News & Politics

Should the Burqa Be Banned?

French legislation to outlaw the burqa is a misguided attempt to promote women's rights.

French legislators are considering introducing legislation to ban the burqa in their country, in the name of respecting women. The burqa, these politicians argue, is a “prison” and “degrading” to women.

I’m personally of the mind that calls for women to cover their bodies because the female form is somehow inherently tempting or representative of sex are misogynist, regressive and certainly out of line with the most basic tenets of feminism. But women make choices about the way we dress for all kinds of reasons -- sometimes to follow a religious tradition, sometimes to be perceived as attractive, sometimes to be invisible, sometimes to just cover our bare asses. Most of our motivations aren’t feminist or anti-feminist. When it comes to religious requirements especially, we know that outlawing certain garments in public doesn’t make women shed the offending item of clothing; it just makes women refrain from public interactions.

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