Before I go into what I feel about the whole burkini issue, let me take a few moments to remark on the curious name of the item in question.
To combine the name of an item of clothing designed to hide everything with the name of an item of clothing designed to hide almost nothing is either total nonsense or total genius. I haven’t decided yet. But, I have to admit that the name is catchy. If, by chance, this term has the added advantage of infuriating those who kill to enforce the bondage of women down to what they wear (just because “kini” is in the name), well, even better.
Now as to the issue of the burkini itself. I think that the mayors in southern France who tried to impose a ban got it all wrong. They got it all wrong because they injected judgment, nationalism, even Islamophobia, into the issue. This should be about common sense and nothing else. If the burkini is not close to the body, if it’s large enough to allow a suicide vest underneath, it should be prohibited. For that matter, no one, regardless of race or ethnicity, wearing bulky clothing that can hide a weapon of destruction should be allowed on the beach.
As to how I personally feel about the burkini itself, I wouldn’t wear one. I’d not only be too hot in it, to me (as open-minded as I’d like to think of myself) it is still a symbol of the oppression of women; even as I realize that, like the burka, some wear them for no other reason than personal preference. This I can understand. First, there’s no need to apply sunscreen. But, most importantly, imagine going to the beach and not having to worry that you are 10 pounds or more overweight or that your cellulite-riddled butt and thighs are showing.
That’s what I call freedom, which is ironic, that a piece of clothing designed to constrain women’s freedom could be so liberating.