Rebuttal To Anne Marie’s Post About Modesty
This post is sort of a continuation of my previous post (link to my previous post)
As to my previous post:
I tried the FlowerDust.net link (under the Singles category) which brought me here:
I have skimmed over some of her posts, and I’ve stopped to read the modesty one a bit more closely at this point.
DOUBLE STANDARD: CHRISTIANS TEACHING MODESTY IS PRIMARILY FOR WOMEN BUT NOT FOR MEN
At least, I take it that she is primarily concerned about female modesty, which itself is problematic, because if one is going to scold and lecture women not to be “immodest stumbling blocks,” one needs to give the same lectures to men, because there are visually oriented hetero women such as myself who get turned on by hot and sexy, near nude men, or men in swim trunks, or in-shape men in well cut suits, or men in T-shirts and tight jeans.
But Anne Miller doesn’t care about me and my temptation struggles – she only cares about men.
Here’s a link to her post:
Begging your pardon, but 99% of Anne’s post misses the point about modesty discussions.
Here are some excerpts from her page:
- You do have freedom. And I think the greatest freedom is to choose to say no to your freedom for the sake of another person.
- …That, my friend, is not freedom.
- Let’s call it for what it is: entitlement. Many of us feel entitled to do what we want, to wear what we want, and to behave how we want to behave. Loving another is not about how we feel or even embracing our freedom.
- True freedom is laying down your life for another.
PROBLEM IS MALE ENTITLEMENT
The real problem is Christian male entitlement, not an entitlement attitude by women. A woman simply choosing her wardrobe for the day is her going about her business, she is living life, she is not engaging in “entitlement.” I address the concept of male entitlement a little bit farther below, so I won’t get into that more here and now.
CHRISTIAN DOUBLE SPEAK AND REDEFINING WORDS
Christians constantly redefine the meanings of words so that they end up being the opposite of what they are.
Christians are forever shaming and guilt tripping one entire gender – usually females – and telling them that freedom is not really freedom.
Or, some Christians, such as Miller, define the word “freedom” to mean something akin to, “allow your life to be limited by what men want, feel, and need.” Telling me to give up my rights and preferences for another group of people, due to their potential weaknesses or for whatever other reason, is not freedom of any kind, no matter how you couch it.
These sorts of Christians – like Anne Marie Miller in this example – say that inhibiting yourself and your rights is actual freedom.
No, it’s not, I beg to differ, once more: you are being a codependent doormat, allowing your choices in life to be dictated by other people’s wants and preferences and their potential to sin.
This is much the same double-speak one finds in Christian gender complementarian literature.
I have actually seen gender complementarian women try to brainwash other women into thinking that repressive, sexist gender complementarianism is good or beneficial for women, when, in truth, gender complementarianism is dangerous, unbiblical, and unhealthy.
One argument on one gender comp site went something like this (I would give you the link to the page, but I don’t have it; this was written by a gender complementarian woman. I am paraphrasing her argument here, as I cannot quote her directly, as I lost the link to the blog post years ago):
- “We know you think feminism, or rejecting biblical roles for women, offers you freedom, a vast field to run and play around in, but THAT’S not “real” freedom!
- You see, a big field can be so confusing, there are so many choices.
- Gender compliementarianism / biblical gender roles puts a fence around the field. That fenced in field may look limiting, but we swear, it’s freedom!
- You get to run around as much as you want to within that fenced area, and it’s for your safety! You will love it! It’s smaller and doesn’t have as many possibilities, and it infantilizes you, but that is REAL freedom!!
Any time Christians try double speak, telling you that being repressed (or repressing yourself) is the same thing as “freedom,” they are playing semantic games and are being intellectually dishonest.
Telling me I should pick my clothing choices based on what a man might think or do is NOT freedom. It’s taking away my freedom.
BIBLE DOES NOT TEACH THAT WOMEN ARE IN ANY WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR MEN’S SEXUAL TEMPTATIONS OR FAILINGS
The author then writes,
- BUT REALLY, PEOPLE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN THOUGHTS! I COULD WEAR A MUMU AND BE A “STUMBLING BLOCK!”
- Yes. People are accountable for their own actions. You could wear a mumu and someone may undress that mumu right off you. I am not minimizing the responsibility we all have for our decisions to act against what we know is true and right and lovely.
- …Maybe we should take responsibility for another so they can have freedom instead of struggle.
- The truth is we are responsible for one another. We are not to judge or criticize people for thinking or acting differently than we do where there is freedom, but we are also to encourage others to be holy, not condemn them to it.
The author is speaking out of both sides of her mouth on this point.
Miller is still maintaining that it is a woman’s responsibility for a man’s thought life and a man’s sexual failings – it is not. The Bible does not teach it is a woman’s responsibility for how or what a man thinks, or if a man falls into sexual sin.
“The woman made me do it” is not an excuse or reason that will fly with God in matters of sexual sin and clothing.
MODEST OR IMMODEST DRESS IS LARGELY SUBJECTIVE
There is no one single “modesty standard,” so that what Miller is proposing here does not, and cannot, work in real life.
I have left my home before in totally un-sexy clothing, such as baggy sweat pants and ripped up, old T-shirts, and I have still had men hit me up, ask for my number, and cat call me on sidewalks.
Back when I was engaged, my fiancee thought I was drop dead sexy when I woke up first thing in the morning, with no make-up, my baggy house coat, baggy over night sleep shirt, mis-matched socks and old, worn out bunny slippers.
My fiance urged me not to leave the front door in the morning to grab the paper, lest the working men around who were mowing lawns and so on, would ogle me. Here I was looking like a homeless bag lady, but my ex thought I was “Ooh La La Sexy.”
There is no clothing or outfit a woman can wear that will guarantee that any, all, or most men will NOT find her sexy.
If a man is viewing a woman in Lust, the problem is not in the woman, or in what she is wearing or not wearing, but in the man’s heart.
Jesus taught that sinful, lustful wishes come from a man’s heart, not from what he puts in his belly via his mouth (food), nor in what a woman wears. Anne Miller needs to learn that point.
Miller: I want you to make a fashion wardrobe for me.
Put me together a closet of several outfits, including one you believe would be modest (dresses, pants, jeans, skirts, t-shirts, etc) and one that, in your view, has suitable swim wear attire.
I shall wear your choices out in public, and I can guarantee you that some man, some where, will still find me hot, sexy, attractive and want to boink me, even in the “modest” outfits you select for me.
There is no universal standard of what all men will accept as “modest attire,” so it is impossible and impractical to lecture women on “dressing modestly.”
No, women are in no, way, shape, or form responsible for what men think or do, or if men “lust.”
I have a crush on movie actor Hugh Jackman.
Jackman is sometimes shown on TV, news sites, or printed articles, showing off his buff body shirtless.
Is Miller going to write Jackman, begging him to keep cover up, lest he cause me to stumble?
I highly doubt it, because in the sexist world Christians inhabit, the onus is always put on WOMEN.
And, further, women are not regarded as having a sex drives or as beings who are visually oriented. Christians love to live in denial about female sexuality; they like to believe that only men want sex, have sex, and only men are “visually stimulated”.
WOMEN TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, SO CAN MEN
Do you know what I do? I take responsibility for me, that’s what.
I do not send e-mails, letters, or start petitions to get actor Hugh Jackman to keep his shirt on at all times. And it’s worked for me. I control my thought life. I don’t sit around having kinky fantasies about Jackman.
Christian men already have a very big sense of entitlement (I wrote Part 1 about that topic (Link): here), and essays and views such as Miller’s only bolster that sense of entitlement.
Your essay, Miller, sends a message to any male reader that they are “off the hook,” and if they leer and lust, it’s the woman’s fault.
Miller is essentially telling men that those poor, hopeless fools cannot control themselves sexually (which goes against the Bible, see Galatians 5:23 see Titus 2:6 see 1 Tim 3:2 see Titus 1:8 and other verses which assume that people are capable of self control).
MODESTY ADVOCATES TREAT ADULTS LIKE HELPLESS, INEPT CHILDREN
- There is no love in telling a man or woman to suck it up and deal with their lust problem so we can dress how we please.
Yes, it is loving – and respectful. It’s treating men and women like the mature adults they are, ones who can and should be able to control their sexual lust issues. Men and women, even ones who have so called “lust problems” can choose how to behave, and they can choose what to think.
Our society is filled with alcoholics and over-eaters.
I don’t see many in either group – alcoholics or over-eaters – demanding that the rest of the world stop eating food, stop drinking beer, and stop advertising beer and food on television.
Alcoholics and over-eaters attend group meetings and practice self control. They know that because they have a weakness that it’s not going to stop others who do not have it from giving up junk food or beer.
If you are friends with an over-eater and you personally choose not to eat your Twinkie in front of him or her, that is your business.
However, don’t sit there writing blog posts telling all the skinny people, or folks with no eating disorders, they should tailor all their meal choices in public and private because there MIGHT be an over-eater sitting at the next table.
I am not about to change my diet habits all because there might be a person with an eating disorder sitting at the table next to me in a restaurant who might be triggered to eat some Twinkies because he or she sees me eating one.
You, Miller, are suggesting that we treat adults like little children, to hide the cookies so they cannot see them and be tempted to steal one from the cookie jar before dinner.
The truth of it is, we are never going to live in a world where all women dress in head- to- toe burkas, like Muslim women wear.
CHRISTIANITY ON DECLINE
Christianity is on the decline in the United States (off site link: link to more information about that issue).
More and more American women are becoming agnostic or atheist (link to more on that topic, (Link, off site): The Christian Right Is Losing Women ).
You are living in a nation where more and more women will be dressing however they please, they are not beholden to Christian teachings on anything, let alone how they dress.
If agnostic and atheist women are going to dress however they please, do you not think it would be more helpful to coach men to practice self-control?
(Rather than shaming or brow-beating Christian ladies to “dress modestly,” with “modestly” in that regard being somewhat subjective, making it a fairly useless concept anyway.)
Your guilt trippy editorials sprinkled with Bible verses and appeals to love are not going to work on the wider culture, and plenty of Christian men work with, for, and around Non-Christian women in their daily lives.
If you cannot and should not expect all women of any and all nations and cultures in real life and on television to refrain from wearing thongs, short skirts, or bikinis, you best learn how to navigate life using self control.
CULTURAL PROBLEMS OF ADDRESSING MODEST DRESS FOR WOMEN
Speaking of Muslims: many Muslims I have read about, especially the likes of ISIS and other militant groups, adhere to similar views about sex and modesty. Muslims put a burden on women to cover up, so as not to cause men to “stumble.”
If and when Christianity sounds like another religion on one point or another – say Islam or Mormonism – that should be a clue something is deeply amiss with your understanding of your Christian faith.
I once read an interview with a woman American journalist years ago.
She said she visited a Muslim nation. She wore a modest one piece bathing suit to an in-door pool at her hotel on one of her days off while there.
She was laying on her lounge by the pool when she noticed two Muslim men masturbating: they were turned on by seeing her in a one-piece. (Yes, these two men were several feet from her, masturbating for her and all the world to see.)
Most American men, had they seen a woman in a one piece in a hotel pool area would not have even noticed, or had they, may have thought “she is attractive,” but I doubt American men would have whipped their penises out and masturbated in front of her.
Why? Because American men are
- 1. accustomed to seeing women in swim suits,
- 2. they can control themselves, if they so choose.
The American woman journalist said in this same interview that she asked a Muslim co-worker friend of hers about that hotel pool incident because she found it strange (in addition to creepy).
The friend explained that in his predominantly Muslim nation, women were usually covered head – to – toe. For those men to see her in a bathing suit, even so much as an ankle, was a huge turn-on for them.
I could be wrong, but I would guess that Miller does not find anything sexy or immodest about a one-piece swim suit. Lots of Christian American women wear one piece suits and two piece suits out in public, to the beach and to public pools.
Whether a man gets “turned on” and masturbates to a woman in a bathing suit in public is due in part to cultural conditioning and/or religious indoctrination about how to view women and sexuality.
If you train men to think of women in terms of their bodies only, and teach women to do the same, don’t be surprised when or if things like that take place.
A one piece woman’s swim suit in the USA is not going to cause American men to wank off (not in public), but in some Muslim nation, it might.
Should this mean that American women should refrain from wearing one-piece suits in the USA?
I don’t think so. I think Muslim men in nations X, Y, and Z need to change their attitudes about women and sex. It’s not the job of women, in their nation or ours, to coach them on it, or to stay covered up year round.
REAL LIFE RAMIFICATIONS
Here is where out-dated and sexist thinking like Miller’s can and does lead (these are off-site links):
- Ever thought you could be too good-looking for your own good?
- Melissa Nelson, 33, didn’t either. Then she was fired from her job in Fort Dodge, Iowa, as a dental assistant, after 10 years, simply because her boss found her irresistibly attractive – and a threat to his marriage.
That woman is out of a job through no fault of hers, precisely for the very views that Anne Marie Miller is defending and advocating.
- IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday stood by its ruling that a dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant because he found her too attractive and worried he would try to start an affair.
- …Nelson’s attorney, Paige Fiedler, had asked the court in January to reconsider, calling the decision a blow for gender and racial equity in the workplace. She had warned the opinion could allow bosses to legally fire dark-skinned blacks and replace them with light-skinned blacks or small-breasted workers in favor of big-breasted workers.
Miller – you need to be teaching men like that dentist in that story he can control himself, and it’s not the woman’s fault for what she looks like, or for how she dresses.
- I thought we had decided the issue that men’s “uncontrollable lust” was indeed controllable, and if they didn’t control it, they were going to be charged and convicted of sexual harassment, rape, frottage — well you get the idea.
- So now the all-male Iowa Supreme Court has said, albeit in a new way, that men are so controlled by their gonads that they can fire an employee at will for being able to incite attraction, sex, love, whatever. No matter that she is just going about her job or being a stellar employee; if she’s got a cute butt or a nicely turned nose, her job is history.
If you haven’t heard, the court stood by an earlier ruling that a Fort Dodge dentist acted legally when he fired his dental assistant — even while acknowledging she had been an excellent employee for 10 years — because he and his wife were afraid he would try to start an affair with her and ruin their marriage.
The employee had sued for sex discrimination. But the court said firing an employee for being too attractive, despite no inappropriate behavior on her part, is not sex discrimination because gender is not the issue.
Don’t tell me this has nothing to do with gender.
I don’t see women firing men because they can’t control themselves. Is this because they don’t have manly kind of urges? Or is it because they don’t have access to the same excuses, such as uncontrollable attraction and desire? Either way, it’s a gender issue. And if a woman is denied employment because of her gender, that is a protected legal status.
- ….Let’s be real honest here: If the only way this man and woman could protect their marriage is to remove an attractive woman from their midst, then I’d say this marriage has a lot more problems than just an attractive dental assistant.
What is this dentist’s wife going to do — put blinders on her husband like a race horse? Do employees have to pass an ugliness test? Do they pick the couples in their extended friendship network according to whether the wife is curvaceous?
Women have been at risk because of their looks for a long time.
There are online sites where women are evaluated like so many heifers on whether they are ” Hot or Not?” Words such as “dog” “sow” “and needing a “paper bag over her head” have been thrown at us as a part of male bravado.
Beautiful women get cat-calls, sometimes really rude and threatening gestures and unwanted commentary on their looks. Talk about women being between a rock and a hard place. Insulted and not hired if they aren’t attractive, fired if they are too attractive.
Could someone tell us just exactly how we should look?
In a similar story:
(Link): You’re Cute And Fired – New York Times
- The question of whether women can be too attractive for their jobs has come up several other times recently. Over the summer, Olivia Sprauer, a high school teacher in Florida, was forced to resign after photos of her posing in a bikini were found by her principal.
- And last week, The New York Post reported that a yoga teacher, Dilek Edwards, filed court papers over her dismissal from a chiropractic clinic.
- Charles Nicolai, the owner of the clinic with his wife, Stephanie Adams, had told Ms. Edwards that his wife might become jealous of her on account of being “too cute.” (Ms. Adams denied the allegations.)
- “This takes ‘she was asking for it’ to a whole new level,” Ms. Angyal said, adding: “ ‘What is she doing walking around with a face like that?’ Perhaps we shouldn’t let men run businesses and have the nuclear launch code if you can’t handle someone who has a pretty smile and nice breasts.”
- ..Debora L. Spar, the president of Barnard College and author of “Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection,” finds these cases “absurd, full stop.”
“It’s insane that in 2013 the fact of women’s appearances is having this much weight in the workplace,” Ms. Spar said. “As long as people are generally adhering to the norms of the workplace, the fact that they wear more or less makeup or slightly shorter clothes is their personal decision.”
- Jack Tuckner, a civil rights lawyer in Manhattan’s financial district who represented Debrahlee Lorenzana when she sued Citibank a few years ago for firing her for being too attractive, said, “It’s quite Victorian, this idea of ‘Let’s run this woman out of town on a rail before our own desires get the better of us.’ ”
LITTLE to no BIBLICAL SUPPORT FOR MILLER’S VIEWS
- And then articles followed on what Paul meant when he spoke of modesty (more of a financial context),
Absolutely. Paul was not addressing “sexual modesty.” Miller just seems to gloss right over this, but the Bible is often used incorrectly by Christians to enact man-made laws, ones which are sometimes sexist and unfair to women.
If Paul was not writing an epistle against the wearing of mini-skirts and high heels (which he was not), where do Miller or other pro-modesty Christians get off continually beating women over the head with Paul’s “modesty” passages, when telling women to “dress modestly?”
- And then articles followed on what Paul meant when he spoke of modesty (more of a financial context), how men (and women) are responsible for their thoughts and actions (pluck out your eye, sinner! it’s not my fault you can’t look at me without seeing me as an object!) and how culture plays into what we consider “modest” even means.
Those are all very valid, damning points against the sort of modesty teachings that she is advocating in her post, but she doesn’t really deal with them. She just glosses them over and later argues that “real freedom” and “real love” comes from women limiting their freedom for weak men who cannot or who will not take responsibility for themselves.
BUT THE MODESTY POLICE DO NOT CARE IF THEY MAKE WOMEN FEEL UNWELCOME.
ONLY THE FEELS OF MEN MATTER (OR MATTER THE MOST)
- There is something more at stake than your clothing choices.
- And that thing is community.
This is a double-edged sword. I sure do not sense a feeling of community being around Christians who dictate to me that because I am a woman, I should dress a certain way to please men one way or another.
Miller and those like her come across as controlling. I have no interest in hob-nobbing in churches where I am being controlled and pressured to be or look a certain way.
I have no desire to befriend Christians who are telling me that the Christian men in attendance at their churches are all potential rapists who will rape me, or make a pass at me, the moment they have an opportunity, and all because they cannot control their lusts, and because I happen to be wearing a skirt from JC Pennys and a pair of pumps.
MODESTY ADVOCATES DEPICT VERY UNFLATTERING VIEWS OF CHRISTIAN MEN.
ARE THEY REALLY SURE THIS IS WHERE THEY WANT TO GO?
I am also disturbed to find out that (according to Miller and modesty proponents such as her) when Christian men look at me, they don’t see a human made in the image of God, but all they see is nothing but a pair of breasts to fondle and a pair of buttocks and a crotch.
According to modesty advocates, I am not regarded as a thinking, feeling human with needs, wants, hopes, fears and goals, but as a sexual commodity. (Kind of like ISIS, the Muslim group who sell nine year old girls as sexual toys for men to rape.)
MODESTY ADVOCATES ALSO SEXUALLY OBJECTIFY WOMEN
Miller’s modesty teachings are actually another way of objectifying women.
Miller is making women into sex objects just as any Hollywood movie does.
You’re still reducing women to being nothing but their sexuality and their body parts. You’re telling men it is acceptable for them to view me as a sex object because of how I am dressed, and that they lack self control.
- My fear is we get so wrapped up in our freedom that we can’t show love – true, sacrificial love – for each other.
It’s not loving for people such as Miller to guilt trip and shame women into dressing a certain way to appease lazy, supposedly lust-filled men.
I thought Christian men are “new creatures in Christ,” who die to self daily? If that is so, they should not have a huge issue being around women who are in yoga pants or mini-skirts.
It is not freedom to tell women to limit their choices, and at that, to appease men.
CHRISTIAN MODESTY TEACHINGS ARE ANOTHER FACET OR OUTCOME OF CHRISTIANIZED CODEPENDENCY FOR WOMEN
There are many characteristics of codependency.
The Bible warns against codependency. God does not want anyone, including women, to be codependent.
Do you know what one of several typical tendencies (or traits) of codependency is? To make one’s life choices, or feelings of self worth, based on the actions, reactions, emotions, preferences, or the fear of someone’s negative reaction, to your choices or behaviors.
That is, if a woman chooses to dress like a frumpy 1940s or 1840s housewife and wear dresses down to her ankles and a sun bonnet on her head for the express, or primary, purpose or fear of possibly causing a man to stumble, she is being codependent.
In this particular context under discussion (Christian modesty teachings), making clothing choices based on other people’s feelings or whims (whether real or imagined or presupposed) is not biblical, nor loving, nor freeing; it is based on a fear of man (codependency).
Such a woman in such a scenario – one who makes her attire choices on a fear of possibly causing a man to stumble – is not living by faith and the freedom she has in Christ, but living in fear of man, and the Bible condemns living in fear of man and man’s judgments.
UNBIBLICAL VIEW REGARDING RESPONSIBILITY
- The truth is we are responsible for one another.
No, we are not.
The Bible teaches that people are responsible TO other people, not FOR them, nor are people responsible FOR other people’s actions, attitudes, or behaviors.
Once you make yourself responsible FOR others, you are taking on burdens God never intended for you to. (For more on that concept, see the book “Boundaries” by Christian authors Cloud and Townsend.)
KEEPING WOMEN REPRESSED AND CODDLING ALREADY ENTITLED CHRISTIAN MEN, AND IN THE NAME OF GOD: FOR SHAME
Shame on Miller for defending what boils down to sexism, enabling yet more male Christian entitlement, and for encouraging codependency in women, and for mixing the name of God into it all.
Miller’s post on modesty is just more sexism under a varnish of Bible-talk and Christianese. It’s attitudes like hers that have caused me to say “Adios” to most of Christianity.
I really loathe and despise the Christian mind-games: I’m told that giving up my freedom is “true freedom”; no, it’s not, it’s imprisonment to the wishes and whims of others. It’s allowing others to control me and my choices, which is the opposite of freedom.
There is nothing freeing about giving up one’s freedom (and certainly not in choosing what clothing one wears); that is nonsensical talk.
Edit. Addition –
The following is relevant to the topic of modesty; how some Christians teach and support modesty, such as Anne Marie Miller, fosters sexism and sexual abuse and the repression of justice for girls or women who have been sexually assaulted:
- by Brandy Zadrozny
The Quiverfull movement preaches that women must be subservient to all of men’s needs. It’s not impossible to see how abuse could flourish.
- …Indeed, submission is the most important tenet in the Christian Patriarchy movement. “Men are to be leaders, teachers, initiators, protectors and providers,” former Quiverfull adherent, and now a vocal opponent, Vyckie Garrison explains on her blog. “Women are created to be ‘helpmeets’ to the men in authority over them (husbands, fathers, older brothers) ~ they are to be submissive and yielding.”
- …Michelle Duggar lives this principle, even trumpeting complete submission to her husband’s sexual desires—should she want it or not—as a secret to her happy marriage.
It’s not impossible to imagine how abuse might go unreported in a world in which women are told to submit to their fathers and brothers and husbands and taught to be ashamed of their own bodies.
Young Duggars don’t “date,” they “court.” They don’t explore their emotional and physical attractions: those are sins. It’s not only premarital sex that’s prohibited, but also flirting or physical affection of any kind.
- In fact Jessa Duggar was the subject of much controversy last year when she “full frontal” hugged her fiancé following his marriage proposal instead of the “side hug” for which the family had become famous. Even the betrothed are sent on dates with chaperones. Jobs and college are discouraged for women because of the sexual dangers lurking in the secular world.
With so much attention focused on the the sexual dangers posed by strangers, little attention in the Quiverfull movement has been paid to charges of molestation or abuse from within.
- Women “faced with sexually predatory behavior from family members or trusted authority figures often find themselves in a no-man’s-land of confusion and trained submission, without the tools to identify or object to the behavior,” writes one former member on (Link): Recovering Grace.
Not only are women taught to guard their own sexual purity, it is ingrained that women are responsible for the purity of men. Their dress, their behavior, their inherent womanliness are all stumbling blocks for hapless men.
As a former child adherent to the Christian Patriarchy movement (Link): wrote: “I was told that if a man looked at my body and lusted that it was because I had worn clothing that was ‘defrauding.’ This may sound crazy but I took this very seriously. I didn’t want to cause my ‘brothers’ to stumble. The (false) guilt was ingrained and strong; I remember calling men and apologizing for what I wore around them.”
On modesty, Michelle Duggar echoed this sentiment on her show, telling viewers she learned after her conversion that “I needed to cover areas of myself so that I wasn’t causing others to be defrauded.”
And of course men are taught this, too: How female temptresses can lure them away from their God-prescribed paths. Even in his apology, Josh Duggar treats the possibility of any future revelations by his alleged victims as just obstacles to his bright future.
- “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” he sent to People in a statement. “I confessed this to my parents, who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”
As for his alleged victims, Josh tell People that he “sought forgiveness from those I had wronged” and we’re left with the impression that the girls, now women whose names have been redacted by reports to protect their anonymity, have granted it. But in a strict religion where forgiveness is expected and women and children are submissive, abuse is often glossed over and victims may rarely be made whole.
“Often we see in communities of faith that victims are admonished to be grace-like, offering instant forgiveness to their abuser as if it could be doled out like a trinket or candy,” writes Mary DeMuth, a sexual abuse survivor, in (Link): The Washington Post. “Instant forgiveness and ‘putting it behind you’ only delays the healing process, a journey that only begins by stating the awfulness of the violation.”
Notice: I have edited this post several times since publishing it to add clarifying remarks. I may continue to do so in the future, if I think something more needs to be said or clarified. The bulk of the post has remained unchanged.
I’ve also edited the post to add some sub-headings, which I think may make the long page easier to read
(Link): Male Modesty and Male Shaming