Monday, April 13, 2009

I was going to write about this weeks ago. It's very interesting to me to see exactly who gets hot and bothered under their collar in this city about how women dress. Why is it so often men who react the in the most extreme manner to this topic? It's such a contentious issue and has started many an argument 'tween friends.

7days newspaper has published a letter by a reader who is complaining that she was harassed in a popular nightclub in Dubai.

Its amazing when you scratch the surface with people , what kind of attitudes you uncover. A few of the comments for this letter have left me agog! The lady in question was advised on a number on points!

" If you can't take the heat , then get out of the kitchen "

"Its a club, not a place of worship. Drunkards and such will always be acting up in places like this. You're surprised? And don't single out Dubai. This happens around the world. "

Ok, so I could submit a reply to 7 days about this - but lets face it , I'm a long winded kind of person and I'm sure they have a max quota of words per letter!

For the record, this kind of thing does NOT happen all over the world. Its called sexual harassment and is far less frequent in some places than it is in others . Further more, if you wear a short skirt , people may look at you and perhaps think a little less of you - but they should damn well know that this does not give them any right to act on whatever little perverted impulse seeing your knees has created in them!

I wrote something recently on this issue but I never bothered putting it up on the blog. However I DO remember writing " hotness is hotness - you can't dull it down !"
It matters not to these people whether I am wearing a sack or a short skirt , if they are that way inclined , and have THAT little amount of respect for women- then they are going to MAUL you or at least try to !

So what to do? It's a catch 22 in this country , where really , as a woman, your presence in nightclubs to begin with casts aspersions over your virtuosity. You could fight the attitudes and continue to raise hell every time you are molested. Or you can take the advise of those 21st century men in 7 days , and get the hell over it , cos really , what else did you expect!

When are men in this country going to stop citing ridiculous reasons for unacceptable behaviour! For the record, this has happened to me on numerous occasions in the Middle East - although admittedly never in Dubai. Syria seemed to be teeming with perverts and gropers the last time I was there and in Jordan , I had somebody camp outside by hotel room banging on the door with a fist full of cash for my "services". I would like to add at this juncture that I don't even own a mini skirt.

There is most definitely a dress code here that should be adhered to . I tend to think that nightclubs are a little less restrictive in these matters because you are, after all, going there to drink , its hardly in keeping with the whole traditional Dubai ethos. Most girls I know will stay on the conservative side of dressing . I don't know anybody here who shows off an excess of flesh. To be honest, the attitude is , "why would you invite the inane staring - which , on a " I'm covered up to my neck and down to my ankles " day , is intense to say the least !

So , the bottom line is , GET A GRIP BOYS! No matter what your religion , your responsibility to behave in a respectful manner remains. Nobody invites assault onto themselves. I think that women here, although they know this statement is true, have it eroded somewhat in their minds living here year after year. With insinuations such as some of those comments in 7 days , its no surprise . If someone puts his hand up a girls skirt - why is it acceptable for our first question to be " How long was your skirt ?"

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