Rachel Charlene Lewis
Updated Sep 02, 2016 @ 5:20 am
Muslim Lifesavers Unveil The 'Burqini'
Credit: Matt King/Getty Images

Recently, many were shocked to find out that Cannes banned burkinis, a swimsuit designed for Muslim women that provides more coverage than the average bikini. SO many people pointed out the problematic nature of this ban, as it clearly targets Muslim women, but the ban stood.

Now, a Muslim woman in Cannes, France was humiliated for wearing a burkini.

According to The Guardian, the woman was at Promenade des Anglais beach when she was forced by police to change.

Credit: The Daily Show / giphy.com

According to Daily Mail U.K, another woman, too, was forced to remove her headscarf, and a group of four women were fined for wearing burkinis in Cannes.

“I was sitting on a beach with my family,” the woman, Siam, told The Guardian. “I was wearing a classic headscarf. I had no intention of swimming.”

This is so sad, and we can only imagine how embarrassed she must have been to have to strip down in public. Too, it must have been terrifying. A woman being forced to remove clothing by armed cops just doesn’t feel right to us.

People are *not* happy.

It’s hard not to see the racial implications of the incident considering the response of many who saw what went down on the beach. According to The Guardian, a viewer, Mathilde Cousin, explained, “The saddest thing was that people were shouting ‘go home’, some were applauding the police,” Cousin said. “Her daughter was crying.”

Credit: Comedy Central / giphy.com

This just does *not* feel okay.

So what do we do?

First off, avoid sharing the photo of the woman on the beach.

As this Brit + Co piece explains, this woman did not consent to having to remove her clothing, so it’s unlikely that she’d want to be the face of the burkini ban.

Listen to the voices of Muslim women.

It’s hard not to hurry and act, but be sure to listen to those most impacted by the burkini ban and other laws that target Muslim women. Don’t strip this of nuance by saying it impacts all women, because, simply put, it doesn’t. While all women are impacted by clothing standards that either hypersexualize us or strip us of our autonomy, this ban in particular affects Muslim women, so they’re the ones we need to hear out!

Lastly, pay attention.

Even if it seems silly to you because you love your bikinis, recognize the freedom the burkini and other versions of clothing have allowed Muslim women who are dedicated to remaining covered, but still want to do things like swim and play sports. So pay attention to what’s happening around the world, and be ready to act as necessary!

Credit: Giphy