The case of the anti (part 2)

I am convinced that some of our leaders are quite simply anti-women. Yes. Why else would people support and sign into law an act that has such vague descriptions of terminologies and puts women directly in harms way!? I am talking about Uganda’s anti-pornography act.

The anti-pornography act bans women from exposing their breasts, buttocks and thighs, and from “ dressing indecently in a manner to sexually excite” In order to comply with this law then it seems that you just have to wear a sack. You might wear your fitted clothes and someone decides that they are too tight and constitute an indecent act that will corrupt their morals. What exactly is considered indecent!? Are they going to circulate infographics on types of dressing that sexually excite people!? The act is extremely vague on definitions. It really is subject to the interpretation of the reader and the self-appointed keepers of societal moral codes…and that is a very dangerous thing.

The act has already resulted in the assault and sexual harassment of many women in Uganda.  There have been reports of women being undressed for wearing miniskirts as they are considered indecent. These violating acts are carried out by groups of vigilante men who obviously thrive on harassing women. Why else would they be so readily engaged in stripping women!? They justify their behavior with statements like “well she wanted us to see everything,” “it’s against the law,” “this will teach other women to cover up,” “why did she leave the house in such indecent attire?” There have also been reports of police harassing women and forcing them to remove their skirts in public. I thought the police are supposed to protect and serve!?…sigh

It’s infuriating to hear the so called leaders take on the matter. Simon Lokodo, Uganda’s Ethics and Integrity Minister, last year said that women who wore “ anything above the knee” should be arrested. Really Lokodo!? Why should they be arrested!? Is it because their uncovered legs are going to detach from their body and run off to rob a bank!? Or because they are going to interfere with the progress of development projects!? Perhaps women’s unclothed legs are going to engage in corruption…empty the public coffers and what not. Except politicians already have that angle covered. So why exactly should they be arrested!? Lokodo is also the same person that said “One can wear what one wants, but please do not be provocative.” Hmmm…so women are supposed to have the feelings and potential reactions of men in mind when they dress every day!? You can be covered from head to toe and there will still be someone who will be provoked by that. Why should women be assaulted/harassed/arrested because men cannot control and curb their sexual excitement!?

Yes, the act applies to everyone not just women. However, it is primarily women that are in danger because of the act. Why? Well, words such as “indecent” and “provocative” are more often than not used to describe women’s dressing. When is the last time you heard a man’s dressing being described as “indecent” or “provocative”? Even men who sag their jeans so low that you can see their knees aren’t typically described as being dressed indecently or provocatively. Makes you wonder, who is this act really against!?

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