Sometimes I feel guilty for this blog. For being flippant and light-hearted, for calling myself the Funimist. It’s a feeling that became particularly acute when when I read recently that in some parts of the world, pop music isn’t a key indicator of the status of women. Pants are.
North Korea, land of deptosim and nukes, has set fines of around a weeks wages and hard labour as punishment for women who wear pants. The new punishments relate to a decree from 1986:
“The Dear Leader has said national character shows up not only in language, etiquette and morals but in attire as well,” the site said.
Creepy in every known way.
A second section of the article talks about the situation in Sudan, where punishment for a woman wearing pants is 40 lashes of the whip. A journo who was charged for the offence last week has been protesting her punishment, and raising a bit of a ruckus about the human rights violations involved.
Women’s bodies and attire have always been a site of custom, law and expectation, and much of second (and arguably third) waves of feminism sought to dislodge these. It is distressing, though, to see them emerge in such near-comically primitive ways.
My final thought on this issue is not about women, but about how eternally sad I am that men in western countries don’t wear skirts more often. It’s holding them back, that’s all I’m saying. I wonder what the Dear Leader would say?