A Woman Is Always Either Underdressed or Overdressed: Renuka Shahane on the Burkini Ban
Renuka Shahane speaks about the useless and intolerable burkini ban, which has been the subject of much debate recently. She took this to Facebook, and asked why women are always at the receiving end of such diktats.
Here’s the full text of her post:
The ban on the Burkini set me thinking about how a woman is always seen to be either underdressed or overdressed. Women never seem to get it right. I have had a phobia of water as well as revealing clothes ever since I was born. Swimming was out of the question on both these counts while I was growing up. When I had children of my own I wanted to lead by example. I wanted to show them that a phobia is a state of mind that can be overcome. For eg. my phobia of water. I began learning swimming to prove to my children that when one has the will, there’s a way. But I wouldn’t have been able to overcome the fear of being under-dressed somehow. I was glad that swimsuits that had tights that covered your body till the knee, & had sleeves & also had skirts coming down to the knees over & above those tights, were available for women like me. Most people are surprised that I’m so modern in my way of thinking even though I am very conservative in my manner of dressing.I feel undressing is not the only sign of emancipation & neither is over dressing a sign of great virtue. I think what one wears is or should be a personal choice. It should not be imposed. Except if you are visiting a place of worship where you have to conform to the diktats of that place of worship. If you disagree with that diktat don’t visit that place of worship. Anyway to get back to my swimming, what I wear is the Burkini’s little sister; the only difference being that my neck is seen. I’m imagining if the freedom to wear this was taken away from me would I have been able to get over my phobia of swimming? I don’t think so. One less activity by a woman, who cares right? Whether you are raping, or becoming militants or gunning down innocent people or spreading hate, is the root of it all the way a woman dresses? Is it? If it is, then why is the “root” of all these menacing problems almost always also the biggest victim? It’s either interference or imposition by patriarchy, conservatism or now even extreme liberalism. When will we ever be allowed to be????
Her post has been shared over 150 times, with many people expressing surprise that such a “demure girl” could hold such views.