ARUNGA: Of the miniskirt 'horror' and lusty male impulses

Friday October 6 2017

Woman in black dress. The single most enduring truism about fashion is this – every woman must own a little black dress. PHOTO/FILE

Woman in black dress. I'll just say this, and I will say it loud – a woman is not responsible for a man's attention span, or the behaviour he chooses to propagate thereafter. Neither is a man for a woman's. PHOTO| FILE 

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Men are supposedly the stronger sex, and yet they can't seem to control themselves around a mere miniskirt.

The headlines are ablaze this (ok, not the headlines. Just my timeline) with women expressing their indignation over Nyeri MCAs claiming they cannot concentrate at the assembly because of the short length of skirts of the female members present.

Apparently, local politics and the dire state of our country does not provide enough distraction during policy making.

The MCA in question made this complaint in the middle of an entirely different discussion on a gubernatorial matter, according to the story in the Nation.

I wonder at the gall of these men, though, who have the audacity to claim that women should police themselves on the behalf of their lusty impulses.


I'll just say this, and I will say it loud – a woman is not responsible for a man's attention span, or the behaviour he chooses to propagate thereafter. Neither is a man for a woman's.

This woman left the house in what she thought was appropriate. She chose the outfit. She went to the Assembly with it. She knew what she was doing.

That is wholly her decision and her problem. Unless she was in fishnet stockings and a corset, which would imply a lack of situational awareness, I see no problem with what she was wearing.

There is often a principle passed around in church as pure gospel truth – that you should not wear anything to make your brother stumble.

But why are you responsible for your brother if you were just trying to go to church? Maybe he should have been looking where he was going instead.


If a man is looking lustfully at a woman, is it her fault or his? And how far would this ban reach, exactly?

Is the Nyeri County Assembly going to make sure that all women in Nyeri wear skirts that sweep the floor so that the honourable MCAs can go about their duties? If this was such a big problem, why didn't he bring it up in procedural fashion instead of what was clearly a sudden erection – sorry, reaction?

And what next? Will they liaise with KFCB to blur all hints of skin on music stations? Prohibit YouTube, Netflix, the whole damn internet, while they are at it? Will these men never leave their houses again because they haven't mastered the art of self control? I wonder, does this man hide in his house, whimpering, rocking in a foetal position, because women are in miniskirts and therefore he cannot get out of his house to serve as a citizen of Kenya? Why does it take so little to deter him? And whose standards will this nationwide ban adhere to – hipsters? Conservative wakorinos? Staunch Pentecostals? Because everyone can be offended by everyone, you know. There's always room for more offense where humans are concerned. A flash of thigh and a flash of ankle are at the same level in many places in our own country, after all.

This entire clothing debate has gone on for too long. We are becoming a distant relative of Uganda, who banned miniskirts in public service areas just the other day – and I wrote about that, too.


In summary, men who assume that it is a woman's responsibility to cover their eyes for them are delusional and chauvinistic , to say the least.

Patriarchy has spoon-fed them entitlement to women's bodies with a side serving of male privilege to the point that actually doing anything for themselves without blaming their shortcomings on women (the horror!) is a near impossibility.

If you don't like what's on TV, change the channel. If a woman's in a miniskirt, and you feel a rising in your pants, go to the bathroom and splash cold water on your face like a normal person.

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