(There is an update to this post farther below, under the “November 2014 update” heading)
Some Christian colleges, of the Baptist variety, it seems, would rather women students die in a fire than to leave their dorm rooms dressed immodestly.
I suppose it is better for a woman to die in a fire than for a man to catch a glimpse of the corner of a woman’s nightgown, God forbid.
(Link): MODEST IS HOTTEST (LITERALLY) – from Stuff Fundies Like blog
(Link): This School Has the Worst Fire Safety Policy You’ve Ever Seen – from The Friendly Atheist blog
The other day, I (Link): posted a story about a former Pensacola Christian College student who had awful recollections of the school’s fire drill policy:
Of course PCC isn’t known for really caring much about fire safety anyway. For years the rule has remained on the books that all female students must be in “proper” attire before they leave their rooms for a fire drill. If you happen to be sleeping in pajama pants, you must take the time to put on a skirt before you try to escape the flames. If you should perish then at least you’ll know you died for the cause of not tempting the fire fighters to lust after you.
//// end article excerpt ///
The atheist blogger says he contacted the Christian college and asked them to please clarify their stance. There ensued an exchange of 4 or 5 e-mails where yes, the college insists that Christian women put on pants, robes, or what have you before leaving in a fire drill.
Further excerpts, by the blogger:
After my last post, some commenters referred to a (Link): 2002 fire at a girls’ school in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Because they were not wearing proper religious garb, the girls were instructed to head back into a burning building. 15 girls died in the fire; who knows how many lives could have been saved if safety, not modesty, was the first priority.
–[end article excerpt]—
Yes, as I’ve noted before, there are times when fundamentalist, evangelical, and other types of Christianity, sound remarkably close to Islam or Mormonism.
I cannot believe that Christians teach this sort of garbage, which can be unsafe for women.
Christians who promote such views also fail to recognize the irony, in that while their goal appears to keep men from “stumbling” by seeing a woman dressed in a night gown, they are, at the same time, sexually objectifying women.
In other words, Christians who push absurdist forms of modesty teachings and practices are contributing to the very problem they are trying to halt, and causing other problems on top of that.
November 2014 update….
About a week ago, someone tweeted me in response, after I tweeted a link to this blog post, that she doesn’t feel that my blog’s heading accurately depicts the situation.
She seems to feel that this behavior – requiring college women to bundle up before leaving a dorm room during a fire drill – is not truly representative of American Christianity in general.
She noted that these colleges mentioned in the stories above are very, very conservative institutions, so they should not be taken of being representative of all Christians.
The lady who informed me of this is someone who is, if I understand correctly, a founder of a well known, Christian gender egalitarian blog, one which I enjoy.
I see what she’s saying, but – this is still a problem within Christianity, regardless.
There are different degrees of sexism within Christianity, by the branches or denominations who cling to, or who defend, “gender complementarianism,” “purity” and “modesty” teachings as being biblical.
There are times when American conservative evangelicalism and other forms of Christianity sound a lot like Mormonism and Islam (I’ve posted stories before noting the similarities of beliefs and practices among these groups, especially as pertaining to sex, dating, marriage and views, teachings, and treatment or roles of women).
While there may be Christian universities who do not demand that female students dress head to toe in “burka garb” before departing a dorm during a fire drill, this doesn’t change the fact that this type of objectification of women can still be found in lesser forms in those universities, or in Christian literature, sermons, churches, blogs, and books.
The same views about women that under-gird the extreme conservative colleges on these strict clothing requirements during fire drills is the same exact rationale, convictions, and worldviews which underlie the more mild expressions of sexism against women by gender complementarians (such as not permitting women to preach in churches, teaching one-way submission of wives to husbands, etc) that this woman’s own blog who contacted me covers on a regular basis.
h/t to Stuff Fundies Like blog, which in turn linked to another story at the Friendly Atheist blog
(Link): Male Modesty and Male Shaming