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Dressing-Down For Trousers

Swaziland's absolute monarch has singled out women wearing trousers as the cause of the world's ills in a radio sermon that also called human rights an "abomination before God".

"The Bible says curse be unto a woman who wears pants, and those who wear their husband's clothes. That is why the world is in such a state today," said Mswati, ruler of the impoverished feudal nation of about 1 million.

I guess he figured he had to outdo Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

Although in a sense he's right, if you take (as the Mswati seems to) women wearing pants as a symbol of the larger feminist movement and the breakdown of rigid gender roles. Those things are, in part, responsible for the state of the world today. The real disagreement is that he seems to think that's a bad thing.

And it probably says something about how little the Western world cares about most of Africa that the Sydney Morning Herald printed this, but overlooked the fact that Mswati also dissolved parliament. Interestingly, in light of Mswati's Bible-based attack on women's fashion and human rights, the new constitution "provides that Christianity is the official religion of the country whilst acknowledging the practice of other religions," but "Fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual are declared and guaranteed."

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