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Letter to the editor

I WAS really surprised that The Phnom Penh Post, a relatively progressive newspaper, published the article “Constructive Cambodian: The effect of wearing clothes of youth” (LIFT, August 3). Dara Saoyuth’s obvious dislike of women wearing clothes different from his perceived ideal was evident, and reflected in the opinion pieces chosen to be published. Why were only women’s dress choices discussed? What about the young men of Cambodia and their fashion choices, and the effect of this on their ability to perform in class, the reaction of their peers and the effect on traffic?

For this type of one-sided, ignorant view to be published in a youth forum only perpetuates the huge disadvantage Cambodian women face.

I was appalled by the quote of San Arun, secretary of state for the Ministry of Women’s Affair,s stating that short skirts caused rape. I worry for the progress of Cambodian women if this is the type of thinking of their peak advocacy body.

I was thankful you republished Sim Socheata’s articulate letter disputing this quote, and I am here to say the same: for any violence against women, put the blame where it belongs: on the perpetrator. To be violent is a behavioural choice. Blame the man for his behavioural decisions, not the women they CHOOSE to attack.

Emily Potter RN, BNg, MNg
Sydney, Australia

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