The burkini, a full-body swimsuit that some Muslim women, skin cancer patients, and Nigella Lawson wear, has been called many things in the past weeks: a "provocation," a tool of religious oppression, a "symbol of Islamic extremism" — the list goes on.
Its ban in dozens of beach towns in France has come with fierce backlash from the international community, yet French authorities have doubled down, enforcing it with the full weight of the law. A recent image of a woman at the beach removing some of her clothing after being confronted by the police has spurred outrage.
But whether it's the burkini or a bikini, it seems that there will always be judgment passed — in some cases more consequential than others — on what a woman decides to put on her body. And one cartoon, shared by Twitter user @LaSauvageJaune, perfectly illustrates that.
Dubbed "The lottery of indecency," the drawing is of two halves of a woman, one in a burkini and the other in shorts, and the criticism leveled at various parts of their outfits. Headscarf? She must be submissive. Topless? She has no self-respect.
While opponents of the burkini ban awoke on Friday to the good news that a French court overturned the ban, the controversy has exposed the deep roots of sexism, even in a so-called secular, progressive country.