Comments made last week by a policeman in Swaziland that Women wearing mini skirts tempt men to rape them, and that Women wearing mini skirts in public will be fined or imprisoned, have touched off an international media firestorm. But while much of the attention has concentrated on the treatment of Women and Women’s sexuality in Swaziland, what does it say about how men are thought of?

The idea that a mere glimpse of a thigh or belly button is all it takes to turn a male from a harmless bystander to a violent criminal (like an Incredible Hulk of sexual predators), is both utterly insulting and all too common. Basically every female dress code enshrined on the basis of “morality” is built on this premise; that both men and women need to be protected from male urges. But why isn’t this horrible preconception given more focus? Why isn’t it as criticized as treating Women as simple seducers? It is equally offensive. It portrays men as savages, as amoral predators who are slaves to our urges. It portrays us as unfit for civilized society. Just like Women need to be seen as more than temptresses, Men need to be seen as having evolved beyond responding to base animal urges.

 

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