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Women Banned From Wearing Miniskirts to Work to Stop Rape in Indonesia

Women Banned From Wearing Miniskirts to Work to Stop Rape in Indonesia

One of the many reasons victims fail to report cases of rape is because they are afraid people won’t believe them or they will be blamed for what happened.

Perhaps the reason so many women fear they will be blamed for what happened is because they hear things like, “Women wearing inappropriate clothes arouse men…You know what men are like — provocative clothing will make them do things.”

Such were comments from Indonesian House of Representative speaker Marzuki Alie in response to an announcement from parliament that rules are being drafted to ban female lawmakers from wearing “provocative” clothing such as miniskirts to work.

According to the deputy head of the household affairs committee, which is spearheading the new regulation, “miniskirts and skimpy clothes are an invitation to male lawmakers.”

Comments like these are not only insulting to women, but to men too. Suggesting that men cannot control themselves and are driven to rape any woman in a skirt is offensive. That being said, rape is not about what a woman is wearing. Rape is about power and control. Let’s get that straight.

It’s imperative that the Indonesia government take steps to protect women from violence, but picking apart their wardrobe is a step in the wrong direction.

What do you think? Are you offended by the comments? Do you think women are less likely to report being raped because they are afraid they will be blamed for what happened?

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227 comments

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8:04AM PDT on May 21, 2013

The main question should be,why are women allowed to wear miniskirts to work,while men are not allowed any kind of shorts to work?This is how singapore is like now,witrh women allowed to enter the workplace in attires which are only worthy of a bargirl in the past,and men still forced to wear full length pants.Does that sound like equality to u?If not,do join this cause:http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/menattire

Who knows,maybe if it were men who are allowed tight shorts to work while women stuck to long skirts and pants,the men may be the ones who are targets of rape instead of women.You cannot prove rape is sexist if u dont have a countersituation to prove the converse couldnt happen

2:57AM PDT on Nov 1, 2012

Most men become very sexually aroused by the sight of a woman with attractive legs in a short skirt. Most of the men ready this article will have been very aroused by the picture that was included. This is just a biological reality. Men control their sexual impulses as result of education and the threat of consequences. Boys and men need to be taught to be sensitive to and respectful of women, but the threat of harsh punishment is also needed. As a guy myself, I see the threat of corporal punishment in addition to prison term as what might be needed to serve as an adequate deterrent. Some form of whipping has been the traditional punishment for sex crime right around the world -- and in many ways it seems to fit the crime. I have some admiration for the nation of Singapore, because Singapore demonstrates that a modern nation can retain flogging as part of its penal code and the caning that is practised there as a punishment for sex crime keeps the rate of sex crime amazingly low. If we are not willing to do the same, are we doing all we can to protect and demonstrate respect for women? Just to be clear, I am not trying to blame women or excuse men for sex crime. I am just saying that we need to be realistic. If women are going to wear short skirts and very short skirts, the need for education -- and, unfortunately, the lash is all the more pressing.

5:27AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

VoiceofR: Are you for real? Rapists will always blame the victim if they can get away with it. Just as lawyers asks the victims of their sexual history to make it look like she wanted it. Read Carolyn Bs posting and try and use whatever brain you have left and realize that rape has nothing to do with sex but all to do with rage and control. Nuns wear cloting that cover most of their bodies and they sometimes get raped. That might serve as a clue for you to understand what rapists are after: Control.
As for Indonesia: What do you expect from an Islamic country? Afganistan, Iran, Malaysia, etc, are all muslim countries and do any of you see the women there being protected?

6:56AM PDT on May 15, 2012

So... what were the little kids in foster care wearing that got them raped? What were the soldiers in war zones wearing that got them raped? Or the elderly, senile, the disabled in care facilities who are also commonly subject to rape? Do they dress too sexy? Apparently even the modest robes of male monks were "irresistible" to viking raiders who plundered their monasteries and violated them. Use your brains people - rape is a type of TORTURE not a kind of sex. Kids in foster care, men in prison, women AND men in war-zones, developmentally disabled people in care homes, animals in slaughter houses, NONE of these "dress provocatively" ALL of these groups are at risk of rape - miniskirts or any other clothes DO NOT cause rape, RAPISTS are the cause of rape. It's a vicious crime of torture done against vulnerable populations, not a type of sex!

4:01PM PDT on Apr 18, 2012

I don't think mini skirts are appropriate for work, however that does NOT mean that rape is ok. You know the addage NO means NO. Well that word is pretty universal. Blaming a woman for being raped is heartless and backward. There is NO reason for why a woman should be raped. Men have NO NO NO NO NO right to have sex with a woman unless she says it is okay. Its her right and her decision. Men need to take responsibility here. It says very little of a man who would abuse a woman in such a way. He is NO man. Any REAL man would not have to force a woman to have sex with her. RAPE IS WRONG- PERIOD! NO EXCUSES!!!

8:34AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

The issue is that in the case of rape the victim always receives part of the blame, while the perpetrator always gets at least partly excused or exonerated.

Knowing they can always blame the victim and be heard and possibly acquited, actually encourages rapists.

Ilia I

always? Really? actually it is a small percentage. this type of exaggeration and misrepresentation of the facts only serves to defeat your argument. once someone lies about something, anything else they have to say becomes extremely suspect.

there can be no question that legislating a responsible dress code will help reduce the incidence of rape. if women don't have the common sense to help protect themselves, then the government should do it for them. government legislates equal rights for women: it should also legislate equal responsibility.


yes, wearing modest clothing does lessen the risk of getting sexually assaulted.

The length of any skirt is irrelevant.

Ilia I

You sound a little conflicted here. Please clarify your position on this matter.






7:09AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

Voice of R: Thanks for pointing out that not all rapes can be prevented, same as not all burglaries or muggings can.
Women should dress sensibly same as everyone should lock up before they go out.
However, if the crime does take place, the same judges and juries who do not excuse a burglar if a window was left open, should not excuse a rapist on the grounds that a neckline was too low or a skirt too short.

1:10AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

con't'd: And I’ll probably get hammered for this remark, but here goes: I believe it is foolish, for ANY (predominately male) body of legislators to try to dictate to ANY group of females what their atire should be, regardless of any common sense that may be represented in the law. They (women) WANT to be protected by men, but they DO NOT want to be PERCIEVED as seeking (or accepting) that protection. They want to be ‘Perceived’ as self-sufficient, not needing the assistance, or advice, of any male, however well-intentioned he may be.

So gals, wear what you will. And when the rapist says, “She teased me till I couldn’t help myself”, and is believed by a (male) judge, then understand that YOU CHOSE to “walk in the tall grass when the lion was hungry”. Wearing clothing that was not so provocative ‘might’ not have prevented the rape, but you certainly did not take “reasonable” precautions. If you’re a tease, sooner or later, SOMEONE WILL ‘take the dare’, regardless of consequences. History has proven that not even a mandatory death penalty will prevent the rapist. As for castration? He might respond, “How would you like a traumatic mastectomy?”… Violence begets violence.

1:03AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

con't'd:
Women in Indonesia have had the right to vote since September, 1941
(Wikipedia). As with all voters, throughout the world, they have the responsibility to INVESTIGATE the candidates; determine what they stand for, and VOTE for the ones who represent their interests. Women in Indonesia are also eligible to hold office. So if there are no candidates that adequately represent women, they should put forth their own candidates.

As Abe Liincoln suggested: “Government of the people, by the people, for the people….”, but that does not happen unless THE PEOPLE exercise their right to vote and CHOOSE responsible leadership.

I disagree with the law that was passed. As I’ve said here before, I think it sends the wrong message to the would-be rapists, that message being, (by reverse logic) “If she’s wearing provocative clothing, we understand that you couldn’t help yourself, so rape is ok.”

I personally feel that the government should have not interfered, should not have tried to dictate to female lawmakers what they can and cannot wear, other than possibly a “dress code” for both men and women, as to what is acceptable attire in the workplace, as is done by employers throughout the world. They made a serious mistake. I think their intentions were good, to protect women, but they went about it the wrong way.

And I’ll probably get hammered for this remark, but here goes: I believe it is foolish, for ANY

1:00AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

Ilia,
Thank you for bringing me back to the point. You are correct of course, the point has to do with women being blamed while the rapist is exonerated. That is absolutely not fair and should be corrected. The question is: How?

I’m sorry I allowed myself to be drawn off-subject. I was simply responding to the majority of posters here who, incorrectly, keep hollering that short skirts do not, will not, incite rape. If that were true, Hugh Hefner, Larry Flynt and the like would be paupers. Sexy clothing DOES incite the baser instincts in the male, and (hopefully only a few, not the majority) SOME males will respond badly to those instincts. You ladies are correct, you SHOULD be able to dress to please yourselves, to make you feel empowered, and ALL MALES SHOULD control themselves. In a Utopian society, this would be so.

Now let’s get real.

Ours is not a Utopian society, it is a Democracy, which has many imperfections, but is probably as close to Utopia as we’ll see in our lifetimes. So, to get to the How:. In a democracy, we all have the ability, even the responsibility to help shape our society to be as we would wish it to be. That is the only real “right” we have. It’s called “The Vote”.

Unfortunately, many in our society choose NOT to act responsibly… instead they sit back and let others around them choose the representatives who make the laws that shape our society.

Women in Indonesia have had t

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