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#OtvOPINIONS: Short skirts and fake puritans by Bayo Alade

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You don’t need to go too far to find a puritan.
Down the street, in the market, they are on the
lookout for a sinner in short skirt and low cut
dress. You would think there are certain things
that should not catch their attention, but
puritans and fundamentalists would be the first
to see mini-skirts. These puritans are potential
ISIS recruits who think they had been appointed
by God Himself to foist on the world a set rule
about how every other person – except
themselves – should walk, eat, dress, sleep,
including every other thing under the sun.

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Sometimes ago, a young boy of about ten or
twelve was unfortunate to have encountered
some demonic puritans in Iraq. He was hawking
oranges when a man accosted him asking that
he needed some oranges. The boy obliged and
after satisfying his taste buds he refused to pay
and the boy would not let him go while holding
fast to his clothes. The poor boy made it known
to him that even if Prophet Mohammed comes
down he would not allow the big-for-nothing
cheat to escape. It was at this point that the
fundamentalists came. They heard the boy’s
statement and accused him of blasphemy
against Prophet Mohammed. He was executed
despite his young age and innocence.
In the Holy Bible, there is this story of a woman
caught in the act of adultery and brought to
Jesus. The accusers actually wanted to see how
Jesus would judge the woman. They told Jesus
that the woman was caught not just red-
handed, but pants down and “in the very act of
adultery.’’ Jesus asked anyone of them who had
never committed such a sin to cast the first
stone. Jesus then began to write on the sand.
The bible itself did not say what He was writing
but by the time He lifted up his head all the
woman’s accusers had left.
Some scholars suggested that some of the
accusers had probably committed adultery with
the woman before, but decided to put on the
garb of self righteousness to champion the self-
imposed right to judge the woman and stone
her to death as demanded by the law. Such
was the audacity of some champions of chastity
even here in Nigeria some years back when
they began to punish ladies whom they
considered to have dressed “inappropriately.’’
They defined what was ‘’inappropriate’’ and
meted “appropriate” judgment against
offenders. At that time any lady who dared to
go to some markets in skimpy and revealing
dresses risked a mob attack by leering, ogling,
self-righteous puritans ready to strip her naked.
A lady in jeans hipsters was the butt of jokes by
some idle traders years back at a busy market
street in Ibadan. She was riding on a motorbike
and was unfortunate to have been halted by a
traffic jam. A baying mob of traders saw the slit
of her exposed buttocks which she was daring
enough not to have covered. An equally daring
young man took a sachet of water and poured it
on her exposed buttocks while his comrades in
rascality roared into laughter as the embarassed
lady jumped at the feel of the cold water
poured on her bums. She could only curse the
rascal who tried to mess up her own deviant
fashion sense and was soon saved from the mob
as the traffic jam eased and her motorbike
moved on. Knowing she was free at last she
made a sign with her hand to the offender
abusing his father and mother.
Even Kenya is not inured from such rampaging
puritans. During the week a group of self-
righteous men tore off a woman’s clothes
because they detest her mini-skirt. Say, which
one is more desirable? A semi-clad woman or a
totally naked woman? The mob decided they
would rather strip the woman naked because
they did not like her short skirt which triggered
their short-temper. By the following day there
were protests for and against over the min-skirt
saga. Even the vice president, William Ruto
agreed that those who stripped the woman
naked should be arrested. Unfortunately the
woman who was stripped naked did not
immediately report the matter to the police. The
truth of the matter is that for most of the men
who stripped the woman naked, left alone with
her, they could have raped her or tried to.
Even in India recently, cases of rape had
increased with many of the women killed after
the deed had been done. The more the public
voiced out against the crime the more it
continued and the Indian public is at a loss as to
what the rapists are actually trying to achieve
with their relentless crime.
Truly, modesty should dictate the dress code for
ladies wherever they may find themselves but
for some individuals to arrogate to themselves
the role of the conscience of the society as far
as dressing is concerned and thinking that
stripping “offenders naked, or molesting them is
the antidote, is to say the least unbecoming.
Some of the so-called protesters are actually
criminals as was discovered in Egypt during the
revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak.
Behind the scene of the revolution, ladies were
mauled and groped, even women journalists;
which goes without saying that many self-
righteous puritans are hypocritical criminals.

Post earlier featured on Opinions.ng.

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