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When will women ever be allowed? Questions Renuka Shahane after burkini ban

Renuka Shahane has been publicly posting and tweeting about women's issues and human rights in the recent past. Her latest Facebook post on the burkini ban, which has gone viral, asks if women are always to be seen as underdressed or overdressed.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 30, 2016 8:52 pm
RenukaShahane759 Renuka Shahane speaks for many other women in her post on the burkini ban. (Source: Facebook)

Of late Renuka Shahane, the chirpy actress from Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, has become quite vocal on social media, and we love it. She has been speaking her mind, no holds barred, on current issues – poignantly and pointedly. From Salman Khan’s rape comment to reaching out to Irom Sharmila, Shahane’s posts have created quite a stir, and justifiably so.

This time, she’s written about France’s burkini ban after photographs and video of two French policemen forcing a woman to remove her burkini-like outfit on the Nice beach while enforcing the ban went viral, evoking a lot of outrage across the world. The ban has since been suspended by the court, but the mayors have refused to lift the ban. This controversy regarding wearing of “religious clothing” in public has now involved women’s rights activists, human rights activists, designers, politicians and pretty much everyone, with the debate around what society’s notion of ideal women’s clothing is heating up.

Shahane joined the debate by sharing her opinion on her Facebook page recently. She asks: “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?” This is the full text of her post, which has inspired and resonated with many other women, with the post having been shared widely and liked thousands of times within a few days.

“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????

Read Shahane’s Facebook post here.

What are your thoughts on the 51-year-old actress’ post? Tell us in the comments below.

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  1. A
    Amar Akbar
    Aug 30, 2016 at 7:37 am
    Why is she not talking about a mullah allowed to have multiple wives but a wife not allowed to have multiple husbands or lovers? Is it ok for a man to walk half naked in shorts and Tshirt with sun gles and four slaves in burqa with 20 kids following him a common site with Muslims. Where is the dress code appropriate for a man not to wear Arabic but women has to be?
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    1. D
      David
      Aug 30, 2016 at 9:35 am
      The way you are attacking him clearly shows that you are a mullah who wants to control and slave women in the name of Allah and child molestwr Mohammed.
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      1. J
        John Joseph
        Aug 30, 2016 at 8:06 am
        I don't think I have a law in India or anywhere which allows Hindu man or woman, Christian man or woman, Buddhist man or woman or even a Muslim woman to have more than one spouse but you mullah molester of kids do have a law that allows you to molest and Slave women in 70 countries. So we are not talking about Hindu gods or your prophet who molested a six year old child Aisha who was the daughter of his friend Khalifa and married her when she was nine... Remind you she was nine when your mullah Mohammed was an old sick man of fifty three. And he had 13 wives and many slaves he molested. But we are not talking about him are we?
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          Sohil
          Aug 30, 2016 at 8:29 am
          Amar Akbar--- Anthony kaha hai.....kaunsi wali wife k paas/ ha ha In our name u have Multiple name, but u have a problem if a mullah keep 4 wivs/ are bahi if u have the balls u keep it who is stopping you ....u can cheat ur wife haina sirji....but cant keep it .........20 kids ..bhai tum ek k lye bhi 5 saal rukna padta..lol
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            Sohil
            Aug 30, 2016 at 8:26 am
            Chandu ki halwai.....arey bhai ek h dailouge kitna ghasogey...thak the nahi ho....
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