October 29, 2006

Dress Code Dystopia

A viral epidemic that goes by the name of dress code is spreading across the globe. A recent break-out of the disease has been reported in the Durban Girls High School, South Africa, which has banned its students from wearing nose-studs. Tania Broughton of IOL writes:

Durban Girls High School, where Sunali Pillay is a Grade 12 pupil, is persisting with its challenge against the ruling by Judge Dumile Kondile and Judge President Vuka Tshabalala that the school's refusal to allow Pillay to wear the stud was unreasonable and unjustifiable discrimination.

Last year, the commissioner of the NBA, David Stern, attempting to clamp down on hip-hop fashion, had single-handedly spread an off-court variant of dress code to the players. A new low law that came into effect in 2004 in the Malaysian city of Kuala Terengganu, showed unmistakably Sharia like symptoms, when it restricted non-muslim women from wearing miniskirts or long skirts with slits. The Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) defended the Terengganu government’s dress code thus:

...provocative dressing by women has “a very close link” to murders, rapes, molest and sexual abuses. PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub also blamed Jews for pioneering a “provocative, seductive and branded dressing culture” which prioritized the ego of the dresser.

Jeans and T-shirts were banned recently by the Anna University in Chennai, India, ostensibly to protect its girl students from serious complications, such as gawking, sexual harrassment, and worse. Another strain of the virus, fatwa, infected Sania Mirza, a Muslim tennis star from India, when she wore prohibited shorts, skirts, and sleeveless shirts on the court. A French law passed in 2004 prohibits headscarves in schools, along with other highly visible religious gear, lest vulnerable co-students should be infected with fear and hatred. A British school has suspended a Muslim teaching aide for wearing a veil in the classroom, and hiding body signals emanating from her face. Expressing a diametrically opposite view, a Muslim cleric in Australia raved and roiled against women for not wearing hijab, and turning into tempting flesh for the men to forage.

It appears that the females of the human species are particularly vulnerable to this viral attack, although in a few stray instances, the males have also been affected. The disease is suspected to spread through any exposed, painted, or pierced area of the skin. Virologists believe that a multitude of virae — culturalviridae, traditionalviridae, and religiousviridae, to mention a few — are causing the epidemic. Some virologists have speculated that all of these virae belong to a single genus called retroviridae, also known in lay terms as the "have-nothing-better-to-do" virus. A human subspecies, politicians, are known carriers of this virus, and for well documented reasons, their offsprings are often immune to its attack. An effective vaccine for the rest of us is yet to be discovered.

  1. I am inclined to go more with the "having-nothing-better-to -do" virus which has been the source of a lot of misery among humans.Apparenltly a shot of "common sense vaccine" is known to work in such cases but unfortunately it seems to be in acute short supply in recent times.

  2. Great post on Sania
    . keep up the good work.


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