I Don’t Accommodate Uncontrolled Men

jakob-owens-235352

It’s summer! Time for all the the ladies to start posting articles about why it’s not a woman’s responsibility to prevent a man from lusting and all the gentlemen to start posting comments about why it’s not a woman’s responsibility, but she sure can help.

I’ve been encouraged to see the pushback, by women, even women in more conservative circles, against the toxic idea that a woman’s clothing choices can cause men to stumble.

But this pushback gets halted when a guy stands up and comfortably announces that while this personal responsibility thing all sounds great, the reality is that normal, healthy guys like him struggle, so women should still cover up. And the ladies go a little silent, unable to argue with this universal battle against sexual temptation that women never face.

The pushback against purity culture dies right then and there, because no woman wants to challenge the idea that men can’t actually control themselves — and that’s a beautiful, God-given part of being a man.

So I’m going to be that woman. I’m going to stand up and look that man in the eye and tell him that his inability to control himself is not normal, healthy, or God-given, and I have no sympathy for his struggles.

Because I don’t. I think more highly of men than that.

My husband didn’t grow up in purity culture. He didn’t grow up hearing that it’s normal and healthy for a guy to struggle with not looking until the offending woman leaves the room. He didn’t grow up hearing he couldn’t control his sexual urges if he caught a glimpse of a woman’s cleavage. He grew up around girls who wore bikinis to the beach and short shorts and tank tops. He grew up being able to look at a woman, notice parts of her body, even formulate a response (like “She’s attractive” or “She’s trying too hard”), and then go on with his conversation with her as if she’s more than her butt and abs.

He doesn’t experience this “all men’s daily battle” regarding women’s clothing choices, because he wasn’t socialized to.

And I think that is a huge thing people are overlooking in this discussion — how much of the “male struggle” can be chalked up not to healthy amounts of testosterone but to socialization?

Even as a female I was socialized to be uncomfortable with women in certain clothing — not because I was sexually attracted to them but because I was taught they were immodest. I would avert my eyes and feel embarrassed and not know how to talk to a woman with cleavage. Now that I’m socialized to be okay with women’s clothing choices, even if they don’t align with mine, I don’t find it awkward at all. They’re just people. They’re just bodies. No need to freak out or be awkward.

I think guys need to learn that it’s fine to notice a woman’s body and find it attractive. Bodies are beautiful. Beautiful bodies elicit responses in everyone. Notice it, and move on with your life. It’s not a sin. It’s not even necessarily sexual. This is how “visual” women deal with attractive men, and you don’t hear them begging guys to put their shirts on at the beach. It’s not socially acceptable for women’s sex drives to show.

I do find it disturbing and creepy and predatory that guys “struggle” so much around women who wear certain clothes. I find it disturbing that that’s normalized as healthy and natural. I don’t feel safe around men who can’t look at my body and engage with me as a human, regardless of what I’m wearing. I don’t feel comfortable around men who are battling not to lust after me.

And I don’t feel that I can control whether I “trigger” that battle or not by my clothing choices. How am I supposed to know what level of dress or undress is “comfortable” for any particular man? Guys will often say, “Oh, I’m not one of those guys who thinks women should dress like frumps. I’m not saying women shouldn’t wear pants or above the knee skirts or tank tops — I can handle those.”

But you know what? Some guys apparently can’t handle pants or above the knee skirts and tank tops. Some guys are more turned on by women in skirts. They’ve told me this to my face.

So what’s “normal”? Is it normal for a guy to struggle when he sees a woman in jeans, or only when she’s wearing a short skirt? Is it normal for a guy to struggle when she’s wearing a one-piece bathing suit and shorts, or only when she’s wearing a bikini? Is there an all-male council who has decided what’s “normal” for a guy to struggle with, and what’s creepy? Because I keep hearing mixed messages from men about what turns them on and what’s modest, and it makes me think the problem isn’t with what women wear but with what men can’t handle.

I think “normal” is a guy being able to interact with a woman comfortably, regardless of what she’s wearing, without waging a battle for his soul. Period. I will not accommodate any other male normal.

Moderator’s Note: This is stirring up a great conversation! In order to keep this a great conversation, I’m going to start deleting comments that make derogatory remarks or personal attacks against others who disagree. Be feisty but gracious!

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1,058 thoughts on “I Don’t Accommodate Uncontrolled Men

  1. themamabearyogini

    You took the word right out of my head! Amazing post! It’s NOT NORMAL for men to not be able to control themselves. And it shouldn’t be! Women shouldn’t have to hide just so men can be out in public without the need to feel sexual towards them. Women should be able to be just comfortable in ANY situation as Men! This post was great and I applaud you for speaking out on this topic! 🙏🏻❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. juanderingaround

    “Even as a female I was socialized to be uncomfortable with women in certain clothing — not because I was sexually attracted to them but because I was taught they were immodest”
    THIS! The societal pressures and predeterminations that women are subjected to are mind-boggling! I once witnessed with my own eyes a woman entering a club be gazed upon so uncomfortably by some creep that was just leaving. That guy’s girlfriend, right by his side, accepted it as if it was his “second nature (boys will be boys, ammirite?)” but the most infuriating part of this scenario was that a woman witnessed this and she told her friend, “my mom taught me that if you dressed like a ho, you’re gonna get treated like one.” After I checked on the girl to see if she was ok, I went back to the other girl (the one with the “she was asking for it” mentality) to give her a piece of my mind but she had left too. I applaud you sharing your voice on this topic that shouldn’t even be relevant.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A Gypsy's Tale by Brooke Breazeale

    Brilliant post! I love the honesty and courage you showed by acknowledging something that is so prevalent in our society, we don’t even think it’s abnormal. The older I get, the more comfortable I am with my body, and the more I want to wear clothes that reveal it in exactly the way I want to that day. Yes, I get more attention when I do dress more ‘risque’, and I would be lying if I said that I don’t sometimes like that attention. But I also am the first to admire someone else who is dressed in a way that celebrates their figure and expresses their style. If it’s more revealing than I might choose, well god love them for not giving a shit!
    One thing is for sure, we are so blessed to live in a place where we get to decide what we want to wear and how much we want to reveal without being punished. This is most definitely the case in some countries where the dress code is enforced with strict laws that could literally end in death for women (and other genders) who don’t adhere to them.
    So to all women, men and other genders, wear whatever the fuck you want, own it, be proud of your body and your expression. Every day you get to start out as a blank canvas and create whatever beautiful piece of art you want to. And I personally can’t wait to see it! :)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. tachyness

    Although I pretty much have changed and become quite modest I agree. It is up to each person to be responsible for their actions. I myself had a woman complain to me about my cleavage at a church I used to go to. I thought I did a good job being modest (wear a cami underneath and pulled up the straps as high as I could beyond what it was built for by tying them at the back of my neck) but I am unable to hide who I am and how I’m built and I am not getting surgery to please no one. I just told her to get over it and this is who I was or get don’t look at me. She was much smaller and could easily hide more but I am just unable to. It really infuriated me but she doesn’t know me or what I go through. More compassion is needed today.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Don

    Respect and socialization seem to be the two words that stand out within the comments. I agree with both. For me, there is almost nothing compared to seeing a beautiful woman. Depending on her sexuality, I may even get turned on. But that is where it ends. There is no lusting, there’s no remarks. I may attempt to talk to her, but if she’s not into that I move on. The major thing is that I was taught at an early age to respect, both men and women. Respect!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. naveed7493

    Yup on one part you are right that no accommodation for uncontrolled men. But being a girl I would only add my opinion in here that controlling is a man’s problem but dressing modestly is a safer choice. There are men who control themselves and are true gentlemen but then there are huge number of men who cannot control. So as a girl I would like myself to be not available for such men,so that they put their eyes on me. So in my opinion it’s better to take the safe way on.

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  7. Mikeala

    The issue turns hostile when we approach it from a “who’s-to-blame” attitude. Rather, we ought to approach it from a perpspective of how best to love and respect our fellow human beings, both men and women. Example: while I personally have no issue with alcohol, I would consider abstaining from drinking if I knew there was someone with me who struggles with alcohol addiction … not because it’s my fault if he goes home and gets drunk resulting in breaking his AA vows and ruining his 6 month clean streak … but because I care about his well being.

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  8. ivefoundwaldo

    This is a PSA that should be read by every man! I do not understand why people let guys get away making up excuses as to why they make creepy, inappropriate, or just plain rude remarks. The idea that men cannot control themselves around a woman is ridiculous. The moment that there are women getting raped while being completely covered shows that it has nothing to do with what the women are wearing. Society needs to stop encouraging men to use this excuse, and actually teach them that women are not their assets. They need to be taught to look beyond that and realize that it’s just a body and everyone has one. This was extremely well said love xxx

    Melina | http://www.ivefoundwaldo.com

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  9. Dorian

    I have been married for forty two years and this is still a problem to men why is the question.
    When Adam woke up do you think Eve was ugly a grave mistake he said WO-MAN he would
    Had to see something that caused him to say WO. My wife and myself appreciate beauty and this is what Holy Spirit said to me. Enjoy you have the right to go into God’s rose Garden pick
    Your rose admire the beauty of all the roses but you can only pick one without being pricked.
    There is still beauty in all the other roses to be admired not to lust after not to druel over but
    To appreciate how some people have really put in the time to look great men as well as women. I have seen some men and say that brother is cut up my wife’s response put your head on his body and we got something poppa now that i am 60 with a little mid buldge. Its never going to go away God made it so MEN grow up and appreciate even if you dont get to participate.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. If I post my name I get harassed for sure...

    Well…. in general I very much agree that people should be wearing whatever they like or I would even prefer if they wore nothing, but rather because I think its fun. In terms of being considerate and fair your article falls a bit short of understanding more of the other side than your husband though…. There are a vast amount of people who are unlucky by nature and bluntly not attractive enough to have a wife, girlfriend or just anyone. They will still always struggle regardless of upbringing if they are pointed with their nose into what they can’t have but by nature want. The lucky
    ones like your husband not. Not to think of them is basically quite ignorant here to be frank. If you walk down New York with a burger in your hand, you won’t draw much attention, but in a refugee camp in a less fortunate country where people are starving they might not find that too joyful and will be put to all sorts of feelings and tests when seeing you walk down with a burger. Your husband here is New York in that example where things are easy and all are happy… and you are ignoring that the world has more than one place and many people are unlucky but very much not by their own choice… So concidering that there are other people around doesn’t hurt, not even in a revolution of the lucky ones for having more freedom of showing unlucky ones what they miss out on.

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  11. O Womania Team

    Dear Bailey,

    Read your thoughts, I relate to you very well. I am Roshni Khanna, the owner of a company O Womania; writing to you from my team’s behalf. We are trying to bring to the world gender equality. I strangely bumped into your blog. I love women who love to be themselves, its the most liberating feeling.

    I am one who wears what I like without getting affected by what others have to say, think, like or dislike. Each woman needs to create a boundary where everyone isnt allowed to enter.

    We as women of the newer generation, need to education men and women of this freedom; educating minds of a generation old – contemporary and new. We dont need to change who were are; but we all need to change the way we perceive women.

    The one who are born from cannot be seen as an object. She is an equal to you in every sense. The freedom men enjoy and have been given almost effortlessly, needs to be demanded now for women.

    According to me, its an effort which starts from the smallest unit called home – then schools – colleges – work place and society as a whole.

    Each effort counts. Hence O Womania for me, is a dream project which I live each day.

    Do read us too.

    Our Latest blog – https://owomaniadotin.wordpress.com/2017/07/12/i-am-a-bad-feminist/
    All blogs – https://owomaniadotin.wordpress.com/

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  12. Brother Donkey

    I was recently doxxed for defending men and women’s right to be naked, if they wish, in opposition to most state laws. Of course there can be attraction, but it’s only exacerbated by the last few hundred years’ weird, and racist, taboos. Sex and nature are so confused now that there seems to be no way out, but to move forward as if we were all adults, able to handle ourselves, and, unfortunately, prosecute those who violate others bodily rights, while culturally educating the public as to the reality that bodies can be boring, even when they are technically also sexual.

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    • Roy Gathercoal

      Most of these posts–and most I have ever read on this topic (over almost 50 years now–remember “free love?”) have presumed an absolute state. Either we are destined to be tempting one another into sin, or we are destined to be oppressed by being responsible for someone else’s state of mind.
      I would like to suggest another option. These are lots of words; it is apparent that many instances of a few words have done little to bring light into the conversation. It is a complex topic, and one in which all sides are easily misunderstood.
      Clothing in today’s world, is mostly communicative. Very few of us make no choices about what we will wear today, picking from hundreds (or more) options that would all serve to keep us protected from the elements to a reasonable degree. Especially when it is a non-work situation.
      An Inuit woman or man in January in her/his ancestral home who chooses to wear only a short swimsuit outside is really just asking to freeze to death. Likewise, a Congolese woman who wears full sea otter fur/sealskin parka to an ancestral festival (at any time of year) is begging for heat exhaustion.
      Few of us live in either climes. We have a wide range of choices, and we use these choices for a combination of pragmatic (wear layers) and communicative (I am wealthy and have good tastes) reasons. Sometimes our communicative purposes are quite specific–as when we wear the uniform of a particular sports team, or even a specific position, or when we explicitly copy the distinguishing clothing of a celebrity.
      This is not new. In ancient and medieval times in many places in the world, strict sumptuary laws made it easy to determine at a glance who was of the ruling classes and who was not. In many cultures, the lowest-ranking classes wore the least amount of clothing. In some places, wearing the wrong color could get you killed.
      Same for hair styles. And facial hair.
      So for most of recorded human history clothing was not an unrestricted personal choice. Even now, wearing a police officer’s uniform or a military uniform can get you arrested and even executed. Not because of the amount of clothing, or the composition, but because of the (false) message you send to others. Just try showing up to a pop music concert with “Event Staff” printed in big letters on your plain colored t-shirt!
      This is all inextricably linked to culture. As is all communication. The signal for “everything is all right” in one part of the world means something very, very different in another part. This is not because there is something inherently nasty with some gesture, but because of the meaning it has acquired within a cultural setting. Move it to another cultural setting, and you can use the same gesture all day long without offending anyone.
      Communication is tricky. When we communicate, we say things to ourselves, as much as we say things to others. We identify ourselves as belonging to some groups and not to others. We make political statements. We remind ourselves of what we believe (and what we are trying to believe). It is never straightforward and uncomplicated.
      The clothing we choose to wear is just as culturally based as are our gestures and our words. We tell ourselves and others around us who we are by what we wear. We learn a lot about folks by their clothing even before we meet them.
      Modesty and sexual aggression are also culturally bound. What is immodest in one culture is puritanical in another. What passes as conservative at the swimming pool might be most outrageous at a wedding. It isn’t the garment, or the person, that makes it so–it is the cultural context.
      So there is truth to each position in this complicated discussion.
      On one hand, it is not my sole responsibility to control what you think and how you act by what I say or do or wear.
      On the other hand, it is not for you to decide by yourself what your appearance and your gestures will “mean” to others within your cultural context.
      There is no biological drive that necessarily causes a particular biological response to any visual stimulus. On the other hand, there is no clothing that cannot be made into a sensuous invitation to copulation. It is communicative, and there are components on all sides.
      So perhaps we should all back down a bit and take stock. If you care about others, then you do have a responsibility to make responsible choices about what you wear, which words you use, and which gestures you display. If we take seriously Christ’s most important commandments–to love the Lord with all your heart, and to love your neighbor as yourself–then taking into account what might reasonably offend others within your cultural context is mandatory.
      Likewise, we all have responsibility for how we respond to messages we see, or think we see. Few people would believe it is acceptable to shoot someone because we thought he might have said something to insult our mother. We tend to lock up those who think otherwise, for everyone’s good. Likewise, few people in any cultural context (so far) would believe it is acceptable to forcibly remove the clothing from a stranger in the street even if their messages deeply disturb our cultural sensibilities. This goes whether the person is wearing a short skirt or a suit, or a hijab or a turban.
      There is a real problem with a culture that routinely fails to honor the humanity of every other person, regardless of age, skin color, gender, language, religious belief or dress. The factor that makes something reasonably offensive in a particular situation is the cultural setting. This cannot be determined by one party, it is culturally determined. And therefore squishy.
      In fact, “fashion” (the expensive kind) depends on violating cultural expectations just enough in just the right ways. By definition it is all cultural.
      The biggest issues come down to cultural context. We are to control our thoughts, our actions and our speech, no matter what the perceived offense. In fact, many of the world’s most violent and tragic conflicts have been inflamed by responses to cultural misunderstandings.
      Scripture (and common sense) also tells us that if we want to be respectful and loving towards others, we will not speak, gesture, or dress in a way we know will provoke those around us. “Modest” is not an absolute standard, it is a cultural and relative standard.

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  13. edmund k. saunders

    I won’t deny it. Because I am a flesh and blood heterosexual man with a functioning set of eyes, when an attractive woman wearing clothing that flatters her impressive features passes my gaze, there is an instant, biologically-predetermined reaction, which hails from the most primitive part of our evolutionary brain – the limbic system. But then, my pre-frontal cortex kicks in – it’s the part of our brains that distinguishes we humans as the most intelligent beings on the planet. When that happens I turn to treating the woman like a human being, irrespective of how she appears. When my limbic system protests, I tell it to shut up rather than try to rationalize my inner struggle as the fault of the woman whose appearance triggered it. As a man desperately trying to get beneath the years and years of conditioning whereby women were touted as objects of male gratification, I have to say the struggle is very, very real. Nonetheless I don’t twist the onus for resolving this struggle into a moral imperative on women. That would unfairly suggest that adult women behave in a way to suit the part of my brain that was pre-eminent when we humans were fish.

    As men, we must decide which part of our brain we want to heed – the one that sets us apart as human beings or the one we share with the reptiles and other wild animals. I choose to be human, which means I have to make a conscious decision to be respectful, despite the primitive urges that arise in the presence of an attractive woman; urges that were constantly titillated, conditioned, and normalized by my culture. The responsibility for controlling those urges, and behaving in a civilized, human way, is mine alone and I wouldn’t put that on any woman.

    It would help however, if our culture didn’t keep telling young boys and men that women are sex objects. That unceasing barrage of cultural messages doesn’t help efforts to normalize the learning of self-control in men. In this respect, self-control is a process that takes as much practice as learning any other higher-order human function, because the functional behaviours originate in the prefrontal cortex, and when we expect them to kick in they are fending off the strong impulses of the limbic system, which is constantly being activated by a sexualized culture. That isn’t to make excuses for men, it is to say that it takes effort on our part. The first step is recognizing the struggle and taking responsibility for doing what it takes, in our own right, to resolve it. Insofar as the effort is aimed at ensuring we men are capable of relating to half the world’s population as fellow human beings, it is well worth it.

    Liked by 6 people

  14. Walter

    First let me say thank you. I really appreciate that you think men are better that the “struggle”. For those of us like your husband, it’s good to hear that. We often get lumped with the rest. So again, thank you.

    I think it is ridiculous that society still has this idiotic belief that women need to cover up to prevent men from being creepers. That is the dumbest thought process. Everyone needs to be in control of themselves. If a man can’t handle a woman clothed or unclothed and everywhere in the middle, he really needs to reevaluate himself. Blaming the women just removes all accountability. Are there situation where women should a bit more aware? Yes. But that is mostly environmental/ situational awareness (i.e., stay out of the dark alley) and has zero to do with their attire. We have to let this Puritan mindset go.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. telltalesnotlies

    I think she has a wonderful husband. I agree that what is exciting to one person isn’t to another and therefore it is not the responsibility of the woman to dress for the man. It is also not “her” responsibility to control “him”. I also agree that a body is a beautiful thing. As a nurse I see a most than skin deep beauty, clothed, unclothed or skinned. However, I have noticed that in fashion most of the time it is what is covered that flatters in a positive way, not what is uncovered. Also, I’ve learned that modesty starts with thinking. Perhaps if society would teach respectful modesty in thought, clothing would be a non-issue. I enjoyed reading this blog. .

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Mike

    I feel like I have a unique perspective to offer, while the intelligent me agrees fully with your writings, my unique perspect, does not negate your perspective, and I’ll do my best not to make it seem excuse
    Certain men’s behaviors.

    I’m have a medical condition called hypogonadism.
    (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypogonadism)

    When not on hormone replacement therapy, I consistently test in the low 80’s (testosterone- nanograms/deciliter of blood).

    I’ve been afflicted with this since my freshman year in high school. Most of my young adult life I absolutely had no sexual interest in anything/anyone. I could never understand what all the fuss was about. I could not relate to the idea of or understand sex or attraction to others.

    In 2008 I was diagnosed with this issue after being tested and began treatment. It took a while to get my levels up and in the beginning I was on a pretty high dose, 200 mg per 1ml of testosterone once a week.

    Shortly after starting treatment I was generally afraid I couldn’t control my sex drive, I’m not saying I turned into a rapist, I didn’t, but the battle against my morality and this hormone raged and I was generally scared that I was going to lose.

    I never understood what it was like to have a sex drive till this point, now I was masturbating 12-15 times a day, a stark contrast to once or twice a year. I literally would become errect at the sight of any cleavage or any of my newfound attractions to the female form. The urge to procreate was so severe that my intelligence and my own views of morality almost became an afterthought.

    Thankfully I came to the conclusion that this was not a healthy reaction to my sex hormones, but that took 8 or so months.

    My point I suppose is that it’s really hard for anyone to understand how controlling testosterone is. I understand because I’ve been in both scenarios. I’ve worn both shoes.

    I’m doing my best not to sound like an appologist, it’s hard, because I know that based on biology if a woman we to inject 50, 75, 100 or more mgs of testosterone she would struggle in the same exact biological ways as I did. You wouldn’t recognize yourself.

    Obviously I’m living proof that a socialized intelligent man can make socialized intelligent moral choices. I wonder though had I grown up with these levels being a normal thing in my body, would I have been able to?

    I hope this brings intellegent debate and conversation. I’m not saying I’m right or I’m wrong or anyone else is for that matter. This is just my experience on my perspective.

    Liked by 3 people

    • psalmsofdave

      Might I add to this guy talk, I have a problem with girls and women that want tattoo’s on the top of their breast( in the exposed cleavage area). If I glance at it, often I can’t see the whole message but if it takes a moment she will be determined I am a pervert. I am naturally curious I find it strange that women with often wear clothing that emphasises the breast because it makes them feel girlish and beautiful but should anyone but her boyfriend say something or stare at the very part of the body she is trying to emphasis then she can’t trust him, Why put a tattoo is a place you feel uncomfortable with men staring?

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      • Mary

        Well, I have a ton of heavily tatto-ed friends and the great majority of them get tattoos because they love them, and the tattoos mean something to them. They are usually not meant as an attention get-er, and just because they decided the design that they wanted would look fabulous as a chest piece, that doesn’t mean they want their chest looked at. The tattoo is for them. But if you desperately want to know…ask. I saw one guy talking to a group of people and one of the women had a truly fabulous chest piece. He took a quick glance and then said to her, “I don’t want to come off like a creeper, but your chest piece is really beautiful. When did you get it done? Who’s the artist?” When she started talking about the artist, the inspiration, etc, he was able to get a better look at it without looking creepy. Usually if you tackle the issue head-on then it becomes a non-issue. “Your tattoo looks cool; what does the end of it say?” Easy. THAT SAID, I have definitely met people who are the “I tattooed my breast so that I could act shocked when people looked at the tattoo on my breast” people. They’re for real out there. But I think of that less as a “don’t let your baser instincts overwhelm you” issue, and more of a “there are manipulative, drama-magnet, train-wrecks out there, of both sexes, and you should get a feel for them and avoid them” issue. As far as the issue with women who wear tight-fitting clothing and then get offended if someone notices/stares….dude. First of all – it’s rude to stare. Control your eyes. Look somewhere else. What she does with her body is totally her choice, and she doesn’t need to hear people commenting on what a great rack she has, or anything else about her appearance. I had a random guy once tell me that I would look prettier if I wore blue eyeshadow instead of neutral colors. To which I replied “I’m not in an 80s dance club, and no one asked you, so shove off.” Unless someone asks, then you don’t need to share your opinion of anything they’re wearing. This is not to say I don’t see where you’re coming from. But you can stare/be attracted without commenting or engaging or getting caught. You can judge someone’s outfit without opening your mouth, god knows I have! In my opinion this whole thing is about catching yourself before you say/do something that demonstrates unwelcome/unneeded judgement of other people. And you said “but should anyone but her boyfriend say something or stare at the very part of the body she is trying to emphasis then she can’t trust him”…well, yeah. If there’s some person who has so little self control, or concept of sociatal rules, that he feels like it’s okay to go “hey, nice rack” or to be unable to stop staring then…yeah, I wouldn’t trust that person either. Get some manners. Bottom line – sorry, rant – people shouldn’t get to tell other people how to live their lives, how they should dress, feel, etc, in order to make themselves more comfortable, less conflicted, or more in control. If what someone is doing makes them feel happy and doesn’t cause harm to anyone else…then it’s none of anyone else’s business. :-)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lea

        I have a friend who got a tattoo on her breast. She did it because
        1. it was meaningful to her
        2. In professional dress, it was easy to hide.

        I also knew a man who got a tattoo on his back for the same reasons.

        Like

    • angelacookwriter

      I appreciate your measured response here about your experience with testosterone treatment.. You faced a very different situation than the average man, though. You were born with a very low level of testosterone and forced extremely suddenly to deal with large amounts of it. Of course you struggled! Males going through puberty obviously also struggle to come to terms with their changing hormones, but they deal with a GRADUAL change. It sounds to me like your being given such large amounts of testosterone all at once was damaging, even though it helped you in the long run. I’d call introducing it that quickly unethical!

      Testosterone is not a solely male hormone, like estrogen is not solely female. Women’s testosterone levels do get a bit higher, and I doubt it’s coincidence that the higher levels can coincide with what men love to make fun of as “PMS.” If a woman can deal with those higher testosterone levels and not go on a rampage, a man who has higher testosterone constantly can also be expected to deal with it appropriately. Also, however, there needs to be so much more understanding between women and men about issues both sexes need to deal with. We shouldn’t blame either side entirely if some men struggle to control their sexual urges. We shouldn’t blame women OR men for struggling to deal with hormonal changes. As many women including myself will admit, a woman’s sex drive often is much higher around when ovulation happens during the menstrual cycle. I’ve admitted to my husband when I’m at that part of my cycle, though half-jokingly at times, “It’s hard to deal with how horny I am right now! I don’t know how you deal with it all the time!” He responded seriously that it’s about control of himself and respect of me and of respect for women in general. Anyone can learn such control of natural urges, though it isn’t easy.

      Like

  17. themidnighthought

    You are just so right! It’s high time people think about this as a serious issue. Making a woman feel uncomfortable is not what is normal. There is a huge difference between admiring a beauty and looking towards her in an “uncontrolled” way.

    Amazingly written!!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. bessiethegravedigger

    I used to attend a church when I was younger that could be considered as more conservative than other churches, especially in this day and age. I remember the first time I felt embarrassed of my body, and felt shame for having the body that I do. I was at a music festival with my youth group, and while setting up my tent with some friends, my youth group pastor came up to me, and not-so-discreetly said, “I’m gonna have to ask you to change your shirt. While you were putting up the tent, I could see down your shirt and that makes me feel very uncomfortable.” I remember not knowing what to say, so, of course, I apologized and changed my shirt, as if that was something to warrant an apology. Looking back, I should have told him to look away. Even today, I am still a little self-conscious about whether or not I am “modest” enough for the men around me, but in recent times I have been standing up for myself in that regard. Reading articles like this gives me hope for my sisters across the world, and it makes me feel good knowing that we are finally standing up against the things that are so deeply rooted in our society.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Stephen K. White

    This is an important discussion but I am concerned that a significant aspect is being ignored. The existence of men who respond with lust to provocatively dressed, or undressed, women is undisputed. That there are women who use that fact to enhance their standing and power with these men must be considered.

    Liked by 2 people

    • angelacookwriter

      Women using their bodies to control men can be very negative at times, surely. Even if a woman seduces a man into cheating on his wife with her, though, the man still made the choice to cheat. You can’t hold the woman solely responsible. Men are capable of controlling themselves. I’ll agree the woman in this hypothetical example was at fault, but the fault wasn’t solely hers, and it’s very damaging to women if it’s constantly assumed that something like that was all her fault. Realize you’re treading in extremely dangerous mental territory if you say something like that, especially with the amount of victim-blaming in relation to women who are victims of sexual violence.

      I do agree women using their bodies solely for some kind of gain can be unethical. But we can enjoy being sexy without using it for power. Or, sometimes, with men being more physically powerful on average, we take whatever kind of power we can get, and who can fault us?

      Like

    • Mary

      So….sexy woman looks sexy, guy is so overwhelmed with lust that he’s willing to let her get away with lots of stuff and use him for money or whatever, sexy woman does just that….and this is totally the hot woman’s fault? I feel like you’re intimating these men shouldn’t take any responsibility for letting themselves be lead around by their baser urges (or whatever you’d like to call them). Don’t get me wrong, your argument has been around for a while: “Eve was sexy (or at least the only chick available at the time) and she told Adam to eat the apple and so Adam did – and now we don’t live in the Garden of Eden because Eve LEAD ADAM ASTRAY.” (Poor Adam and his complete lack of self-control or ability to take personal responsibility!) The men in question are allowing themselves to be manipulated. There are also a lot of women who get manipulated by sexy men, so I don’t think this is a sexy woman problem, I think it’s a “sometimes people are manipulative jerks and other folks with less strength of character, willpower, or self-esteem, get taken advantage of” issue. I’m more than willing to take a stance against manipulative jerks, but I would appreciate it if it wasn’t assumed that this issue is solely with the female side of the human race.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Guess

    I think the ability/inability of a man to avert his gaze from lingering on an attractively attired attractive female is about equal to a woman’s ability/inability to keep an even temper during her monthly periods.

    Most men don’t understand why women are snappish and emotional during their monthly periods. They don’t understand the kind of discomfort and hormonal triggers associated with a woman’s period.

    In the same way, most women don’t understand a man’s natural instinct to look at an attractive female. They don’t understand the primal drive and the hormonal triggers associated with this behavior.

    Now, there are some women who are able to keep their emotions and temper in check when they’re on their period, but it’s usually an exercise in discipline. Same way some men are able to control their gaze and actions to not gravitate towards attractive women, but it’s usually an exercise in discipline and control.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Shannon

      Mood and conscious choice/blaming females for borish behaviours are two very different things.

      Yes – hormonal spikes and dips affect mood. This is proven in BOTH men and women (not just females during their menstral cycles). Both sexes have hormonal fluxes during the month so let’s take that off of the table immediately.

      The point of the article is that men shouldn’t be conditioned to blame the opposite sex for their own behaviours and lack of judgement. A woman (or man for that matter) should be able to wear whatever they want without harassment or blame. That’s not to say that you cannot appreciate a person you find attractive- that is normal. But stating that you cannot control your impulses to hoot and holler and sliver upon yourself in that appreciation… is NOT normal.

      Like

  21. charliecountryboy

    Men you describe here baffle me. When God created woman he created a miracle. I don’t know where that came from but I’ve always loved it. The term ‘She dressed provocatively’ has been used to justify violence against women, which is disgusting. If a woman dresses in a way that highlights, what is in her opinion, her best attributes; good for her. I will look and admire, but I won’t ogle, wolf whistle, or make crude comments. It’s called respect 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Avin

    I completely disagree, and I am saddened by your arguement. I can tell it comes from a place with little firsthand experience, and I pray you never have to experience. I don’t believe we have to be completely covered but I do believe there is a level of class and taste to how women should dress. 70% of all men struggle with sexual addiction (and 25% of women) and have under performing prefrontal cortexes, they have to battle daily to keep their thoughts pure…we as whole, healthy women can help them in that battle. If it happens to not affect your husband you are blessed, but for all the other women who’s husbands are…be a support not a hinderance.

    Like

    • Mary

      I completely disagree with your comment, and I’m saddened that you feel it’s okay to tell the author what she has experienced in her life. I am also incredibly doubtful as the truth of the numbers that you’ve shared with us and would also like to see your references (which I will, frankly, not believe if coming from a church or religion-based website). I’m curious as to how men “(keeping) their thoughts pure” should have any implications for how they function in society. My thoughts would probably be considered incredibly unpure. I have a dirty mind, I like dirty jokes, and I cross-stitch dirty phrases with my dirty-minded cross-stitch friends. I have a friend (who is male) who is in an open marriage, who loves dirty jokes, who probably has many dirty thoughts, and who enjoys dirty art. In spite of this, both I and my friend have the ability to function in social situations, not offend others by word or action, use self-control, and continue to be contributing members of society. If some men have a sexual addiction then it’s their responsibility to deal with it. Frankly, if it’s that bad, then I don’t see how my showing less cleavage is going to help them; if they have any amount of imagination then they’ll still know I have boobs, even if I’m dressed in sackcloth.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Rabail Jehan

    This is a brilliant brilliant article and raises one very important point: the difference between actually being sexually attracted in all its form and responding and basing our reactions on the strong notions fed to us about what is modest and what is immodest and I think most of the times we are dealing with the latter. The way we socialize is the biggest factor and its not always biological. I was talking to a guy friend last night about exactly this and he said “it is not that guys CAN’T control themselves, its that most of the times they think that is the only option they have so they dont want to”.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. weddingofherdreams

    Good for you! I agree with you, socialization is the key. The world has taught these men that their behavior is acceptable and it is ok to not be willing to exercise self control. If they valued the opposite sex as something other than a sex object they wouldn’t act that way.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Alan

    Less than a year ago I had a conversation with a female friend about some of the trends I noticed with young women in the neighborhood. Specifically young female college students who wear shorts so short that their buttocks protrude. I made a comment to my friend expressing disapproval when my friend instructed me not to presume to police women’s bodies.

    I certainly was not attempting to police anything. I made a comment to my friend, not to the girls exhibiting their rumps. As I continued to look over at the girls, my friend expressed disgust with me and barked at me for “leering” at them. I told her not to presume to police men’s eyes.

    The girl’s attire makes me uncomfortable. That’s tough shit for me. I’m not guaranteed a discomfort free habitat by society. However, likewise, I’m not required to provide one for the girls, either. If my disapproving stares and off-hand comments to my friends makes the girls uncomfortable, tough shit for them. If she wants to walk around showing her ass, that’s fine. Don’t expect society not to see her as an ass for doing so.

    This is a matter of our current social standards in our culture. Things change with time. Consider the lost cultures of indigenous Americans where exposed buttocks and breasts were hardly unusual. The men of those cultures weren’t known for going around assaulting and harassing those women. And those women were not flaunting their anatomy to exercise some sort of power relationship to their patriarchal society.

    My point is that you are not owed anything by society. It’s a tough and unfair world out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leo

      Goodness Alan, this is one of the most balanced concise responses on this thread full of asinine, emotional, immature responses. Kudos to you for actually seeing two sides of this which is EAXCTLY what the author of this article ISNT doing.

      Like

    • Lea

      >However, likewise, I’m not required to provide one for the girls, either.

      People are not required to be decent people or have manners either, yet some still strive.

      You want to be rude, go ahead. But people will judge you for it, the same as you are judging those girls.

      Like

  26. David Anderson

    Then let’s all be naked in the office. How productive will that be? Why focus only on men? It goes both ways, but men are actually dressing more conservatively.
    I say people have a general right to dress the way they want as long as they are not exposing genitalia. Places have a right to determine dress codes that fir in their missions. It is absurd to deny reality, but you are free to do so. I just have little patience with trying to impose this nonsense on the world.

    Like

  27. yearofvulnerability

    I have absolutely loved reading this. Thank you so much for a great post – which is a great opportunity to look at it further and from so many angles. Like many things unfortunately it’s not black and white. I really liked your honesty about the way that you had been brought up which made you feel uncomfortable around certain clothing/cleavage whereas your husband is comfortable in that situation. I was brought up in a family where we didn’t discuss the body, I never saw my parents naked. On top of that, the area that I grew up in deemed women who dressed a certain way many an unpleasant name. Plus girls would go out dressed a certain way just so they ‘did’ get that leery attention from guys.

    Having grown up and had a good look at the opinions of others which I had taken as my own. I think it’s gone on far too long where we can blame the women’s choice of clothes instead of the actual issue at hand. I’m in the camp of its nurture not nature and therefore it can be changed.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Leo

    Its amazing how far apart we truly in understanding the differences from gender, but we are even further apart in seeing our likeness. A friend of mine worked in Lucille Roberts teaching a boot camp, we were both going to psychology class then and we always wanted to do an experiment on women’s sexuality. Now although this is not a broad study and was only done in fun, we have replicated many times over. So, he invites me to visit his class telling the ladies im foreign don’t understand neither English nor Spanish, which were the two most common languages spoken at these bootcamps. I wear a string tank which basically shows all my muscles and and wear my sweats very low. In EVERY case we get the same response, practically the entire class saying things that would make your momma blush. Should I have felt assaulted, disrespected, attacked???? No!!! Because I understand that the ENTIRE human race are sexual animals. Now, here the author bunches everything together….looks, catcalls (whatever the hell that is) and actual harassment. And here in lies the problem…..men are more expressive in the way the show their sexuality (this being a patriarchal society and all) but this does not constitute to predatory behavior, in fact, as a Forensic psychologist, per capata, sexual deviance against women has been way down over the last 20 years and still dropping. On another note, lets understand one difference between both genders, the sexual opportunities both have. A woman has to do very little to get sex regardless of weight, looks, class, color, religion, etc A man is fighting for it since he reaches puberty….I’ve seen men with wealth, physique, personality who couldn’t get laid if their life depended on it. So it behooves men to try and get “it” as much as possible, the Law of Averages!!! So, men WILL stop raping, sexual assault, etc these are cultural things. But will NEVER stop chasing by ANY means necessary because these are Biological things!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. G.Fjeld

    In my 50+ yrs of life I’ve never known someone who couldn’t ‘control’ himself. I have however witnessed folks looking a wee bit long as if they’ve never seen a woman before. Lol I’m probably too pragmatic to attract mental midgets. But God knows they’re out there!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Ben

    I’m gonna look. I’m gonna appreciate it. If that offends anyone, please let me know so I can mark your name off my list. My life goal is to offend everyone on the planet.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. rangercommander

    Well said. As a father of two boys and president of a not for profit male organization founded on teaching values, I enjoyed reading this post. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW YOU ACT REGARDLESS OF HOW YOU FEEL. If men are not responsible for their eyes, and it is blamed an their nature and womes clothing then women would all be in burkas as in Islamic tradition. Sorry but wear whatever you want. I’ll control myself as man.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Tarin

    Grateful for this enlightenment. I used to be one of those women who thought We were responsible for how men looked at us,was raised to believe that and started pushing that same viewpoint on my daughters. I’ve realized that some of the men in my lice helped perpetuate this,and that they themselves were not in control of themselves in many areas of their life. Grateful for educated men and women raising the standard! Leering,lusting after and raping women has been going on for centuries even when women are in layers of clothing! Sexual abuse has been happening to children for the same amount of time…It’s about time we hold men accountable for Their actions.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Michael OBrien

    Well, this is troubling to me. Truly, we really aren’t talking about pleasing or displeasing men here, even though the name of the article would tell us differently. Because everything we do, we do it unto the Lord, not unto man. You don’t dress the way you want. You dress the way the Lird would want you to dress. You don’t throw caution to the wind and say your free and do whatever you want. Being a christian comes down to dying to self. With the mentality you are talking about in the article, it speaks of contempt for men in general if they are weak in this area.
    I am reminded of a proverbs 11:22: “like a gold ring in a pigs snout, is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. As much as you would like to not feel responsible for what you wear, you are. And ultimately, God holds you responsible.
    I am weary of a christian worldview that wants more of the world and less of Christ. We live in a time where pornography is not only being watched by men, but women. The body is flaunted on reality tv shows, and movies and wherever people can tune in. Your husband may be one in a million. I speak to men about this all the time. And 99 out of 100 struggle when a woman wears what she wants when she wants.
    So dear sister, be careful what you put out there as truth. You may find yourself in the name of love fighting against the author of Love.

    Like

  34. grahamcommand

    As a young man my attitude was,if it’s on display I’m looking ( this sexist remark will be unpopular I expect) If women flaunt their anatomy they should not be surprised when men look
    if they live in a Muslim filled area, they will get accused of being naked by Muslim women for not wearing the hijab

    Like

  35. KiareSpeaks

    I think this article is amazing. As a woman who didn’t dress inappropriately and was raped, I think it’s time for church to address the perversion being spoon fed from pulpits, by endorsing the fear of sexuality and female body parts.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Subrata Ghosh

    The word obscene originated from medieval French and Latin perhaps in sixteenth century when the Church dictated everything from the revolution of the Earth or the social codes.Our ancient forefathers had no taboo regarding obscenity.See the sculptures on the temple wall of Khajuraho or Konark.Any body would think India was a great porn hub.But it was otherwise.People of all ages did not mind seeing the things with whole family.So it is not thing if it is from the limbic system or the dose of testasteron.It is the way we see.In ancient India women were respected much.That means we then looked beyond their mere bodies.But thosand years of Muslim patriarchal rule and two hundred years of English rules has made Indians lost that prime innocence.Now when a man looks at a woman full dressed or half dressed he measures her attractive parts and fantasise about them.He does not go beyond the physical sphere into the realm of her intellect.He sees her like a commodity.It is digesting to a modern woman because they are now at par in all respect with their counterparts.A day will certainly come when this way of lewd viewing will certainly go away but then the matriarchal society will happen again as it was in the distant past.It is the transition period which will pass.But in our schools it should be part of the syllabus how to respect a woman.If this thing is inculcated from childhood along with syllabus of self development it will have far reaching effect.A man should look upon a woman as a tremendously intricate being who gives birth to the whole mankind.This way we can save ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

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