Clearly, I’m not someone well-disposed to the idea of a bikini, never mind a burqini, as my mindset would see the invention and wearing of the latter as not being oppressive of women. But, not being Muslim, and of that mindset, I’m in no position to criticise anyone for their beliefs -and equally I don’t expect them to be criticising my lifestyle choices.

I have a Muslim friend in SL, one who might fit into the ‘lapsed’ category, as she freely admits to being bikini-clad on the beach on holiday, away from the family’s disapproving gaze.

She has pointed me in the direction of a burqini that’s available on the Marketplace. No matter what my views are, it’s delightful that the designer has seen fit to price it -a mesh outfit- at the princely sum of L$2 -yes, two Linden dollars- thus ensuring that it’s within the price range of all who may wish to wear it.

I do know that we’ve got many readers in places like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and I presume that most are Muslim and that some may be women. So if there’s any Muslim women out there who play SL, it seems that there is an outfit that will allow them to readily maintain the tenets of their religion affordably. There’s no ‘oppression’ at that price.

And it looks pretty good, fulfilling the role intended for it. Compare it with a couple of real life examples of the outfit.

SB116-Women-Burqini&Swimwear-store SB117EE-Women-Burqini&Swimwear-store

Now, clearly, this doesn’t really fit, in any stretch of the imagination, within the boundaries of SLN, but nonetheless I did think that it was an important SL clothing item that added to the debate on the freedom/oppression of women, and the feminist debate in general.

I would imagine that any Arabic/Muslim sims around the grid are, like many other sims, bordering the sea, so I assume it will be possible for women there, should they wish, to experience SL swimming while remaining true to their beliefs. My friend has been an important contributor to part of SLN No.12, in relation to the Arabic/Muslim world, and you’ll be able to read more of her views when I publish that next week.