Decency: What It Has to Offer

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It is not a secret that a considerable percentage of female garments on the Liberian Markets are meant to entice men, as these outfits tend to expose their “sensuous parts.”

As a result of this phenomenon, some older folks think that “decency” is declining among young people around the country, especially females, who’s respect is often (erroneously so) based on how they appear in public gatherings.

Based upon this decline in decency, certain government officials and employees of non-governmental organizations have continued to sensitize young people on the adapting of a decent dress code.

A decently attired woman is shown respect when a gentleman provides his seat for her in a gathering, or when he protects her dignity in public and generally recognizes her presence on any occasion.

In contrast to this, a female who is carelessly dressed is treated just as her dress code depicts, such a person is negatively perceived as a prostitute even if she is not.

Indecent dressing also brings about rape, sexual harassments and denies a person from getting a job.

In our regular interviews, we came across Mrs. Lawson a resident of the Fair Ground Community in Bassa.

Mrs. Lawson is a mother of three and a student of the Grand Bassa Community College (GBCC).

She said indecency has become a major problem in the Liberian Society because young people refuse to adhere to the advice given by parents and other older folks.

“If young people were taking the kind of advice they should be, then this whole thing about indecency would have taken another turn.  If we take a look at our youthful days, one realizes that the youths are not the way they are today. Some hardly obey us the parents anymore. In fact this whole thing about child right and human right is contributing a whole lot to the matter, because we are afraid of disciplining our children before we are taken to court,” she explained.

She also noted that because of the 21st century and it’s idealogy, parents no longer have control over their children.

Bro. Wesseh Davis is of the opposite opinion, saying that girls have the freedom to wear what they want without offending anyone.

“There are human rights here in this country. No decent and respectable man would rape a woman because of her dress code or appearance. These men rape because of their own selfish motives,” he said.

He, unlike Mrs. Lawson, said Humans Rights has no part to play in the current dress code of young men and women.

“Human rights are not a contributing factor to this situation. In fact, I do not even see this modern dressing as indecency; they are simply fashion for the 21st century and must not be misinterpreted by people. Decency is in the attitudes of people and not their appearance. One can appear bad but actually have good habit. What we should consider is how prepared our youths are for the outside world,” he noted.

“Laura,” as she wants be called, said indecency is a situation that cannot be dealt with easily.

She said this is because clothes dealers are also major contributors to the situation.

‘If these people were not manufacturing clothes to expose people’s body, then young people would not wear them. The Government needs to take measures that regulate the kinds of goods that are being imported into the country. If this were done, we would have modestly styled clothes in the market for purchasing. Also for the girls themselves, it has become a culture. I know a few young women here in Buchanan who do not have any decent clothes,” she explained.

She continued saying, “This situation has extended to the churches as well. If you visit some churches around here, you do not feel satisfied with what these young women wear to the House of God. This is bad for a country who claims to be a Christian Nation.”

We lastly spoke to Dennis Harris of Sugar Cane Farm Community.

‘If only young girls knew the importance of dressing decently, they would pay better attention to what and how they wear their clothes on a daily basis. There are many advantages to a woman being properly dressed. She becomes a role model to other young people around her, she is respected at school, and she even becomes a center of attraction for everyone. She does not stand the chance of being raped because of what she wears,” he asserted.

“Decency does not only come across in the way a woman dresses, it also has to do with her eloquence and how well she is able to handle situations on her own,” he added.

“Compared to other youths around the world, young Liberians are not prepared to compete in the outside world. Liberia is only proud of a few youths today when it comes to national and international representation, because the others are not ready to even go to school. When they decide to, they do not pay attention to their lessons and in the end they become educated fools. Instead of young people learning for the better, all they do is chase after fashion that makes them naked,” he concluded.

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