There are many kinds of irony. The one I want to focus on today is situational irony, but to do that, I’d like to contrast it with verbal irony.
Verbal irony is when one uses words, often deliberately, to contradict what one expects, and it is often amusing as a result. If I were to look off into a beautiful red and orange sunset on a warm summer evening on a sandy beach, standing with someone I love and say, “I hate my fucking life”, that would perfectly describe verbal irony.
However, the type of irony I would like to tackle in this blog post is neither amusing nor intentional. I’m talking about situational irony, where there is a sharp contradiction between the intention and result.
My short political rant:
There has been controversy in parts of France over women of Muslim faith wanting to wear something called a burkini – which fully covers the body, including hair – when they go to public beaches. It’s often been compared to a wetsuit.
French officials claim that the burkini defies “good morals and secularism”. By wearing a burkini, women face hefty fines.
France’s freedom is probably something a lot of people admire, and yet, it is that same freedom they are not allowing by targeting women who want to cover their bodies due to religious reasons.
THIS IS SITUATIONAL IRONY
What would happen to me, a non-muslim, if I showed up at one of those public beaches and for some reason did not want to take my clothes off? Would I get fined? I mean, is there a law that prevents me from dipping my toes in the ocean with my jeans on?
How is it that in 2016, governments around the world still think it’s acceptable to police women’s bodies, all in pursuit of some political agenda?
This makes me sad.