Women Struggle Too.

Sometimes it is just necessary to write a response to a post… this is one of those times.

This blog is in response to this blog: http://mountaintopfloridiot.blogspot.com/2014/07/modesty-what-most-men-wont-tell-you.html

A disclaimer to start off… I’m not saying I disagree with everything in this post nor am I saying that this person’s opinions are wrong. I’m just saying that my opinions differ from most of the things written, and I am sharing my differing opinions with you.

I also want to begin by saying that in no way at all am I against modesty. I think that women should dress modestly if not to keep men from stumbling, then to simply respect themselves and their bodies. But I also believe that while I think it’s appropriate to cover up certain parts of my body, not everyone feels that way and I respect that. I also believe that there are different definitions of what modesty is. My definition is simply covering up your chest and your butt. But other people’s definitions could include more or less than that, and that’s okay.

I didn’t read the blog post that the author of this particular blog is responding to so I’m not sure how similar or different our opinions are, but I do agree with some of the quotes that were quoted in the blog.

For example, the author begins the blog with the quote  “…men are responsible for their own thoughts and actions when this happens; they don’t get to blame it on what a woman is wearing.” He agreed with this and so do I. He admits that it is the man who is sinning, but he also places some of the blame on the woman which I find unfair. The reason I find this unfair is because throughout his whole post, he seems to blame it on the fact that since he’s a man, it’s hard for him to look at a girl with a bikini on and not look at her like an object. My question is… what about women? All men ever do is act like since they are men, they don’t have self-control. The Bible clearly states “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). It doesn’t say “self-control (except for men).” Women struggle with sexual sins too. If women need to cover up more, men need to stop wearing baseball pants (or not), suits, and no shirts. The thing is men go shirtless all the time, and women aren’t immune to that. We just try a little harder to have self-control. We look at men as men and not a sexual object. And we just don’t understand why men can’t at least try to have self-control instead of just blaming the fact that they don’t on their male-ness. I am aware that male and female were created differently so yes, it’s probably harder for men to have self-control than women. But at least try. That’s all we ask.

“Now ladies, I don’t think you realize how much of a struggle sexual sin is for men, but suffice it to say that I do not know a single guy who does not struggle sexually in some way.” We do realize it, actually and most of the time when we dress immodestly, it isn’t to impress you or to make you look at us. It’s to impress other women. Honestly, men who don’t think we’re beautiful in our pajamas aren’t worth our time. So, the way we dress isn’t always about you. And also, I don’t know a single girl who doesn’t struggle sexually in some way either. Again I say, baseball pants.

And it actually just flat out made me angry when he said that it’s hard for men to not look at women as objects. Last time I checked, a phone is an object and a human being, no matter the age or gender, is a human being, and it shouldn’t ever for anyone be hard to look at a person and see them as a person.

Also a random side note, there is no way in the world that women can wear long pants and turtlenecks in the summer. Unless you want every woman to die of a heat stroke.

Like I previously mentioned, I am happy with the author’s owning up to the sin. But while although, he doesn’t want to place the entire blame on women, he still places some of it on them. And I do agree that the way women dress can cause a man to stumble, but it also goes the other way. What men wear can cause women to stumble too, and that’s something that men don’t seem to realize. Or if they do, they put all of their focus on their problems and their sin rather than thinking about what they do to affect women. 

I 100% agree with the author when he talks about how men need to be taught at a young age to treat women with respect and not as objects. He goes on to say “it will be easier to train our children not to see women as objects if they will stop presenting themselves in such a way.” And although that is true, I must say that not every woman presents herself as an object. Just because a woman wears shorts and a tank top, doesn’t mean she sees herself as an object or intends to present herself that way. There are women in the world who’s intent is that, but most aren’t and men just assume that that is every woman’s intent.

And this particular statement makes me pretty darn angry: “In the same way was the female body meant primarily for the enjoyment of her husband.” For someone who spent the whole post talking about how women shouldn’t be objectified, that sounds pretty objectifying to me. I’m pretty positive the female body was not created solely for the enjoyment of a man. Sex was created to reproduce and while it’s okay to enjoy it in marriage, the reason it was created was to have children. You don’t marry a woman for the enjoyment of seeing her body or having sex. And that might not have been what was meant by that statement, but that’s sure how it sounded, and I don’t like that at all.

My last point that I want to make is in response to a response he had to a comment on his blog. I agree with the girl’s comment, and in his response back, he agreed too, but one thing he said got to me. He said “Frankly, the reason nobody talks about modesty for men is because it is not mentioned in the Bible. Women are the ones commanded to be modest according to scripture, not men.” He has a point in saying that most verses about modesty in the Bible are directed towards women, but I don’t think that men should use that as an excuse to allow women to stumble. Just because the Bible doesn’t directly point you out, it doesn’t mean you should do it. Because the Bible says to not allow other believers to stumble, that gives men the only option as to dress modestly also. And I am sure that the Bible only mentions women because God knows that men struggle with this more. BUT men aren’t the only ones who struggle, and that’s what I want to get across to men. Women struggle with this too.

I will end by saying that if there is something that I’ve written that is not Biblically sound, I’d like to know. I feel fairly strongly about this subject and my opinions sound pretty firm, but I’m open to altering my opinions if there is something in the Bible that clearly disagrees with my opinion on the subject. So please let me know if there is something in here that is wrong (by Bible standards, not your own personal opinion standards). Also, feel free to share your opinions (in a nice way) because I really enjoy hearing others’ thoughts.

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11 thoughts on “Women Struggle Too.

  1. THANK YOU. I reread his post a couple of times and some of the things he said in there were so, so shockingly offensive. It makes me angry and also frustrated, because I don’t want people to think he is representative of Christians as a whole.

    How dare these people claim that men have it harder than women and to use that statement as an excuse for their sin and for them to treat women as less than human. It is despicable and truly un-Christian.

    1. I appreciate you reading and your comment! I don’t think his actions are necessarily un-Christian, I just think that we have differing views. Not all Christians believe the same things unfortunately.

  2. Wow…a blog post in response to a blog post in response to a blog post! I must say, I never expected this to happen. Mikayla, after reading your post a few times I have determined that the best way for me to respond to you is paragraph by paragraph. I will assign a number to each paragraph (1st paragraph being 1, 2nd being 2, etc.) beginning with the paragraph that starts with “For example…” That will be paragraph 1.

    ***

    Paragraph 1:
    I believe you have misunderstood me when you say that I place “some of the blame” on the woman. When a man looks lustfully at a woman, I believe (rather strongly, I might add) that he is 100% blameworthy for his lust. No one else can share his blame. From the very beginning of time, in the Garden of Eden, humans have had the tendency to shift the blame. Adam not only shifted the blame for his sin onto Eve, but also onto God! “‘The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it’” (Genesis 3:12 NIV). But the fact of the matter is that Adam was solely to blame for eating the apple. While Eve was guilty of giving the fruit to him, Adam was guilty of taking it. You seem to have missed the dichotomy I have drawn here. When it comes to lust, men are 100% responsible for sinning with their thoughts, while women are 100% responsible for the entirely separate sin of causing someone to stumble IF AND ONLY IF they have done something to cause men to stumble within their control. Now before you go biting my head off for discriminating and not acknowledging that women stumble too, it must be noted that you could take the words men and women in my last sentence, and switch their places; the statement would be just as true.

    “All men ever do is act like since they are men, they don’t have self-control.” Where did this even come from?! Sentences like this make me think that you are under the impression that I am justifying men’s actions when they lust after a woman. I’m not. At all. I am all for self control! Perhaps you are not aware, but men practice self control all the time. It is something called “bouncing our eyes”. Let me explain this term to you. Let’s say I am at a water park and I am trying to find my family in the crowd. Now let’s say that as I am searching, my eyes pass over a woman in a bikini. I have a choice to make. I haven’t yet sinned. (Contrary to what you think, I am not saying that the second a man sees a women in a bikini he has sin.) I can either take that second glance or we can pass our eyes on by and continue the search. To take that second glance and check her out would be a sin. To keep on looking is called bouncing my eyes. That, Mikayla, is the form of self control. Yes, men do have it, and some of us practice it all the time.

    Pargraph 2:
    I hope you realize that this is no justification for it. Immodest as a man or immodest as a woman makes no difference; you are still immodest. All you seem to have done is brought up another issue…that of vanity. However, neither the intent of my response nor the intent of my blog post is to address the topic of vanity so I will just leave it at that.

    Paragraph 3:
    I’m very glad it made you so angry. It should. It isn’t right and I never said it was. However, perhaps I should clarify what I mean by “objectify”. When a woman is “objectified” her status is not on par with that of a phone (to use your example). In fact, we never forget that she is a human; not even for a second. However, the way we look at a woman as a human changes. Perhaps the best illustration I have ever heard to explain it is a little crass, but merely because it is blunt. Now prepare yourself, this is going to make you mad as well, but it should; it makes me mad. When men objectify a woman, they see her as a human being with the same purpose as a urinal; something there to relieve themselves. Now don’t get me wrong, we don’t go to the beach and see urinals with arms and legs walking around everywhere, that would be ridiculous. However, when a man objectifies a woman, he ceases to see her as a human being with emotions and the ability to think and love and hurt or be happy, and begins to think of her solely in physical and sexual terms.

    Paragraph 4:
    There you go assuming things again. Please provide me with a quote either in the original blog post or comments section where I said that. I never said that, I don’t believe that women should, and since you clearly missed it in my post, let me point you to a spot where I addressed this. In the comments section, you will find that I have written these words: “ I don’t think modesty needs to be floor-length skirts and turtle necks either. Within reason, I am ok with short shorts and strapless. Like I said in the post, I don’t think we all need to be in potato sacks.” Enough said.

    Paragraph 5:
    See paragraph 1 response. Also, note that you are assuming that I don’t think women struggle sexually as well. I never said that.

    Paragraph 6:
    See paragraph 4 response. You’re putting words in my mouth again. I never said shorts and a tank top was wrong. Believe it or not I’m not a fundamentalistic puritan.

    Paragraph 7:
    You are most certainly right. I will be the first to tell you that to marry someone just because of sex would be wrong. (One of many reasons I think the whole “try it before you buy it” philosophy of having sex before marriage is wrong.) I do not, however, believe that the only purpose of sex is to procreate. I believe that God created sex with the PRIMARY purpose of procreation, however I also believe that God created sex to be pleasurable. Why else would men and women have certain anatomical parts that biologists cannot determine any purpose other than pleasure?

    Paragraph 8:
    Mikayla, you have a tendency to read something you don’t like and black out for the next couple of sentences. Let me quote for you the sentences immediately following the one you quoted. “Now, before you get all up in arms about what I just said, hear me out. While this may be true, I believe you can use 2 Cor 8:9-12 to apply to men in the same way that I applied it to women in this post. If a man causes a woman to stumble in a way that he could have prevented, than he is at fault as well.” I UNDERSTAND that women struggle too. I invite you to find a single spot either in my blog post or my comments where I say that women don’t struggle with this.

    ***

    Mikayla, I can tell that you have very good intentions and I do appreciate you sharing your feelings on my post. I love it when people do that, regardless of whether or not they disagree with me. I have tried to respond respectfully and I hope you do not confuse my moments of bluntness as being rude; I chose to be rather blunt at points because I did not want to leave any room for confusion. It has come to my attention through your comment and others’, that it would be good for me to write a follow up blog post on this very topic, because it seems that a lot of women have misunderstood my stance on whether or not women struggle. I feel it would be beneficial to everyone if I wrote out my thoughts on the matter all in one place, rather than scattered among various comments. Feel free to respond to this comment if you would like, but I would also encourage you to keep an eye out for the upcoming post within the next few days. Thank you again for your response, and I am very sorry if I have offended you in any way.

    – Caleb
    http://mountaintopfloridiot.blogspot.com/

    1. I appreciate your thorough response back, Caleb! I’m just going to respond back to a few points, and I will definitely look for your follow up blog post. Firstly, I’d like to say that I appreciate how you explained yourself in the comment back because I (being completely honest) take a lot of things at absolute face value which causes me to overlook what the person saying/writing it is really meaning. I think that’s what happened with Paragraph 1. I’d also like to thank you for explaining bouncing eyes to me. I guess as a woman, it’s just really difficult to see the self-control because of how a lot of men act. I know not all men are like those disgusting men, but I guess they just give a bad name to all men, and it’s hard for women to not see that in men sometimes. And about the things that made me angry, I’m glad they made you angry too. That wasn’t very clear in your original post so I just assumed they didn’t make you angry. And I see the difference in objectifying women as a phone as to still seeing her as human just as a sexual object, but I still see that as the same thing. I know men still see her as human, but it seems equally as horrible to me to be seen as a phone and a sexual object, honestly. And for Paragraph 4, I wasn’t saying that you thought that at all! That was just a random side note I wanted to add in. I’m sorry it seemed like I was accusing you of something you never said. And again for Paragraph 8, I think a similar thing happened that happened in Paragraph 1. Again, thanks for your response. 🙂

      1. I’m very glad we are a little more on the same page. I will try to get that post up soon, but it may take me a few days. We shall see.

        Well I’m glad you see the slight difference between the two types of objectifying. It should be said that I was not justifying the one over the other, merely trying to explain a little better what it was like. I obviously disagree with it as well, otherwise I wouldn’t have written the article 🙂

        Thank you for your rapid response! I will post a comment here when I have written the follow up post.

        – Caleb
        http://mountaintopfloridiot.blogspot.com/

  3. Caleb seems to be on a long break, as he hasn’t posted recently. Perhaps he is “wandering…”

    I am preparing a much longer tome for publication elsewhere, and I’ve already several lengthy responses on his and many other blog. I have also attempted to post some of my views of this on other blogs (thefulltimegirl and ladiesagainstfeminism) that apparently do not accept critics. I posted a variation of this on Caleb’s blog:

    The concept of “wear or don’t wear this or that” so as “not to cause a man to stumble” is still an objectification and ultimately victim blaming. Should not the same reasoning apply universally? Should I not toast the bride and groom for fear there may be someone struggling with addiction at the reception? Should I not eat the cake for fear there may be someone struggling with gluttony? Assuming that by whatever a women may or may not wear at the beach may cause men at the beach to be lustful is no different than my assuming that all men and women at the wedding reception are alcoholics and gluttons, and admonishing you to refuse the champagne and the cake. Modesty and propriety requires I drink champagne and eat the cake in moderation. It does not require me to abstain from them.

    It is my responsibility not become drunk at the reception or filled with lust at the beach, and mine alone. It is never the responsibility of the host or the swimmer.

    Focusing solely on the dress and almost universally the dress of a woman reduces her to only so much square measurement of flesh. It is no less dehumanizing and objectifying than a centerfold. She is only defined by her sexuality. The same applies to men, but is much less discussed.

    The more dangerous end point of this reasoning is blaming a victim for sexual assault. Here is my yet unpublished response on one of those blogs to the statement: “Look at what happened to David and Solomon. They were strong in the Lord, yet foolish women caused them to fall. ”

    Caused them to fall? Bathsheba was foolish? Bathsheba bathing on her rooftop [i] caused David to rape her? [/i] (He was an absolute monarch, he could and did command her submission — to call this anything other than rape is dishonest.) Does any woman “cause” rape simply by her dress? This is the endpoint of this line of reasoning.

    :

    1. Nick,
      Not going to lie, I laughed at the wandering comment.
      But anyway, I want to start out by saying thank you for getting it. Thank you for understanding. I have noticed that very few men come close to understanding. It’s refreshing to see one that does. I don’t like when people ride off comparisons like you made with gluttony and alcoholism. They think it’s not the same, but it is. A woman wearing a bathing suit COULD cause a man to stumble, but it isn’t guaranteed. Just like eating cake at a wedding or any other number of things. In all honesty, almost anything we do could cause someone else to stumble. And we should try not to cause people to stumble, but sometimes people stumbling is simply out of our control. And I agree, our sin is our responsibility. We should never put the blame of our sin on someone else. You know, Jesus already took the blame for all of our sins so why should we place the blame on anyone else? Jesus didn’t even deserve it. We did. The least we could do is to accept the blame and ask for forgiveness. I also agree that focusing on dress for women AND men is extremely dehumanizing and objectifying. What someone wears should never define them. Ever. I am also so glad that you pointed out the dangerous end point because that is my fear in all of this. I am absolutely disgusted when a woman is blamed for sexual assault because it is never ever her fault. A woman never asks for it. No matter what anyone says. Goodness, did someone actually state that statement? That FOOLISH women caused them to fall. You are absolutely correct when you question Bathsheba’s “foolishness” for simply bathing. She was not foolish in any way. She was only bathing! Thank you again for your comment. I would love to read more of what you have to say so comment any time or leave links to your writings if you would like!
      -Mikayla

      1. I grew up in a Christian country Romania to be precise and the social norm there is you wear inappropriate clothing you get publicly shamed. Usually who shames you for it are elderly women. Have a strict mother she has forbidden me from wearing clothes that are revealing. I am ok with it. The only time I left home in a mini skirt at the library in toronto I was been yelled at by men who were whistleing at me.
        I never had a relationship. Quite terified of men in general and probably wont get married. The difference is while I am polite and dont show my clothes I am worried I wont be able to have a stable relationship. I believe in marriage. I want to be able to get married one day but for me it wont happen. These women at least can look at men without be horrified of touch.

      2. Hello
        My name is Anca
        I would like to reply to your responses. I grew up in Romania in Europe and the social norm was do not show your cleavage or ass. If you didnt comply you were shamed for it. I came to Canada and I still have those norms. For me my biggest problem is the fact that I am completely teriffied of even the smallest of touch. What sort of life would I have because I have dream that later in life I will get married. I am respectful to men. Just so I could mention I am 26 years old. I am ok with waiting that is not the problem. The biggest problem for me is that I wont have a stable relationship with the opposite sex.

    2. Hi Anca! Thank you so much for your comment and vulnerability. I am thankful that you shared your personal experience with me. I am truly sorry that you are now afraid of men and physical touches. That is something that I have seen in many people who grow up with strict modesty standards where they are taught to be ashamed of their bodies and attractions which is one of the reasons why I find fault in those kind of standards. But I do want to tell you this, God has created a perfect plan for you and your life. Marriage may not be in that perfect plan which is okay. Singleness is not a curse. It is a blessing from God, just like marriage. But since marriage is a desire of your heart, I hope it is in your plan! And if it is, it will all work out. I know it will. All you have to do is trust Him and His plan! I’m praying for you in your future endeavors. Be the woman who God is calling you to be, not the woman society and cultural norms want you to be. You’ll find so much more joy that way. I hope you have a wonderful day!

      1. Anca

        I would like to say to you is that I am not intentionally scared of touch. I have never been diagnosed but I am pretty sure I am authistic. I feel uncomfortable with touch because of that. For a woman at my age struggling with that you can then understand that as an adult it would be nearly impossible for me to have a relationship. I will not be able to have proper relationship. I am still struggling to find employment. In my country I was bullied by mere boys at the age of 10 and told that I was ugly. Physical abuse was a regular accurance. That has played a part in how I viewed myself as a woman. Self esteem was and still is an issue for me.

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