The goal is self-control

If you can’t control yourself and succumb to temptation, the solution isn’t to remove temptation; the solution is to work on your self control!

A while back there was a news story about a Saudi cleric who recommended baby girls be clad in baby burkas. (see:

Why? Because apparently there are a number of Muslim men who are raping their young daughters. And it’s becoming a bit of a problem. Now, one of the solutions to this problem has been to advocate changing the law to make it illegal for a man to kill his wife or child or abuse them, which is apparently currently legal under Saudi Arabia’s version of Sharia. This seems like a rational step. Make it illegal for men to abuse women.

However a Saudi cleric has another idea. Since some Saudi men can’t resist themselves even around tiny little babies, that babies and young girls should wear burkas so that the men in their lives won’t be tempted to rape and torture them.

And here is where Humanism differs from a religious approach. We believe in personal responsibility and in respecting individuals. Rape and any form of sexual abuse against anyone of any age is not ok because it dehumanizes the victim on a very basic human level! It’s about control and power and ultimately about disrespect.

Further Humanism doesn’t tell 5 year old girls that they are responsible for their father raping them because they should have been wearing a burka!  We instead tell the father – he is responsible to protect his daughter and to not harm her in any way.

Asking everyone around you to accommodate the fact you have no self-control is to make other people responsible for your actions and choices. It is an immature response to bad behavior. It is like a 10 year old you have told not to touch something breaking it and then blaming you for leaving it out for them to play with in the first place.

Mature people take responsibility for their actions. The solution isn’t to ask half of humanity to not tempt you by their very existence. The solution is to work on your self-control so that you can be in the presence of your five year old daughter and not think of raping her! Or better yet – how about working on your self control and compassion and respect for others so that raping any girl is not something you would ever consider!


  1. This is very disturbing. Unfortunatley, there are people in many different countries and cultures who like to blame the victims of rape. In Saudi Arabia the law protects the rapists. What an atrocity!

    1. Yeah - at this point the whole rape and blame the victim culture is pissing me off everywhere. I've become not just a Humanist but a pissed off feminist as well. grrrr.


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