Not Asking For It

There is a she-person.
She could be your grandmother, your mother, your sister, your cousin.
She could be your daughter, your granddaughter, your niece.
She could be your co-worker, your employee, yes, even your boss.
Listen up!
She is not asking to be raped.

She could be wearing a hat or have some other head covering.
She could have her hair long or short.
Her hair could be free, or tied up in a ponytail, or in a bun.
She is NOT asking to be raped.

She could be wearing make-up, she could be plain.
She could be wearing jewellery – in various places.
She could be wearing lots or not at all.
She is NOT asking to be raped.

She could be sitting, she could be standing.
She could be walking or jogging or running.
She could be alone, she could be with others.
She is NOT asking to be raped.

It could be daytime, it could be at night.
It could be at work, it could be at play.
It could at home, it could be outside.
She is NOT asking to be raped.

It doesn’t matter what she’s wearing.
It doesn’t matter what she’s not wearing.
It doesn’t matter what she’s doing.
She is NOT asking to be raped.

Instead of spending money on programs
Teaching women how to avoid getting raped
Why not channel all that energy into two words to men:
DON’T RAPE!

Learn some self-control and stop blaming others!

Within the ultra-fundamentalist, uber-conservative, patriarchy world, there is a view that women must dress ‘modestly’ lest they ‘defraud’ men.  Why men are so weak when it comes to controlling themselves in this area and yet are supposed to be upheld as leaders absolutely boggles the mind.

Within the ultra-fundamentalist, uber-conservative, patriarchy world, there is also something called blanket training.  A baby is supposed be able to play  quietly on a blanket.  Any attempt to wander off the blanket is met is swift, harsh punishment.  The baby thus learns to be content and happy where he is.

The next time I see/hear the call for women to spare a thought for men with the way they dress, I’m just going to say, “Consider it blanket training!”

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About yewnique

I am a Malaysian-born woman who is married to an Australian and now live in Melbourne, Australia. I am a mother to four children. I home school. I like reading, writing, and cooking -- not necessarily in that order. I care about grammar and spelling, but am nonchalant about the Oxford Comma. I try to follow Christ's teachings.

Posted on Thursday, January 10th, 2013, in Fundamentalism, Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Given your thinking on this Kathy, how do you reconcile that with the instructions in the NT for us to be considerate in our choices that we might not cause another to stumble? Or that there are certain temptations that we are not just to pray for strength in the face of them, but are commanded to flee from them, and this includes sexual temptation?

    If we *know* that men are highly visually wired (and we do), and we are not considerate of that, how is that loving our brothers in Christ? I’m not saying this out of any teaching I’ve heard on this topic, but out of my own strong sense of personal conviction, knowing with every fibre that I was not considerate of my brothers in Christ in my young adult years. If I am honest about it, I created great temptation for people I cared about and was not being thoughtful of anyone but myself in those circumstances. I am accountable and responsible before God for these choices, and I am repentant of having made choices that could have (I may never know) defrauded others.

    The source of sin is not our actions, or our minds (brains), but our hearts. What we say and do, flows from our heart. My inconsiderate choices (actions) in the area of modesty as a young adult, flowed from my heart. There is only one way to see hearts transformed (and that includes in the area of rape)…and that is through the redeeming power of Jesus Christ.

    All the teaching, or “telling” in the world cannot bring the change you are wanting to see, that all of us would love to see. That doesn’t mean that we don’t teach, educate and exhort, but it does mean that we recognise that the real power for change doesn’t lie in that just telling people not to sin.

    I don’t do blanket training, and I feel OK about that as I haven’t seen any instructions in scripture on biblical living that would indicate I should be doing this. But I do see instructions in scripture on biblical living that would indicate that modest, thoughtful dressing is something that I should be doing. Not because man (or woman) commands me to (although He may get my attention through the voice of a man or a woman), but because God cares about my brothers in Christ, and requires that I do so too.

    Marion

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  2. Marion, I believe that the exhortation in the NT not to cause another brother to stumble must be balanced with the exhortation to grow up and not remain a child. As one grows, one should exhibit more of the fruit of the Spirit, one of which is SELF-control. It seems to me that by telling women what they should or should not wear because of what their brothers might think infantilises men and does not allow them to exercise SELF-control. This is disrespectful to men.

    Jesus said, ‘If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.’ Not gonna happen, and not gonna work because a blind man can still lust.

    A woman can dress modestly, and a man can still lust.

    A woman can be out-of-sight, and a man can still lust.

    Like you said, the source of sin is in the heart.

    “… I was not considerate of my brothers in Christ in my young adult years. If I am honest about it, I created great temptation for people I cared about and was not being thoughtful of anyone but myself in those circumstances. I am accountable and responsible before God for these choices, and I am repentant of having made choices that could have (I may never know) defrauded others.”

    Reading this made me sad.

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  3. As I read you response again Kathy so that I can respond myself, one thing I would suggest is that you can’t reference the 2 sections of scripture together as you did, given that they apply to different people in a situation. One is for a person on one side of an equation (what to do with a position of influence), and one for the other side (personal responsibility in the area of growing up in Christ). I wasn’t referring to a man’s responsibility (which is not to discount it), but to mine (as an example) as a woman of God. It is true that there should be fruit in a godly man’s life, and self control should be amoungst those fruit. But if you use/apply that particular passage like you just have, it sounds like there is a demand (by you) that all men be in the same place of growth at the same time, and that they skip straight through any sanctifying work that is a part of a process, and just “be there”. Given that you too live in the middle of a messy and painful sanctifying process, and would understand that such a process takes time, is that a fair and reasonable insistence?

    You said,”It seems to me that by telling women what they should or should not wear because of what their brothers might think infantilises men and does not allow them to exercise SELF-control. This is disrespectful to men.” Please allow me to suggest a scenario, which I hope will illustrate that what I support is does not constitute infantilisation, and is actually respectful, not disrespectful..

    If I have a friend in my home who has struggled in the past with an addiction or lifestyle of alcohol over indulgence, and I knowingly offer her alcohol, am I being a compassionate and thoughtful friend? In my eyes, I would not feel that I am. If I know that a man, by God’s design, is geared to be stimulated visually in his sexuality more than a woman, and that less than modest clothing is going risk making things more challenging for him in his thought life, am I being a compassionate and thoughtful friend if I contribute negatively to this challenge. Again, in my eyes I would not feel that I am.

    In Romans 12:10 we are instructed to, “Be tender loving one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;”.We are called to an attitude of caring and concern for others. I’m not advocating taking responsibility for how others feel, their feelings are their responsibility. And I’m not suggesting that we excessively shelter the men around us (our sons , yes, the grown-ups, no). I don’t believe what I have spoken of is infantilisation. If you can establish otherwise, I’m willing to listen.

    Like any issue, we do need to always look for how we may be contributing to any issues (personal, corporate, whatever the case may be). Scripture needs to be our final authority for how God wants each of us to live, and for what we are and are not responsible for. If we care for our brothers in Christ, won’t we want to do whatever is within our power to not help the enemy to set additional snares for them. The world is *full* of Satan’s snares already, more than enough for each man to have a plethora of opportunities to exercise self-control. Why add to that already heavy burden if we can avoid doing so?

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  4. “… I was not considerate of my brothers in Christ in my young adult years. If I am honest about it, I created great temptation for people I cared about and was not being thoughtful of anyone but myself in those circumstances. I am accountable and responsible before God for these choices, and I am repentant of having made choices that could have (I may never know) defrauded others.”

    Your feeling responsible and repentant over something you really have no control over makes me sad. Ultimately, your brothers in Christ have to own their responses/feelings to whatever ‘temptations’ are there.

    Also, you say you are not sure whether in fact you did defraud others by your actions, and yet you feel sorry for them.

    To ‘defraud’ means to ‘deprive of a right, money, or property by fraud’. What exactly is a woman depriving a man of by the way she dresses? How can a woman defraud a man by the way she dresses?

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  5. As I read you response again Kathy so that I can respond myself, one thing I would suggest is that you can’t reference the 2 sections of scripture together as you did, given that they apply to different people in a situation. One is for a person on one side of an equation (what to do with a position of influence), and one for the other side (personal responsibility in the area of growing up in Christ). I wasn’t referring to a man’s responsibility (which is not to discount it), but to mine (as an example) as a woman of God. It is true that there should be fruit in a godly man’s life, and self control should be amoungst those fruit. But if you use/apply that particular passage like you just have, it sounds like there is a demand (by you) that all men be in the same place of growth at the same time, and that they skip straight through any sanctifying work that is a part of a process, and just “be there”. Given that you too live in the middle of a messy and painful sanctifying process, and would understand that such a process takes time, is that a fair and reasonable insistence?

    I never said that all men have to be in the same place of growth. All I said what that men need to exercise self-control.

    You said,”It seems to me that by telling women what they should or should not wear because of what their brothers might think infantilises men and does not allow them to exercise SELF-control. This is disrespectful to men.” Please allow me to suggest a scenario, which I hope will illustrate that what I support is does not constitute infantilisation, and is actually respectful, not disrespectful..

    If I have a friend in my home who has struggled in the past with an addiction or lifestyle of alcohol over indulgence, and I knowingly offer her alcohol, am I being a compassionate and thoughtful friend? In my eyes, I would not feel that I am. If I know that a man, by God’s design, is geared to be stimulated visually in his sexuality more than a woman, and that less than modest clothing is going risk making things more challenging for him in his thought life, am I being a compassionate and thoughtful friend if I contribute negatively to this challenge. Again, in my eyes I would not feel that I am.

    Unlike the friend who is a recovering alcholic, the area of men and what may or may not tempt them is very different. We don’t know what is going to tempt one man and not another. Like I said earlier, even a blind man can lust.

    In Romans 12:10 we are instructed to, “Be tender loving one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;”.We are called to an attitude of caring and concern for others. I’m not advocating taking responsibility for how others feel, their feelings are their responsibility. And I’m not suggesting that we excessively shelter the men around us (our sons , yes, the grown-ups, no). I don’t believe what I have spoken of is infantilisation. If you can establish otherwise, I’m willing to listen.

    Earlier you said that you are not being a compassionate and thoughtful friend if you contribute negatively to a male friend’s visual stimulation challenges, and yet here you say you are not advocating taking responsibility for how others feel because their feelings are their responsibility. So, ultimately, men have to take responsibility for their responses/feelings, yes?

    My original statement: It seems to me that by telling women what they should or should not wear because of what their brothers might think infantilises men and does not allow them to exercise SELF-control. This is disrespectful to men.

    Since you have not said anything about what women should or should not wear (here on this thread), this statement does not apply to you. I still stand by my statement, however.

    Like any issue, we do need to always look for how we may be contributing to any issues (personal, corporate, whatever the case may be). Scripture needs to be our final authority for how God wants each of us to live, and for what we are and are not responsible for. If we care for our brothers in Christ, won’t we want to do whatever is within our power to not help the enemy to set additional snares for them. The world is *full* of Satan’s snares already, more than enough for each man to have a plethora of opportunities to exercise self-control. Why add to that already heavy burden if we can avoid doing so?

    But, ultimately, the other party is responsible for his feelings, yes? Where do you draw the line?

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  6. Given that scripture speaks clearly to the topic of modesty, and that it is a command of scripture, that should be our first plumb line for discerning how to respond to this issue as Christians, both as women and as men. (If you would like the references for this I recommend that you get a copy of “Christian Modesty and The Public Undressing of America” by Jeff Pollard. He goes into great details and historical contexts as well as scripture references, and I don’t want to re-invent the wheel).

    We could discuss this round and round in circles, but if there is a straighforward way to discern the answers we seek, then it’s only sensible to take that route. In fact, in this case, as Christians we are commanded to take this particular route. With the topics of rape, or moral responsibility, or finger pointing, or what is modest dressing set aside, the heart of the matter is what does God speak to us as being His will in this area.

    -That He commands us to modest dress, and hearts, (and all that that implies) is beyond question.
    -That we are commanded to be considerate of our brothers and sisters in Christ and place no stumbling block before them is also beyond question.
    -That we are called to live out in all areas of our lives the following, “Love does no harm to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.” (Romans 13:10), adds still more weight to the plumb line.
    – That we are expected to grow up in Christ and mature in the faith is also beyond question. (This meaning that we would both be growing in the fruit of the spirit, and also growing in concern for our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as an awareness of what causes stumbling blocks for others and a desire not to contribute to stumbling blocks or ensnaring.)

    For me, that wraps it up. What He says, I believe.

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  7. In response to your question about defrauding and my repentant heart:

    Defrauding: By chipping away further at their pure thought life, on top of anything else already warring on them. *I* made choices that were not loving of my brothers in Christ, and *I* am responsible before God for those unloving actions (and heart). *I* placed stumbling blocks before them, and yes, I am sad about having done that, I am broken before God about having done that, and what’s more, so I should be if my heart is soft before God. It’s just taken a lot of years for that place of softness to be reached without reservation.

    I’m hoping that you can hear me that I am repentant over what I did have control over. Myself and my choices and heart attitude.

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  8. I’m not advocating taking responsibility for how others feel, their feelings are their responsibility. And I’m not suggesting that we excessively shelter the men around us (our sons , yes, the grown-ups, no).

    Defrauding:By chipping away further at their pure thought life, on top of anything else already warring on them.

    How does this fit in with the dictionary definition: to deprive of a right, money, or property by fraud?

    If people are responsible for their own feelings, are they also responsible for maintaining their pure thought life?

    I find it incredibly interesting and telling that in this entire discussion so far, not one word has been said about what exactly constitutes modesty and what does not, what is a ‘stumbling block’ and what is not. It is not black and white.

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  9. Is it important to you that the particular query re the nuts and bolts of modesty gets addressed? To me, it isn’t as important as the other issues that have been addressed, so, I haven’t given time and energy over to it. Can you help me understand what is it “telling” of? Because I choose not to speak about that, but to speak to other queries, how does that establish anything? (If it is important to you, please read the book that I mentioned. It teases out the grey and the black and white very fairly and scripturally. But I can’t pour the hours into teasing it all out here, I just don’t have those kinds of time resources available. Sorry, whilst it would be good to be able to do so from one perspective, it’s just not possible.)

    Have I suggested anywhere that someone is not responsible for their own thought life? I’m pretty sure that I haven’t done that, but if you can show me where I have, I will tell you that that is not what I was trying to communicate. Have I actually done so?

    Because one cannot “touch” a thought life, does this make it any less susceptible (or valid) to being vulnerable to “loss/depriving”,caused by another? (defrauding context)

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  10. It is telling to me because shows very clearly that modesty and stumbling blocks and all that jazz isn’t black and white. I think that once anyone tries to define it to minutiae (and I have seen this), that one moves into legalism.

    I was not saying that you were suggesting that someone is not responsible for his own thought life. I was asking a logical conclusion question.

    Ultimately, they are still responsible for their response to the stimuli that they receive, are they not?

    My question is: Where does one draw the line? The answer seems to be: We don’t/can’t know for sure. Each person/circumstance is different.

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  11. “I was not saying that you were suggesting that someone is not responsible for his own thought life. I was asking a logical conclusion question.” You’ve lost me Kathy. I’ve already said that yes, they are responsible. Do I need to find another way to say that?

    “Ultimately, they are still responsible for their response to the stimuli that they receive, are they not?” Yes. Just as those who create the stimuli are responsible for their contribution. Whether their contribution was sin or not, or whether it was a lack of wisdom or not, needs to be defined by scripture, and I think I’ve already put out there some of those verses or principles to discern that by. If their contribution was sinful, or simply lacking in wisdom, then responsibility for their contribution lies with them, and not with the “thoughts” person. Have I articulated that well enough for it to be clear? if not, let me know and I’ll try again.

    “My question is: Where does one draw the line?” Read the book, please; it offers good general guidelines that sit within the boundary lines of scripture without crossing over into true, biblical legalism (as opposed to the commonly assumed definition of legalism).

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  12. Yewnique:“Ultimately, they are still responsible for their response to the stimuli that they receive, are they not?”

    Marion: Yes.

    Then we are in agrement.

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