August 29, 2016
To burqa or to not burqa that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind of the wearer . . . to take arms against the sea of troubles . . . yada, yada. For those of you who do not know, the current rage on the azure beaches of the French Riviera for Muslim women—and especially the men who love them—are burkini’s. Burkini’s are full body swimsuits worn by Muslim women while swimming and sunning at the beach. Burkini’s, like Burqas and Niqabs are a contrast issue for just about everyone outside the Muslim world, but dermatologists. Dermatologists, who loath the sun, have to love this form of public dress. Everyone else, especially in Europe and the US has a strong opinion about Burqas, and Burkini’s, and niqabs as well.
No, burkini’s are not how Muslims save money on sunblock or suntan oil. They are how Muslim men make sure western men cannot ogle their many wives. We are talking about five yards of fabric here, as much yardage as it takes to make a shower curtain.
Are their wives truly complicit with burkinis? Don’t tell me they really wouldn’t rather be in a two piece hot pink little LolliSwim number they bought on line with a 10% discount coupon. Heck, many of these Muslim women are very genetically gifted and deserve the opportunity to show it off, no? Yes! They are young, they have their figures and they just want to have fun just like the girls on Bay Watch reruns which they turn on when their husbands are down at the Blue Moon Hookah lounge.
Furthermore, burkini’s are dangerous swimwear. It is no secret that yards of drenched Egyptian cotton tends to drag one under while executing even the most Olympic worthy breaststroke. Just ask the pathologists for Nataly Wood who all agree that if she hadn’t been wearing a coat when she fell off the boat on that fateful night on Catalina Island, she may have been able to swim to safety. That drenched Chanel was like a ton of bricks.
Burkini’s are, to western men and women, endlessly fascinating and endlessly scary because they regard them as flagrant uniforms of extremist Islamism that have taken up residence on their own front porch—as well as their beaches.
The question westerners ask themselves while slathering themselves in Ban du Soleil Orange Gelee Sun Lotion is, “Are the women who wear them on their beaches both victims of men who insist they wear them and a threat to the countries to which they have emigrated?”
Do these Muslim women who cannot step out the door in anything but religious garb threaten the rights of those who dislike seeing them? Isn’t the burkini just another ostentatious form of enslavement of women; a way for Muslim men to flaunt their control over their women, arresting them in medieval circumstances smack dab in the middle of nations where the broad female population is free to choose whatever they want to wear?
Scarcity is the burkini strategy, scarcity of self-determination. They represent everything that western civilization opposes; suppression of being, suppression of choice.
This is why The European Court of Human Rights has written in exceptions to Article 9 which says that all people have the right to express free thought, conscious and religion and so that that tyrannical husbands and boyfriends and brothers and fathers cannot inflict total sartorial control over their wives in public.
I do not believe that the courts of Turkey and France are wrong in taking such a strong stand against burkini’s, burqas, and niqabs. What are the opportunity costs of blanketing your women in yards of fabric? I get it, Muslim men look around western countries and find much to dislike. Our women drive, wear ridiculous little dresses while jacked up in dangerous Jimmy Choos while talking back to their husbands and boyfriends and anyone who needs a piece of their mind. I have often considered the wonders of how sharia law has so effectively put Muslim women on pause. But, what about the women? What do they really think? Will we ever know?
I am of the mind that people generally only believe what they discover for themselves. I also believe that it is not until people of any religion, race, gender, and sexual orientation CAN come face to face with each other that they can really learn what they need to know about that person, and cutting off the physical/mental opportunity to release the empathy hormone called oxytocin can only lead to human miscalculation.
Do niqabs make this a better world? When people of good intentions interface with other people of good intentions whose faces they can see, they are naturally rewarded with oxytocin. When someone looks into the face of another they can catch all of the tiny nuances of that face and oxytocin releases. This inspires empathy, releasing more oxytocin. Facial reciprocation of emotion is a classic biological model of oxytocin release and the more you give the more you get.
The women who live beneath niqabs deserve our respect. But, it is a biological fact that they limit the full measure of human interaction and when talking to a woman hidden under a niqabs we can never really know her, and that is a shame. I am of the mind that niqabs are medieval agents of segregation in every western country in which they exist. Muslim modesty aside, they do not allow oxytocin to naturally flow which is subtly tearing us apart. Am I wrong? If so than why are bad things starting to happen in western city’s populated with women in Niqabs? Ask the residents of Nice, Brussels and Paris. They’ll tell you the isolationism, this form of public dress, is just another symptom of positional violence and it has to stop.
I have one more point to make on the subject. The media in America clearly over represents Muslim crimes and under represents Christian or Hindu or Jewish crimes. In order to cross lines of trust, regardless of gender or religion or nationality we have to foster knowing relationships, which means we have to at least have the opportunity to release more oxytocin.