It’s funny (meaning it’s actually very sad) how when a group of African American kids are kicked out of a pool in Philly the whole country freaks out, but when a woman wearing a burkini is kicked out of a pool near Paris it’s just another happy-go-lucky day in intolerant old France. The 35 year-old (pictured) was told that she couldn’t wear the burkini because it was a hygiene problem — which, to be fair, the French are total pool hygiene Nazis who only let men wear Speedos, because if you let people wear shorts they would come in their boxers and that would be disgusting — but, not surprisingly, she’s convinced the decision was political.
Before buying her membership at the public pool that banned her, she showed the manager her burkini, and he confirmed that it should be fine. His boss, however, offered The Evening Standard the following wisdom:
Yannick Decompois, swimming pools director for the Marne-la-Vallie area, said: “This isn’t anything to do with segregation, but simply a hygiene problem. We also ban people wearing shorts in pools — it’s the same thing. This woman can easily wear her burka at the library. We can’t see any problem there.”
This ignores the obvious problem that the item in question is clearly a burkini, not a burka, and was designed to be worn while swimming, not reading. More problematically, this is another instance of the French government totally mishandling its responsibilities to the 5 million French citizens who are Muslims. This one’s far from over, as the Standard concludes:
By going to police [she] will force them, advised by prosecutors, to decide whether the burkini ban amounted to racial discrimination — a ruling which will be seen as a landmark whatever the outcome.
Meanwhile Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the supposedly secular country that banned wearing headscarves in public schools (that would be the state making decisions about how you practice your religion), recently made the following comment: “In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity.” Acceptance, in other words, is totally out of the question. Meddling in people’s lifestyle and religious choices, however, is totally cool. Vive la France!