A strange psychosis has France in its grip. Confronted with an unprecedented terrorist threat, the entire nation is obsessing over a full-body swimsuit called the burkini. The world outside of France is struggling to understand why wearing it is a terrorist-sympathizing provocation. And why women are expected to affirm “French” values by wearing something else at the beach – like an itsy bitsy bikini-thong.
The bodies of French Muslim women have become a battleground.
Anne Hidalgo, the first woman mayor of Paris in its two thousand year history, didn’t appreciate the joke a fellow mayor made behind her back at the building site of a new rapid transit line.
The men eagerly gathered around her, quipped Philippe Pemezec, acted like they were going to get blowjobs.
So she named and shamed him. “Let’s grow your audience,” she wrote in an open letter posted on twitter, “so that everyone can enjoy your sense of humor, your worldview and your dignified conduct as mayor.”