Decency Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Standards of decency vary around the world, but the clash of mores is most visible in Dubai, where a playground for the rich is nestled in a conservative religious environment.

The latest story from Dubai sees a British tourist hauled before a judge after walking through the world’s biggest shopping mall in a bikini. The 20-something woman was on holiday in the Middle Eastern emirate when she upset locals in the Dubai Mall with her "revealing clothing." She was wearing clothes on top of her bikini, but after getting into an argument with an Arabic woman over her outfit, it was alleged she stripped off to her two-piece bathing suit.


She was charged with indecency and forced to surrender her passport, but after spending an hour explaining her behaviour to a judge in a Dubai police station the charges were dropped. She may have got off lucky: Another British tourist and her romantic partner were jailed for a month in Dubai earlier this year for kissing and fondling in a restaurant.

But it’s not just Dubai where standards of decency are enforced, however unevenly. A Florida woman is suing the city of Tavares after being arrested outside a water park back in April.  Janet Lovett told Orlando’s WFTV News-9 she was asked to leave the park because of a wet T-shirt that revealed her padded bra.

Outside the gate of the park, accompanied by her husband and seven-year-old son, she said she was approached by police. According to the cops she didn’t give her name fast enough and was charged with obstruction of justice and resisting arrest without violence. Charges have since been dropped, though Lovett spent five hours in jail and paid $1,500 in fines, WFTV said.

Lovett and her attorney intend to sue for violation of civil rights, false arrest and malicious prosecution, WFTV reported.

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