Trivialising a worthy cause

The denigration of women in such manner as happened to a miniskirted female passenger at the hands of uncouth taximen at a Johannesburg taxi rank a fortnight ago is a grave violation of their human rights.

The denigration of women in such manner as happened to a miniskirted female passenger at the hands of uncouth taximen at a Johannesburg taxi rank a fortnight ago is a grave violation of their human rights.

That much has been underscored by the wave of public revulsion at the taximen's uncivilised conduct.

Thankfully, such a reaction has also given momentum to a public campaign roundly rejecting the marginalisation and objectification of women.

But we must caution against the campaign stooping to the level of the actions of the taximen by blurring the lines between transgressor and victim.

Little would therefore have been achieved by the scores of miniskirted women who picketed through streets of Johannesburg at the weekend, except to harden the attitudes of the very people whose unseemly ways they sought to change.

At best the actions of some demonstrators, who defiantly showed off their breasts and rolled up their miniskirts, exposing their thighs, gave the march an undeserved indecent - if not facetious - note.

This was hardly the way to win public sympathy for the women's cause - and guaranteed to invite derision as happened when taxi drivers reacted by stripping naked, exposing their private parts.

It is necessary that any campaign to civilise chauvinists be conducted in a dignified and respectable manner.

X