Outcry over French TV series ‘virginity tests’

A French reality TV series has been condemned by the government over its treatment of so-called “handkerchief ceremonies” in which young brides are supposed to prove their virginity. The Minister for Citizenship Marlène Schiappa has written to the country’s broadcast watchdog the CSA, saying she was “outraged” by Incredible Gypsy Weddings uncritical handling of the rite, which sees the bride being examined by female relatives just before the marriage takes place. The ceremony of the handkerchief is ancestral and inescapable.