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[personal profile] jamesq
On the left, a horrible example of religious oppression against women. On the right, a fairly typical wetsuit with a hood:

On the left, a horrible example of oppression.  On the right, a wetsuit.

I'm usually the first guy to call out religion for its oppression of women. And let's be clear, I think modesty dress codes, especially those that Muslims have, are at best, pointless bullshit and more often simply the systematic oppression of women. I don't like niqabs, burqas, and their ilk.

But you don't free women by stripping them. You certainly don't get them used to the idea that they can relax their religious dress codes by forcing them off the beach and back into ghetto-like enclaves. And that's the practical effect of these bans - it keeps Muslim families off the beach, because the message received isn't "secularism is a worthy goal, give it a try", it's "you are other, and we don't want you here". Nobody assimilates where they're not welcome.

The presence of a burqini on a woman should just mean "this woman wants to relax on the beach". Kicking them off the beach is a dick move. Maybe some women won't switch over from a burqini to more "western" swimwear. But if she's at the beach with her family, and the family isn't driven away, I bet her daughters will consider it as they grow older. Or maybe not - that's a valid option too.

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