Sunday, 8 May 2011

Respect the dress code - whether it's teenage boys, hijabs or sluts

Discrimination against people based on their dress code continues in so-called civilised societies such as America, Canada and Australia.  Teenage boys with their pants too low, women dressed like Lady Gaga, or Muslim women in a hijab.  There's no excuse for discrimination - but worse, there's no excuse for violence.

Student says cops used Taser, broke his arm because of sagging pants

Last month in Kansas, USA, a 17 year old student was tasered and had his arm broken by school resource officers who work for the police department.  According to the Wichita Eagle, Jonathan Villarreal, said he was walking with friends to the bus after school on Wednesday when one of the officers ordered him to pull up his pants. He told them he could wear them how he wanted because school was out. (You can read the full article here.)

There is absolutely no justification for this sort of action.

Discrimination against women wearing the hajib - you better believe it

While Australia is a nation of migrants, attitudes towards people who look different continue in our "tolerant" land.  Here is a shocking quote from a report by the Islamic Women’s Welfare Council of Victoria.

Muslim Village
“I was going shopping with my son, he is blind. These men followed us, and one extinguished his cigarette on my head. I felt it burning. I started to run with my son. They came up and surrounded us, 6 of them, Australian and white …”

This level of intolerance, of people of a particular religion, is made obvious by the hijab.  Whatever you may think of this dress code, the discrimination and violence towards these women is shocking and unacceptable.  I remember Jewish friends of mine being discriminated against when I was playing footy as a child because they wore a jarmulkah.  We must not accept any racism against any groups as a result of their religious dress codes.

Slutwalks - supporting the rights of women to be safe from sexual violence

On 24th January this year in Canada, a member of the Toronto police force stated that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”.  The women in attendance were rightly insulted as this wrongly implied that the dress code had some bearing on sexual attacks.  It does not. As a result the Slutwalk movement was born.

On 3rd April, the Toronto SlutWalk was held to support the rights of women to dress how they choose and not to be subjected to sexual violence.  There is simply no justification for sexual violence against women, and what they dress is irrelevant.  Honestly, do we think that Lady Gaga deserves to be sexually assaulted?

The SlutWalks are also reappropriating the phrase "Slut", as the word has always been used to wound, whether dished out as a serious indictment of one’s character or merely as a flippant insult.

SlutWalks are now spreading around the world, and are being held in Australia.  I encourage you to attend to support all women.
Melbourne - May 28
Sydney - June 13
Adelaide - June 11

Dress styles have often been at the front line of discrimination.  In a civilised society, we must be proud of the diversity of dress styles. Our only intolerance should be against those who use dress standards as an excuse to villify others.

Let me know what you think

Mark S

1 comment:

  1. i fell bade for the kid name taser if i was you i would have said the same the the cops or difrent don't worry i broke my arm the same arm as you but i fell down the stars and broke how a bout you you can found me at