There has been considerable debate about the validity of Jessica Rey and women in general. I have watched her be both lauded a hero and degraded by her female counterparts. Some of us are decrying the video as to restrictive. Their mantra seems to be
A woman has the right to wear whatever she chooses. And if a man gets his jollies by seeing her, he’s a creep. No one can tell her what to wear. She is the master of her own closet and choices.
To some small degree I completely agree. We are free to wear what we what, what we like, what we feel comfortable in and what looks good on us. And in Utopia no one would be offended by the amount of skin we show or the body parts on display. But this isn’t Utopia. It’s real life.
I was raised in a strict family and church. Shirts could be no lower than three fingers below the clavicle and skirts/dresses had to have a hem line that went at least to the middle of your knee. Spaghetti straps and even tank tops were taboo. Shorts were in the don’t-even-think-about-it category. Bikinis were of the devil.
I don’t remember there being any mention of why we had to dress this way. We just had to so we did. And lest you think the women were harshly judged and subjected to such rigorous rules while the men and boys were free to wear what pleased them, it’s not so.
Now that I’m an adult I have let my hem lines get a little shorter, I wear shirts that are a little lower than the three finger rule. Because I find I feel better when I’m not giving some man a free peep show.
I find it very interesting that the blogs standing against the video are all written by women. Not once have I read one by a man. In fact the blog comments in support of the video are largely written by men. They think the video and it’s subject matter are good.
Not from any desire to squash women. Not to lord it over them. Not to prove their manliness at all. Not to shove our gender back to the dark ages. But to let us know they like it when take their wiring into consideration when we get dressed in the morning.
If we have a friend who is dieting and really trying to lose weight, we don’t sit across the table from her with a double piece of chocolate cake piled high with frosting. We don’t do it because it would be rude and inconsiderate of us.
This is the very thing we do to men when we dress immodestly. We parade around in front of them with a double slice of cake, and we’re moaning with the ecstasy of each delicious bite. We’re flaunting our freedom to wear what we want.
And at the same time we’re slapping them when they get too close. We’re calling them creeps for admitting to looking. We’re saying they should not have a normal, God-given biological reaction to what they see.
We think that because we don’t have the same reaction they should be able to control themselves better when we parade on by in barely-there clothing. For the most part women are not stimulated by what we see so we think men, who are, are most definitely creeps and should learn to control themselves.
How about if we realize how hard it is when men are faced with it every day all day long. They can’t get away from it. And we’re not helping. Yes, they should control themselves. And yes many of them do look away, but it only takes a glance. And where do we expect them to look? We’re every where.
I do know that modesty is more a way of life, how we act, react, as well as how we dress. But that does not give us free reign to dress and let it all hang out. Modesty is a heart issue more than a wardrobe issue.
Modesty is also a respect issue. Here is a great quote,
“People often say that immodest women fail to respect themselves, but the point is rarely made that immodest women fail to respect men.” (from How to Find Your Soul Mate Without Losing your Soul by Jason and Crystalina Evert)
If we truly want to be loved for our whole being, if we want men to love us for our minds, our intellect, our abilities, why are we so quick to flash some skin to attract them? Aren’t we trying to have it both ways? Aren’t we saying in effect, “I will dress how I want to dress. I will act how I want to act. And you’re a pig if you have any reaction.” Ladies, we can’t do that.
Modesty matters. Modesty is a matter of the heart. If we truly thought of others more highly than we do ourselves we would not have this debate. We’d be knocking each other over trying to protect each other. If we operated more out of love than out of our rights, we would choose to act and behave differently. On both sides of the issue.
I think women need to come to realize no one is telling them how to dress. No one. Men aren’t. Jessica Rey isn’t. I’m not. I’m not saying everyone has to dress like me. Or dress in a burka. One doesn’t have to wear long jeans and turtle necks all year to be modest.
I’m not saying that at all. And I don’t live like that.
However, I will say this, your right to dress how you please ends when it infringes on my right to not see parts of your body hanging out. (And this goes for men as well as women.)
So I won’t infringe on your right to wear what you choose. As long as you don’t infringe on my right to not have to see it.