Is Upskirting a Reason to Stop Wearing Skirts?

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Is Upskirting a Reason to Stop Wearing Skirts

I love the look and feel of a soft, feminine skirt. I think that women look better in skirts or dresses overall.

But I might forgo wearing skirts because of a recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling.The ruling states that “upskirting” is not illegal according to the state’s Peeping Tom law. You can’t see me as I am writing this, but I’m already cringing.

Upskirting is the practice of snapping secret pictures up women’s skirts. Seriously, I’m not kidding. People do that, and now it’s legal, at least in the state of Massachusetts.

In the Massachusetts case, a man was arrested by transit police in 2010 for using his cell phone to take pictures and video up women’s skirts as they unwittingly rode the subway.The guy fought the charges and won because – now get this – the women were fully clothed at the time he intruded on their privacy (and on their privates, I might add). The Peeping Tom law only applies if the subject of the violation of privacy is nude or partially nude.

So, at least according to the Massachusetts court ruling, any guy (or woman) at any time or in any place and for any reason can take pictures of my wazoo if I happen to be wearing a skirt that day. That means he or she could do the same to any other woman.

If sleazy individuals aren’t willing to respect, and if courts aren’t willing to protect what resides under our skirt folds, what are we to do?

That has me thinking about revising my wardrobe, or at least about what I choose to wear on what day. Are we women going to end up only wearing skirts around people we trust? And where might that be?

For sure, will be leery in public places like grocery stores, the transit system, and social events. But what about when we go to church? What about when we’re at work? We’d like to believe that family gatherings, church, and our workplace are all safe havens filled with trustworthy people. For the most part they are. But we all know the effects of original sin and the possibility of human brokenness in any venue.

Perhaps the only real protection is to give up wearing skirts and become the ones to “wear the pants in the family,” so to speak. I’d hate to see that, but if the Massachusetts court ruling catches on in other states, we may be faced to make that decision on a widespread basis.

Imagine a nation in which women no longer wear skirts or in which those who do wear skirts are aware of the likelihood that someone might take advantage of the opportunity to gawk at everything they have under them. Crazy? Maybe not.

Copyright 2014, Marge Fenelon

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About Author

Marge Fenelon is a longtime contributor to a variety of Catholic and secular publications and author of Waiting with Mary; Advent Reflections for Those Who Hate to Wait, and Ecce Mater Tua - Behold, Your Mother; Marian Stations of the Cross (both self-published), When's God Gonna Show Up? and When's God Gonna Call Me Back? (both published by Liguori Publications). Her latest book, published by Our Sunday Visitor, is Strengthening Your Family: A Catholic Approach to Holiness at Home (2011), the Foreword of which was written by Timothy Cardinal Dolan. She’s a regular guest on Sacred Heart Radio's "Son Rise Morning Show" and has appeared on many others, including "Conversation with the Cardinal" with Cardinal Dolan, Relevant Radio's "Morning Air," and Spirit Catholic Radio's "Inside the Pages." She's an enthusiastic speaker and small group leader, and has invigorated audiences in a variety of venues.

4 Comments

  1. This ruling is disgusting for sure but maybe we should grab this as an opportunity. An opportunity to reconsider the skirts we are wearing (what are they made of, are they too short?) and how we sit and stand in a skirt. If I’m wearing a skirt of a respectable length and sitting in it properly I dare someone to upskirt me and without my noticing them trying. I think it also gives us an opportunity to teach this generation to do the same. Skirts are so short these days it’s no wonder that a person could upskirt with almost no effort Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate??

  2. I would imagine people are attaching all these little cameras to shoes and things…they just angle and stand near…and presto…. SO maybe…we go back to adding Pantaloons !! hahahah Wouldn’t that be cute? We can adjust. I think the legality isn’t so much the problem here, but it’s the soul of the people who are perverting and invading our private space. Let’s pray for their conversion.

  3. Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur on

    In perhaps the quickest move by a government anywhere, this was made illegal the next day. (I live in MA)

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