Do men need protecting from themselves?


UPDATE: Hi all, Ros here. just a reminder that this isn’t a discussion about sharia law or Islam.  It’s about how men react to women, and how much of that reaction they can control. The Sudan story is just the starting point. Thanks.


Whipped for indecency – a well-known female journalist in Sudan is facing 40 lashes for wearing trousers. She was one of 13 women arrested last week for wearing trousers, those who pleaded guilty were given 10 lashes there and then. Here’s what Zoulcoum X,  an unimpressed university student in Khartoum had to say on this. In this morning’s meeting, we got talking about  why it is that women have to adapt their ways to protect men from themselves. Shaimaa shared her story about a similar experience in Doha.

She was cautioned by a policeman for wear a sleeveless top and jeans. She found the ticking off really humiliating. He threatened to take her down to the police station if she was caught dressing in such a way again.

I remember being told by a man in Morocco to cover up in the evening (I was wearing a  knee length summer dress) . That really wound me up but I responded by throwing on a pair of jeans – I was actually afraid of what might happen to me if I didn’t!

A woman on our Burqa show just over a week ago said she wore the niqab because it was good for society. She considered covering up to be a precautionary measure against inappropriate male behaviour. Why is it the woman who has to take the precautionary measure?

Earlier this month, a report was was released in South  Africa on why men rape. Are we not just making excuses for  men who commit such crimes?

In 2008 Italy overturned a rulingthat a woman  wearing jeans could not be raped (too tight to get off single handedly apparently). And who can forget Silvio Berlusconi’s remarks earlier this year about pretty women needing protecting from rape. Is it really men who need protecting and that too from themselves?



Hi, it’s Shaimaa here. Have a look at some of the comments that came to us through the BBC interactive desk. Abba in N’Djamena says it all in my view.

Nana in Accra says,

“It’s a shame that women in the 21st Century are still being suppressed,no matter the circumstance and or law they live under or the country they live in. As a Ghanaian, I am angered to read of such horrific treatments mended out to women, when in my country, women now speak and men listen.”

And this came from Mim in Sudan

” If you walk on the streets wearing  trousers, you feel like you are walking naked, the harassment and the remarks alone are terrifying.”

And Abba wrote from in N’Djamena to say,

“Islam does not forbid the wearing of trousers but only thing it should not be sexy that to attract the men desire.”

Picking up from Mim’s comment I find that all too familiar. I’m Egyptian and as I told some of my colleagues at WHYS when I go to visit, I wear my ‘Egyptian gear’ a bunch of plain clothes that don’t necessarily represent my style or how I would like to dress at all but that would get me the least attention.. well harassment for that matter.

Krupa mentioned one of many many incidents I had to face with this issue but one that really sticks to mind is me going home one day furious that this guy tried to assault me only to be met by my mother’s reaction. “Well, look what you’re wearing!” I was wearing a pair of jeans and a top.

I respect that this is a female perspective. What about the male perspective? Are we missing something? Do you guys really need protection from your own desires?

T makes an interesting comment below: “… if more men were rape survivors, I guarantee that men’s attitude about rape and guys-being-guys would change overnight.”

Not to take it as far as rape but if more men were harassed the same way as women would that change their attitude?

274 Responses to “Do men need protecting from themselves?”

  1. 1 T
    July 14, 2009 at 03:04

    You can debate this all you want. But it really comes down to power and control.

    When a woman is raped, in many places she can get help. If a guy gets raped, where does he go? Not to wish this on anybody. But if more men were rape survivors, I gurantee that men’s attitude about rape and guys-being-guys would change overnight.

    • 2 Sharon
      July 14, 2009 at 18:27

      I believe that people should dress how they please, and be smart enough to know that clothing does have an effect on how people respond to you. That;s why costume design is so important in theater and film–it actually has an effect. But wearing provocative clohing is not permission to be attacked, abused or harassed. People are responsible for their actions, but they have the right to their thoughts and feelings. Also, people who dress provocatively are sometimes fine with “wanted” attention, but get angry if they decide the attention is “unwanted.”

  2. 3 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 14, 2009 at 03:55

    Definitely not this is a sad excuse for men not taking resposibility for THEIR actions. Instead they blame the women.


  3. 4 Isham (Eyeshum)
    July 14, 2009 at 04:07

    To say that men need protecting from the wiles of women is silly. Historically, the major societies have been dominated by men. Therefore there is a line of thinking that is ingrained in society, religion, and culture; which is “What a man wants from his woman, he should get from his woman.”

    In societies where such rules exist, it is assumed that women are second class citizens to be managed by men. Hence those rules exist to excuse any action a man might take, from rape to abuse, because obviously “she was asking for it.”

    A man who cannot control himself around a woman is but an ill tempered child, poorly raised and ill suited for the complexities of a modern world.

    Isham – (male, 22, United States)

  4. 5 Jennifer
    July 14, 2009 at 04:33

    Yes, men need to be protected from themselves! When we look at many horrors that happen to women it is men who are responsible for many of those!

    Two nights ago I decided to do some shopping…by the time I left the stores for my car it was dark out. As I was putting stuff into the trunk I heard some guys hollering. Thinking nothing of it I kept putting my stuff away at least until they started walking straight towards me and being more aggressive.I immediately got in my car and didn’t look back. I wasn’t dressed in an attention getting way nor did I ask for or want men hollering at me.I don’t think that being in a burqa would have prevented me from being harrassed by these people.

    Some men lack basic common sense and treat women like things to own.They have little or no respect for women.

    It seems to me like those who advocate for the burqa are advocating for women being to blame for merely being women.

    I think instead of trying to own women, men should love and protect women.

  5. 6 Mslightfoot
    July 14, 2009 at 08:00

    The dress code adopted by Islamic women, in my opinion, have forced women back to being perceived as second class citizens and requiring the protection of men from men. In Britain women are equal members of society and have the full protection of the law and should not require a dress code in order to ensure that the law protects them. Women need to wake up to the fact that allowing ridiculous dress rules to be imposed upon themselves for no apparent reason makes them slaves. Who has handed over this power to men, NOT ME.

  6. 7 Harriet Copperman
    July 14, 2009 at 09:23

    If in certain cultures men are unable to control their basic urges and therefore require women to be covered from head to foot and kept socially isolated, perhaps the men should be required to do these things instead, and then be let out/released when they can control themselves enough to function in society!

    Because men are physically stronger/aggressive they are easily able to bully the other half of society – women – into submission and slavery.

    Unfortunately much power and aggression etc is probably fuelled by the testosterone coursing through the males of most species. Other animal groups have found different ways of coping with male aggression, some more effectively than others. Homo sapiens coping mechanisms seem to vary widely across the globe, and women are more or less subjugated according to these variations.

    • 8 James Ian
      July 14, 2009 at 16:32

      That’s a good idea, I like that. If men find it so hard to controle themselve when they see a woman maybe we should lock the men down until they can, weak ass punks! Or better yet, let’s burn their eyes out!! 🙂 I mean doesn’t the bible say, “If your eye offends you cut it out. ” I mean that’s what is says isn’t it???

  7. 9 Konstantin in Germany
    July 14, 2009 at 10:10

    Men do need protection not only from themselves, but also from the background they were brought up in. As Isham already pointed out, every society (also European societies) and every religion is dominated by men. The way men treat women is the manifestation of each society, culture and religion.
    Let’s take three fictive men, i just invented: Hans, the Christian in the late 50s in Germany, Ahmad, an Islamic hardliner in Sudan and Manuel, a frustrated low-class worker in Guatemala. Hans’ wife has to ask for Hans’ permission to divorce him and he doesn’t let her. Ahmad beats his wife, because of accidental show of skin in public and Manuel beats his wife and daughters because of frustration from work.
    Take these three men, raise them again from child’s age in a caring gender equality enviroment and you’ll get three men, treating every human being (aware of no gender distinction in my sentence) as they should be treated.
    ==> so the problem is: How do we change societies and cultures? We can’t. It’s embedded. It has to change on its own from the inside, as “our developed” societies have done.

    PS: In case I offended someone with my example of Ahmad, I did not intend it that way and it’s not my general view on Islam. I’ve some muslim friends and acquaintances… One of them being a lecturing doctor at my university. He treats his wife and daughter in such caring way, that all men should take his example. (Oh, and his wife wore a headscarf, his daughter didn’t.)

  8. 10 Ryan
    July 14, 2009 at 10:12

    I wonder whether anyone has researched whether there is a high incidence of rape or other crimes against women in tribes or communities where excessive clothing is not a norm: tribes in Africa ( Pygmies?), tribes in the Amazon etc.

    We may be surprised at the results.

    • 11 James Ian
      July 14, 2009 at 16:39

      Africa is over populated so I would say that means there is still a lot of rape there or at least that’s what I hear. Now as far as the old school tribes in the Amazon rainforest and such, I don’t know, that would be interesting to know.

  9. 12 Ann
    July 14, 2009 at 10:20

    In psychological terms it’s called PROJECTION. A man gets an ‘uncontrollable’ desire to rape a woman, but because he can’t face the monster in himself, he projects the desire onto his victim. It comes in various forms…

    “She was gagging for it”
    “She was so beautiful I couldn’t help myself”
    “She really should have more self worth – no wonder she is a victim”

    In some case these ideas become enmeshed in religious teachings and then of course God gets implicated in such dangerous nonsense.

    And the idea that a woman who wears jeans can’t be raped is the biggest load of utter claptrap I’ve heard in a long time. Try telling that to the victims of rape, who have been held at knifepoint, choked half to death, clothes torn from her body and beaten black and blue.

    So all those men who believe they are being ‘tempted’, go to a mirror, stand there for a long time and maybe just maybe you’ll see your own demons.

  10. 13 Ann
    July 14, 2009 at 10:32

    Hey Ryan I like the question, hopefully someone can provide an answer. Made me think too of the plight of women in Scotland. All those lovely men wearing their kilts with no undies!!! How can we stop ourselves girls? Maybe we should ban the kilt so we don’t get all hot and bothered? Then again there’s all those hunky rugby players in their shorts – and I once served breakfast to the Scotland team – they have very large thighs let me tell you 🙂
    (I worked in a hotel at that point – don’t jump to murky conlusions anyone) So maybe we should ban shorts too?

    Ridiculous of course – but you get the point 🙂

  11. 14 Ramesh, India
    July 14, 2009 at 10:39

    An interesting discusssion but why talking about certain problems in under devepoed(socially) societies only on which nobody here would disagree? Why not talk about boys being bullied by girls at schools in countries like UK, US etc. Ofcourse, these girls haven’t come to the point of raping the boys in those instances. But why such incidents started to emerge?

  12. 15 Ann
    July 14, 2009 at 10:44

    Another thought – if men can’t control themselves then surely women would be forgiven for developing some new fangled chastity belt that bites the fingers off any man who seeks access to us without our expressed permission? Seems just to me 🙂

  13. 19 Ann
    July 14, 2009 at 11:29

    Hey Konstantin – you’ve got me on a roll here…

    Maybe while we’re about it we can ask men to…

    Cover up their hair or bald spots depending on what we find attractive or unattractive?

    Only speak when we want them to? (I hear women all over the world saying Amen to that)

    Refuse to let them be educated because of course they’re so unable to control themselves they’de not cope with all those clever beautiful women.

    Any other ideas ladies? 🙂

  14. 20 Steve in Boston
    July 14, 2009 at 11:39

    Exactly how does one protect men from themselves? What are you ladies talking about? So far all I’ve read is some jokes ideas.

  15. 21 Ann
    July 14, 2009 at 11:56

    @Steve in Boston – we’re being satirical to highlight the absurdity of the idea that men need to be protected from their own uncontrollable urges. And there’s a fair bit a mick taking too about some of they ways in which men throughout the centuries have defined women. Just a humourous attempt to redress the balance 🙂

  16. 22 Steve in Boston
    July 14, 2009 at 12:10

    I agree that the topic is ludicrous, but it’s was submitted by WHYS in all seriousness (frequent modus operandi for WHYS), so I’d really like to know what they had in mind, or whether they’re just throwing thoughtless mud at the wall to see what sticks.

    I liked your expression “fair bit of mick.” Not sure what it means, but I’m gonna start using it and see what happens. I have a feeling I might get beat up in South Boston.

  17. 23 Ann
    July 14, 2009 at 12:12

    On a more serious note Steve, using satire is a psychologically more comfortable way of talking about such issues. I’m sure there are many women, including myself, who could erupt into a passionate diatribe about the outrageous, brutal and demeaning treatment of women and children all over the world. It really has to stop.

    • 24 Konstantin in Germany
      July 14, 2009 at 12:49

      The thing is that their respective society lets them (men) do what they want and/or can. And it’s EVERYWHERE.
      Another example. And this one’s weird.
      An woman economics professor here said openly in a lecture some time ago, that when examining women-students, she’d be doubly tough on them, so they would get used to the extra effort, they’d have to make to survive in a male-dominated world. It is everywhere.
      So, Ann, let’s not talk about, IF and where it is so, but HOW do we stop it?

  18. 25 VictorK
    July 14, 2009 at 12:28

    I sometimes wonder if, as well as the one Mark reminds us about, WHYS also has some covert rules it operates to. One that I would guess at would be, ‘No generalisations about particular races, religions, nationalities or cultures are permitted, even when true. Such generalisations only to be allowed when re-phrased to apply universally, even when not universally true.’

    Everybody knows that there is a certain attitude to women that informs Islamic African, and Latin peoples and cultures. But to be that specific is, apparently, unacceptable, especially with the terrible hint that Northern European and Protestant Christian cultures have something to commend them in this respect. So the debate becomes one about ‘men’ everywhere, rather than men in the countries and cultures we know have a problem (e.g. the ‘militants’ who wanted to commit mass murder against ‘whores’ – their description – in a London night club not too long ago; institutionalised rape in Darfur and Congo; the culture of machismo in Latin countries,etc).

    As phrased, the topic distorts and misrepresents the real debate.

    • 26 patti in cape coral
      July 14, 2009 at 14:03

      It’s interesting you bring up that you bring up northern europeans and christian cultures. My husband told me when he first came to the states from Colombia, he openly stared at women and catcalled, which was the accepted norm he was used to, until an american friend told him, “You can’t do that here, somebody’s gonna press charges for sexual harrassment!” So his friend bought him some sunglasses, and they happily lay on the beach, ogling to their heart’s content, albeit more discreetly!

    • 27 Rachel in California, USA
      July 14, 2009 at 17:59


      Here in the USA, our culture was formed by Northern European Protestant immigrants. In the American South for centuries many Euro American men could and did assault African American women without penalty. In addition, any man could have sex with his wife whether or not she consented; there was no crime in marital rape.

      Disrespect for women isn’t about ethnic strains or religions; it is about the dominating power that men in some political systems have over women.

      Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  19. 28 Konstantin in Germany
    July 14, 2009 at 13:46

    @Update from Shaimaa

    I had the discussion about men feeling the harassment, that is being normally directed to women, with a (woman-)friend some weeks ago. I told her about an experience I had, when a gay man (I hold no grudges against anyone for being gay.) “checked me out” and told me, that he’d “do” me, if I had some other haircut and other clothes.
    Men can get raped, by other men and it’s being done. (Just to throw that in.) But the point I’m making is that I superficially felt, what women must feel, in that kind of a situation.
    And men, who’s family members (sisters and mothers) weren’t fortunate enough to come out unharmed out of such situations, can feel the pain.
    My sister accidentally came in contact with a pedophile, but luckily, a bad situation was prevented from becoming worse.

    • 29 Ralph
      July 14, 2009 at 19:38

      I do not see this so much as a man/woman issue as a people issue. Some people are being threatened and hurt. It is our responsibility to do something to stop that threat and damage. I see this discussion as a possible beginning to this.
      I am often afraid for my wife when she is out jogging or biking, but she refuses to be kept in the house or a car. (That kind of spirit is part of what attracts me to her.) It would harm me if my Mother, sisters, friends, or neighbors were (are) threatened or harmed. Whatever is done to some of us affects us all.

  20. 30 Ann
    July 14, 2009 at 13:49

    @Steve in Boston – sorry i forget that sayings are often culturally specific. The phrase ‘taking the micky; or ‘mick taking’ means simply making fun off and I suspect it has not so nice roots? (but I mean no offense to the Irish – love them honestly)

    I think the Why’s team posed them question in such a tongue in cheek way to imply the absurdity of the idea that men need protecting from themselves. But then again when one considers that 1 in 3 women experience domestic violence at some point in their lives and women get raped all the time, maybe the topic is deadly serious?

  21. 31 patti in cape coral
    July 14, 2009 at 13:54

    In a lot of South American countries, wolf whisling and cat calling is pretty much part of the culture, and it really doesn’t matter how you dress. And forget about trying to get off a crowded bus without getting felt up by every man you pass. Even my mother had problems with this, and she’s 68. She now carries a pointy umbrella, however, and she’s not shy about using it! The women don’t seem to be bothered by this, just accept it as a matter of course. When I ask my uncles about this, they say “Women are beautiful, and what’s more natural than wanting to look at a beautiful woman, and why shouldn’t we let her know that we find her beautiful?” Of course, this is not ideal, but I don’t think it’s as bad as making women cover themselves from head to toe.

    I think women, and in particular beautiful women are seen as having a lot of power in certain cultures, and men making them cover up may be an attempt by men to get some of that power under control?

  22. 32 Ann
    July 14, 2009 at 14:01


    “An woman economics professor here said openly in a lecture some time ago, that when examining women-students, she’d be doubly tough on them, so they would get used to the extra effort, they’d have to make to survive in a male-dominated world. It is everywhere”

    Gee whizz – female internalised male discrimination!! That’s scary! I’ve experienced something like that in the work place…being told by a female boss I needed to outwork all the men just to keep my position as a manager. I left that job.

    How do we stop it Konstantin? I wish I had all the answers. I guess it’s to challenge gender discrimination at every turn. Refuse to allow ourselves to be controlled by men. Stand up and shout from the rooftops about all forms of abuse, torture, sexual violations. We need education and men need to be involved in this too. Men need to challenge male dominance and the abuse of women too.We need proper funding for women’s refuges and the law needs to get it’s act together and start taking rape and violence to women seriously.

    • 33 patti in cape coral
      July 14, 2009 at 14:25

      Hi Ann & Konstantin- I think things are changing all the time, just not fast enough. But I really believe most change has to start with children. Children need to be taught to respect the opposite sex, and I think maybe a stronger presence of fathers in their children’s lives woudl help too. Also, children watch us all the time, even when we think they aren’t, so couples should behave accordingly.

  23. 35 RCalabraro
    July 14, 2009 at 14:25

    This is one of the stupidest discussion topics I’ve ever seen on this website. Men run the world, with rare exception. I’d say they do a fairly good job of watching out for themselves.

  24. 36 steve
    July 14, 2009 at 14:30

    Ironically this is an “equality” issue. All throughout history, women were not held accountable for their actions, and only recently have been. In early 20th century France, Madame Cailloux murdered a critic of her husband, and she was found not guilty due to hysterics. It was basically “she’s just a woman, so she shouldn’t be held responsible”… Women have gotten lenient sentences as compared to men, especially if they kill their own children. Female teachers have always been having sex with students but only recently have they been criminally prosecuted for it….. Society viewed, and still does view as women needing to be protected from themselves, and these are one of the few instances people suggest men need to be protected from themselves. I personally don’t agree with either situation. People should ALL be held accountable for their actions. If you drown all of your children, you are a cold blooded killer, no excuses. If you rape a woman, you have no self control and need to be locked up, no excuses, no questions.

    All people need to be held accountable for their actions, but in a society where everyone claims to a victim, from murderers, to obese people who blame their genes, I don’t find that very likely to happen.

    • 37 Leslie
      July 14, 2009 at 19:13

      @Steve: I’m sorry, but your comment is utterly ridiculous. It is true that in the past women have received lenient sentences because they were seen as too weak and pathetic to serve a real term (by the way, many would have gladly served a full term, if they could be given the same rights as their male counterparts). But to say that women have gotten away with things and never been held responsible? For centuries, even in western cultures, women were persecuted for being raped! This is still true in many parts of the world. Tell me, what are they getting away with there? And men have been able to legally rape their wives (many of whom were bought for a dowry) as much as they wanted, with no repercussions whatsoever!

      Do you really think that historically women have had the upper hand? I agree that everyone should take responsibility for their actions, but I also think a woman should be able to wear a short dress without consenting that a man has the right to rape her. I think you are very out of touch with society. Here’s a news flash for you: lots of women ARE victims!

  25. 38 Kelly, from Chicago, IL, USA
    July 14, 2009 at 14:39

    @Konstantin in Germany — I don’t think I’ve ever seen a study to suggest that male rape is linked to homosexuality. Rape is a crime of anger and violence and has little to do with sexual attraction.

    @Ann — I agree with you on so many levels. If men were made to face the same restrictions or biases they put on women, they would change their tunes quickly.

    @WHYS — I agree with what others have said here. If men cannot control themselves then they aren’t fit to be in society and we should worry about protecting society from them.

    This excuse is just one of many examples of the projection someone else mentioned; men in a male dominated society have little reason to fear women. It is easier to hate women than face your own psychological issues and figure out why one would hate a woman simply for being a woman. To all the men, what is it that you really hate?

    To all, I would suggest checking out two books: Savage Breast, about a modern day man trying to figure out why he hates women and he investigates ancient, potentially martriarchical cultures; and Homosexuality and Civilization, which while it considers homosexuality, the beginning of the book looks at Greek/Roman culture and the beginnings of Christianity…it demonstrates just how much of the homophobia of today is based on the misogyny of yesterday.

  26. 39 Ann
    July 14, 2009 at 14:43


    Victor are you seriously suggesting that physical and sexual violence towards women is not an issue in Northern European and Protenstant Christian cultures? Because if you are, I beg to differ. Women are raped and beaten EVERYWHERE. Eg on a Saturday night in Glasgow the incidents of domestic violence go up when there’s a Celtic/Rangers football match! And estimates of domestic violence in Britain as a whole range from 1/3 to 1/5 women. No problem in our culture?

  27. 40 Tony from Singapura
    July 14, 2009 at 14:45

    This business of covering up the ladies is all about inbuilt male insecurity. Men can control themselves if they want to – I live in Singapore, land of beautiful women, every day we see them but no harm comes to them because in this society, men look, admire but dont touch.

    In cultures that restrict the dressing of women I would say its origins are about the men not wanting other men to admire his (note concept of ownership)women.

  28. 41 Grahame Shadbolt
    July 14, 2009 at 15:00

    Though your article suggests this isn’t a sharia or islam discussion I think you really are missing the point of the lead article, the actual incident that was reported in Sudan, and misrepresenting the news. Your question is bending to political correctness and suggesting that a different discussion about men in general can be used to excuse extreme institutionalised state sponsored discrimination against women, which of course you might not want to admit is endemic in some (?) states, usually ones based on religious ideologies (PC -even i’m doing it!). The incident itself IS an islamic issue.

    Of course women (and men) should be sensible, and avoid especially provocative dress in particular situations, but regardless of this no man has any right to disrespect or approach a woman in an overtly sexual way without invitation, or make an assualt, whatever the woman may be wearing and no matter what she is not wearing. Coming upon even a naked woman by “chance” is no excuse for a man to disrepect or lose discipline and behave like an animal. Stronger sentances are needed to discipline miscreants.

  29. 42 patti in cape coral
    July 14, 2009 at 15:01

    As far as changing things, a long time ago I read an article where doctors were required to spend a week as a nurse as part of their education. It was quite a wake up call for the doctors, who couldn’t remember ever being that tired, even when they were residents! Maybe a similar thing could be done between men and women? Have a man spend a week as a woman? Alternatively, maybe women could spend a week as a man? Maybe something like that would go a long way toward the sexes understanding, respecting, and appreciating each other.

  30. 43 Roy, Washington DC
    July 14, 2009 at 15:03

    Men don’t need to be protected from anything — they need to realize that a real man respects women.

    • 44 Ann
      July 14, 2009 at 15:13

      Well said that man! 🙂

      • 45 Mslightfoot
        July 14, 2009 at 17:00

        How is this not a discussion about sharia law or any other laws that undermine a woman’s right to be treated fairly, I think that anything, anywhere in the world, that affects one woman’s rights affects all womens rights and sharia law most certainly falls into such a category.

  31. 46 Ros Atkins
    July 14, 2009 at 15:10

    Hi all. Just a reminder that this isn’t a discussion about sharia law or Islam. It’s about how men react to women, and how much of that reaction they can control. The Sudan story is just the starting point. Thanks.

  32. July 14, 2009 at 15:12

    In as much as I disagree with certain laws, cultures and practices in some countries which tend to restrict human freedoms, especially for women, I think all laws are to be respected and obeyed until changed. Failure to obey laws be they against theft or against wearing trousers always have consequences we should bear in mind as we live in our communities.
    I take tea (a lot), for example, if you invited me to visit a community where tea-drinking has been banned, in as much as I will kick and scratch about that unfair law, I will end up turning down your invitation. On the other hand, if I am unable to turn down the invitation such that I find myself in such a community, I will stay off tea for the duration of the visit. If, however, I drink tea, thus breaking their laws, I will take the punishment (40 lashes?) in good faith as a sacrifice to a worthy cause.

    • 48 Grahame Shadbolt
      July 14, 2009 at 15:46

      This is where you are wrong! You would be prepared to take 40 lashes for a trivial offence then you will never be able to change unjust laws. Those of us that appreciate the freedoms we have never forget that it is because of those before us who protested, those who refused to bend to bullying and those who challenge the status quo that chgange and improvements come about.

      If anyone forms a law that is patently ridiculous, like women forbidden from wearing trousers, it will only be because of those who challenge it that it will be changed.

      • July 14, 2009 at 16:02

        @Shadbolt: No one said women should live all their lives taking 40 lashes. The point (mine at least) is: the should be prepared to take the 40 lashes in good faith while they (and some of us) work towards changing the laws. Those who cannot survive 40 lashes should consider staying off places like Sudan, or going there with their burqa’s.

  33. 50 rob z.
    July 14, 2009 at 15:17

    Hello,this is different.
    Well dress codes vary from community to community.
    I live in Florida,so seeing a woman in shorts and a bikini top at the gas-station or shoping mall,is normal during the summer.I may look for a moment ,but that is all.There is no compulsion to approach her or any surge in blood pressure.
    I think those men who loose selfcontrol over just the sight of skin need help.
    If as an adult,man or woman,you lack respect for another persons body,you need counseling.
    Just becuase a woman may wear something less than what I would normaly see on another woman,does not justify me to do anything to her.
    If there are children around and a woman is clearly acting inappropriately,I would ask her to leave;that is all.

  34. 52 Ansurd Carey
    July 14, 2009 at 15:25

    Do men need protecting from themselves?…I’m not so sure about that topic title, because we live in a uni sexual society, and what ever one sex does affects the opposite sex, and bout sex should be responsible and be held responsible for their actions. if women show revealing clothes don’t they expect to get unwanted attention? i think women are very aware that men are visual beings; however I’m not saying that give men aright to abuse women, men also should know that in whatever way they react to women they are responsible. it all apart of co-existing together on this planet, after all isn’t life already hard, why make harder for each other.

    July 14, 2009 at 15:29

    If there are beasts among us, they are on either side of the divide. Sex is a power and both men and women love to wield it; sometimes – just for kicks. There are multiple personalities to each of us whenever we want to subjugate the free world out there with this power; Seduction? Ah yes!A lot of us can do it without uttering a word and should I take my dearest risk now by saying what I think? Nobody does it better than women and don’t you know that clothing; burqa included and body language are part of the toolkit? Women are more aggressive even though they will deny this flatly if you hinted such a thing to them.

    Everywhere you go there are lots of flashing sex languages that even wearing of dark goggles or a burqa cannot eliminate. You have to be totally blind to ignore this fact. Our mothers and aunts include this item in their checklist when they do stock taking of us though we may not be made aware of it. They want to know whether we can register it. This all healthy I don’t mind women saying that they don’t want to be over protected. The only harm happens in cases of public of excesses only.

    • 54 patti in cape coral
      July 14, 2009 at 16:30

      @ Arthur, I think I understand what you mean. Sexuality is a powerful thing, and it can be intoxicating to be able to wield it so as to bring a man to his knees. And even when one surrenders to a man, there is power in the surrender, a conquering feeling when you submit. And I also agree that women in particular are good at it. But how do you draw the line? A man can say that he read invitation in a woman’s eyes, and that’s why he attacked her, but that doesn’t make it true. It should not be used as an excuse for violence.

        July 14, 2009 at 21:34

        @ patti,
        Its difficult as to how you draw a line agree. It depends on the woman or the man and circumstances. Look Patti, education is a culture and one acquires it in order to overcome another culture namely; our nature. Some of the people comenting here are what you would call social deviants through schooling. They reason out of the adopted culture of modernity which has castrated some of them. Too much watching of pornographic material has the same effect of dulling your feelings for sex and unfortunately some have lost it for good. I am not advocating flogging or raping of men or women, but rather admitting that attire is not something passive but rather something at times louder than oral seduction.
        Those who are now denying the implied messages are the ones who will change to something else when going for a job interview. They know too when they are sending messages of attraction to opposit sex or same sex rivals. My take is that, we are more dynamic than we want to posit here. After all we all want to be seen to be innocent; men and women that is.

  36. 56 VictorK
    July 14, 2009 at 15:30

    @Ann: what I’m saying is that different cultures have different attitudes to the treatment of women, and some are better than others. Which Northern Protestant Christian culture endorses the rape of women in certain circumstances, as one religion (as incredulous as people will be) does? Which NP culture is rooted in machismo in the way that many Latin cultures are? In which NPC culture can women suffer mass and systematic rape with little or no response from the authorities (did the Serb Orthodox Church utter a peep about the Bosnian rape camps? Can you imagine Anglican or Methodist churchmen remaining silent in comparable circumstances?). In which NP culture did the authorities rape women with dogs, as occurred in Chile under Pinochet?

    Of course physical and sexual violence occurs in Northern Protestant cultures: the point is the attitudes towards them, which is condemnatory and seeks to punish the assailants. Who was ever tried for the rape (and frequent murder) of tens (hundreds?) of thousands of women in Congo, Darfur, Bosnia and elsewhere?

    If people want to believe that all men everywhere are exactly the same because no culture is better than another, they can. That doesn’t make it true.

    • 57 Rachel in California, USA
      July 14, 2009 at 18:09

      The American South, up to fifty years ago, was a Northern Protestant Christian culture in which thousands upon thousands of women were raped without penalty, for hundreds of years.

      The men who committed the rapes were almost uniformly Protestant Christians of English and Scottish stock. NPC culture approved or looked the other way.

      Fifty years ago this began to change because of the courage and moral superiority of African Americans.

      I don’t think all men are the same; even within the Euro American culture of the American South there were probably many “white” men who never assaulted women.

      I also don’t think any culture is immune to the distortion and violence that arises whenever some men have unchecked power over some women.

  37. July 14, 2009 at 15:42

    In response to Shaimaa’s experiences in Doha and Morocco, a comparison must be drawn. In Qatar as in some other countries, there are laws preventing women from wearing modern dress. In Morocco, there are no such laws. There is only social and family pressure that obliges women not to reveal too much of their skin. Actually Moroccan women are still free to wear topless T-shirts and the like, but still they may have to bear with harassment from men.

    Concerning the responses from men to how women dress, this depends on their personalities. In societies, where it is still a taboo for men and women to have free relations or to be seen together in public, it is still a sensitive issue, as an “indecent” dress is interpreted as an invitation to sex for pleasure or money.

    Men should have control over themselves. They shouldn’t be controlled by instinct and fantasy. Women should dress for self-respect, not by wearing a burqa and also by not wearing clothes that reveal too much when they are sure they can be seen just as a sex object and not as persons whose personality should be respected.

  38. 59 James Turner
    July 14, 2009 at 15:44

    Yes, to a degree men do need to be protected. The thing is it is not a law made by men, (or man) that women should cover themselves. It is from a higher being. It makes sense if you give yourself a chance to understand the reasoning. A great deal of what drives men is what we see………. So a modest women covers herself, to protect men! The lack of modest in the world today is a bases for much of the problems we are having with young ladies today! Because this is 2009 we have to make certain adjustments, so physical punishment of women is not acceptable.

    • 60 patti in cape coral
      July 14, 2009 at 16:08

      Hi James – I do believe that as reasoning and thinking beings, we should be capable of modest behavior, regardless of how we are dressed, and if we believe in that “higher being”, he requires modest behavior from us as well, regardless of outside influences.

    • 61 Mohammed Ali
      July 14, 2009 at 16:53

      Are we now using the concept of “Higher Being” to subject women to what we men would not allow ourselves to be subjected to? Freedom of dressing should not be tied to some religious belief.

    • 63 Alex Q from Portland, OR
      July 14, 2009 at 16:58

      Thank goodness physical punishment is not acceptable. But, what if a “higher being” somehow determines that women should be physically punished and this is communicated (somehow) to an “enlightened” man (e.g. a priest, a rabbi, a mullah)?

  39. 64 Anthony
    July 14, 2009 at 15:53

    It depends where you are and who you are talking about. Personally, it’s not that hard to control yourself, I can’t see how anyone can rape someone.

    However, if a woman is dressing like a prostitute, she shouldn’t be suprised if men look at her and treat her as one.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 65 Mohammed Ali
      July 14, 2009 at 16:49

      It is how those women who are o earn prostitute prefer to earn their living. That does not make them less human or mean that they should be treated as such.

  40. 66 Denise in Chicago
    July 14, 2009 at 15:57

    Ridiculous! If Sudanese men feel they cannot control themselves, then jail them. Better yet, castrate them!

    • 67 Leslie
      July 14, 2009 at 19:26

      Agreed! If this is for the good of society, put the burden on the men to control themselves in one way or another.

  41. 68 Anthony
    July 14, 2009 at 15:58

    @ RCalabraro

    “This is one of the stupidest discussion topics I’ve ever seen on this website. Men run the world, with rare exception. I’d say they do a fairly good job of watching out for themselves.”

    This statement shows that this is a good topic that should be brought into the open.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  42. 69 Ann
    July 14, 2009 at 15:59

    @VicktorK – leaving aside the last paragraph, the way you have outlined your arguments here makes me more inclined to agree with you. I have no problem saying that some cultures do better than others in terms of women equality. But are you saying then that sexual and physical violence towards women is purely socially constructed and maintained? And if that is so, then how on earth can such high levels of domestic abuse and rape in Britian be explained?

  43. 70 Gary Paudler
    July 14, 2009 at 16:02

    It’s summer in Santa Barbara and there are many barely-dressed beautiful women on the beach and strolling freely through town and I haven’t heard or read of
    a single instance of any man’s uncontrollable urge so it must not be biologically irresistible. The very notion comes from repressive societies that treat women as property and keep sexuality forbidden and mysterious rather than something good between consenting, equal adults.
    Rape is not about desire, it’s about violence and control so those are the urges that are expressed and so hard to contain in societies that accept violence, control repression and subjugation.

    Summerland, CA

    • 71 Gary Paudler
      July 14, 2009 at 16:15

      Dear moderator,
      In that last line, there should have been a comma between control and repression.


  44. 72 Ann
    July 14, 2009 at 16:09

    I’m going to say something that might cause an uproar – but please don’t all start shouting at me as I’m only repeating something a number of men have said to me – men who are fine upstanding citizens.

    I’m paraphrasing of course…

    They said – “what you have to understand about men is that we all have moments when we want to force ourselves on women. We can, we have the physical power; it’s only our consciences and the law that prevents us from doing so, but the urge is there make no mistake”.

    Nature or nurture? Well I wonder…

    • 73 Rachel in California, USA
      July 14, 2009 at 18:14

      I suspect all humans sometimes have urges that are morally wrong and legally forbidden. Whatever the specific content of those urges, we all have the responsibility to control our behavior and avoid hurting other people.

      Men who cannot control their urges to rape women belong in protective care and rehabilitative treatment until they learn to bring their behavior in line with their highest moral aspiration, not their lowest impulses to hurt and destroy.

  45. 74 James Ian
    July 14, 2009 at 16:17

    I would say it’s just a way to “abscond men from responsibility for their behaviour?” It’s easier for people to blame someone else then to take responcibility for thier own actions.
    Not very many people have self controle, thats why you see so many fat people and people are so far in debt. That’s why people have more kids then they can afford, and do all sorts of crapy stuff, they have no self contorole. Then when it gets them in trouble they balme other people for tempting them.

  46. 75 Ramesh, India
    July 14, 2009 at 16:19

    There is an alarming trend developing in my region. A youngster usually around 20 gets interested in a girl and starts harrassing the girl to love and marry him. At some point the story gets dirty and the boy throws acid on to the face of the girl. Of late, there are many such incidents but there was one notable incident among them. The police nabbed the accused(about 3) and created an incident if those three trying to esacpe and killed them which is usually called police encounter. The general public applauded the incident whereas human rights groups brought human rights violations charges against police. It remains to be seen whether the police action would discourage acid throwings!

  47. 76 Shannon
    July 14, 2009 at 16:21

    If, as some men assert, they need to be protected from themselves because they lose control when they see a woman in trousers and a T-shirt, then I suspect those same men are incapable of making any sound decisions at all. Look to countries in which this absurd argument is actually accepted. Those countries are desperately poor, thoroughly corrupt, and often hopelessly mired in war…thanks to those same men.

    Small pockets of men in the west also believe they cannot control themselves unless “their” women are covered. Most are poor and uneducated, but a few are dangerously powerful. Both groups are prone to violence.

    Obviously, women AND all of the men who reject this sort of thinking are going to have to raise enough money to build the world’s largest psychiatric unit, round up these poor weak souls, and lock them away for a lifetime of heavy medication and group therapy. Then the rest of us will finally be able to clean up the considerable mess they left behind.

  48. 77 Mohammed Ali
    July 14, 2009 at 16:26

    This is nothing about dress code or what so ever. It is just simply that the “PATRIACHIAL BEHAVIOUR” that most indecent men still hold as part of a decent society.
    I work with Actionaid Liberia and we are implementing a project “ACCESS TO JUSTICE FOR WOMEN” in the South East of the country. These are exactly some of the kinds of indecencies we are fighting to eliminate in our society.
    If dress code is actually an excuse for men raping women, then why indecent men in Liberia rape 3, 4, 5, and etc year old babies? Even 9 month old babies have been raped in this country.
    I don’t hink that women should be restricted to the kinds of dressing they do. If they choose to show thier nakedness in the street once it is not infringing on the rights of others, let them do so.

  49. 78 Mslightfoot
    July 14, 2009 at 16:28

    I’m losing the will to live reading this thread, some guy called Steve is suggesting that because a women in the early or late 19th Century got a light sentence for murder then all women everywhere get away with murder because we’re hysterical and that we always get lighter prison sentences and female teachers are constantly bonking schoolboys but not going to prison for it! And these people [men] want to tell me what to do and what to wear ! I give up….

  50. July 14, 2009 at 16:32

    In the 21st century where equality and full emancipation of women are the basic expected norms, it is really shocking to hear that women are abused and treated abysmally in Sudan. Evidently the law is an ass if women are whipped for wearing trousers! Men have no right whatsoever to subjugate women or to force them to do actions against their will. We should not allow the clock to be turned back nor allow the laws of the jungle to prevail. Expressing oneself through clothes and fashion should be one’s personal choice. Religion is evidently being used as an excuse by intolerant men to bully women. These men should be prosecuted!

  51. 80 Ann
    July 14, 2009 at 16:34


    However, if a woman is dressing like a prostitute, she shouldn’t be suprised if men look at her and treat her as one.

    How exactly should a prostitute be treated?

  52. 81 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    July 14, 2009 at 16:34

    The Swiss town of Neuchatel is quite conservative, but many local woman sunbathe topless at the lake shore in the summer. It is literally unremarkable and no one thinks a thing of it.

    In the Swiss Canton of Appenzell, some hikers choose to hike in the nude. There isn’t any law against it in the Canton. Some locals protest, but no one molests the hikers, male or female (though it’s a really stupid thing to do–ticks, nettles, etc.)

    The rules and norms of behaviour that apply to all human beings do so without regard to gender. The claim that a woman’s clothing, or lack thereof, is a provocation simply shows how uncivilized the person making the claim is. It is not acceptable to attack any person on the basis of his or her clothing. Full stop.

  53. 82 Archibald
    July 14, 2009 at 16:42

    This is nothing but, sexist ignorance, regardless of the country. Those who seek to justify this kind of behavior as cultural, only seek to perpetuate it. Expand this debate to overall world politics and the mess that the majority of male leaders have made of it and it might be interesting.

  54. 83 Justin from Iowa
    July 14, 2009 at 16:42

    Any self respecting man with a spec of honor can resist any “temptation” to rape a woman against her will. The world is full of worthless, honorless scum – whether christian, muslim, or whatever. God will punish the guilty, but we should do anything we can to help.

  55. 84 Rachel in California, USA
    July 14, 2009 at 16:42

    Wearing special clothing seems like a really inadequate way for women to protect themselves from those men who do not have self-control. It would be better to train women in self-defense and even provide them with weapons if necessary, than to trust in hot loose clothing to protect them from men who are out of control.

    Here in California, women walk about the streets with bare heads, arms and legs, and most men do not rape us. So it’s clear that most men can learn to control themselves, regardless of what women wear.

    The reasons for wearing modest clothing, as I understand them, have more to do with dignity and self-respect than with defense from a minority of men who do not exercise self-control. If a woman dresses in a manner that is regarded as provocative in the local culture, she might need to rebuff unwelcome attention, but she should not be a target for sexual assault.

    Dogs who can’t learn to control themselves wear muzzles and are always attended by a human being with a leash. The few men who cannot learn to control themselves should be incarcerated, or forbidden to appear in public without a sane companion who can exercise control at all times.

    • 85 Ann
      July 14, 2009 at 17:01

      Rachel – that made me laugh out loud! In the spirit of the discussion I was having with Konstantin above, the muzzle and leash idea is a novel approach. That might catch on 🙂

      • 86 Rachel in California, USA
        July 14, 2009 at 19:03

        Actually, Ann, I wasn’t suggesting that violent men be muzzled and leashed; that’s an appropriate measure for dogs with uncontrolled biting habits, not men with uncontrolled rapism.

        But if rapist men are allowed out in public, they must be under control, and women’s clothing isn’t an appropriate way to control them (unless the women are wearing full armor, mounted on war horses, and armed).

        Fortunately, as many of the men posting here have pointed out, most men do not suffer from uncontrollable urges to rape women. We are all blessed to be part of a social species in which human connections, friendship, and compassion are the main forms of social bonding, regardless of gender.

  56. 87 Alex Q from Portland, OR
    July 14, 2009 at 16:55

    Based on the rationale of the Sudanese patriarchy, and any other patriarchal system for that matter, men have no responsibility for their actions and no confining rules should be applied to men. That seems to be the case when it comes to sex and sexual behavior.

    But in any democracy, equality in society is essential — without some semblance of equality, there’s no semblance of freedom. So the question should be not whether men need to be protected from themselves but whether societies, like Sudan, where there are two classes of citizens, are doomed to a governmental system based on force and oppression.

  57. 88 Anthony
    July 14, 2009 at 16:56

    @ Ann

    Exactly what a prostitue is for, just as a person to have sex with, and then left alone without paying any respect to her as a person.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 89 leti in palma
      July 14, 2009 at 18:18

      @why not, Anthony? A prostitute is still a person, and deserves respect as such.
      Tsk tsk, you’re already showing your true colours, eh?

    • 90 Halima
      July 14, 2009 at 19:19

      are you saying that a woman who is a prostitute can or should not have any respect paid to her? Then what about her client? is he not equally deserving of no respect?
      or are both human beings who make a financial agreement for a service, the provider deserves to be paid and respected for her service as much as a customer deserves the service he pays for, and no more.

      this,of course is only tangent to the right to wear whatever clothing one wishes to wear, and any interpretation of that is in the mind of the beholder who must bear responsibility for such conclusions in his/her mind.
      ps. I hate the fashion boys have of wearing trousers so low you see their underwear.

  58. 91 John in Salem
    July 14, 2009 at 17:04

    This story is a clear example of why men need protection from themselves – left to their own devices they tend to legislate morality and produce cultures of sexual repression based on infantile Freudian fantasies.
    No doubt there’s another set of rules dealing with spanking…

  59. 92 Paul
    July 14, 2009 at 17:06

    Rachel in California is spot on. I’m Australian and we have loads of chicks getting around in swimmers and so on, and people aren’t being attacked left right and centre. Women should expect attention if they get it out. That’s natural. But men in their right mind can control themselves and do. There are always lawbreakers and women do need to be protected from the minority of lunatics who can’t control themselves. On the other hand I also need to be protected from people who think I can’t control myself just because I’m male. What a load of hogwash. Actually I also need to be protected from people trying to make women cover up because there should be more everywhere for daddy.

    Anyway, guys who attack women should be locked up. But they’re aberrations. The rest of us are normal and don’t need the grief those maniacs bring.

    • 93 Leslie
      July 14, 2009 at 19:59

      Paul, you have my sympathies. This idea of protecting men from themselves is even more offensive if you are in fact a man! I’m sure you (as all others of your sex) are perfectly capable of controlling your sexual urges, and I wish these cowards spouting nonsense would own up to that and accept responsibility for their thoughts and actions!

  60. 94 Shannon
    July 14, 2009 at 17:10


    You wrote, “Men run the world, with rare exception. I’d say they do a fairly good job watching out for themselves.”

    I agree–men do watch out for themselves. That explains why most rape trials here in the U.S. end without a conviction, or why convicted rapists are given skimpy sentences. Also goes a long way in understanding why women do not report in the first place. All over the world men watch out for themselves.

  61. 95 Tracy Fox
    July 14, 2009 at 17:11

    in Portland OR

    It’s purely a control issue. To keep women in a traditional role. Keep women afraid of men if they step out of line.

    From The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker
    Their is a key difference between men and women. Men are afraid women will laugh at them, women are afraid men will kill them.

    A must read for every woman..

  62. 96 patti in cape coral
    July 14, 2009 at 17:17

    A prostitute is a person too, and deserves some respect, doesn’t she/he?

      July 14, 2009 at 18:15

      @ patti
      A prostitute is a trade name and not a person and days its on both sexes. Quite a good number of them know where to display and to whom. They also know that shame and respect belong elsewhere after work and not at the same time. The problem comes when we pay attention and the way we react. It is not obvious for the average to know how they take us when two natures collide.

  63. 98 steve
    July 14, 2009 at 17:17

    The question should really be, should people held accountable for their actions? If a man rapes a woman, he gets convicted and goes to jail. If a man somehow filed a false rape allegation, he goes to jail for lying to authorities. Anyone remember the Duke Lacrosse Rape case, where is turns out the accuser was lying, and an overzealous prosecutor hid excupulpatory evidence so that he could get a conviction, at the price of sending innocent people to jail, just to advance his career? Well the Prosecutory, Nifong actually went to jail for what he did. The woman who filed the false rape allegation faced absolutely no consequences and actually wrote a book about it, so she not only faced no consequences, she made money off of it. How is that holding people accountable for their actions? They were even prepared to withhold her name AFTER it was revealed the claim was false. So society was treating her like a little child. For there to be TRUE equality, everyone must be treated like an adult, and held responsible for their actions.

    • 99 patti in cape coral
      July 14, 2009 at 17:55

      Hi Steve – You said “If a man rapes a woman, he gets convicted and goes to jail. If a man somehow filed a false rape allegation” This is generally true in the states, but it isn’t true everywhere. While I agree that women making false rape allegations should be prosecuted, as they are doing a great disservice to all the actual rape victims, it would be interesting to see out of all of the accusations of rape, how many are actually false. Also, I doubt it could even hold a light to how many rapes go unreported. I don’t think false rape accusation is a rampant problem.

      • 100 Eneida
        July 14, 2009 at 23:21


        I was born and raised in the United States of America but have spent a lot of time traveling to other countries. It is my belief and experience that the USA is the safest place for a women to live when it comes to harrassment, abuse, and violence whether at home, school, the workplace, or the street. Yet even with all this said, even in the US a man will serve a longer prison sentence for drunk-driving (repeat offender) or drug possession than for rape of a women or child?!?!?!?!?!?!?

  64. 101 Justin from Iowa
    July 14, 2009 at 17:19

    Anthony –
    A woman, no matter who she is, from a prostitute to whatever else you might suggest, should be respected. This is going to sound trite, but in all honesty… What would Jesus do? What DID Jesus do?
    I don’t know the muslim faith, but any christian has a clear set of examples as to how you should treat other people.

  65. 102 duckpocket
    July 14, 2009 at 17:21

    Maybe this patronising attitude to women is a reaction to primeval times when the gods that mankind worshiped were predominantly female, not male. It was monotheism that changed this and promoted male superiority to make it stick.

    Could a return to dual gendered polytheism be the answer? Gimme a Goddess quick!

  66. July 14, 2009 at 17:27

    Hi WHYSers!
    I am still a little shocked that we are debating this subject, yet again! It tells how far we have come as a specie. Even in the twenty first century and with all of what that presumes, in terms of advancement and a movement away from ignorance, etc, we are still shackled by this kind of backwardness!

  67. 104 Nigel
    July 14, 2009 at 17:31

    It’s strange that in the developed countries of the West the description of the stereotypical male is dominated by women many of whom may never have had a relationship with a balanced male. Not so strange is the fact that they can keep their stereotype alive by Westernizing the cultural issues of Islam which come from a completely different part of the world. It makes it difficult to take this particular blog seriously.

  68. July 14, 2009 at 17:32

    Whereas it is obvious that we need to have a sense of occassion – men and women, in terms of how we dress, etc, I nonetheless believe that a woman maintains the right to wear whatever she desires, wherever she desires to wear it! The location of discourses about morality whether in or onto the bodies of women as a way for upholding society’s sense of rightness is just plain wrong and a clear effort to control and subject women to the rule of men!..Whatever happened to gains of the Civil Rights and Women’s Movement over the course of the last century?

  69. 106 Nate, Portland OR
    July 14, 2009 at 17:33

    Two points:

    1) Put the consequences of men behaving badly on the men rather than the women being attacked and you’d have very different behavior from the men. Rapists should be severely punished, while women who are raped should be given comfort and face no stigma.

    2) Every society has different norms regarding dress, and those norms tend to be more restrictive for women. Historically in some parts of the world women would go topless and it signaled nothing about their sexual availability. It would be a very bad idea, however, for a woman to walk down the streets of NY, London or any other western city topless. By “bad idea” I mean she bears some responsibility for the responses – short of assault. Appropriate dress is relative. In my view the problem comes when women have to dress in uncomfortable clothing and not participate in certain activities due to extreme modesty requirements. A woman should be able to wear shorts and a t-shirt to play frisbee in the park on a sunny day and have ZERO fear of harassment.

  70. 107 Ann
    July 14, 2009 at 17:41

    In the light of comments from one poster on this blog I would like to send a message to all the sex workers out there…

    Many people, including myself think you are deserving of respect. You do a difficult job most of us women couldn’t handle and do you know what, you probably cut down on the incidents of rape and violence to other women. So thank you for that.

    We wish you had better protection by the law and better healthcare and we wish that people would treat you with respect. We wish that your lives weren’t blighted by poverty and other problems. Please don’t forget that many people do care about you.

  71. 108 Shannon
    July 14, 2009 at 17:47


    So all women are false reporters? Rape is a myth? Is that why you brought up that circus of a trial?

  72. 109 Mike in Seattle
    July 14, 2009 at 17:54

    Healthy adults of sound mind and body are responsible for their actions. Men are not uncontrolable beasts and women shouldn’t have to act in a certain way to be treated as a human being.

    The idea that men can’t control themselves or that women need to act in specific ways is offensive to both groups in the extreme.

  73. 110 Andrew in Australia
    July 14, 2009 at 17:55

    Just as there will always be men (or women) who cannot walk past someone’s property without stealing it, or alcohol without drinking it, etc, etc there will be men who become overwhelmed by desire when faced with a scantily clad female. This does not mean that women are the sole cause of this, there are a certain sectors of society with such problems and they are problems, be they genetic, personal or psychological but they exist and always will. That is why crime occurs. But the vast majority of men in any society manage to control these urges, I say control not extinguish. I know that women have the same desires and in those certain sectors I mentioned, the same problem, after all they are human as men are and subject to the same circumstances. But to use this as a justification to supress women and their expression is purely and simply a cultural tool to maintain control. To say that men cannot control themselves and must be ‘protected’ from desire or temptation, etc is utterly ridiculous and quite simply offensive. That men themselves in some societies make this claim is more insulting, whether they do it as they believe it or just a smokescreen to promote their distorted views of the world. Many will argue about the term normal, but I have no problem using this and say that any ‘normal’ man does not find himself whipped into a lustful frenzy at the sight of a tantalising female. Good grief, let’s be honest, we are biological beings, sexual beings and ultimately driven by our base desires but we have evolved some way above simply acting on impulse – well most have – and put them into context and act appropriately as a result. Perhaps in less open and educated societies this may not be entirely true, but being enlightened about sex and desire in any society aids with intersex relations. But when you have a warped perception about the opposite sex, then such things occur. You would think that covering up might work to the opposite effect and get one’s imagination working feverishly and the old adage that the biggest aphrodisiac is the word “NO”!

  74. 111 Justin from Iowa
    July 14, 2009 at 17:55

    I love how you can talk about islam and how great it is all you want on this blog, but the moment you mention something simple like “what would jesus do” your post gets hammered by the moderators.

  75. 112 Chrissy in Portland
    July 14, 2009 at 17:57

    @ Steve… I complete agree! People absolutely have to be held accountable for their actions. Last I checked I had complete control over my thoughts and actions. If men don’t have that control, does that mean women are superior to men? No, it means men have been allowed to act like animals without consequence and that cannot be allowed to continue!

    It’s natural and normal to look and appreciate a beautiful body, but it’s not normal to lust after that body to an extent that you’re frothing at the mouth and unable to stop yourself from committing violence.

  76. 113 Chintan in Houston
    July 14, 2009 at 17:59

    Sexual assault of women as the article about South Africa suggests is more often than not carried out by people whom the women know hence it is really irrelevant how women dress.
    Conservative societies where women don’t have the freedom to dress as provocatively as you might say like in western countries have wrose records of abuse and rape against women then the so called progressive societies.
    So lets get this one thing understood RAPE IS NOT AN ACT OF SEX, ITS AN ACT OF VIOLENCE where the victims can be men or women.

  77. 114 Tom D Ford
    July 14, 2009 at 18:00

    For people of religion, here is an appropriate quote about this:

    “When the human body is in its God created state, it is labeled by many today as unfit to be seen. The question therefore must be asked, ‘how can we malign something so highly regarded by the Creator Himself without maligning Him?'” — John Kundart.

    It would seem that religious types dishonor their “God” by making people cover up and they also dishonor their “God” by disrespecting and/or raping one of his creations.

  78. 115 Andrew in Australia
    July 14, 2009 at 18:00

    Another point to note, rape and other forms of sexual abuse are not necessarily entirely about sex, they are about power. Women who dress in a so-called appropriate manner are also attacked, unfortunately.

  79. 116 Keith
    July 14, 2009 at 18:03

    @ duckpoet-

    Oh yes let’s all change our religion to help women, it’s that easy!

    As to the “men lose control of their testosterone” point, I would comment that all guys I know that would catcall at a girl or be aggressive towards them are the same guys that have less-than-savory personalities when talking to guys as well. Mild mannered men do not become catcalling womanizers when they see a woman in jeans. Testosterone is an excuse, just as being drunk is an excuse. These guys need to be shown their place one way or another.

  80. 117 Tom D Ford
    July 14, 2009 at 18:04

    I wonder if there are religions or cultures in the world that don’t have these problems?

    Tony mentioned Singapura, are there any more? I wonder about Bali?

  81. July 14, 2009 at 18:04

    Young men have really strong sex drives. When I was 4 or 5 years old I was getting aroused just looking at women in their 30s with breasts well inside their clothing. I was like a young puppy latching onto women only knowing it felt good to hump their legs.

    There was ample screaming and slaping from women onto me for being a disturbing awlful little boy. So it was imparted onto me you just cannot go around doing things that might feel good. I did not have any idea about the facts of life or anything about what women had and what men do to women sexually.

    If men are older and more powerful to exert their wants on women and simply take them, and have them……Some women will like it and they will get encouraged to aggressively and confidently just take and mate with women.

    If women do not want to be treated by rough men, as animals mate they really do need to protect themselves with long hat pins or with a serious weapon life a hand gun. It should be socially acceptable for women to blow off sexual organs if men use violence against them.

    If I were a woman and some religious nut case started beating on me for not wearing what they thought I should be wearing……I’d attack and use whatever force and discomfort necessary to make them reconsider their ability and freedom to attack women. Women have the right to take corrective action against those who are armed with penises and stupidity.

    troop on the Oregon Coast

  82. 119 Justin from Iowa
    July 14, 2009 at 18:05

    And, once the post is buried 10 deep and now “behind” the discussion and unlikely to be read, its approved. Viva la censorship!

  83. 120 VictorK
    July 14, 2009 at 18:05

    Alex Q from Portland, OR July 14, 2009 at 16:55 wrote: “Based on the rationale of the Sudanese patriarchy…”. Did you read the story? what did it have to do with feminist nonsense-term of ‘patriarchy’? This whole debate is way too PC for me.

    patti in cape coral July 14, 2009 at 17:17 wrote: “A prostitute is a person too, and deserves some respect, doesn’t she/he?” Yes, she deserves respect and consideration as a person; not – never – as a prostitute.

    ‘Men’ don’t need protecting because the harm some of them do will be suffered by women. Women need protecting and in a civilised country they get it from the legal system. What more is there to debate? Why politicise a criminal matter?

    @Shannon: I can’t speak for the US but here in the UK the low conviction rate for rape is because of the frequent lack of persuasive evidence. Thankfully We aren’t yet in the nightmare world of the feminists in which an accusation of rape would be all that’s needed to put a man – possibly an innocent, because some women do lie – behind bars.

    • 121 patti in cape coral
      July 14, 2009 at 19:20

      @ VictorK – I’m not sure what you mean, you can respect the person but not the prostitute? I’m not sure I understand. If I know a person is a prostitute, and they pass out on the street or something, I will help them, whether she was “on the job” or not.

  84. 122 steve
    July 14, 2009 at 18:05

    @ Chrissy

    Completely agreed, but EVERYONE needs to be accountable for their actions. Not just men. Different sexes tend to do different things, and men can be violent, sexually violent, and women can do things, but it seems society punishes what men do more seriously, and give women a pass. Until society holds EVERYONE accountable for their actions, whether it be a male rapist, or a female teacher molesting students, there will not be equality.

  85. 123 Isabelle
    July 14, 2009 at 18:06

    When i was a kid growing up in the 50s, it was always said that women would never be able to hold down ‘real’ jobs because they were at the mercy of their hormones, unstable, emotional, hormonal etc etc.

    Now we are apparently prepared to use exactly the same excuses for the behavious of men. Poor dears. At the mercy of their raging hormones. Well perhaps they should stay home where they will be safe and we can keep an eye on them, and leave the serious work to women. (Who have apparently now learned to control themsleves that goodness….)

  86. 124 steve
    July 14, 2009 at 18:07

    @ Shannon

    I just stated one case where she wasn’t held accountable for her actions. How can you imply that I mean that means all rape allegations are false? All I know, is that she faced ZERO consequences for HER false rape allegations, and made money off a book, and the district attorney who prosecuted her case went to jail. Why wasn’t SHE held accountable for her actions?

    Remember the case of the runaway bride who claimed the was kidnapped, basically implicating minorities, and then wasted police resources looking for her that could have been used elsewhere, simply because she got cold feet? Wasn’t held accountable for actions…

  87. 125 Dan Turner
    July 14, 2009 at 18:09

    The people who suggest that men cannot control themselves when women are dressing “immodestly” or “indecently” are would-be rapists.

    As a man, I can choose to look away if something offends or entices my eye, and to suggest otherwise is demeaning.

  88. 126 Justin from Iowa
    July 14, 2009 at 18:10

    One thing though, women shouldn’t get up in arms if men LOOK if they dress less than modestly (by whatever moral standard you wish to judge). If you reveal whatever in public, then its in public, to be looked at and stared at. If you don’t want to be ogled, don’t show so much.

  89. 127 steve
    July 14, 2009 at 18:11

    I think people need to understand something. There are consequences for actions. Should people be able to wear anything they want? Yes, but only in a perfect world. We don’t live in a perfect world. We could have this show about tattoos. Should people hold against you if you have visible tattoos that you can’t hide with your clothes? Have a tattoo on your face? Should people discriminate against you? is it right? Maybe, maybe not, but the reality, the consequences of your choice to get that tattoo is that you probably won’t be getting hired for professional jobs.

    There are consquences for each and every action you take.

  90. 128 Anthony
    July 14, 2009 at 18:11

    @ Justin from Iowa

    No one deserves respect unless they deserve it. If a woman is to sell crack to kids, or cheating on her husband with a bunch of guys (and guys for that matter), they don’t deserve any respect, just like most of the prostitutes out there.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 129 Halima
      July 14, 2009 at 19:26

      then neither do their clients.
      prostitution can be viewed as a business transation like any other.
      Remember, a woman cannot be a prostitute unless someone buys what she has to sell. Either both the client and the seller are wrong or neither are.
      I, personally find it distasteful, but something that really is up to the free adults involved (that is, if the woman is free to choose – in many cases, she is not.)

    • 131 May
      July 23, 2009 at 20:46

      *agrees* I shall not respect a woman who willing chooses to be a prostitute (of course, it is different for a woman forced into prostitution).Such women reverse womens’ rights and give us a bad name.

  91. 132 Stephen in Portland/Oregon
    July 14, 2009 at 18:13

    This is directly related to how you where raised as a child and your environment. You can’t say every member of the male species needs protected from themselves! indeed geographic and environment factors play a large role in how you see women in society today.

    When all the song lyrics say Bitch this and Ho that and we wonder why there is so many babies momas out there.

  92. July 14, 2009 at 18:13

    Anyone who knows something about rape or sexual assualt is aware that offenders do not attack their victims based on “their desire of the moment”, they stalk their victims and wait until someone is vulnerable and would find it harder to scape the attacker. So covering up has nothing to do with a man being able to control himself and if someone wants to attack what you wear is not important.

  93. 134 Anthony
    July 14, 2009 at 18:14

    @ the women on saying that “it doesnt matter what a woman is wearing”

    Well, then I can wear a shirt that says “All women belong in the bed or in the kitchen” and you can’t look at me weird or say anything, since just beacuse I look like a chauvinistic misogynistic male doesn’t mean I am one. Sound fair 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 135 Halima
      July 14, 2009 at 19:27

      If you were not a chauvinistic misogynistic male, you would not wear such a shirt, unless you were trying to provoke. or illiterate, perhaps.

  94. July 14, 2009 at 18:15

    Ridiculous. One might say women earn a stare or two in a ‘revealing’ outfit, but to suggest that men can’t control themselves because of bodily exposure is completely worthless. It’s like saying if one were to place a beautiful dish before a man for dinner and he cannot wait to begin eating, the fault is on the cook’s temptous cooking and not the guest’s poor manners. Humans may not always be accountable for their thoughts, but almost always for any actions that follow.

  95. 137 paul in oregon
    July 14, 2009 at 18:15

    Men have the responsibility to control their urges and if they can’t they shouldn’t be allowed to live in a civilized culture. If there is a nice new car sitting with the keys in it doesn’t give you the right to drive off in it. Women should be able to wear what ever they please. That being said women do exploit men. They dress nice to elicit a response from men. People are human, why should we expect them to be anything else. Also if guys didn’t want sex we as a species would have died out along time ago.

  96. 138 Erika
    July 14, 2009 at 18:15

    Time to shut off the BBC and World Have Your Say as YET AGAIN as it seems to think that debating whether or not women should have the same rights as men and should subjugate themselves is even a topic that is up for debate.

  97. 139 Chuck Hulsey
    July 14, 2009 at 18:16

    Are Muslim men such animals that they can’t control themselves around women. If a woman winks or acknowledges a woman dressed in western civilian clothing what’s wrong with that? Being noticed is nice. But if a man then gets aggressive with the woman then that’s the man’s problem. The woman has done nothing wrong. This outdated, ancient, backwards thinking is just ridiculous. It would appear that Muslim men don’t want to accept responsibility for their actions. They always want to blame the woman.

  98. 140 Erin in Salt Lake City
    July 14, 2009 at 18:16

    Just as a car or house left unlocked is more vulnerable to theft than one locked up and secured, so a woman in revealing clothes is more vulnerable to unwanted male attention. Nonetheless, the owner of the unlocked house or car is not at fault if burgled; the thief is still the criminal. Additionally, the house or car left locked and secured is still at risk for a break-in; the risk is merely reduced.

    As with thieves, so with men. Decent people of either sex are able to control their impulses — even when faced with temptation.

  99. 141 Keith
    July 14, 2009 at 18:16

    Ha! I was going to post a comment completely contradictory comment to this before I heard the girl speaking. “No matter what wear, it shouldn’t evoke any reaction from a man. I can wear a skirt that shows the bottom part of my butt, and wear a shirt that shows my breasts, and if a guy winked at me I would be completely offended!”

    A man should never, ever be aggressive towards a women. However, suggestive comments or sly winks are perpetrated by women as well- and you know what I do? I get over it. I have more important things to worry about.

  100. 142 Derek in Vienna
    July 14, 2009 at 18:16

    Why is there no discussion of what the limitations of men’s clothing should be? There is no consideration of this issue because of a transparent male control of religion and the discussion on this issue. Insofar as men can be aroused by what women wear, women can also be aroused by what men wear. We are all responsible for controlling ourselves. Perhaps if the issue was dealt with fairly from a gender perspective, the men forcing this issue–who do not attempt to control their urges–may find bagging up women in burqas less attractive. Why is it that men should not wear burqas, or abayas, or hijabs, or the like, to prevent women from being aroused?

  101. 143 VictorK
    July 14, 2009 at 18:16

    @Steve: in the Duke case race and class were as important as gender. It was an attempted political lynching by the legal system of ‘privileged’ white males, who were in desperate need of protection from a stripper of colour who’d made false rape accusations.


  102. 144 margaret
    July 14, 2009 at 18:16

    First of all men have to be able to “control themselves”. Secondly it depends on the context as to what people wear–dress codes, laws, religious requirements, social codes. Average people can wear what they want within these restrictions. Even more importantly a person needs to really look at themselves in the mirror and realize that the mini skirt, the spandex, the crop t looks terrible on the too fat person or if one has varicose veins or a lot of cellulite, for example. I also think that the clothing issue is much less important than the physical attractiveness issue in “causing a man to lose control”.

  103. 145 Curtis Edson
    July 14, 2009 at 18:17

    A woman’s beauty gives noone a right to touch or otherwise assault a woman. Sex must be concentual.

    If a woman has a beutiful, naked face, does this give the right to a man to touch her…no.

    If a gay man is attracted to another man in shorts, he has no right to touch the other man. With the logic of the question asked, men should have to be completely covered from head to toe, based on the risk of provoking a gay man that is attracted to the other.

    I appreciate a woman’s beauty, and they should not have to cover up because I find them beautiful. I must exercise my own self control. This must be the case for all men. If a man attacks a woman that he deems beautiful in any way, then he must pay the consequence, and not the woman.

  104. 146 Troy in New York
    July 14, 2009 at 18:17

    It is absurd and unfortunate that there are people in this world that remain fearful of sexual impulse and continue to blame the subject of their desire for their own irresponsible actions. Sounds a lot like “the Devil made me do it.”

  105. 147 Ramesh
    July 14, 2009 at 18:20


    My name is Ramesh and I am working with the Ministry of Defense in Kuwait. I am here on a contract and staying alone away from my family. I am married for almost 7 years and fathered a kid.. so I consider myself normal.. I see women dressed scantily many times, however, I just look at them because it is very normal for someone to look at a girl who dress in a certain way. But I dont pass a comment or make any advances. If I could do that, I feel everybody else can do that. People who are saying that they get provoked by looking at a girl like that, they are just giving an excuse.

    Ramesh from Kuwait.

  106. 148 Heather
    July 14, 2009 at 18:21

    Anyone’s dress can and will provoke some reaction. After all, if a man goes out in public dressed in the infamous Borat swimsuit, he will likely be gawked at. But there is no excuse for reaction to _any_ dress to be offensive.

  107. 149 Kathleen
    July 14, 2009 at 18:21

    Men need to take responsibility for their actions. A woman cannot live her life pleasing the different expectations of different men from different cultures. How ridiculous. Perhaps men could place a standard of decency on themselves. Stop raping women, beating women, having children without caring for them and producing violence against other men.

    Portland Oregon

  108. 150 Chris
    July 14, 2009 at 18:22

    If you can’t control your urges then you have a problem. There are well defined psychological conditions in ‘western’ societies that can result in an inability to control one’s urges. However, most people do not suffer from these and should be held accountable for their actions. People will dress according to their own cultural and social norms, but in my ‘western’ opinion, men of the world need to mature with regard to their treatment of women. Boys sometimes ‘can’t help themselves’, men have discipline and restraint. Every person is individually responsible for their own actions and responses as long as they are mentally healthy. These issues about how women dress are simply oppressive excuses for men to misbehave.

  109. 151 Tasha
    July 14, 2009 at 18:22

    Isn’t this premise that men need protecting kind of insulting to men? Are they animals that are provoked beyond their own control? It’s ridiculous! You can’t put the blame for what a man does upon some woman that he saw dressed in such-and-such a way. Perhaps he can form an opinion of her, but the idea that men are so weak-willed and unintelligent that they have to be protected from the image of a woman’s flesh is absurd and insulting to all my male friends.

  110. 152 Dave
    July 14, 2009 at 18:22

    I personally believe that the issue should be focused upon modesty rather than “what women dress”

    As a Baha’i, I believe that men and women must exhibit modesty in all things. This means that women must be concious of the clothes they wear, and that men must be modest in their comments, compliments must not ogle other women.

  111. 153 Guy in Portland
    July 14, 2009 at 18:23

    I can’t believe that men would blame women for their lack of self-control.
    I understand that we should respect certain traditions depending on the place where we live or travel, but it is such a depressing thing to always hear this argument that women are looking for trouble if they dress in particular ways.
    It just shows that up to a certain degree, a lot of people think it is OK for a man to become aggressive towards a woman. Not only that, but she deserves it.

    If you don’t have sex on your mind at all time, it should not be a problem. But that’s how men are, unfortunately.
    I know, I know, I am stereotyping.

  112. 154 steve
    July 14, 2009 at 18:24

    At least in the west, women dress provacatively for attention. Though they only want attention from certain men, ones they deem attractive. If you look at any store that carries womens magazines, the magazines are ALL about their physical appearances so they can attract men. Just go to the grocery store and look at the women’s magazines. Look at stores and see how much of the store is dedicated to makeup, etc… The women’s clothing sections in stores is much larger than the men’s departments. To say this isn’t an attention issue is being VERY dishonest.

  113. 155 Abigail W
    July 14, 2009 at 18:25

    I am so glad you are having this discussion! I love the give and take from the different cultures and genders. I’m American but try to keep an open mind and learn about different cultures. But the focus here is so refreshing in that the men have responsibility for their own behavior and choices. It should not entirely be the womans’ responsibility. I understand the reason for the jihbab and burca from a religious point of view. no one can deny a person, in this case a woman, from wanting to follow their beliefs. That’s an individual freedom, one that we are lucky enough to have in the US.

  114. 156 Sofia
    July 14, 2009 at 18:25

    It is the fact that although societies have evolved with clear precepts of decorum and proper social behaviour that we still have barbarians among us.

    The issue therefore is that women should do all in their power to protect themselves from injury/attack. If that means that we dress more modestly then we need to determine whether the priority is fashion/comfort or safety.

    But even modesty will not cure savagery!

  115. July 14, 2009 at 18:25

    I believe people should not be dictated on or punished for what they wear. However, there is always an appropriate place and time to wear or not wear certain attire. You wouldn’t wear just your underwear at a formal meeting or job interview, just like you wouldn’t yell profanity in a library. Of course you should not be flogged for either of these indiscretions, but as for women complaining about being able to wear whatever whenever, imagine if a man decided to go topless in say an office or restaurant! That could very well elicit negative (or positive) responses. Though no one should be punished for wearing what they want, you must expect consequential reactions to what one wears in any given setting.

  116. 158 Scott [M]
    July 14, 2009 at 18:25

    I am getting terribly sick of WHYS. I used to like this show and advocate for it. But it really has gone downhill. Many topics lately are so absurd, that one wonders whether they are actually meant to be serious—or if the joke is on us, or “The World.”

  117. July 14, 2009 at 18:26

    Humans are animalistic creatures with destructive impulses, and it is through civilization and socialization that we can rise above these dark impulses. If men can’t control their impulses when they see a scantily clad woman then it is to say that men are no more than animals who can’t control themselves. Societies enforce men to act on their impulses and until our societies demand that men behave humanistically toward women, no matter how they are dressed, then we will still have violence and inequality towards women.

  118. 160 Sarah
    July 14, 2009 at 18:27

    I think its ridiculous to say that what a woman wears can be an excuse for how a man acts. It may draw attention from men, however if a man wears a certain outfit it will draw attention from women. But what it boils down to is that each person is responsible for their own actions. Otherwise how is this different than saying that it is ok for someone to attack someone in overtly religious dress, and blame the way they look for why they are attacking them.

  119. 161 Chuck Hulsey
    July 14, 2009 at 18:27

    Women are not responsible for the reactions men experience from what they’re wearing. I’m a gay man who sees attractive men every day but it doesn’t cause me to want to jump them. Good grief. Let’s get serious people. What about the reverse situation where women experience reactions from what a man wears?

  120. 162 Andrew
    July 14, 2009 at 18:27

    Seriously, dress accordingly, people in America dress inappropriately all the time, but most men control their urges. Maybe it has to do with the over-saturation of booty. Hell, what about when men dress scandalously, women and gay men can be just as harassing if not more so than a straight man to a girl in a bikini. Point is, if you can’t control your urges, maybe you should seek help. If your a hot girl in a bikini, don’t traipse around a conservative country.

  121. 163 Jennifer
    July 14, 2009 at 18:28

    I can’t believe so many women still accept this form of subservience. If a man wears a nice watch on the street, is he tempting people such that one would be justified in harassing him for his wealth or robbing him of the watch?

  122. 164 steve
    July 14, 2009 at 18:28

    Just a reminder, those who are constantly seeking out attention have low self esteem.

  123. 165 rad rich
    July 14, 2009 at 18:28

    I have seen women wear nothing but high heels and shorts up there butt. Women have to take responsibility with what they wear. That is when they wear that kind of stuff then expect the harassment that comes with it. That incledes geting sexually attacked with slabs on the butt ect.. What i see now is youngs wrong ls dressing like that and that becomes a problem. When they dress like that it becomes a problem as they think its cool to do. But women cant complain if they choose to dress this way but young women have to understand why they are dressing like that.

    • 166 Halima
      July 14, 2009 at 19:36

      so if you wear trousers down low, it is ok for me to come up to you and pull them down ? I often think that when I see teenage boys with the modern fashion, but would never act on that impulse.

      or rob people I see using a blackberry or iphone. Though I have to admit a the thoughts are there(among many others which I would never dream of acting on and do not require that other people behave in such a way as to not inspire my fantasies – how is that possible? to protect everyone from everyone else’s fantasies, no matter how mild? ridiculous. look, admire, think thoughts but do not act on them. stupid idea that it is ok to react to someone’s inappropriate behaviour with your own inappropriate behaviour.

  124. 167 Scott in Portland
    July 14, 2009 at 18:29

    Men do not need to be protected from themselves. Any problems that arise from men (rape, violence against women, etc) have nothing to do with the clothing decisions made by women. Violence against women, sexual violence in general, are crimes related to power. Those who perpetrate such violence want to assert power and control over the victims. In the context of the question “what dress is appropriate in order to avoid a negative response from men?” The answer is: anything. I would be perfectly comfortable with people choosing to forgo the wearing of clothes – if they so choose. Nakedness or revealing clothing do not effect violence; men’s responses are unrelated to clothing. Claiming that men must be protected from themselves is a way to shift blame for a crime from perpetrator to victim.

  125. 168 Jay from Cleveland, Ohio
    July 14, 2009 at 18:29

    I have no problem with what women wear theses days. However, for every action, there’s a reaction. From my experience, women wear short skirts and shirts for many of reasons, especially for attention and comfort. When they do that, they should expect good, bad or indifferent reactions. As far as the men are concerned, you can tell what kind of men they are by the reaction they give when they see a woman wearing what she’s wearing. So my point is for women, expect every reaction you receive and don’t be surprised. If you’re offended by the reactions receive, then discontinue to wear those articles.

  126. 169 Andreas, Amsterdam
    July 14, 2009 at 18:30

    I love my wife, and sometimes find it sad if other women attract my attention. Of course, this is not only related to dressing; but a provocatively dressed woman is much more likely to catch my eye.

    I think the talk about whether it’s men’s or women’s fault is pointless. It’s a fact: men will look at pretty women, especially if they dress in a sexy way.

    Men need to deal with this; I sometimes wish women would be a bit more considerate. They have power over men, and they should use it with consideration.

    There are circumstances when it’s really not appropriate to wear a low cut top. For example, I recently was on a funeral. There was a young and quite pretty girl there, maybe 16; she looked like she was about to go out in the evening, with tight jeans, stomach free, and a tight, low cut top. This upset me.

  127. 170 Marci
    July 14, 2009 at 18:30

    A man can be distracted from focusing his attention on a woman if alerted of a family emergency. This makes me think they can exercise greater self control at will, and that this issue about women’s dress reflects a cultural/social pattern.

    Now the next question is this: Why on earth would we allow such undisciplined people to manage critical social structures such as governments, militaries, courts, or banks?

  128. 171 Mary
    July 14, 2009 at 18:30

    for the men calling in blaming the women, in one way don’t you think you are openly admitting your lower intelligence, pulling the curtain away to reveal your inability to figure out something as simple as keeping your hands to yourself? in other words, are women so much more highly evolved & men so under evolved that we females have to restrict our behavior to make sure men dont hurt us? this is another way for men to attempt to control women, taking away freedoms, ie freedom of dress and/or freedom of movement, makes women depend on men, which perpetuates abuse & violence & control, which from the male perspective (such as the Sudan case) is the ultimate goal. to see it as anything else is fool hearty and dismissive.

  129. 172 Keith
    July 14, 2009 at 18:30

    Ultimately, I would say that a woman should have the right to wear what she wants, but if she wants to be treated with a modest reaction she should dress in a modest way, she should dress in a modest fashion, with concern to the present culture, and in the same standard as the men in that culture.

    It is not okay for a man to catcall at a woman, but a muscular man could be catcalled at by women if he walked shirtless. I am okay with obeying a standard of modesty, as long as it is a relatively even standard between men and women.

  130. 173 Matt in Portland, OR
    July 14, 2009 at 18:31

    In Portland it is legal (although very rare) for women to be in public without wearing a shirt. The thought being that if men can do it women can too.

    If a short skirt renders a man unable to control himself than he isn’t a decent human being. The idea that violence against women can be rationalized because of how they may dress is ridiculous and quite honestly offensive.

    Every society has a right to determine decency for itself but violence against women is never justified.

  131. 174 Heiðar (Iceland)
    July 14, 2009 at 18:31

    I think that women should be allowed to wear whatever they want, just as much as men. I also think that men should be responsible for their actions – no matter how a woman is dressed.
    However, they might also want to keep in mind that certain men might harras them for it and even rape them. While those men should clearly be punished, the harrasment might have been prevented by not wearing provocative clothes.

    We have freedom of speech in Iceland, but if you say something to deliberately insult someone, you might get punched. Even though the person who assaults you is at fault and should be punished, you could just as well not have offended him.

  132. 175 Chrissy in Portland
    July 14, 2009 at 18:31

    @ Steve… You are absolutely right! I didn’t mean to imply that women were less accountable than men. I was just speaking in regards to the current topic.

    As a female, I have experienced these types of situations in various degrees. Most women walking down the street have experienced the catcalls from a group of men working on a construction site. I wonder if other listeners think that more men behave this way when they are in groups due to peer pressure?

  133. July 14, 2009 at 18:31

    most women cause men to look at them with there looks/accsesories such as turn blonde just for attention.

  134. 177 mike
    July 14, 2009 at 18:31

    a man who rapes a woman because she wears something sexy is a coward. and it is not because the woman wears this or that. that man would rape anyway if he believes he could get away with it. a society that humiliates a woman because of her free choice to wear whatever she feels like wearing is a cowardly society, and God has got nothing to do with it. no one has ever, ever sat down for a chit-chat with God to get his opinion on our modes of dressing. and this ony reinforces the argument that God is a concept which everyone twists and molds to suit selfish purposes.

  135. 178 steve
    July 14, 2009 at 18:32

    I see this on a daily basis. Women love attention, so long as it’s from someone they find desirable. So if you’re out at some bar, and a well dressed guy looks at a woman and pays her a compliment, she’s flattered. If she goes outside, and the homeless guy who smells like urine says the same thing, she’s offended. So this is about attention, and who it comes from. So basically it comes down to, if she finds you are attractive, it’s welcome, if you aren’t attractive to her, it’s offensive.

  136. 179 Tomas in New York City
    July 14, 2009 at 18:33

    I can’t possibly imagine why women should be lashed for men not being able to control themselves? I would say it’s a very poor justification which is actually rather ridiculing local men for not being able to deal with their own feelings as adults.

    However, every place has a certain dress code which should be respected at least to a certain extent and indeed certain attire of both men and women can provoke a reaction since clothes are simply just another mean of communicating one’s social status, current mood etc.

    If you, both men and women, send out a message be prepared to receive a reply.

  137. 180 Dorothy
    July 14, 2009 at 18:33

    I’m mystified why we are still talking about this. We talked about this topic in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and on and on. A man who “cannot control himself” is a rapist. Rape is a crime. Please explain how some men do NOT respond and some do. Please explain why some men will rape ANYONE – even 80 and 90 year old women. It is NOT about how the woman looks, it is about the sickness in the individual man.

  138. 181 Julia in Portland
    July 14, 2009 at 18:33

    This has never been about discretion. It has always been about power and control of women.

    Throughout history you can see societies trying to control women by making laws regarding most things including dress.

    If you look at many societies who have long respected and considered women as equals, you don’t see these kinds of rules.

    It’s about power not sex!

  139. 182 Emilie
    July 14, 2009 at 18:34

    Men need to be held accountable for their actions. I don’t think it’s really about what women wear, it’s more about how societies view women. If women are second class citizens and viewed as sex objects, then men feel empowered to be aggressive and lewd toward women, regardless of how they’re dressed.

    We also have to remember that what’s provocative varies from society to society. There are societies where both sexes wear virtually nothing or wear women traditionally go topless, in these societies men are able to handle that, because it’s the norm. I’ve also gone to co-ed nude spas, and the men were perfectly able to control themselves. So the belief that if men see women without clothing, they won’t be able to control themselves is garbage. Again, it goes more to the position of women in society than the inability of men to control themselves, it’s just a blame-the-victim stance.

    Men look at women and women look at men (we have desires, too), we’re human, but we should all know not to attack or be sexually aggressive. If we cross that line, we should be held accountable for our actions.

  140. 183 Kenny South
    July 14, 2009 at 18:34

    I find this whole, his fault, her fault coversation superficial.. There are two great powers in our lives . Honest women know what thier power is and men have their power. This is generaly known ,seldom aknowledged. There is a social pact well known, not always observed, for men not to use their physical strength advantage. The other side of this pact should be for women to be carefull how they use their physical attraction, which for all it`s problems is a basic force of nature, and I´m sure most women would not be happy if men were not attracted to them.. Imagine that

  141. 184 evi
    July 14, 2009 at 18:34

    great topic….

    once i was working in a theatre company as a carpenter. i was the only female on the shop staff. this was in los angeles, in the summertime, and one day i wore shorts to work. not short-shorts, just regular shorts. i am not flashy. but as i was doing my work, i found all my male co-workers standing around watching me. i got called into the foreman’s office , despite the fact that i was the one person on the floor actually doing their work. the men were not reprimanded, as far as i know.

    everyone likes pretty things. if you see a beautiful garden, don’t you stop and take a second look? if i see a particularly attractive man or woman, i’ll stop and look again….pretty things are nice. women can look at men just as much as men can look at women.

    men must be able to control themselves. these urges should not become all-consuming. “boys will be boys” doesn’t cut the mustard. a polite comment to a woman on her appearance is fine, and even having sexual thoughts about a woman on the street is fine, but agression, violence and censorship are not.

    opb listener, portland oregon

  142. 185 Emilie
    July 14, 2009 at 18:35

    Men need to be held accountable for their actions. I don’t think it’s really about what women wear, it’s more about how societies view women. If women are second class citizens and viewed as sex objects, then men feel empowered to be aggressive and lewd toward women, regardless of how they’re dressed.

    We also have to remember that what’s provocative varies from society to society. There are societies where both sexes wear virtually nothing or where women traditionally go topless, in these societies men are able to handle that, because it’s the norm. I’ve also gone to co-ed nude spas, and the men were perfectly able to control themselves. So the belief that if men see women without clothing, they won’t be able to control themselves is garbage. Again, it goes more to the position of women in society than the inability of men to control themselves, it’s just a blame-the-victim stance.

    Men look at women and women look at men (we have desires, too), we’re human, but we should all know not to attack or be sexually aggressive. If we cross that line, we should be held accountable for our actions.

  143. 186 leti in palma
    July 14, 2009 at 18:37

    Hi Ros…you said it: ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS..!

    Why should I have to think about whether a man is going to make comments/get aggressive when i get dressed in the morning?

    If men are so incapable of controlling their “lack of respect” for women , may i suggest: “OFF WITH THE GOOLIES!!”. Ta.

  144. 187 rosa
    July 14, 2009 at 18:37

    Asking “can men control themselves?” is tantamount to asking “did the Holocaust happen?” or “is Islam a religion?” Many questions are arguable at the stasis of fact (e.g., Columbus obviously didn’t “discover America” in 1492). I’m deeply disappointed that this program would take as its starting point even the tiniest suggestion that a man cannot control his reactions to women’s dress. In suggesting lack of control is possible, this program is doing damage to women — and men, particularly young men — around the globe.

  145. 188 Chrissy in Portland
    July 14, 2009 at 18:39

    Two situations I’ve experienced: On one trip to Amman, Jordan, I was walking downtown with female members of my family that were covered head to toe while I was wearing jeans and a tank top. I remember being very uncomfortable because of several men that began to approach and follow me on the street. Eventually, I became so concerned about my safety I decided to put on a scarf and some long sleeved clothing to avoid the attention. It worked, but I was really frustrated that in order for me to feel safe and be able walk down the street without harassment that it had to come to that.

    When I was younger I also experienced violence at the hands of a man I was dating. After the ordeal, he blamed the experience on passion. Should someone else’s “passion” result in me being in pain and covered in bruises? Absolutely not! His “passion” should (and did) result in him serving jail time!

    People have to be held accountable for their actions!

    • 189 May
      July 23, 2009 at 20:27

      Good for you!I was assaulted once by a male family member who suffered rape as a child, I told him I knew he had problems but if he ever did that again I would contact the police.

  146. 190 Aaron from Portland Oregon
    July 14, 2009 at 18:39

    I am a male and I find it ridiculous that the way a woman dresses makes it ok to sexual molest her. In addition, I am a man and i think that men who have trouble controling their urges are the exception not the rule. most men can control them selves just as well as women but there are a few men out there who just confirm the stereotype and make the rest of us look bad.

  147. 191 al
    July 14, 2009 at 18:40

    from my experience normally the guys who disrespect women are the guys who wont get any attention from these women otherwise and the guys who respect and are laid back get all the girls

  148. 192 Charley
    July 14, 2009 at 18:41

    If women must dress modestly, then men should do so as well. It’s a question of mutual respect and fairness.

  149. July 14, 2009 at 18:41

    This is getting a little ridiculous. I can’t help but believe that most civilized territories know how to respond in an environment where provocatively clothed woman are present. Do these people have no self control?

  150. 194 Ville Kulmala
    July 14, 2009 at 18:43

    I am a man.

    I think it is just a matter of discipline. Men must be able to control themselves and their feelings. I like the idea of classical British gentleman in this sense.

    I don’t agree on limiting women’s clothing is the right way to go about this matter.

  151. 195 al
    July 14, 2009 at 18:43

    ..if you have to disrespect a woman to get her attention basically you are a loser

  152. 196 Ronell
    July 14, 2009 at 18:43

    Men naturally are aroused by sight much more than women are. This can be observed from the plethora of sexual adds that target men. I think is obvious that if women are dress scantily they will experience a much higher incidence of harassment. It is not right but we live in lustful and sinful world. A woman’s dress code can definitely be provocative.

  153. 197 sally in usa
    July 14, 2009 at 18:43

    All normal, healthy adults are capable of self-control involving their own behavior – even men. To suggest that men are not able to control themselves implies they are less tha human.

  154. 198 Scott [M]
    July 14, 2009 at 18:44

    @ VictorK,

    Yes, WHYS doesn’t like precision. I have mentioned this several times. You can only throw the baby out with the bath water on WHYS. The ‘censors’ don’t have the nuance to parse advanced arguments. You can hate all Americans but you can’t distinguish between certain categories of Americans. Although you can openly hate rich Americans but not poor Americans. You can dislike white culture, but not black culture. You can dislike Christian culture collectively, but not Muslim culture collectively. You can speak collectively about obese people, but not collectively about Muslim men. But if you are religious then you can be free to engage in bigotry of all kinds on WHYS because you have freedom of religion. But you can’t have freedom of thought on WHYS unless it is trite and safe. If an argument appears (to them) to be bigoted, they prefer it to be unsubstantiated and emotional rather then intellectual.

  155. 199 Aimz
    July 14, 2009 at 18:44

    Adults are responsible for their own actions and reactions. As the woman from Beijing said, if men need “protection” from their own bad selves, then we must hide all temptations that are apparently telling them to steal, to overeat, to destroy, etc.

    Dogs need leashes (although some take to voice command training ;). Humans should behave themselves better than dogs. Many of us manage to keep our baser desires in check without any modifications forced upon the world around us. Really, anyone who can’t is a diseased/sick person and should seek some professional help.

    Dress is irrelevant. Provocation is in the eye of the provoked and is due to their own inability to own their own behavior. Context is another thing altogether – I’m sure most of the women, as well as the men, at Carnivale have one thing on their minds …

    If someone, anyone, likes the way I look on a given day, they can simply say “You look really nice today,” or “That’s a great outfit.” I’ll say it to strangers if I like their ensemble. Then I move on so that they can accept or otherwise digest the compliment without further notice from me. Older people tend to simply enjoy a quick compliment; given without threat or lust, the comments have never caused anyone to seem truly upset.

  156. 200 Tom D Ford
    July 14, 2009 at 18:45

    “Is it really men who need protecting and that too from themselves?”

    The irony is that these men are saying that women have so much power over them that they cannot control themselves in the presence of a woman. That women are far more powerful than men.

    These men are telling themselves that they are too weak to be allowed in public without adult supervision.

    What a strange irony.

  157. 201 Isabelle
    July 14, 2009 at 18:45

    Really, if men can’t control those raging hormones the answer is obvious to me…let them stay home where they’ll be safe, and bake cookies. Gosh I do feel sorry for these poor men though! To be so at the mercy of their uncontrollable bodies, their raging lust…Must be truly a dreadful way to live your life, with your mind quite unable to control your basest instincts. I’m surprised that we EVER let them out alone. Certainly they need protecting from themselves. It’s our civic duty. Should they even be allowed to vote if they can’t behave rationally?

    Maybe they could take some sort of medication for it? Isn’t that what should happen? Women get offered all kinds of modern hormone treatments to regulate their hormones, increase their libido, control their fertility etc. Obviously we need to expend some more dollars (and pounds and euros) on research to help men control their raging hormones too.

    Then they can feel safe to leave home and take their place in the world alongside women.

  158. 204 Jack
    July 14, 2009 at 18:45

    I find this whole subject silly and infantile. Growing up int he US I have been around women in mini-skirts, hot-pants, short-shorts, bikinis, and jogging in skin tight spandex my entire life. Women have bodies! What a concept! Men who can’t control themselves because they can see a womans legs have low moralsthey are not react to some fault of the woman. A pack of dogs has a higher moral center.

  159. 205 Ronell in Trinidad
    July 14, 2009 at 18:45

    Men naturally are aroused by sight much more than women are. This can be observed from the plethora of sexual adds that target men. I think is obvious that if women are dress scantily they will experience a much higher incidence of harassment. It is not right but we live in lustful and sinful world. A woman’s dress code can definitely be provocative.

  160. 206 Randy K
    July 14, 2009 at 18:47

    If I’m driving on the highway on a hot day and see a girl in a bikini next to a swimming pool, I’m not seized by an uncontrollable urge to go swimming.

  161. July 14, 2009 at 18:47

    Yes I obey that women are being discriminated by the well and strongly built men. But at the same time I would like to tell that men needs to have protection from the exploiting women who are using specially made law made for them to protect themselves.

    And coming to dressing, one can not rule other to wear a particular code dress, but at the same time it’s our responsibility to safeguard our culture without spoiling our own culture.

    Thank you.

  162. 208 Tom D Ford
    July 14, 2009 at 18:48

    July 14, 2009 at 18:06

    “When i was a kid growing up in the 50s, it was always said that women would never be able to hold down ‘real’ jobs because they were at the mercy of their hormones, unstable, emotional, hormonal etc etc. …”

    Henh, henh. Good post!

  163. July 14, 2009 at 18:48

    Personally I am okay with women wearing as much or little as they want for their appropriate body type. There is a place and a time for everything and women – as well as men – must take responsibility and accountability for their actions.

  164. 210 Kenny South
    July 14, 2009 at 18:49

    We should try to be understanding of each other. Men should not harras women, women should not tease men. In modern society we have to moderate our natural instincts….For women that means not to tease , men not to overreact to this.

  165. 211 CJ McAuley
    July 14, 2009 at 18:49

    Right on Dorothy! I am a man and I agree with you completely.

  166. 212 Chuck Hulsey
    July 14, 2009 at 18:51

    When a man dresses provocatively and receives looks or even a more aggressive action towards him then is HE responsible for provoking her hormones?

  167. 213 Heather
    July 14, 2009 at 18:51

    The problem is respect. Men that lack respect for women will mistreat them no matter what clothes they’re wearing. Hence the epidemic of public sexual harrassment in places like Egypt where women mostly dress modestly.
    All this talk of “indecency” is merely an excuse for men who are unwilling to control themselves.

    I’m not saying that there isn’t an issue of dressing appropriately for the occasion, but being lashed for wearing trousers is plain ridiculous.

  168. 214 Oonah
    July 14, 2009 at 18:51

    Rape is about control not sex, get that straight! When a person is raped it is the raper’s fault not the victims fault.

  169. 215 Douglas
    July 14, 2009 at 18:52

    Humans, especially in our modern day and age, so often forget they are animals. Animals react to all sorts of stimuli, from chemical excretions to elaborate displays. Humans also have the luxury or curse of being exposed to societal norms, and more often than not societal norms become a further extension of the stimuli group. For example: If I were to wear a t-shirt with a giant swastika in bold print on the front promoting an ancient Buddhist symbol I will undoubtedly be sneered at and maybe even directly berated. Was it my responsibility to know the social stigma attached to the swastika or is it the responsibility of the other people to be more well-versed in symbology? The point is that the Human animal also has the ability to exert some form of control over stimuli and both parties involved are responsible for how they interact and react. If it is a societal norm for women in skimpy clothing to be a stimuli of lust in men then it should be the responsibility of both parties to be aware of this and be conscientious of their actions.

  170. 216 Anthony
    July 14, 2009 at 18:52

    My favorite thing around here is when married women get all dressed up (wearing things that show off a lot of skin) and goes out with her frieds to a club with a bunch of single men, and even looks around and flirts a little, and then pulls the “Leave me alone, I’m married”.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 217 James Ian
      July 15, 2009 at 06:38

      The only reason they say “Leave me alone” is because your not the one they were looking for. I’m sure with women who go out like that, if the right guy came along they would give it up.

  171. 218 Keith
    July 14, 2009 at 18:52

    The speaker is saying that women as a whole are more responsible than men. If we acknowledge this as being true, then the phenomenon could be due to one of two things:

    1) Men, as a product of the society they are brought up in, think that it is acceptable to do such things, or

    2) it is a natural product of their hormones or genetics.

    Either way, they can’t be held completely accountable for their personalities.
    I am assuming most men, AND women would be uncomfortable accepting either of these solutions, so I would like to conclude that it is unfair to assume that men in general act like this… So don’t be prejudiced against men.

  172. 219 Phyllis , Naples Florida
    July 14, 2009 at 18:52

    In response to Chris in Trinidad.
    Funny you should be asking this question. Trinidad is one of the best places to study this.
    Everything is sexually provocative there. Music, dress, speech,need I go on??

    My opinion is that men are anatomically and physiologically different from women and respond to stimuli differently.

  173. 220 Bren in IN
    July 14, 2009 at 18:53

    Men may be generally aroused by sight more than women, but the specific responses are just conditioned by culture. In tribal groups where women are always topless, men are not in a state of perpetual sexual arousal.

    • 221 rob z.
      July 14, 2009 at 19:26

      I agree with that,selfcontrol is something that is taught to you.
      People who lack selfcontrol get in trouble.

  174. 222 Scott [M]
    July 14, 2009 at 18:53

    Oh, oh, this topic is so fantastic! I can’t tell you how much I am learning from it. It has so advanced my thinking on male/female interaction. I can hardly contain my excitement over it. What a fresh perspective on humanity you have given us.

  175. 223 Jim Newman
    July 14, 2009 at 18:53

    Hello again
    As it’s women who choose the men they think will produce the best offspring those who are left over could feel peeved and vengefull.
    It is the duty of society to protect women adequately.

  176. 224 Guy in Portland
    July 14, 2009 at 18:54

    It seems that power is at the core of this issue. Men want to be in a position of power, with women being submissive. If a woman shows too much independence or the fact that she can have some power of her male counterparts, they in return have prove that they are in control, through aggressive behavior such as loud comments, whistling, even physical aggression or strict rules about what clothes women are allowed to wear.

  177. 225 Del
    July 14, 2009 at 18:56

    The motivation for some women dress to impress other women – not to attract that women, but to show her place in the order of her peers.

  178. 226 Kenny South
    July 14, 2009 at 18:57

    Isabelle I am a man and this is my worlde as much as it is yours.. If i wasn`t the way I am we wouldn`t be talking here today… Like it or not we have to be kind to each other .. and that is what it all boils down to.. If you believe all women do is good and all men s attributes is bad, we are at a very bad starting point

  179. 227 ResaRose
    July 14, 2009 at 18:57

    We’re supposed to share, I get that from the little I know of the many religions that have accompanied human society. We have attractive and conflicting elements in and about us, so caring for each other is the best way to get along.
    If we did this more often there wouldn’t be such a question, one that demeans men and places women in an unreasonable spotlight.
    Topless men are not a true and consistent worry for society and until they are dressing how you feel to dress is the best guide. The Eye of the Beholder cannot be the only judge; the beholder is myriad.
    Men and women must both excercise responsibility. Until nationalism, communication and transportation are ideal – and allow people to call home wherever it is they fit in, and allow them to leave and easily make home elsewhere if they or their community should change – rather than chain us to the accident of birth, then we need to stop judging and be more open and definitely more responsible.
    Men aren’t stupid, they’re just greedy and spoilt and taking rather long to adjust. They may need shepherding, but certainly not protecting. We must mind each other and respect each other. Full stop.

  180. 228 Joy
    July 14, 2009 at 18:57

    Men rape 5 year olds, were the five year olds dressing provocatively?

    • 229 Phyllis , Naples Florida
      July 14, 2009 at 19:22

      It would be interesting to know if that is more pervasive in provocative and dysfunctional societies.

  181. 230 ~Rhoda in the United States
    July 14, 2009 at 18:58

    Men and women are human. It is natural for a man to see an attractive woman and want to have sex with her. News Flash******That is how we keep the population going.

    Being a woman myself I can say women do not dress to impress men, we do it to compete with other woman. You know how us women are, we like to look like the better one in a crowd of other women and then we all sit around and talk about each other behind each others back, plain and simple. So for men to think we do it for their pleasure, I think not, don’t get a big head guys, it has NOTHING really to do with you.

  182. 231 leti in palma
    July 14, 2009 at 18:59

    oh I get it… its all our fault…we dress provocatively, we flaunt our bodies, we are temptresses and those POOR POOR men who just can’t hold their urges in are the REAL victims?

  183. 232 Elias
    July 14, 2009 at 19:07

    It is downright disgusting and barbaric that this practice towards women is on going. The United Nations and countries the world over should unite to take a stand and clearly force governments in any and every way they can to drop this idiotic punishment of women as it is inhuman and not acceptable.
    For men to administer this kind of punishment, surely they must realise they are born into this world by women.

  184. 233 steve
    July 14, 2009 at 19:08

    @ Anthony

    My favorite thing around here is when married women get all dressed up (wearing things that show off a lot of skin) and goes out with her frieds to a club with a bunch of single men, and even looks around and flirts a little, and then pulls the “Leave me alone, I’m married”.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    That’s what someone with low self esteem does, to get attention, to temporarily boost their self esteem. The problem with this is that eventually your looks run out, and if the only way you can feel good about youself is being complimented, you will be an old woman one day, and those comments will stop. My suggestion to you, is don’t give them any attention.

  185. 234 Keith
    July 14, 2009 at 19:31

    Haha… women don’t dress to impress men? No certainly not. That is ridiculous. Girls at the bar with short skirts and low-cut tops, it’s all for other women- perfume and sexy underwear too. Actually, there is a huge misconception: women don’t even LIKE men! None of them! It’s all a huge ploy to take our money and make more women.

    I think it’s hilarious that two separate women stated that women do not ever dress to impress men. You dress to impress men, you just attract the wrong ones. I don’t know why it’s so hard to admit.

    • 235 May
      July 23, 2009 at 20:39

      “I think it’s hilarious that two separate women stated that women do not ever dress to impress men. You dress to impress men, you just attract the wrong ones. I don’t know why it’s so hard to admit.”

      Actually most women dress to impress other women.Having the right handbag and the most expensive shoes imply wealth and social standing.Women tend to be competitive like that.

  186. 236 Eneida
    July 14, 2009 at 19:44

    Hello, I believe that the answer to this question is very different depending on where you are/live. In many nations women have the right to chose how they dress, but they still must be aware of the attention they invite by dressing overtly provocative. Just as we have all learned not to walk alone in the middle of the night in a rough neighborhood and then be shocked when you are robbed. We must all take responsibility for ourselves. This does not absolve the perpetrator of aggressive sexual advances or rape, they are still criminals. Just as a thief is still a thief whether he steals my purse when I leave it unattended for a moment, or breaks into my home to steal it!
    The flip side of this issue is in countries/societies where women are required to cover themselves so that men do not have to learn to curb their urges toward our bodies. Under this type of thinking, women become responsible for any bad thoughts or bad behavior of men by the way they (women) chose to dress. Basically, it becomes a women’s fault if she is harassed, abused, or even raped under this way of thinking. What I ask people, especially men, who believe this is “Are we men or animals???”. “ Do they not believe that God made us in his image?”. “Is it not an insult to HIM to say that you cannot and/or will not expect more of yourselves then is expected of the bases animal?”. Basically, they are looking too hard for the Devil without than the Devil within us.
    GOD gave us the freedom of choice; we need to stop hiding behind our bad choices as societies, cultures, religions, etc to justify bad behavior.

  187. 237 Peter from Kenya
    July 14, 2009 at 19:46

    My ancestors used to walk around naked, men and women. Yet there was never rape. I actually enjoy watching skimpily dressed women, provided they look good.

    So the rule is, wear what you want if you look good, cover it up if you don’t!

  188. 238 Bert
    July 14, 2009 at 20:17

    What does “provocative” mean? Who are women “provoking?” Honestly, this discussion often seems to sink into the absurd, or even stupid.

    In many parts of the world, you wouldn’t leave your front door unlocked. Why? Because you don’t want to temp thieves. Oh sure, you can say until blue in the face that you SHOULD be able to leave your front door wide open, that you welcome your friends to dop by anytime, and so forth. But the simple fact remains, you lock the door because you know that there are individuals, who are lower in the evolutionary ladder, who would come inside uninvited if given a chance.

    Both men and women have to resist their urges, and there are times when those urges are harder to resist. For example, when you’ve had a few too many drinks. Or, heaven forbid, have taken illegal drugs. So people’s self-restraint mechanisms can and do become impaired, at times.

    Men, with typically greater physical strength than women, can abuse their strenght in such circumstances. Women just become overly flirtatious, but they can’t go a lot further than that.

    Now, are women going to insist that they SHOULD be able to go around dressed provocatively, and not expect to run any sort of risk? It’s just not sensible, that’s all.

  189. 239 Jeremy from Lansing MI USA
    July 14, 2009 at 20:26

    Men can control themselves. In the US, women dress like tramps all the time and you don’t see mass rape. Just because men cannot use self control, does not mean women should be forced to dress a certain way. I mean seriously, if a man were to watch a pornographic movie, and then find the star so that he could rape her, would it be the movie’s (or the woman’s) fault? No, people control their own actions and are punished if they cannot (laws).

  190. 240 VictorK
    July 14, 2009 at 20:26

    @patti in cape coral July 14, 2009 at 19:20: yes, I like to think that if I saw a prostitute collapsed in the street I’d help her too, even knowing she was a prostitute. That would be the Christian thing to do. I’d also continue to hope that she’d one day stop being a prostitute, and wouldn’t encourage her to remain one by calling her a ‘sex worker’ or pretending that there was anything respectable about what she did.

  191. 241 billy
    July 14, 2009 at 20:33

    One of the major causes of rape in ghana is due to the exoosure of the sensitive parts of the body.Most men mastabate after beholding the sight of nudity.YES men need to be protected.

  192. 242 joseph from Ghana
    July 14, 2009 at 20:49

    we all should not forget that the HOLY BIBLE says that when a man look at a woman and lust after her , he has sined.but the woman was the one who made the man sin.Thus men must be protected to avoid sinning.

  193. 243 Jessica
    July 14, 2009 at 20:58

    “Or is that sexist clap-trap designed to restrict how women present themselves, and to abscond men from responsibility for their behaviour?”

    “Why is it the woman who has to take the precautionary measure?”

    The world is unfortunately male-dominated. Men promulgate these ideas for their own benefit.

    Women are considered the weaker, dumber sex, but men are apparently the one’s who are weak and can’t control themselves.

  194. 244 mohammedbin ali gaber
    July 14, 2009 at 21:31

    i would like to ask ros why interfering in others affairs if this laws in uk no body will interfair in thier laws
    so ,this is the laws of sudan and what is wronge if they want to keep thier socitiees from the impact of the bad side of the western fashion which is not diserable in sudan…

  195. 245 Alassan Jallow
    July 14, 2009 at 22:19

    I am so embarrassed to hear such a story in my religion in 21st century. I think the Muslims should stop their stupidity right now! Otherwise no one can defend them. This story I would not have believed it, if I had not heard it from the jourlist herself. Sudan is suffering from many disasters so we should not add more burdens on it.

  196. 246 Keisha (Trinidad)
    July 14, 2009 at 23:18

    I think we should not make excuses for men. If I were a man I would feel insulted since society is basically proposing that men have no self control. I believe it is insulting to men. Women should however dress with a sense of responsibilty not for the men that have been socialized badly, but for their own self-respect.

  197. 247 Stephanie from San Francisco
    July 15, 2009 at 00:03

    The same men that argue men are animals and therefore have no control over how they behave when they are around skantily clad women are the same men that argue men are superior by design. If men are so superior, shouldn’t they be superior in all things including self discipline?

    It’s time men and women accept each other as equals and get on with more important things.

  198. 248 Archibald
    July 15, 2009 at 02:42

    The whole concept is insane. Humanity then should be protected from the environment that taunts it into decimating its animal populations and destroying its forests, oceans, mountains etc..
    Are we so unable to take responsibility for ourselves that we turn to discussions of who to blame and of consequences for those who deviate from accepted social norms, by simply dressing “provocatively”? Might as well just legalize rape and murder.
    It is a useful tactic, to take the devils advocate role and speak of perfect worlds and the fact that we do not live in one, but, that is the rationalization that begins the deterioration of moral fortitude, eventually lapsing into all out apathy and cynicism. It is truly a lazy, cowardly way and the blame then falls on you for not caring enough to do anything.
    “….but, I was only following orders……”

  199. 249 Jennifer
    July 15, 2009 at 02:45

    I think it’s interesting how men here are trying to say that because women may dress to “impress” it gives men a right to invade a woman’s personal space, harass, or abuse her in any way. If it’s not your body or you do not have permission; it is not yours to oogle, touch, or molest. It’s just that simple!

    Everyone likes compliments; what people should question is when individuals (men) are unable to control themselves around women. Or, when they validate their lack of self control and respect for others by placing blame on someone else because they look or dress nice or “flirt”. What constitutes flirting? Maybe smiling does or maybe something more drastic…. I don’t think it matters.

  200. 250 Daniel from Berkeley, CA.
    July 15, 2009 at 03:20

    Hi there,

    I was listen earlier today the show, and one of the questions that came up had to do with, “how men think/act towards women, and if there is a difference between men and women”?

    I’ve posted below a link to a radio program that I heard last year, this program is broadcast weekly here in the US called “This American Life”. This particular episode talks about the effects caused by the lack/excess of testosterone in ones body regardless of the gender.

    I mention this show because I founded very interesting.



  201. 251 RightPaddock
    July 15, 2009 at 03:56

    First I want to congratulate DZA Tha Dissenter for having the courage to write what he has on his blog – http://zoulcolmx.blogspot.com/2009/07/this-is-really-annoying-my-feelings.html

  202. 252 Ibtissam
    July 15, 2009 at 05:14

    I was on the show, but I was quite nervous and I don’t think I got much of what I needed to say out.

    I was responding to Benny’s allusion that skimpily clad women are in a way asking for it, that men are “programmed” to be turned on.

    I am a Muslim, i believe in dressing up decently, but I understand why someone would want to attract the opposite sex. I think women in general understand this.
    But to say that men are “programmed” to think a provocatively dressed woman is up for sexual abuse or should accept the threat of being abused is thinking far too little of the men.

    There is a role to play on the part of women, in gauging the culture and environment and dressing to what isn’t in the extreme, but men have to exhibit some sort of control. I personally think what happened in Khartoum was a travesty, and sent out the message that men should not be held accountable for their actions – when at the end of the day we are all responsible human beings.

  203. 253 viola
    July 15, 2009 at 06:00

    No. the question “Do Men need to be protected from themselves?” is a lot like asking “Do murderers need to be protected from themselves?” It’s absurd.

  204. 254 Beaufort from Canada
    July 15, 2009 at 06:06

    It seems a sad but realistic observation that most
    men in Africa do not feel like men unless they have
    a woman on her back and an assault rifle in their

  205. July 15, 2009 at 07:47

    The world is quickly forgetting that for centuries the females have been looked at as sex objects. I really think that there is a pinch of both bitterness and sweetness to this debate.In particular, the Africa, culture has had its toll to the way the ladies’ dress codes are persieved.I also think its a state of the mind that men have to choose. Nothing can hold you captive only if you let it,so this remains a conviction thing for the men.

  206. 256 Stania
    July 15, 2009 at 08:52

    Gentlemen are scarce in this world. Pity.

  207. 257 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 15, 2009 at 10:08

    It’s interesting to here some men’s names of women on the program e.g. prostitute and tramp.

    It reflects the male chauvinistic attitude that men generally have towards women where they regard women with multiple partners or who receive payment for sex as tramps. But they regard men with multiple partners as studs and those that receive payment as gigolos which are ideals to attain. These men are heroes in MANWORLD- A PLACE WHERE MAN DELUDES HIMSELF INTO BELIEVING HE IS BETTER THAN A WOMAN.

  208. July 15, 2009 at 10:38

    In case,
    any person respect the law,
    he deserve to be respected.

    conviction,sentence must be based on character
    not on wearing.

    if a cleric can wear english cloth
    why a woman, living in europ can not wear trouser.

  209. July 15, 2009 at 10:47

    It is just a natural phenomenon that men get excited by the body of women.It is only natural and i see nothing wrong with it.It is just how it is used that makes it a problem.If men just go round getting excited about all the nice female bodies out there,then there definitely will be a problem.But other than that,i see nothing wrong.

  210. 260 Vandana Shah
    July 15, 2009 at 11:50

    We arebreturning to the medieval times if we ask womento cover up.For once why cant men keep it in tneir pants instead of all the moral responsibility being on women.
    Isnt it enough that we have to raise a child and also be the moral flag bearers…just give us a break and let us BE.

  211. July 15, 2009 at 15:21

    Hi, everyone. I will like to ask this questions?

    1. What will the (honest) reaction of men if a woman should dress sexily in their presence such as in tight trousers & tops, bikinis etc not to say if the dress naked (such in exotic dance stage).
    2. To the woman; What would be the honest reaction of women see a man dress inappropriate expecially naked.

    Then who need to be protected or to protect?

  212. 262 Michael Johnson
    July 15, 2009 at 18:40

    If men experienced rape as a woman does there would be a lot of changed attiudes about how a man should act. I grew up in an area and during a time that when a woman was raped she was treated as if she did something wrong. And the prevaling attitude was that it was just a guy being a guy. If as males we are supposed to be leaders then as a man we should act as such and show respect for all people, regardless of gender or anything else.

  213. 263 Adam
    July 15, 2009 at 18:45

    The Canadian Army does not fire unless told to do so even if the enemy is firing o them. American Army bombs from remote control planes, how is this moral?

    I do not say the Americans are not moral but I believe these issues should be raised.

  214. 264 Camille Juntunen
    July 15, 2009 at 19:44

    1. No one on the show mentioned the fact that men harrass, assault, and rape women and girls of all ages NO MATTER WHAT THEY ARE DOING OR WEARING.

    2. The fact that women also have sexual urges and, for the most part, are able to control them was barely mentioned. We don’t run amok verbally and physically assaulting men when we feel aroused.

    3. I can’t believe this question is even being asked in a serious manner in 2009. The idea that men cannot control their behaviors is the most ANTI MALE idea I’ve ever heard. If men truly cannot control themselves when they see a women’s ankle, or hair, or face, or legs then they must not be allowed to be teachers, fathers, doctors, lawyers, judges, bosses, etc.

    Men must be held accountable for their actions–just as women already are. Otherwise we live in a world where “boys will be boys” and (therefore) girls will be punished.

  215. 265 Isabelle
    July 15, 2009 at 20:41

    This may come as a surprise to men, but women do actually have sexual needs and feelings too….and when I see a cute, fit, cut guy stripped to the waist, I often think how really nice it would be to run my hands over him. Here in California where the dress code is fairly casual, it’s not that unusual to see a guy in the street not wearing that much – shorts, flip flops, a brief T shirt or maybe bare chested. Or a nice pair of well fitting jeans with those sexy buttons instead of a zip…… :=) It doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination.

    And yet somehow, I manage to control myself, if only because I’d look like a very, very sad old lady if I touched him! And if I DID touch him, he’d have every right to be very upset and report me to the police. This does work both ways.

    We can certainly live in a world where everyone wears a burqua, but what a simple pleasure ALL of us would miss – being able to appreciate from a distance, the attractive bodies of our fellow humans. One of life’s simple and free pleasures surely? My only real problem is that more and more people of both genders are getting horribly obese, and in that case, I think EVERYONE, male and female should be encouraged to cover up completely! Who wants to look at acres of rolling fat, on either sex?

    Seriously, i think the idea that men are unable to control themselves is pretty insulting to men. It’s just as patronising as attitudes to women used to be when I was young. And it’s worth reiterating, that if sexual assaults were simply the result of women dressing immodestly, they would be unknown in the winter when everyone covers up and rampant on the beach in summer. And I see no evidence of that. Perhaps a study of seasonal variations in sex assaults is required to settle this?

    • July 19, 2009 at 22:35

      I think did not closely compare the sexual assaults incidence in bot in winter and summer. For such the rate of sexual assaults will be greater in summer. furthermore, some years ago (may be a decade or there about) a US Senator was appealing to ladies to increase the lenghts of skirts because of the rape case were attributed to semi nudity of ladies.
      Yes it is true that female too have sexual disire but when you compare male sexual disire to female sexual desire you will find out that male suppased that of females.

  216. 267 Pavan
    July 16, 2009 at 07:22

    Scientifically a woman’s body spread hormones in the environment they live specially when they are fertile. The hormones in the woman has the function of attracting man. And its normal for man to be attracted. Thats why we say that a woman specially when married must dress up better than an unmarried girl. Because her hormones will attract man like bees are attracted like insects towards a partner or food source.By covering us a man and woman reduces the effects of the hormones. Thats why man are also attracted by female clothes and they steal them. Its full of sexual hormones.

  217. 268 viola
    July 16, 2009 at 18:10

    Covering the human body to protect men from their impulses is like covering a great work of art so that no one will have the impulse to steal it.

    Even testosterone can’t possibly make you stupid enough not to understand such a simple statement.

    I will point out that it isn’t always the men who want the women covered. Women notoriously get angry at women who dress sexily in front of “their” men and are perfectly capable of the same kind of stupidity as men.

    I know of an incident that happened in the Northwest Territory where a woman shot her husband because he looked at a woman who was wearing a parka (in the spring) and a pair of shorts that didn’t show under the parka so it looked like she had nothing on under it. At least she didn’t shoot the teacher (yes, the lady in the parka was the schoolteacher). In this case, the man definitely needed protecting, but not from the teacher’s exposed legs.

    Her husband lived, by the way, and after he got out of the hospital they resumed their lives as if nothing had happened.

  218. 269 Uncivilized - Cambridge, USA
    July 16, 2009 at 20:16

    Most Islamic laws and for that matter Vatican (Catholic) rules are about control. Who has the control, men or woman? Men in power want to keep it, thus it’s easier for them to keep woman down by forcing them to cover up in order for the men not to have deviant thoughts. Or, by giving woman a subservient role as nuns to placate them into thinking they may have some power. But, I’d suggest that since it is the man who has the deviant thoughts, is he not the one who should be punished? After all, it’s his thoughts not her… Since God made Eve from the rib of Adam (if we agree with the Old Testament writings) should woman not be revered instead since they are an extension of ourselves?

  219. 270 Barbara
    July 16, 2009 at 21:51

    With all the comment about respecting individual society’s and their mores, it occurs to me to wonder to what degree women participated in the decisions to so strictly regulate every aspect of their lives as is seen in some of the repressive societies. Were the tables turned and the same dress and behavior restrictions placed on males as on females, would this be reasonable? Right? Fair?

    Why not?

    As an added point, governments–of all kinds–are to represent, regulate and protect those they govern. It seems all these women get out of the deal is the regulation part. Who protects them? Who represents them? Another show, perhaps?

  220. 271 viola
    July 17, 2009 at 22:10

    I might add, in order to illuminate the obvious hypocrisy in the notion that women need to protect men from their base desires, that men who don’t cover themselves in like fashion are just inviting homosexual rape from the base desires they kindle by dressing provocatively.

  221. 272 NSC London
    July 20, 2009 at 13:59

    This is pretty poor writing – how can the author ask that this not become a discussion of Sharia and Islam? Hello? Have you noticed this doesn’t happen in Western societies?

    I’m surprised at this article, very weak indeed.

  222. 273 Elias
    July 24, 2009 at 17:04

    What a lot of nonsense has been written about men and women. Consider a very young girl growing up she sees how her mother tries to improve her looks, with makeup etc, the young girl has a little doll which she loves like a mother loves her baby, she slowly grows up and has a desire to be attractive, her deepest thought from the age of around 18, is to be married and have children in the future, so she must attract a man so that she may succeed in fulfilling herself as a woman which is only natural for a woman. All the success she may acquire is no compensation for not having children and not getting married.
    Similarily a boy growing up has other thoughts, he does not play with a doll, instead he likes cars , guns and toys he could mess about with, not too fussy dressing up, he just goes about amusing and playing till he is in his teens. So that girls and boys do not have the same values and requirements. As a man he is a hunter as a woman she is a nester, so that as one hunts for pleasure with women the other looks to having a home and children.
    A woman dresses and improves her looks so as to seduce a man wether she hopes to settle down and have children or if she is looking for a good time or if she is a prostitute, a man on the other hand is the one who is seduced into marriage or just plain sex.
    The values of men and women are installed in their upbringing from their childhood, accordingly the adage, ‘Child is father to man, conversely child is mother to woman’.

  223. 274 Alan Beutal
    July 25, 2009 at 21:34

    I would say that there are many countries in the Islamic world still living in the Middle Ages, but that may be too much of a compliment.

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