the same point.
To legislate (making allowances for public decency and frightening the horses etc) what women should wear is unconscionable. The whataboutery-type examples being quoted across the Internet miss the point: this issue is not about nuns, Saudi Arabia, toplessness or nudity in public (I did once know some naturists, actually, and was very keen NEVER to find out what they looked like without clothing. Miaow…).
This issue is about the state legislating about women’s dress, enforcing this diktat through the use of armed police and picking on and humiliating women in the public arena. And it is not on.