August 26, 2016

"France’s top administrative court overturns burkini ban."

"After a month of intense national scandal and heightened international outrage, France’s highest administrative court, the Conseil d’État, on Friday overturned the so-called burkini bans in 26 of the country’s coastal towns and cities. Imposed in the name of secularism, perhaps France’s most sacred ideal, the bans had prohibited Muslim women from wearing the 'burkini' — a full-body bathing suit designed to respect traditional codes of modesty — on the beach.... The argument... was — and remains — that Muslim modesty somehow impedes the rights of women in the historic French Republic of liberty, equality and fraternity. This is why, for instance, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls expressed his opposition to the bathing suit in nothing less than the language of human rights: the burkini, he said, was a means of 'enslavement.'... The court struck down both arguments for the bans: It ruled that the burkini is neither an insult to the equality of women nor a harbinger of terrorism. The attempts to ban it, the judges maintained, insulted 'fundamental freedoms' such as the 'freedom to come and go, the freedom of conscience and personal liberty.'"

WaPo reports.

I agree with the court. It's not for the government to tell people what they need to wear — for religious reasons or other reasons. It's legitimate to worry that some women are being coerced into hyper-modest bathing suits, but coercing them into skimpy suits is not the answer.

And religion isn't the only reason you might want to cover up on the beach. I've been noticing these UV-protection swim tights, which can be worn with a long-sleeved UV-protection shirt by those of us who want to avoid sunburn. And I like the swim capris — and not just for sun-protection, but for fashion and — yes! — modesty. Have you got a problem with that? Fine. Just don't ask the government to help you with that problem.

111 comments:

mockturtle said...

It was silly, anyway. France tends to strain at gnats and swallow camels.

David Begley said...

I wonder how much a burkini would slow a swimmer in a race.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's legitimate to worry that some women are being coerced into hyper-modest bathing suits, but coercing them into skimpy suits is not the answer.

Yes. Plus, it wouldn't have forced anyone into skimpy suits. If a woman is being forced into a burkini by her Bronze Age husband, the ban wouldn't allow her to wear a skimpy suit; it would mean that the husband likely wouldn't allow her to swim at all!

rhhardin said...

It sounds like a random decision to me, just like it is here all the time.

rhhardin said...

At least clothing is once again optional.

Ann Althouse said...

"I wonder how much a burkini would slow a swimmer in a race."

It's baggy and has a skirt, unlike the UV swimwear I linked to. But the Olympic swimmers wear knee-length suits now. And a bikini is a terrible choice for swimming.

But most people at an ocean beach are just hopping around in the water, not swimming at all, and there's very little racing going on.

So who cares?

Meade said...

"secularism... perhaps France's most sacred ideal"

Heh.

Ann Althouse said...

"Yes. Plus, it wouldn't have forced anyone into skimpy suits. If a woman is being forced into a burkini by her Bronze Age husband, the ban wouldn't allow her to wear a skimpy suit; it would mean that the husband likely wouldn't allow her to swim at all!"

I lump that together in coercion, but this is a distinction that often matters in religion and the Constitution.

If a cake decorator is required to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, I would call that coercion even if the alternative of not being a cake decorator at all is still available.

MayBee said...

NMP

Not my problem

MayBee said...

If a cake decorator is required to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, I would call that coercion

What????????? I did not know you thought this.

Lem said...

A commenter on another site gives a somewhat persuasive side behind the bans...

"The Burkini ban is intentional to discourage complacent acceptance of Muslim values of women. They understand that this acceptance has lead to a morality that supports the necessary death of others in pursuit of spreading the word of Islam."

Look what a lack of pushback has done to higher learning in this country.

Ann Althouse said...

""secularism... perhaps France's most sacred ideal" Heh."

I agree with the laugh, and I'm sure it was an intentional joke.

But did you know that it has been litigated in the United States whether secularism is a religion that the government is establishing by, say, excluding school prayer. In one of the famous school prayer cases of the 1960s, the SCt wrote:

"It is insisted that unless these religious exercises are permitted a "religion of secularism" is established in the schools. We agree of course that the State may not establish a "religion of secularism" in the sense of affirmatively opposing or showing hostility to religion, thus "preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe." We do not agree, however, that this decision in any sense has that effect. In addition, it might well be said that one’s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment. But the exercises here do not fall into those categories. They are religious exercises, required by the States in violation of the command of the First Amendment that the Government maintain strict neutrality, neither aiding nor opposing religion."

Justice Stewart disagreed in dissent:

"It might also be argued that parents who want their children exposed to religious influences can adequately fulfill that wish off school property and outside school time. With all its surface persuasiveness, however, this argument seriously misconceives the basic constitutional justification for permitting the exercises at issue in these cases. For a compulsory state educational system so structures a child’s life that if religious exercises are held to be an impermissible activity in schools, religion is placed at an artificial and state-created disadvantage. Viewed in this light, permission of such exercises for those who want them is necessary if the schools are truly to be neutral in the matter of religion. And a refusal to permit religious exercises thus is seen, not as the realization of state neutrality, but rather as the establishment of a religion of secularism, or at the least, as government support of the beliefs of those who think that religious exercises should be conducted only in private."

Ann Althouse said...

School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania v. Schempp

Ann Althouse said...

"What????????? I did not know you thought this."

Calling something "coercion" is only one step in the analysis. The government does coerce many things. There's no all-pervasive right not to be coerced. It's the opposite of liberty. We love it, but it's not the only value.

SteveR said...

Some men wear shorts at the beach -- now that's something to be horrified about.

Lem said...

Have you noticed how much feminists care about this sort of thing... until Islam is involved.

William said...

I've got mixed feelings. You can dress modestly, or you can go to the beach. You can't do both. You shouldn't wear bathing suits to church, and religious garb to the beach........That said, I don't think this is anything for the state to enforce......And that said, I do wish that there was some demonstrably large movement within the Muslim community that was visibly opposed to Muslim women wearing uncomfortable and unflattering clothes in public. They moved to France. They should try to meet the French culture halfway....... Some of this is like gangs showing their colors. It's a microaggression--especially in Nice which was the recent scene of mass carnage.

Lem said...

A modest proposal...

Burkinis can only be worn for 14 seconds at a time.

Hagar said...

Wrong government, Professor. France runs on the Code Napoleon, and Napoleon was no fan of Blackstone's - if he had even heard of him.

Achilles said...

They shouldn't ban Burkinis. They should ban sharia.

Our constitution explicitly bans sharia but our government pushes it anyway.

Levi Starks said...

It's interesting don't you think that a bikini is a terrible choice for swimming, but apparently the only possible choice for beach volleyball... at least for women. Men seem to do perfectly fine in shorts.

YoungHegelian said...

Only in France would going topless on the beach be considered an act of patriotism.

Carol said...

Ooh, nice find with the swimwear, Ann. Didn't know there was such a thing.

mockturtle said...

I've got mixed feelings. You can dress modestly, or you can go to the beach.

Most summers on WA state beaches, a burkini would be more comfortable attire than a bikini.

khematite said...

I guess there's a difference between beaches and pools, but for pools at least, men have been forbidden to wear swimming trunks or shorts for quite awhile. In France, only speedos are permitted in pools--for reasons of hygiene. So the burkini ban might still apply there.

http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-09-01/no-speedo-then-dont-try-go-swimming-france-seriously

Virgil Hilts said...

Ann do you think laws requiring that women wear tops at a beach in this country are justified? The horror at seeing uncovered breasts is not universal - many societies celebrate nudity and there are lots of nude beaches and lots of people ("free the nipple'") who think the rules discriminate against women. So why do so many of our states and cities insist women wear tops? Answer (I think) is tied to our culture -- allowing women to go topless would offend a good % of the people (not me) in our culture. It is a trade off - we limit the freedom of what some women want to wear at the beach to avoid offending a presumed majority of people who would be made uncomfortable.
A lot of us will tell you -- seeing a woman forced to wear a burka or burkini, and the misogynistic attitude it represents, is really, really offensive and makes us uncomfortable (most people in France probably find the burkini more offensive than topless women).
So. . . if laws requiring the wearing of tops by women at the beach are legally justifiable (at least here), why not also the ban of the much more offensive/disgusting burkini?

Marc Puckett said...

These bans were being interpreted also, at least in some jurisdictions, to ban Catholic nuns in their habits from being at the beaches.

Pft; French law already requires that faces be visible for public purposes i.e. for identity card photographs, licenses &c and the high court has upheld that restriction of liberty-- this business of banning 'offensive' beachwear has just been a deceit (n.pl.) of politicians being their usual demagogic selves. Instead of acting in a serious way to counter the serious threats posed by actual Islamic jihad they prefer to do this sort of nonsense. Pft.

Matthew Blaine said...

The French court pushed back against ascendant secularism, and also repudiated "Islamophobia." Equilibrium will resume until someone brings a burkini full of hand grenades to St.Tropez.

Bob Boyd said...

Have you seen Muslim Girls Gone Wild?
Rowdy celebrants clogging the street, Muslim girls watching from a balcony, young Muslim men in the street below chanting, "Show us your chin! Show us your chin!" until one of the girls suddenly whips up her veil momentarily and flashes the crowd.

EDH said...

School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania v. Schempp

The most under appreciated Stooge.

Hyphenated American said...

Two points.

Firstly, in most of Europe, it's illegal to demonstrate nazi symbols. Logically, burqa, "burning" are symbols of horrible millennium old oppression of women and they too can be forbidden.

Secondly, I was told multiple times that Islam is not oppressive of women, and that genital mutilation and strict codes of female dress in Moslem countries are not part of Islam. This means that prohibitions on burqa and "burqini" are not islamophobic. Right?

gadfly said...

Words are supposed to mean something and the First Amendment was written in such a way as to prevent the government from creating a religion as was the case when "'Enery the Eighth" established the "Church of England," cutting off Catholicism from Rome in the mother country back when colonists didn't support the idea. Government certainly hasn't created the Christian religion here but government has supported the establishment of Environmentalism, making the God of Nature into yet another false god to worship. We even have to support the Church of Gaia with our tax dollars.

No one has asked the Supremes to rule on this and I suppose that no one will be deemed to have sufficient interest in the cause to even get a hearing.

Mountain Maven said...

The ban would be unconstitutional in the US, right Ann? Until Clinton stacks the Court and effectively repeals The Bill of Rights.

Sebastian said...

"Have you got a problem with that? Fine. Just don't ask the government to help you with that problem." So if I have a problem with the demonstrative display of women's oppression, and with the oppression itself, and I can't ask the government to help me with that problem, how do you suggest I deal with it?

Ken B said...

Actually in France it IS the state's business. Laicite.

This was a kind of silly ban, but I bet the ban on face coverings holds up.

mockturtle said...

So if I have a problem with the demonstrative display of women's oppression, and with the oppression itself, and I can't ask the government to help me with that problem, how do you suggest I deal with it?

Seriously? Do you really believe women that wear burkas are oppressed? Do you remember when Iranian women voted overwhelmingly for the Ayatollah Khomeini? I think it sucks but I don't presume to tell them how to dress.

Ken B said...

@mockturtle
The argument is that, for at least some women, it really isn't voluntary, it is enforced by threats of violence at home, and that by intervening we can reduce the oppression of those women.
So seriously I do believe some women who wear the burka in the West are oppressed and I know I am right because some of them have said so after they were free to do so.

mockturtle said...

I had some good friends who were Mennonites. The women wore head coverings, not because they were oppressed but because they believe it a Scriptural imperative. Most Muslim women who wear hijab, niqab or burka do so in obedience to their faith. Yes, there are rebels and they deserve to be protected.

Rhett Butler from the book Gone With the Wind: "How closely women clutch the very chains that bind them!"

buwaya said...

"Secondly, I was told multiple times that Islam is not oppressive of women, and that genital mutilation and strict codes of female dress in Moslem countries are not part of Islam. This means that prohibitions on burqa and "burqini" are not islamophobic. Right?"

Arguably, right. There are many large Muslim populations where such things were unknown and had very "unislamic" traditions by modern Islamic standards. What we are seeing here is largely a modern fashion craze.

Jim Gust said...

And so, once again, the terrorists win.

Anglelyne said...

I agree with the court. It's not for the government to tell people what they need to wear — for religious reasons or other reasons.

1. As Hagar said, wrong government. French law dictates a lot of things that American's don't hold to be any of the government's business.

2. Westerners are lost in a fairyland of their own ideological and legalistic delusions. One notes the tragic obliviousness of Westerners' rigorous defense of abstract legalisms where Muslims are concerned, at the same time that the concrete traditional freedoms of European women being degraded by the presence of Muslims in Europe.

Party on, oh egalitarians and anti-discrimination purists.

William said...

I would guess that the Daughters of the Confederacy have a constitutional right to erect a statue of Stonewall Jackson. If they bought property across the street from the church where Dylan Roof killed those congregants, I would question their judgment, decency, and morality. These women are choosing to demonstrate their religious fervor in Nice, not far from where all those people were slaughtered. That should be part of the equation. Their attire is shameful.

readering said...

I guess no one watches silent films from the early 20th Century any more. All bathing suits were like burkinis. Women were frequently arrested for bathing suits we would today consider ridiculously modest.

mockturtle said...

at the same time that the concrete traditional freedoms of European women being degraded by the presence of Muslims in Europe.

That's a different story. IMO, they shouldn't even BE in Europe but the idiot liberal politicians created this monster. In no regard should European rights be abrogated by any deference to Muslim culture. I don't see how someone wearing a burkini does this.

JHapp said...

The burkini is selling like hotcakes.

mockturtle said...

And example of deference that obviously DOES interfere with the rights of native Europeans is allowing Muslims to block sidewalks during their calls to prayer. The French seem awfully arbitrary in their application of the law.

Anglelyne said...

I'm pretty much indifferent to the problem of whether wearing "traditional" (i.e., modern) Islamic garb is or isn't voluntary for the women in question. Not my problem. I care only about its corrosive effects on my cultural patrimony.

I think it's perfectly sane for European countries to legislate against anti-European cultural imperialism, which these garments represent. Not that they will. (Progs will never take a break from fairyland to think seriously about what's in front of their faces.)

mockturtle said...

Anglelyne, the solution for us, obviously, is to limit--or stop--Muslim immigration, lest we end up like Europe.

mockturtle said...

It is too late for Europe to reverse the damage. The Muslim birth rate far exceeds that of native Europeans so, even if immigration were stopped there today, the culture is doomed.

Anglelyne said...

mockturtle: That's a different story. IMO, they shouldn't even BE in Europe but the idiot liberal politicians created this monster. In no regard should European rights be abrogated by any deference to Muslim culture. I don't see how someone wearing a burkini does this.

Because, mysteriously, there's a high positive correlation between "burkinis" (hijabs, niqabs, burkas...) and the abrogation of the rights of Europeans. Re your own example, I haven't noticed that anybody is having their street prayers inconvenienced by the law, though I am aware that one can get in the soup for "Islamophobia" or "hate speech" for complaining about it.

Your line of thinking ("how can some individual choice possibly affect me?) only works, and only illuminates reality, if everybody in the game shares your post-Enlightenment liberal worldview.

European women who once had the freedom of the public square now have, in more and more places in Europe, to restrict their movements and change their dress in deference to Muslims, who harass, molest, and called them "dirty white whores" with one breath, with precious little legal repercussion, while laying a claim to all Western rights and freedoms for themselves, in the next.

Banning burkinis wasn't a salvo in a nice legal war. That the members of the higher courts who overturned the bans no doubt still believe that they can control the culture war with legalisms, doesn't change that.

Ann Althouse said...

I am not trying to apply American law to France. I am taking a philosophical position about rights.

Mom2Es said...

You can dress modestly, or you can go to the beach. You can't do both.

Of course you can do both. I do all the time. I wear something similar to the capris Ann linked to, but mine has a skirt. It's basically a running skirt made out of swim fabric. You can swim in it; you can sit on the beach in it; you can avoid sunburn in it; you can run to the corner store on your way home from the pool without being completely inappropriate. Also, you can go to a waterpark and go down the slides without having to worry about your suit sliding up or coming off.

Why in the world would you think a person can't do that? Haven't you seen the old timey photos of people on the beach in their business suits? They figured out how to do it, too!

You shouldn't wear bathing suits to church, and religious garb to the beach

1. What "religious garb" do people wear to church that they don't wear other places?
3. You would not wear a burquini to a church or a mosque or a synagogue. It's swimwear, not "religious garb" or everyday wear.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Burkinis represent a very backward and repressive religion and, to me, are an ostentatious statement. But....that is their choice. If the women chose to wear such garb and they or their keepers...I mean the men, don't attempt to push their choices upon others, then..fine. Let them wear what they want.

Who does it hurt, other than themselves. They wear the repressive clothing that they want and the other women wear what they want. Just leave each other alone.

However, that last thought about leaving each other alone seems to be a foreign idea to the Muslim fanatics who want to insist that every woman should be dressed in the potato sack d'jour or else she is asking to be raped.

The French are taking the position that for one group to dress, act, live in such an alien and foreign manner is impeding their assimilation into the French culture. When you have separate, segregated, UN-assimilated, stubbornly alien groups, it is a recipe for future social problems. Un-assimilated and refusing to live by or accept the rules of the land in which you live. It is like having separate countries within a country. Bad idea and the French are attempting to deal with it. Probably too little too late and they picked a really dumb hill on which to take a stand.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The ban on veils and even on full body burkas would seem to be reasonable for the safety of the general public, unlike a ban on stupid looking, uncomfortable bathing suits.

If you can't see the face of the person you are dealing with, if you can't determine if the person is wearing a bomb or carrying a machine gun under the bag that they are wearing, if you can't even determine if it is actually a woman under the burka or a big hairy guy.....the public can be in danger.

Banning the wearing of masks and burkas is reasonable and a safety issue. They should ban clowns and mimes too, just because they are annoying :-)

Anglelyne said...

AA: I am not trying to apply American law to France. I am taking a philosophical position about rights.

OK, you're taking a standard American philosophical position about rights - "[i]t's not for the government to tell people what they need to wear — for religious reasons or other reasons".

(I think that's just about the least interesting thing in the world to say about "philosophy" and "rights" re this specific issue, but I understand that I'm in the minority here.)

Gabriel said...

French conceptions of rights and freedoms are totally different from ours. A burkini ban is utterly inappropriate under the U. S. Constitution, which is not in effect in France and does not derive from French law or French culture.

The question that French people have to settle is whether burkini bans are appropriate under French law, and the application of alien standards to that question is not really relevant.

True that if American courts were asked to rule on that we know how they would rule, but American courts would never be asked to rule on it, because not enough Americans would ever think of banning such a thing, because we don't see rights and freedoms that way.

mockturtle said...

DBQ If you can't see the face of the person you are dealing with, if you can't determine if the person is wearing a bomb or carrying a machine gun under the bag that they are wearing, if you can't even determine if it is actually a woman under the burka or a big hairy guy.....the public can be in danger.

A burka would lead me to believe the greater likelihood of a bomb being concealed there than with someone wearing, say, a Ralph Lauren shirt. So you can see it as a kind of advanced warning system. ;-)

Yes, clowns and mimes ARE irritating and should be banned everywhere.

Anglelyne said...

DBQ: Probably too little too late and they picked a really dumb hill on which to take a stand.

There isn't really a "they" here. The burkini bans were a reaction against "they" (the elites, the PTBs, the enarchs, whatever you want to call 'em), not "the French" doing inexplicably contradictory and irrational things. It's not like we're the only country with a culture war going on.

mockturtle said...

Especially racist mimes! ;-)

The Godfather said...

The deeper question is whether a tolerant society must tolerate the actions of those people who want to impose intolerance. Does anyone doubt that if/when the Islamists become a majority in France, they will ban the bikini and make the burkini mandatory? If I were French and if I thought that banning burkinis would be an effective weapon against Islamification in France, I'd be all for it -- but I'm neither of those things.

Gabriel said...

Perhaps another way to put it is that the French are very statist. If someone is wearing a burkini, that to the French is a matter for the government to weigh in on, and for Americans it is not. If the French government permits burkinis it is endorsing them to some extent, as French people see it.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

From my office window on the edge of Harvard Square, I can see between the buildings through to the next street. Wednesday, a woman wearing a burka and a backpack stopped on the sidewalk of that street and looked around to see if anyone was watching. I was, but she didn't see me.

As I contemplated how I would duck and cover should her backpack suddenly explode, she whipped off the burka, stuffed it into her backpack, fluffed out her long hair, and proceeded into Harvard Square.

Gabriel said...

@The Godfather:The deeper question is whether a tolerant society must tolerate the actions of those people who want to impose intolerance. Does anyone doubt that if/when the Islamists become a majority in France, they will ban the bikini and make the burkini mandatory?

Does anyone doubt that Christians are intolerant and will impose their narrow backward morality on the rest of us?

No one with the correct opinions doubts it, like those fools claiming they would retaliate against open carry with visible dildos. Who gets to say what "imposing intolerance" is--much less what "intolerance" itself is.

buwaya said...

"Does anyone doubt that Christians are intolerant and will impose their narrow backward morality on the rest of us?"

I certainly would impose my narrow, backward medieval world view, you bet. A new Spanish Inquisition would do wonders for you lot. Straighten you out, in more ways than one.

TWW said...

and those shorts...

MikeR said...

"I've got mixed feelings. You can dress modestly, or you can go to the beach. You can't do both. You shouldn't wear bathing suits to church, and religious garb to the beach." Huh? Who made you king over the beach? They can wear whatever they want there.

The Godfather said...

@Gabrial: Where do you get the idea that "Christians are intolerant and will impose their narrow backward morality on the rest of us?" The United States is an overwhelmingly Christian country. Who's been knocking on your door in the middle of night to take you to a reeducation camp?

Alex said...

ISIS is laughing at the West.

n.n said...

This is where the Pro-Choice church takes a turn to the twilight zone. Instead of reconciling moral, natural, and personal imperatives, it resumes abortion rites in a final solution, class diversity schemes including racism and sexism, redistributive change (i.e. trickle-up poverty), unsustainable smoothing functions, selective exclusion ("=") of politically unprofitable orientations, catastrophic anthropogenic government whoring, progressive wars, social justice adventurism, etc.

Big Mike said...

The French needed to be more sophisticated about this. They needed a handful of credentialed government experts, sort of the the government experts talking about spinner dolphins in Hawaii, to hypothesize that a burkini creates an increased risk is drowning and use that as the excuse to ban it.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Eh, I say if a culture wants to put its women in bags and the women don't mind, let 'em.

I was a bit chagrined, though, at the Facebook-spread cartoon depicting French police as exactly equivalent to Islamic authorities...both writing tickets to women for wearing the wring thing (a burkini and a bikini, respectively). I get that people feel both restrictions on women's freedom are wrong, but in reality the actions taken by authorities---the real level of oppression involved--are in no way equivalent. It us insulting to the women who live under repressive regimes and face beatings, stonings, or being killed to pretend the French law is "just as bad."

Bob Ellison said...

Whence comes this right to dress as one wishes?

The answer to that question is the difference between America and every other nation that pretends liberty.

Anglelyne said...

Bob Ellison: Whence comes this right to dress as one wishes?

The answer to that question is the difference between America and every other nation that pretends liberty.


Yeah, 'cause this is all about "the right to dress as one wishes". If only everybody else were as awesome as we are about "the right to dress as one wishes". Nothing to see but "the right to dress as one wishes".

buwaya: A new Spanish Inquisition would do wonders for you lot. Straighten you out, in more ways than one.

Hurry it up, will ya?

Birches said...

My mom totally dresses like a Muslim woman when she goes swimming. She wears a hat, not a headscarf, but still. I'm glad that she's able to find clothes that she feels comfortable swimming in because she never went swimming when I was a kid and I grew up in AZ.

surfed said...

As a surfer I wear UV protection garments as a matter of course. The only part of my body exposed to sunlight are my legs and they're underwater sitting on my surfboard. Uless I'm up and riding. Then all the surfing grans (there's more than you think) can get a gander at my sexy surfer legs and fancy footwork as I hotdog my surfboard.

jdniner said...

If ISIS really wants to conquer France they would populate the wineries with workers then at some point destroy all the wine in France for their religious creed.

There is no bigger dagger into the heart of the EU. Munich in October next.

jdniner said...

As far as religion and security go, A burqa on the beach seems the same as a burqa in town.

jdniner said...

I see people are still concerned about grammar. I gave up on grammar when I encountered "black" english in the military. Grammar rules prevented open discourse. The English language is a polygot of dialects with different rules. YMMV.One should expect its evolution to accelerate in the mobile age.

I appreciates someones mind who is high on grammar. But it doesn't function for me.

Periods seem essential, but I could be wrong Apostrophes seem mainly artistic. Commas are flexible. Capitalization now an open indicator of your mental health state.

William said...

My caution that modest garb is inconsistent with sun bathing or swimming has met with some hostile comments. Nonetheless, I stand by my observation. Those old timey bathing suits were somewhat modest when dry, but they became quite clingy and revealing when wet. The men of that era found a well turned ankle something worthy of attention. My guess is that those modest swim suits caused many unwelcome thoughts to come into their heads and these thoughts subsequently contributed to the ongoing moral collapse of our civilization.......Time and tide and an American diet are more inhibitory than any type of swimwear. There are some shapes that are not in need of much cover because one's instinctive reaction is to look away. On the other hand, a burkini on Bridget Bardot (in her prime) would still attract a lot of attention. Particularly if the water was cold and she had pokies, or maybe when she came out of the water and laid down you could see the outline of her plump thigh against the burkini.....

jdniner said...

It's draft night in the ESPN fantasy leagues. If blogmocracy has a fantasy league on espn I would be glad to join. 25 leagues for free. I only do 2 or 3. Currently in a league with a lot of Obama supporters from work. I didn't have the nerve to name my team. "Team Trump 2016"

Jupiter said...

There are large regions of France that are not safe for women who do not dress - and behave - as Muslim men believe they should. They will be harassed, at a minimum. They may be groped, beaten, robbed or raped.

The beaches of France are now being added to the Sharia zone.

Jupiter said...

A couple years ago, it was "10 hours of walking in Manhattan as a Woman". Made quite a stir, as I recall.

Good luck making "10 hours of walking as a Frenchwoman in the Banlieues of France". She'd be lucky to make 10 minutes.

tim maguire said...

Is there something unusual about the government regulating what can and cannot be worn in a public space? No, there isn't.

Even in the United States, the government arrests people for violating public dress codes.

Ann Althouse said...

Instead of looking for why the individual has the right, try asking why the government has the power.

That's the better default position.

Anglelyne said...

Jupiter: There are large regions of France that are not safe for women who do not dress - and behave - as Muslim men believe they should. They will be harassed, at a minimum. They may be groped, beaten, robbed or raped.

Enough with your trivial digressions. Why don't you talk about something important, like what your grandmother wore to the beach, which would, like, totally explain what this "burkini ban" kerfuffle is all about?

I know when European women lament the growing restrictions on their movement, and the loss of the freedom and security they once knew, I always answer with a cheerful monologue about how my fair skin requires me to cover up on the beach, too!

Ann Althouse said...

"There are large regions of France that are not safe for women who do not dress - and behave - as Muslim men believe they should. They will be harassed, at a minimum. They may be groped, beaten, robbed or raped."

Arrest those men.

"The beaches of France are now being added to the Sharia zone."

No. Women get to choose what they want to wear. You've got this exactly ass-backwards.

Jupiter said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Instead of looking for why the individual has the right, try asking why the government has the power."

It doesn't. What are they going to do, mandate exactly which square inches of skin must be exposed, based on how close one is to the water?

What you need to ask, Althouse, is how the government can protect a right which an organized, ruthless and determined gang intends to eliminate. You liberals (yes, you are a liberal) believe the idea that the government derives its powers from the governed is a pious lie. You suppose that the government does as it will, and the people do as they must. That is because you live among people who choose to be governed. But in fact, the government is merely one of the numerous organized gangs vying for a monopoly on power. In Acapulco, as in Nice, the power market is quite competitive. Note that in both those places, the government has renounced the death penalty. The other contestants are less fastidious.

Some of us believe it is a bad idea to import people who hold all governments in contempt. We are called racists, bigots, fascists, nationalists ... a few other things I forget.

Anglelyne said...

AA: Instead of looking for why the individual has the right, try asking why the government has the power.

That's the better default position.


Instead of looking for why the individual has the right to put the deck chairs where he wants, try asking why the government has the power to power to dictate deck chair positioning.

(So what would you say is the better default position on the dancing angels/pinhead question?)

Anglelyne said...

AA: Arrest those men.

Problem solved.

Jupiter said...

Ask the editors of Charlie Hebdo what rights one has in France.

n.n said...

So, what is the limit of rational and reasonable tolerance? Obviously, it will be someone's Church (i.e. organized moral authority). The separation of Church and State is a fantasy told by a competitor's orthodoxy.

Sebastian said...

"Women get to choose." Depends on what the meaning of choose is. (Do you know anything about the women you assume are choosing? Do you know the research on European Muslim attitudes toward women, sex, homosexuality, etc.etc.? There is a lively cottage industry in Europe along those lines, but of course that involves mere evidence rather than more interesting philosophical positions.)

In a purely philosophical discussion I would be sympathetic to the AA line. In a seriously liberal democracy it would make sense. But of course the bans at issue are not legal niceties, they are salvos in a culture war, aimed at people who are fighting every day to undermine the cultural heritage of Europe and do not give a fig about legal niceties themselves. To argue only law and philosophy when the existence of a national culture is at stake, including and in particular its respect for women as autonomous citizens, is to take sides in that culture war -- the wrong side.

mockturtle said...

jdniner said I didn't have the nerve to name my team. "Team Trump 2016"

Maybe if more of us come out of the closet we won't feel so vulnerable. ;-)

Anglelyne said...

Jupiter: What you need to ask, Althouse, is how the government can protect a right which an organized, ruthless and determined gang intends to eliminate.

Or whether the government in question has as tender an interest in the rights of bikini-wearers as it does in the rights of burkini-wearers. (The evidence suggests, "No".)

You liberals (yes, you are a liberal) believe the idea that the government derives its powers from the governed is a pious lie.

Oh, I don't know about that. They may be indifferent to the "consent of the governed", but I'm forming the strong impression these days that their beliefs about "the government" are that it is a magical entity. There exists this thing called "liberal Western government", and it is eternal and all-powerful, not contingent and ephemeral, and it need merely say the magic words ("law"), and rights are universal and universally protected. And all the dear little brown people bow before the white man's magic words, and wish only to be ruled by the them, on a level playing field.

You suppose that the government does as it will, and the people do as they must. That is because you live among people who choose to be governed. But in fact, the government is merely one of the numerous organized gangs vying for a monopoly on power. In Acapulco, as in Nice, the power market is quite competitive.

There was a time in this country when even law professors in placid Midwesterner academies understood this.

mockturtle said...

Sebastian said: To argue only law and philosophy when the existence of a national culture is at stake, including and in particular its respect for women as autonomous citizens, is to take sides in that culture war -- the wrong side.

This is an important point. Muslims are keen to migrate to the West because they know our laws are liberal and they will [and do] take full advantage of those laws. It is little publicized how many lawsuits Muslim immigrants have filed other than the 'clock boy' and his family suing the school system. This is just a legal cat-and-mouse game to them and they actually plan these events well in advance. Where law leaves off and culture begins is a troubling question, however. I would argue that we lost 'our culture' long ago but not just because of immigration. American culture is harder to define than European but Trump is at least making an effort.

Gabriel said...

@The Godfather:Where do you get the idea that "Christians are intolerant and will impose their narrow backward morality on the rest of us?"

From academia, journalists, and popular culture, which are largely dominated by progressives. Your irony meter is due for recalibration.

narciso said...

and they would cite koranic verse, that justifies their behavior,

SukieTawdry said...

I see no point in going swimming fully clothed, but if I wanted to, that's my business.

SukieTawdry said...

I see no point in going swimming fully clothed, but if I wanted to, that's my business.

MayBee said...

No. Women get to choose what they want to wear. You've got this exactly ass-backwards.

Freeman Hunt was right. It's their Bronze Age husbands doing the choosing.

MayBee said...

I have no problem with women going to the beach fully clothed.

I have a big problem with a culture that forces women to be fully covered, even at the beach.

This whole thing seems like a lose-lose to me, because the women are being oppressed either way. But again, it's not my country, not my religion, not my culture, not my problem.

mockturtle said...

But again, it's not my country, not my religion, not my culture, not my problem.

Precisely.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...try asking why the government has the power

Yeah, we do that, Professor, and you call us heartless and say we aren't sufficiently cognizant of the need for the government to use its power to protect group X in way Y.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Arrest those men

Who is going to do that? Would you? You will be called a racist and might lose your job. Give current demographic trends a few decades and thwe people might vote to make some of that behavior legal.
The bugger point is that those areas, while small now, are expanding. That is the problem! Those areas, and the culture that they represent, are what some French are trying to fight and discourage Other French, and other Europeans, are encouraging more and more people who support those cultures to move in. I agree this particular law was a bad idea, but it is silly to pretend there isn't a real problem.

Those COEXIST stickers will probably do the trick.

Mrs Whatsit said...

As long as the religion itself is not illegal, how can it be illegal to wear whatever bathing suit the religion prescribes? Attempting to slow the the spread of Islam in Europe by banning burkinis is like trying to cut down a tree by snipping off its leaves with nail scissors. To get the tree out of your yard, you're going to need a chain saw.

If European governments are serious about fighting back against Islamic oppression of women (not just Muslim women, but also European women who can no longer wear what they want or go where they want without reprisals from Muslim men), the way to go about it is to attack the belief system itself. Short of that, government might as well do nothing. It's not just illogical to argue that a law controlling what bathing suit a woman can wear is some kind of blow in favor of the woman's freedom -- it's also frivolous. If you wouldn't argue for the larger power of government to ban a whole belief system - that is, to control what people choose to think and believe - then you shouldn't argue for the smaller power to control what religious garb they choose to wear.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, Hoodlum has you there (1:53).

mockturtle said...

Hoodlum said The bugger point is that those areas, while small now, are expanding.

Women aren't the only sexual victims of Muslim immigration.

Jupiter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jupiter said...

Ann Althouse said...

"Arrest those men."

Yes, and lock them up in a terrorism academy. Then let them out, in a year or so.

mockturtle said...

Arrest them? Costs too much. Deport them.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

It's not for the government to tell people what they need to wear — for religious reasons or other reasons.

So, Ann, you're against all aspects of laicite? Or just the burkini thing?

On NPR the other day, someone was saying that, hey, there were nuns in full habit on the beach, so what's wrong with a burqini? I retorted that the nuns weren't actually getting into the water.