It’s not about rape | What the Swaziland laws against mini-skirts really mean

The concept that women cause rape is laughable at its best and at its worst – a terrifying indicator of how little respect our societies have for the female person. The law passed recently in Swaziland is a sad mixture of both.DSC_2874

The Swazi Monarch has decided that banning women from dressing ‘provocatively’ is a sure-fire way to prevent rape.

Because everyone knows only women dressed in mini-skirts and low-rise jeans can get raped. It only takes a quick look at the very low rape-rate in Islamic countries where only conservative garb is tolerated on women to see this.

Oh, what? That isn’t true?* That’s weird.

But it’s not weird. Because this has nothing to do with women’s clothing. Rape never does.

Rape is about control. And laws like the one passed in a country like Swaziland where traditional ceremonies in the King’s honour are more than tolerant of scantily-clad minors are still a firm fixture of the country’s cultural identity, are proof of this.

What we are looking at here is a very common situation that happens in the mind of many men groomed in the pits of their patriarchal societies. We are looking at a kind of thinking that these men hold onto—the kind of logic that makes them believe that a woman’s body is theirs to police.

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