The Burkini ban

I find it quite extraordinary that French police are demanding women remove clothing when lying on the beach. Have they gone completely mad? It seems like half the world wants women to cover their flesh and the other half wants them to expose it. Can we just let women wear whatever they want?

As an Australian I always used to wear a long-sleeved vest on the beach at home because of the skin cancer risk. That and a full-brimmed hat to cover my face. Australia has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world. These muslim women, although their reasons are different, are at least protecting themselves from the sun and there’s nothing wrong with that.

I realise the French are feeling fragile after the recent attacks and there’s some anti-religion sentiment as a result. I’m not religious and don’t particularly like religions of any flavour but I don’t think banning someone from expressing their religious and cultural beliefs will have the impact they want. When you want a child not to do something the worst thing you can do is tell them not to do it. That’s a sure invitation for them to do exactly that. A better alternative is to encourage critical thinking and then let people make their own decisions, provided those decisions are not hurting anyone else, which in this case, they are clearly not.