Letters to the Editor

Do Jamaicans really need a dress code?

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

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Dear Editor,

How relevant and meaningful is a dress code to various people culturally?

And, how relevant is a dress code in a morally inclined society, globally?

Against these two questions we have to look intensely at the way we present ourselves for various functions and events. Whilst people are ever so free to dress the way they choose, people have to also realise that how we dress within our private space and the way we dress within public space are two different approaches of the choices we often make.

Despite the tropical nature and climate of Jamaica we cannot rule out morality according to standard and values. Nonetheless, the big question now is, whose dress code do we use as a standard?

I am not in the least agreeing with any government to impose upon its subjects a dress code that befits that of our long-time, colonial masters from our motherland Britain, were that the case. What the Government has established in understanding is a protocol in dressing whenever time we go into certain public spaces or buildings.

I listened to an interview on Nationwide Radio with Cliff Hughes and a female professor who, to my mind, argued in a postulated way on the subject of a dress code seemingly imposed by the Government. I say seemingly because I am not aware of any such legality that regulates the way we all should dress. What I know is that the Government has a right to say how we present ourselves whenever we choose to occupy the space in which they operate, ie public space.

On another occasion, I read that a lawyer made a statement I personally believe is a laggard statement for a legal-minded person to make publicly. That person implied that all government buildings belong to the public and as such the Government has no right to tell the public how to dress to enter into these public buildings. Might as well he had implied that we all can enter into any public building or office and take whatever we want, seeing they all belong to us.

We see now in our society women dressing in bedroom clothing on our streets, and men dressing in bed slippers and multi-coloured socks up to their knees. What is even more heart-rending is our men who are bleaching their faces and styling their hair like our women. What confusion upon this piece of rock? We need to be careful that we do not mistake our men for being women in some instances.

Alrick A Davis, JP

alrico_dee@yahoo.com

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