Trending Topics:

A French, a Palestinian, and a black woman all wade into a pool

Israel/Palestine
on 42 Comments

Simone Manuel’s gold medal win in the Rio Olympics is no minor feat, and not just in the athletic sense. As Manuel herself acknowledges, her achievement is a slap in the face to the racism which permeates US society, at one point blatantly barring, and to this day, deterring blacks from participating in the pleasure of communal swimming. Think of Dorothy Dandridge, whose toe was deemed cause enough to drain an entire pool lest she carry communicable diseases attributed to African-Americans without causality in the segregation era, or think back to the burning image of a white motel owner pouring acid into a pool, black guests still in it, looks of hurt, panic and confusion on their faces as they scramble to escape the toxic fluid.

Attitudes and actions espoused by whites across the nation and enabled by legislation thus played a direct role in the emergence of generations of African Americans who could not swim. According to USA Swimming, An estimated 70% of African Americans do not know how to swim, and to this day access to swimming pools is limited in black majority neighborhoods, another consequence of low income and disparate funding allocation trends across urban areas with a predominant African-American demographic presentation. It comes as no surprise then that campaigns such as Make a Splash have made demonstrable effort to recruit relatable ambassadors and focus efforts and resources on encouraging black communities to proactively learn this essential life skill.

Yet Manuel’s victory, mighty in its own right, comes in the midst of troubling events anchored to the right to enjoy public water and water sports in other parts of the world — events that remind us that racism and sexism still permeate the very same societies we tout as progressive, democratic, pluralistic, and post-racial.

Within the span of about a week, the French towns of Cannes, Villeneuve-Loubet, and Corsica have each banned burkinis from public beaches, effectively restricting the right of French women to dress as they choose, controlling how they get to present their bodies when partaking in activities at a public beach. By specifically targeting the burkini, French authorities are attempting to make the case to Muslim communities to accept and adhere to secular French values and abandon rather than merge theirs, while outrageously tying hygiene and morals of Muslims into the discussion. Even the French Prime Minister weighed in on the matter, referring to the burkini as a symbol of the “enslavement of women”. French society’s obsessive aversion to the display of religious practice has apparently gone so far as some French officials calling for Muslims to be “more discreet,” as though the mere sight of diversity threatens to rip the social fabric of French society to shreds.

In reality, the burkini ban effectively discriminates and marginalizes one single, but dual faceted minority group–those Muslim women who observe hijab and cover themselves in the presence of men. This group of women, it must be noted, is a much larger segment than the burqa or niqab wearers who are by comparison just a handful, already targeted by other bans since 2010. Interestingly, it remains unclear as to what is in fact deemed legal beach attire. Bikinis and speedos have not as of yet been legislated as mandatory, and men’s (and women’s) wetsuits seem to remain perfectly legal, despite being essentially the same configuration of material as a burkini, save for a cap to cover the hair — bringing into question yet again how principles of ethnic and gender equality, and that of individual liberty, can really be said to be upheld through such laws.

(Image: Carlos Latuff)

(Image: Carlos Latuff)

Things got worse by the end of the same week. In Israel, a Regional Council leader, Moti Dotan, called for segregated swimming pools for Israelis and Palestinians, questioning Palestinian hygiene and cultural practices as he quipped that he would not wish to share a pool with them. Public pools are thus the latest infrastructure being leveraged to implement apartheid against Palestinians and Palestinian citizens of Israel, discrimination against whom collectively is already enabled through government issued identification, differences in access to government services, as well as through segregation of roads, schools, and even hospital wards.

The occupation has proved immune even to the Olympic spirit, and dampening that of the Palestinian delegation to Rio. Many of the Palestinian delegation, like Mary al-Atrash, could not access decent training facilities either as a result of lack of infrastructure in the West Bank, or due to the discouraging reality facing any Palestinian who considers travel to Jerusalem–the impending denial of permit by the Israeli civilian affairs authority, the long and arduous wait at most checkpoints, and the inevitable sense of humiliation tied to having to seek permission from an occupying force to move freely within your own land. Dotan has since issued a mild retraction of his statement calling it a “slip of the tongue,” but continued to emphasize apparently subpar physical hygiene attributable, to him, to Palestinian culture. Of course, it is ironic that Palestinians would be found swimming in Israel or the occupied Palestinian territories at all, given the cutting of water supply to a number of West Bank villages by Israel over the course of the summer or in consideration of the horrific targeted killing of 4 young Palestinian boys playing on the Gaza beach, by an Israeli warship during the Israeli Operation Protective Edge offensive in 2014.

Despite Simone Manuel’s historic accomplishment in the Olympic pool, water activities thus seem to continue to be a flashpoint for the curtailing of freedoms, for the institutionalization of racism, sexism, and Islamophobia, and for enabling the ugly practice of segregation. Water, the very essence of life, that clarifying healant both so scarce yet so abundant, is abused again and again as fuel for the fire burning through progressive social values. Manuel’s victory enables thousands of black girls across the United States to envision a future where they stand on a podium, representing their country through their athletic prowess, but it also reminds us that such momentous achievements are still at risk of being drowned out by the rising waves of right-wing nationalist extremism that appear to be taking Western, liberal democratic nations on both sides of the Atlantic by storm.

About Nida Hussain

Nida Hussain is the Director, Public Relations at Palestine Works, a U.S based nonprofit organization founded by diaspora Palestinians to promote Palestinian human development. Palestine Works seeks to engage, develop and harness the expertise of young professionals inside and outside Palestine through the creation of high-impact knowledge exchange opportunities.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

42 Responses

  1. Krauss
    Krauss
    August 23, 2016, 12:00 pm

    What a tsunami of nonsense. The burkini is driven by the same impulse as the one behind the niqab and the burqa. It’s about creating taboos around women’s bodies – and has Nida ever considered that it is ONLY women and never men?

    Yet she now wants us to believe that this is exactly the same as forbidding black people in a pool. Donning the burqa or the burkini is a voluntary choice. You don’t choose to have black skin, its something you are born with.

    Shame on this site for publishing this drivel.

    • Froggy
      Froggy
      August 23, 2016, 2:30 pm

      Krauss :: “The burkini is driven by the same impulse as the one behind the niqab and the burqa. It’s about creating taboos around women’s bodies – and has Nida ever considered that it is ONLY women and never men?”

      Some women are very uncomfortable being stared at. The reason may be based in religion or tradition, or it may be extreme shyness. Women have their reasons.

      The issue isn’t the niqab or the burqa which cover the face and hide identity. The burkini covers no more than a standard wet suit.

      Marks & Spencer sells burkinis, for cripes sake ! You can’t get more middle class than M&S.

      As for the men, neither my buff sons nor my still-athletic husband would be caught dead in Speedos, even though that is what men wear on our beach. It is what the local boys and men wear, but my lot don’t. It’s their choice.

      Are you against these too ?

      Modest Swimsuits for frum women

      Since becoming frum (Orthodox Jewish), I have not really been swimming. I hadn’t quite figured out how to be tznius (modest) and swim. During one vacation to Florida when our oldest was about 2 1/2 , I wore a light skirt and long-sleeved cotton top with my sleeves pulled up. I was miserable! When he was older, I sat to the side watching him and my husband at swim lessons because I had nothing to wear to join him in the water. I have heard of friends who wear a swimsuit and a very long big T-shirt, but that is not comfortable and doesn’t really cover enough.

      Thankfully, over the past few years, a crop of modest swimsuit companies have sprung up. However, if you do a Google search for modest swimsuits, you get not only the ones geared for Orthodox women, but also those for Christians and Muslims, which follow different standards and look a bit different.

      So I thought it would be nice to provide a review and listing of the modest frum swimwear lines available today in the United States. Let me know if you are aware of any that I missed! Now if I can only find a way to save up enough money to buy one! This year I do not want to miss out on getting to go swimming with our boys, even in the kiddie pool in our own backyard!

      https://survivingonatightbudget.com/2012/06/07/modest-swimsuits-for-frum-women/

      Should the French ban these as well ?

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 23, 2016, 3:05 pm

        Krauss, are you saying that you don’t have any limits to your level of comfort with exposure? Left to yourself, you’d just walk out stark naked except for your liberal badge –never mind the extra fat, or the hunger ribs, the boils or the rash, the hair or the absence of it, etc., correct?

        Good for you.

        Other people’s comfort levels differ from one to another. Of course, cultural training from birth on has a lot to decide there, and a lot of it is also conscious or unconscious imposition of myth, religion, superstition and other obscurantism. But then, many times it’s interiorized.
        Were we living in Saudi Arabia or some such, I would say you may be right: there is a legal imposition.

        But this is not about Saudi Arabia. It is about a country where imposing such covers is already proscribed.

        Of course France is right in banning any ostentatious religious symbols on government premises, since 1904. Surplices, crosses, kippas, burqas, the whole lot. “Laïcité” is a concept bitterly necessary here, where the Government is complicit in respecting an establishment of religion.
        Swimming pools are not public administration premises.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 23, 2016, 5:33 pm

        “Krauss, are you saying that you don’t have any limits to your level of comfort with exposure?”

        No, he is saying that an argument that treats the voluntary as analogous with the involuntary is a really bad argument.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 24, 2016, 5:12 pm

        RoHa,

        I’d agree with that if he had a reliable test.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 24, 2016, 7:20 pm

        Test for what?

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 25, 2016, 12:02 am

        Test for voluntary/ interiorized vs. imposed, which was the other (incomplete) part of his argument

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 23, 2016, 2:43 pm

      “It’s about creating taboos around women’s bodies…”

      You know, I’ve often had the same thought about women’s clothing where I live, in the US. An awful lot of it seems to be devoted to a taboo which forbids the image or sight of a women from belonging entirely to herself.

    • eljay
      eljay
      August 23, 2016, 7:15 pm

      || Krauss: … The burkini is driven by the same impulse as the one behind the niqab and the burqa. It’s about creating taboos around women’s bodies … Donning the burqa or the burkini is a voluntary choice. … ||

      I agree that it’s a voluntary choice. What I don’t understand is why the voluntary choice to wear more – not less – in public spaces like a beach is considered to be offensive enough that it must be (legislatively) opposed.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 24, 2016, 6:09 pm

        Me too

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        August 25, 2016, 6:31 am

        It may help some readers to know that the Agora Swimwear Company (Inverness) produces a wide range of attractive and comfortable swimsuits for both sexes, covering and revealing various body parts and all bearing prominently displayed labels such as “For Voluntary Use Only,” “Certified Non-Religious Swimwear,” “Guaranteed Non-Islamic Burqini,” etc.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 25, 2016, 4:55 pm

        “Stephen”, remember this one?

        “Mother may I go out to swim?
        Yes, my darling daughter.
        Hang your clothes on a hickory limb,
        And don’t go near the water!”

    • Kate
      Kate
      August 25, 2016, 2:30 am

      Incidentally, Krauss, the following statement is not true: “It’s about creating taboos around women’s bodies – and has Nida ever considered that it is ONLY women and never men?”

      There is in fact an Islamic dress code for Muslim men, though granted it is not as difficult as that for women: Muslim men may not go uncovered between the waist and the knees. If they wear Western swimsuits they are breaking this rule. There are other requirements: Muslim men may not wear gold, for example. Men have been arrested in the Gulf states for breaking one of these rules.

      • silamcuz
        silamcuz
        August 25, 2016, 7:17 am

        Good call Kate. Islam strongly believe in the concept of separate but equal, in which both men and women are given guidelines specific to their sex for the purpose of maintaining a holistic, well-balanced society. There are also guidelines for intersex people as well as those who fall outside of the heteronormative sexual orientations.

        No one is privileged over the other in Islam, and everyone has their own role to play in order to maintain the state of justice as per God’s law.

        One thing I disagree with your comment is how you described the dress codes for women as difficult. Technically, Islam only state that women need to guard her modesty and restrict any display of sexuality to people with certain rights in relation to her. Plus what constitute as difficult is quite subjective to each person.

        Practically speaking, women of age are to follow these verses as per their understanding and interpretation as no specific dress codes are actually prescribed in the Quran. As such, I don’t believe that any difficulty with dress codes arise from Islam itself, due to provision for personal discretions in how you decide to wear a hijab, and also due to the fact that ultimately, the guidelines are meant to be followed out of choice. Wearing a hijab should never be for the purpose of following the law or staying out of trouble, it is a deeply personal matter between you and God.

  2. Froggy
    Froggy
    August 23, 2016, 1:53 pm

    Well said !

    Right now I am very ashamed to be French.

    Burkinis make good sense for many reasons. I say this as a woman who lost both a husband and a cousin to malignant melanoma.

    As for the head covering, until recently ordinary women routinely wore caps to go swimming. I don’t see the problem any more than I would see a problem with a frum woman or a man in a kippa. No problem at all. What other people wear is none of my business or anyone else’s.

    Common practice has it that there are places where laïcité is required, such as in government and in the public school classroom. I agree with that. However, public beaches and pools are not part of government or education. Neither are areas which the public use in common, such as the streets, parks, museums, arenas, or other venues. Yet I understand what is behind such thinking.

    France is a strange place. For all that the French value creativity, especially in philosophy and literature, thought and the arts, the French simultaneously place more emphasis on public conformity than I have ever seen in any other western country. In France, to be noticeably different is thought to be a threat to the cohesion of French society.

    It is this narrow way of thinking that has been the force behind France’s traditional prohibitions against native ethnic cultures, like the Bretons, as well as immigrant ethnic and religious minorities, along with groups that make themselves stand out in the public square, especially in matters of religion, the practice of which is considered a private matter.

    Note that I said ‘the practice of which’. The identification isn’t the problem (except amongst bigots). It is the public display of religious dedication (religiosity) that French society sees as the problem, not the identification or self-identification in itself.

    So the lady in the nicely-styled dress or decently-cut trousers, with the neatly-tied neck scarf, and well-arranged hair walking along the streets of a French town has conformed to a certain level of Frenchness. Her religion doesn’t matter. Nor does it matter how devout she is, as that is a private matter and she has kept it so. The frummie or the lady in the hijab will find herself looked on as choosing not to integrate into French society.

    http://faculty.georgetown.edu/spielmag/docs/france/primer.htm

    I hope this makes sense to anyone reading it.

  3. inbound39
    inbound39
    August 23, 2016, 2:21 pm

    In New Zealand Muslims tried to get laws changed to allow women to wear a burqa for drivers licence photos. Of course it failed given the law requires the licence holders face to be clearly visible for identification purposes. Religion and culture certainly deserves respect and when you move to another land there is a requirement to respect the dominant culture of your new home or why move there. Iran etc expect their culture to be respected and laws of their culture to be respected. There should be no difference wherever you go. Respect the culture of the nation you choose to live in. There is no requirement for a foreign nation to adapt to another culture which is foreign to it.

    • Froggy
      Froggy
      August 23, 2016, 2:55 pm

      @inbound39

      I’m surprised at you ! This comment isn’t like you at all.

      No one is demanding, or even requesting, that French women wear burkinis instead of the usual swimwear. I’m French, and if I can wear what I want I don’t see a problem with what other women choose to wear.

      “There is no requirement for a foreign nation to adapt to another culture which is foreign to it.

      Other women are wearing the modest swimwear. We aren’t. There is nothing for us to adapt to.

      Think about it.

      I agree with NZ about the driving licence photos. Silly idea.

      • inbound39
        inbound39
        August 23, 2016, 5:39 pm

        As I understand it from the press it is about them imposing a religious presence on french society when french see religion as a private matter as I do also. I grew up in England at the time the colour bar was lifted and saw the problems of new cultures not wanting to fit in to the local culture but more wanting to impose their culture on local inhabitants. Its a recipe for disaster from my observations. There is an argument for new arrivals to respect and fit into local culture. I have also see it argued in the press that Burquas, Burqinis etc is about controlling what women wear. I have two sisters and would never dream of attempting to demand they dress a certain way. A woman has exactly the same rights as I do. Maintaining a nations culture is maintaining its identity. If England switched to another cultures identity it would not be England anymore and would have lost its culture. My take is French see it the same way.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        August 23, 2016, 6:45 pm

        @inbound.

        I’m with ya bro. Nothing says women’s rights and equality as well as a man or government telling her what she can’t wear.

        Certainly no woman should be forced too adhere to a specific religious dress code. Those that adopt that code or choose to wear it just for fun should be allowed to.

        While you see other cultures not fitting in I see a wonderful variety of cultures which pique my interest.

        Since you grew up in those days what was the culture? Shirt, tie and bowler hat? Umbrella? Ladies wearing hats andveils in church? Skirts below the knees? Mods and rockers? One piece bathing suits? Bathing skirts with shorts? Men in one piece bath suits with chests covered?

        There is no one culture in most countries. Vive la difference.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        August 24, 2016, 6:03 am

        Froggy and oldgeezer – great posts!

        inbound and others – wtf do you care what kind of covering a woman chooses to wear? Something that is as personal as clothing shouldn’t be legislated by anyone. I’d make an exception to a piece of clothing that cover’s ones entire face but that’s it. A burkini? The level of intolerance in the world is just ridiculous and was so disrespectful to these Muslim women. Would an orthodox Jew receive this kind of treatment and be forced to remove her modest clothing? By police and in front of a crowd. That feels like sexual abuse and I don’t care what you men have to say about it, you aren’t female so might not ‘get it’.

        There are orthodox swimming suits that are varying degrees of full coverage also, but hell would freeze over before anyone demanded they undress so as to be like everyone else – antisemites! This is the acceptable hatred and demonization of ‘the other’ because of the misconception by non-Muslims that modesty is a horrible thing to subject a woman to when everybody knows women’s bodies are meant to be on display and objectified 24/7.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        August 24, 2016, 2:25 pm

        I agree with Krauss and RoHa that this is not an example of the kind of discrimination that Moti Dotan apparently calls for – by contrast the French mayors would just love to see Muslim women in bikinis making their integration into white society manifest. The real issue is the claim of ‘an imposed religious presence’ and of symbolic ‘enslavement of women’. Surely the whole idea of a free society is that the only ground for stopping an activity is harm or serious risk to others: merely making one’s religious affiliation obvious does not fit that bill, surely? Religion doesn’t have to be private in the sense of concealed any more than any other opinion.
        The question of how personal autonomy, the opposite of slavery, is recognised may be difficult but ‘forcing people to be free’ is a very questionable project. Imputing slavery at the moment when someone is pursuing.a self-chosen leisure activity seems to be making an implausible start. Petty regulation about such things as beachwear doesn’t seem to represent a liberating spirit.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        August 24, 2016, 5:12 pm

        I’ve just seen a BBC video in which a woman appears to be fined on a beach and then to remove some clothes, presumably enough to permit her to continue sunbathing. It’s really demeaning to all concerned in different ways. The mayoral decree is quoted – it doesn’t specify removal of burkinis but of dress showing disrespect for secularism. Who are these secularists to demand that people defer to them even in the way they dress?

      • silamcuz
        silamcuz
        August 24, 2016, 9:09 pm

        No one is demanding, or even requesting, that French women wear burkinis instead of the usual swimwear. I’m French, and if I can wear what I want I don’t see a problem with what other women choose to wear.

        What do you mean? Can you wear a burkini without facing harassment from law enforcement and judgmental looks from the public sharing the beach?

        The other women is also French fyi.

      • silamcuz
        silamcuz
        August 25, 2016, 6:45 am

        I agree with Krauss and RoHa that this is not an example of the kind of discrimination that Moti Dotan apparently calls for – by contrast the French mayors would just love to see Muslim women in bikinis making their integration into white society manifest. The real issue is the claim of ‘an imposed religious presence’ and of symbolic ‘enslavement of women’.

        It’s the same shit. The French are not coming up with all these BS rules to promote the (French) Muslims to shed their allegiances to their homeland and integrate fully within the white society manifest. They are doing so for the sadistic pleasure of marginalizing the Muslims and making them feel unwelcome in the most passive-aggressive way. Their aim is to inflict hurt on these Muslim folks through legal means, as a continuation of the overt violence they inflicted on them during colonisation.

  4. amigo
    amigo
    August 23, 2016, 2:44 pm

    Perhaps zionists should be banned from swimming pools , given the amount of blood they have on their hands.

  5. Mooser
    Mooser
    August 23, 2016, 4:24 pm

    “Upon Julia’s Clothes
    By Robert Herrick 1650

    When as in silks my Julia goes,
    Then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows
    That liquefaction of her clothes.

    Next, when I cast mine eyes, and see
    That brave vibration each way free,
    O how that glittering taketh me! ”

    And Julia, I think we can presume, would have been swathed in the stuff, ankle to neck-bone.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      August 23, 2016, 5:27 pm

      The Hungry Moths

      Poor hungry white moths
      That eat my love’s clothing,
      Who says very soon
      Ye’ll leave her with nothing,
      Here under the moon
      I make bold to persuade ye,
      Ye may eat all her clothes
      So ye leave me milady,
      Poor
      hungry
      white
      moths.

      Ronald McCuaig (1931)

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 23, 2016, 9:40 pm

      Really, “RoHa”?

      Sometimes I get the impression you subsist entirely on the flesh of animals slain in anger, and pie.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 24, 2016, 5:46 am

        I admit that I am rather too attached to the grossly physical. Unlike those chaps in India, I cannot teleport. My cat can perform the feat with consummate ease, of course, and her diet consists almost totally of the flesh of animals. However, she doesn’t eat pie, so that must be the deciding factor.

        (I grew up with cats, so I know their talents. When I told my son that they have invisibility cloaks, can see ghosts, and can teleport, he didn’t believe me. He has a healthy, strong, scepticism. But, after three days with our new kitten, he admitted that his agéd father was, for once, telling the truth.)

  6. Kay24
    Kay24
    August 23, 2016, 6:53 pm

    The woman in Nice who was ordered to remove her burkini in front of others, by the police, would have felt humiliated and knowing how strongly they feel about exposing their bodies, felt shame. That was not the way to handle this situation. At least the police should have escorted her out of that area, or allowed her to do so in privacy. France I understand has gone through a terrible time recently, but they should not look as if they are taking it out of innocent Muslims.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3754395/Wealthy-Algerian-promises-pay-penalty-Muslim-woman-fined-France-wearing-burkini.html

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      August 23, 2016, 7:54 pm

      I guess my reply to inbound was wrong. As much as telling women what not to wear speaks to the laws motivation being one of respect for women’s rights and equality these actions say it much better, more clearly and loudly.

      What are these people thinking…..

      • inbound39
        inbound39
        August 23, 2016, 9:45 pm

        Mods and rockers were about in my day and teddy boys. My sister went out with the leader of the Basildon Teds….lol. What I meant by culture was fundamentally England has been a Christian Society and still largely functions as one re dress etc. I don’t think other cultures should impose their religion on anyone and that is in keeping with the UN Human Rights Act.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 23, 2016, 10:15 pm

        They were armed police which makes the entire picture really bad.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        August 23, 2016, 11:08 pm

        @inbound

        You don’t think other cultures should impose their religion on anyone. You stated that England is still basicly a Christian nation re dress and the article is about clothing so I presume we are still talking about clothes….?

        Muslims aren’t trying to force their dress code on anyone. Christians are by expecting them to assimilate and forego their religious observances..

        The two thoughts are contradictory.

        Should Christians not have visible crosses on the beach? A Jewish kippah?

        Lastly I think it needs to be noted not all Muslims follow such dress code.

        I could support such bans if there was any evidence of public danger by permitting women to wear what they wish.

    • inbound39
      inbound39
      August 23, 2016, 9:39 pm

      I agree Kay24…..that action is wrong in so many ways. She should have been accorded respectful treatment not humiliation. That action is akin to what Israeli’s would do. I don’t support that at all.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 23, 2016, 10:13 pm

        Your mention of Israel also made me realize that they would not have dared to do this to a Jewish woman, because there would be howls of discrimination and anti-semitism, by the zionist choir in France.

  7. catalan
    catalan
    August 23, 2016, 7:03 pm

    Live and let live. Let Muslim women or men wear anything. See froggy, we disagree on handshakes with athletes but we agree on this. I am a big believer in building bridges, finding the common ground, and building peace one brick at a time. Handshake?

    • Froggy
      Froggy
      August 24, 2016, 11:40 am

      @catalan Women should wear whatever they want. I can’t see what business it is of the authorities if a woman chooses to wear long sleeves and/or trousers on the beach or a headscarf to go to the supermarket. What others think of a woman’s choice is irrelevant.

      We need more of this :
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/20/french-students-wear-headscarves-for-hijab-day

      • silamcuz
        silamcuz
        August 24, 2016, 9:07 pm

        Froggy,

        Sometimes what we believe as our own choices are often just illusion cultivated by society’s conditioning of our consciousness.

        People often say wearing hijab is a sign of an oppressive society, and its backwards and subjugating women. But how about wearing a bikini in the beach? Who decided bikini covering only (part of) your breasts and genitals are the most appropriate clothing to wear, and are women who decide against this cultural suggestion face any negative implications?

        For most western societies, coercion occurs in a more nuanced, subtle and far more insidious manner for women. There may not be laws forcing you to cover up and reveal more, but implications are always there if you decide to go against the entrenched unwritten rules.

  8. mcohen.
    mcohen.
    August 24, 2016, 9:50 pm

    any attack on ayn rand is an act of war and will be severely dealt with

    long live john galt

    long live the revolution

    viva kabila

  9. Citizen
    Citizen
    August 25, 2016, 12:44 am

    In public places, people should be allowed to wear anything, or nothing at all? If that were a general law, a statutory law, ordinance….I can see the exceptions to it, rising up, one by one, then, in turn, some sitting back down, partially sitting back down–weasel words, intentional ambiguities, pages of specificity, discretionary words, mandatory ones, etc.

    Orthodox Jewish communities, Amish communities, private beaches for nudists colonies….French culture, British culture, Saudi Arabian culture….

    Lots of differing context, ways to spin what is an acceptable swim suit? But in USA, we do have separation of church and state. We can’t have a cop arresting somebody for wearing long underwear on a public beach, can we?

    • silamcuz
      silamcuz
      August 25, 2016, 6:37 am

      In public places, people should be allowed to wear anything, or nothing at all?

      So if a place is considered public, wouldn’t that mean no one technically owns the place and hold authority over it, therefore anyone within the space is free to wear as they wish? Why would we expect to be allowed to do as we wish in a public space that exist for anyone and everyone? Seems quite fascist in my view that we need to get permission for fundamental human activities such as clothing.

Leave a Reply