Sunday March 2 2014

FROM OVER THE SEAS: Those bills are killing me!

By Jan Ajwang

Just when I thought I had enough of Idi Amin sneaking into any conversation about Uganda; enter the recent bills.

‘Jan!’ I hear that they are going to stop women from wearing miniskirts in Uganda’. ‘Jan, what is wrong with your country? ‘Jan, but Uganda is crazy… are you going to go back? ’Ah, I can see that you are wearing something shorter today, is it because of that law? Jan, you had better wear those clothes now before you go back! What a country! Where do they get time to waste on such outrageous issues?’

Those bills are killing me with attention. People are coming after me to ask mostly about the miniskirts but others are simply making fun. I still wonder why these same people missed other issues about Uganda, but were all ears for the miniskirt!

And so, while the joke continues to be in my face, I stumble into comments online that there is actually no mention of ‘miniskirt’ in the legislation and the miniskirt has not been banned anyway. I haven’t read the bill so my comments are just as speculative.

Of course I’m going to ask who came up with the word ‘miniskirt’ for a bill about pornography. How did we allow ourselves to be alarmed and amused at something that seemed so real and then at the end of the day comes to nothing? The name gives an impression that if you are found wearing a miniskirt’ you will get arrested. Probably this is what is making people wonder at the thought of witnessing an arrest.

One could argue that the absence of the word doesn’t mean that our skirts or legs are safe. Yet I think whoever came up with the name did a good job at getting us really taking a second look at the whole science of a miniskirt. But, the same person must also own up at least for me because the damage continues this side. Since the Amin motif is still etched, one can only worry how far this one on the short clothes is going to go.