Silly fuss over miniskirts

By Standard Reporter

The ruckus next door in Uganda over the miniskirts is absurd.

Conservative religious zealots and opportunistic politicians have threatened to introduce a bill that will outlaw the wearing of provocative dressing by women.

The draconian Anti-pornography Bill wants to introduce penal measures for any woman found wearing clothing that goes above the knee among a host other personal rights infringements.

As expected, the loud voices behind this pronouncement are mostly male. This tired yarn of women inviting sexual harassment because of their choice of dress needs to be buried. As former Education minister Mutula Kilonzo famously said, ‘why are we insisting that our girls dress up as nuns?”

This so-called provocation excuse is as a result of sexual repression. At the heart of it is a patriarchal society making foolhardy attempts to control female sexual expression.

The problem has never been with women’s choice of dress. Before the arrival of Europeans, most African women went topless and wore mini wraps. If anything, the roots of miniskirts are solidly African. The real fat elephant in the room is how men are socialised to see women’s bodies as objects of desire that they control. It is that kind of thinking that needs to be outlawed.