While American feminists (such as Barbara “please call me Senator” Boxer) focus on such critical issues as perceived sexism during the Sotomayor hearings, reintroduction of the Equal Rights Amendment, and the same old tired (and incorrect) arguments about men making more money, it’s important to remember that women around the world are fighting for something more fundamental…the right to wear pants.
Agence France Press reports that Sudanese journalist Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein, who works for the UN Mission in Sudan, is facing 40 lashes for wearing “indecent” trousers. The story highlights her amazing bravery:
Hussein invited scores of journalists to her first court hearing on Wednesday, when she made a point of wearing the same clothes she wore when she was arrested — moss-green slacks with a loose floral top and green headscarf. Hordes of people, many of them female supporters and some also wearing trousers out of solidarity, crammed into the courthouse for the hearing. “My main objective is to get rid of Article 152,” Hussein said. “This article is against both the constitution and sharia,” the Islamic law ruling northern Sudan. “If some people refer to the sharia to justify flagellating women because of what they wear, then let them show me which Koranic verses or hadith (sayings of the Prophet Mohammed) say so. I haven’t found them.”
“I want people to know. I want these women’s voices to be heard.”
By bringing the practice into the public eye “I’ve already won half the battle,” she said, vowing to wear the same “indecent” clothes to her judgment on Tuesday.