France’s Burkini Ban Was Just Overturned
After several weeks of controversy, a French town’s ban on the burkini has been overturned.
In case you’re just learning about this story, here are the deets: a burkini is a waterproof swim outfit that looks exactly like a wetsuit, only with a skirt. No literally, it’s just like a wetsuit, something men and women alike have worn to the beach for years to protect against cold water temps.
But because burkinis are favored by Muslim women who want to dress modestly, a French town called Villeneuve-sur-Loubet tried to ban them, claiming that because they’re a religious garment, they “infringe on personal freedoms,” according to the Telegraph. 29 other French resort towns followed suit and tried to ban burkinis, too.
This quickly turned into a shitshow. Politicians argued burkinis are “a symbol of the oppression of women.” But banning burkinis on the beach effectively means you’re banning Muslim women from the beach, because it’s not like they’re going to abandon their religious practices and just wear a bikini because some arbitrary rule is in place. And what’s more oppressive than keeping women off the beach because they want to observe their religion?
And the sexism didn’t stop there. Police were stopping women on the beach and forcing them to take their clothes off to comply with the ban.
The ban prompted outcry in the news and social media, with people pointing out the hypocrisy of banning one type of swimwear when speedos are allowed to exist.
The irony that this all boils down to men forcing women to take their clothes off also hasn’t been lost on people.
Other burkini wearers around the world have also posted photos for solidarity.
With all this talk about banning the burkini, I’ve read many things that really upset me. So here’s a #throwback to an old photo shoot with @sajedajordan of me flipping on the beach in a #burkini . Because being a hijabi doesn’t stop you from doing the things you enjoy, and most importantly NO one has the right to take that away from you! Cheers for #burkinipower
But now, France’s highest court has declared that the ban’s illegal and “constituted a serious and manifestly illegal infringement of fundamental liberties, ” the State Council said in its judgment.
The other 29 towns also have to stop enforcing their bans, but I doubt this will be the last we hear of the ban since the attitudes that motivated it aren’t going to go away overnight.
Top photo by @yogijabi