Who would have thought the “Love Guv” would have found himself moderating a feminist debate about the veil? Life sure is strange sometimes. The other night on Eliot Spitzer’s CNN program, Hebah Ahmed, a blogger for Muslim Matters who wears a veil, debated Mona Eltahawy, a Muslim commentator who does not wear a veil, about the “burqa ban” in France that went into effect on Monday. Keep reading »
France‘s ban on face-covering Muslim veils, like the niqab and the burqa, took effect yesterday. French citizens and tourists alike will be fined $215 for covering their faces in public or they must attend a class on French citizenship. Anyone who forced a woman to wear a veil in public faces a year in prison and a $43,000 fine — and fines are steeper if the person being forced to wear a veil is a minor. Muslim students are already banned from wearing headscarves in classrooms.
At least two women were taken in by police yesterday for daring to cover their faces with Islamic veils in public and a 27-year-old woman received the country’s first-ever fine for wearing a veil. Keep reading »
It’s been a while since we last chatted. Last time, I was saying farewell to my 365 Days in Paris blog. Ending the blog was a tough choice especially because so much good stuff was going on in my life—I’d finished up my first year in Paris, was heading onto the next, and had finally met an amazing guy, “Henri.” But I just had a feeling that because things were going well that it was time to live my life offline. I so enjoyed hearing your advice and comments each week, and was pleasantly surprised to hear from Amelia that some of you had actually been asking about me. Moi? I’m touched. So, here’s my update for you.
I’ll start with the end: I’m not in Paris anymore. Keep reading »
The man you are looking at is not a swimsuit model. No, this is Boris Boillon, France’s new ambassador to Tunisia, who is currently having a Scott Brown moment after a rival politician brought this photo of him with her on a talk show. All we have to say is: yes! [The Daily Beast] Keep reading »
Skinny dipping is nice, right? Well, some women in France like the feeling of swimming topless so much that they’ve gone as far as to stage protests in pools. The feminist group, called les Tumultueuses, has taken to showing up at pools with bikini tops and asking the men to wear them to prove a point: if women have to cover their breasts in a pool, then so too should guys (well, their man boobs at least). Surprisingly, many of the men have reacted positively, gladly putting on a bikini top with a humorous disposition and continuing their workout. A large number of the men who didn’t take the bikini top said (in typical man fashion) that it’d be better for the woman to take off her top so that they be equal. At one particular protest, police came, and declared that showing one’s breasts is a sexual exhibition and against the law and is apparently punishable by up to one year in prison or a fine of 15,000 euros! Let the debate on whether exposed boobage is in fact a sexual act begin. [Rue 89 (in French)] Keep reading »
If you ever go to France, an absolute must on your tour should be La Durée, the famous maker of fashionable macaroons (or macarons as the French call them). They’re a favorite among the stylish set for their bright and sugary colors and gorgeous packaging. There’s good news for both fans of the sweets and those who can’t get to Paris—La Durée has made a collection of squeal-worthy stationery, notebooks, candles, and key chains that you can get via Opening Ceremony. Each creation is like a little treasure in itself. Think stickers depicting cakes, cookies, and Parisian images as well as sticky notes decorated with dog portraits and card sets with gold and pink color themes. We’re thinking these would make the perfect holiday stocking stuffers and office gifts (but we’d kind of rather keep them all for ourselves). [$10-55, Opening Ceremony] Keep reading »
“Burqa rage.” Never heard of it before? Me neither. Women being forced to wear burqas does makes me upset. But a 63-year-old French woman, known only as Marlene, took things too far when she attacked a woman who chose to wear a body-covering veil while furniture shopping in a Paris suburb. When Marlene saw the victim, known only as Shaika, 26, perusing a department store in a burqa, she asked the Muslim woman to disrobe. “I told her to take off the veil she had on her face,” she said. “I grabbed and pulled it.” Shaika refused to remove her burqa and Marlene allegedly began hitting her, successfully pulling off the veil and biting Shaika’s hand in the process. “Now I can see your face,” she allegedly shouted. Keep reading »
The above video is from a French feminist group called Niqabitch. They’re two women in their 20s who are protesting France’s ban on burqas and niqabs
by walking through the streets of Paris decked in niqabs, short-shorts and heels. The Niqabitches, one of whom is Muslim, believe that banning women from wearing traditional Muslim body coverings is unconstitutional
. Keep reading »
People who live in France are laughing and shaking their heads—once again— at Rachida Dati, a former justice minister, who mistakenly said “fellation” (which means fellatio, or oral sex, in French) instead of “inflation” during a televised interview. Dati’s gaffe: “Some demand profitability of 20 to 25 per cent even when there is hardly any fellation.” What might have been a simple mishap for anyone else is instead a huge source of embarrassment for Dati, considering her unfriendly rep in France thanks to tons of tabloid action linking her sexually to Sarkozy, as well as speculation that she spread rumors about Carla Bruni having an affair. Dati has since apologized for her unfortunate wording, although an apology will probably do little to gain ground in her losing popularity contest. [Radio France International] Keep reading »
This short film follows Princess Hijab, a graffiti artist who skulks around the Parisian subway system, scribbling burqas on commercial advertising with a black Sharpie. The Princess appears to be a woman, but like other street artists (Banksy, for example), the true identity is unknown to protect her from police. Keep reading »