When I went to the Zoo Park in Windhoek to watch and take photographs for the Miniskirt Friday demonstration, I realised how exposed I felt. It was not because of the pretty black and white-striped miniskirt I was wearing, and it was not because of the policemen standing with their “manly” guns and batons to control the protesters. It was because of this gang of young men sitting under a tree to watch and yell at the girls (and boys) who gathered to join the demonstration. When they spotted me and saw that I was alone they immediately started to shout obscene comments. One of them came up to me and wanted me to “sit with them in the shadow and talk for a while”. I repeatedly, and politely, said no a dozens of times, before he got angry with me. “You should feel honoured that I want to talk to you, since you are so beautiful” he said. What he actually meant was that I should feel honoured that he wanted to talk to me since HE was so beautiful.
I simply told him to cut it off. I did not want their company and I would certainly not feel honoured for being harassed by them. People who act like that should feel honoured for me even looking at them. He got even more cross and wanted me to know how slutty I looked in my miniskirt and that the demonstration would not change anything.
The young man and his friends were wrong. I was smoking hot in that miniskirt and I’m sure that a lot of changes were made that day. I, together with all the pro-miniskirt protestants, raised awareness to what has happened. Many people have argued for (and against) the fact that men should always be able to control their urges. The miniskirt’s status has changed from being slutty and indecent to become a symbol of freedom, of personal expression for many people and I believe that together, we took one step further to gender equality. We showed everyone who was there that it is NOT okay to use someone’s clothing as an excuse for rape.
I had no interest in arguing about his stupidity and rudeness, so I did what I thought was right: I turned my back on him and focused on the more important thing in this context; my freedom as a woman.
Let’s make every Friday a Miniskirt Friday!!