Russian women dress like 'strippers': church spokesman

18th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russian women's figure-hugging outfits and full-on makeup got a pasting from a senior Russian Orthodox Church spokesman on Tuesday, as he slammed women for dressing as if they were strippers.

Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the synod's department for relations between the church and society, called for a national "dress code" to tackle the issue in an open letter published by the Interfax news agency.

"There is a problem ... with people who mistake the street for a striptease," archpriest Chaplin wrote, adding that women who dressed provocatively would not find decent husbands.

"A woman who is barely dressed or made up like a clown ... certainly will not find a man as a partner in life who has the slightest rudiments of sense or self-respect."

He called for an all-Russian dress code, taking the lead from dress codes in offices and schools.

"It would be a good idea to think up an all-Russian dress code," Chaplin wrote, adding that women's appearance was not simply their private affair.

He also criticised men who wear shorts in the city or team tracksuit bottoms with flip-flops.

Some women who are devout Russian Orthodox believers wear long skirts, long sleeves and headscarves, but Russian women generally prefer more revealing clothing and makeup.

Chaplin is known for his outspoken statements. In December he controversially claimed that women who wore mini-skirts and got drunk were to blame if they were raped, and told women to dress more "seriously."

His comments sparked a petition from feminist group Za Feminism, to Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, calling for senior clerics to end "such discriminatory policies against women."

Veteran human rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva poured scorn on Chaplin's latest comments.

"It's all nonsense. Let people dress how they like. Next they'll be telling women not to wear lipstick," Alexeyeva, who heads the Moscow Helsinki Group, told Interfax.

© 2011 AFP

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