A Guest Blog From What The Schujj
So. The mayor of Corsica, Ange-Pierre Vivoni has decided to ban the burkini because it’s necessary to “protect the population”. Well fucking hell Ange…! Not only do you have enough swag to carry off a woman’s name, you’ve now completely made Corsica THE safest Island in the world. Bravo!!
You may be sat there thinking “burk what…?” Or like me, you’re thinking Ange is a right old Berkshire hunt. Either way, I’ll enlighten you. The burkini is a modest swim suit that could be mistaken for, wait for it…a hooded wet suit! It offers head to toe covering and is adopted by Muslim women all over the world in a bid to protect their modesty. Are you offended yet? No, me neither.
So what’s the big deal with the modesty stuff? Why do Muslim women adopt a dress that could allow them to be confused with a member of batman’s entourage? Muslim women are encouraged to cover every part of their body except their hands, feet and face. Their beauty is their own and should not be a spectacle for all to engage in. Modesty in dress is something which impacts both men and women. Equally, men have a huge responsibility in not objectifying women to satisfy their own desires. The “believing men should lower their gaze and be modest” (Qur’an 24:30). In Islam, the body is something that should never be objectified. The heart and soul of a person should do the talking. Modesty is a way of life for Muslims; the word itself is not to be taken literally. Conducting oneself modestly surpasses the fabric in the wardrobe; it is about reservation in speech and occasionally, in emotion.
France has jumped on the bandwagon as Manuel Valls believes the burkini isn’t “compatible with France’s values. Apparently it is a form of enslaving women.
I fully accept in certain parts of the world women are forced to adopt full covering against their will; a truly abhorrent act of control however I also firmly believe in some women adopting it through personal choice. If a Muslim woman wishes to wear the burkini, abaya or carry a Run DMC stereo on her headscarf adorning head, then it is HER CHOICE!
The sexualisation of the female form is everywhere; from magazines, television to song lyrics. As a teacher, I’ve had to address graphic imagery/lyrics in popular culture, many a time. Doing this within the classroom walls is no easy feat, trust me! Some students are completely oblivious to the full meaning of why whips and chains excite Rihanna despite singing so at the top of their voices.
We live in an age where female beauty is at the forefront of society. The idealistic notion that a woman should fit a certain mould in order to be beautiful is in itself repressive however when a woman chooses to cover up people are offended! I’ll tell you what I find offensive. I find it offensive when ‘our Trace’ strides around the pool changing room with her twaj out . I find it offensive that ‘our Trace’ is forcing her version of the Amazon on me despite the fact there are fucking millions of cubicles to choose from*. I find it offensive that I’m the one with the issue because instead of wangging them out for all to see, Bill and Ben are safely tucked under my adidas t-shirt.
From my Instagram posts you may notice that I try my very best not to bare my limbs or torso; the only bit of cleavage you’ll get from me is the one between my toes. My style is within a boundary I’ve created for myself but I do try to have my faith in mind when I dress. I’m still working on the reservation in speech aspect- hard when you have a gob as big as the Channel Tunnel…! Ange would probably greet me with open arms; hardly a threat to his population in my mom jeans am I!? ,Well I’ve got news for dear old Ange- neither is my burkini clad sister.
This piece isn’t in any way meant to blow wind up the feminist skirt. Society is obsessed with calling out women (and women only) for how they dress. Not that I give a shiny shite about her (she gets right on my wick) BUT take the Theresa May example. Who gives a shit about her colour blocked Amanda Wakeley jacket!?! Will the jacket help her realise that scrapping the Human Rights Act is one the most dickheadery ideas she’s ever had?!? No, I don’t think so.
We come in all shapes and sizes. Some see beauty in the birthday suit, some do not. Some women may want to show off every crevice of their bodies whereas some women are in fact incredibly happy doing the very opposite.
It is time to leave the latter alone.
*Not meant to offend anyone called Tracey. The lady genuinely was called Trace; I know this because her mate, Safina, asked her to pass over the shampoo. Their conversation was as loud as everything else.
About What The Schujj
34 but still 18 in my head, not sure how that works but it does! Although I love my job I’ve taken a break from permanent teaching in hope of finding a bit more balance in life. When I’m not in the classroom I’m being a mother to three; two blues and a pink. I have a ridiculous love for clothes whether it be buying them, wearing them or collecting them for charity. My default expression is my ‘WTF face’ and I believe in being bull shit free because I can’t stand sugar coating. Injustice really breaks my heart and although I do not possess a magic wand to heal the world’s bruises, I’m a strong believer in doing what I can. Small steps can make the biggest of impact- you’ve just got to be a bit like Nike and ‘just do it’.