Republican Florida State Rep. Kathleen Passidomo apparently believes that the state's new school dress code will keep children safe from being raped:
"There was an article about an 11 year old girl who was gangraped in Texas by 18 young men because she was dressed like a 21-year-old prostitute," she said. "And her parents let her attend school like that. And I think it’s incumbent upon us to create some areas where students can be safe in school and show up in proper attire so what happened in Texas doesn’t happen to our students."
I'm almost at a loss for what to say. The mindboggling awfulness of the quote speaks for itself. Representative Passidomo apparently believes the following:
1) 21-year-old prostitutes deserve to be forcibly gang-raped
2) Children who dress like 21-year-old prostitutes (whatever that means) should expect to be forcibly gang-raped
3) When a child is raped, her style of dress is an appropriate subject for discussion
4) If the raped child's style of dress does not meet Rep. Passidomo's standards, she and her parents are at fault for the rape
5) Children are raped in Florida because parents do not require their children to dress in a way that meets Rep. Passidomo's standards
6) Therefore, the state should intervene and impose a dress code on Florida students, which will protect them from being raped
I'd like to present another quote for comparison:
In the religious address on adultery to about 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, Sheik [Taj al-Din] Hilali said: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?
“The uncovered meat is the problem.”
The sheik then said: “If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.”
I think the similarity is obvious. The logic is identical, as is the conclusion: Victims are at fault for being raped. Women's and girls' autonomous choices of clothing are unacceptable. Men are unable to control themselves. The state should restrict women's and girls' dress and behaviour for their own good.
I find this line of reasoning abhorrent. But it's merely an explicit statement of a very mainstream Republican philosophy. They not only want government small enough to fit in your bedroom; they want it to fit in your closet. And your children's closets.
And sadly, there are many female soldiers in the War on Women. Representative Passidomo, it seems, is one.