The excuse often given to justify why women should not wear what they want is that certain dressing is not part of our culture. Which culture? As far back as history tells us through art, stone carvings and folktale; our cultural dress has never been about covering up. The skin hides covering women’s backs and fronts were very short. They covered the ‘bare essentials.’ Women’s breasts were not sacred, they were left hanging open. Our society borrowed the concept of wearing clothes from the Victorian British culture through colonization. Our crisis is that we borrowed a concept in development and so as British society has transformed its values including shaking off patriarchal notions that dictate women’s choices, we have remained stuck in the past holding on to a half-borrowed concept? We choose to dictate the length of a woman’s clothing.
Until a few years ago, some men on our streets beat up women for wearing trousers. Some men in their homes today forbid their wives from wearing trousers or short clothes! Why do we find the exposure of a woman’s legs offensive today when our real true culture did not find the exposure of her legs, stomach and breasts so? Why do we find pride in the terrible Colonial Victorian teaching that says it is shameful for the beauty of a woman’s body to be exposed the way she feels comfortable? Maybe its coz we just don’t like sharing all her body secrets to society….Some bonus regions should be kept for the spouse alone
This cartoon, which is part of the Kenyan #MyDressMyChoice campaign, whose message resonates with #MiniSkirtMarch captures this point.
I have to admit, I’m among those men that find it hard to sit back & relax while my wife is moving around town turning all male heads & groins she passes…there is mini, & there MINI