It’s not about fashion | Why I’m wearing shorts until I die

I’ve taken to yelling “Do your thang, girl!” at women that I perceive to be dressed excellently in public spaces. Accompanied with a sassy snap of the fingers, my little ritual makes me both proud to put a smile on a woman’s face and simultaneously, very worried about the evident descent of my mental health.

In any case, this little thing I do serves as my attempt to push good energy into the world on a daily basis as well as a small manifestation of my positive woman-centric principles.

But lately, I’ve begun to think about my interpretation of ‘excellent dressing’ as well as the role it plays in plaiting a larger idea of ‘appropriate attire.’ What is the definition of excellent dressing and why should that have to be a pre-requisite before I encourage a woman to do her proverbial ‘thang’?

I realised that I had the conventional way of thinking. I was one of those women that could tweet quite whole-heartedly about which women should or should not dress a certain way. I had no problems forming imaginary rules about which attire I deemed appropriate for mothers and women over a ‘certain age’.

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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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