Friday, August 12, 2016

No Cannes do!

Think of it as a bouillabaisse
of bigotry and intolerance.
(source: French stereotypes)
First of all, let me say that I think that burqini, a mash-up of burka and burqini, is a ridiculous word. That said, the Mayor of Cannes is being an a tremendous ass-chapeau by banning them from the city's beaches. Huh? Yeah, Cannes as in the film festival that hands out the Palm d'Or award for movies you know you're supposed to like, but probably won't. So now they're known for pretentious movies and simmering racism. Well, islamophobia, but there's probably some racist overtones as well but we'll get to that.

Ok, so what the hell is a burqini? It's basically a full body bathing suit for Muslim women. There's a strong modesty component for a lot of Islamic cultures which, as you can imagine doesn't usually jibe with beachwear, particularly in France, hence the burqini. Ok, cool, so what's Mayor David Lisnard's boeuf? Spoiler alert? It's terrorism.
"Ze Burqini's, zey are, how you say, a little terroriste-esque? Non?"
-David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes

Surfing nun or suicide bomber? Fortunately
the people of Cannes won't have to guess.
"Beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation, when France and places of worship are currently the target of terrorist attacks, is liable to create risks of disrupting public order." 

What's ostentation when it comes to religious beachwear? And what the shit is religious beachwear? Like swim briefs with 'Jesus' written on the butt? Or is that ok because no one has ever committed acts of violence on behalf of Christianity? Whatever, I guess if there's one thing you want in a public ordinance it's vague wording. 

"Actually, they have zee little skirts,
so zey are totally dífferént, non?"

-Lisnard, Frenchsplaining
I'm not sure the burqini is, in and of itself, a religious garment, but here we are. Oh, and just so we don't think this is total knee-jerk islamophobia, keep in mind that he's banning the burkini not because he thinks all Muslims are terrorists, but because other people might think they are and start some shit. If that logic sounds disturbingly close to victim-blaming, that's just because it's disturbingly close to victim blaming. Also critics have pointed out that a burkini is essentially identical to a wetsuit, so I'm not sure how this isn't just a new way to call Muslims terrorists. 

Above: Mayor Lisnard's official portrait.
(source: additional French jokes) 
So a good question would be how can Lisnard even justify this absurdly arbitrary rule. Here's what he told a french newspaper. I used a translation site, but I think the douchiness comes through:

"I have neither the time nor the inclination to argue. I took this measure and others to ensure the safety of my town in an emergency situation."

-Mayor Lisnard, playing
the 'l'etat chest moi' card

What? I'm repurposing negative
stereotypes for a good cause. Also,
just look at this guy. Right?
Anyway, violating the ban carries a fine of €38 and probably a lot of police questioning by mustached men with snobby attitudes who reek of Gauloises. Ok, you probably noticed that I'm dropping a lot of French stereotypes into this one. It's true, and I totally don't feel bad about it because Lisnard's Cannes buqini-ban is based on a codified stereotype and that's bullshit. Whatever you or I or David Lisnard might think of Islamic modesty rules actually counts for jack shit. A bathing suit isn't a 'symbol of islamic extremism' as he so Trumply suggests, it's just a ridiculously named wetsuit with a built-in skirt that Muslim women can wear in order to enjoy some fun in the sun without violating their personal beliefs. And if the Mayor of Cannes doesn't like it, he can choke on his croissant. And I mean that figuratively. I'm not a monster.

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