By: Tajudeen Anifowose B. Sc (Soc), Unibuja
In a general belief, fashion in terms of clothing,footwear, accessory, make-up or furnituref, is a
popular style or practice. It is distinctive and determines class, style and influence behavior in the society. Thanks and glory to the Almighty Allah (Subhana lahi Taalah) in His majesty who the creator, the beginning and the end of the world. Who has made us to be among the existing ones on earth. He has destined everything with its costume, and human being is not excluded.
An encumbered situation that has for long bordered me is the indecent dresses that are rampant in our society. This madness and satanic costumes called fashion, i.e women in trousers, in half naked costumes, and dresses that expose the shape and essential parts of woman in public. It is a taboo in African society, and religiously, it is quite irritating and unacceptable.
The industrial revolution that took place in the late 19th century had much influenced the escalation of the menace. Before this time, things like these were almost non-existent historically apart from Amazonian women, but they have become more common since the advent of feminism in the middle of the late ‘20th’ century at the rise of equal right for women. Of course, that is one of the evils in women liberation.
In the western world, before the industrial revolution, history had it that women wore dresses and skirts like garments while men wore trousers. In African society, women wore the attire that covered most parts of their bodies (as we have iro and buba in some cases) and they stayed indoor most of the time while carrying out some house assignments like weeding, sweeping, washing, cooking and taking care of the offsprings.
However, in the late ‘19th’ century at the kick off of industrial world, women started wearing trousers for industrial work. Also, during the Second World War, women wore their husband trousers to take up jobs to maintain the family then. And soon in the ‘1920s, trousers became especially fashionable for women in Europe and North America.
More so, in US, the passage of title, IX of the Education Amendment of ‘1922’, which made public education treat male and female equally and consequently, dresses could not be required of female students as dress codes changed in public schools across the United State.
Today trousers are worn by many women across the globe. Female students are found with shirts and trousers in schools.
In other words, before the industrial world, the Wigan Put Brow girls scandalised Victorian society by wearing trousers for their dangerous works in the coal mines. But they wore skirt to cover the trousers. American west also wore trousers for riding in the early ‘20th century.
Then history had it that some actresses like Marlene Dietrich and Catharine Hepburn, were often photographed in trousers in ‘1930s. This made wearing trousers acceptable during the World War II and became fashionable after the war.
During the world war ll, women found doing men’s jobs as situations demanded wore trousers.
So after the war, women trousers became prominent especially in the garden, beach and other leisure pursuits.
In Britain, during the war, women put on their husband wears because of rationing of clothing, including trousers while their husbands were away in the Army. This enabled the women to keep their clothing allowance for another purpose. Therefore, in Britain following the ‘1944’ Summit, it was reported that sales of women trousers were five times more than the previous years.
Back in Africa, diffident emigrants who felt they could not achieve success in their fatherland than going out to search for golding fleet due to economic breakdown in their countries decided to take on bugbear jobs in US or Europe.
Such emigrants were exposed to cold weather and chopping for wears was always a problem because of the cost. They would rather go for jeans and other fairly used wears. Even when they bought the second wear costume, they needed to face the huge taxes and bill. So laundering would become a major problem. In some cases, clothes stayed weeks or more on them without washing. These were the goods brought to our country as Tokunbo that automatically becomes fashion. And people, both young and adult, including some house wives, become quizzical about it. Women wearing trousers now are many on our streets, and in our tertiary institutions. The evil is growing and nobody seems to see the signal of the consequences. But we call it fashion.
These and others were the beginning of the menace. Unfortunately, the evil created could no longer be erased. This is satanic, demonic and madness.Not fashion. In the religious view, it is quite unacceptable in the sight of the Lord. In the Holy Bible, Deuteronomy 22 v 5 says: ‘The women shall not wear that which partaineth unto man, neither shall a man put on a woman garment; for all that do so are abominations unto the Lord thy God’.
Also, it is ordained that all parts of a woman, including the head, are naked and therefore sacred in the sight of God. The head should not be uncovered as 1st Corinthians 11; vs 5, 6 & 10, say; ‘But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head; for that is even all one as if she were shaven…….. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels’.
In Islam, it is totally prohibited for women to be in attire that would not cover most parts of the body or that would expose the shape of her body. Of all the world religions, Islam has a way of doing things. It is a way of life in totality. It was instituted that all parts of the women are naked, but it allows some parts to be shown according to the Holy Quran 24 vs 31 ‘And tell the believing women ………and not to show off their adornment except that which is apparent (like eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands ..), and to draw their veils all over Juyubiyinna (bodies, neck, and bosoms) and no to reveal their adornment except…….’
Also, Quran 33 vs 59 say ‘Oh Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (ie screen themselves completely except the eyes to see the way). That will be better that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed and Allah is ever oft-forgiven, most Merciful’.
Therefore, it is forbidden for those who claim they are Muslims and still wear indecent dresses, especially to the Mosques or in the public. It is irritating, and God frowns at those who disobey the inductions as instituted by Quran and Hadith. Quran 5 vs 7 says ‘And remember Allah’s favour to you and His covenant with which He bound you when you said;
‘We hear and we obey’. And fear Allah verily, Allah is All-Knower of that which is in (the secret of your) breast’.
In conclusion, the alarming rate of the menace( women in trousers, half naked in the public and in men’s attire) if not checked, would jeopardise the socio-economic and political structure of the country. It has grown to the worst that the female kids have been intoxicated and so quizzical about it while the baby in the womb could no longer wait till delivery before joining the madness… But we still call it fashion.
source : tribune.com.ng