I will never, ever be here for men policing what women wear or don’t wear. Whether that means a ban on a garment or a ban on breastfeeding, it is all the same: turning women’s bodies in battlegrounds for patriarchal and cultural insecurities, ideologies, and politics.
A 15-year-old Muslim girl […] was stopped from going to class earlier this month by the headteacher who reportedly felt the long skirt “conspicuously” showed religious affiliation, which is banned in schools by France’s strict secularity laws.
A long black skirt, y’all. Dear old freedom-loving France, where a long black skirt is considered potentially incendiary when it has the gall to swathe a pair of brown legs rather than paler ones.
Of course, there was a doubling-down on the part of a school official, who said that the student was sent home to change into “a neutral outfit” before she could return.
the regional education office hinted in a statement that wearing the skirt could have been part of a concerted “provocation.”
And where else have I heard about children and adolescents inviting lechery from grown male adults through their apparel? Oh, right, the version of my former faith I was taught and that I learned and that I internalized and that I practiced that told me my body was a source of temptation and sin at the ripe old age of 11.
It all boils down to the same thing: Control. Patriarchal societies want desperately to tell women what they can and can’t do, and the most visible decisions women make regard their respective appearances. Mix patriarchy with victim-blaming rape culture and you have the Islam that demands that women cover up so as not to incite men. Combine patriarchy with white supremacy instead and you get this bizarre Girls-Gone-Wild-esque “take it off!”chant directed at Muslim women. It’s equally as bizarre how often I find myself having to assert this, but women should be free to cover if they wish and reveal if they so choose.
I mean, is my SkeptiProm dress from last year okay in France? Does its backlessness (not pictured) and dipping neckline redeem its length? It doesn’t quite cover my ankles, especially in the heels I wore with it.