This is my reaction to someone's comments on the recent decision to ban headscarves and skullcaps and large crosses and Slayer t-shirts and Cock Rings and Pussy Snorkels and whathaveyou in French Schools:
Let the diatribe commence.

First off, no one has the right to tell anyone what the hell they can wear in a democratic society. LET ALONE THE STATE.

I've always admired the French, among other things, for their no bullshit attitude toward secularism. Ver' ver' nice. However, you've got a very skewed idea of secularism if you think this decision has the least bit to do with it. For one, linking clothing to religion is a huge mistake, and if you would like to split hairs, I can trace other garments and apparel back to goddamn Paganism. Furthermore, skull caps and crosses aside, the headscarf is not even an Islamic symbol per se. Restricting its use, therefore, not only makes me laugh my cute tush off, but it reeks of loathsome ignorance. I thought the French would have known better.

Speaking of the French, I'd also like to play around with the notion that thoughts gallop into the sunset like thoroughbreds when you pull a headscarf off. Bing! Yep, this may just be the most boneheaded, albeit commonly cited, solution to a problem some people know zilch about. What a great way to empower people. Afterall, what difference does it make how we were raised and what values we were taught when we can just turn on a dime and become Femme Fatales in gelaming black leather. While we're at it, why not forcefeed women birth-control pills. They were, after all, among the cornerstones of the women's movement, signifying, as it were, a woman's right to her own body. Doesn't sound so feasible, does it? You are working on wardrobes before you work on consciousness. This, I fear, does not bode well for what is to come out of Le Land of Fairy Tales.

To get back, schools are institutions which children have to attend until they are 16, or some other age depending on the respective curriculum. Their right to self-expression in these formative years, before they have to carry the burden of corporate drudgery in adulthood, should be inalienable. In fact, the above-mentioned "strip the bitch's head so she'll sprout wings" approach is exactly what will be irreparably detrimental. The best and only thing a school can be doing to empower people is to give them knowledge replete with the elements to think for themselves. The girl will take that scarf off if she wishes. It's none of your business.

You want everyone to be like you? Lock yourself in the Hall of Mirrors. Bob runs the place, he can lend you the key on weekends.