In 1907, the Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman was arrested on a Boston beach for indecent exposure because her swimsuit showed arms, legs and the neck. In 2016, a French woman was asked by armed policemen in a humiliating scene to strip down on a beach in Nice because her clothes were covering the body and head; an act against secularism they said.
It is baffling how more than 100 years have passed between the two incidents and yet women are still told what to do/wear/be. There is always a seem-to-be clear reason for this scrutiny with what women are doing, whether it is to maintain morality, or religious values or even the non-religious values.
I am a Muslim woman and I a wear Hijab but I don't like Nekab nor Burka because I believe they have nothing to do with Islam. Yet if another woman is wearing Nekab because she thinks this will bring her closer to god, then her choice is to be respected. However, forcing me to wear Nekab like ISIS was doing (claiming to defend Islam morals), or forcing her to wear a revealing swimsuit like in France (claiming to defend secularism) are both equal acts of oppression.
Even when women are victims, the narratives are magically twisted to cast the blame on them. What is more amazing is that this heinous practice is international and found in many different cultures. In the United States, a Stanford rape victim was blamed for the incident because she was drunk. In Egypt, a university student was blamed for being sexually assaulted because of her outfit!
When you think being an established athlete would exempt women from sexism and racist remarks, the Rio Olympics came to prove otherwise. The picture showing a player from the Egyptian team during a women beach Volleyball match with their German rivals took the internet by storm, not because of their techniques during the game nor because of showing support to one team over the other but because of their outfits.
The Daily Mail considered the picture telling of the "massive cultural divide between Western and Islamic women's teams" because the Egyptian player was covering her head with a hijab and was wearing a long sleeves and leggings while the German player wore traditional two-piece outfit. So instead of seeing how the Olympics is bringing people from different cultures together to play the sports they are passionate about, we are told to see their outfits as a "cultural divide".
This obsession about women clothes must come to an end. What women choose to wear or not to wear should never be anybody's business, not to mention governments.