If you can’t control yourself, it won’t matter what women wear…
Posted by 1minionsopinion on October 31, 2009
I don’t know what to make of a letter like this. It was posted by Andrée Seu, a woman who writes for WORLDmag.com:
I don’t know how it affects women, but men need some inner backbone on this subject, too. And someone needs to point out for women the desperate need for modest apparel. Too low at the neck, too high at the hem (if there is one), and too tight up and down—it all cheapens the woman (“strutting her stuff,” so to speak), and makes men’s lives miserable
I can only assume this is an American Christian man, but surely he’s not going to suggest women need to wear hijabs because he can’t figure out how to control his urges and deal with them maturely and responsibly. Although it seems Andrée agrees with me, stating how Cro-Magnon this concept ought to be, she soon changes her tune.
We have not cared enough about men, and our guilt is great. “For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes” (Matthew 18:7). If we thought plunging necklines were harmless, a cultural fad; if we sold ourselves the notion that ubiquity made for desensitization; if we deceived ourselves into believing that the game of “entice and deny” was fun for them—let us be sure that this one man’s letter represents thousands. What was lust for thousands of years is still lust. What was cruel for thousands of years is still cruel.
What was useful to propagate a species for thousands of years is still useful. Without lust in some measure, how does any creature attract a mate or keep one? I’ll agree with her in essence, though. There is a tendency in our society for women to behave and dress in a way that would indicate a willingness to strip and wiggle, even if they don’t actually have any desire to do either on the demand of a man. I can certainly understand why the guy might feel there are mixed messages coming from all directions. Because there are.
But it isn’t just a problem for the women to do something about. Who designs clothes? Who selects costumes for TV shows? Who picks what television shows will get a pass after the pilot is viewed? Who decides what qualifies as attractive? Who buys for stores? Who photographs women for CD and magazine covers? Who pays for the lascivious advertising? Who scripts it? Who hires the women willing to put themselves in front of the cameras to flaunt their bodies for a buck?
Many women may be willing to tramp around playing Sex Object all the time, but how many men are going to stand up and complain about that? This guy seems to be doing so, but not because he protests the only role seemingly available for women in our society, but because he doesn’t trust his own ability to resist primal urges related to these supposed feminine wiles.
I’m in my mid 60s, and I fight this battle every single day, and it is not fun. It’s warfare, and not only in the secular workplace. Even my dear Christian sisters in the Lord are for the most part clueless! And there’s no way to educate them that I know of, because the reaction would be to cry bondage or legalism, or worst of all, ‘What’s wrong with you, man?’ There is nothing wrong with me. I am just a man, struggling every day to keep myself pure, just as the Bible says, ‘The holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.’
I don’t think he wants to educate these women. He’s having trouble controlling himself, so he seeks to control how women dress as if that will solve the problem. It’s not their problem, though. It’s his. Making women cover up doesn’t solve the problem these kinds of men have with sexuality. I don’t mean promiscuity — I just mean women and the shapes we mature into, just as men may become more muscular and broad shouldered as they age.
But what’s Andrée’s suggestion?
Sanctification begins in the mind. Next time we’re standing by the water cooler, sisters, and engaged in conversation with a colleague of the male persuasion with whom we are tempted to flirt and preen, how about if we pretend that he is our brother, or father. I would not be surprised if this new mental habit proves enormously helpful in curbing the cruelty.
Yeah, it’s cruel of women to taunt men with bodies they have no intention of giving over. It’s one thing when the men appreciate the flirting on the level it’s given, as harmless fun, but obviously not every guy can think of a woman’s body as harmless and I suspect that few women would pick up on the difference when they wiggle over to the water cooler on stilettos to flaunt their boobs and asses as they lean over to get a drink.
Where am I going with this? I think I’m aiming for an education angle. As women, we need to be more aware of how we come across to men. We need to be more reserved in some cases because our natural bodies (with unnatural improvements?) are going to get some men excited whether we wear sweats or lingerie. No matter what we women do, there will be men turned on and incapable of looking at us like rational equal human beings. Men we might be grossly turned off by if we realized exactly what they were thinking when they look at us.
There will be men who think like this man, who’ll blame us for their control issues. It’s not our fault, but I think we should be aware of them anyway. I suspect these are the kinds of guys who make the headlines when women get assaulted.