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CANNES, France, August 24, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — French police reportedly forced a Muslim woman to strip off layers of clothing on a beach in front of a hostile crowd as part of the enforcement of a “burkini” swimwear ban.

The pepper spray-armed police told the woman to remove some of her clothing, which was not in compliance with a recently passed local ban on full-body Muslim swimwear.

Other women have been fined for wearing head coverings on the beach and antagonized for their conservative swimwear choices.

How is forcing a woman to strip not considered some form of sexual harassment? How is forcing women to expose body parts they are not comfortable showing to random strangers in any way fighting women’s “oppression,” as proponents of these burkini laws claim?

If a man with a weapon approached me anywhere and told me to take off some of my clothes, I’d likely fear for my safety given that sane societies generally consider such behavior sexual assault — or harassment at the very least.

As Phil Lawler wrote, “The burkini ban surely cannot be justified as an enforcement of community standards. The community has no standards: a fact that can be discerned by anyone walking on the French beaches,” where toplessness is common. “Or has the meaning of ‘community standards’ on the beaches at Cannes been so radically changed that they require revealing beachwear, so that orthodox Jews and Christians might soon be ordered to show more skin?”

I’m not advocating all women wear burkinis, but there’s no denying militant secularism is waging a war on women and our right to protect our bodies from leering eyes (and skin cancer).    

Remember when feminists used to protest dress codes for forcing women to cover up? It looks like it won’t be long before dress codes force women to show a certain amount of skin.  

What is going to happen to Catholic nuns who go to the beach in France? Or women with sensitive skin? Or women who just prefer to cover up to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun?

Women will likely continue to be illiberally harassed by a boorish, sexist society until authentic respect for all women and an understanding of the unique value of our femininity become the norm.