The religious accessories most often at issue in ban discussions are modesty garments worn by women. They are usually condemned by feminists, and thus, the “logic” goes, banning them would be a feminist action. That’s not how feminism works, though.
When religious accessories come up for debate, one of the inevitable arguments made for banning them is that they’re “symbols of oppression”. It’s such a common justification that I felt it worth pulling out and tackling separately.
We don’t allow people to wear advertisements to work, and most of the time we don’t even allow them to wear statements of political affiliation. So why do we allow people to wear statements of religious affiliation? It’s a conspiracy! Religion gets special privileges and exemptions! It’s unfair!
The most popular argument for religious accessories bans – for many, the only argument for religious accessories bans – is that they are in some way related to secularism. They’re not. In fact, quite the opposite.
We’re still not yet ready to tackle the question of religious accessories bans directly. Before we can even begin to ask whether bans make sense, there’s still something very important that needs to be considered.
Let’s start the actual debunking of the idea of religious accessories bans at a place most proponents never bother to go. Before we begin to consider what should be banned or even whether a ban is necessary or reasonable, let’s consider a more fundamental problem.