If you haven’t heard, there’s a furor right now over the burkini. This piece of swimwear, developed in 2003 in Australia, is basically a two-piece suit consisting of leggings and a long-sleeved top with a hood. The Mayor of Nice, the city so recently the victim of the terrorist truck attack, has banned the garment and is backed by a judge who has said that under the current circumstances, the burkini is no longer just an article of clothing, but rather one that “overtly manifests adherence to a religion at a time when France and places of worship are the target of terrorist attacks.”
But even if we assume the arguments of those seeking to ban the garment are true, that it is a “political project founded on the enslavement of women”, as said by Prime Minister Manual Valls, or that it’s purpose is to “hide women’s bodies in order to better control them” (can someone please explain that one to me? Since when is something that is hidden *easier* to control?) as said by the Minister of Women’s Rights, Laurence Rossignol, the fact remains that it makes no sense to control what someone is wearing, to deny them the freedom to make their own choice, as a way of giving them more freedom.
Unfortunately, this is exactly the wrong reaction if the end goal is to prevent future attacks. Never mind that the militant Islamists would never support wearing a burkini either, as it’s equally a symbol of western consumerism and designed to encourage female frivolity at the beach while maintaining adherence to the letter of the religious law. However, the pictures of armed guards forcing a woman to remove her burkini at the beach will do nothing but incite those who already feel they are oppressed by western culture.
For now, the Supreme Court of France has suspended the ban until they can hear the case for and against it, but the mere fact that it was put in place for a time is concerning. When people are reacting from their gut, their fear, that’s when terrorism has its greatest successes. When we stop and think, we realize they’re nothing more than thugs, and should be treated just as that, and no more. Why give them power they don’t deserve?
At any rate, this issue is bit of a mix. We’ve got our feature article, and interview with student Mia Wiens, but AU wasn’t her first distance education experience. We follow that with a look at woman’s equality and how that relates to flying saucers, an examination of some of the better uses of social media, a look at the latest trend of She-Sheds, and an article from a new writer who has some thoughts on what the Olympic games really mean in the media saturated world of today.
Of course we also have some reviews of that media, and various education related news, advice, and even an opportunity for AU students who are interested in visiting a foreign country over the course of their studies. Enjoy the read!