As if the general policing of women's clothing and bodies weren't enough, now women are getting in trouble at the beach for wearing too much clothing. On Tuesday, a woman named Christina Cerqueira tweeted a photo of the French police demanding that a Muslim woman wearing a traditional headscarf take it off, alongside a picture from sometime during the early 20th century of a police officer making sure a woman's swimsuit adhered to the bathing suit-length laws.
The text accompanying the photos reads: "This suit is too big. This suit is too small. When will it be OK for women to wear what they want?" Good question. Hopefully "never" is not the answer.
There is currently a ban on women in burkinis (full body swimsuits worn for reasons of religious modesty) in a number of towns in France, due to concerns about religious garb after the terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice.
The woman in the picture, who said her name was Siam, told the Guardian: "I was sitting on a beach with my family. I was wearing a classic headscarf. I had no intention of swimming." A witness also spoke to them, saying: "The saddest thing was that people were shouting 'go home,' some were applauding the police. Her daughter was crying."
The Nice tribunal decided on Monday that the ban was appropriate, claiming that the burkini garment was "liable to offend the religious convictions or (religious) non-convictions of other users of the beach," and that it could be seen as "a defiance or a provocation exacerbating tensions felt by" the community. Apparently strangers on the beach yelling at the woman to "go home" was completely fine, though.