I am responding to a letter that was published in your Thursday, January 3 edition, by Roger Ally captioned, ‘Boodram has unwittingly made the argument for modesty and decorum in dress.’ One kind of life alienating communication is the use of moralistic judgments that imply wrongness on the part of people who don’t act in harmony with our values. The tendency to search for and use information that supports our ideas rather than refutes them is called conformation bias.
Mr Ally was responding to a letter which was penned by Mr Boodram captioned ‘Rapists do not prey on women and girls skimpily dressed, rather on those they know’ (Stabroek News January 1). Mr Boodram had cited Michael Kimmel, a sociologist, whose research indicated that “violent men often view their actions as revenge or retaliation.” If men are indeed powerless in the face of women’s beauty and sexuality as stated in Mr Ally’s letter, it is the men whom we should re-educate through psychotherapy/counselling.
According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article l, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights; they are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” There is no excuse for the violence/rape committed against our women. Mr Ally went on to ratify Mr Hack’s visions and suggestions to prevent violence/rape against women, although these were not definitive. The Sufi poet Rumi once wrote, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field, I’ll meet you there.” Gentlemen, if women fail to dress modestly, are they to be held accountable for the crimes of violence/rape committed against them?
Pandit D Tillack