Sunday, July 24, 2005

Speaking of controversy

In yet another online discussion, a man wrote:

One thing I shared with my wife Sarah that really helped her to understand the issue was this statement: for a man, looking is like touching. A young lady should not expose any part of her body that it would be inappropriate for a man to touch. If this sentence makes young girls feel just a little creepy when men are looking at them, then that is good, because if wrong parts of their body are exposed, they should indeed feel creepy when men are looking at them.

I am far from being a young girl, yet this statement make me feel "just a little creepy"...and bewildered as well. Does this man really believe this? Am I now to wear a burkha because I happen to find it completely inappropriate for most men to touch my ankles, my face, and especially my lips?

For a man, is looking really like touching?

Which brings me to something I probably should have put in my previous post. There is another reason why some of us simply don't want to believe statements of how helplessly "visual" men are, how the merest suggestion of a feminine body part is enough to incite runaway lust, and how, to a man, watching me talk is supposedly the same as touching my lips. We don't want to believe this of our Christian brothers. We simply don't. It is too sad and hurtful to contemplate that you are incapable of viewing us as sisters. Surely you are able to look at your biological sisters in all innocence and purity, right? Are we not your sisters in Christ? Can you not see us as anything but a collection of body parts? Can you not control your own thoughts?

Many of us have had brothers and fathers that we found handsome and dashing and heroic and wonderfully masculine. Yet they never inspired in us any desire, other than perhaps to marry a man with some of those same wonderful qualities. We can remind ourselves that our brothers in Christ are just that ♠ brothers ♠ and thus off-limits when it comes to lustful thoughts, fantasies, and desires. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves often. However, we usually don't blame the brothers for being too handsome, too gentlemanly, too strong, too eloquent, too much the center of attention, too whatever...and ourselves too weak to be able to look at or listen to them without going crazy.

Somewhere I read a study that claimed that women were even more auditory than men were visual and that certain male voices had a powerful effect on women. And this is news? I thought.

Men, keep silent in church. I know God gives you the freedom to speak but should you not be willing to forego that freedom for the sake of the sisters? Do you really want to be responsible for stumbling someone?

OK...I'll admit I'm being somewhat sarcastic...


  1. I don't know what I think about what you're saying here, but it sure is worth reading!

  2. Yay! Yay! Yay! Thankyou Rebecca!
    Yes, finally someone to tell the truth! I was almost at a point where I felt as though I couldn't stand men, and couldn't figure out why my dh kept saying that he doesn't think that way. He actually controls himself!!! I thought that he must be just lying to me since all men are just pigs when it comes to their visual weaknesses! I had grown very distrustful of him and all men in fact because the evangelical world says that men really value "harlots", and I don't want to be one of them!

    My dad always taught us that men need to control themselves... That is being a real man. My dh is a real man, so is my Dad! :o)

  3. Rebecca,

    I saw this post and your response on that list. You made some very excellent points.