Thursday, August 13, 2009

Denied and Prejudice

By Aqua Catlin

Sorry if I offended anyone last week! But I did get lots of reader comments, both here and verbally, thanks! Please don't make me do that nasty stuff again, give us your input without it responding to such cruel and unusual comments of mine.

In response to my own post a couple interesting things happened. Looks like law of attraction works because I was forced to see several personifications of everything on the list parading before me at once. Hid-eeeek-ous. But I deserved it.

Also, I got a giant, "in your face!" and met a guy, wearing jewelry, that I actually really liked. My prejudice was flipped like an egg in a diner and landed on the floor like an egg in my kitchen. He was wearing an anklet of all things and I loved it. What a slap in the face. I am sorry I haven't been able to source it based on the info he gave me. It had two highly polished long thin silver bullets. They weren't really bullets but looked like it. They were at the back ankle tendon, one on each side and connected with a neutral leather strip across the front of the ankle. It was the most masculine anklet I've ever seen. Very cool indeed and I stand corrected and somewhat open on the 'jewelry on man' issue, thank ya, its great to keep learning!

Speaking of prejudice, this story is shocking. So French. Starts off mentioning a female Muslim swimmer can't wear her Muslim approved swimwear, dubbed a "Burquini", at a local pool in France. They banned her from the pool!! Ohhkaaay. Seems a bit harsh, but perhaps their eyes were offended or I don't understand the French. They can't seriously think she's a hygiene risk. I know y'all got chlorine (and eat snails and truffles- yum!)

They take their anti-religious-fashion prejudices pretty bloody far over there! In fact, Muslim headscarves and Jewish yarmulkes are banned from classrooms! That ain't right. Further, President Sarkozy, married to a model, is quoted as saying that he supports legislation to ban women from wearing burqas in public in "...our country..." because that imprisons them and deprives them of identity.

Humpphh. I'm not a politician or an elite french but I'm a self-respecting human being with the strength to respect others and I can see these people's identity is linked to and rooted in their faith. Inarguably. Faith that includes traditional dress and other customs that they feel stregnthens their ties to .... whatevah. They live in a free country afterall and make the choice each day to dress as they wish. Every day.

Perhaps its President Sarkozy and something in the French political culture that is so imprisoned by the burqas? I'm not saying all the faithful love it. I'm saying they're free to choose and they are doing so. Goddamnit.

You may be French and have a monopoly on perfection that we can all learn from on our knees, but President Sarkozy, this is disrespectful on so many levels I don't wish to list... as I see it, you'd essentially take away their religious rights to support your tastes and opinions.

But it is a double-sided coin. Are they more or less fashionoclast for dressing as they wish in their traditional dress?


Frederik Sisa said...

Sarkozy's comments asides, it boils down to whether or not the burquini constitutes clothing or not and whether or not it violates the pool rules. Doing a quick bit of research on the interior rules typicall followed by French municipal pools, I found that many don't allow anything other than skintight swimsuits. This means no shorts or bermudas for men, for example. Many also require bathing caps. They have additional rules involving taking showers with soap, not getting in the pool with any kind of skin infection, and so on.

So it may very well be a question of public hygiene in the eyes of the pool officals who barred the woman from swimming in the burquini. By extension, this means that everyone is rushing to politicize this as a religious issue instead of confinining the discussion to whether or not the pool regulations are too draconian in the name of public health.

The question is, then, whether or not the burquini is clothing or swimsuit. Judging from the image in the article, it does look like clothing to me. I wouldn't have known it was intended as a swimsuit merely by looking at it. I would say the pool officials were indeed enforcing the rules.

Having said that, I think it's ridiculous to keep people from swimming in either a burquini or the swim shorts/bermudas like we have here. I really find it hard to believe that "loose" clothing will bring in more bugs from the outside than swimsuits.

Aqua Catlin said...

Not for me. For me it "boils down to" if French society is disrespecting sacred religious traditions upheld by individuals for the sake of their fashionable ways.

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