I came across a Buzzfeed article today talking about certain types of clothes that have been banned for women in certain places this year. As this is a class that has a large focus on feminism, I thought it would be interesting to talk about this issue a bit. I researched the topic a bit, and I found that currently there is a public face-covering ban in France that was upheld this year. This includes masks, scarves, and other clothing items that cover the face, including many cultural face coverings used in the Middle East by women. This had led to a lot of debate and frustration from both the French government and it’s people. It is generally either argued that the law protects the public at large or it denies freedom to certain groups. The government’s argument is that it is hard to protect people when they or others cannot be facially recognized. What if a masked individual commits a murder or other crime in a public place, and is able to get away because no one was able to recognize them or know what the individual looked like? On the other hand, most of the people who wear face coverings in that country do so for religious reasons. Wouldn’t having a ban on these items take away their individual freedoms to wear what they want? Obviously not every person who wears a face covering is a murderer, so why ban it?
The issue is a giant mess of opinions. Some say the ban should be upheld, and some say it should be stricken down. If I mentioned all the arguments for or against it (and these are just the ones I came across) this post would be a book. Personally I don’t think the ban is a good idea, and from what we’ve learned so far in class, targeting certain groups and forcing them to do things they don’t want to do is considered generally a bad thing, and it’s not going to further equality in any way. I just thought I’d inform you guys that this is still a thing that is happening today. Stereotyping is not a thing of the past, and we need to be aware of that.
(Sorry for the long post, also if any of my info is wrong please let me know. It is not my intention to spread false information!)