Friday, February 10, 2006

Dressing To Save The Male

As often as I am in town and remember to do so, I attend a prayer and discussion session with a few men from my church. I am the only liberal in this group and one of the few who attend our Pentecostal church. We meet for prayer, bible study and fellowship. I believe that prayer is important but I don't always agree with the others about what to pray for. I believe in studying the bible but I don't take it as literally as the others. We all agree that change is needed. They are committed to changing me. I am committed to changing them. I think they are more confident about succeeding than I am.

This week we talked about men, women and their mutual sexual attraction. One of our group stated that the male is "wired" such that he must respond sexually to a woman. "Wired", in this context, means that the male's response is understandable and acceptable, i.e. natural. I certainly agree that men are so wired. I believe that women have their own wiring but if I were to say more I would only be guessing. Our group was divided on the question of who is responsible when the male's sexual response kicks in and takes charge at inappropriate times. I heard that one or more of our male teens can't look up from their feet when the youth worship team is leading the teen group in singing because some of the girls dress provocatively. Specifically, some of the girls wear low waist pants that expose their midriff. Some in my men's group think that girls should dress modestly or they will stimulate an uncontrollable unwanted sexual response from every male.

I suggested that they might instruct all the girls to wear burkas. The burka has proven to be an excellent way to deal with the provocative female body and the natural sexual response of the male. Putting burkas on all women is a lot easier than making all men act maturely and to treat women with respect. To my great surprise they thought I was serious. Luckily, they also thought that my suggestion was going too far. They thought a less agressive dress code would be sufficient to ensure modesty and protect the males from themselves.

I think women and men should show respect for themselves in their dress, speech and conduct. They should also dress, speak and act with respect for others. In my opinion showing respect for others means dressing, speaking and acting appropriately for the situation. Wearing nothing while swimming in a public pool is inappropriate; however, wearing a swimming suit, even one that doesn’t cover your midriff, to a public pool is appropriate. Wearing a swimming suit to a church service would be inappropriate. Wearing a swimming suit, even one that does cover your midriff, in church does not show respect for the other church goers.

If a swimming suit is not immodest dress for a public pool then it is also not immodest dress for church, a classroom or the workplace. Inappropriate – yes. Disrespectful – yes. But, it’s not immodest in my opinion, whether the midriff is covered or not. If exposing one’s midriff while wearing a swimming suit is not immodest then it is never immodest.

If a male is sexually stimulated by the sight of a woman’s belly button, is the male or female responsible for the male’s response? If the male responds by acting inappropriately, that is, if the male responds to the woman as if she is a sex object, is the male or the female responsible? If you think the female is responsible then you probably think that dressing women in burkas is an appropriate way to prevent women from provoking an uncontrollable male sexual response by displaying their belly buttons, midriff, ankles, knees, arms, neck, face and eyes. And, if so, you may also blame rape on the woman. Okay, maybe that’s a bit strong but do you wonder “what she was wearing or how was she acting” when she got herself raped?

Please… let us all be respectful of ourselves and others and assume responsibility, sole responsibility for our thoughts and our conduct.


Karen said...

Good ranting, Joe!
I SO agree.

Patchouli said...

So, did your friends react to your burka suggestion?

Joe said...


They said my burka suggestion was an overreaction and that they were asking only for modest clothing as if modest clothing is where their controls end instead of where the abuse begins.