Saturday, January 17, 2009

Clothing Provokes Violence, Clergy Tells Women

Ecclesiastical authorities say women are to blame for the sexual aggressions they suffer, due to the "provocative" clothing they wear

by Natalia Gomez Quintero and Noemi Gutierrez
El Universal
translated by Kristin Bricker

Translator's note: The Catholic Church held its Sixth World Meeting of the Families in Mexico City this month. The World Meeting of the Families was founded by Pope John Paul II. Mexican President Felipe Calderon gave the surprise keynote address at the beginning of the conference.

Ecclesiastical authorities blamed women for the sexual aggressions they suffer due to the "provocative" clothing they wear.

With plunging necklines and mini-skirts, "they're provoking men," said the archbishop of Santo Domingo, Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodrigez during the Sixth World Meeting of the Families.

Women expose themselves to rape, to being used, to being treated like an old dishrag, because they devalue themselves and their dignity, said the auxiliary bishop of Tegucigalpa, Darwin Rudy Andino.

Likewise, laypersons who attended the meeting said that women are the ones responsible for physical as well as verbal attacks. They should dress modestly and not arouse kinkiness in other people.

"It's their fault that they attack them," added Ecuadorian Alexandra Marcillo.

Renato Ascencio, the bishop of Ciudad Juarez, women should not only change the way they dress, but also their behavior. Modesty has been lost in the Mexican family, he said.*

The World Meeting of the Families' official website recommends that women don't use provocative clothing, that they watch how they look and gesture at other people, and that they don't allow "hot jokes."

Translator's notes:

*Ciudad Juarez is internationally considered to be the femicide capital of Mexico. While accurate estimates of how many women have been murdered in Juarez are unavailable, what is most striking is how the dead women are found. They are often raped and sexually mutilated beyond recognition. Bishop Renato Ascencio's statement leads one to believe that he thinks women's lack of modesty causes men to kidnap them, rape them, bite off their nipples and mutilate them in other ways, murder them, and hide their bodies for months before dumping multiple bodies killed in the same manner in a field in his city. Is women's lack of modesty also to blame for the fact that these murders almost always go unpunished, and that Mexican police rarely carry out rigorous investigations?
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