Swaziland Blames Rape on Miniskirts, Bans Revealing Clothing

(Source: Wikimedia)

In a way, it is comforting to know that other countries have their own versions of Richard Mourdock and Todd Aiken. Those two Senate candidates saw their campaigns implode after ridiculous comments about rape.

In India recently, protesters took to the streets because of the rape of several women and lack of police investigations and arrests. At least in the U.S., the police still treat it as a crime.

Along comes Swaziland which has come up with a solution to prevent rape. Swaziland is a small, impoverished kingdom surrounded by South Africa and ruled by a king known for his bizarre behavior.

Like India, Swaziland had protests last month against an increasing number of rapes. Unlike India, which has put together a commission to resolve the problem, Swaziland pinpointed the problem immediately and targeted it for reform.

The result is that Swaziland has banned miniskirts and similar attire. Yep, it’s the old women-wear-revealing-clothing-and-men-can’t-control-themselves argument.

“The act of the rapist is made easy, because it would be easy to remove the half-cloth worn by the women,” police spokeswoman Wendy Hleta said.

If showing too much skin is to blame for rape, then South Africa has a massive problem. South Africa has many nude beaches and resorts so according to Hleta’s logic a naked woman at those places should be an invitation to rape. Of course, it doesn’t happen that way.

This kind of thinking makes as much sense as stating that someone who has a nice car is responsible for that car being car jacked. And don’t even own a nice house because that is just inviting the burglars to come. Actually, this raises a serious question. Why is it only rape where the victim is often blamed for the crime?

Somewhere the answer to that is virtual rape, according to South African authorities anyway.

“I have read from the social networks that men and even other women have a tendency of undressing people with their eyes. That becomes easier when the clothes are hugging or are more revealing,” Hleta said.

This is the same mindset found in American Senatorial campaigns. It is essentially the same thing to say it’s the woman’s fault for what she is wearing or she can’t get pregnant if she was “legitimately raped.”

This world’s has a long way to go to get over this hurdle of violence against women. As long as women have to cover their faces or not wear revealing clothing because they might instigate a rape by showing too much skin, then we are still clinging to a past of superstition, ignorance and close-mindedness. The twenty-first century is still waiting to dawn on some places and some minds. Swaziland is at the forefront of that ignorance.

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