Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation, is on a mission to stamp out pornography. The government's next target in their war on smut? Mini-skirts. The country's religious-affairs minister, Suryadharma Ali, was put in charge of Indonesia's new anti-porn task force earlier this month, and is busy working on establishing a universal definition of pornography. He told The Jakarta Post:
"We have yet to set a standard definition of pornography on which we will base our work. However, there must be a set of universal criteria to define something as pornographic, one of which will be when a woman wears a skirt above the knee."
Parliamentary speaker Marzuki Alle also took aim at those wicked miniskirts, focusing specifically on female politicians who wore the garments. He said he was preparing draft rules that would ban female pols and staff members from showing so much leg because "there have been a lot of rape cases and other immoral acts recently and this is because women aren't wearing appropriate clothes." Reinforcing the notion that men are lustful beasts who can't control themselves, he added, "You know what men are like — provocative clothing will make them do things."
So, as we see, blaming the victim is alive and well in good ol' Indonesia. After a woman was attacked on a bus wearing a short skirt, the governor of Jakarta, Fauzi Bowo, also said sexual violence was being provoked by women wearing short dresses.
In case you were wondering, yes, there are some reasonable people in Indonesia. One of them is Masruchah (who goes by one name, like Cher), deputy head of the National Commission on Violence Against Women. She said:
"This country keeps taking steps backward. As a democratic nation, the government must ensure that everybody has the right to express themselves freely, as guaranteed by the constitution. This country must stop criminalizing women's bodies and blaming women's clothing for inviting sexual assault."
This whole issue is obviously not confined to just Indonesia, but that country serves as an especially egregious example of wrong-headed thinking. The world would not be a better place without miniskirts. The world would be a better place without chauvinistic and hypocritical idiots, and a far poorer place without miniskirts.