Thursday, May 29, 2014

Baggy, collared, button-up shirts - The Fall of Man

She wore a dirty t-shirt and jeans, no shoes, no makeup, and she hadn't even bothered to drag a brush through her hair. She was a typical 12 year old tomboy. Two older boys grabbed her and drug her to her bedroom and tried to rape her. Her parents came home - and said it was her fault for being provocative. 

She wore a tank top with an over-sized white man's button-up shirt over it, and simple denim jeans that were a little baggy. She wore very little make-up, and her hair wasn't styled. Canvas slip-on shoes covered her feet. A boy she'd gone to prom with - one who was only a friend, but made no attempt to hide that he wanted to be more - led her down an abandoned hallway to talk. It was then and there that he tried to rape her. Her guidance counselor at school told her it was partially her fault because of how she was dressed, and because she'd gone to the dance with the young man. 

She wore a tube top with a button-up shirt over the top, and shorts that fell to a few inches above her knee; canvas shoes, no make-up, and her hair was a windblown mess. She was bike riding with friends, until all but one had to go home. It was then that the one who was still with her decided they needed a break from riding - and raped her. He told her she was asking for it because she'd dressed up for him. 


Immodest dress to blame for lustful thoughts and actions?

At Bible Study last night, we were discussing women and their sexuality - and how some use that sexuality to get what they want. The conversation veered off to how we dress, and how men are visual creatures. If they see a young lady dressed in short shorts and skimpy tops, they are prone to lustful thoughts. And this is where I had to step in and speak up....

I am not at all against teaching girls to have a little modesty. And yes, the Bible says we must not cause a brother to stumble. However...

1) I will not teach my daughters that how they dress excuses a man's lustful behavior. I don't care if a woman is walking down main street completely naked - this does not give a man the right to rape her. I don't care if the man takes her out to dinner - this does not mean she "owes" him her body, or anything else. Men, and men alone, are responsible for their actions; just as we women are solely responsible for our actions.

2) C'mon! It's 90 degrees outside. If a guy can be outside in shorts and no shirt to keep cool, a girl can be outside in a tank top and shorts. If you, as a male, cannot keep your hands off her because she's showing a little skin, then maybe there's a problem with you. 

3)  Why are we teaching females how to avoid rape (which, by the way, telling them to dress more modestly is not going to prevent most rapes), but we aren't teaching our boys to not rape??? Almost everything I read tells girls how to avoid being a victim. Don't get me wrong - it's good for girls to be aware and educated in how to be safe. But there must be equal attention (or perhaps even more attention) given to boys on how to respect females. You do not get to touch, kiss, or have sex with us without permission. Groping us is not funny. Making jokes about us being "doable" is not cool. Acting like the big man on campus that can get any girl he wants, is not a turn on, and does not make you a man at all. And I don't care how that girl is dressed... her clothing choice is not an invitation for you to have sex with her.

Teach Responsibility! 

You, and you alone, are responsible for the lust in your heart and for your words and actions.

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. (Matthew 5:27-30)
Note... this passage doesn't say "anyone who looks at a woman lustfully - the woman has committed adultery." It doesn't say "If a woman causes you to stumble..."

Women - dress modestly out of respect for the Lord and your own body.
Men - grow up and stop blaming women for your inability to keep your lust in check.

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