Wednesday, 27 October 2010

What women wear

Age old customs are being honoured still, it seems, as the mayor of a small Italian seaside town decides to outlaw women wearing 'too short’ miniskirts or showing ‘too much’ cleavage.

This comes only a couple of weeks after France banned the wearing of full-face veil burqas, a move that many allegedly enlightened European countries would like to emulate. Even in Britain, the idea has some high-profile defenders, if an obscure backbench Tory MP can be regarded as high-profile.

This is a perfect expression of the age-old desire of men to control what women wear or don’t wear and, no doubt, when, where and for whom they take it off. As usual, lurking in the background is some argument based on moral or religious principes, or perhaps democratic and civil liberties concerns, that act as a wonderful veil for much more basic fixations.

Since this is perfectly traditional, I suppose it should please those who feel that a respect for tradition is an essential element of a healthy society.

For my part, it simply calls to mind a quotation I came across recently from Konrad Lorenz: ‘I believe I’ve discovered the missing link between apes and civilised man. It’s us.’ Apposite, I feel.

1 comment:

Awoogamuffin said...

"that act as a wonderful veil for much more basic fixations."

Nice choice of words!