Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Church Official Calls for ‘All-Russian Dress Code’

MOSCOW — A top official for the Russian Orthodox Church on Tuesday proposed creating an “all-Russian dress code,” lashing out at women who leave the house “painted like a clown” and “confuse the street with striptease.”

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin has angered women’s groups recently with his comments about female modesty. At a December round table on interethnic relations, he said a woman wearing a miniskirt “can provoke not only a man from the Caucasus,” the predominately Muslim region on Russia’s southern border, “but a Russian man as well.”

“If she is drunk on top of that, she will provoke him even more,” he said. “If she is actively inviting contact, and then is surprised that this contact ends with a rape, she is all the more at fault.”

Feminists began a series of protests and petitions against Father Chaplin, who leads the church’s social outreach department and is a close associate of Patriarch Kirill I. He responded Tuesday with a pungent letter, saying provocative clothing led to “to short-term marriages, which are immediately followed by ratlike divorces, to the destruction of children’s lives, to solitude and madness, to life-catastrophe.”

He argued that clothing was not a private business, and that he hoped that Russia would soon be a place where scantily dressed women or men in track suits would not be admitted into public venues.
Read the rest here.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm a little leery of hairy, stinky men in long dresses, if you get my drift.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Stay far away from San Francisco.

Anonymous said...

In San Francisco, they don't pretend to be "holy".

Scott said...

I tend to avoid people who think so highly of themselves that they offer their ire anonymously.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Anonymous,
You obviously haven't been to the Episcopal "cathedral" there.

ceej said...

Blaming women for being raped is outrageous. Women should dress modestly, but immodest dress does not make a woman at fault for being violated.

I don't care if a woman is strutting around totally naked: anyone who has sex with her against her will is a rapist and ENTIRELY at fault for it.

It's very rare that I would say this about a priest of the Church, but Father Vsevolod needs to stop flaunting his ignorance and shut his stupid face!

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Scott,
A good point. I am not sure why, but there has been a decided uptick in anonymous commentary lately that comes pretty close to what I would call trolling.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Ceej
Though I might have been a bit more temperate in my wording, I think you are substantially correct. Some of his remarks are way over the top and offensive.

Ingemar said...

>I don't care if a woman is strutting around totally naked: anyone who has sex with her against her will is a rapist and ENTIRELY at fault for it.


Then you are implying that women are children and should not be held accountable at all for their actions.

A little continence can go a long way in avoiding disaster.

Anonymous said...

Anonymity - I post anonymously because I'm not a member (?) subscriber (?) of any of those thingies that allow you to post some other way. Bill, tGf

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Bill
You signed your name. That's not anonymous.

In ICXC
John

DNY said...

I'd wondered whether Fr. Vsevolod was getting a bum deal by a translator or reporter who wanted to tar the Orthodox or Russians as misogynists, and I now suspect that's the case. (From the New York Times, nah, couldn't be. . .or could it?) Interfax's English site ran the story
here, and the quote everyone takes offense at is Englished as "If she wears a mini-skirt she can provoke not only a man from the Caucasus, but a Russian man as well. If she is drunk, it is even more likely that she will provoke men. If she actively contacts people and then wonders that this contact ends in rape, she is not right at all."

In that translation, it is clear Fr. Vsevolod is not blaming the woman for being raped, but for being mystified that her scandalous behavior attracted a rapist.

All in all, Fr. Vsevolod comes off as more sensible in the Interfax translation than in that given by the New York Times. (Why anyone read the American media any more is beyond me: I get even my American news from the British, East Asian and occasionally Russian media.)

ceej said...

John, I'm sorry for the tone, but Father Vsevolod's words in that regard were terrible and monstrous. They are absurd, shameful, and totally unworthy of someone who is a priest. God forbid he ever counsel a woman who has suffered a rape. God protect the women of Russia from this man.

Ingemar, NO ONE is EVER at fault for being the victim of rape, no matter what they have done. Father Vsevolod's view is based on an antiquated notion that immodest or sexually incontinent women are somehow prone to being raped, with the implication that if such a woman is raped, she has brought it on herself through her sins. The truth is, rape has never been about sex. It's about power, and devastating someone to show that they are weaker. That's why rape is used as a tool of war and was declared a crime against humanity in 1946.

You suggest that I am saying that women are not responsible for their actions, and that's not what I'm saying at all. Women should behave and dress modestly. My point is that this does not make them vulnerable to rape, and that blaming victims of rape for their own violation is horrendous and cruel. Rape can just as easily happen to a plain woman in a trench coat and babushka scarf who would never dream of propositioning a man, as to an attractive woman in a bikini who throws herself at men. IT'S NOT ABOUT SEX.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

NO ONE is EVER at fault for being the victim of rape, no matter what they have done.

If you are going to call upon society to socialize the costs of rape with police, prosecutors, jail, victim services, etc., then society can justifiably tell women to practice prudent risk management. E.g., don't hang out in trashy bars wearing trashy clothes.

The truth is, rape has never been about sex. It's about power, and devastating someone to show that they are weaker.

Actually, it is because rape IS about sex that it is considered a particularly heinous assault, on a different plane than, say, shoving someone to the ground to assert your power over them.

ceej said...

Anti-Gnostic, people rape because they want to degrade and debase other human beings in a deep and lasting way, a way that's much worse than just causing bodily harm. If it were just about sex, they would do it because they are anxious for sexual release.

That's the fallacy that Father Vsevolod (and others) fall into when they blame rape victims for their alleged immodesty - an immodest woman provokes the passions in another person, so he winds up raping her, thus she can be blamed for provoking him to rape. That is pure stupidity.

There are certain risk factors for being a victim of sexual violence (like orostitution, or promiscuous consensual sexual behavior), but it does not mean a prostitute, or a promiscuous girl, is at fault if she gets raped. The rapist is always the one at fault.

DNY said...

I had suspected that Fr. Vsevolod might have been the victim, in part of bad translation. A report of his remarks was carried by Interfax Religion http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=dujour&div=230 , and the remark whose Englishing by the New York Times seemed most offensive comes off a little differently: "If she wears a mini-skirt she can provoke not only a man from the Caucasus, but a Russian man as well. If she is drunk, it is even more likely that she will provoke men. If she actively contacts people and then wonders that this contact ends in rape, she is not right at all."

Now, if the Interfax translation is correct, it is hardly surprising that feminists of the perpetual-grievance school would take this as Fr. Vsevolod blaming (scantily-clad, drunken, flirtatious) rape victims, but must we? Was the NYTimes translation influence by the feminist outrage, or is it also a valid translation?

Being "not right at all" and "all the more at fault" are very different things in this context, which is the real meaning of Fr. Vsevolod's remark in the original Russian?

The Anti-Gnostic said...

At what point can we tell women that if they want to engage in risky behavior, they have to bear their own costs rather than offloading them on those who lower their risk?

Women want their flings with bad-boys and when the predictable happens, come crying back to more temperate men for justice and protection. Saying that rape is 'about power' is a deflection from the fact that women want the freedom to indulge their polyamorous impulses without consequence.

Granted, many rapes are the result of unfortunate proximity to low-IQ, high-T thugs.