Guest post by Justin Anfinsen. To read more from him, see his post on Adventures in a Singles Ward.
Males have raging uncontrollable, hormones. Females have tight figures and are just asking for it. Females should cover up so as to not attract the attention of the Male, who is attracted to cleavage like the great white shark is attracted to seal blood.
If at any point during the above sentence, your eyebrow raised up in a suspicious manner, then congratulations! We are in agreement. Before we go any further, let’s be clear on one thing: I am most certainly not proposing girls should dress immodestly- my concern rather, is that we are mostly teaching modesty to the wrong gender.
In the scriptures, we are taught that the natural man is an enemy to God (Mosiah 3:19). The natural man is carnal, sensual and devilish (Alma 42:10). As a man in the church, I can tell you I have had plenty of lessons concerning the natural man, and how we can overcome it and change our natures from carnal to divine. If there is one thing the gospel teaches us, it’s that we can indeed change, set aside our carnal minds and improve ourselves. Our salvation is even dependent on it. I can also say I have never really had a lesson about modesty (Male modesty? That’s silly). It seems like so odd a thing to put so great importance on controlling the natural man, then handing off modesty to the sisters of the church. I see an immediate disconnect with what is being taught.
Imagine this (fictional) conversation:
Guy: “Oh hey, girl, we have a lot of guy things going on over here, we need you to go ahead and do modesty for us.”
Girl: “But you are the one having impure thoughts.”
Guy: “Yeah…I’m gonna need you to put on a shirt that covers your arms better”
Girl: “You mean wear shapeless clothes that hide our form?”
Guy: “Yeah that would really help my spirituality.”
Girl: “That doesn’t make any sense.”
Guy: “Modest is hottest girl!”
Girl: “So by showing less of myself you will be more attracted to me?”
Guy: “Gotta go, kthanksbye”
I don’t think the church is much to blame for this, as I believe this is a symptom of greater inequality finding its way into the church. Rape is dealt with in the same way. Rape prevention classes are taught to women, but why not teach men not to rape? I have full control over my thoughts and actions; my salvation is not, and should not be, dependent on what a girl decides to wear on a sunny summer afternoon.
We definitely are accountable when we decide to blame the opposite gender for our own shortcomings and weaknesses.
If you have a story or thoughts you’d like to contribute (or if you have questions or concerns), feel free to email us at youngmormonfeminists AT gmail DOT com.