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