Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Pants and Protest

Cops beat women protesting Sudan trouser ban

Group supporting female journalist arrested for wearing trousers in public

Sudanese journalist Lubna Hussein, right, who faces 40 lashes on the charge of "indecent dressing," flashes a victory sign to her supporters as she enters the court in Khartoum on Tuesday. She is going on trial for wearing trousers in public, a violation of the country's strict Islamic laws.

Can I just tell you, that as I read this article, I was upset. Granted, I do not understand this, fear? of women wearing slacks, pants, trousers, whatever you may call them. I do understand that not long ago women did not wear "trousers" in the USA. And we've moved past this. I do understand that there are still some places where the dress code requires women to continue to adhere to this thought pattern. Dressing in this manner however is a matter of personal choice. You do not have to work at the place that requires you to wear a skirt and pantyhose. You can choose a religion that allows you to dress as you please. I know a woman, whom I in fact just reconnected with via FB, whose religion mandates that females wear skirts and/or dresses when out in public. She wore a skirt to school EVERY SINGLE DAY. She explained that in her version of the Bible (yes there are different versions, something I didn't know until like my late teens) it says that men and women are to dress differently. I don't remember all the logic behind it, but it made sense at the time. Especially since she stressed it was a choice to follow that dress code. But outside of that, No one is going to arrest you for wearing "trousers" in public. If this were the case, I would be flogged on a daily basis. I own exactly 3 skirts, and 4 dresses. I have never been much of a skirt/dress wearer. Even as a child. In fact, now that I think about it, neither of my sisters are skirt wearers, even though our mother, who is of the skirt & pantyhose era, is very much a skirt/dress wearer. I own at least 10 pairs of jeans, and 9 pairs of dress pants that I wear to work each week. Not all at once of course. I do not feel that because I wear "trousers" that I am less feminine. Wearing trousers does not change the fact that I am a female. That is all DNA, something I can not change. Wearing "trousers" can not now, nor will it ever, change that fact. When there are people in great need of food and clean water and proper housing and health care**, I find it extremely distressing that a government chooses to put resources into policing a dress code("public order police") instead of helping its people. I do not believe I will ever understand the oppression of woman based in religion which is then made into law. Every time I see an article like this I can't help but ask myself, "Why are they afraid of their women???"
Ignorance on my part, perhaps. If someone can explain it to me, I ask that you do. Politely of course. You can maybe make me understand, but you can never convince me.

**I do realize the US is not anywhere near blameless where any of these things are concerned. And I know we, as a nation, need to fix our own problems.

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