Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Look a Beauty in the Eye
Let me start by saying that I am not thinking of anyone in particular here....it's just something I've been thinking about. My husband hasn't been looking past me in restaurants to ogle scantily-clad women (or if he has I haven't noticed it, and I think I would notice), I don't think my son has been chasing short skirted co-eds across campus, and my dad, brothers, uncles, and friends' husbands have all kept their eyes nicely set in their sockets as far as I know. So if you read on and think that I have some certain misbehaving male in mind as I write this, you're wrong. However, if you are some misbehaving male who is about to feel really guilty or really outraged, well, so be it. Stop misbehaving.
There is a phenomenon going on lately, a blame shift. It's the idea that women are to blame for men's behavior. Particularly, the way women dress. Apparently, a man cannot control himself if he sees too far up a woman's leg, or if her shoulders are bare, or her top is low-cut. Apparently, if a man sees these things, he will abandon all of his will and should not be held responsible for his actions. HE is not to blame, because HE is just a poor ol' guy and that's just HOW HE WAS MADE. I even read an article recently, written by a man, that explains how the way women dress has contributed to his 'lifestyle of sin'. In the comments to that article, a reader agrees, and goes on to say that 'evil' women who 'dress that way', 'deserve what they get'. Wow.
Come on, men, is that really what you want to put out there? That you are all a bunch of infantile, animalistic idiots who lose all function at the sight of a woman's flesh? That you are able to have self-control over everything except the wiles of a woman, even if those wiles are accidental?
I prefer to have higher expectations for the men in my life. I will not allow them to blame the women they happen to see for bad choices they might make...and I don't expect them to make the bad choices in the first place. I expect them to be gentlemen, no matter who is around them in whatever state of dress (or undress) those people are in. I expect them to look women in the eye, not lower. I expect them to control themselves, be polite, and most importantly, to see each person as another human being...not an object to be sized up. And I don't expect them to make comments about it later to their friends.
How about Matthew 5:27-29: 'You have heard that it was said, you shall not commit adultery, but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, TEAR IT OUT and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.' Whoa! Sounds like men shouldn't be looking at women lustfully. Sounds like, if he does, he should deal with HIMSELF, harshly even.
Women are PEOPLE, not objects. Women make choices, same as men. We do dumb things, same as men. But the way we dress does not mean men are then free from responsibility and human decency.
Now, here's the part where I write a bunch of different things about how I'm not letting the women who dress inappropriately off the hook, then I delete it all and try to write something new, then I delete all that. Because I don't want to do a 'BUT'. You know what I mean...BUT women really shouldn't dress that way and BUT some women do dress like that to get men to notice them and BUT and BUT and BUT....Yes, all that is true, and modesty should be her goal. But that's not my point here.
My point here is just this: Men, control yourselves. You can. You only have YOURSELF to answer for in the end.
Posted by Ruth Ronk at 11:54 AM