• Mon, Apr 8 2013

Women Should Not Be Arrested For Wearing Miniskirts

Uganda-law-women-wearing-miniskirts

Imagine that the government told you that you couldn’t show certain sections of your legs, and if you were to reveal those portions of your body, you would be arrested. Each and every morning, you would have to double check to make sure none of those parts showed or else you would be arrested. Each and every shopping trip would require consideration for the law. If you were to gain weight or grow taller or wear heels, and something may ride up or look shorter than usual, then you could be fined or thrown in jail. Sounds terribly frustrating, right?

Unfortunately, a new “anti-pornography” law in Uganda is being proposed that would outlaw women wearing anything above knee-length in public. In fact, it would ban anything that is deemed inappropriate by the Ethics and Integrity Minister.

“Any attire which exposes intimate parts of the human body, especially areas that are of erotic function, are outlawed,” said Minister Simon Lokodo. “Anything above the knee is outlawed. If a woman wears a miniskirt, we will arrest her.”

Last I checked, my knees were the least sexual portion of my body (if you get it, holler at me), so I hardly think that would be considered “of erotic function.”

Additionally, the law would ban images of sex symbols like Beyonce, as well as fine anybody watching or sharing videos featuring women wearing “inappropriate” clothing $4,000 or send them to up to 10 years in prison. In a country where residents make an average of $3.50 each week, it is doubtful that many would risk fine, let alone imprisonment.

Though the proposed law has to pass through the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee who have found it to be too broad, the fact that this law is even being considered is absolutely stunning. It’s a horrifying idea — women being put in prison for showing their thighs — based on the outdated, misogynistic idea that the majority (if not all) of the female body is sexual, and should be viewed as such. All we can ask anymore: when will laws that are primarily aimed towards restricting female rights stop being proposed? And that goes for the whole world, by the way.

Photo: stevendepolo / Flickr

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  • Eileen

    I don’t think miniskirts should be illegal, but there are indecent exposure laws in this country, too, that apply to both men and women. And since other than “penis,” “testicles,” and “vulva,” the parts of the body that are considered to have “erotic function” differ based on culture, I don’t really think we have standing to say that short skirts are decent but exposed buttocks are not. (Not that I don’t have huge issues with much of what comes out of Uganda – I think everyone does – but “decency” is a cultural thing, and our culture does pretty much the same thing)

    • http://www.facebook.com/sameurysm Samantha Escobar

      I thought about that a lot while I was writing this, and I was admittedly torn. However, I figured I would proceed because, among other reasons, I take a lot of issue with America’s problem with female breasts, which need not be inherently sexual either. Plus, we have movies, television shows and citizens running around in bathing suits, dresses, shorts, etc. on a regular basis; even if somebody “tsks” at them (not saying you are, of course), it’s rare that anybody is arrested, thrown in jail or fined infinitely more money than their family could ever manage simply for watching a video or wearing shorts, you know? I suppose the penalty as well as the intended gender impacted is the issue I primarily take.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000071288589 Derek Wilson

    Uganda? Really? Uganda?