You Should Not Be Fined For Wearing A T-Shirt


 By Jean-vladimir Deniau, Intern at WYA Europe. The views expressed here personal. 

Twelve people are being fined for wearing a t-shirt with a family (father, mother, and two children) represented on it.

This could be happening in communist Poland. These 12 people may be members of Solidarnosc resisting a totalitarian regime. This could have happened in the past century, in one of the numerous communist or fascist regimes human beings had to bear.

Can you imagine this is happening today in France? Can you imagine that good citizens and honest people can be fined for wearing a t-shirt with a family symbol on it? To be precise, the design is the one of the now well-known “Manif pour Tous” that is fighting against same-sex marriage and adoption.

Some could argue this logo has become a political one, and that this is why it is now forbidden in some places.

My first answer to such an argument will be the following: who, in democratic European Union, has ever forbidden a T-shirt with the Che Guevara? Anyone can have a t-shirt with the Che or one with societal slogans. So why not a T-shirt with a family on it? Is the fact of drawing a family, or even the fact of getting married going to become a political and partisan act? Maybe a reprehensible act?

My second answer will be that those who are guilty (if really wearing a family-designed T-shirt may be considered as a guilt) are those who chose to use the transformation of the family as a political subject: by proposing a law on same-sex-marriage, by deeply changing the sense of marriage the French socialist party is legislating on an issue that should not be one of the parliament’s remit.

Parliament’s job should not be to shape society, but to accompany its changes. When a parliament or a State starts to shape a society, it is not anymore a democratic one. It may declare it is but it is nothing else than a fake democracy and totalitarianism is never far. The episode of the fined “Manif pour tous” T-shirt wearers, for, mild that it can seem, is a subtle sign of such a political disease.

Democracy cannot deal with all subjects, because some realities are the fundaments on which democracy itself is built. I shall propose that in the coming years democratic constitutions shall be revised in order to specify which are the subjects parliaments should not legislate on. The same-sex marriage should, according to me, be one of them.

Remember the story of the king that went around naked, thinking he was wearing the most amazing clothes. No one dared tell him he was naked until a child yelled: “The king is naked”; I wish everyone used his intelligence and brains as this child did, in order to yell” The State is naked” when the State tries to hide the nothingness of its decisions and the dangerousness of its societal laws behind the transparent dress of State compassion and badly understood equality.

If you want to yell with me, the best manner may actually be to buy the famous “Manif pour tous” T-Shirt here and wear it. I hope you are not fined.