French Stewardesses Refuse to Comply with Political Correctness

French Stewardesses Refuse to Comply with Political Correctness

French Stewardesses Refuse to Comply with Political Correctness

For the first time in eight years, Air France will be resuming thrice-weekly flights to the Iranian capital of Tehran, starting on April 17.

The airline’s stewardesses are fuming, however, because they are ordered to wear headscarves with their uniforms upon disembarking in Tehran. A spokesman for Air France stated, “Tolerance and respect for the customs of the countries we serve are part of the values of our company.”

Should this lovely Frenchwoman be required to cover her hair? Credit:

Mais non, say French flight crew unions, who are demanding that such flights be deemed voluntary for the stewardesses. “It is not our role to pass judgement on the wearing of headscarves or veils in Iran. What we are denouncing is that it is being made compulsory. Stewardesses must be given the right to refuse these flights,” said Flore Arrighi, head of the UNAC union. Christophe Pillet, deputy head of the SNPNC union, added, “Female staff do not wish to have dress regulations imposed on them, especially the obligation to wear an Air France scarf that completely covers their hair as soon as they leave the plane.” And yet another flight crew union, UNAC, has complained to France’s minister for women’s rights and families, Laurence Rossignol, who in the past has claimed that women who wore headscarves or veils were like “negroes who supported slavery.”

Iran’s Islamic Republic has demanded that women wear the head scarf, along with loose-fitting clothing, with punishment for noncompliance ranging from lashes to imprisonment. But Human Rights Watch, opposed to Iran’s abuses of women’s rights, declares, “Now that the nuclear deal is done, Human Rights Watch believes the rest of the world should pressure Iran to reform and treat all of its citizens with dignity.”

It’s one thing for a woman visitor who has traveled voluntarily to Iran to be subjected to that nation’s laws, however offensive and arcane they may be. It’s quite another for a woman to be forced as part of a job to wear a piece of clothing that is an affront to her dignity and self-respect. To the French stewardesses I say, “Vouz allez, filles!” You go, girls!

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • GWB says:

    If you don’t want to comply with your employer’s legal demands then you can always quit. This is all negotiation at this point – note the one union’s position (they think the routes should be voluntary).

    The real problem here is that they’re dealing with Iran at all. We should make all of the middle east pariah because of islam. We should simply cut it off from the rest of the world and let it stew in its own stupidity for a while.

    • Kim Quade says:

      I would generally agree with you on here, but here are my two points:

      1) (And this is key.) These stewardesses were hired prior to Air France resuming its flights to Iran. They did not hire on with the knowledge that this would be a requirement.
      2) They are only asking that serving on this flight would be an option, not a requirement. If other stewardesses have no problem with the headscarf, then they can be assigned to the flights.
      Sorry. I’m sticking with the sisterhood here.

      • GWB says:

        IMO, Kim, the difficulty is with resuming flights to Iran to start with – because of things exactly like this. They are a repressive society, and we should not subject our people to their lifestyle restrictions.

        Your points are why I mentioned this is a negotiating position. The union is not trying to get some guarantee that no woman who is on an aircrew will never have to wear the hijab – just that it should only be those women who don’t have a problem with it. This isn’t a fight against the hijab, just a fight to make the route not part of the scheduling/assignment structure.

        However, I am a big believer in free market employment. If Air France wants to tick off its employees by sticking to a hard line, in a free market of labor, they will end up feeling it in their bottom line when their customers go elsewhere.

        • Kim Quade says:

          Exactly. That’s what I meant in my second point. If a woman has no problem with the hijab, then let her take those flights. For those who don’t wish to kowtow to Iran’s religious requirements (which deny the basic liberty and equality of women, as well as force non-Muslim women to follow the rules of a religion that is not their own) they shouldn’t be required to take those flights.
          I think the women were sandbagged by this requirement, as it had never been required before since AF did not fly to Iran.
          My linked article said that Air France is struggling, so it will be interesting if its desire to be politically correct hurts the company in the end.

  • J walter says:


    So if your boss told you “due to new rules from Coporate, you have to fill out a new TPS form every Friday ” You wouldn’t do it because it happened after you got hired? Really?

    Put on the scarf or find a new job.

    • Kim Quade says:

      Filling out a report is a far cry from being forced to adhere to another religion’s precepts as part of your job.

      • J walter says:

        Wearing a head scarf is following another religion?

        Im forced to wear a hair net at work. I’m forced to be covered like the Jewish people. Does it mean I’m following the Jewish God?

        My grandmother wears a head scarf everytime she goes out. Is she now a Muslim?

        • Kim Quade says:

          Please check the link in my post. Wearing the head scarf is required in Iran as it is a theocracy, and women are required to cover their heads as a part of submission to men and to Allah — which is offensive to many of the French stewardesses.
          I don’t know what your job is, but I’m sure you wear a hairnet for hygienic or safety reasons, perhaps as required by your state. We are not a theocracy, so your requirement is not religious. And a hairnet is not a kippah, so you are not “covered like the Jewish people.”
          Unless your grandmother prays towards Mecca five times per day while saying “Allahu ackbar,” then no, she is not a Muslim, even if she wears a headscarf.
          You somehow think this is a zero sum argument. As GWB pointed out, this is a matter of negotiation, not “Wear it or you’re out the door,” as you would have it.
          Furthermore, comparing your need to wear a hairnet at work or your Grandmother wearing a scarf for whatever reason she may have is a silly argument that has nothing to do with wearing the hijab. But thanks for reading. Have a good day.

        • GWB says:

          The difficulty here, as Kim points out, is that they are required to do this because of the theocracy in which they land. If there were an area at the Tehran airport where the aircrews could be exempted (and there are in some repressive countries) and still accomplish their layover (crew rest and re-planning the return journey) comfortably, this would be less of a problem for the stewardesses. But the theocracy in Iran insists that those devil women cover their lustrous locks, lest any of the vulnerable muslim men who work at the airport might glimpse a strand of their coiffure and thereby sin like Jimmy Carter.

          I’m wondering why the pilot’s union isn’t complaining? Do the pilots get to refuse this flight? There are women pilots at Air France, non?

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