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Southeast Asia, explained

Indonesia: no sexy miniskirts in parliament

House speaker: "You know what men are like. Provocative clothing will make them do things."
Indonesia miniskirt ban 2012 03 07Enlarge
Indonesian model-turned-parliamentarian Venna Melinda, seen here in a photo posted to her Facebook page, is among the lawmakers supporting a proposed code against "sexy" outfits in the country's House of Representatives. (Facebook)

There's nothing particularly disagreeable about a proposed ban on sexy outfits -- namely miniskirts -- in Indonesia's parliament.

Muslim-majority Indonesia skews conservative and, after all, the House of Representatives should have more decorum than a T-Pain video.

Even a model-turned-lawmaker Venna Melinda, deemed worthy of the blog "Hot Indonesian Female Artist," sides with the rule. So does another Indonesian lawmaker and former model (yes, there are two) who told the Jakarta Globe that she'd seen young staffers showing cleavage and wearing hiked-up skirts.

The disagreeable part is the rule's rationale, as explained by the House speaker who proposed it.

In an interview with online news site VivaNews, and later in this interview with AFP, he makes his case.

"We know there have been a lot of rape cases and other immoral acts recently and this is because women aren't wearing appropriate clothes ...Women wearing inappropriate clothes arouse men so it needs to be stopped. You know what men are like. Provocative clothing will make them do things."

Like engaging in parliamentarian-on-parliamentarian rape?

An Indonesian watchdog group tells news outlet AsiaOne that image-conscious lawmakers should probably work on cleaning up "corrupt practices and House members' laziness" instead of fretting over women's clothing.

http://www.globalpost.com/globalpost-blogs/southeast-asia/indonesia-skirt-ban