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Politics Burkinis vs Bikinis vs Bare at the Beach

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by ASU2003, Aug 27, 2016.

  1. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    There is an interesting dilemma taking place in France and other parts of Europe now. There are political groups on both sides of the issue, and even people within the same political group that are divided on this issue. The secular left, the conservatives, the religious immigrants, the feminists, and the libertarians aren't as divided on the same lines like they normally are.

    Burkini bans: France is giving Iran a run for its money - CNN.com


    So what are your thoughts on what should be appropriate attire to wear at the beach? Should people be able to wear what they want without the police getting involved? Is it allowing immigrants to bring part of their culture and conservative values into France and change it? Maybe it is better for the Muslim women to cover up, but bring their young girls to the beach and expose them to what European women wear than to raise the kids in sheltered conservative communities. Or should France and Germany fight against the oppression of women and have them exert their right not to be viewed as a possession controlled by men? Then again, it might be viewed that women should have the right to wear whatever they want to the beach without worrying about broader societal change. 

Could it be viewed as an authoritarian state oppressing Muslims and embolden extremists? Or is it making women who wear bikinis or go topless feel out of place in their own country? Maybe going topless should be a retaliation against a religion that has seen the extremist faction attack and kill innocent people around France in the past few months?

    Burkini Ban Overturned By France's Top Administrative Court

    I think the big question for me is if the refugees are expecting to remain in Europe or if they want to return to the Middle East as soon as it is safe. I also worry about the impact to the Muslim feminists who want to escape that part of the religion and had to wear a swimsuit to go to the beach. I went on Spring Break with a Muslim woman in the US before 2001 and there wasn't an option to cover up. I'm not quite sure how this impacted her though, she didn't wear a veil or anything normally. She wasn't getting pressure to cover up by her family or other Muslims though. It was before Facebook and Instagram would have tagged her and shared her pictures on-line to let other people find out that she went to a beach. I’m also not sure if she would be able to have worn a bikini in her native country, but I doubt it.

    iranian beach dreams | look | i-D

    Part of the history of European beaches (in some regions) is being known for not wearing tops or bottoms. I have a friend who grew up in East Germany and she has gone to the FKK beaches her whole life. But that is declining in Europe for a number of different reasons(Cameras, photoshop, internet, obesity, negative self body image, creepy men, etc), and I’m not sure that is a good thing. I don’t know what the results are of a society that accepts different body types and removes the mystery of what people look like with no clothes on, and that doesn’t make nudity a sexual thing. As someone who has had easy access to whatever picture or video on-line that I’ve wanted to see for the past 20 years, I know I have become desensitized to topless women. But 16 year old me would have a different mindset going to a nude beach with high school classmates. Being raised without nudity, but with girls competing to wear less and less made me think of girls as sex objects. Would I have had a different mindset if I grew up with nudity being normal and not taboo? Could exposing Muslim men and women in Europe to nudity shift their views on their own culture? Is going topless the right way to protest conservative values and customs on the beaches of Europe instead of police fines and laws? Should rebellious Muslim teenage girls be encouraged to go to the beach and wear bikinis or nothing? There have been plenty of women protesting Islam in Europe using their breasts already, maybe they should start going to the beach. Have any of the women here gone topless to protest or would be willing to do it?

    Clothing is optional in Germany - Salon.com

    Topless protesters disrupt Muslim conference on women - Telegraph

    Topless Femen protesters draggedout of Berlin's Islamic Week meeting | Daily Mail Online

    (NSFW) Int’l Women’s Day: Arab Women Protest Naked In Paris – National Infinity Magazine

    Egyptian Feminist Creates Firestorm By Posting Nude Photos Online

    Why topless French women are covering up - The Local


France falls out of love with topless sunbathing | World news | The Guardian


Oh, and FYI it is National Go Topless Day tomorrow, at least in Venice Beach, California. But the law against that hasn't been revoked by the Supreme Court yet. And the police can cover up women here compared to the image of French police having a women remove her burkini.
    National "Go T0PLESS Day" is this Sunday! - American Journal
  2. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    I may go to the Washington DC version of this on Sunday. Give my support.
    The gotopless.org website's Google maps is having issues, so you can quickly print screen or snip it to grab it while hovering over the starting location for your area (if given).
    DC is Constitution Gardens Pond near Constitution Ave NW and 18th NW...1-5 pm :cool:
  3. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    The bottom line for me is this: Women should be able to choose whether or not they wear a hijab or burkini or whatever as a part of their religious lifestyle. It's another thing all together when husbands oppress their wives by coercing them to wear them. And it was a political disaster when those French mayors instituted the ban and had police enforce it.

    Author (and all around awesome human being) Arundhati Roy absolutely nails it:


    People were rightly horrified at the story of French police (men, at that) forcing that woman out of her clothing to uphold a ban based on religious discrimination that unfairly targeted women.

    When the court overturned this ban, it was a victory of liberalism over fascism.

    Also, this issue of bikini vs. burkini often comes down to male influence, whether coercive or otherwise abusive. Women's liberation still has a way to go. (Damned if you do; damned if you don't.)

    Last edited: Aug 27, 2016
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  4. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    It all seems to come down to men deciding what woman should wear.
    fuck that.
  5. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    Or maybe it is the women that decide what they wear and they have the ability to change society based on that choice. The men might have been the ones making the rules that arrest the topless women for indecent exposure, but I don't think there are any men telling the Femen protestors to go topless. And the male mayors in France might be the ones who are pushing the Burkini ban, but I think it has more to do with controlling the French culture and punishing conservative Muslims for the Nice and Paris attacks.
  6. fflowley

    fflowley Don't just do something, stand there! Donor

    I think a woman going to the beach should wear (or not wear) whatever the hell she wants to wear.
    And nobody would consider me a friend of strict religious conservatism. I think a woman in a burqa at the beach is straight out of some medieval freak show. But if that's what she wants to wear, go right ahead.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    And yes, I went...not a big gathering.
    Everything nice and calm.
    The organizer just got written up because they didn't have a permit to show at the White House. (but just fine otherwise, walking through the city...people didn't freak at all...or perv either)
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    I think the Arundhati Roy quote that @Baraka_Guru posted says it all. Ultimately, this has nothing to do with religion, nor necessarily even culture. This is about women being able to choose for themselves what they feel comfortable wearing. If a woman chooses to wear a burqa, I may think that it is a stultifyingly repressive and subjugated choice, but it is her choice to make, not mine.

    The answer is not to force individual women to wear or not wear specific garments. The answer is to try to create a society in which women have the legitimate freedom to make their own choices about what to wear, and not to fear retribution or judgment from anyone concerning their choices-- not from progressives and moderates if they choose to wear "modest" clothing, and not from conservatives and fundamentalists if they choose to wear revealing clothing, or less clothing, or no clothing at all. It should be a woman's choice what she wears, and it should be a choice she is safe exercising in any way she pleases.

    And the answer to "modest" wear like Islamic or Orthodox Jewish women wear is absolutely not to confront women in public and essentially demand under threat of prosecution that women strip down and wear less clothing. That's just such an appallingly bad response to potentially oppressive modesty rules in fundamentalist cultures, I don't even have words for it.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    What about the right for women in the conservative Middle Eastern countries to be able to choose what to wear at the beach? Part of the reason they are refugees in the first place is that they are fleeing a religious war (Daesh/ISIS, taliban, Al Queda).
    Beach decency urged in Kuwait | GulfNews.com

    I think this article from 2002 actually presents the conservative Muslim woman's side and why some of them want to cover up. But there is the mutawwa police there to make sure they stay covered up in public even if they did want to wear a different reveling bathing suit.
    Saudis In Bikinis - NYTimes.com
    The thing is, I have no problem with those rules over there. If it works, maybe objectifying women and not having random men being attracted to women outside their relationship isn't the best. But that isn't the culture in Europe. And while I would expect western women to follow the cultural rules when traveling through the Middle East with what they wear, I kind of expected the Muslim women to try and fit in with European rules and traditions when they are in Europe. And that is why I asked the question in the first post. Are these refugees looking to stay in Europe indefinitely or are they just waiting until their home countries are safe to return to? If they want the safety and security of Europe, they should try to fit in as Europeans.

    If it will just be for a few years, I don't think much will change or needs to change. But, if the refugees are going to stay and build new lives in Europe, then it could be a problem. My concern is that once a few Muslim women in the community decides that covering up is the appropriate thing to wear to the beach, then peer pressure and rules will take over and require their friends, family and other Muslim women to wear burkinis, even if they want to wear something else and fit in with the locals.
  10. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

    I was raised in a culture that had relatively strict clothing guidelines for women.
    I am all for women choosing what they wear.
    Modesty is a choice. It can be a difficult choice to make sometimes. Prom, for instance... it's often difficult to find a prom dress that covers the shoulders...

    When I left that culture, I intentionally posted photos of myself on social media wearing a camisole and a cross. It was a very real and intentional act, a bit of rebellion, but mostly it was a public statement to those friends that I broke away and that I was happy. I wore a sleeveless dress at my wedding for a similar reason.

    Don't ridicule a woman for choosing any particular clothing.
    If you really feel that full-coverage swimwear looks oppressive, then chat with the woman a bit. In most cases, you'll soon learn that it is truly her choice. And she might not even be Muslim.

    A related article, stating that 40% of burkinis are sold to non-muslims:
    Burkini ban: The woman behind it says 40% of sales are to non-Muslims — Quartz
  11. Stan

    Stan Resident Dumbass

    It's rare that I tell my wife what to wear. When I do, it better include the words "hot, cold, or wet".

    A few years ago, in Zermatt, I watched a van full of Middle Eastern folk pull up to our hotel. All of the women wore full abayas, with one in particular wearing sparkly pink wedges. 15 min later, I saw the same wedges on a 20 something young lady wearing a fairly short skirt. When in Rome ... or Switzerland.
    • Like Like x 1