A Fine Example of Civilized Behavior


Among the few things making humans different from animals is clothing.  No animals clothe themselves.  People who don’t use clothes are often looked down upon as savages.  I also thought that teenage boys would normally show more interest for unclothed women than for fully clothed ones.  Apparently, these stereotypes become outdated.  There is a fierce debate in France on the issue of whether bathing suits fully covering women’s bodies (a. k. a. “burkini”) are acceptable in a civilized society.  The debate is not new, but it was rekindled by this brawl on a Corsican beach:

Witnesses say the brawl began after the Muslim families objected to photos being taken by a tourist. When a local teenager, with a group of friends on the beach, also took a photo the brawl erupted. Stones and bottles were thrown… Soon about 40 men from Sisco arrived to defend the youths, witnesses said, and one of the men was slashed with a harpoon blade.  According to Le Figaro newspaper (in French), some of the older men in the bathing party had attacked the teenagers with hatchets. Villagers allegedly then set alight cars belonging to the bathers.

So, what does the government do?  Do they punish the disturbed obnoxious teenagers taking photos of fully clothed women instead of watching photos of naked ones on their computers?  Do they send a message that men should not attack each other with hatchets and stones?  No.  They call the burkini “profoundly archaic” and “outdated ideas” and ban them from public beaches…

Wait a minute here.  So, if a woman shows up on a beach fully clothed rather than naked, she risks being called barbarian. She will be surrounded by tourists and troubled teenagers trying to photograph her like a wild animal.  This world is, definitely, changing.  This is quite weird. Not only direct sun rays are shown to cause skin cancer, but I also find burkini quite beautiful.

And the last, but not the least point in this story.  The brawl over burkini erupted between men.  Look at the pictures and videos in the news articles.  How many women do you see?  Men tell women what they must or must not wear believing that this somehow protects women’s rights.  But strangest of all, they persecute women for being oppressed.  Makese sense, doesn’t it?  Ahem…, gentlemen,… I understand the eagerness to free the women from oppression, but, maybe, we can ask the ladies what they want to wear?  Perhaps, women have other reasons to dress or undress than to impress or please the men?  Just a thought…

 

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14 thoughts on “A Fine Example of Civilized Behavior

  1. I support the French in their eagerness to keep France secular, but they seem to have missed the point here. But the French never seem to recognise the significance of “liberté” even though they enjoy shouting it every 14 July.

    • The arguments around this issue are just baffling. Some say that wearing burkinis “alienates” Musilm women, and stands in the way of integration. Who is alienating whom? A woman comes to the beach wearing what she thinks is appropriate, and she is being told that she is not welcome there in such clothes. These bans alienate women even more. They simply force Muslim women to stay at home.

    • Some claim that burqas and burkinis manifest slavery. So, the way to free women is to force them wear what politicians and “Christian” public deem appropriate. How is this different from forcing women to wear burqas in the first place?

  2. I don’t personally like burkas/burkinis. I think they do alienate and oppress Muslim women. But as you say, forcing women not to wear them is just as bad as forcing them to wear them.

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