Burkini Fuss

PC LePlanc:        Excuse me madam, I’ve had reports that you may be wearing a bra. Is this correct?

Allouette:           I beg your pardon?

PC LePlanc:        A bra, or brassiere, as I believe they may be called. It’s an undergarment, commonly worn by women to erm…

Allouette:           Of course I’m wearing a bra. What about it?

PC LePlanc:        Ah. You are wearing a bra?

Allouette:           Yes. Though I don’t know what business it is of yours. Shouldn’t you be out catching criminals or something?

PC LePlanc:        Ah well, there you have it, you see. That’s exactly what I am doing.

Allouette:           What?

PC LePlanc:        You are aware of the old legal maxim ignoramus non est legitimatum defendus?

Allouette:           Again, what?

PC LePlanc:        Ignorance of the law is no excuse, madam. I take it that you are unaware of the recently introduced laws on this beach concerning the wearing of undergarments of a bra-like nature.

Allouette:           Don’t be ridiculous.

PC LePlanc:        Owing to the large numbers of terrorists over history who have concealed weapons in their undergarments, particularly in relation to beach-related incidents of terrorism, it is now no longer permissible to wear bras at or near a beach, as this may make people mistrust such bra-wearers, or fear that a terrorist incident is about to take place.

Allouette:           What are you talking about? Who has ever concealed a gun in their bra?

PC LePlanc:        I didn’t say gun, now did I? You said gun. Have you got a gun concealed, madam?

Allouette:           Of course I haven’t!

PC LePlanc:        It’s not a matter of course, madam, these are dangerous times, and dangerous times mean – er desperate remedies.

Allouette:           It’s not a remedy for anything though, is it?

PC LePlanc:        Patty Hearst!

Allouette:           Patty Hearst?

PC LePlanc:        She kept semtex in her wonder-bra. It’s a well-known fact.

Allouette:           Wonderbra?

PC LePlanc:        Oh yes. So I’m told.

Allouette:           Look, can you please stop bothering me? Otherwise I’ll have to call the police.

PC LePlanc:        I am the police madam, and I will have to ask you to comply with my request please, or face arrest.

Allouette:           What actually is your request? I haven’t actually heard one yet.

PC LePlanc:        I do require you, in accordance with the powers vested in me, to remove your brassiere at once.

Allouette:           Take my bra off?

PC LePlanc:        Exactly madam, and I would be grateful if you would not oblige me to ask again.

Allouette:           I’m not taking my bra off. I’ll just go away. I can do that, can’t I? Can I do that? Can I just go away?

PC LePlanc:        That would be fleeing the scene of the crime, madam.

Allouette:           What crime?

PC LePlanc:        The crime of wearing a bra. On this particular beach. What is forbidden.

Allouette:           But I didn’t know it was forbidden.

PC LePlanc:        I find that very surprising, madam, given that it has been on the front page of almost every newspaper in the world, almost all of which have condemned it as one of the dumbest laws ever passed. Headlines such as ‘Bra-bra ban steep!’ ‘Storm in a D-cup’ and ‘French beach bra ban possibly dumbest ever, says UN’ have abounded.

Allouette:           So if it’s dumb, why are you making me obey it?

PC LePlanc:        Oh goodness me, madam, it’s scarcely my job to pick and choose what laws I choose to enforce, now is it? And there’s no point having a law unless it is enforced, is there?

Allouette:           But look, almost all of the women on this beach are wearing bikinis.

PC LePlanc:        Yes.

Allouette:           Well, what about them?

PC LePlanc:        What about them?

Allouette:           Shouldn’t you be –

PC LePlanc:        Ahah, I think madam is perhaps misunderstanding. The rule only applies to women wearing bras. Bikini tops are perfectly okay. And of course, haha – insisting that they remove their bikini tops would leave them half-naked, and that would be humiliating for them.

Allouette:           Well, look, there’s a woman over there who is wearing a bra.

PC LePlanc:        Oh, the old ‘motorway’ defence.

Allouette:           What?

PC LePlanc:        ‘But officer, everyone was breaking the speed limit. Why pick on me?’

Allouette:           That’s not the same.

PC LePlanc:        Madam, are you going to remove your bra, or must I call for back up so we can remove it for you?

Allouette:           What? You can’t do that!

PC LePlanc:        Because of these ridiculous new anti-terrorism laws, apparently I can do almost anything I like. It’s very important to defend freedom.

Allouette:           This doesn’t feel like freedom!

PC LePlanc:        Well, I wouldn’t know madam, but I understand that some women feel that the bra is an instrument of misogyny, and a coercion upon women to conform to a male stereotype of sexual attractiveness.

Allouette:           Yes, but it’s also a way of stopping men staring at my tits.

PC LePlanc:        Don’t you think it is important to integrate, madam? I mean, you may have your values from your culture, but you live here now, and it’s important that we live together harmoniously –

Allouette:           I’ve lived here all my life.

PC LePlanc:        Well, your parents then, they must be stopping you from truly accepting the values of our culture –

Allouette:           Stop saying that!

PC LePlanc:        A culture where men routinely look at women’s tits, and –

PASSER-BY:        Excuse me.

PC LePlanc:        What?

PASSER-BY:        I hope you’re not trying to force this woman into removing her bra, are you?

PC LePlanc:        And who, might I ask, are you?

PASSER-BY:        Oh, I just thought you’d like to know that the highest court in the land have ruled that the decision to outlaw bras was illegal.

PC LePlanc:        (uncertain chortle) Don’t be silly. How can a law be illegal?

PASSER-BY:        So if you actually enforce it, you’ll end up in prison yourself.

Allouette:           Oh thank God!

PC LePlanc:        Ah! God! Were you actually wearing that bra for religious reasons, madam?

Allouette:           For religious reasons. I have no idea what that means.

PASSER-BY:        Wait – did she say God?

PC LePlanc:        That’s what I heard.

PASSER-BY:        But people who believe in God are more likely to be terrorists than people who don’t, aren’t they?

PC LePlanc:        At the moment, I believe you’re right.

PASSER-BY:        So the safest thing is to stone her to death. Isn’t it?

PC LePlanc:        Well now you put it like that –

Mob:                   Stone her! Stone her!



(No bra-wearers were hurt in the making of this dialogue)







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