Lubna al-Hussein is facing 40 lashes for wearing tight jeans.
On July 3, Sudanese morality police
burst into a restaurant arresting 18 women, and al-Hussein, for wearing
what they morally deemed to be inappropriate clothes. A journalist and
former employee of the U.N, al-Hussein is making her case public in
hopes of bring attention to the plight of women in Sudan. In
preparation of her sentencing, she even sent out 500 invitations
encouraging people to come see her flogging for a crime people here
would laugh at.
Im not trying to make light of the
situation in Sudan or any other religious country were such drastic
measures are taken to ensure that women are hidden, but where is our
There have been times when Ive walked
down the street behind young men who have their entire a## out (usually
covered thinly by some boxers) for all the world to see. They waddle
like ducks in order to keep their jeans from falling down or resort to
holding the waist. Lets face it, fellas you look a hot mess. I
applauded when the baggy jeans went out of style but the skinny jeans
are just as bad if not worse.
Men arent the only ones in need of the
fashion police. Women, some of you walk out with more flesh exposed
than a butchers shop. There is no reason why I should be seeing your
a## crack and belly roll.
Here in our community, we dress this way because the opposite sex deems it acceptable.
In Muslim countries, like al-Husseins,
women dress covered up because men deem that the only acceptable style.
There, men also deem what is acceptable for men as well. Go figure.
If all women collective stopped talking
to men whose behinds were out of their jeans men would start to cover
them. If every man told women their dunlaps and overflowing boobs
werent sexy women would cover them up.
There is a way to be enticing to suitors and there is a way to not walk around looking like a fool.
Seriously, there are some great social
repercussions from seeing men and women dress the way they do here in
America. What message about body image and self-worth are we sending to
our peers and the younger generation?
Back in Sudan, al-Hussein has become
the poster child for a womans right to fashion freedom. She quit her
job with the U.N., which would have granted her immunity, in order to
have her day in court. Protesters support her and some are calling for
revisions to the Muslim governments public order law.
Re-writing the law is just a step but
perhaps the bigger issues is changing peoples minds about the womans
body. Lets face it, Al-Hussein isnt being punished for what she was
wearing but rather how she would make others feel.
Women often get punished for evoking a
feeling in men. Weve all heard if she didnt want to get raped she
shouldnt have been wearing that mini-skirt. Its as if people really
believe that the only purpose of the womans body is to serve the needs
This same sentiment dressing the
please, is why women in America resort to showing the most skin to feel
sexy and get attention. Is this the same reason why men walk around
with their butts out? Ironically, we live in such a homophobic society
yet we think nothing about young men walking around showing their a####
to the masses.
Somewhere between women like al-Hussein
being whipped for their attire and people here being encouraged to wear
less material on their bodies, there needs to be a middle ground. I
dont honestly think law should enforce your personal style but
dressing for the extreme (covered from head to toe vs bucky naked)
isnt working either.Fashion police…help!
The X Fact(her) is a weekly column that appears on 99problems.org.
Started on Inauguration Day 2009 by the League of Young Voter’s
Education Fund, 99problems.org is a non-profit initiative that aims to
keep young people engaged in the political process through activism and
community involvement. Please visit 99problems.org to find out how you
can get involved right now! For more on Chloé A. Hilliard