Burkini hides everything, not just women

“A Burkini and we forget all the rest”. Cartoon by Nawak.

“A Burkini and we forget all the rest”. That’s what french cartoonist Nawak thinks about the debate around the burkini scandal that started at a beach in Corsica and continues today at Nice, in southern France.

So, what’s the debate? We seem to be so obsessed about how women should dress, that we are willing to start religious clashes over it. Some would say it’s about free choice; others, about not wearing any religious signs. But the reality is always far more complex.

First, who really cares what women wear on the beach? Why is it better to have topless girls on european beaches — better for guys, obviously — than those all covered up for religious or even personal reasons? In fact, why do we men think we even have a say in this?

Second, aren’t Crucifixes, Jamsas, Triskels — I have a Triskel tattoo, should I remove it then ?— or Bhuddist signs religious signs too? Shouldn’t we ban them all for the sake of the Republic and secular society? It’s absurd.

Finally, isn’t this debate political, and just a distraction from actual problems, like rising unemployment, war in Syria — and Africa, Central Asia and the Far East — , Putin and Erdogan’s dictatorships, China’s pretentions on the Southeast Sea or even US interventions all over the world?

“You will dress this way, not any other!”, say these two men. “And where’s my say?”, she thinks. Cartoon by Nawak.

In the Western World we spend too much time talking about freedom of choice, but we’re not coherent. We just want to control our women “for the sake of freedom”.

The Burkini was created by a woman. Aheda Zanetti, Australian of Lebanese origins, who started selling it in 2003. Before that, many Muslim women wouldn’t even go to the beach.

Thanks to this “debate”, burkini sales have rocketed all over the world.