We’re all subject to an amount of body shaming and coerced body covering. Body shaming and coerced body covering are a spectrum, and our individual societies sit somewhere on that spectrum.

We rightly reserve a special criticism for religiously motivated body shaming, and religiously motivated coercion – not simply because they are religious in nature, but because they are usually inextricably linked to the Abrahamic (and let’s be honest, predominantly Muslim) cults of purity, modesty and virginity – the idea that a woman’s worth is a function of these things, because heaven forbid that her hymen isn’t intact on her wedding night.

Author Laurie Stone was invited onto Columbia University’s radio station to read a selection of her work over the air – but was explicitly forbidden from reading the following line:

Women who live in secular countries and conform to religious dress codes make the lives of all women less free and less safe.

I’ve not read her work, but taken as a stand alone statement, I can see an argument in favour of this. And whether or not you agree, it’s a sad indictment of where academic institutions are in the US, when they are so determined to shield bad ideas from criticism simply because they are religious ideas.