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Jun 02 2012

That little problem you have? It’s you.

While we’re in the midst of the current course of conversation (you know what I mean), let’s not forget religion’s long list of crimes in the sex wars either. And speaking of Islam…

Here’s the latest stupid shit from Indonesia: They’re making miniskirts illegal because they “make men do things.”

"...Let's see, need to pick up cat food, put this check in the bank, then see about dinner plans, and...huh? what the... BLGGHAAAH AAAAARRGGG MUST RAAAPEE!"

What religion does under the guise of “morality” is rarely more than flat-out misanthropy. The thinking here is both idiotically misogynist (the old victim-blaming) and misandrist (because mehnz are such weak-willed animals that the mere sight of female thigh-flesh transforms us into rampaging sex-Hulks). And you know, I really get tired of people who are so determined to avoid a little thing called personal responsibility that they’ll trade in both victim-blaming/slut-shaming and the myth of male weakness in the same breath, when what they should be doing is looking in the goddamn mirror and saying, “You know, maybe I’m the asshole.”

Here’s a little PSA.

Miniskirts do not cause rape. Bikinis do not cause rape. Cleavage does not cause rape.

Rapists cause rape.

This has been a public service announcement from a human being with more than single-digit functioning brain cells.

Have a nice day, Indonesians.

56 comments

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  1. 1
    Jasper of Maine

    Clearly, you did not consider their culture and tradition.

    1. 1.1
      Martin Wagner

      Damn! There I go again! Why do I keep getting this crazy idea that people matter more?

      1. LeftSidePositive

        Also, YOU NEVER SAID MADEMOISELLE!!!! How am I supposed to have my traditions if third parties don’t say mademoiselle for me?!

    2. 1.2
      Parik

      Even if its their tradition, why should it be illegal if a girl tries to break free from tradition?

      1. LeftSidePositive

        There’s a backstory here…some asshat on some other threads was trying to defend all sorts of sexism by making appeals to tradition.

      2. Jasper of Maine

        Yeah, sorry, that was sarcastic. We need a sarcasm font or something.

        What’s sad is that I don’t even have to satire that guy. Just reciting him verbatim is horrifying enough.

    3. 1.3
      gothicemperor

      Yeah, most of Indonesia is actually rather laid back when it comes to Islam. The extremists, however, have been scheming and using the current state of Indonesian politics to gain more power and influence, and it’s working.

      Religion is as much or even more a political thing than it is cultural; it always has been. Some idiots just want to force their morality on other people, and then invent a deity to add divine backing.

    4. 1.4
      Emptyell

      And what about the tradition of opening doors? Next thing you’ll be telling me is I can’t open doors for guys in miniskirts!

      1. Martin Wagner

        Makes me wonder. Do gay Scotsmen wear minikilts?

        1. Emptyell

          Gay men in plaids? Is that possible? Well I guess there’s that lumberjack shirt.

  2. 2
    annabucci

    Omg!

    WHY U SO CULTURALLY INSENSITIVE?

  3. 3
    James Frizell

    I remember this one time a miniskirt forced this one dude to do terrible things.

    It leaped across the room and grabbed him by the throat, placing a knife up to his temple. It threatened to murder him and everyone he loved unless he went on a violent psychotic raping spree.

    The man was never the same after that.

    1. 3.1
      lorimoskwa

      I read this five minutes ago, and I am still laughing. Thank you!

    2. 3.2
      Emptyell

      That’s one mean mini. Sounds like a case for the holy hand grenade.

    3. 3.3
      WMDKitty -- Survivor

      *snorfle*

    4. 3.4
      Jennifer, Uppity Bitch and General Malcontent

      I hear that another guy was held at knifepoint by a teenager’s hoodie until he shot that teenager. It was similarly strange. WHO IS MAKING ALL OF THESE HOMICIDAL CLOTHES

  4. 4
    mosley

    love the cat food on the dolist :)

  5. 5
    A Miniskirt

    I am a miniskirt, and I just want to thank you for your support. Sometimes it’s hard to deal with this kind of discrimination. I can’t believe how many people actually think I make people rape just because I’m a miniskirt.

    1. 5.1
      Martin Wagner

      Life’s unfair.

  6. 6
    Hypatia's Daughter

    I saw a video interview with Dawkins and a young muslim man, who told him that western men should be controlling their women better. Dawkins said the usual thing “I don’t own “my woman”. I don’t have a right to control her. She owns herself.” Yadah, Yadah, Yadah.
    Which is fine, but I wish he has actually said:
    “What’s wrong with your muslim men? Why don’t you get them under control? Aren’t they supposed to be followers of Allah? Don’t they commit to act morally and justly in his name? Instead, they beat and kill their wives and daughters. They assault strangers on the street. We would call them criminals, thugs and rapists in the West. Your moral behavior should not be based on the wrongs of another person, but your commitment to Allah to act righteously.”
    I am so tired of all these battles being fought over the behavior of women, and not the behavior of men.

    1. 6.1
      StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

      YES!

      This. If only. Seconded.

    2. 6.2
      Lou Doench

      Await the delivery of a bright shiny brand new Internet for your efforts.

    3. 6.3
      F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

      Well, you just said it. Let’s make it popular.

  7. 7
    margaretwhitestone

    The basic theme I see running through all of these restrictions on women is the inability of men to control themselves. If the problem is men, why are the women being punished? Then again, why am I expecting rational behavior from religious nuts?

    1. 7.1
      Emptyell

      It’s all apologetics:

      Patriarchy = boys will be boys

      Religion = gods will be gods

    2. 7.2
      No Light

      Pfft, filthy immodest Muslims. This is the real deal:

      http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2012/05/married-through-a-hole-in-the-sheet-567.html

      1. F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

        Jeez. Don’t they know that anything is OK as long as you do it through a hole in a sheet? They are violating the OK-ness by being so restrictive.

  8. 8
    Swede

    But that’s like, their culture man. You can’t like, say anything against it, ’cause that’s like, you know, imperialism…. Or something…

    Yeah, and men sucks. I get suicidal almost every time I look myself in the mirror.

    Cultural relativism is among the most bullshit concepts I have ever had the misfortune to come across, the only acceptable standard for morals is that we treat our fellow human beings equally, and if someone does not agree with that, kindly remove yourself from my presence. I believe I last encountered it discussing the jailed (and possibly soon to be executed) atheist in Indonesia, apparently it was okay for them to execute him for what is essentially a thought-crime because it’s their culture.

    1. 8.1
      StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

      Also seconded by me.

      Cyulture that harms women and the non-heteronormative humans and generally is destructive and inhibitive and anti-reality and anti-science and generally negative and sucks – sucks!

      1. WMDKitty -- Survivor

        Thirded.

        I’m all for letting people just, you know, do their thing… as long as they’re not harming other people.

        I don’t understand the “you made me hit/rape/assault/batter you” thing. I understand that it’s a deflection of blame and responsibility on to the victim. I witnessed it first-hand with The Jackass. But I don’t understand why, in some places, it’s culturally acceptable, and even expected, that the victim is blamed and punished (even prosecuted!) for “inciting” the acts against her. I don’t understand how it can be acceptable that “men just can’t control themselves,” and women are responsible for “not tempting” the men.

        *SMH*

  9. 9
    terrycollins

    Resisting temptation is an implied virtue right from start of the bible. Humans would still be living in the Garden of Edan, had Adam and Eve not given in to crunchy juicy goodness. Seems to me, the moral of the story was just because you can do a thing, doesn’t mean you should do a thing, no matter how tempting. Like finding a wallet and resisting the temptation not to return it with all the cash. Being kicked out of Eden just symbolizes that any deviance from this ideology is a major FAIL. Learning to resist temptation is the key, not removing the temptation.

    “make men do things.”

    Agree. But it’s up to the men to choose what those things are. If a woman walks by in a miniskirt, I like mind-playing Legs by ZZ Top.

    1. 9.1
      Monster

      I very much agree with the idea that Eden is a good example.

      Also I believe religiion should always be a choice, if it’s not I think it may be slavery.

      Is this a religious issue or a cultural issue, I can’t tell. Or maybe both?

      If the social issue is that the men feel too distracted, why not express that it is too distracting. If the men are weak, why don’t they say they are weak rather than force others to cover up. Those who understand the weakness can either help them over come it or cover up.

      It seems like no matter how much of a person you cover, people will still find something, even the covering erotic. Many Humans want to reproduce, attraction helps get that done.

      I think some men really do have a great weakness towards the bodies of women. I wonder how we can help them learn to control their impulses better. I’m sure there are some troubled women too.

      1. RenDP

        If men in Muslim countries are such animals that they can’t control themselves, how about requiring them to wear blindfolds? Problem solved.

  10. 10
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    Huh, Islam in Scotland is a thing.
    I wonder what syncretism they’ve got…

    Argh! The plaid. The eye-scorching tartan!

    That fabric’s got to have some sort of unholy power.

    1. 10.1
      CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

      Couldn’t find clear details actually. Still in the mixing phase before the interesting melting-together. The general population’s weary of hijabs, though they’re worn primarily to signal minority solidarity. BBC reported the nation’s drinking culture is problematic for their joining in celebrations.
       
      Article: Scottish Government – Experiences of Muslims living in Scotland
      * Warning, dry.

  11. 11
    rippe

    … and I approve of this message.

  12. 12
    Max Entropy

    If they ban mini skirts then they should also ban hijabs and niqabs because they are mini skirts for the hair and face.

  13. 13
    Max Entropy

    In the Mail Online article that Martin linked to, there is a picture of Minister Suryadharma Ali, Indonesia’s “religious affairs minister” and head of “Indonesia’s new anti-porn task force”, with his naked chin and jowls hanging out! What kind of conservative, devout Muslim man walks around in public with a completely naked face?! He’ll be lucky if he doesn’t get raped after showing all that skin on the internets. Astaghfirullah!

    1. 13.1
      Hypatia's Daughter

      What is so deeply ironic is the traditional Muslim prohibition on depictions of the human form, because it could lead to idolatry. It is the basis of of the “don’t draw Mohammed” command.
      And yet, these Muslim men are putting their faces out there all the time. It is unavoidable in societies that use any form of modern media – newspapers, tv, movies.
      I find it fascinating and funny when social and religious traditions butt head to head with unavoidable modernity. These cultures have the untenable choice of either stopping modernization or modifying their traditions. Cultural changes are easier than religious ones, which is why religion can get so damn ugly.
      I saw another video interview of a Saudi politician who was voting against an age of consent law – because setting it higher than 6 years would imply that Mohammed was morally wrong for becoming “engaged” to Aisha when she was 6. You could tell the guy was really uncomfortable about it, but he couldn’t contradict his religious belief in the inerrancy of Mohammed.

    2. 13.2
      F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

      Yeah, but what does Mail Order Bride Online say?

  14. 14
    LykeX

    On the whole idea of daring clothing making men do things, there’s one point that I’ve heard and think it’s relevant to bring up. It strikes me as an essential piece of intellectual machinery that everybody needs.

    How often do you hear of a man raping a woman in broad daylight in front of a police station, surrounded by dozens of witnesses?

    Never, right? Conceivably, there might be one or two cases, but it’s extremely rare. This fact alone demonstrates that men have the capacity to control themselves.
    The fact that some men rape women under circumstances where they can get away with it doesn’t speak to the inability of these men to control themselves. Rather, it speaks to a high level of self-control. They can control themselves well enough to only act in cases where they know they won’t get caught.

    I don’t think anyone here really lends any credence to the idea of male lack of self-control, but I think this simple argument is important, since it so clearly demonstrates the falsehood of this meme.

    Rape is not a result of poor self-control. It’s a result of good self-control. If rapists really had poor self-control, they’d all be behind bars in no time.
    It’s not that they can’t control themselves, it’s that they don’t want to and specifically select the situations where they can get away with not doing so.

    The correct response is not to limit what women do, what they wear or where they go. There’s no possible way we could set up rules strict enough that there’d never be a chance for a rapist to act and such rules would also limit the freedom of women to an unacceptable degree.
    Instead, the correct response is to listen when women say they’ve been mistreated, take it seriously and act decisively against the rapist, ensuring that they never get the chance to do it again.

    1. 14.1
      Mary

      I love how you explained your perspective on this. I totally agree.

    2. 14.2
      WMDKitty -- Survivor

      Well said, and I agree.

    3. 14.3
      John

      Fargin’ brilliant analysis.

    4. 14.4
      Matthew

      Excellent take down of the ridiculous claim. I especially like the reversal:

      “Rape is not a result of poor self-control. It’s a result of good self-control. If rapists really had poor self-control, they’d all be behind bars in no time.”

      I’m not sure how far it would go to convince the knee jerks (“she was asking for it” types) but it’s a nice concise way to knock down that argument. Definitely another cartridge for the bandoleer. Thanks.

    5. 14.5
      Monster

      Very interesting thought. I think you might be right.

      I wonder what brings a person to rape? Is it chemical, cultural, or something else? What causes people to cross boundaries? Is there anything we can do for the people with the inclination to rape? Can rape prevention start on the side of the would be rapist rather than asking people cover up?

      1. katkinkate

        “… what brings a person to rape” – Selfishness. Hatred. A sense of entitlement. A desire to re-inforce their (perceived) superior position by putting the other down (pecking order thing) also could be called bullying, extreme bullying. Women are the scapegoats of society. They hold the blame for everything that goes wrong and must be punished and controlled. In the west it is found in abusive homes/relationships and in many eastern countries it is institutionalised as normal (eg. sharia law).

  15. 15
    Mike de Fleuriot

    I do understand why these articles need to be said here, but has anyone bothered to find a Islamic news website and start up a conversation on this subject with the readers on that website.

    We here know the meme, if you will, we know the argument, it’s strengths and weakness, so why do we not spend some of our valuable time and take the fight to the theists in their own turf.

    Are you really thinking that and going to write that as a reply?

    1. 15.1
      Mike de Fleuriot

      In fact most of the positive stuff that has been commented here so far, is written by Captain Obvious.

  16. 16
    fred johnson

    There was a case recently where a bunch of Indonesians entered a house of some of their country men who hold a slightly different Islamic belief from India in which Mohammed is just a normal man.

    The mob entered their home beating a couple of them to death like crazed monkeys the police did nothing and no one was held to account.

    Indonesia is a hell hole where corruption and religious hatred and violence is normal, this is no surprise.

    1. 16.1
      CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

      I think you were referring to this?

      http://islamradio.es/english/index.php/news/98-news/news2/137-indonesian-muslim-mob-beats-three-ahmadis-to-death
       
      Fun caveat on the article:

      Ahmadis believe that Christ has already returned, while orthodox Muslims believe he hasn´t yet returned.

      Ahmadis think Jesus ran away instead of ascending, then died of old age in… (wait for it) India, and the second coming Christ prophecies were fulfilled by *gasp* the founder of their sect.
       
      From Wikipedia’s “Jesus in Islam”:

      While most Western Scholars, Jews, and Christians believe Jesus died, most Muslims believe he was raised to Heaven without being put on the cross and God transformed another person to appear exactly like Jesus who was crucified instead of Jesus. Jesus ascended bodily to Heaven, there to remain until his Second coming in the End days.

  17. 17
    joe

    Hi and greetings from the Philippines!

    Have you heard of this? It’s an official statement from the Vatican about heavenly apparitions…

    http://filipinofreethinkers.org/2012/06/04/holy-hubris-vatican-makes-it-impossible-for-jesus-to-change-the-church/

    Basically this is what it says…
    If Jesus — or whichever Heavenly character — tells you something that contradicts the teachings of the Catholic Church, the apparition or revelation is fake. You are either a lunatic or a liar — or both — but you certainly did not communicate with the Lord. When God communicates to you through his messengers, He can only tell you something the Catholic Church teaches — nothing more, nothing less.

  18. 18
    Aliasalpha

    I tend to prefer long shoelaces myself but damn if that lady in the picture hasn’t got me beat by at least a metre…

    Weren’t miniskirts already illegal in indonesia? Along with chewing gum I seem to recall. Or am I thinking of somewhere else with questionable ties to sanity?

  19. 19
    Zengaze

    The Human race is sick, and its not religion that is the problem, as religion is a product of humanity, and is nothing more than the codifying of our bigotries, and primal Thought.

    Until human beings become more human, until we value knowledge and discovery over pop culture and film stars, until we do not distinguish race and gender from human, will always have religion, and therefore we will always have hate, fear, bigotry and prejudice. Religion most certainly imprisons the mind, but it is not the jailer.

  20. 20
    Monster

    Why don’t men wear miniskirts?

    I don’t wear them hardly at all because they are not very useful to me. What is the benefit? While I am not ready to sign up to outlaw them, I think they are an article of clothing that serves little purpose other than attracting the opposite sex.

    I’m actually a little tired on seeing business women in skirts and high heels; if there were an accident it would be harder to escape. I wish cultures could except women in pants better.

    I think the only time I wear a short skirt is when I want to impress the opposite sex. Sometimes I feel like my society wants me to be constantly impressing the opposite sex at all times. It’s disheartening. I like being pretty and sometimes I like being sexy, but not all the time. When I was a highschool student I very much wanted to express my new sexuality in the form of sexy clothes like a beautiful blooming flower, but I wonder if it was a negative distraction to anyone. I just don’t know. What is the limit of modesty? I don’t know.

    This subject is so deep and important… I wish I had more to contribute about it. I feel that it should be approached with love and understanding though.

    I support people’s right to choose. I think the choice to wear a mini skirt should be available, but I think an open cultural discussion is needed to discover if it’s a good choice for all occasions. If it is not, then why?

    I think clothes have served us well as signs expressing social grouping, sexual advertizing, status, position and so much more. Sometimes people will dress in one if those groupings even though it is not their intent on being adentified as part of that group. In all cases I think we need to approuch people respectfully and with love. Maybe that pretty girl in a miniskirt has her eye on a certain someone and not you. Maybe she is trying her best to attract her desired mate.

    Men are capable of controlling them selves. I think men can even reach levels of nakedness tolerance as shown by how ankles used to be a common fetish and now it seems not to be a big deal.

    Such a delicate subject… So my aspects…

  21. 21
    Daninthai

    Have you any evidence that you have “more than single-digit functioning brain cells”? Until I see such evidence, I can’t take your word that mini-skirts, bikinis and cleavage don’t cause rape. I’ll have to keep a close eye on all those mini-skirts, bikinis and cleavage around me… just to protect the owners from dangerous men, mind you.

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