Kini Miney Mot
Upon hearing that a mayor had forbidden the burkini on the beaches of a French Riviera town, I began imagining a new religion where the most pious would wear polka dots. Would they then feel obliged to forbid itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikinis?
Then the following image appeared on facebook with an exhortation to treat this whole thing with derision:
I am sorry, I do not know how to give credit to the origin of this image. This is one of the traditional Breton costumes (Bigouden).
I was then inspired to sketch this:
Some reasons given for this ban are ostentatious signs of belonging to a religion, contrary to morality, contrary to the liberation of women, continuing the idea of a woman’s body being an object of desire and lust.
For that last one, I wonder if the man realizes how deeply embedded it is in culture and society that a woman must be physically attractive, up to date, in style. The magazines start in January promoting diets, exercise and other treatments to be ready for swimsuit season. How can wearing the most common swimwear of today, the bikini, not contribute to lust, etc.? What men do not ogle the women at the beach? Only those who have worked on themselves so as to surmount animal instincts.
The women likely to wear burkinis or remain quite covered at the beach are often mothers accompanying their children. Are they supposed to stay cooped up in tiny hot apartments or be forced to expose themselves?
I often hear evoked conforming to the values of the “république”. The motto of France is “liberté, égalité, fraternité” (liberty, equality, brotherhood). How can that correspond to making everyone wear the same style bathing suit?
The solutions to the problems represented by this burkini affair (civic unrest, racism, fear, terrorism) cannot be found in clothing. The solutions can only come from changing ourselves so as to see each and every person as a human being, an individual free to be “other” and yet part of the whole, just like me. The government is trying to seem to be doing something about the problems of society, but they cannot get to the root of the problems, they cannot force us to love one another. We have to decide that for ourselves.
In conclusion a paragraph from 23aou16 177C11 Réponse
” …Politics and its mother religion want to be done with problems of conscience, but we on the contrary force ourselves to awaken this conscience. I even heard a person I encountered while seeking penitents say that intelligence was going extinct and should be replaced with instinct. ‘What instinct’, I asked. ‘The animal instinct of course’, they replied. ‘No’, I said, ‘we are not animals, but men with a conscience. No animal has a conscience. They live in a universe of signals. We live as Children of God, that is to say intelligent, and we can reawaken this conscience as one stirs up a fire.’”
Translated by djd