Stop policing women's clothes - op-ed in The Express Tribune by Shenila Khoja-Moolji, APC Visiting Scholar

October 25, 2017

Stop policing women's clothes - op-ed in The Express Tribune by Shenila Khoja-Moolji, APC Visiting Scholar

Last week, a Facebook post by a visiting faculty member at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) went viral. The post said: “Today, I was rudely stopped at the [IoBM] gate by a weird man who said he was the security head, and told that I wasn’t ‘following the dress code’… Ladies, please help me understand, how I am a security threat?” The post included a photo of this female faculty member wearing a white shirt and a long scarf over pants.

The security guard had taken it upon himself to discipline her.

Why do women’s clothing elicit so much attention? Why do they appear as opportunities for men (and women) to install themselves as arbiters of right/wrong? And, significantly, why must we resist such attempts to regulate women?