Don’t touch my 2cm

2012-01-10 09:15

What is it about the miniskirt? And the taxi rank?

For the second time in just over three years, young women who dare to wear their skirts above their knees have been jeered and groped at the Noord Street rank. CCTV images of two young women being harassed by a baying mob of men shocked many South Africans (but not all).

The women are now in witness protection as they plan to press charges against some of the men – city managers are determined to make an example of some of the Neanderthal throwbacks who stalked them.

Women have fought long and difficult battles for equality and the right to wear what they like, but many men still believe that women should not wear the 2cm skirts which are so popular in Mzansi’s cities.

This is not about skirts or the length of them: it is about women’s right to choose what they wear and how they live.

For decades in post-colonial Africa, battles have been fought about the length of skirts, whether women should or should not wear pants and lipstick.

These forms of dress are seen as examples of Western decadence at odds with African values.

What South African women, who hold up half the sky and run more than six in 10 households on their own, have shown is that they easily blend roles and have earned the independence to wear what they like.

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