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04/11/2013

Uganda's #SavetheMiniSkirt

Idi Amin would be pleased -- and likely thankful he didn't have to deal with Twitter.

Uproar over Uganda's proposed anti-pornography law banning "provocative" dress continues this week after the Mail and Guardian reported that women wearing miniskirts could be thrown in jail for 10 years.

According to Simon Lokodo, Uganda's ethics and integrity minister, short skirts are considered "indecent dressing."

"One can wear what one wants, but please do not be provocative," Lokodo, a former Catholic priest, is quoted as saying in the South African newspaper. "We know people who are indecently dressed: they do it provocatively and sometimes they are attacked. An onlooker is moved to attack her and we want to avoid those areas. He is a criminal but he was also provoked and enticed."

The suggestion that victims of sexual violence provoke attacks sparked social media rage and the Twitter hashtag #SavetheMiniSkirt (plus #SaveMiniSkirt and #AntiPornBillUg).

Perhaps Lokodo could have looked to Canada to anticipate how his comments would be received. Two years ago, a Toronto police officer suggested to a university audience that women should avoid dressing like "sluts" in order not to be victimized.

Women, first in Canada, then the U.S. and around the world, organized "SlutWalk" marches to raise awareness about sexual violence ... and to protest misogynist remarks.

 

Michelle Shephard is the Star's National Security correspondent and author of "Decade of Fear: Reporting from Terrorism's Grey Zone." She is a three-time recipient of Canada's National Newspaper Award. Follow her on Twitter @shephardm

 

Comments

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It's just unfortunate that those of us in "developed World" are just shielding away from the truth. Many of us know deep down our hearts that provocative dressing can entice sexual urges and sometimes lead to rape and other violence against women, but we tend to follow the crowd and pretend all is well. Let's call spade a spade. You can feel me if yourself, or family member have been a victim..........STOP PRETENDING.....PROVOCATIVE DRESSING SHOULD BE CONTROLLED!

Troy, do you have any concept of just how WRONG you are? Seriously? Rape and sexual assult are about power, NOT SEX. And that you, in this modern world, with all the information at our fingertips, can still buy into such a terrible and damaging myth is sad and frightening.

Wow Troy. What would you do next? Ban bikinis on beaches? Ban clothes that show off curves? If a man needs to sexually attack a woman just because she is wearing a miniskirt, then he is the criminal, not the woman. If he can't control his urges then he needs to be locked away. Chances are that a man like that would attack a woman regardless of what she was wearing. I hope you're not one of those men Troy.

The way one presents oneself influences how one is treated. Costume is communication. It might not seem "just" but it is fact.

I'd also point out the the issue, presumably, is not how to characterize rape and assault but how to prevent them.

A well-written article illustrating exactly the sort of issues that women face world-wide, and this "Troy" character chooses once more to blame the victims. For shame, little man.

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