Respect women's right to dress how they like in public

While I agree with Mr Benjamin Sim Buke Huang that women should dress decently in places of worship as a mark of respect, I disagree that parents and society should dictate how girls and women should dress in public ("Mind how we dress in public"; last Saturday).

Who are we to judge what is the right or wrong dress code in public, and where do we draw the line?

It is one's personal right to choose how one dresses in public. One need not dress modestly to be respected. In fact, one's behaviour and attitudes are more important than what one wears.

Modesty is a choice and not a requirement. Women should be able to dress the way they wish, express their confidence through their attire, and not according to someone else's idea of what is proper.

What we need to do is change how men are taught to regard and behave towards women.

If a man cannot stop thinking that a woman is a sex object because of how she dresses, that is his failing, not hers.

If a woman makes a choice to wear a short skirt, it is her right to do so without harassment. Her attire should not give any man an excuse to exploit or molest her.

Francis Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2016, with the headline 'Respect women's right to dress how they like in public'. Print Edition | Subscribe