No dressing down rape issue, say netizens

Rantau Panjang MP Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff.

Rantau Panjang MP Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff.

PETALING JAYA: Stop slut shaming and victim blaming, it is outrageous to suggest that a woman’s dressing is to blame for the actions of perverts, said netizens.

In Parliament on Wednesday, Rantau Panjang MP Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff suggested a female dress code to prevent indecent dressing in public.

According to the PAS Muslimat (women's wing) chief, such a move would also curb rising levels of sex crimes and prevent sexual harassment.

But most netizens were quick to disagree, with @cyfu dubbing the idea as “1920s thinking in 2013”.

Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching, weighed in: “The idea to use dress code to solve rape not only insults women, but insults men as well. #NoExcuseForRape”

@sehseh blamed ignorance for the statement, as it “validates slut shaming and victim blaming”.

Child welfare activist Dr Hartini Zainuddin (@tiniz) voiced disbelief: “Dress code to prevent rape? What planet are we on?”

@tiffanyoon pointed out that “some people get turned on by Kiki Lala (a children's clothing label)”.

Lawyer Michelle Yesudas (@chelle_yesudas) tweeted: “Sexual crimes/harassment comes from the way we perceive power relationships between sexes. if only a dress code can change it :)”.

@syazwanzainal tweeted that it is not about telling women how to dress, and that sex offenders should instead be told “not to rape”.

@mymiszelle pointed out a loophole: “Creating a #DressCode for women in Malaysia won't prevent sexual crimes & harassment. And will it be a crime if women don't adhere? Perpetrators can say: 'Oh, she wasn't in the #DressCode specified. Not my fault. Her's.' #loophole Back to blaming women.”

This was echoed by @cheantat, who added: “If #dresscode really formed, we should ban men from going out after sunset & full moon period. Equally stupid in my POV #NoExcuseForRape”.

@Guru_Nathan decried the suggestion as “nonsense” and tweeted: “Dressing is not the cause of rape. Stupidity and low moral is”.

Its logic was also questioned by @itsJa5on who tweeted: “The way a woman dresses is no justification for sexual crimes. You don't blame a wealthy person for getting robbed now do you?”.

@LumosNY rubbished the idea, and joked: “She needs to suggest allowance for us girls then so we can shop for the right clothes according to #dresscode”.

Like many others, @rebcvince was indignant: “Seriously? The problem is not what women wear, but it’s men own mentality. There are psycho guys out there. Do something about that!”

But some, like @nlsamr, supported the move: “Goes both ways. Dress code idea is excellent though”.

To @athirah136, a dress code is “crucial to help prevent rape cases”, though the #NoExcuseForRape hashtag was also included in her tweet.