Sunday, January 18, 2009

Family Values

The ultra-creepy The Sixth Annual Worldwide Families Meeting, which is sort of like Renaissance Weekend, but run by the Catholic Church, wraps up today in Mexico City. (President Calderón was greeted with cries of "Long live our Catholic president!" Which is the kind of thing that makes up happy to hold foreign passports.) For days of predictable doctrinaire Muzak about how life should be lived - "immorality is bad," etc. - but occasionally something managed to cut through the static. For instance, this official pronouncement - and this is apparently something that people in authority here just can't say often enough - that women wouldn't get raped so often if they'd just stop dressing like whores.

Don't wear plunging necklines or miniskirts because "the woman is provoking an attack, to be dressing herself this way is provoking the man," said the Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez.

Or, as the auxiliary bishop of Tegucigalpa, Darwin Rudy Andino, put it, women "expose themselves to rape," because they "devalue their dignity," by wearing something other than a burlap sack and snowpants.

We're willing to cut Bishop Andino some slack because we assume a guy named "Darwin" doesn't become the Catholic Bishop of Tegucigalpa without saying a lot of crazy shit he doesn't really believe. But several lay members interviewed "agreed that the woman is responsible for attacks both physical and verbal, since she should be modest in her style of dress and not arouse curiosity on other people." Or, to put it another way:

Renato Ascencio, bishop of Ciudad Juarez, said that shame is a virtue...

On this point, we're in complete agreement.

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