Friday, 21 November 2014

Moral decay our problem not 'indecent' dressing

Earlier this year Mavuno Church came under fire for publicising a youth event using a controversial poster. At the centre of the harsh criticism was the figure of the girl whose dressing in the poster was described as 'indecent', 'provocative', 'skimpy' by a majority of observers. And here we are now months later, the national conversation is on dressing. But methinks that moral decay is what would motivate a church to design such a poster. That moral decay runs so deep that for teenagers to attend a church event about relationships and sex, they had to be 'provoked', 'excited' and 'drawn in' by an image of a girl in a tight little short. It is telling that the girl's dressing in that poster was associated with an immoral illustration of what our society has become. That the Mavuno poster had to have sexual transmission in form of dress and other literature for it to be relevant to its target audience say a lot about moral decay. As a country, we have no known national values but national peculiarities.
Fair enough, that was a church poster but if that same image of the scantily dressed girl appeared on a campus tour event or a weekend 'festival' then there would not be much noise about it because it would be 'normal' , in fact it would be essential. The representation of 'indecent' dressing would be alright on a 'secular' event poster because all that has to do with moral decay is accepted there. And is that acceptance that even moral itself? I say 'secular' because it is a sample of the same audience that Mavuno organised an event for, using a poster that has imagery of what they see everyday in their parties, festivals, on TV and the streets. So as the debate on dressing rages on it is vital to question where our morals are as opposed to where hemlines are.
Public strippings of 'indecently' dressed women, social media activism and street processions to 'prove' that we can wear what we want will not bring our society to terms with how deep the moral decay has spread. In the context of dressing, women, a part of the society want to express themselves the way they want hence ‪#‎mydressmychoice‬ , but men see some forms of this expression as exposure. This unrestrained expression (in dress) in a patriachal society like ours may be construed as immoral but the decay is manifested when feminine expression is used by women and interpreted by men for illicit sexual gratification. So we as men and women are all in this, one might say it's the dress that provokes but moral decay goes beyond the dress. Reports of grannies being raped had nothing to do with the length of their skirts but a manifestation of moral decay.
Violence against those 'indecently' dressed women is immoral and when grannies well into their eighties are raped, it is representative of moral decay. The dressing debate should just be a trigger, powder keg, to a whole new conversation about our values and moral aptitude. Hemlines will continue rising or even fall because it is 'our choice' as it is. We can never be perfect but what are morals and standards for? We try as much as we can to live by them.

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