“Potato sacks for all”

Close-up of a jute bag © hans.slegers (shutterstock)

Sociologist Barbara Kuchler has called on the fashion industry to equalize clothing for women and men. Either "potato sacks for all" or tight, body-hugging clothes for all genders are needed.

"Women have the main social responsibility for looking beautiful," the Bielefeld University scholar criticized Thursday at a panel discussion on gender relations at the 37. German Protestant Church Congress in Dortmund. There needs to be either "potato sacks for all" or tight, body-hugging clothes for all sexes.

Kuchler: assault lies "partly with the woman"

At the same time, Kuchler criticized women who "very willingly" participate in a social system in which more attention is paid to appearance in women. If women put on makeup, plucked their eyebrows and wore tight clothing, they should not be surprised "if they are looked at and groping occurs," the scholar said. The fact that men perceive a miniskirt in a certain way cannot be blamed on them.

Of course, men "need to have their hands in check," Kuchler said. But he said it was "sociological window dressing" for a woman to demand to be judged only on her performance when she comes to the office all dolled up. The responsibility of assault lies "partly with the individual woman," she said.

Criticism: Potato sacks do not prevent sexual violence

Opposition came from the audience as well as from the other panelist Kristina Marlen. It's wrong to try to "desexualize public space," sex worker and physical therapist said.

Female sexuality is always censored first, criticized Marlen. A woman who says "no" and morally refuses is still easier to think about than a woman who expresses her sexual desires, he said. If everyone showed up in potato sacks, it would not prevent sexual violence, she stressed. Moreover, the only reason women were not taken seriously at work was that they were not taken seriously in general.

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