I tried to post the following as a comment to an article on someone's blog, but I kept getting an error message. Since I didn't want to waste my rant, I'm posting it here.
You know it's summer when article after article appears about "the bikini question". Not to insult the author, but this article is really no different than the hundreds, if not thousands, of others already out there.
Let me get to the point. If the author truly wanted to "sacrifice" for men easily drawn to lust [by wearing a cute tankini instead of a bikini] she should stay home and pray that they would have the sense to do the same. Because that's the solution I've never seen addressed in an article. I'll be so bold as to say it here:
DUDES! If you are so easily tempted by the sight of a woman in a bikini, DON'T GO TO PLACES WHERE YOU MIGHT SEE ONE! Don't go to the beach, or to swimming pools. Don't watch TV. Stay off the Internet. IT'S THAT SIMPLE.
Chocolate cake analogy [several commenters used the analogy of someone following you around, offering you tempting chocolate cake]: since I don't want to eat chocolate cake, when my willpower was weak, I avoided places a chocolate cake was likely to be. Why torment myself? Now I've been without it for so long, and have such compelling reasons to avoid it, that it doesn't bother me if everyone around me is eating some. It would bother me if someone followed me around offering me a slice all the time, because I'm creeped out and annoyed by coercive people who disregard my "no thank you". (So, ladies, even if you are wearing a burka at the beach, don't follow guys around offering yourself to them when they don't want what you're offering. Respect their boundaries. Take a hint: the lack of an enthusiastic "yes!" should be taken as a "no".) At the same time that I am no longer overly tempted by chocolate cake, I see no reason to hang around bakeries, checking out what chocolate cake might be there. What's the point?
I can hear the menfolk whining about the unfairness of staying home so the women can wear what they want. I can hear the mothers complaining, "Are you saying I can't take my boys swimming or to the beach?" Let me put it this way. I have five sons, ages 16 - 27. There is no way that I would ever knowingly expose them to a temptation they are not spiritually mature enough to handle. I don't expect the world to arrange itself to be less tempting to my sons or to me. To use an old cliche, if we can't take the heat, we stay out of the kitchen.
If the sight of anything — chocolate cake, an athletic man in a speedo, your neighbor's new sports car, the latest cool techno-gadget from Apple, a scantily clad woman — whatever it might be, if you are easily provoked to sins of covetousness and lust, do whatever it takes to avoid the temptation! Jesus had some pretty extreme things to say about avoiding sin. He went so far as to talk about gouging out your eyes. What he didn't say is to tell your girlfriend how to dress or to blame other people for "stumbling" you. It's not what goes into you that defiles you, whether it's food or the sight of a body you find sexually attractive. It's what is already inside you, and inside me. We are responsible for our own lust and covetousness.
Yes, this article was written to the women. As are so many countless others repeating the same tired old theme. I guess I had hoped, because someone I know linked to this one, that it was something a bit better than same old, same old. Sigh...
My lucky 3 readers get more of my ranting:
You know what else? As an "older woman", I'm just about ready to start teaching me some of these young bloggerettes! Which is my funny way of saying that someone needs to take some of these young women to task for their pride. I mean, I'm all for healthy body image and all that, but that hardly means you have to jump on the Internet and brag about how men everywhere would be driven to lust at the mere sight of you if you weren't so loving, godly, and sacrificial as to clothe yourself modestly. I knew a woman who used to ask, whenever another woman online bragged about how her modesty kept men from stumbling, "Really? You're that hot? That tempting? Men can't help wanting you — they are driven to sin — by a glimpse of too much of you? Wow." Then we'd hear some hasty "I'm really not prideful or vain" comments about how God created all women to be beautiful, alluring, blah blah blah. Yeah, right. If we are all physically "beautiful", that renders the word meaningless. ("Darling, you look beautiful!" "Well, duh, all women do!" "No, I mean it." "I'd hope you think I look like a woman, since I am one." "Of course you look like a woman, dear — a beautiful woman." "Isn't that redundant? And I'm getting kinda tired of you constantly telling me I look like a woman! So what?")
Maybe beaches have changed since my beach days, and now they only allow women to wear bikinis if they look sexy in them — but back in the day, guys I hung around with admitted that most of the women and girls in bikinis were not that appealing and often more of a turn-off than a turn-on. It reminds me about my long-ago joke about speedos: men should not wear speedos lest they stumble me. Either I'll stumble over my own feet because I'm looking at the guy and thinking, "Whoa! That dude looks good in his speedo!" or I'll stumble because I'm gagging, "What possessed that guy to go out in public like that? Ugh! Dude, cover up! We're all about to lose our lunch!" (It seems like, back in the day, average guys in America didn't wear speedos.)
The other thing I find silly in these articles is that the young "I respect men too much to stumble them with my sexiness!" authors will hasten to tell us, in case we were worried, that their modest attire is still "attractive". Because heaven forbid this young lady lose her ability to attract the guys! Supposedly now her bathing suit attracts a better sort of guy, who is drawn to her personality and mind. Because, you know, men are able to discern that just by how we are dressed. ("Oh, her bikini just sucked me into its lust vortex, so she must be slutty. But that other woman is wearing a tankini and I am suddenly attracted to her sweet, fun-loving, wholesome personality and her interest in philosophy, because I can tell all that just by her bathing suit.") Even more ridiculous is when the author chirps, "Modest is hottest!" At least now we know her real agenda. She wants to be "hotter" than all those other girls! She doesn't want men to lust after her body parts; she wants them to lust after her modesty. Otherwise, if she thought she was such a huge temptation, she really would stay home from the beach.