Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Christian Morality Police In Uganda Want To Ban Miniskirts & Beyonce, Monitor Web Surfing

Ugandan model and television host who residing
in Canada, Sunday Omony, would get arrested
and either heavily fined or thrown into jail
for up to ten years for wearing this in her
home country if this bill passes.  Here's her blog
post about this: Save The Miniskirt In Uganda
Interview with her can be found here.

As many of you know, I've been covering the goings on in Uganda over the past couple of years.
There have been positive highlights, such as the Kasese Humanist Primary School project (donate to the latest fundraiser here).  And there have been the lows, such as the horrendous situation there with the kill the gays bill and the poor treatment of homosexuals. Oh, there is also starvation and a highly challenged healthcare system and potholes.

But you know what the real problem apparently is? Miniskirts

But that's just the start of it.  It gets even more ominous and much less silly if you read further into it.

Uganda is considering extraordinary measures against women's rights that would lead to arrests for those wearing skirts above the knee in public. 
The proposed law would mark a return to the era of dictator Idi Amin, who banned short skirts by decree. Many Ugandans are opposed to the idea and it has spawned a Twitter hashtag, #SaveMiniSkirt.
Simon Lokodo, Uganda's ethics and integrity minister, defended the plans. "It's outlawing any indecent dressing including miniskirts," he said. 
"Any attire which exposes intimate parts of the human body, especially areas that are of erotic function, are outlawed. Anything above the knee is outlawed. If a woman wears a miniskirt, we will arrest her."
It's not as funny as it may sound. If you dig more deeply you can see it's an ominous grab at more control over women. Aljazeera has a few prominent tweets from this effort on their stream covering this story:

Speaking of Aljazeera, you may think that this sort of ban is the result of a powerful Muslim population in the country.  Here you would be wrong.  It appears this is due to a strong Christian fundamentalism encroaching onto public policy in much the same way Islamists have been forcing their own ideas about female modesty onto predominantly Muslim countries.

Of course, religion has to be involved.

This Simon Lokodo fellow happens to be a Christian reverend and defrocked priest, who apparently was too political for the Catholic Church to handle.  He also was instrumental in banning 38 organizations in Uganda accused of promoting homosexuality.

Lokodo makes the same revolting argument that is actually highly degrading to men as is often served up in Muslim countries.  Women must dress modestly for their own safety, so as to not arouse the sexual passions of men.  You see, rape is ultimately the woman's fault for dressing too slutty.
Lokodo, a former Catholic priest, suggested that victims of sexual violence invited trouble. "One can wear what one wants, but please do not be provocative," he said. "We know people who are indecently dressed: they do it provocatively and sometimes they are attacked. An onlooker is moved to attack her and we want to avoid those areas. He is a criminal but he was also provoked and enticed." Asked if men would be banned from wearing shorts, the minister replied: "Men are normally not the object of attraction; they are the ones who are provoked. They can go bare-chested on the beach, but would you allow your daughter to go bare-chested?"
I think I just vomited a little in my mouth.  Any man who cannot control himself when he sees a woman wearing a skirt or a pair of shorts is a boor and a criminal and needs to be put in jail.  Plain and simple.  Why is this so difficult?

But it doesn't end there. Big Brother Government will also be censoring television and even monitoring internet activity.
"A lot of photos, television, films will be outlawed. Even on the internet, we're going to put a monitoring system so we know who has watched which website and we know who has watched pornographic material."
I wonder how long it would take for the government to use this monitoring to round up and arrest people linked to organizations promoting homosexuality or even gay people in Uganda simply for browsing objectionable material on the Internet?  I wonder how long it would take Lokodo to include atheist and humanist websites on his black list?  Would he then round them up in similar fashion to the arrested Bangladeshi bloggers?

Luckily, the bill hasn't made much traction in the parliament, yet.
Lokodo expressed confidence that the bill would be passed. But according to Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper, it has run into difficulty in the parliamentary committee stage after some members expressed concern about its implications for constitutional freedoms. MPs also warned that some traditional cultural practices could be labelled as pornographic, the paper added. 

Edit: AHEM... Remember that you can donate to the Kasese Humanist Primary School in Uganda fundraiser I'm running here.

I've set up a fundraiser for this here.

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