In case you missed it, beaches in France this week made headlines when they banned the Burkini (a garment that conceals the body except for the hands, feet, and face) from beaches. Ridiculous rationales were given, including that they are “unhygienic,” and there are some pretty disgusting images of police officials ordering women to remove them in public.
CNN reported the good news today that the ban had been suspended by the French courts, although it doesn’t change the fact that officials tried to institute these policies in the first place, nor does it help the poor women who had to go through that public humiliation.
If you’re all riled up about celebrating women’s ability to choose to bear their breasts in public, you should also, in the name of true equality, defend a woman’s right to conceal her body as well. Because being either completely nude or completely covered-up is a personal choice, and freedom is not the garment itself, it’s the choice and autonomy to be able to wear or not wear the garment in the first place.