By Remmy Diagbare
It seems unbelievable, but it is true,  that in this century and day, women in some parts of Africa are being walloped for wearing a bra! In Somalia, it has become a crime punishable by canning to walk the streets wearing one..

•I wonder what the Al-Shabaab gun men  will  do to a candidate like Corsy and her fellow boobs baring celebs?
•I wonder what the Al-Shabaab gun men will do to a candidate like Corsy and her fellow boobs baring celebs?

Officials of Al-Shabaab, which means “youth” in Arabic, which  control large swathes of south and central Somalia,  practice the  strictest form of Shariah law. They claim  it is un Islamic to wear a bra, which they claim  gives the wrong impression of  firm breast,  thereby deceiving the opposite sex,   this “deceitful impression” is termed un Islamic.

Now residents of north Mogadishu are saying that masked Al-Shabaab gunmen are going after women with firm breasts and accusing them of violating Islam by causing a deception because of the bras they wear. Exactly how they determine what is a firm breast is not stated.  And there is no trial before a Sharia judge to determine this.  There is no legal counsel for the accused, and no recourse to a higher court to overturn the mob justice.

For daring to wear a bra,  ladies caught in this manner are publicly caned by men from the Al-Shabaab group. After which , the  women are then ordered by these masked men to remove their bras.  On  removing their bras, they have to shake their breast, just to be sure it is natural..

“They first banned the former veil and introduced a hard fabric which stands stiffly on women’s chests. They are now saying that breasts should be firm naturally, or just flat.” complained a  resident, who said she had been beaten once, while her daughter got the cane last Thursday.

This is unbelievable. 2000 years
after women started wearing some form of corset, and 100 years after women’s liberation, some sisters are being dragged back to the middle age in the guise of religion.

I do not wish here to comment on the religious aspect of this, for respect of  Islam, which preaches peace and fairness, I shall refrain
However, the human rights of these women are being trampled upon and it behoves on  all women to rise up in defence of woman hood. Let no one think that because, it is not happening in  their region, so it is non of their business. That would be a grave mistake. The world is such a small global village, that what affects one region reverberates somewhat to outer regions.

It is ironic that while some  Nigerian women are being vilified for not wearing bras, elsewhere, women are being caned for wearing one. Can you beat that!I wonder what the Al-Shabaab gun men  will  do to a candidate like Corsy and her fellow boobs baring celebs? It bears no thinking!!

Bra history
Bra fashion history began as far back as Cretan times, but 1907, was the year when the word brassiere was first reported in an American copy of Vogue.  The original French meaning was support, but the word was out of use and the French chose to call a bra  soutien-gorge. Cretan women wore bras thousands of years ago.   Picture of the healthier Reform Bodice, back and front.

In England bust improvers were available in the Edwardian period.  By 1905 BBs as they were known were usual wear.  After 1930 all the names we know well in lingerie and corsetry today began manufacturing bras with quite separate cups. They used quality cotton lace and net.

1913 saw the debut of
the first modern brassiere. It was created by Mary Phelps Jacobs, who got so annoyed at the bones of her corset sticking out around her neckline that she covered them with a couple of silk handkerchiefs and some ribbon and attached it all together with some cords. Her friends loved the idea and those who expressed their admiration of this lightweight fashion were given one to try out.

Many people asked her to share her idea, but when she got a letter from a stranger, with a dollar and a request for her “contraption”, she drew the line. She immediately sent sketches of her design to the patent office. The patent was granted in November, 1914 for the “Backless Brassiere”. Mary named her new creation the Caresse Crosby. The bra was here to stay (even though it didn’t have stays, like the corset).

But Mary’s talents were in fashion design, not business, and she had a hard time managing her venture. So she decided to sell her patent to Warner Brothers Corset Company for $1,500. That turned out to be a pretty good investment for Warner because, over the next 30 years, it earned the company over $15 million.

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