Mrs. Emelda Ahunna Ogu, Founder, Woman and Global Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation (N.G.O), in this interview speaks on indecent dressing, why people, including married women and even men dress immodest, effects of indecent dressing, role of Churches, parents and schools in curtailing immodest dressing and a host of contemporary issues. NETA NWOSU brings the excerpts:
Indecent dressing also known as immodest dressing was once uncommon in Africa, but today it is progressively becoming part of us, leading to a high rate of immorality in our society. How did we get here?
Years back, the traces of indecent dressing were at its lowest level and our women were beautiful, they enjoyed their youth and their hands were given out in marriage. Rapes, divorce and corruption were very low but today, things have really gone the other way round. Most Parents, Teachers, Celebrities who are supposed to live an exemplarily life, dressing decently, living decent lifestyles have failed us; rather they appear naked on the street. Most parents think that to love their children is only when they buy; Jean-trousers, short skirts. At that early age, they have started showing their daughters how to dress indecently, this is where we started failing.
Although most children are stubborn, but let us do what we can so that they don’t go astray. Why do people, including married women and even men dress immodest?
Men and women dress immodest just to achieve self satisfaction, even some married men who support their wives to dress like this, do not know that they are putting their wives in danger. Honestly they won’t be there when it will happen because they will not be told exactly what happened. As a wife, you have your husband in the house, who are you revealing those curves for? Even millions of people are tired of seeing, because these are curves and shapes that are strictly made to glance by a woman’s husband. Why are you complaining that somebody is admiring your wife when you allow her to wear things that reveal her sensitive parts.
What clothes are considered immodest?
Millions of our women tend to dress indecently, because they claim that it makes them looks smarter to jump inside and outside bus, smartly cross the road, some even wrongly claim that it prevents them from rape, Some;
• Wear it not having anything in mind, but because it is the fashion in vogue, that is what they see, their parents, teachers, friends, and celebrities wear.
• Men and women dress indecently to attract the opposite gender’s attention.
• Some women wear it to tell their husbands that they have got all it takes that there is no need of him going outside
All these reasons are not inspired by the Holy Spirit but the lust of the flesh. If you like, be naked on the street as a wife, a husband who wants to cheat must definitely cheat. Dressing indecently cannot stop a man from cheating on his wife, the only remedy is prayer, fasting, and doing the things of the Holy Spirit. The only solution is when you are inspired and controlled by the Holy Spirit by handing the wayward husband to Christ through daily Mass, rosary and also, above all, to be humble. Do not show him that you are breadwinner, and because of that all decisions must come from you, when you do these things and he is not making any changes, you see him as a cross and hand him over to our mother Mary.
What are the effects of immodest dressing?
Immodest look, which can also be called demonic outfit without being told, we all know that God made everything in opposite. We have demonic look and godly look, which one do you stand for. Mother Mary is our Mother, our role model, God’s gift to mankind, she is more than a woman of emulation, anything that is not seen in Mary comes from the evil world. We should all imitates Her looks, virtues, lifestyle and the looks of our saints. We have decent wears like long gowns, buba and iro, long skirts, and blouses while indecent dressing we have jeans trouser, leggings, tights, short skirts and pants etc. Our mother Mary did not only obey God’s commandment but strictly wear a modest look, there has not been anytime she welcomed indecent look during her lifetime. Why should we her children wear it if she marched it under Her feet. This is because obeying God’s commandment and wearing a decent look is one, you cannot separate it just like Husband and wife after marriage, you cannot separate the two if you try to separate the two you will have problem.
Also, you cannot work on your shortcomings, without working on your looks because the two are one and cannot be separated. Husband and wife =1 + 1= 1 and therefore obeying Gods commandment and wearing decent look is equal to 1 and cannot be separated. All we are saying is that we are all poor sinners but let us try to obey God’s commandment while we also try to wear a decent look always. Some people claim that poor parenting and nonchalant attitude of school authorities, especially tertiary institutions have contributed in no small measures to the high rate of immodest dressing. May we have your take on this. We have many disadvantages of dressing indecently in the society such as high level of rape, corruption, divorce etc. Men are moved with what they see while women are moved with what they hear, you cannot expose your sensitive parts and tell a man not to look; you cannot give a rat fish and tell it not to eat, the moment you dress anyhow, you are indirectly telling a man, I expose this for you to glance. If not, why are you wearing it? Yes, I strongly believe that, most parents, teachers, celebrities who suppose to leave an exemplary life do not, because you cannot give what you don’t have. Yes, this is not something that can be solved by using force rather constant prayer, counseling, campaigning will go a long way towards addressing the ugly trend.
Indecent dressing has become a big issue even in Churches. Some girls have stopped going to Church because they were stopped from entering the Church. How can Churches address this issue?
Churches are not places where only saints come to worship rather it is mixed with good and bad people. Saints do not become saints in one day, rather it is a gradual process. What of some women you see in the Church, well dressed but after Church, when you see them outside you weep and wonder if these women really sucked a woman’s breast. What of the people that dresses like that and do not remember that they should come to Church and worship God. Gladly allow them in the Church, if they don’t come to church, how will they hear the gospel that will change their lifestyle? Instead get some group of women who will quietly approach them after Church and talk to them, just as if you are greeting them it must not attract attention please, this is because this is one of their shortcomings we also have our individual shortcomings which may also be worst than indecent dressing, as we urge them to work on their shortcomings, we also should work on our shortcoming because there is no perfect human being but we just have to help each other, nobody has it all, nobody my sisters. We also beg our priest to hammer on it regularly because this will go a long way to help.
How is your NGO doing? Why did your NGO take on immodest dressing?
By God grace, the N.G.O is doing well, but you all know that it can never be easy campaigning against immodest dressing, because most of our women and daughters who have groomed the habit for years and who can never let the habit go will argue with you till thy kingdom come, the reason why they should wear it and claim that there is nothing there, such people you can only pray for them My N.G.O took on immodest dressing because we have many NGOs and none has picked or embraced anything like this and also with the inspiration of our Mother Mary, who inspired me to encourage her children to obey Her son’s commandment and strictly imitate her decent look. It pains me because my children do not know that seductive look, indecent dressing can lead souls to hell. Millions of souls have perished because of the way they look during their lifetime. So therefore, my children shouldn’t play with my virtues and my look.
Please share your experiences in addressing this issue?
Years back, I used to know a girl, who always dresses nude, wearing light leggings, pants etc. I used to call her privately for counselling to embrace decent look and she refused, and shortly she was raped by 17 bad young guys who entered and met her nude, after the rape she went to hospital for treatment and shortly she packed out from our compound. I also noticed after watching closely by myself that men’s attention is more on women who dress nude than women who dress decently. When indecent woman is passing, men set their eyes on them, trying to see their shapes, curves perhaps work on getting closer. Most of our men and women lament so often that most women do not have respect for their body that they are tired of seeing different types of shapes that are not made to be seen.
How can we solve the problem of immodest dressing?
This can be done by serious counseling, campaigning, prayers, and Priests hammering on it often. Mothers, teachers to stop dressing indecently as to impact this decent dressing and decent lifestyles into the lives of our children.