Daniel Varisco at Tabsir.net (New York)
Indonesian lawmakers claim women are raped due to provocative clothing
Why is it that men blame women for their own failures? Whenever I hear a variant of the phrase, “Well, he couldn’t help himself,” I can’t but think that this excuse is in need of a lot of help. In Indonesia there is a bill being considered in parliament that would ban female lawmakers from wearing provocative clothing, such as miniskirts. Given that the number of Indonesian lawmakers wearing miniskirts must be a whopping minority, why is this needed? Here is the rationale:
“We know there have been a lot of rape cases and other immoral acts recently, and this is because women aren’t wearing appropriate clothes,” house of representatives speaker Marzuki Alie said.
“Women wearing inappropriate clothes arouse men, so it needs to be stopped. You know what men are like — provocative clothing will make them do things.”
So men rape women because women wear miniskirts. I have not seen the statistics, but I suspect the majority of women in Indonesia do not fall for the idea that all they have to do is dress conservatively and there will be no danger of a man raping them. This notion that the male rapist cannot really be blamed because “provocative clothing will make them do things” is not limited to any national or religious group. What is rather bizarre in this case is that the ban would only be to protect male lawmakers and not for the public at large. So either there is an epidemic of male lawmakers raping female lawmakers in Indonesia or these males are so easily aroused that the ban need only be to stop those provocative female lawmakers. I guess once outside the parliament building, male lawmakers can contain themselves.