Oh, this topic gets me going, so be prepared for a lot of text.
I am very confused by how much turmoil a two-pieced bathing suit can cause.
But for those who do not know what a burkini is, let me explain it to you: It’s a fullbody bathing suit worn by muslimas, so they can enjoy themselves at the beach and in the water. Period. It’s not a war announcement and they don’t wear it so they can hide bombs underneath it. There are quite a few idiotic arguments against the burkini out there, which I’m going to dismantle right now, you can thank me later.
You are in MY country now!
You’re in my country now, so wear what we wear. If I have to hide my body in your country, you have to wear a bikini in ours. How I love this argument. It’s like telling a child to stop hitting his brother and the child answers: “But he hit me first!!”
First of all: Grow up. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be childish from time to time, and a lot of grown-up things really annoy me – but this here is the exact moment to leave your diapers behind and stop being a selfish dick.
There is a big difference between us wearing more modest clothes in islamic countries and expecting them to leave certain things like the hijab or the burkini behind. For most of us it’s really not a big deal to put on another sweater or a longer dress, when we’re visiting places outside our hotel area. We just do it (Well most of us. The things I’ve seen some tourists do…). That’s because we don’t have to give up anything of great value to us. Yes, we’re annoyed that we can’t show off our new beautiful top and maybe we feel a little restricted for a few hours. But expecting a hijabi woman to leave her clothes behind is the same as expecting her to abandon her beliefs. It’s in her core values. So stop comparing these two things. It makes no sense.
The last time I checked feminism was about empowering women. So if you tell a practicing muslima to abandon her beliefs, you strip her of her own power to decide who she wants to be. You might believe that no woman wants to hide her beauty and that all women want to look and behave like we westerners do. Well, let me burst your bubble: All women do not want to be like we are in the western world. Believe it or not, not every muslima is forced into wearing a hijab or a burkini. Many women choose to do so. And not even because they’re brainwashed. By trying to “liberate” those women you actually patronize them. I thought you wanted them to be free? So, let them be free to do what they want for God’s sake.
There are a LOT of great youtube videos on women choosing to wear the hijab. For now, I’d like to share Attya Lattifs – A Feminist Choice to wear the Hijab
I am not ignoring the fact, that there are indeed women who do not choose to live this way. And there are countries who oppress their women and don’t give them any choices to do anything. Those are the places that kind of feminism is needed. Not in our western countries, where you can do whatever you like as a muslim woman.
But what about those muslimas in our country, who are oppressed by the patriarchy of their family? Yes, they exist too. But we don’t help them by banning them from the beaches or the public baths. Because that’s exactly what we do, if we ban the burkinis. Because we are banning the only option for them to go to those places. We are not liberating them, we’re sending them back home. I thought we wanted them to integrate into our lives? Well, that’s not gonna happen, when they’re imprisoned in their homes.
That’s a really popular one. Many public baths in europe banned the burkini because of some ridiculous concerns regarding hygiene. I’m glad that several health departments assured that there are no hygiene problems whatsoever. I feel like they are just searching for excuses to not let “those people” in. There have been cases where women “got caught” wearing more layers of fabric beneath the burkini, which is a safety hazard. But I’ve seen a lot of boys wearing boxers beneath their swimming trunks too – so it’s not a burkini problem, it’s a people problem.
Just let them be. Let these women wear whatever the fuck they want. Don’t patronize them, don’t pity them. And if you really want to know more about why a woman would wear that kind of clothing, go ahead and ask her! Most of them will be happy to talk to you and some will be annoyed because they have to defend themselves everyday. But if you show real interest, I’m pretty sure they will open up to you as well.