My previous post High heels for higher learning seems to have captured the imagination of news agencies around the world. I’ve had pingbacks from France, China and Poland and the story was picked up by the Huffington Post, Global Voices Online as well as a number of syndicate agencies.
Today, Spanish national newspaper El Pais has featured my post in its S Moda fashion section under the heading ‘Tacones por obligacion‘ [sp]. This roughly translates as ‘[high] heels by order’. I was interviewed last week by journalist Noelia Ramirez, who wanted to know whether I thought there was a growing trend in Asia for some kind of “modesty code”. I don’t think this is the case at all and rather the incident I reported on is much more about the individual Rector’s view of how to control the student body.
I once again have to thank Asia-Plus News Agency [ru] for breaking the story. It might not sound like a big thing to people living in countries where the media is genuinely free to write what it wants, but it takes a lot of guts to do that in Tajikistan, where the government – and in this case the university leadership – is all about control and suppression of the right to think and speak freely.