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Yep, that Catholic church is sure progressing...

What century is this again?

Rev. Sergio G. Roman sounded the alarm against miniskirts in an online publication to prepare Catholics for a church family-values forum next year in Mexico City.

"When we show our body without prudence, without modesty, we are prostituting ourselves," wrote Roman, a Mexico City priest.

Uh-huh. Well, if some guy's gonna take a woman's outfit as an indicator that she's one of those women, the least he could do is name what he's willing to pay, and for what. And he could learn to take "no" for an answer.

Yeah, folks, it's the old "she's asking for it" canard again. They never get tired of repeating it, no matter how tired the world gets of hearing it, but here's something new going on in ol' Mexico: now, they're getting lambasted for it.

Mexican newspaper columnists lampooned the article, and women's rights advocates have assailed it.

Women dressed in miniskirts and low-cut shirts have rallied at the doors of Mexico City's Cathedral during Sunday Mass, carrying signs that read: "Clothed and naked, I am the same."

Guadalupe Loaeza, a renowned Mexican social commentator, said she worries the priest's statements will be taken seriously and make it acceptable to blame the victim.

"It gives rapists permission to say, 'Well, she had on a miniskirt,'" Loaeza said. "What the church says has credibility — that's why this type of statement is so dangerous."

Bingo.

While Islam has now outstripped Catholicism for status of world's largest religious denomination, the RCC still the biggest church in Christendom, with the largest number of adherents. So how many men, hearing that kind of very conventional sermon, get the message: Hey, it's okay to rape, as long as she looks like a floozy?

The big problem with that logic is, exactly what does a "floozy" look like? Does she wear bikinis? Miniskirts? Jeans and t-shirts? Baggy, flowered housedresses? A burqa? A nun's habit? Diapers? Females in all these outfits and many more have been raped. Some are too old to be deemed sexpots; others, too young. And some are even religious.

Now, what would it have cost the priest to address that--and tell the men in his church that Jesus respected all women, even "that" kind? Not a blessed thing. But still, he just had to reach for the Stoopid Stick and start swinging it.

Of course, the backlash against his conventional stupidities also drew a predictable response:

The archdiocese says the news media have twisted Roman's words and that the article was meant only to provide "moral guidance for the Catholic community."

Oh really? Then why not provide some real moral guidance, by telling the men that it is their duty to respect women no matter how they look?

I don't hear anyone telling men to dress modestly or suffer the consequences. But guess what women have been hearing in Jamaica?

A police superintendent in Jamaica called on women last week to dress with greater modestly to curb rapes on the island.

After an 8-year-old girl was gang-raped by five men at a market in Montego Bay, Steve McGregor blamed rapes this summer partly on girls wearing short shorts and tiny bathing suits.

Yup, the same old same old.

Listen: I was a well-brought-up German girl; I'm a quiet, well-behaved woman. And still, I've been hit on by complete strangers even when covered from chin to toes. In a puffy coat and baggy jeans, yet. No shit, it happened to me in downtown Toronto, about 7:30 one evening. I was walking down to a local pub, not looking right or left, catching up with a group of friends who'd gone on ahead. Then some clown pulled up beside me in a car, slowed down, opened the passenger door and tried to get me to hop in.

I flipped him the bird.

Yeah, I know, that's not ladylike. But get serious: dressing and acting like a lady never saved a lady. You have to do what works. And that rude gesture worked even if nothing else did! I was covered up; my clothes didn't show my shape; I was walking with my head up and eyes front, not making eye contact with any stranger. And yet some stranger still thought he could buy me. Where did he get the message that lone women walking...must be for sale?

Oh, from his parish priest, probably. Or his pastor, or his rabbi, or his imam, or his dad. Or the police chief. Or from some dork behind the bike sheds. Or wherever else guys hear stupid old myths in lieu of a comprehensive sexual education.

I don't give a shit where he heard it; I just wish he'd heard the truth. And the truth is that unless a woman explicitly offers it, you have no right to assume that she is asking for it!

Or to put it another way, as we chanted at I don't know how many Take Back the Night marches: Yes means yes, no means no, however we dress, wherever we go!