France bans burkini…and modesty?


Victoria Gorny

In France, women can walk on the beach in skimpy suits, but modest coverings have been deemed dangerous.

France is well-known for its extensive and sandy beaches that stretch on for thousands of miles along its beautiful coastline. People may also associate the beaches in France with bare-breasted women wandering about and middle-aged men wearing minuscule Speedos. The lack of bashfulness is simply shocking, and yet, the burkini, a full-length swimsuit that covers the majority of a person’s body, has been banned in this country. Towards the end of July 2016, David Lisnard, the mayor of Cannes, prohibited women from wearing the burkini on public beaches because he believes it represents extremist Islam.

“Women should be able to express their culture wherever they want to and should be able to wear whatever they want,” said Eleanore Kelleher, a junior. ” Is it fair that women on the beach strut about in skimpy bathing suits? Absolutely not. France exists as a country with several cultures and ought to embrace multiculturalism.” 

The whole situation is a bit hypocritical, considering the fact that France claims to protect the value of freedom and expression. Authorities dictating the outfits that women should wear degrades the idea of equality for all citizens and suppresses religious freedom for Muslim women. Banning the burkini ultimately restrains individuals from living their lives with any choice of religious attire and subdues their right to liberty. This circumstance happens to bring up another question: why are women allowed to wear minimal amounts of clothing at the beach, and others are not allowed to wear full-length bathing suits? A burkini is specifically marketed for Muslim women, and it provides them with a chance to attend public beaches, enables them to feel comfortable in their own skin and abides by the modest ordinances their religion requires.

“Terrorism is a problem worldwide and has been a major issue in France, but banning women from wearing a burkini does not neccessarily help make France safer,” said history teacher Mrs. Ashley Braun. “Wearing a burkini gives Muslim women the option to protect their modesty, a key belief of Muslims, and allows them to participate in public activities like going to the beach.”

Throughout this year, France has suffered its share of terrorist attacks that were carried out by Islamist extremists. People believe that such outfits are bound to be visible as signs of Islamic extremism. It is absurd to think that society is frightened because of a woman’s choice in attire. Burkinis serve as an emblem for all females who choose to wear this because of religious edicts, and they essentially do not pose a threat to anybody.

It is about time that the government in France stops focusing on petty problems that really are not problems at all and starts to deal with more significant troubles than the burkini ban.