Without a doubt the issue of how best to deal with the burkini is a tricky one. I can see why many French pollies want to ban it, even if they're having trouble doing so. Their view on the burkinis is similar to their view on minarets (which were actually banned in Switzerland). Both are highly visible symbols of a religious culture that is profoundly at odds with the rest of the nation. So they want to keep a lid on 'em, so to speak.
In any case the controversy surrounding the burkini is a very clear illustration of how times have changed. And it's not just the state's evolving attitude to sheilas' seaside attire that is interesting. The feminist shift on this is notable also.
I can remember talking to bolshie babes in Artsville a coupla decades back. If ever we got onto the subject of Islam, they would almost invariably arc up about that religion's treatment of women, and the burqa would often be condemned in extremely harsh terms. (Now, I know that the burqa and similar coverings are not always demanded by Muslim men. And they're more of a cultural thing. That said there's a lot of subtle pressure placed on Islamic women to wear them. And the reasoning behind their existence is clearly sexist if not downright misogynous.)
I haven't been in touch with these particular women in recent years. But I suspect most if not all of them would have done pretty much a one eighty degree turn regarding the burqa, as the sinister dogmas of political correctness clearly demand.
The burkini is kind of a burqa-lite. So I'm pretty sure they'd also be outraged by anyone saying these garments should be banned at the beach. And it's quite likely they'd see the woman who invented the swimsuit, Aheda Zanetti (actually an Aussie), as something of a feminist heroine.
When asked about former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy’s comments where he called the burkini a provocation, she said: “Hasn’t he got anything better to talk about? Doesn’t he need to fix his country and not split it apart? This is a swim suit that represents freedom and sun and surf and happiness and swimming and leisure, family, happiness.”
Well, that shows just how arse-about everything's getting now, dunnit? The reason women wear burkinis and burqas is because they're taught that their uncovered flesh is the provocation, okay.
And who's trying to split the country apart? Those who say you should be able to say what you bloody well want about any and all religions. Or those who cry "behead those who insult Islam"? And haven't there been demands for kaffir pool-goers to cover up in the presence of Muslim women?
And the burkini represents freedom? Well, call me ol' fashioned, but when I look at it I find that a very, very long bow to draw.
You'd think that anyone who sincerely believes in female empowerment would find these aspects relating to the garb, er, problematic, to say the least. But not our feisty "feminists", who can turn on a dime no probs!
Well, all I can say is imagine if a group of high profile white males started demanding -- even merely suggesting -- that feminist chicks along with all other Anglo women cover up in body length Australian flags while at the beach. They'd be all for a selective swimsuit ban then, I'm sure ...