Seeing a Woman: A conversation between a father and son

Someday I am going to have to have the conversation with my son. No, not the conversation all parents dread giving and all kids are mortified having. I enjoy making people uncomfortable so that conversation should be fun.

No, I’m talking about another conversation. The one that happens after I catch his eye doing what male eyes do well – following an object of lust. We will probably be out at the mall, because that’s what dads do with their sons, and I’ll catch the look. Maybe we’ll go to the beach and see it. Doesn’t matter where it is, there will come a time when I will see it. And then it will be time for this conversation.


Hey, come here. Let me talk to you. I saw you look at her. I’m not judging you or shaming you. I know why you did. I get it. But we have to talk about it because how you look at a woman matters.


A lot of people will try and tell you that a woman should watch how she dresses so she doesn’t tempt you to look at her wrongly. Here is what I will tell you. It is a woman’s responsibility to dress herself in the morning. It is your responsibility to look at her like a human being regardless of what she is wearing. You will feel the temptation to blame her for your wandering eyes because of what she is wearing – or not wearing. But don’t. Don’t play the victim. You are not a helpless victim when it comes to your eyes. You have full control over them. Exercise that control. Train them to look her in the eyes. Discipline yourself to see her, not her clothes or her body. The moment you play the victim you fall into the lie that you are simply embodied reaction to external stimuli unable to determine right from wrong, human from flesh.

Look right at me. That is a ridiculous lie.

You are more than that. And the woman you are looking at is more than her clothes. She is more than her body. There is a lot of talk about how men objectify women, and largely, it is true. Humans objectify the things they love in effort to control them. If you truly love a person, do not reduce them to an object. The moment you objectify another human – woman or man, you give up your humanity.

There are two views regarding a woman’s dress code that you will be pressured to buy into. One view will say that women need to dress to get the attention of men. The other view will say women need to dress to protect men from themselves. Son, you are better than both of these. A woman, or any human being, should not have to dress to get your attention. You should give them the full attention they deserve simply because they are a fellow human being. On the other side, a woman should not have to feel like she needs to protect you from you. You need to be in control of you.

Unfortunately, much of how the sexes interact with each is rooted in fear. Fear of rejection, fear of abuse, fear of being out of control. In some ways, the church has added to this. We fear each other because we have been taught the other is dangerous. We’ve been taught a woman’s body will cause men to sin. We’re told that if a woman shows too much of her body men will do stupid things. Let’s be clear: a woman’s body is not dangerous to you. Her body will not cause you harm. It will not make you do stupid things. If you do stupid things it is because you chose to do stupid things. So don’t contribute to the fear that exists between men and women.

A woman’s body is beautiful and wonderful and mysterious. Respect it by respecting her as an individual with hopes and dreams and experiences and emotions and longings. Let her be confident. Encourage her confidence. But don’t do all this because she is weaker. That’s the biggest bunch of crap out there. Women are not weaker than men. They are not the weaker sex. They are the other sex.

I’m not telling you to not look at women. Just the opposite. I’m telling you to see women. Really see them. Not just with your eyes, but with your heart. Don’t look to see something that tickles your senses, but see a human being.

My hope is that changing how you see women will change how you are around them. Don’t just be around women. Be with women.

Because in the end, they want to be with you. Without fear of being judged, or shamed, or condemned, or objectified, or being treated as other. And that’s not just what women want. That’s what people want.

Ultimately, it’s what you want.

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  • Jacob

    I wish I would have heard something like this years ago when I was growing up. It would have made things so much more simple.

  • Virgil T. Morant

    Hey, look at me. I saw you look at her….

    You know, if you say all of that up there to your son when you catch him eyeballing someone in public, you’ll get some attention, even have a crowd before you’re a quarter of the way through it. Perhaps a YouTube video or twenty captured on a smartphone. If you actually emphasize those boldfaced parts by raising your voice, you may gather a flock from some distance.

    But in any case I’m sure you’ll be proud of your son’s future monastic vows.

    • Micah J. Murray

      Because clearly, vows of celibacy are the only alternative to objectification.

      • Virgil T. Morant

        Wow. I didn’t say anything about objectification. In fact, I didn’t say anything about the substance of the post at all. I was making light of how extraordinarily long it would be to say that at the moment that a man saw his son looking at a woman in public and how embarrassing it would be. Laugh a little, broheim.

        • Micah J. Murray

          My bad. Carry on.

        • Cpt_Justice

          I don’t think the author means that he’s going to lecture him out loud in public at that exact instant.

          • Guest

            Yeah, but he didn’t explicitly say he wouldn’t! So that means he would!

    • MorganGuyton

      Too bad that you only saw things to mock.

      • Virgil T. Morant

        I wonder, between you in this comment and me in mine, who has the more unfortunate and ill-spirited attitude. He presented this as something he would say to his kid, in a public place, as soon as he caught the boy leering. Look at the essay. It would take a few minutes to deliver that monologue. I saw comedy in how that would inevitably embarrass the boy.

        It’s a tiresome thing to ask someone to have a sense of humor. It’s too bad anyway you only saw mocking in my jest. if you wish to assume the worst, I’ll rest assured that I did nothing to encourage it other than see something comical and comment on it in that spirit.

        • screwliberalism

          It is just as “tiresome” to not understand how your post could have easily been misunderstood by others. The greatest responsibility of being understood is *always* upon the communicator, not the listener.

          • Virgil T. Morant

            The greatest responsibility of being understood is *always* upon the communicator, not the listener.

            Is that so? What a fine aphorism. Since you say it so succinctly it must be true. Perhaps I should write it down. Or just memorize it.

            There’s really a remarkable amount of uncharitable attitude in those who insist on letting me have it for that joke, not unlike (but not as cartoonish as) Mr. Borsch’s derision over a different topic earlier, At least Micah Murray had the integrity to acknowledge he’d been mistaken about my joke, accept my explanation, and let it go. Not that his remark seems to have had any influence on anyone else’s need to express censure. There’s a lot of agape in this thread.

          • K. Reed

            Could be that your posts are filled with non sequiturs (e.g., monastic vows?). Also could be because you just are not that funny.

        • thatBruceguy

          “He presented this as something he would say to his kid, in a public place, as soon as he caught the boy leering.”

          No. What he said was “AFTER.” 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence.

      • twanger

        great read and idea. virgil, go away.

  • Matt

    How would you square 1 Peter 3:7 with this:

    “But don’t do all this because she is weaker. That’s the biggest bunch of crap out there. Women are not weaker than men. They are not the weaker sex.”

    • Donald Borsch Jr

      The word there for weaker is thus in the Greek:

      Now then, that that’s out in the open, I would also be curious as to your context, Nate. Not a loaded statement, I am genuinely curious. :)

      • Peter Norcross

        @Donald, I’d be interested to hear your exegetical opinion concerning the term ἀσθενής in that context.

        • Laura Joy Nolan

          An analysis that to me feels a bit more in depth than Strongs… In the context presented, “weaker vessel” refers metaphorically to a priceless vase made of fragile china. (In that era, such a thing would have been truly priceless, as the cost and care required to transport it safely over any distance at all would be enormous.) This is not intended to imply that a woman is intellectually, morally, or spiritually weak, but refers specifically to the *physical* differences in strength between the average male and female bodies.

          Nate’s essay seems to treat “weak” more the way our culture does today, as a loaded, judging term that suggests a woman is inferior in more abstract ways. Which, he’s quite correct, is a bunch of crap.

          Nate, I am bookmarking this to show my husband. Our son is almost 21 months old, and THIS is what I want him to learn.

          • Peter Norcross

            @Laura, This is what I would have expected, given the context. What resources did you take advantage of?

          • Laura Joy Nolan

            Didn’t have a lot of time to dig (toddler running about and requiring of at least one eye at all times!), so it was a quickie hunt through my own Strongs concordance, along with the above link, which makes use
            of the original Greek for 1 Peter 3:5-7, as well as several different
            English translations, outside commentaries, etc. Provides a bit of historical/cultural context as well, and goes into a hefty amount of detail on every word in the passage. Another bit further down mentions that the word for vessel also referred often to those used during temple rituals; again, using as an analogy an object of great value and reverence, something to be treasured and protected.

          • Donald Borsch Jr

            Gosh, so sorry, forgot to add: if my “rule” about seeking to honor women is legalistic, then is it legalistic of me to have a rule in keeping the toilet seat down for my bride?

            Oh no! A *gasp!* rule! Yikes, call the Internet trolls and have them fix me!

          • Laura Joy Nolan

            Um… what? I was participating in a discussion regarding the contextual meaning of a specific word within a given passage, and I’m fairly certain I didn’t say anything about rules or legalism. No need to get sarcastic and rude.

            Putting the toilet seat back down when you share a toilet with a female is simply good manners. You’re welcome to make all the rules you want for yourself, and in fact that’s what we’re called to do, use our own minds to apply Scripture to our lives and say “this is what ____ passage means in my life, and therefore I will behave in thus and such a way in order to comply with that instruction.” Legalism is when you decide that your rules and interpretations are the only correct ones, the only version sanctioned by God and therefore I should have to follow them too or I’m not behaving as a Godly Christian.

            It’s my job to make rules for myself, and to teach a basic sense of right and wrong to my child until he is old enough to make his own rules. It is NOT my job to apply my rules to the rest of humanity.

        • Donald Borsch Jr


          You lost me at “exegetical”. I’m a son, not a theologian, and I honestly have no desire to wade into such waters. I was asking Nate his take on it, nothing more.

    • Nate Pyle

      So I would first do a 1 to 1 translation and translate this as “weaker vessel.” It is weaker as in “fragile or requiring care.” Think an expensive vase with high value. The point then of the passage, taken in context, is not the “weakness or fragility” of women, but the care/attention/treatment they deserve as valuable people.

      • Rob Nuckols

        It’s sounds like to me you just kind of have a hang up with the word “weaker”. So much so that you felt the need to put that part of your article in bold. I think you would have been better off explaining what Paul meant by “weaker” vessel. Paul’s words here actually supports your point, they don’t take away from it. Don’t be afraid of the word “weaker”, just make sure people understand it in context. Otherwise you end up with all this bickering over semantics. When you say in bold, “they are not the weaker sex”, one gets the feeling that you are directly challenging Paul’s statement, which you were obviously not doing. Cheers and thanks for the great message.

      • Aunika Toles

        I gotta say… I like you!

    • Ashley Dawn Garrett

      “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26-28 If you go back to the role God intended for man and woman in Genisis. Woman was meant to be Man’s helpmate. His supporter and man was suppose to be her provider and protecter. If by weaker, you mean more fragile, I think that is exactly how God created it to be to show what the relationship between Christ and the church is. However, I don’t think this means less capable and I think that’s what Nate was trying to explain. His son should have respect for what woman say, not this idea that “oh, look how cute she is, she thinks she’s got it all figured out. I should encourage her because other wise she would not be able to be confident without me.” My confidence, hope, and strength is in Jesus Christ and I love how he uses his body, male or female, to encourage me in my pursuit of him. I think that’s ultimately what Nate was trying to get at, semantics aside.

    • Spanner1960

      I don’t see too many female bricklayers out there.

      • thatBruceguy

        OK, so you give birth to a bunch of children, nurse them, care for them, and see roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of them die in spite of all your love, prayers & best efforts, take care of your house/farm//husband/remaining children through it all — and then talk about what kind of “strength” is required for bricklaying.

        • Spanner1960

          I don’t think anybody can deny the differences between the sexes, everybody has their strengths and weaknesses, but don’t drop the old parenting crap on me. I know women who sit on their fat arses all day watching daytime TV and playing computer games whilst their husbands are out busting a gut trying to earn a living. You rarely see the opposite.

          As for having children die on you, that is sheer selfish stupidity. If you do not have the resources to bring a child into the world and support it to maturity, then you shouldn’t have children in the first place. I see so many charities showing starving children in the third world expecting them to be fed, yet they continue to breed like rabbits.
          They don’t need food, they need sterilising.

          • thatBruceguy

            (a) I should have made it clear that I was talking about childbirth mortality back when that verse was written, not now.

            (b) I should have made it clear that I was talking about home / farm life back when that verse was written, not now.

            (c) Have you noticed that anywhere that women’s access to birth control goes up, the childbirth rate goes down? It may be that the reason these 3rd-world women are “breeding like rabbits” isn’t because they want to.

          • Spanner1960

            Child birth rates may well be linked to birth control, but that is no excuse. The oldest form of birth control is still one of the best: You say “no”.

          • thatBruceguy

            Yeah…. OK.

          • carrie

            Yes, because men (and husbands) always listen when they are told no by women (including their wives).

      • maryinbama

        There are not that many yet, but the numbers are growing.

    • splashy79

      Who cares? It’s not about the Bible.

  • Lydia

    As a woman who regularly feels the confusion and pain of being sexually objectified by men, I really appreciate reading something like this. It encourages me to stick it out for a guy who won’t just treat me as a sex object. Also, I really agree with what you say about how we try and control what we love, maybe men objectify women because they fear the ‘lure’ women’s bodies have over them. I think your son is lucky to have a Dad like you to bring him up respecting women!

  • jd

    Wow! You are one AWESOME dad!

  • Bruce Kirk

    Before I was a follower of Jesus, I made a commitment with my wife that, while I would gaze upon another woman, I would never touch her. But, then, I was convicted by Scripture (Matthew 5: ) and have found that praying for the woman who catches my eye really helps. In fact, it can make all the difference. And through those prayers, I am simultaneously training my heart.
    The prayers help keep my motives in check and are meant for her as well, with sincerity.
    I pray that I would honor the wife of my youth and for the sanctity of our marriage. I pray that the woman who caught my eye is led into a personal relationship with Jesus (and/or) that she be drawn into a deeper, more loving relationship with God of the Bible, keeping herself pure (mind, heart, soul… and body) as a sacrificial gift. That she honor her husband (present or future) with her body and beauty. That she dedicate herself and her body to the sanctity of marriage…etc., etc., etc.
    However, I DO NOT use these prayers as a way to justify continuing my gaze upon her OR to rationalize looking upon another women in order to pray for her.
    As I have become more consistent in this prayer habit, it is really cool how fast meaningful and genuine prayers can be made. Then I intentionally move my attention away from her. In fact, you can effectively pray for the woman without even continuing to look upon her.
    Grace and peace…
    Bruce Kirk

    • Rita Yoder

      That is a great ! I am going to steal it and use it when I am angry with someone.

      • Nicole Resweber

        I do this in traffic. If I’m tempted to cuss at you, I’ve gotta pray for you.

        Okay, usually it’s *after* I cuss at you… Still a sinner here. :)

    • VioletPersuasion

      I was tremendously blessed by this. Thank you.
      We can do this very simple step for *anyone* we struggle with (visually or emotionally, lustfully or angrily, etc.) Now I pray I can be this kind of prayer warrior for others.
      What a beautiful heart, and thank you for sharing it, Bruce!!

  • Donald Borsch Jr

    Nicely said, sir. My rule is simply this: “The first look is free. The second look is the one that costs you.” Even as a son of God I have been taken by surprise (elevator doors open, beautiful woman standing right there, BOOM, I looked) but have had our Father discipline me (not in punishment but in proper behavior that He teaches me) to not let my eyes linger nor allow them to take another glance. As the father of two daughters, I appreciate your words here, and would openly say that your son is the kind of man, one day, I would want my daughters to marry. Bravo.

    • Lauren Bond

      Ironically that’s exactly what Muslim men do, they do not take their eyes off of the woman until she is out of their sight therefore abiding by the law that “the first look is free but the second is costly” funny how we lean towards legalism even when we aren’t trying too. If you heart is aligned with Christ, and Christ is all you desire then you will not have to manufacture laws to keep you from sinning.

      • Donald Borsch Jr


        Oh my. Funny how your faith is based upon the word “if”. Your legalism is like pig feces on a humid and stagnant Summer’s day, Lauren. You do know that Jesus died to free you from this, right?

        • Rob Nuckols

          Hebrews 3:13
          13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

          • Lauren Bond

            Thank you brother. My intentions are never to argue, only to encourage to be weary of falling into legalism. I myself have to fight the temptation to be legalistic always, and I often think of Romans 8:3-4 “For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

        • Lauren Bond

          What makes my comment legalistic brother? I was saying Muslims’ lives are legalistic, and that is what makes knowing Christ so freeing, because we do not have to rely on the legalistic statutes which Muslims rely on. My faith is not based upon the word “if.” My faith is based upon the Name “Christ.” Christ lived, died, and rose therefore we respond with obedience only by grace, according to the written Word which our Father has given us.

          • Donald Borsch Jr

            You sought to play the role of baiter and compare my thinking to that of a Muslim. You did not comment to me to encourage me, so get that piously dangerous lie outta your head right now, because I am not some simpleton christian in name only. You commented to seek controversy. Your whole thing is “if you are REALLY a Christian, (fill in the blank)”. How tedious, immature, and legalistic. Do you think I am some Sunday-only pew-warmer from a mainline denominational institutionalized church who has nothing better to do? Do you think I am some pitiful troll who wanders the Internet out of boredom? Come visit me on my blog and see who and what I am, and then, perhaps, you can speak to me like you know me. Your arrogance and desire for attention has worked. I am giving you the attention you so eagerly crave. You’re welcome.

          • Virgil T. Morant

            What a marvelously hostile reply. Consider what you initially said. You gave a rule to avoid committing the sin of lust. A rule. You know: kind of like a law, which, it seems to me, is vaguely related to legalism. I have no truck with Ms. Bond’s comments about what all Muslim men do–I don’t know Islam well enough to know whether such a rule is indeed enshrined in the religion, but I would be a bit surprised if it was–but she was spot on to note the legalistic quality of your rule.

            A man is perfectly capable of lust in his first look at a woman, and, just the same, he is perfectly capable of looking a second or third time without lusting at all. Your little maxim may be a useful guide to you, simplistic as it is, but it overlooks the more important issue of addressing the alignment of your heart, which is precisely the point Ms. Bond’s comment rightly got at. I’ll grant that her introduction of “what Muslim men do” was troubling, but that mostly because I find it doubtful that this is a policy for all Muslim men. Again, though, I don’t know Islam. In any event, she wasn’t trolling you, and your reaction to her is unfair.

          • Donald Borsch Jr

            Oh, wait. I get it now. This is what happens when christians have too much free time.

            She plays the role of the legalistic child, driven by emotional self-hatred and a twisted sense of obedience, and you are now playing the role of the stalwart defender, here to defend her honor against a man who would treat her as an equal and not water down his words to her.

            Oh my. Now I remember why I stopped visiting other blogs. Thank you for this refresher.

          • Donald Borsch Jr

            Gosh, so sorry, forgot to add: if my “rule” about seeking to honor women is legalistic, then is it legalistic of me to have a rule in keeping the toilet seat down for my bride?

            Oh no! A *gasp!* rule! Yikes, call the Internet trolls and have them fix me! I am being attacked by the spirit of legalism! Eeek!

          • Virgil T. Morant


          • Hannah

            You’re a dick.

          • Boomz41

            I don’t think you understand the meaning of the term “legalistic”…………………..

          • Lauren Bond

            I’m sorry that you feel that way. I honestly in no way was trying to get any attention, I’m not in search of attention at all, and debated even responding to this comment, but I felt it fair for you to know the only reason I mentioned Muslim men and the “second look” game is because I lived in the Middle East and experienced it every day, was even told by numerous men that this was an “unwritten rule” in the Muslim world. I am immature, and I have a lot of growing up to do and a lot of learning to do, and honestly I have struggled a lot with legalism, and am tempted to grow legalistic every day. Perhaps my discussion was misleading, for that I apologize. And I didn’t come at the discussion from the right angle, all I really wanted to do was encourage those reading to be weary of becoming legalistic because that is what makes Christianity different than any other religion, there is nothing we can do to earn grace, it is freely given. I’m sorry that you took this so personally and I meant no offense at all to you, just wanted to encourage but it seems I did not do it properly. Please accept my apologies brother.

          • Donald Borsch Jr


            How can I not accept it? Your words were genuine and heart-felt. I too apologize for my words, and would ask for your forgiveness so the enemy cannot get a wedge between us in The Spirit. Unforgiveness is when you drink poison and expect the other person to die. Neither of us wants that, do we?!

            Let us part as family, then. Blessings and grace to you as you continue to walk with our Father in Christ Jesus our amazing Lord and Master!

          • Boomz41

            Your friendly neighbourhood atheist chiming in here:

            “Guest” – you need to chill, dude. Why so combative?

            Lauren – you’re the kind of Christian the rest of us in the world like. The kind that understands right and wrong and knows how to determine those things for themselves. Don’t change.

  • Bill Krehbiel

    Well written and well thought out. Thanks for your insight and especially, your clarity.

  • Lauren Bond

    Interesting that you said nothing about the freedom of Christ, and quoted no scripture to back up your thoughts. Women do need to be held responsible for what they wear, and of course it is also the man’s responsibility, but I think and believe with my whole heart that I desire to dress modestly because I want men to see Christ in me not my body. And secondly, I think men who love The Lord above all else will also desire to see Christ in me before my body, then my body is reserved for my husbands viewing pleasure ONLY.

    • Nate Pyle

      Not to be argumentative, but in a comment below, you warn a commenter about slipping into legalism, but this comment seems very legalistic.

      Im also confused as to what you are saying. Is freedom in Christ for women? Or are they wear certain approved clothing? Is freedom for men, or are they to be responsible to look appropriately?

      • Lauren Bond

        O, no, wasn’t being legalistic at all, was just saying that if both men and women’s hearts were aligned with Christ then we wouldn’t ever have to say, “o the first look is free” or we wouldn’t have to say to women “put this or this on because its more modest” -they would just wear those things as a reflection of their heart. There would be no legalism in it at all because all would be done in the desire to make Christ known.

        • Ryan McNair

          Be careful with your reasoning here. That can be a very slippery slope to a very deep canyon. Saying that what a person wears is a reflection of their heart is very much like the old judging a book by its cover adage.

          As a side note, if all of our hearts were aligned with Christ everything would be different, in fact that would probably be considered heaven. In this fallen world, we must remember to love the person first and foremost, regardless of what they wear.

          • tiredofallthebullshit

            I couldn’t agree more with you. I’m a total athiest and all, but I doubt there would be any “true athiest”(the type who simply know religion is all just a fantasy, but aren’t athiests simply to bash religion.) who would disagree. Christ isn’t an actual thing, I know this- but he is a spirit in the sense that spirit=character, a character that if we all aligned with, indeed this world would be a heaven of sorts. What I do find myself resenting is the belief of some that the true compassion and understanding Christ shows is only achieved by those who follow their brand of doctrine. That sort of wisdom can be achieved by even those who in your eyes are the lowest of the low, those filthy unbelievers. As if we could unbelieve a thing, what a notion that- as if we could unbelieve belief away. No, our agenda isn’t to unbelieve your belief, our agenda is to simply find our own meaning in life, and have the liberty to persue it with integrity. Athiests still believe in sins, you know…except in our world few things can absolve the act of hurting another human being, and nothing justifies the death of those who are different in some way but aren’t out to murder those who do not seek the harm of others. We do not have an afterlife to look forward to, just the knowledge that all my sins and all my actions that further the cause of greater good lie solely on my shoulders. Those of us that persue this legacy, that we can be good to others simply because we chose that path, are those of us who have a truly certain afterlife. Even if we aren’t there, we live on through our actions. Our common humanity is what we believe and strive for.

        • twopence

          One of the reasons Pyle’s post is being applauded is he’s coming at this from the perspective of intent–it’s the intents in our hearts that show themselves in sinful actions, and we are responsible for those actions. (Luke 6:45–>James 1:14) He’s not addressing hemlines on females here, only the responsibility of intent–to not ‘look on a woman with lust in their heart’ (Matt 5:28).

          This clearly goes the other way too–for women not to do the same to men. Instead we are to treat each other as humans made in the image of God. The basic principle is not objectifying what God has made a subject–another human.

          For the record, I have been (clearly) ogled while covered head to toe in obscuring clothing. I have also been comfortable around men while wearing comparatively less clothing. Intent, and the behavior that is allowed to come from that intent, is everything.

          If you do not change your intent, then you will have a terrible time trying to rein in your behavior. There will be rules trying to govern behavior–not intent, not personal responsibility to the larger understanding of God as God and other humans as just as real and valuable as we are. “One look” is an example of that.

          • Boomz41

            You seem to get it :)

            I, too, have been ogled and cat-called while wearing jeans and a t-shirt – typically considered pretty modest. I have also been around men while wearing a bikini, a cleavage-heavy shirt, a tight mini skirt, etc without them showing me disrespect.

            My best friends are guys and they have seen me down to my knickers, but they see me as a holistic being and respect me. Whatever I wear around them doesn’t change that.

            If a person’s religious beliefs help them be a better person, I am all for it! If believing in and loving Christ makes you want to be loving and respectful people, then your religion is a positive thing and it should be celebrated.

            If a person’s religious beliefs help them find reasons to judge and condemn others, I cannot accept or tolerate that. If believing in “Christ” makes you want to parade around on a high horse telling other people how to live, then your religion is a negative thing and it should be shamed.

            What I find is that there are good, respectful, understanding people of all stripes and there are jerks of all types. I don’t care who you are or what you believe, to be a good member of society you need to be respectful of others, including those who are very different from you.

          • Lauren Bond

            My concern comes because a few years ago I had a dream. I am not sure if you believe in dreams and visions, but I can confidently say this was from the Lord. I walked to the throne of God with my brother. There I stood in front of the Lord as He began to ask us to speak to our sins. He said to my guy friend “why did you look on this woman with lust in your heart?” and I began to turn my back and walk away because I felt I shouldn’t be there. Just when I turned my back the Lord called out to me by my name and said “Lauren, why are you walking away? Don’t you know that you are also accountable, because the clothing you wore was not showing that you wanted your brother to see me before he saw you. He sinned in his heart, but you didn’t help him or encourage him by covering your body.”

            To some extent, I will admit I have been legalistic since I had that dream. I had to take the more extreme route: only wearing long skirts, loose shirts, and shirts that completely covered me. I had to be confident in that clothing, believing that men’s eyes would be directed towards the Lord instead of to my body. Since then, OH WHAT JOY! I have found such freedom in dressing modestly, not quite as extreme as I once was, but constantly checking the intent of my heart when I put clothing on, and checking with FREEDOM, not in chains. Knowing that I can freely walk out of my house knowing that if and when I am held accountable to my actions before the Lord, I will be able to confidently say, my heart was pure, by God’s grace alone.

            I am judgmental, quick to judge women by what they wear, instead of viewing them as Christ views them, as a beautiful creation. < and it bothers me. I don't want to assume somebody's salvation or lack there of based off of what they are wearing, but I do. I do do what I wish I didn't do, and what I wish I did I do not do. I believe it is a never-ending battle, and it will not stop with this article. We live in a messed up world with messed up sinners all around us, oh yea, and in us (I am of the worst). But I do believe that dressing to reflect our heart's desire (to make Christ known in a world that does not know Him, by directing men's eyes away from our bodies and towards the Lord) is a POSITIVE thing. Of course it is going to look legalistic, and people will always name it as legalistic, what do you expect? People can't stand to see people living in freedom, so they say "oh she must be chained to modesty." When the reality is I just love the Lord more than life itself, and want my brothers to see HIMMMM not me.

        • Boomz41

          Yeah but you’re living in a world where not everyone is Christian and not everyone has any interest in becoming one. We have to figure out how to live respectfully amongst each other. It’s fine for you to fantasize about your ideal world where everyone believes in Christ and chooses to dress modestly, but that world is completely unattainable so if you want to actually solve the problem of fear and disrespect between the genders, you’ll have to seek a secular solution.

          • Lauren Bond

            And I wish I didn’t. Death is preferred to life, because we were never meant to live with sin in our hearts and minds. And one day, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of Christ have COME, for the accuser of our brothers has been THROWN DOWN, who accuses them day and night before our God.” (Revelation 12:10) And oooo how I long for that day brothers and sisters! And in that longing, I also long for “His kingdom to come, and His will to be DONE, on earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN!!!”

            That “ideal world” is Heaven sister! I do fantasize about it! Because I believe it is coming, and that Christ wants us to want it to be here, but that is the frustration with sin: we want what we know is in Heaven because we have been made new, created to be in Heaven, but we still live here and still struggle with the world and the sin around us and in us.

    • Boomz41

      Dangit Lauren – I really liked what you had to say about legalism in your other comment… but now you’ve lost me :(

      Of course, unless you start blaming women for how they are treated by men, I’m cool with you choosing modesty for yourself and as something you encourage in women.

      • Lauren Bond

        I don’t completely blame women and I don’t completely blame men, I BLAME SIN. I BLAME SATAN. I BLAME THE SINFUL WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN. Men and women are equally responsible for the intent and condition of their heart, and only God can judge that.

  • Darcy

    This is so great. Your son is very blessed. My husband says the same things and both of us have been very frustrated with all the “modesty” articles floating around this year. Thank you for being a man that stands up for women and teaches your son to do the same. Here’s to raising a new generation of men that don’t objectify women in the name of God.

    • חנה מיכאל ישראל

      Are you implying that modesty doesn’t matter? Because as believers we are told to not cause a brother to stumble. As a woman, I see women making excuses to dress like the world, in the church. So being separate means being the same as the world? Though it is good he is teaching his son what his responsibility is, we women need to take responsibility for ourselves and how we dress. We DO need to dress modestly, preferring our brother, acting like the bride we are supposed to be. We are a temple of Yahweh, we need to dress accordingly, cover our chests and our knees, otherwise being considered a woman of Yahweh, a Prov 31 woman means nothing at all.

      • Virgil T. Morant

        The way the comments have vacillated as they’ve trickled in is fascinating to me. Having already taken a bit of criticism here, I’ll no doubt invite more with this comment, but there are some notable deficits throughout all this. I’m Orthodox, so I don’t subscribe to a dogma of sola Scriptura, but surely prima Scriptura characterizes my view well, and I wonder about the absence of Scriptural basis in some of the wisdom here and the misconstrual of Scripture in the rest.

        When the Apostle Paul talks, for instance, about causing a brother to stumble in his letters to the Romans an the Corinthians–well, for one thing he is talking about whether one should eat food sacrificed to idols in front of weaker brethren in the latter, and in the former he is talking about food and liturgical observances, although in both cases, especially Romans, a broader meaning can be derived: namely, be considerate over matters that are not essential matters of the faith. “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.” Romans 14:1 (KJV). So much of the discourse on how women should dress flows into doubtful disputations and misplaced responsibility.

        But on that last idea, one thing that isn’t getting mentioned much here is lust. That is what we’re talking about here, isn’t it? The wandering eye of adultery in one’s heart? It’s mentioned a bit in the comments, but only really indirectly in the post itself, and what we have instead is modern psychological and sociological commentary. Rape culture and objectification and theories about the motivation of fear and embodied reactions to external stimuli and a whole lot of other stuff that has no Scriptural basis whatsoever. That’s not to say that psychological understanding or what-have-you that is not in Scripture is irrelevant–the Bible is not a psychological diagnostic manual–but why is the actual stuff in Scripture taking second place, if even second place, to all of the rest of this … doubtful disputation over sociological and psychological theory?

        And how is it that so often in these kinds of conversations Proverbs 31, which paints a beautiful portrait of a good woman, a discourse on her love of Wisdom that has clear Christological significance–as in Bride of Christ significance, not unlike Ephesians 5– … how is it that this marvelous and rich chapter in the Bible is so often transformed into an excuse to set up a standard that is not actually a Commandment but is treated like one and then even at times used to denigrate women who don’t … keep their knees covered or what-have you?

        Fear not. This thread will continue to dwindle and go away, and it will be picked up in some manner somewhere else in the Interweb. I myself am wholly in favor of women and men dressing respectably, by the way, and with consideration for their circumstances and for those around them, and I have on a good number of occasions been perturbed by women who dress like they’re going to a club when they go to church. I also don’t like it that most jurors show up for jury duty dressed like they’re going to a barbecue. I think people should dress respectably. And I’m about as libidinous a man as you could hope to find, but, to quote Mr. Hooper’s comment above (and, alas, disagree with this portion of it), I don’t have to go through “mental gymnastics” when I see a provocatively dressed woman. Much like I don’t need to wage war against my urge to sock a guy in the face when I get angry. I’m a grown man, and, I presume, so are the other men commenting here and the men who are known to the women commenting here, and, perhaps most important, I presume our host, Pastor Pyle, intends to raise a boy who will be a responsible, sane man one day too. Without the need of mental gymnastics to keep his eyes from gawking at a woman’s body. Just like any normal, socially (and, one hopes, spiritually) well-adjusted man. And that desire is very much to the Pastor’s credit.

        • Raincannotbeonfire

          “But on that last idea, one thing that isn’t getting mentioned much here is lust. That is what we’re talking about here, isn’t it?”
          I respect your attempt to tie doctrine to your sermon here, but if you know anything about development or psychology you would be wise not to assume why a child would look at something or what he is thinking about when it happens. Good luck parenting with a bible and closed eyes.

          • Virgil T. Morant

            Huh? I didn’t write the post, you know. I’m not assuming anything about what a child’s look means. I was criticizing the absence of good Scriptural understanding in the discussion. This is a Christian blog, after all. And I said in my comment that the Bible was not a psychological manual and that one would have to look elsewhere to understand a good portion of the psychology involved here.

          • Virgil T. Morant

            Note to self: it seems clicking “Delete” in the Disqus dashboard does not delete your comment: it just removes your name from it.

            Addendum to note to self: ignore future comment updates for this post.

        • kup47

          Let’s not use something like your view to justify the thinking of treating everyone better than something in a meat market. Please go pontificate somewhere else.

        • track7

          As a woman “in the church”, I dress modestly (but my knees do show at times…what is lustful about knees?!). I believe the point is that even if all women in the church dresses modestly; boys and men will still encounter women of the world who dress scantily. He is teaching his son to view these girls and women as human beings who deserve being looked at and treated with respect.

          • KeepinBlitzesAway

            Knees can be plenty lustful!! Why do you think many other religions require cloth over the knees? Many will tell you bare legs up to the knee are lustful. I know my great-aunt shook her head if any of the girls wore skirts above the knee. Besides, heck, some dudes fantasize and fetishize over bare feet! But, its not about the body part…a knee can be as lustworthy as a bare bum. It’s all in the
            eyes (and heart) of the beholder.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            Yet obviously one will respect those who take the time to respect themselves far more than they can respect another..

        • Samantha

          Best comment I have read :) Refreshing and edifying.

      • Aunika Toles

        Not implying that modesty doesn’t matter, just that not every woman agrees with the modesty standards we have. And that the men in our lives need to know it is not how she is dressed but who she is

        • Joseph Mentor Nichols

          How she dresses is an expression of who she is. Obviously.

          • jhlee

            No, it’s a particular expression on a particular day of a part of herself. It doesn’t define the whole of her, and it certainly doesn’t define her worth as a person.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            Nothing defines the whole of anybody. You take what little pieces you have and figure the puzzle out.

            And what one person does at any moment, any single choice they make in their lives, will give you a sense of who they are.

            Even if they think they aren’t that person.

          • jhlee

            And sometimes people express themselves in sexual ways. So what? Is sex so different from the other parts of a person–say, liking math or being passionate about the environment–that a single sexual expression changes everything and makes them unfit to associate with as human beings? Because that’s what the Mrs. Halls of the world seem to think.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            A sexual expression identifies that you are a sexual being. It is a statement that one of the things that you enjoy about yourself is your sexuality. The need to express it more boldly than other expressions states that sex is even more important to you (or in some cases, that it is extremely important to the person you are interested in). This leads any observer to believe that you are more apt to be interested in sex than in any sort of commitment (including your possible person of interest – oops! When plans backfire..).

            If this were not true then you wouldn’t express yourself sexually around complete strangers. You would express your sexual self in private with the person of your interest.

            This is an excellent maneuver when attempting to attract others who agree with the importance of sex. However, it is going to detract anyone who doesn’t put such a high concern on sex.

            Also, to answer your question; yes, liking sex is different than liking math. Each time you have sex you risk having a child or endangering yourself. Liking math does not have such adverse side-effects. You should not be sleeping with someone who you cannot at least imagine yourself having a child with. It would be unfair to the child and there is always the risk that birth control can fail.

          • jhlee

            This is an excellent maneuver when attempting to attract others who
            agree with the importance of sex. However, it is going to detract
            anyone who doesn’t put such a high concern on sex.

            Then the person who expresses herself sexually is actually making the right sign: People who aren’t interested in public displays of sexuality will lose interest, and those who like such expression may be even more interested. Everyone wins!

            yes, liking sex is different than liking math. Each time you have sex
            you risk having a child or endangering yourself. Liking math does not
            have such adverse side-effects.

            Um, so people shouldn’t like sex in order to have a fulfilling commitment? That sounds weird to me. Liking sex also has nothing to do with sexually suggestive displays or the clothes one wears, so I’m not sure why you even bring it up.

            Also, what about liking paragliding or motorcycles? Those are physically dangerous, actually way more than sex. Should people stop liking extreme sports because they’re dangerous?

            You should not be sleeping with someone who you cannot at least
            imagine yourself having a child with. It would be unfair to the child
            and there is always the risk that birth control can fail.

            Even if we follow that logic, it only goes for fertile heterosexuals and only for penis-in-vagina sex. It has no application to homosexuals, older or infertile heterosexuals, and anyone who wants to engage in sexual activities that can’t result in pregnancy.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            You brought up “liking sex”, not I. I simply responded to it. It is not the same as “liking math” and should be treated much more seriously.

            You don’t avoid doing it because it is dangerous. You simply make the intelligent and responsible choice of engaging in such activities with full acceptance of any possible outcome. If such action may kill you, you agree to this risk. If you should become a potential parent, then you also agree to this risk.

            You make valid points in regards to those who do not have such risks when engaging in sex. There really are exceptions to every rule.

            “Then the person who expresses herself sexually is actually making the right sign: People who aren’t interested in public displays of sexuality will lose interest, and those who like such expression may be even more interested. Everyone wins!”

            Correct. I was only arguing that these people were indeed giving off such signs and that they were aware of it. The only negative aspect to this view is that decent people may be tempted to become more indecent than they would otherwise be in order to attract the extra attention. Which it’s entirely their own fault of course if this happens but still unfortunate that it could have been avoided had the temptation not been there to begin with.

          • jhlee

            Right, I should have been clearer, since I meant in the sense of “liking sexual displays” rather than liking the act of sex. (Which, as Crystal pointed out, most of the population likes anyway.)

            Though it was my mistake that the discussion came so far afield, I’d like to state that IMO agreeing to sex does not equal agreeing to parenthood. By that logic, being a fertile woman and not sterilizing or killing yourself is an agreement to potential parenthood, since there is the possibility that you will be forced to have sex against your will just as birth control can fail against your will.

            Actually, even sterilization isn’t perfect and shutting yourself in is certainly no guarantee. Rape also happens in families and someone can break in. By the logic of prior consent breathing, therefore, would be an agreement to be a potential parent.

            The only negative aspect to this view is that decent people may be
            tempted to become more indecent than they would otherwise be in order to
            attract the extra attention.

            You’re very right that there’s a cultural pressure telling young women that the only thing valuable about them is their bodies and they have to flaunt their sexuality in order to be noticed and loved.

            Now, I don’t think that public displays of sexuality are “indecent” in any moral sense, I just think it’s awful that some feel pressured into it when it’s not who they really are. I want people to revel in their sexuality no matter how they choose to express it, not use it to get away from the fear that they’re unworthy or unlovable.

            Mind you, I believe the same about the other side of the coin, too. I think it’s just as sad for a woman to be modest (by your definition) out of fear that she will be judged, condemned, and belittled if she does otherwise. Just like open displays of sexuality I think modesty should be an expression of the self done in joy. And whether a woman is in a G-string or ankle-length pleated skirt (or both!), that by no means defines the whole of who she is, as we agreed.

            Which it’s entirely their own fault of course

            Is “fault” really what’s important here? Remember what Christ said about judging, dude. Let’s try to understand rather than point fingers.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            How could agreeing to sex not be an agreement to potential parenthood? There is no choice here, it’s science. Nomatter how much we may not like it it’s a guaranteed risk that cannot be avoided.

            Mind you, I did state “agreeing to sex” and not being sexually molested/raped.

            I pretty much agree with everything else you’ve stated however I do find disdain in the reality that modesty is quickly becoming a thing of the past. I rather enjoy modesty and highly respect it. Just as I respect manners and politeness. These things I find to be both rare and massively attractive in this day and age. I really do abhor the very thought of losing that part of our culture completely.

          • jhlee

            By having sex while using contraception the person is expressing unwillingness to be a parent, much like a person who abstains from sex has shown no interest in being a parent.

            If birth control fails, it was against the person’s will. If a person who was abstaining was raped, that was also (by definition) against the person’s will. In both cases, the person never consented to being a parent.

            If the person in the first case consented to parenthood by engaging in an act (sex) with a small chance of pregnancy (by birth control failure), then the person in the second case also consented by engaging in an act (being alive and fertile) with a small chance of pregnancy (by rape).

            I rather enjoy modesty and highly respect it.

            so do I, actually. I also don’t feel it necessary to blame or belittle people who don’t fit my tastes. The existence of people who don’t think and feel as I do is not a threat to me.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            That is probably the largest reach I’ve ever heard, haha.

            Being alive and fertile is in no way a method of consent for rape or for any outcome of said rape. There is no possible scenario or excuse that could justify that logic at all.

            Having sex with contraception, while albeit responsible and cautious, is still known to leave a chance for pregnancy. This is known by both parties and is considered before consenting to sex (not complained about after).

            A person who abstains from sex probably does so for reasons other than avoiding parenthood. I for example, just believe that I should be in love with a person before I sleep with them. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t had sex or that I won’t again, it just means that there are many things in which I consider before doing so.

            I used to share your “to each his own” approach. Until I realized the implications of allowing an opposing view to influence the world around me. Now I fight against what I don’t believe in. Being the nice guy only comes back to bite me in the ass.

            I still believe in the whole “to each his own” inside his own home. As long as your hobbies don’t include kidnapping, murder, or rape.

          • jhlee

            Neither birth control failure and rape is a risk that a person consents to. Saying that one is an assumed risk while the other is not seems to me more about punishing sex than any real conception of consent, no pun intended.

            IMO you don’t change culture or minds by being judgmental and angry but rather by being accepting and open–but to this again, “to each his own.” I know which one makes me happy, but who am I to tell you what’s best for you.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            No, one is nature and the way the world works. Science. One is an assault and an illegal crime.

            If you do not see this difference then I don’t know what to say. I’m hoping you’re just trying to make a talking point.

            I was once accepting and open and then my world fell apart around me. I realized I didn’t want to be a part of this new place. So I make it my mission to fix it.

          • jhlee

            See, you’re confusing what is with what should be. Rape should not happen, morally speaking, but it does happen and physically can result in pregnancy. Birth control failure, while not on the same level of immorality, is similarly another physical fact that can result in pregnancy. In both cases the woman did not consent.

            Besides, even if we say for the sake of argument that consent to sex is a consent to pregnancy, consent can also be withdrawn. You can agree to donate blood or bone marrow and then change your mind, even if that will result in the other person’s death.

            You’re going to change the world, one internet discussion at a time? Good luck with that, I guess.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            One day at a time. I live my life with all of the same values and beliefs that I represent here. Everyone that I know knows that about me. It’s just who I am and I do my best to show the world how it should be instead of what it’s quickly becoming.

          • jhlee

            And yet you don’t bother to address any of my substantive arguments, I see.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            There’s nothing to address. You cannot withdrawal consent from something after it’s already been done. I didn’t see any real validity in the argument.

            Birth control failure is a risk. Our lives are full of risks. We choose which ones to take and we live with the results of these choices. You are not consenting to being grateful for these events you are simply acknowledging that these events can indeed happen and you are choosing to accept that possibility as a potential outcome.

          • jhlee

            One absolutely can refuse consent when it comes to bodily autonomy and integrity. I can promise to give blood or donate bone marrow and then back out for whatever reason, even if the donee will die without it. It might be immoral of me to back out, especially if the person relied on my promise and has no other recourse, but no law can strap me to an operating table and force me to give up parts of my body.

            Of course I can’t decide to take back blood, marrow etc. once it has become part of someone else’s body, for the same reason of bodily integrity. I think that’s what you mean by “already been done,” but that’s not what happens in pregnancy. If a woman decides to abort her pregnancy, she’s not taking away the nutrients, oxygen etc. that she already gave the fetus; she’s simply declining to give any more, which is within her right as a person with bodily autonomy.

          • ThatisThat

            I agree with almost everything but when you freely consent to consensual sex there is a risk of parenthood (as well as STDs, even in non-hetero sex) and that NEEDS to be a factor in peoples choices. Because life should not ever be disposable and ones body shouldn’t be treated lightly.

          • jhlee

            See what I said in reply to Joseph: Being alive and fertile in itself carries the risk of parenthood. I agree with you that people should be aware of the risk of their actions and take responsibility. Celibacy, protection, and birth control are all ways to do that. None of those is in itself a consent to parenthood, though.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            Celibacy is a way to do that.

            Protection and birth control are ways to reduce the risk. You still have to weigh and accept that risk.

            Being alive and fertile is not a conscious decision to risk parenthood..

            You cannot allow your enthusiasm for sex to blind your logic here. This subject deserves to be taken seriously. Unborn lives are at stake!

          • jhlee

            Having sex is not a conscious decision to risk parenthood, either. It is a conscious decision to have sex, no more.

            I’m not sure exactly what you mean by enthusiasm for sex. Are you implying something about my personal life due to my disagreement with you?

          • ThatisThat

            As much as I don’t really want to take his side, cuz by his posts he seems kindof a jerk. I think he means to not let your emotions and hormones to cloud your judgment. Having sex is the way to create life, it’s a fact, whether you consider it or not, if you want it or not, it can still happen, because that’s how we procreate.
            comparable example: I can tell you that we breathe air and you can deny it’s factor in your existence, or that it’s important at all but it makes no difference that you’re still breathing it.

          • jhlee

            The fact that it *can* happen does not give rise to moral obligation to refuse intervention. One can get an STD from having sex, a foreseeable risk of having sex; no one is obligated to stop having sex, or indeed to refuse treatment if they contract an STD. People can get injured in road accidents; they are not obligated to refuse treatment for their injuries just because injury was a foreseeable consequence of driving or crossing a street. What is does not equal what should be.

            And I hope the “you” who is supposedly swayed by enthusiasm and hormones is a generic “you.” I’m sure I don’t need to explain how rude and creepy it would be to imply details of someone’s personal life from their opinion.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            I simply do not follow. It’s like your asking to change science.

            This is what I hear when I read what you say: “From now on I want to eat like a whale and not get fat! Oh wait.. It doesn’t work like that, does it? But but.. I’m only making the conscious decision to eat, not to get fat!”

            There are some things you just cannot change. One of those things is the risks involved in sex. Just stop crying about it and accept it.

            I’m sorry about the “your” comment. I should have probably stated “One cannot allow an enthusiasm for sex to blind their logic”. I made the reckless conclusion that if you were fighting in favor of recreational sex then it was something personally important to you.

          • jhlee

            Again with the confusing physical fact and morality. *facepalm* We were discussing the moral foundation of consent and you’re trying to swerve the decision to science.

            What I’m saying is not that sex can’t (or shouldn’t) result in pregnancy, but rather having sex doesn’t impose the consent-based moral obligation to continue the pregnancy. See? Physical fact does not entail moral obligation. If it did, someone who got injured from a traffic accident would be obligated to refuse treatment for the resulting injuries because they consented to the injury by driving. Or someone who gained weight from overeating would be obligated not to lose that weight, and so on.

            I happen not to need outside validation or approval for my life. I’m arguing moral points of general application, not trying to justify my own choices. That’s the difference between us, I guess: I often argue for the validity of choices that I would not necessarily make, while you assume people would only advocate for their way of life.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            I suppose we think differently. Where you see punishment I see results or outcomes. Do action A, if B, continue to C; if not B, end action.

            Kind of like when I call in to work sick. Of course I’m not consenting to being fired but I obviously know that I probably will be. It’s causality. We call them risks for a reason.

          • jhlee

            “Seeing differently” doesn’t cover it when you’ve made a logical fallacy. First you made a moral argument based on consent. Then you equated cause-and-effect to consent and thus morality.

            As I stated above, though, cause-and-effect is an issue of fact, not morality. When certain people have a certain kind of sex (penis-in-vagina sex between a fertile man and woman), do they have a chance of getting pregnant? Yes. When people drive, do they have a chance of getting into car accidents? Yes.

            What you’re trying to do is to turn the physical fact of risk and chance into a moral obligation to continue an unwanted pregnancy. It doesn’t work, though, since by the same token people who “consented” to their car accident by the act of driving shouldn’t go to the hospital, just like people who “consented” to their pregnancy by the act of having sex should not get abortions.

            There are other moral arguments you can make against abortion, but the argument that consent to sex equals consent to abortion doesn’t cut it because it depends on the fallacy of equating physical fact to moral obligation.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            I haven’t made any moral argument. If I had it would not be based on consent, that’s a responsibility argument. Any moral dilemna associated to this would be the fact that we know the outcome of said acts yet we ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s not the decision to drive and consenting to the accident, it’s having the accident and accepting the fact that I knew it was always a possibility. Just as a person should accept a child as something they always knew was a possibility.

          • jhlee

            So, by “accepting” the possibility of a car accident entails–what? Accepting that you deserve this and refusing to do anything about it? Of course not. It means you accept reality and then do something about it, such as going to the hospital, making accommodations for injuries, etc.

            Similarly, accepting the possibility of a pregnancy is just that–accepting the reality of the pregnancy. That in itself says nothing about the proper action to take next. Some might prepare for parenthood. Others might look into adoption. Still others might get an abortion. All of these are actions of people who accept the reality of what has happened and are doing something about it.

          • Crystal Witten

            Considering that asexual people are a minority, around 1% of the population, being identified as a sexual being isn’t really a big statement or shocker. “If I look hot, the 99% of the population that care about sex might be attracted to me.” Doesn’t sound bad to me.

            The idea that a man can’t be both sexually attracted to someone and be interested in commitment is false. Those who are like that have a Madonna-Whore complex, it’s their issue to work through, not women’s problem.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            There are a plethora of different levels of sexual beings and I can guarantee you that no level would consist of more than 30% of the population. Some are more sexual than others and that can be and often is expressed via clothing as well as via body language and/or verbal expression, etc..

            The statement isn’t that a man cannot both be sexually attracted and interested in commitment; I’m simply saying that a man isn’t going to expect an overtly sexual being to be interested in commitment unless otherwise expressed by said individual. This should hold true for women as well as the psychology here isn’t much different.

      • EducationWorks

        I don’t think this is about modesty-it’s not addressed to a daughter. It’s addressed to a son about the reality that a man is a thinking being with power over what he chooses to look at and how he looks at it.

        We humans are thinking beings. We are not victims to every whim or desire or impulse that floats through our heads. We ARE greater than animals. Men are more than their penises, and women are more than their decolletage and hem line. This father is telling his son to live up to that.

        • Amber Seaman

          The person you are replying to was referring to Darcy’s comment, not to the original post.

      • Daniel David Harstin

        Your point of view regarding modesty is a good one, and one with which I think the author agrees. However, the principle that he is teaching his son is that regardless of how a he sees a female dressed, he is obliged to offer her godly respect. Or to put it another way, he is teaching him to be a real man and not a toy to anyone.

      • Crystal Witten

        Oh no, not those sexy sexy knees. Clothes are there to keep us warm because we don’t have fur. If we lived in a warm enough environment and walked in the nude, it would quickly get very de-sexualized. We all have bodies, one’s moral character shouldn’t be so connected to how much of it is seen by others. Being a kind, accepting, and loving person is far more important. A nudist could live their life spreading more positivity than an conservative Orthodox.

        • Joseph Mentor Nichols

          I actually agree with you. But I also don’t. What you speak of would only work in a society where everyone were to be in the nude and where everyone would de-sexualize it. This cannot work in a society where people who are wearing the sexy outfit actually realize they are doing it and they are only doing it to get the attention that they cannot get modestly.

          • Kay

            Yes, because the way a woman dresses is always about men. Except when it’s, y’know, NOT. If I want to flash some skin or wear a little black dress, it doesn’t mean I’m trying to attract attention I can’t get “modestly.” It means I feel confident with who I am and how I look–and I’m HAPPY with myself. And it really has nothing at all to do with you. So the next time you see a woman who you think is dressing specifically for your male gaze, Joseph, remember that she probably isn’t thinking about you. At all.

          • Boomz41

            Yep – while I don’t feel comfortable wearing overly revealing clothing regardless of how confident I feel, I do enjoy slapping on some heels, a sleek and sexy outfit and heading out on the town whether it’s just to walk around or go shopping or meet friends for a drink. Sometimes I feel like dressing that way because I don’t feel good that day and need the confidence boost that comes with knowing you look great… other times it’s because I’m already feeling great and think “**** yeah it’s sexy time!!!”

            I am proud of my body and I like to wear clothes that show off my form. I also have exceptionally large breasts, so often I end up showing more cleavage than I would like to because the shirt or dress doesn’t quite cover mine the way they’d cover most women’s… but if I like a dress or a shirt I’m not just gonna not get it because it shows a little boob!! If someone wants to judge me because I’ve got cleavage that’s their problem and they shouldn’t make it mine!

            Sure would be nice to live in a world where most men were raised with the type of morals Nate is trying to instill in his sons… so I wouldn’t have to feel scared or uncomfortable walking past a group of men while wearing a cleavage-y shirt……….

          • Elizabeth Davis

            Same here….I also think most of the issues are what we are taught about what sensual is and cultural opposed to how we actually dress, since in one culture cleavage may be considered sensual while in another the knees, even the flabby underarm skin is considered provocative. In mine, the cleavage really isn’t as big of a deal for men as a women’s backside, which is why a lot of women, like my sister for instance, who are heavier in the backside pay a lot of attention to making sure they are covered in the back and their pants aren’t super tight when they are in certain areas. I have even noticed the same sentiment about clothing varying over regions—people from colder climates in the states where people are normally covered may not see it as appropriate to run around in a swimsuit as they are not as accustomed to seeing it…so a lot of what we call modesty is actually relative to culture and region.

          • Becky Alexander


          • TrollingForColumbine2.0

            Please do porn!

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            I never said the way a woman dresses has anything to do with men. You came up with that all by yourself. All I said was that people dress to receive a certain kind of reaction. They understand how they will be perceived in their outfit as they decide to wear it.

            Are you trying to say that people who dress modestly aren’t confident with who they are?

            You “feeling confident with who you are” has nothing to do with what you wear. You can feel confident with who you are in pajamas, in a swim suit, in a tuxedo, in a sundress, etc.. You know how you feel about who you are regardless of what you are wearing. You choose your clothing to express who you are to the rest of the world.

          • Me

            I would say the most confident women are the modest ones because there is no “need” to feel sexy or beautiful or get attention. Modest women are completely secure and do not require the approval or attention of others. Modest women are not shallow, needing to compete with other women and do not feel powerful when they catch a man’s lustful gaze. As I teach my children, modest is hottest!! You are much more likely to be respected and find quality friends and partners when you dress appropriately.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            Thank you, you said this better than I ever could.

          • ThatisThat

            I think it’s also worth noting that the more men show women attention for the person she is rather than the clothes she is wearing, women will feel less need and impulse to dress revealing to get attention, OR to feel beautiful.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            I actually feel that women compete with eachother in this sense more than any man applies pressure.

            Men don’t ask for a lot. Looks aren’t even that important to us. Women are far more into “Abs” or “muscles” than men are into makeup, breasts, a firm body, or a nice ass.

            Exceptions to every rule of course. I’ve known many men who were shallow and some women who have placed kindness above all else.

          • ThatisThat

            “Men don’t ask for a lot. Looks aren’t even that important to us. Women are far more into “Abs” or “muscles” than men are into makeup, breasts, a firm body, or a nice ass”
            PFFFHAHAHAHAAA! Men are visually wired, that is a fact. Even you have admitted to being distracted by scantily clothed women, how they interfere with YOUR ability to find good women and YOUR ability to respect women as a whole (there is a pattern here I think). So don’t lie, it’s massively unattractive.
            The porn industry wouldn’t make BILLIONS annually if men weren’t visually compelled, considering they can’t interact with video or 2 dimensional photographs. Even the industry aimed at women attracts more homosexual men.
            So yeah, don’t insult my intelligence

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            First, I don’t find them distracting, I find them in the way. It makes it more difficult to sift through them to find the quality women. Lying is not something I do. I consider honesty to be the best policy.

            Second, visual stimulation in the sexual sense accomplishes nothing. You can be the most visually stimulating girl in the world and your love life would be horrible. Sure, many men would sleep with you but that’s just it, you would never know if they were after you as a person or you as a body. Being sexy actually inhibits your ability to find real and true love.

            At least that’s my opinion.

          • atticwindow

            Given all your posts, you sound like you only value and respect the kinds of women who fall within your standards of propriety.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            And men.

          • atticwindow

            You know that women are visually driven too, right? That in fact, some studies have shown MORE physical arousal in women seeing sexy pictures than men seeing the same? Moreover, it is 2013, people: there are more than two sexes, more than two genders, more than one orientation, and we ALL like having sex and seeing sexy things. The problem is that there are some groups that feel automatically entitled to the things they want sexually. That’s the disrespect we need to eradicate. Who is more “visually stimulated” has nothing to do with anything.

          • danny

            I have seen women the size of a small car getting laid left and right with fit looking men. I dont see the opposite. The real life sexual marketplace is very different from what you see in media and porn. Women choose tall, well built conventionally handsome men for sex. Men choose women of all shapes and sizes.


          • pi31415

            “modest is hottest!!”

            This objectifies women as much as anything else.


            Additionally, so few people realize that modest is subjective. I was raised that only shirts that came no fewer than three fingers below the collarbone and had sleeves to the elbow were the only acceptable tops. Skirts — no pants, not ever — had to be full and three inches below the knee. Pantyhose had to be worn at all times. Shoes could not have high heels — only flats or small pumps. Hair had to be mid-back length, and makeup had to be minimal.

            Guess what? I don’t live up to that standard of modesty AT ALL today. I wear pants, and I wear sleeveless tops. Sometimes I wear shoes with five inch heels. I wear form-fitting dresses and low-cut dresses. I suspect most people would consider me typically modest, but those in my former church would see me as little more than a whore. The thing is, I don’t believe that modest is about what I wear. I think it’s a heart issue. Am I modest in my interactions with others? Am I kind and gentle, always looking for the best in others? That’s my goal. And I think God and those around me care far more about THAT than they do whether I happen to be wearing jeans and a wrap top that day.

          • Alena@TheHomemadeCreative

            I completely agree – I was modest in my church as a high school senior, a little more modest at my bible college a year later, extremely modest at my community college the next year, less modest the next year while dating and engaged to my husband, extremely immodest the following year when we moved states, slightly more modest but still immodest when we moved to our current state ——> and my style never changed. It’s all relative.

          • Christy Horne Cyr

            yes yes yes!

          • Becky Alexander

            you said people dress to get a certain type of attention. That’s not always true. some people dress to please the person that’s looking back at them in the mirror, not the people they run into on the street. Whether that style of dress is another person’s definition of modest or not is (or rather should be) irrelevant

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            You have to take it another step further. Why does this please you to wear this? Usually the answer is because it fits your “image” perfectly. It represents you so well that it excites you to wear it.

          • Butter35

            OK, so sometimes a woman wants to feel sexy/attractive and dresses for that feeling. It doesn’t mean she wants to be thrown down by the first guy who sees her. Yes, it makes us feel good to know that we’ve still “got it.” It is a confidence and esteem booster, especially when you’re feeling worn out and so un-sexy as a working mother, wife, etc. Going out in a muu-muu or other non-flattering clothing might be very “modest” but I would be embarrassed to wear it, and it would definitely undermine my confidence. I know people who don’t mind showing cleavage and I know others who feel uncomfortable showing cleavage. Every person’s choice is theirs alone, so you can’t say the girl who won’t ever leave the house without putting on makeup is any different than the woman who goes to wal-mart with no warpaint and her hair in curlers. It’s each their own choice of what they are comfortable with portraying to the rest of the world. What embarrasses one, has no such effect on the other. You can’t judge one by what the other does or doesn’t do.

          • Kannan Kannan

            similarly I want to go nude or dress whatever I want. It’s my freedom and I want to look sexy and beautiful. Shall I?.

          • Butter35

            And why not? In Europe, nudity is so much less of a big deal than it is here. In America, women are afraid to be nude in locker rooms around only other women. We’re taught to be ashamed of our bodies and that they should NEVER be seen by ANYBODY, much less explored by yourself. And heaven forbid if a MAN sees you naked. It’s our own neurosis, taught and imposed at a young age. Even Roman Catholic Europeans, very religious, will go to a nude beach because it’s just not a big deal.

            I do strongly advice going about nude here though. There are laws against that. But the rule should be – Do What You Want to Make Yourself Happy (as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others to do the same, or hurt anyone).

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            I can say those people are very different. It’s all psychological. The way these people choose to represent themselves goes a long way to allowing others to understand who they are. The girl who cannot leave the house without make up likely has insecurity issues and feels the need to always look her best. The woman who goes to Walmart in hair curlers likely doesn’t care at all what people think about her. That’s a huge difference right there.

            You said it yourself when you stated “it’s what they are comfortable with portraying to the world”. It’s all about image and the method in which you wish to express yourself.

            When you say you like knowing that you’ve still “got it”; why can you not get this same reaction with a sundress or regular clothing? You have to get looks either way, right?!? I would be far more impressed with myself if I were to get “that look” without even trying..

          • Butter35

            Who said I can’t? Maybe for me a sleeveless sundress that goes to my knees and doesn’t show off all my cleavage, but does show off my curves in a “modest” (using the term loosely) way is how I dress to feel like I’ve still “got it.” I never said how I dress when I want to feel sexy. I’m 35. I don’t put on a tube top or show my belly or wear miniskirts. Why did you automatically think I did? Because that’s what you expect from a woman who’s trying? And why is it wrong, in your mind, if she does dress that way? You just automatically think she’s a skank who wants to screw whatever lands in front of her because she dresses that way? Shallow man. You don’t know what makes her tick, what she wants. Maybe she’s never met a nice guy like you who sees beyond skin. Maybe she grew up in the inner city and that’s the “norm” there.

            Thank you Mr. Judgmental.

          • atticwindow

            ….dressing “immodestly” is the “norm” of the “inner city”? Who says the kyriarchy is thing!

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            What’s wrong with being judgemental when 99% of the time I’m right? Powers of deduction and observation and knowledge of statistics can go a long way. I am an excellent judge of character.

            There’s no harm in knowing what I like in people or in steering clear of those who I don’t wish to associate with.

          • atticwindow

            You said they were doing it “to get the attention they cannot get modestly.” Sounds like you were saying how a woman dresses has to do with someone besides herself.

          • Christiaan Funkhouser

            The problem Kay is that regardless of your intentions, you will attract attention you don’t get when you dress “modestly”. And to be honest, guys could care less of your intentions. Your outfit tells guys what your intentions could never, and that’s, “HEY LOOK AT ME!!” Guy’s, for the most part, are direct creatures. We aren’t looking for subtle clues, secret intentions, and we certainly don’t look at girls in whatever outfit they’re wearing and think… “Hmm, I wonder if she is feeling confident, and is wearing that outfit because she is happy with herself and to prove to herself that she is a real woman. Oh, and the way the high cut is on her dress reminds me of the high IQ, and level of intelligence I’m seeking in a woman….

            Girls will, apparently, never understand this.

            The guy who wrote the article has absolutely set the bar at the ideal, and what every guy should strive for, and what I myself do and teach others to do as well. But the reality is, not all guys will do it, and because of that, girls need to be aware of that.

            Dress in the way you want to be seen, and treated as. While women have the freedom to dress however they want and it’s ultimately up to men to respect them regardless, women, out of respect for men should dress in a way that’s respectful of themselves BEING (through word, deed, and dress) the type of woman that they want to be treated as.

            So, if women who flash skin, wear a little black dress while they go to a club and have a few drinks are typically skanky, and you as a self respecting woman are merely dressing like that to show off the confidence you have in yourself, you will be lumped into the skanky category and treated as such.

            I, myself, don’t believe in that. And often tell the young men I get the opportunity to teach that we are to love, cherish, respect, and protect the women in our lives, even if they don’t want to, say they don’t, or act in a way that tells you not to, because ultimately, the responsibility for how you act is on you.

          • atticwindow

            I didn’t realize that my awesome, sexy black dress made me unworthy of your respect. Who would have thought that to find out if someone had the “high IQ, and level of intelligence” (needless comma; IQ tests are outdated and prejudiced) you were looking for, you’d have to, I dunno, see beyond the surface and maybe – gasp! – engage in conversation with another human being, treating her and all others, including other men, with the same respect.

          • Christiaan Funkhouser

            Ahh, lovely! I’m sorry my post was TL:DR. If you had you would have noticed I don’t support that mindset.

            I was being a realist… guys in general will be thinking that. It’s wrong, and they should act the way you mentioned… BUT in reality guys are wired and told by society it’s ok to do otherwise.

            Our culture bombards men telling them that it’s natural, normal, girls secretly like it, and are often made fun of and ostracized if we don’t.

            I know this is something you will never be able to understand, the real enemy is not men or women, it’s this culture and society run by depraved individuals who tell women to objectify themselves and men that in order to be men they have to objectify women.

            The two main oppositions are Feminists who demean, condemn, belittle, and attack men (which more than likely males aren’t going to side with) or religious organizations which often go too far for guys and girls. The idea that waiting for sex until you care enough about the woman to marry her, have made the commitment to spend the rest of your life with the person is too restrictive to our animalistic nature. And since the religious folks also argue for modesty in dress for women, guys respecting women etc… their opinion often gets thrown out.

            AtticWindow, guys and girls are different. We are wired differently, all of culture, society, and our hormones are against what is right. It isn’t as simple as “Oh, why don’t I go ahead and do this, I’ve just never thought of this, or tried this before.”

            Secondly, I was punctuating as one talks. Thanks for pointing out my errors.

            Thirdly, I like how your response was more of an ad hominem attack and less of an actual response.

          • Christy Horne Cyr

            Dude! Nuns have been raped. Seriously, you don’t know this? Would you accuse them of asking for it? For the last time RAPE IS NOT A WOMAN’S FAULT.

          • Kannan Kannan

            Hi Kay, I am a guy. I also want freedom. I want to show my genitals and walk around. My body is beautiful. No one should arrest me or judge me.

        • Kathy

          Nudity is not acceptable by God. As soon as Adam and Eve had the knowledge of good and evil they realized they were naked and were ashamed. When Ham saw he father Noah naked and told his brothers They hid their eyes to cover him and Ham was cursed for his actions. when God gave instructions for building the temple, there were to be ramps not steps for the priests to walk up so that their nakedness would not be seen. I agree that we are all responsible for the behavior we choose to act upon but I do not believe that lack of modesty of the human body is to be accepted in any situation.

          • andyrwebman

            I think if you met any nudists you’d be surprised at how gentle and free of shame they are. It proves that nakedness can work, it doesn’t automatically lead to evil, and that labeling it as sin is entirely arbitrary.

            I suppose, though, that arbitrary behaviour is all you can expect from a God that calls homosexuality evil, and then creates a gay gene, even making the gene confer a fertility advantage in females to ensure its survival.

      • Rika

        Modesty is a choice that a person can only make for themselves. If they are doing it for others, they are simply choosing to appear modest. The message in the article isn’t about modesty, because he can’t teach his son to choose modesty for other people. In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t share your beliefs at all, and I don’t dress modestly. But even if you assume acceptance of the virtue of dressing modestly, I suspect the frustration Darcy is talking about is because the majority of modesty articles put responsibility on females for both their own clothing choices and other people’s thoughts and actions.

        • Joseph Mentor Nichols

          He can choose modesty for other people. Simply by dismissing those who choose to use their sexuality to manipulate or attract and by idolizing those who show great effort in respecting themselves. Once it is “cool” again to be a person of values others will follow. Good role-models are rare and priceless assets to our society.

          • jhlee

            You’re actually in agreement with the author then, that men are capable of controlling their own reactions and that no one else is responsible for his reactions, including women who don’t dress according to your standards.

          • Kay

            Except I don’t think the author is saying to “dismiss” or “look down on” anyone who doesn’t follow his specific standards of modesty and respect.That concept’s all on Mr. Nichols.

          • jhlee

            Yeah, true. I guess Mr. Nichols hasn’t read the verse that goes, “judge not…”

          • ThatisThat

            I think the message was to treat all of them with respect. Not just to dismiss women who have surrendered to the message that sex appeal is what they NEED to use to get attention.
            You’re response is very blaming and shaming to women who choose not to live up to your controlling nature-I mean-“standards” I think you need to check your outlook.
            The Harlot was dressed immodestly but Jesus did not dismiss her. He treated her like a person and was merciful.
            Good role models may create shining examples and be good to follow, but that doesn’t make people whose story you know NOTHING about worthless.
            “Do not judge, you have no idea what storm I have asked her to walk through” -God

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            I’m atheist. I could really care less about Jesus treating some slut nicely so he could get laid.

            Yes, I shame sluts. Why? Because I’m ashamed to have them in our society. They interfere with my ability to find the “good” girls. They interfere with my ability to give women the respect they should deserve had they not thrown it out the window.

            I have a right to my own opinion and my opinion is that a slutty culture is counterproductive to a romantic culture. This bothers me. I don’t expect it to bother anyone else I am just saddened that it doesn’t.

            Our bodies are the only thing in this world that are truly ours. Nothing should be valued more than that. Yet we give them away like their worthless. All for what? An orgasm? It’s all just so pathetic..

          • ThatisThat

            If scantily clad women interfere with your ability to treat a woman like a person. I suggest you stop ogling them, stop treating them as sex objects and control yourself. Eyes are above the collarbone.

            If you want things to change, stop sexualizing and objectifying women. You can’t control anyone else, but you can control yourself.
            You may need to read the article again.

          • Kannan Kannan

            I am a guy. Similarly I also want to dress scantily. Do I have the freedom to wear whatever I want?. If you agree with me, I will agree with you.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            It has nothing to do with my ability to control myself. As disturbing as it is to see it I have held myself together quite well thus far. Held down the tears of sadness and shame, held back the reflex to vomit, and even held out a little hope that maybe someone in this place might just be “different” than the rest.

          • NEIL SEQUEIRA

            you cant expect each man to control his feelings.There are animals and they are good men. If you see the murderers in history who have murdered woman they have some similar sort of reasons like they are whores, they are immoral, they are root of all or are mentally deranged. These animals who either rape woman or murder them are the men with same mind. Its woman’s duty to avoid such people. You don’t give a reason and be on safer side. I don’t care what you wear or what time you reach home. But the truth is there are Animals who prey on you and you cant change them.

          • Becky Alexander

            so you do judge whether a girl is “good” or a “slut” based on her outfit?
            your mindset is what the author is trying to prevent in his son. A woman’s worth is not determined by her outfit.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            Of course not. There is an awful lot more to a person than their clothing; male or female.

            However, it makes for an excellent and highly accurate first impression.

          • Seth Bobbink

            Wait Joseph you call yourself an Atheist and yet if there is no God like you believe then there is no absolute morals and so what gives you the right to shame sluts and to make a moral judgment call? By what foundation do you have the right to make a moral judgment call when there is no solid foundation for absolute morals within Atheism?

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            I don’t believe that you need to be religious to know right from wrong. In fact, morals are the basis of everything that I do. Doing the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing are words that I live by. If you need to be scared into being good then there is already something very wrong with you.

            I just know in my heart what is right and I fight for that.

          • Seth Bobbink

            I never said that you needed to be religious to know right from wrong. I said that that the existence of absolute morals leads me to the conclusion that there is a Higher Being lets say God who has written within our hearts the very sense of right and wrong just as you have stated: “I just know in my heart what is right and I fight for that!” Jeremiah 31:33-34 states this: ““I will put My Law within them, and on their hearts will I write it; and I will be their God, and they will be My people” Here God tells us himself that our understanding of morality come directly from him. That every human beings have an innate sense of right and wrong, an innate sense of the way they ought to behave. This sense is called the natural, moral law. It is God’s law of right vs. wrong literally written on our hearts, woven into the very fabric of who we are.

            So again I ask you where do you think your sense of right and wrong comes from if not by God?

          • Sam

            It’s very disturbing when someone’s sense of morality has to come from a book and not from an innate sense of humanity.

          • Seth Bobbink

            My sense of morality comes from God not from a book. you have just committed a straw man fallacy, I never said that my sense of morality came from a book, it comes from God and that is what I have said in my statements above. If you have an actual argument to make then please do so.

          • Sam

            Attempting to reason with a religious person is futile. If they listened to reason, there’d be no more religious people.

          • Seth Bobbink

            How have you come to this unreasonable belief Sam?

          • Seth Bobbink

            Really? Try me Sam you will find that I am both reasonable and religious!

          • Seth Bobbink

            Now to address this misconception: ” If you need to be scared into being good then there is already something very wrong with you.” Christians are not scared into being good! Hell is not a means to scare people into being good or being a Christian. Hell is just like prison in the sense that if you break God’s commandments you deserve to be thrown into Hell. In fact even Christians deserve to go to Hell as punishment for being wicked in God’s sights! However because of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, we who believe and trust in Him are given a new chance. We are forgiven and set free from our bondage to sin and evil! I in response to the grace that I have found in Jesus Christ do good deeds. My good deeds don’t earn my salvation, and neither does yours! I am saved by Grace through faith and in repines I repent and turn away from my wicked deeds. Before I was a Christian my good deeds were just as wicked as my wicked deeds because they were an extension of my own ego and pride. Now I don’t do good deeds just so I can check them off my to do list. I do them with a purpose to give thanks and to glorify the God who saved my life and gave me a fresh start! What do you have to lose? Either Jesus is who he says he is or he isn’t, if he is and you ask him to show you the truth of who he is, don’t you think he would do so if you keep searching for Him and the truth of who he is?

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            Religion is a load of crap. I could write a better story. I’ve done my hunting, hell, the majority of the reason I don’t believe is the bible itself. It’s trash. So full of immoral, corrupt, hypocritical, and contradicting material.

            I don’t think any intelligent person could take religion seriously. There’s just no reason to.

          • Seth Bobbink

            Okay maybe we should define religion, I like Timothy Keller’s definition of religion in his book called, The Reason for God: Belief in the Age of Skepticism, where he writes,

            It is a set of beliefs that explain what life is all about, who we are, and the most important things that human beings should
            spend their time doing. For example, some think that this material world is all there is, that we are here by accident and when we die we just rot, and therefore the important thing is to choose to do what makes you happy and not let others impose their beliefs on you. Notice that, though this is not an
            explicit, “organized” religion it contains a master narrative, an account about the meaning of life along with a recommendation for how to live based on that account of things. Some call this a “worldview” while others call it a
            “narrative identity.” In either case it is a set of faith-assumptions about the nature of things.

            So if you agree with this definition of religion, then you would have to admit that every rational and intellectual person has a belief system of some sort even you have a belief system.

          • tb92

            I don’t think you have trouble finding “good”, respectable women because of “sluts”. I think your problem is that you are judgmental and arrogant and most women can see that from a distance. Fortunately, most atheists are not like that.

          • FrankenPiggy

            I think the only thing interfering with your ability to find “good” girls is your lack of respect for women. How could you ever expect a woman with any self respect to want to be with some one who has no respect for her?

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            I am a very respectful person. This is a debate, I will need to cross lines to make points. I will admit that I do find it harder to respect a person who can’t go 2 weeks without sex. I will also admit that I find it harder to respect a person who dresses like they have nothing more to offer. But I do not go out of my way to make their lives difficult. Just because I am ashamed of them doesn’t mean that I need to be mean or unfriendly toward them.

            Regardless, I would never date any of them. Thus, how could my lack of respect for them even be an issue? Those who have my highest respect will be the ones who shall catch my eye.

            And you’re leaving out the men. Slutty men are no better than slutty women.

      • Damon Burro

        If you truly tempt a man to stumble, that’s your problem. If you just don’t dress modestly, and they do something they shouldn’t against your will, that’s another issue entirely. The drive home point here is WHAT SOMEONE ELSE DOES should not dictate how YOU behave. Modesty is now mostly thought of in religious circles as how you dress — but if you ask ‘what characterizes a modest person’ I think of a dude like Jesus — didn’t take credit, didn’t want praise, didn’t boast about himself, was humble, etc. Has nothing to do with how somebody else dresses — it has to do with what ‘I’ decide to do, and take responsibility for it.

        • VioletPersuasion

          Damon, that was AWESOME. Thank you so much for sharing that.

          I want to have a heart of modesty… what I wear, even if a burka, someone could find SOMETHING to point to “immodest” dress. Why aren’t they worried about the HEART, of themselves or for me?

      • Samantha

        And where do you get Bible to support what actually has to be covered. If you will notice the Bible verse about modesty in the NT speaks nothing of what’s uncovered but rather the type of spirit a woman is to have, and how jewelry and braided hair are not for the Christian woman. This is a case of a human putting opinion to thhe Bible. YOU deem showing the knee’s as tempting or not modest. But where does God say that. Your judgment is hypocritical. Since there was once a time where the ankle was deemed very suggestive and tempting, so your ankles showing are no different than their chests showing. This is why we are told if we would judge ourselves we would not be judged.

        WHat is the womans purpose when she is getting dressed? Where is her heart. If she is trying to tempt men? Then of course she is in disobedience to Timothy 2:9, but if she is just getting dressed to be dressed but you deem her clothes unsuitable to your conscious then the problem is yours and God will deal with any issues He has with her in HIs own time. It’s time to put away hypocritical judgment and see what God is actually saying.

      • jlcmom

        Some thoughts about modesty….just food for thought…

      • Stumbling Around

        Um….Why does everyone assume that everyone else is a “believer”? People should have respect for one another because it’s right. Not just because the bible says so. Why must modesty and respect only be discussed in a religious context? Young girls should not be posting sexual pictures on the internet because it’s dangerous. And Guys should not be sending messages to girls that they are only interested in their bodies for sexual purposes (implied or direct messages on FB…either one)

        And the word modesty is subjective. I have had to YELL at old world Amish men (not the kind you see on TV) who have looked my 16yo daughter up and down like she was dinner without trying to hide it and she was wearing nothing but jeans and a hoodie.

        I also think we should all remind ourselves that what all these teenagers are feeling is totally NORMAL! It is our job as parents to help guide them and teach them to be safe. And be respectful and LOVE one another. It is our job to teach. Not blame or shame.
        Whether you are a believer or not.

        btw…I AM a Christian. But not a church goer.

        • Maan Di

          Thank God someone finally pointed out that modest dress is subjective. This is a multicultural world, y’all & if you live in any English-speaking nation, then you live in a nation full of immigrants and the descendants of immigrants. Read: glorious diversity. THERE IS NO WAY TO PLEASE EVERYONE. We’ve gotta learn to respect each other & look each other in the face (not the body), b/c to put the entire onus on women is simply to contribute the already rampant rape culture that is destroying lives every day.

          Gentlemen: There is never ever any excuse to rape/molest/harass/disrespect anyone, male or female.

          Ladies: If you teach your daughters that it’s all their fault when they are raped/molested/harassed/disrespected, you turn them into victims. Please, please reconsider, for the sake of all our daughters and sons. Please raise strong women who know that they are worthy of respect.

        • forked

          “People should have respect for each other because it is right. Not just because the Bible says so.”

          How do you know that having respect for each other is right?

          I’m not arguing that it isn’t. I agree that it is. But we know it is is right because God told us it is through the Bible.

          Otherwise, you have no basis upon which to say something is right other than ‘everybody agrees’ which is not a particularly good standard. The majority in Nazi Germany thought the things they were doing were right. Just because the majority thinks something is right, doesn’t make it so.

          The only unchanging, universal standard for right and wrong comes from God and He detailed it in the Bible. So yes, it is just because the Bible says so.

          (Good point about assuming everyone is a believer by the way. Believers should be held to a higher standard. We shouldn’t expect the same from unbelievers and forcing God’s standard on them before they understand their sin, His love and Jesus’ sacrifice only addresses the external when God cares about the heart.)

      • Boomz41

        I think the point is that you cannot expect the world to live to your standards – not all of us consider our bodies temples of yahweh, nor do we see any value in “acting like the bride we are supposed to be”. Teaching your sons to control his own impulses, attitudes and behaviours in the presence of women, regardless of their clothing, is important because those sons WILL come across women who are not dressed modestly.

        Furthermore, “modesty” means different things to different people – and our concepts of modesty change over time. Where it used to be considered to be immodest to show your ankle, most people would laugh at the idea these days. What I consider modest, you might consider immodest. What I consider immodest, another woman might consider normal.

        Also, “modesty” doesn’t necessarily make a woman’s body less sexually appealing to any particular male. When I walk home from work in my well-fitted lady suit I get checked out haaaaaard… so, when some a-hole cat-calls me should I then determine that from now on all my lady suits should be loosely fitted, rather than form-flattering? No. He should learn not to be a disrespectful jerk.

        This article is about the importance of teaching young males how to “see” a woman. Don’t derail that important conversation with your “yeah but women should dress modestly too” BS.

      • Rita Sokolowski

        I don’t see where he said modesty doesn’t matter. I see where he said look at women who are not modest as human beings, and nothing more, nothing less. It came across to me a bit like advice I gave my son for jr. high and high school. Be friends with ALL the girls and you will enjoy this time so much better. Take an interest in them all and don’t go steady or date one girl in particular. If you do, you will compromise and have regrets. This is your time, enjoy it and let the girls in your life be comfortable with you. That and the example his dad and I have set of true love and respect have kept him a good friend to a lot of girls and he does not have frivolous relationships, going from girl to girl.
        I am glad we did not attend a church that made men believe women will lead them astray. I am also glad to see this article in a time when more and more you see men treat women with such disrespect and cruelty. Honesty and straight talk makes for great kids, and better adults. Thanks

        • Tim

          So while your son was being a good friend to all the girls, the girls were busy hooking up on the side with other guys who took sexual interest in them.

      • Nora Anne-Marie

        YOU need to take responsibility for how YOU dress, and leave every single other person, male or female, alone.

        Their God will judge them if they believe in one.

        It is not up to you to judge them or persuade them to follow what you believe will get YOU into heaven. End of story.

      • beenwiser

        “cause a brother to stumble”… ok… when its hot out, i bike shirtless so my shirt won’t get soaked with sweat. am i causing a sister to stumble? would some random woman i don’t even know assume i am trying to catch her eye? would she holler at me, put her hands on me, or worse? if she did anything like that, would you blame me or her? and what do stories from thousands of years ago have to do with any of this?

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  • MorganGuyton

    Best thing I’ve read on this topic so far from another man.

    • Nate Pyle

      Really appreciate that, Morgan

      • Jeremy Dew

        Who would vote your thanks at a positive comment down? Jesus Christ people, you’re voting down common courtesy now!?

    • Amy Bayley

      Agreed. What a great dad. If we had more fathers like this we’d see half the gender/sexual issues we have disappear in just one generation. Encouraging to know there will be godly men in the next generation.

  • Peter Norcross

    As a very young man — 19 years old — I very much appreciate this. Thanks so much for posting! It will help me renew conviction about those things I knew beforehand, and it will be a help for a friend I’ve recently discussed sex with, who is not a believer. With this prudence and wisdom, keep writing!

    Grace and Peace,

    • Spanner1960

      Snap out of it while you still have the chance.

    • Boomz41

      What I like about this is that what he is teaching his son are morals that any reasonable person can get behind, religious or not. I’m not religious but I fully agree with his approach, because it’s about respect and dignity for human beings. How could anyone be against that?

  • Matthew Gaither

    I don’t have a son but if I did, I would want him to read this. And frankly, I wish I had read something similar when I was an adolescent. I have had to train myself out of some of the bad habits I developed while growing up. Bravo and well done on the post, Nate!

    • Boomz41

      My best friends are men and they all say the same things – they are ashamed of some of the attitudes they had toward women when they were younger… as they grew up and started to think for themselves, they started to realize how stupid a lot of those attitudes were and began to really challenge them. Things that just seemed like “the way it is” when they were younger, they grew up to find out are really a choice for them to make.. and because they are genuinely good, loving compassionate people they choose the road of respect. My brothers and I were the same way (BTW I’m a woman).

      When we were younger, it was just considered “normal” to treat “skanks” with disrespect… to not feel any compassion for the girl who got drunk and went home with someone who then treated her like garbage in the morning… then as we all got older it started to seem really stupid – why does the guy who just did the EXACT same thing she did feel justified in treating her without dignity and respect because of the choices that she made? It was normal to look at a woman showing off chest and think “cover it up you slut!” but thinking nothing of it when walking by a man wearing no shirt. It was normal to high-five a dude friend for getting laid but to shame a girl friend for doing the same thing…..

      As we grow up, some of us learn to challenge double-standards and illogical standards/judgments. Some don’t and that’s really sad. I’m glad that the vast majority of the men in my life are of the former persuasion :)

  • joan

    As a sexual assault victim it’s taken a very long time for me to understand that it was not my fault, and assault it is not any person’s fault, regardless of how they dress. Human beings should be given dignity, simply because they are. Thank you.

    • stacie

      I agree Joan. This process for assault survivors is difficult. The sooner that we as a society return to the belief that everyone is responsible for their own actions, the better. I am stating this generally and those who suffer from disadvantages are excluded (for all those nitpickers put there).

      • stacie

        Strength and peace to you in your recovery Joan.

      • wendydailey

        Stacie, I don’t believe we have EVER been at a belief that everyone is responsible for their own actions. Look at the story of Adam and Eve — the snake made me do it, the woman made me do it. Since the beginning of time, we (as humans) have looked outside ourselves for the fault. And yes, that needs to change.

    • CM

      Thank you Joan. I’m still working on getting there. I still dress to disappear. I don’t want the “looks”. I don’t want to be “pretty” because “pretty” is how I got hurt before. Over and over. I’ve gotten therapy, but getting over the need to be invisible to men is still a problem I’m working on. I know it’s not my fault, but I’m still at that place where I’m afraid to wear anything, including lipstick, that might get me noticed…

      • Cpt_Justice

        I hear the judgment in your words, not so much as still blaming yourself for the crime committed against you (which is also painful to see, as it is the exact opposite of truth!), but also for not recovering fast enough! YOU ARE FINE! I beg you to not be worried about some mythical timetable, and allow yourself to heal at your own pace. Just continue with counseling or therapy (whichever works for you), and know that all decent people love you, and are in awe of your strength. (Same goes for you, joan!)

      • Robyn Kern

        Men are half the world of people out there and it will come in time but it dues sound like you are having difficulty with getting back out there in the world full of men, and that is scary. I hope you seek some more counseling so that you do become whole and integrated again. It will come, trust me……I know.

      • thindi

        I definitely understand CM and Joan. I understand the need to hide in many ways including layers of fat. But what happened to us is NOT our fault.. no matter what we were doing or were accused of doing. The offender is responsible for his actions.. not us. Pretty is not what got anyone hurt because assault is not about looks.. it is about power and control. It is about demeaning and hurting someone. Be gentle with yourself and remember you are not a victim.. you are a survivor.

      • joan

        I totally understand, Ive been attack several times in the middle of the street, in the middle of the day. One of my councilors told me the story of her sister who had undergone something similar and continued to receive unwanted attention, until she recognized that she had a right to wear whatever she wanted and it didnt give anyone else a right to her body. Once she stepped out of the victim mentality people left her alone. God has been healing me and I have taken on the same attitude, with the same results. I think predators are drawn to hurting victimized people, of which you are not one, you are a strong person who deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, and anyone who makes you feel less then that is not worth your effort. You deserve to have people stand-up for you, and you deserve to stand-up for yourself, you are worth defending. Be blessed strong individual.

        • catholicBishopZ

          But if she dressed lieka slut, it is her fault..

      • CM

        Thank you for your responses–you have no idea how much they mean. thindi, I too hide in layers of “fat”–40 pounds did nothing to keep my BIL from attacking me. Again. It’s horrible and humiliating to have your husband see the bruises on your breasts that his brother put there… After reading these responses, I know I need to take some more action to stop being afraid. I’m going to check out a self-defense course this afternoon and have a friend go with me to classes. I’m also going to check out a gym (I have major fear issues with walking/jogging outside…) where I can start to get my strength and self-esteem back. I hope that when I feel more like I can protect myself (especially from BIL) I’ll stand a little taller and look/feel more confident. That, and I probably do need to spend the time/money to go back to therapy… I just want my “old life” back so badly….

        • Prudence Dagg

          CM, I hope that you and your husband are taking steps to keep your BIL away from you, too! I completely get an increased desire to be able to defend yourself, but no one should make you feel obligated to put yourself in situations where you need to. We all have some family members somewhere who do things we are not proud of; don’t pressure yourself to have a “pleasant” family reunion that is going to end badly or at the least cause serious distress.

          I would also recommend filing charges against him. Take care and all the best!

        • Craig

          I hope you pressed charges against your “Bil”.
          Evil males like that need to be punished for their evil ways.
          We are not all like this “Bil” fellow!

        • Anjali

          Turn to spirituality, you might not be a Hindu but try reading bhagwad geeta English version.. it will help you a lot!

        • Rudolf Wolff

          I’m sorry to hear about what happened to you. And I know that you will
          recover. You are a strong woman and, I think, that’s why your BIL wanted
          to have his way with you. You are a phenomenal woman:
 (Moderator: please
          allow link.)

        • Sharon L. Smatusek Harris

          If your husband is not supportive of you and will not take measures to protect you against sexual assaut from his brother, is he really the one who you need to be with?
          You won’t stop eing a victim if he allows you to be a victim in his family.

      • Boomz41

        Do you have trustworthy, loving male friends or relatives? Maybe spending time with them can help you to heal… being in the presence of men who are not pigs, who respect you and care for you, who see you as a human being worthy of respect and dignity certainly can’t hurt. It’s a great way to remind yourself that, while men make up half the population, most of them are not out there to hurt you.

        I wish you all the best as you continue to heal. I hope you don’t fall into the trap of thinking “I should be over this by now” or other self-shaming ideas… it’s a long, difficult road… and sometimes you’ll think you’re totally past it and BOOM it hits you in the face like a tonne of bricks. Take it one day at a time, surround yourself with good people, and keep working toward your goal of getting back out there.

      • Eve

        Take all the time you need, hon. If you spend a few years dressing inconspicuously as part of your healing process, so what? Or even if you choose to dress inconspicuously for the rest of your life? It’s a perfectly valid way to dress! You do whatever works for you.

        A friend of mine was raped by her boyfriend when she was a student. After they broke up, she came to a traffic lights party. She wore red, which signified, according to the traffic lights code, that she wasn’t interested in hooking up with anyone. This should have been fine, it was the right choice for her at that time. We found her crying in a corner that she must be a slut because she was wearing a red dress. She’s doing a lot better now, and she doesn’t seem to be worrying about what she wears in that way.

      • CardinalSwan

        Surround yourself with men you can trust. It will take time, but they will help you regain that trust. The real problem is that we still have to be aware of the men who don’t have integrity with women. And they will want to use you by making you trust them. Learn the difference between those who are trustworthy and those who are not. We still have to guard ourselves from them. It’s just the world we live in for now. Love yourself. You are wonderful regardless of what has happened to you or what people think of you. God Bless!

      • glorrierose

        CM I also went through a period of not wanting to be pretty so that men would leave me alone. Alas, the reality is that rapists and sexual harassers don’t actually care what you look like, and while you feel like you’ve made yourself “disappear” in order to be safe, it doesn’t actually make you safe. What makes you safe is growing into confidence in yourself as a human being who deserves to be treated well.

        You will come to that in your own good time. Healing is not a competition. It is not a race. There are no “milestones” you have to pass within a certain amount of time. Recovery happens one step at a time, and often it is three steps forward and one step back. Sometimes it feels like you are starting all over at the beginning. But one day you will find yourself a the end of the tunnel, and the sun will be shining, and life will feel glorious, and you will look in the mirror and see the glorious person you are, and you will want others to see it, too.

      • Anjali

        You aren’t alone, I’ve been brought up in India. At very young are of 5-6 I loved bangles, lipstick and stuff. but as I grew up, men staring or winking made me hate being a girl myself by the age of 12. Today I am 26 I don’t care to look good, I don’t like compliments on my looks or flirts, I hate jeweller, wearing makeup. I think it shackles us. society is very sick, it can’t opine without gender. But we can definitely widen our minds and consider ourselves & others as humans

    • Robyn Kern

      It is a persons fault, the rapist, its is his or her fault, it was not yours.

    • Boomz41

      I know what you mean. I don’t know your story, but mine involved getting blackout drunk and making out with a guy… an waking up to find him having sex with me.

      It took me YEARS to truly accept that what HE did was not my fault. I still struggle with it.

      • John

        Are you kidding? It’s his fault that you both were drunk and in your drunkenness, you had sex with him? .. Never underestimate the power of a hamster.

        • Karen Churchill

          Yes. If she was passed out, he could not get her consent. Having sex with an unconscious person is a crime. Always.

        • Alena@TheHomemadeCreative

          You can’t have sex if you’re unconscious. You also can’t get consent from someone to have sex with them if they are unconscious. So yes – she was raped.

          • Jianju

            The problem here is that quite often a person can black out, yet continue talking, joking, & laughing. In my case, for example: I was at a party & had too much to drink. The last thing I remember was coming out of the bathroom, (which was accessed through one of the bedrooms in the house,) & the woman who lived in that room coming in. The next thing I remember, we were in bed together. Was I raped? No, I was drunk. Did I rape her? No, she pursued a relationship with me, but I could only apologize & tell her that I was sorry, but I was blacked out for the entire incident & was not pursuing her. It was unfortunate, & part of why I quit drinking.

          • glorrierose

            Let me ask you this. If you were drunk like that, and you got into a car and had an accident where you killed someone, are you excused from your actions? Do you think you would get off with a slap on the wrist, or do you think you would go to jail for criminally negligent homicide?

            It used to be that drunkards got off with the excuse, “Your honor, I didn’t know what I was doing. I was drunk.”

            Not any more. The same thing applies to rape.

          • Jianju

            I’m sorry, but the simile you put forth is invalid: first, nobody died in the former scenario. No one was even slightly harmed. Second, two people entered into the situation willingly, even if their judgement was impaired at the time. Sure, a moral & sober person should perhaps have the presence of mind to refuse the advances of someone who was drunk, but oftentimes they do not. Other times, both parties are impaired. The reason I say “I was not raped” is not because I was drunk, but rather because I did not object in any way to the encounter, (even though I would not have chosen to engage it were I sober.)

          • Jianju

            One more thing: You seem to be taking the position that if a man gets drunk & has sex with a woman, it is the man’s fault. Yet if a woman get s drunk & has sex with a man, it is the man’s fault.

          • FlacidMeatLog

            So case in point. She is the guilty one.

          • Jennie

            Congratulations for recognising you have a problem when you drink and having the courage and strength to do something about it.

          • Jianju

            Thank you, Jennie. It’s been three years since I had a drink now.

          • Jianju

            Four years & counting! ;D

          • invisiblebusinesswoman

            Who says she was unconscious? If they were both as drunk as she says, they both may have consented, or thought they did, or thought the other did. There is such a thing as personal responsibility. Getting blacked out drunk is irresponsible and stupid, because you can do, say, and consent to things you later don’t remember.

          • atticwindow

            She WOKE UP. Which means she was UNCONSCIOUS. Even if they’re all about having sex when they’re awake, if you continue to have sex with them when they’ve passed out, you are raping them. The line is not that blurry: Don’t have sex with someone who is unconscious oh my god is it that freaking hard.

          • invisiblebusinesswoman

            Who’s to say the guy wasn’t as unconscious as she was? If they were both “blacked out” she’s responsible for what she did to him, too.

          • Adam Sinclair

            Blacking out doesn’t equal being unconscious. I have “woken up” before sitting at my computer talking on the internet to friends after a really long night of drinking.

          • glorrierose

            Wrongo, buddy. Blacking out means you have lost consciousness. Losing consciousness doesn’t mean you have to fall asleep. If you have blacked out, you have lost awareness of who you are, where you are, and what you are doing. Your body, however, can go through the motions as if you were wide awake.

            You guys are still blaming the women for getting drunk and saying it’s her fault, her choice, for getting drunk.

            But you won’t take responsibility for choosing your own drunkenness.

            Here’s a tip: do you want to avoid being charged with rape for having sex with someone while you are drunk?

            Don’t freaking get drunk.

          • FlacidMeatLog

            Not true.

        • StarWars Fan

          No offense to anyone here, I can’t imagine what any of you are going through after being assaulted. I’m not trying to be insensitive with this comment, and I realize it will rub a lot of you the wrong way.

          However, in this particular case, it needs to be pointed out that you don’t get black out drunk if you have, and exercise self-control. Personally I stop at 2-3 depending on what is in them and where I am (and I am male & 5’8). I’ve known women to get buzzed off of a half bottle of beer. It is up to you to figure out your limit in a safe environment and then respect it. Drink alcohol based on what your body can handle then switch to something else. It’s really not that hard.

          As I said, it is unfortunate she had sex with someone she did not want to have it with – I’m not discounting that- but how was he supposed to know she was blacked out drunk unless she was fully unconscious? As stated by Jianju in one of the comments, you can go on talking and acting as normal when you are blacked out drunk… So again, it would take her being completely unconscious, or her saying “no” and fighting him off for him to know it wasn’t consensual. (in which case it would absolutely need to be pursued as a rape case).

          Yes, he was wrong for (at the very least) taking advantage of a drunk girl and possibly raping her while she was uncouscious. But ultimately, she is the one who let herself get so drunk that she was to the point of blacking out or passing out. It is up to everyone to set their limits when it comes to alcohol, knowing full well you can get drunk, and even black out.

          It’s like most things in life, if you want to minimize the chance that bad things happen to you, don’t put yourself in the position where they can happen. Don’t want to get mugged in an alley late at night? Don’t walk down the alley by yourself late at night! It’s common sense. Yes, it is still the muggers’s fault for mugging you, but you are just as responsible for being in a dark alley as the mugger is for being there.

          • Midas

            Interesting example.

            I have never ever heard anyone excuse someone, or a court give someone a lighter punishment, for mugging someone because s/he did it in a dark alley and the victom should have known better. This is a good thing and it points out that YOU ARE WRONG, the ONLY ONE doing something wrong is the mugger. Society and justice system agree. You’re not to blame for taking the shortest way home. Or for being outdoors after 22:00. Or not carrying a semi-automatic rifle to defend yourself. It’s the muggers fault that he mugged you and noone elses. Sure, stupid. The danger could have been avoided. Still, it’s your right to be stupid. In free and safe societies, people have the right to do as they please without constantly having to avoid or defend against criminals.

            Here’s the problem though: Neither courts and society don’t say the same about rape victims and rapists. In these cases, suddenly and for no logical reason, the victim is partially blamed because she put herself in the situation. “You shouldn’t have been drinking”. “You shouldn’t have dressed like that” etc. Obviously, something is wrong here.

          • Cameron Sheridan

            I agree with the point you are trying to make, but this hypothetical scenario with the mugger is merely masturbatory speculation. It is designed to make you feel secure about your personal views while providing a straw man argument which cannot be disproven. I’m going to step away from the dark alley argument due to its ridiculousness. Lets replace it with drunk to keep with the point you are intending to prove.
            Yes if you are mugged and you are drunk, then you are still mugged. If you are assaulted (either sexually or physically) and you are drunk, then you are still assaulted. And despite the rhetoric which fills these forums the courts do view it in that way. The intoxication of the victim does not lessen the sentence of the assailant and in many states actually increases the sentence, especially if the assailant aided in the intoxication of the victim.
            I live in a state where, as a man, if I have sex with a woman and she is legally intoxicated (definition depends on substance) then I am subject to statutory rape charges. It does not matter if I am sober, as drunk as her, or more drunk than her. As the man in this state, I am inherently the guilty party.
            This has made me very cautious when it comes to any sort of inebriated romantic encounter. I have had an encounter where a woman kept bringing me drinks at a party and I found myself coming out of a black-out having sex with her.
            I would not have wanted to be involved with her sexually had I not been drinking, and arguably she was the one initiating the encounter and keeping me inebriated enough that I lacked the wherewithal to say “no”.
            By the sense that we can all agree on, she took advantage of me, and if people had told me “well it’s your fault for drinking so much” then I would be appropriately frustrated. If she had felt the same, and only was interested in me because she was drunk then she could easily have pressed charges, and even though I was also drunk, and she was initiating the encounter, the courts would still prosecute me fully. This rumor that courts side with the assailants/men in these cases surfaces constantly but is fairly baseless. I’m not sure where it comes from, but it is factually inaccurate.
            Society is one thing, especially faceless people responding to posts on a blog. And that is where the majority of the victim blaming seems to come from. But please do not fall prey to the rumor that courts do the same.

          • Nora Anne-Marie

            You do realize how many cases don’t make it to court, right?

          • Cameron Sheridan

            Depends; do you mean reported cases which are ignored by the legal system, reported cases which are settled out of court, or anecdotal cases like mine that i referenced above (where i was taken advantage of whilst black-out drunk, yet did not report as was my own prerogative)?
            In the first case, where a case is ignored by the legal system when the victimized party reports it; a cursory scan of statistics says about 15% of cases do not make it to court (this ignored the prison population in which rape is consistently brushed aside legally and joked about socially). So as far as the situations which I believe you were referencing; 15%. This is largely due to difficulty in finding unknown assailants, and not with proving culpability.
            Second case: settling out of court is personal prerogative again, and I don’t think you nor I have enough experience in that matter to judge one way or the other.
            And for the third, the anecdotal: this is where I have some rough feelings. The majority of unreported rapes are unreported due to the social stigma, and the fact that we live in what is consistently dubbed a “rape culture”. (I hate that expression, as it seems to imply that the entire culture tacitly supports rapists. Which simply examining the comments on here, is clearly not true.) But very sadly there is a social stigma that once someone is raped that it is somehow “their fault” and this is ingrained enough into the collective consciousness of our society that many, MANY rapes go unreported. Since the only evidence we have of these is anecdotal, it is hard to examine them statistically to view how prevalent the issue is.

            Around %15 of rape cases (outside of prison) which are reported do not make it to court. There are indeed more cases wherein the victims do not report the case, and this is an issue which needs to be addressed.

            Now: I keep bringing up the prison issue because the United States is the only country which now has more reported rapes of men then of women. This is due to the massive prison population in which rapes are largely ignored. Only 5% of reported rapes in prison are brought to court, the rest are made fun of in most forms of popular culture. I am not attempting to change the topic or create a new topic for debate, I would just like to state that if you are truly worried about the number of rape cases which do not even get legal recognition, look at the numbers for prison populations. They are horrifying.

          • Steve Joseph

            >> I’m going to step away from the dark alley argument due to its ridiculousness.<<
            Actually, you stepped away from it due to your inability to refute it convincingly. Anyone can see that. You then go on to use more MRA propaganda rhetoric and create your own straw man arguments. You talk about how a woman should be held accountable for how many drinks she's had, meanwhile failing to address the fact that any possible unpleasant consequences you may have to face could be avoided by your OWN ability to take control of the situation and be responsible for your actions: Don't have sex with random drunk girls. You'll find it'll solve a LOTTT of possible problems, including pregnancy, STD's, and rape accusations–false or true.

          • Cameron Sheridan

            Hi Steve,
            I’m not sure how you misconstrued my comment so greatly: it feels as though you combined my comment with one of the previous ones. So I’d like to clarify a couple things quickly.
            My argument was the opposite of what you claim it to be. You said I’m a rape apologist and that I was arguing that a woman was responsible for how much she drinks. I was arguing the complete opposite point, that the amount of alcohol some one consumes does not have any relevance to consent. That consent is consent, and that an intoxicated person cannot give said consent. I’m not sure how you read that and picked up a rape apologist attitude. Please read my comment again.
            Secondly, If you read my comment you would have realized that it was focused on the court system, which I praised for their treatment of rapists, by NOT allowing the “well she was drunk” excuse to lessen the sentence in court. I spent a good chunk of the comment stating that even though there is a cliched tale that courts look at these cases with a “MRA” attitude, this factually is not the case. The idea that a court would respond to this, or the original hypothetical with the mugger in the dark alley way does not fit in with the canon or rules which bind our legal system together. Please read my comment again.
            Finally you take my story of where a girl took me, while I was blacked out, to her bedroom and had sex with me– A story I was using to prove a point about my states legal system– and you actually embody the rape appologist mentality which you seem to distain. You tell me that it was my fault. You tell me to take control of my own actions. And you tell me “Don’t have sex with random drunk girls” as if the entirety of my statement about being black out drunk could be brushed aside as my own responsibility. Please read my comment again.
            I am incredibly offended that you call me a rape apologist then turn around and accuse me of fault in a situation where I arguably was sexually assaulted whilst drunk. Please read your own comment again and pretend that you were responding to a woman. I hope that if you do so, you can see the hypocrisy in your statement. Shame on you sir.

          • Steve Joseph

            EXACTLY!!!!!! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who can conceive of this. I’ve been saying that for YEARS and usually, at least 1/3 of my audience disagrees with me. Victim blaming is a dangerous and slippery slope. The truth is, we can blame the victim in any situation… If your watch is stolen, we *could* say “You shouldnt have been wearing such an expensive watch while walking around.. at least not in that neighborhood, that time of night” etc… BUT WE DON’T SAY THAT. And we shouldn’t. Rape should be no different. “She shouldn’t have been drinking that much.” Appalling victim blaming in action.

          • Imran

            “In free and safe societies, people have the right to do as they please without constantly having to avoid or defend against criminals.”

            Where do you have such safe and free societies?? Nowhere! a mugger or a rapist can can be sitting in any so-called free and safe society that you and i live in.

            We have to bear in mind that any society we live in is pretty diversed and people from any background can be living there and can definitely take a chance if provided.

            Why not behave a little responsible for our own-self. Drinking a lil or drinking in your limits or taking a lil long route to avoid alley wont harm you in contrast with what might be consequence of otherwise.

            Yes the mugger and rapist are to be blamed and its not your fault but why not act a little responsible and avoid the chances of being such a victim!!

          • Jianju

            How about this instead: “Don’t get drunk, & proceed to smile, laugh, & talk with someone, start kissing with them, & continue along to sex without protest, only to sober up later & claim it was rape.”?

          • Midas

            Why are you asking me this? How is this relevant to anything I wrote about?

          • Jianju

            Apologies, I meant to reply to a different comment by Steve Joseph above.

          • Steve Joseph

            If you get extremely drunk at a party and someone asks you, “can I have your car?” and you, in an intoxicated state, say “SURE!” Do you have the right to ask for that car back in the morning? Consent given while drunk is invalid.

          • Jianju

            Absolutely you have the right to ask for your car back, though that is a fairly unlikely scenario: nobody is likely to ask to *have* your car, even when drunk. (Borrow it, maybe.) And likewise, if two people have sex while drunk, either one has the right to tell the other one, “Hey, I’m sorry to tell you this, but I was drunk last night, & I really don’t feel like we should pursue a relationship from the experience.”

          • Steve Joseph

            The likelihood of the car scenario is irrelevant. Just because in your weird world sex apparently runs rampant and is similar to a handshake, that doesn’t make it okay to take something that isn’t rightfully yours..and having sex with a girl without her VALID CONSENT IS taking something that isn’t yours. You’re a twisted person, thinking it doesn’t hurt anything.. as long as you agree not to pursue a reltaionship in the morning hours. “no harm no foul.” You’ve skirted by with this predatory lifestyle far too long. I have a feeling sooner or later it will catch up with you.

          • Jianju

            Steve Joseph, you’re so ridiculous. Yes, sex runs rampant in the world. People have sex. Sometimes they regret it. Sometimes we do things when drunk that we later regret. Both parties are responsible for their actions. If you have anything further to say to me, let’s arrange to say it in person, you obnoxious little shit.

          • Katie

            I was blamed because I “should have known better” than to go on a blind date with a guy. When I filed the police report (required by my university once my RA found out) the police woman who interviewed me told me not to press charges, that the DA’s docket was too full to pursue these types of cases (cases where a girl goes on a date then gets assaulted/raped with bruises to show for it). I received an official copy of that officers report years later where she reported that I “refused to press charges” as opposed to what had actually happened- where she told me not to and said no one would believe me, that at best it would be considered regret after consent. If I knew then what I know now – that it wasn’t my fault, that I had a right to feel safe, that that officer wasn’t doing their duty- if I had known that then, it would have saved me years of hell where I blamed myself and let others blame me for an adult male’s action.
            Year later I took some benadryl at a friends’ place after accidentally eating an allergen-no alcohol involved on my part. I took a nap on their spare bedroom (it was a late dinner party- lots of friends/guests). I woke up a couple hours later to a man undressing me. I was still blaming myself for that first attack. I was able to stop the man but the incident brought in a whole new round of blame- after all, it could only be my fault. I became incapacitated and so it was my fault that someone tried to hurt me in that way.

            If someone says no, it’s rape. If someone is begging you to stop it is rape. If you wake up and someone is doing something to you that you did not consent to, it’s rape. The idea that it is mostly or even part the victims fault, is wrong. There are people who wake up and have regret. Some do the wrong thing and falsely cry rape. But for the majority, it really happened. And we have to live with the flashbacks, fear, and shame/humiliation every day. We don’t need anyone else telling us how it was our fault. Trust me, we relive our actions over and over again. We know what we could have done differently. You telling us, isn’t helping.

          • Steve Joseph

            People want to talk about personal responsibility of how many drinks a woman consumes, but there’s also personal responsibility to not penetrate a clearly intoxicated person. If I saw a person completely wasted, I would not take advantage of that in ANY way, be it taking their wallet (even after “asking” if I could have it,) their car keys, penetrating them in awkward ways, etc.. It’s just about human decency. Especially if I knew for a FACT it wasn’t something they’d do if they were sober…but even if I didn’t know that for a fact, I’d air on the side of caution. I think that knowing your limit, especially for a younger person, is a lot trickier than knowing NOT to penetrate someone who is extremely intoxicated. I mean, knowing your limit takes a lot of experimenting and most people will make mistakes when they’re young. That’s how they become wise and experienced. Taking advantage of those mistakes is predatory behavior, and it disturbs me when people defend that.

          • glorrierose

            Why does he have to know she was “blacked out drunk” in order to choose not to go ahead?

            How about not having sex with anyone who is drunk, period?

          • Required Field

            It’s rather hypocritical of you to expect the guy to be sober enough to follow that advice, while the girl gets a free pass for whatever bad decisions she made while she was completely plastered.

            So, the moral of the story is, if you’re planning on getting wasted, you need to remain conscious enough to realise that having sex in that condition is a very bad idea. Unless you’re female. In which case, just cry rape. Et tu, Brute?

          • Required Field

            Please note that I don’t intend to belittle anyone who’s been raped. No means no, regardless of how drunk either of the individuals was.

            What I am simply saying is that if someone gets black-out drunk entirely of their own free will and then has sex, and can’t remember consenting (or if they would never have consented if they had been sober)… blaming the guy who was just as drunk, or holding him to a higher expectation, is unfair.

          • Steve Joseph

            Guys who constantly complain about the “free pass” they perceive women as getting are immature. There are biological differences between men and women. If a guy is sober enough to have sex, he isn’t that drunk. You’re clearly a predator using every attempt to justify your actions in less than honest ways. Both genders have to deal with unpleasant circumstances as a consequence or circumstance of biology. I’m sure you scoff at women complaining about periods, pregnancy and birth. And you should scoff– because it is what it is and it ain’t gonna change. May I suggest that you also suck it up and deal.

          • Required Field

            “There are biological differences between men and women. If a guy is sober enough to have sex, he isn’t that drunk.”

            If you believe that a man’s body can’t react adequately when he’s drunk to achieve penetration during sex, you are just as stupid as the idiots who believe that a woman’s body can magically prevent a pregnancy when it’s “real” rape.

            I love the way you try to stereotype me. You know nothing about me and your accusations couldn’t be farther from the truth.

          • Jianju

            Because oftentimes both parties are intoxicated & neither of them is making very good decisions. In the morning, it’s the man’s fault.

        • heathermama

          i have a teenage son. here is what i told him… if the person you are with (woman or man) has been drinking then the answer to the “you wanna fool around/have sex/get busy” is ALWAYS NO! it is no because that other person is not fully capable of making an clear choice if they are drunk. so you wait! you wait until you go out another time and they are not drunk. you wait until they look you in the eye and say with out a doubt that YES they want to have sex with you, mess with your boy parts, make out… whatever. you wait until you get a YES from their MOUTH. AND even if they have had sex with you before… YOU ASK EVERY TIME! because you are not guaranteed sex with someone just because they have had sex with you or someone else in the past.
          why is this so freakin hard for people to teach their sons and for men to get a hold of. someone else’s body IS NOT YOURS TO HAVE SEX WITH…. EVER, unless they say YES to you. PERIOD!

      • disqus_n8o3B0eZX7

        It’s horrible that this happened to you. It’s horrible you’re being blamed after having the courage to come voice your experience. Mostly, it’s horrible we still live with the mentality that we are responsible for someone else’s actions.

        It was not your fault. You cannot be responsible for another person’s actions.

        To those commenting on his “impaired” judgement, nowhere is it mention that he was equally intoxicated or at all.

        Consent is a yes. Consent cannot be given if you are intoxicated. Whether or not she was unconscious or just incredibly drunk, it would have been obvious she was unable to give consent.

        We need to stop blaming people for a rapist’s actions. It is demeaning to the victims and is, frankly, an insult to men. By this mentality all men are rapists. All of them. The only thing separating men who have raped and men who haven’t is opportunity.

        • herzy

          What a joke. And you ask for gender equality?

        • FlacidMeatLog

          No.. getting wasted and making out means that she was trying to fool around. A lot of false ‘rapes’ are just regret in the morning.

          • Andrew Coleman

            But if she was wasted she couldn’t give consent to “fool around” and therefore it was rape.
            If you’re drunk you are legally incapable of giving consent, like a child is legally incapable of giving consent.
            The guy raped her, it’s as simple as that.

          • FlacidMeatLog

            Yeah, dude.. that’s not true. If she were drunk and drove a car, would she by your logic, not be guilty either? haha

          • Andrew Coleman

            That’s not my logic that’s the law.
            Driving a car is diffident, as the person under the influence is breaking the law.
            If you do something illegal when drunk you’ve still broken the law but if someone has sex with you when you’re drunk they have broken the law.
            If you ask someone if you can have they car when they’re drunk and they say “yes” that’s not legally binding when they sober up, it’s the same with sex.

          • Christine

            making out does NOT mean that someone wants to have sex.

          • FlacidMeatLog

            Um, yeah.. it does. I feel bad for people like you who seem to have no power over themselves.

          • Christine

            i have “no power” over myself because i DON’T have sex with every boy i kiss?? i believe you have this backwards kid. A woman with no power over herself would cave to the urges and desires of her body, not stop herself from succumbing to those. Someone with control of herself and her body can show affection without “going all the way.”

          • FlacidMeatLog

            But, by your logic, then when she ‘just happens to get drunk and make out’, it’s now someone else’s responsibility to control her urges. lol You’re one of those women’s rights (lol) types, huh?

          • vaness

            why do I have a feeling you had sex with a drunk chick?

          • catholicBishopZ

            What’s wrong with having sex with drunk girls? They’re easy and slutty.

      • Nora Anne-Marie

        I want to take you and hug you (with your permission) and shield you from the shitshow of victim blaming comments coming your way. You are NOT at fault. Don’t let anyone think you are. And know there are some of us out there fighting the good fight, including the dad of this original article. All we can do is try and continue to educate those that try and victim blame. Don’t take these trolls to heart.

    • Vera Murphy

      every boy/man who ” looks” at a woman is not intending to assault them…. Travelling on an after school bus with teens of both sexes I have heard more comments from teen girls ( ie. he has nice buns”) etc. than from the teen boys. What would you say if the conversation was guy talking about girl… you would call it sexual harassment.. I agree that sexual assault is a terrible thing but applying the behavior to every male over 5 years old is overkill….

      • Naji Wench

        Actually, I would encourage parents to have a discussion like this with all of their children, regardless of gender or orientation. I think it’s important to teach our kids that ALL people are people, humans..not just our boys.

      • Nora Anne-Marie

        No one is saying we shouldn’t have these conversations with young women as well. And while men can be victims of sexual harassment on a one-on-one basis with a woman, rape culture is a culture in which our laws and social practices are constructed in a way where women are expected to dress a certain way, talk and act certain ways, lest they become a victim. If they are harassed or assaulted, too many times it is seen as their fault. “Shouldn’t have worn that.” “Shouldn’t have been drinking so much.” “Shouldn’t have been there at that hour.” “Asked for it.” “Didn’t say yes explicitly, but also didn’t say no.” This is pervasive. Sexism is largely framed in terms of women being victims because traditionally, and there are many vestiges of this, men intrinsically have more social power. So when women say something about or to men, they are speaking “up” in a sense, to the subject we treat as powerful. When a man says something to or about women, they are speaking “down” to them, as the oppressed party. Like I said, on case-by-case basis men can absolutely be abused, raped, and assaulted. But, as a social problem, we live in a culture where women are blamed for assaults they suffer. Both men and women need to understand why that isn’t true, and why violence is always and absolutely entirely the fault of the perpetrator.

        • heathermama

          THANK YOU! YES!

        • Jianju

          With women working as doctors, politicians, CEOs, & so forth, what is this “socially constructed ;lace” you speak of?

      • glorrierose

        If that’s what you read off of this article, you need to read it again.

    • Crystal Kempher

      Joan, have you found a support group at all? Pandora’s Aquarium (www is a really great site. I’ve been a member off and on for years. It’s a good way to connect with fellow survivors, many of whom are dealing with the same things we are.

    • TL Huffmeister

      As a sexual assault survivor myself, I have worked hard over the years to not blame myself. I still have times when I don’t want even my husband to touch me and it’s been 20 years since that time of my life. It will never be something we can just “get over”. It is a day to day process to wake up and move forward. There are months and months when I don’t even think about it and there are days when it’s on my mind all day long. My thoughts are with you and all survivors. We just need to remember, WE DID NOTHING WRONG! IT WAS THEIR CHOICE, NOT OURS! We are survivors, Joan, and nothing and no one can take that truth away from us. Big hugs to you.

      • L Norman

        I was raped by my ex husband almost 17 years ago, he held a knife to my throat and I thought I was going to die that night. He was arrested and taken to jail. I was a divorced mom with four children 5 and under, and I had just started back to college the month before. I wanted to just completely drop out of school, but I didn’t, I dropped to half time for the trimester and then went back to full time the following one. I wanted to just curl up and die but I had to keep going–for myself and for my kids.

        During the trial I was painted as the vindictive ex-wife and I guess the mentality was that we had been married so how could I have possibly have said “no”. Anyway, he was acquitted of all charges–1st degree sexual assault, use of a weapon to commit a felony, burglary (don’t know how he got off on that one since he came in through my 5 year old daughter’s bedroom window)–which would have put him away for years. So believe me when I say that I know what it’s like to be a victim–I was victimized by both my ex and the justice system.

        But read my words carefully, rape is NOT about sex, it is not about pleasure, it is about power and control.

        The first step to recovery is to stop ALLOWING the attacker to have control over you. As long as a victim continues to allow what happened to control how she dresses, whether or not she wears make-up, who she engages in sexual contact with and when, etc… Then she is STILL allowing the perpetrator to have power and control over her and she is STILL in a way blaming herself for what happened to her and is STILL a VICTIM.
        TLH, please learn to separate the violence that happened to you from the loving contact that your husband gives you. They are two very different things. In fact, I would say that when you are feeling that way is when you need to go and get comfort from your husband. Don’t allow that animal to continue to have power over you. I still think about what happened, especially when this topic comes up, and sometimes I just want to cry, but I allow the memory of what happened make me stronger. I refuse take any crap from anyone. I am not A victim, I WAS a victim.
        That being said, my only about the drinking and sexual contact is that I wish people would control their drinking. Getting drunk is not a responsible way to behave and I hate that our society seems to equate drunkenness with “a good time”. I have 2 daughters and I have 2 sons. I have taught them how to drink responsibly. Do I think a woman should be blamed for being raped by someone after she has been drinking? No, absolutely not. But I am one of those who says that she is responsible for getting herself into that state (unless she was drugged). Yes… With all of the stories about women being taken advantage of while drunk, what I don’t understand is why do women continue to put themselves in that situation? There are reasonable steps that can be taken to lessen the chances. But drinking to the point of what could best be described as “alcohol induced amnesia”, where you don’t remember what happened, does not necessarily mean rape.

    • erbmon

      Assault IS someone’s fault, just not yours. If you don’t blame your rapist then no one will.

    • Ansel Sierra Ferreira

      It is not, Joan. It NEVER is. I am proud that you decided to share your experience with us, regardless of what others might think, but I want to encourage in your heart the thought that it is not your fault.
      Much love,

    • glorrierose

      Joan, I was a victim of continual sexual assault by my parents when I was a small child, with memories beginning at about age 5. When someone says a woman should be aware of how she dresses so as not to be sexually provocative, I have to wonder what it was I wore as a five year old that made my father choose to use me in that way. If it doesn’t apply to a five-year-old, it doesn’t apply to an adult either.

      And yet still, at age 65, I deal with feelings of helplessness, loss of control, and a sense of responsibility for what happened to me as a child. This is all part of the rape culture that tells us that the powerless are responsible for the actions of the powerFUL.

      Nate Pyle, THANK YOU. I will be saving this to use with every online discussion that centers around how men can’t be blamed for what they do when women act or dress “provocatively.”

    • NatePyleHomo

      No, it was because you are a shameless slut whore.

  • Kaye Blackford

    Thank you for posting your viewpoint. For a long time, I’ve been trying to point out that we ALL are responsible for our own thoughts and actions. I’ve been so tired of hearing how it’s always the female’s fault for the male’s thoughts and/or actions because of the way she behaves or the way she is dressed–not to make light of her actions.
    Yes, she does need to respect herself enough to be modest in her actions and appearance. At the same time, he needs to respect himself enough to be modest in his actions and appearance, too. AND, both need to respect the other as God’s treasure–viewing and treating the other in that way.
    God did not intend for either male or female to just be objects of use at someone else’s discretion, be it visually, physically, or other. He commands us to love each other, and that includes respect. Thanks for sharing.

    • Joseph Mentor Nichols

      I believe that we have the ability to choose how we wish to be perceived by others. So you really cannot be angry with someone who calls you out on it.

      Though I will never believe that anyone’s appearance warrants physical or sexual assault. Verbal assault should be dismissed if you truly believe you are doing the right thing. Hearing the opinions of others is almost always enlightening in some way or another.

      • Boomz41

        “Verbal assault should be dismissed if you truly believe you are doing the right thing.” Um, what???

        So if you decide that what I am wearing is slutty (in YOUR view) it’s totally OK for you to yell nasty things at me on the street?????

        • Joseph Mentor Nichols

          Hearing the opinion of another person should not change or dissuade your belief system unless you wish it to.

          Do you think those we call terrorists care what we call them? They have a belief system and they adhere very strongly to it.

          Do you think our outcries and protest against participating in Syria’s civil war should be silenced?

          Our freedom of speech and our right to express our opinion is sacred to us. You have the same right to turn to any individual who you deem disrespectful and to protest.

          • Rhaina Kincaid

            Hurtful words still hurt. You feel no sense of outrage and anger when people call you a bigot, misogynist, or asshole for the views you express here that are hateful to women who choose to live their own lives in a way you don’t approve?

            Modesty is societal and varies from region to region. In some cultures women can walk bare breasted an not be molested but may not show other parts of their bodies or be considered shameful. I’d rather be a naturalist than wear a burka personally.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            Unfortunately, the way people choose to act around me have direct impact on my life. This in itself allows me to justify myself and my need to speak out.

            I have been called everything in the book and at the end of the day I know who I am. I know what I stand for. I stand for all that is good. At least what in my opinion qualifies as good. I am an altruist. I strive to be the best possible influence to those around me and to speak out against ill will and wrong doing. I realize there are grey areas that many people do not agree upon but that doesn’t prevent me from having an opinion on these issues.

            If it were up to me people would live on islands made up of a population full of people who all have the same standards and philosophies as each other. That way everyone could be happy.

  • Pingback: Wanderings of the Week 8/18/13 | My Life on the Balance Beam()

  • Amy

    Thank you for having the guts to wish this for your son. It is often far easier to keep our conviction for ourselves and dole out rules for our children. Being willing to teach your son the process is a far more daunting task. Thank you.

  • C&A

    Hello! My friend posted this and my husband and I discussed it. First of all, I get the heart of the blog an we think you are absolutely right. As a woman, I feel like this should also apply to us and the way we see people too. :) My husband did have a comment about Solomon giving a firm warning to his sons about some women being an open pit. lol. For women, some men can be an open pit as well. My husband thought that we should all ask Christ to transform us to have this kind of discipline but we should also be on guard against the kind people who really would try to blatantly tempt us (I’m talkin’ Delilah status here). Great thoughts though on purity and trying to see people the way that Jesus sees people. May Jesus continue to grow our hearts to faithfulness to Himself and our spouses, and may He til the soil of our children’s hearts so that they are responsive to His word. God bless you brother.


  • Daniel Jefferies

    @napid79:disqus very much appreciate your perspective. Thanks for writing. Especially the part about how fear plays a role and how communities with conservative morals and faith can tend to increase the problem of fear instead of diminish it.

    This message of replacing fear with love and respect is so needed.

  • Spanner1960

    Maybe he will talk to you first and teach you that he may not be interested in women…

    Understanding flows in both directions.

    • worldpeacecutie

      He is teaching his son real Christian bible based values, which do not operate as the world encouraging backward alternative lifestyles as if it’s ok, it’s not and not according to the will of God.

      • Spanner1960

        Christianity is the lifestyle choice, often imposed and indoctrinated from parents upon their children; being gay is not.

        It is also neither backward nor alternative. It is the only choice for those willing to recognise their sexuality. I would say a bunch of people that still read out of a 2000 year old book of superstitious hokum were the backward ones, if anybody.

        • sirthor

          the point here is that he is teaching his son not to do the natural thing. to rise up above the natural man.

          as for the 2000 yr old thing, God still directs his children today and stated in very certain terms were he stands on the subject.

          • Spanner1960

            So you are saying that “following God” and “doing the natural thing” are different?

            I would have assumed that God created nature, so this appears to be some theological paradox.

            Personally, I trust my instincts long before listening to somebody attempting to impose their superstitious values upon me. These “certain terms” have been translated, rewritten and interpreted so many times, the truth is, nobody knows what they mean. The Bible was written by men to control others; I prefer to define my own path, not listen to some 2000 year old village elder.

          • Barry1234

            A lot of people have “trusted their instincts” and fallen off the cliff doing so.

          • Crystal Witten

            I have to point out that there are non-theistic ideas about morality. Look into philosophy and ethics.

            I found that the best parts of the bible are actually very simple ideas. They’re not that hard come to the conclusions on your own. Love, acceptance, turning the other cheek, treat others the way you’d like to be treated. These are very basic ideas. All religions have wisdom, definitely.

            I personally think that following the Bible literally is problematic and distracts from the more important ideas that improve humanity. Just look at the Westboro Baptist church. They quote the bible, but bring nothing but hate and negativity to the world. People tend to cherry pick the ideas that resonate with their own bigotry. People focus on the homosexuality bits, which there aren’t many, because they personally are uncomfortable people who are different than them and want to use the Bible to back up their judgments. Yet other ideas like mixed fibers, eating pigs and shellfish, slavery, women being cast away while on their period, and plenty of other ideas are overlooked.

            Being unskeptical and following something blindly can do great harm. One loses sight of the big picture when you focus on arbitrary rules and are self righteous, instead of focusing on being a good person.

          • Boomz41

            I wish I could like this comment a million times.

          • Aaron Rosenberg

            “Sin” implies an offended deity. As you cannot produce said deity, please don’t pretend the hard work has actually been accomplished to provide evidence for the deity. It hasn’t. Please don’t attempt to justify your personal bigotry with superstition.

          • Marsue

            I really feel for you. You are so confused. The Bible was indeed written buy man, BUT inspired by GOD.

          • kup47

            So your thinking it is natural for a man or women to lust, rape etc?? I don’t like you values.

          • Wren

            Yeah, lust is natural and pretty wonderful in my opinion. Rape may be natural for some people, but it is always bad. And rape has nothing to do with lust. It is about power and control.

          • Aaron Rosenberg

            Why do you speak of God as if any work has ever been accomplished on your behalf to show that any god exists? None has. Zilch. Relying on superstition to justify your personal bigotry is both lazy and cowardly.

          • sirthor

            there are things in this world that you know exist and have not seen because you have seen the effects of said things. i know God exist because i have seen the effects of his existence in my life and life the life of others. too numerable to expound here.
            His is also proven by his teachings. when experimented upon, bring about the promised result.

          • Aaron Rosenberg

            “there are things in this world that you know exist and have not seen because you have seen the effects of said things”

            And these things are scientifically deducible. God is not.

            ” i know God exist because i have seen the effects of his existence in my life and life the life of others. too numerable to expound here.”

            I’m sorry, but this has nothing to do with “knowledge.” Anecdotal accounts are unreliable. Anybody can claim that god has changed his life. This goes no distance to showing that any god is real. I could as easily rely on any imagined mental construct to change my life. You confuse internal, subjectivity with external influence.

            “His is also proven by his teachings. when experimented upon, bring about the promised result.”

            Confirmation bias abounds. When they don’t work, it’s the work of the devil, yes? But when, they do, O hallelujah! You are been swindled out of your reasoning.

          • sirthor

            i would agree with your last statement. though the experiment can be tried on your own, if you have the courage.

            but why that form of proof applies to science and not God baffles me. you may be thinking of things intangible. I’m not.

          • Aaron Rosenberg

            “you may be thinking of things intangible. I’m not.”

            Then, all you need to is provide the evidence for your god. I look forward to reading your peer-reviewed article in a reputable scientific journal. When you receive your Nobel Prize, I will be the first in line to shake your hand.

            Until such a time comes, you’re back to the drawing board.

          • Aaron Rosenberg

            “there are things in this world that you know exist and have not seen because you have seen the effects of said things”

            What we know exists is the domain of knowledge, and that means we’ve scientifically deduced their existence. When we see effects but don’t know how they were achieved, we are humble enough to say, “I don’t know.” Defaulting to the Abrahamic deity (or any superstitious explanation) is not an option.

        • Vertebrae8

          And here I thought you were making a reference to the lifestyle of service to God that St. Paul sees as superior to marriage. But you’re just another homosexualizer. Should have guessed.

        • Marsue

          whatever gave you the idea that the Bible was a bunch of superstitious hokum. Need to wake up before it is too late.

          • Spanner1960

            Oh please. It was a book written by men to control other men. In 2000 years not a single shred of evidence has been shown that any of it is true.

      • Wren

        Just because you teach your son that something is wrong, does not mean that he will agree.

      • belgianchic

        oh dear, please don’t act as if being gay is a ‘backward alternative lifestyle’.

    • Raincannotbeonfire

      I’d hate to see what other “conversations” this father has with his son. Even if everything he says is right, this is not the right way to teach a son. Give him the right question and you can avoid this entire soapbox. You cannot honestly say that this is a conversation or that it is FOR a son.

      • Crystal Witten

        Well he’s writing an article, not the literal back and forth .

    • belgianchic

      awesome! I was wondering, this son may very well be looking at other guys with lust….not everyone is straight.

    • Cpt_Justice

      Possibly, at which point this conversation will not necessarily need to take place. As in, he wouldn’t be looking at women in that way.

      • Spanner1960

        Do you think gay men don’t look at other men in the same way?
        Everybody has a sexual drive, it is up to one’s own morals as to how it is moderated.

    • LovingGodthruHisChildren

      Even if that were true, wouldn’t much of the message still apply? Regardless of someone’s orientation, the possibility for objectifying other people and using them sexually is still very real. While men do it to women, men also do it to other men, women do it to other women, and women do it to men. The idea of treating every human being as a true child of God holds true for all genders and orientations, regardless of what they wear, how many tattoos/piercings they have, what skin/eye/hair color they have, their body type/height/weight/muscle tone, or whatever other superficial things you can think of.

  • Debbie Fuller

    Perfect – and thanks!

  • maf_123

    Could you please define what you mean by “objectify”? Thanks!

    • Boomz41

      To view a person as a prop or object rather than a holistic being.

  • Mark Walker

    Ok, but the language of that future conversation will have to be changed from suitable to a college student to that of a 10-12yr. old, because that’s likely when the talk will need to happen.

    Plus, dad thinks he is a mind reader. The wording in the article does accuse the son of “impure thoughts”. Seems like projection to me.

    And then there’s the, “What the heck is going on aspect?”. It isn’t like young boys (or girls) are tuned into the transformations that are occurring and understand the implications.

    Give setting the example your best shot Pops, and skip the lecture.

  • Jenny

    Thank you for speaking to how it affects our relationships in the church. I’m a 30 year old single woman and my friends/I have had that part of the convo often. We feel that. We wish that was not so. How do we change that? I mean is there a way to discuss that safely? Thanks! Great post!

  • Aubrey Denton

    I greatly enjoyed the message and spirit of this post. Thank you for it. :) I would love to see, when you actually are called upon to use it, how the language changes. As an earlier commenter said, the age at which your son will likely be when this needs to be addressed is likely to be much younger than the age toward which this language style is geared. If you get to that point sooner rather than later, I hope you re-post this conversation with the modified tone and style – I say this for selfish reasons, because I love the content and would love to use your wording as a “script” with my own sons in the future! Thanks again.

  • Hope Forti

    I honestly do not understand how someone could come from a Christian perspective and disagree with this. In the end, you don’t give ANY “liberal” should/should not on women’s dress.

    And you don’t give any allowance for men to look and lust.

    You just acknowledge the fact that men can be loving toward “scantily clad” women. Am I correct?

    This is all about trading a base passion for a loving, human perspective.

    My first thought after reading your last line was, “What if Jean Val Jean didn’t have this ability to look at Fantine with love and compassion and humanity? What if all he could feel was embarrassment or a desire to tell her to cover up?” He was a strong and heroic character because he saw her needs, desires and humanity.

    Just like Jesus.

    Again, I’m not sure how a Christian could read call to see humans and say, “Yeah, but, weaker brother…” Are we really THAT afraid of making men responsible for their thoughts? “Immodesty” WILL be a factor in every man’s life. So this is a beautiful approach.

    I’m close to giving birth to a boy, and I will definitely save this. I’ve already shared it with his strong and very human father.

    I found this article via Jonalyn Fincher who has taken on modesty rules very well this year at Her husband, Dale, wrote a wonderful series on myths of the modesty lifeguards at will be sharing this post via social media tomorrow.

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  • Robin M

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart from writing about this in a way that is accessible and empowering to men and women alike. Wow! sharing with…everybody I know – found it via Soulation.

  • Timothy D. Hooper

    As much I agree with the article in principle, the problem lies in the word “should” and I say that because I wonder what the reference point for the word is in this case. If it is because of social conditioning and philosophy of women, sure. We should be able to see a women, no matter how they are dressed, from the heart. The male brain, however, works differently than the female brain and if the male doesn’t want his brain engaged the way the male brian engages, don’t look. No amount of philosophising how the male mind “should” see women differently is going to change it. And women who don’t want to be objectified by men need to be aware of the way things are, not the way they feel they “should” be. That being said, just because a woman has little to no consideration of what kind of mental gymanstics consciencious men go through when women dress the way they do, it never gives the man the right to treat her as an object…. Next on the parallel bars….

    • Winston Booth

      I’m sorry, but its pretty insulting to men everywhere to say that our minds just “work differently” and we have no control over our actions when we see a woman we like. That’s just an excuse. We’re adults for goodness sake. Let’s act like it. Personal responsibility anyone?

      • Timothy D. Hooper

        Well, it’s pretty ignorant to ignore biological realities for the sake of pious platitiude but go ahead. My mother always told me denial to some was more than just a river in Egypt. You want to live in your little politically correct socially irresponcible fantasy land? Enjoy the rainbows.

        • Winston Booth

          So it’s socially irresponsible (the correct spelling, by the way, and you probably should’ve realized the word isn’t “responcible”) to suggest that men take responsibility for their actions? I live in a fantasy land because I expect my fellow man NOT to act like pigs? To treat each woman with dignity and respect and not just view them as a series of holes to stick it in is me “living in denial?” It’s just “too hard” to change men? These all sound like lousy excuses. Really listen to the things your saying and think about how you could explain that to your kid.

          I’ll take the rainbow over whatever it is you have to offer, thank you very much.

          • Timothy D. Hooper

            A spelling error gets you that worked up? Interesting. I feel mybe i shud mace sum mor jest to cee howe yu respund…
            I never said that men shouldn’t live responcibly (have fun with that). I said everyone should. Men and women. Wasn’t making excuses. Was making a point. But you seem to want to be angry instead of have a discussion so go ahead. I don’t see where I said anything was too hard (except now maybe thinking it’s too hard for you to read my comments rationally) but go ahead, infer away!
            We live as men and women and we are all responsible to treat each other with respect. And as well as respect, we also have to use common sense. One cannot expect another to see them for anything more than they present themselves to be. Take how you presented yourself to me… Should I assume your best intentions even though you presented yourself as a pompus ass? Dress, by either a man or a woman, is advertising. It just is. And responsible people know when advertising isn’t accurate and respond accordingly. It’s the same way with men and women. But one shouldn’t get bent out of shape when someone assumes you’re selling what you’re advertising.
            Now, go nuts with that. Toss me a rainbow!

          • Winston Booth

            I don’t know what your disques does, but when I misspell something, it’s underlined in red. I can right click and find the correct spelling. Anyone who doesn’t bother to double check their spelling before posting on the internet really doesn’t have a good excuse anymore, and your attitude of “Spelling? Pffft, NERD!” is…a bit worrisome. Is that what you tell your kids too? That spelling doesn’t matter?

            “No amount of philosophising (again, spelling, how is anyone going to take your positions seriously if you can’t even be bothered to double check before you post) how the male mind “should” see women differently is going to change it.”

            That right there is where you infer that its “just too hard” for men to change. Semantics. And guess what? It is changing, men all over are changing, me included, so don’t try and tell me we can’t change how men see women.

            “Dress, by either a man or a woman, is advertising. It just is. And
            responsible people know when advertising isn’t accurate and respond
            accordingly. It’s the same way with men and women. But one shouldn’t getbent out of shape when someone assumes you’re selling what you’re

            What is this attitude of advertising? What exactly are you trying to say here? That women shouldn’t get “bent out of shape” when someone “assumes” you’re selling what their advertising? Do I have that right? You do realize that “assumes” in this case usually means “cat call and grab a woman and put your fingers inside of her” (and yes, that happens FAR more often then it should). Are you saying women shouldn’t get “bent out of shape” about that? That they should just sit there and take it? Are women on display just for you, 24/7? Can they not look nice without having any sexual or romantic intentions whatsoever? You’re sounding dangerously close to advocating for a society where women are forced to dress more “modestly.” It’s the same mentality as those in control in the Middle East, which, surprise! Doesn’t curb rape statistics in the slightest.

            And pardon me, but I was responding to you calling me ignorant, accusing me of having a pious attitude, etc etc etc…if anyone started things off nasty, it was you. It’s right up there for everyone to see. Don’t try and pretend I was the one who started things off less than pleasant. I called for personal responsibility. You inferred I was a “fag”. Don’t pretend the rainbow comment meant otherwise. You thought I’d take that as an insult. Guess what? I don’t.

          • Timothy D. Hooper

            Oh yeah, rainbows and fags… another way people can get bent out of shape by assuming references that were never there. And my son is the nerd, smart as hell and people like me will live their happy lives working for someone like him. The boy makes me proud on a variety of levels. I admire nerds. You, my not so friend, could not aspire to any such level in my books.
            I know many people like you. Just want an arguement by taking a part of a conversation, blowing it out of proportion, then taking the assumption to the enth degree to make a point that they are “so much better, well informed, educated, savy, whatever” than the other guy.
            No, my computer does not spell check this site and to deflect to spelling to show ones superiority in a conversation not even closely realted to spelling skills is pathetic ploy and gives me yet another insight into who you are. Sorry, I don’t like you.
            Any you probably don’t like me. I don’t care. It doesn’t change our wiring nor our responsibilities to our fellow man or woman. Want to make an arguement where there isn’t one, go ahead. Just don’t bother with me. You’re already irrelevant.

        • Winston Booth

          Oh, and all talk of “biological realities” and “men just can’t help themselves” always sounds way too similar to this rambling pathetic excuse for a human being. Just keep him in mind to see the extreme of that position…this “its not my fault, I’m a man!” position:

        • Leigha7

          “Biological realities” like the fact that research shows that women also respond strongly to visual stimuli? Or that women talk about hot guys all the time, in similar ways as men talk about hot women?

          The differences aren’t nearly as great as you think they are.

          • Timothy D. Hooper

            I’m curious as to how you came to the conclusion that I thought the differences between men and women in this respect were great at all. If anything, I think women have as much capacity and fewer boundaries (set by society) on the issue. The conversation, however was based on the article “father to son” and therefore directed predominantly to the male issue. Read my conversation with Mr. Winston, the spell check guy, you’ll see I lump us all together.
            We are what we are. That’s what we are given to work with. Never once insinuated there shouldn’t be work. People tend to hate realties when they don’t support their presuppositions but the reality is we do not naturally look at each other with respect. We have to overcome those natural tendancies to make ourselves and the lives of those around us better.
            Sorry Winston if there is any spelling mistakes.

          • Belle Vierge

            Sexual attraction isn’t lust. A biological response to visual stimuli isn’t lust. Perhaps the confusion over the two is the catalyst for your argument with Winston. You said we can’t control biology–that is true. Arousal is a natural, biological reaction, but it is NOT a sin. Winston is referring to our minds, our thoughts, and what we do with arousal. THAT is under our control. If I look at an attractive man and acknowledge I am sexually attracted to him, that’s okay. If I look at an attractive man and start imagining him in such a way that dehumanizes him and focuses on my own pleasure, that is lust, and that is wrong.

            I’ve written about this distinction more in detail if you’re interested.

          • Timothy D. Hooper

            I agree. Not sure why so many get up in arms over how a biological responce makes our brains work. I’m not a woman so I can’t speak as one but, as a man, it’s natural to look at a woman who presents herself in an overtly sexual way and see her as an object. I have to (and do) make a consciouse decision to overcome that and see her as a person. But I do and we should. All I’m saying is that what we should do is not our natural responce.

          • Belle Vierge

            Noooooo, objectifying women isn’t natural. Having an erection is natural. Ignoring a woman’s personhood and thinking of her as a sex object for your pleasure is a perversion of healthy sexuality.

          • Timothy D. Hooper

            Actually, it is natural and that’s the problem. People don’t like the science (it’s been clinically proven; do the research) so the shoot the messenger. Sorry, it’s natural for the part of a man’s brain associated with tools to light up when he sees what he interprets as a sexually provacative presentation of a woman. Does that “objectify” them? Not necessarily. It just shows what the natural default is.
            If you don’t believe me, look into it. It’s not my science but it is real, verifiable, repeatable science.

        • Boomz41

          The “biological realities” certainly exist insofar as it is, of course, almost impossible for a man to see a naked woman or think about a naked woman without thinking about sex. In the same way that it is almost impossible for a woman to see or think about a naked man.. without thinking about sex.

          When you walk by a woman whose outfit turns you on, do you stare after her lustfully? Do you say something to her that reduces her to nothing more than a body (“Hey sexy!” “Holy tits!”)

          Or do you think “wow, she’s hot!” and either move along or even try to talk to her in a respectful way, to see what she – the PERSON – is like?

          The difference between those two reactions comes down to recognizing the human being under the body. It’s really that simple. To assert that men are incapable of making that recognition when a scantily clad woman walks by is insulting to men and nothing more than a lazy excuse to be a shameless horndog.

          • Timothy D. Hooper

            That is pretty much what I’ve been saying all along. Initial biologically induced internal responce, mental gymanstics to get your head squared away, brain in gear, mouth in motion (if any conversation ensues). My only point was there are adverse, biological issues that men face. I know this because of the studies. I know women’s brains are wired differently and I have not been able to find any research on what area of the brain is initially activated when they see an attractive man. If the tool area lit up, it would probably be because he’s able to use one and fix a leaky faucet (toung in cheek! one of the most proficient plumbers I know is a woman!)
            I have never inferred men have the right to be pigs. Ever.

    • Pi

      Our brains also default to violence as a means of resolving disputes, as animals. Yet we moved beyond that and develop speech as we grow up to communicate. Our brains default to wanting us naked, because clothes are unnatural. Yet we moved beyond that and wear clothes as soon as we’re born, so being naked feels unnatural to us.

      Anyone who claims that we are unable to overcome a biological “urge” is laughable and looking for a way out of holding people accountable for their actions.

      • Timothy D. Hooper

        I never said we could not overcome our “biological urge”. I only pointed out that our brains interpret women differently when they apear in an overtly sexually way (in many ways a culturally releative term). Can’t be helped. Men are wired that way. My contention is that you have to expect that men will naturally default to that interpretation then it is up to them to do the mental gymnastics to overcome that natural inclination. If you are going to comment on my words, at least read them.
        And to ad insult to injury, women who get offended by the behaviour of men when they knowingly dress in a way to garnish the most sexual response from men then go into an environment where men are under the influence of alcohol and most likely to lact the mental dextarity for afore mentioned gymnastics are inviting trouble. It’s the equivalent of a parking your mercedes in an area known for its crime rate. Sure, there are laws and moral codes that say you shouldn’t strip someone’s car but it is in the best intrest of the car owner not to park his car where it most likely will be. Not every passer by will just strip it with their eyes.
        When people choose to defy logic and make safe decisions, they shouldn’t wonder that the odds of unpleasant consequence happening to them rise. No amount of rainbow thoughts towards it is going to change that. That is why I teach my boys to not come under the influence of alcohol nor be a slave to their physical urges and treat women with respect.
        I also tell my daughter when how she dresses and where she goes is inviting trouble. No amount of wishing things were different is going to change the reality of what is.

        • Belle Vierge

          Wow. Okay. So when I read your comments above, I read them in the most sympathetic of lights, thinking the argument was mostly over semantics, attraction vs. lust.

          But this comment is rape apology.

          Women are not cars. Women are not objects. We do not exist in a state of constant consent. Asking men not to sexually harass us or sexually assault us is not asking too much. Choosing to be female in public is not the equivalent of parking a nice car in a shady part of town. You realize that sexual harassment and sexual assault happen to women regardless of what we’re wearing, right? Regardless of where we are?

          I’ve experienced street harassment in broad daylight in the wealthiest suburb of Paris. I’ve experienced street harassment at night, wearing jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, in a wealthy suburb of Manhattan. I’ve been sexually assaulted wearing a winter coat. I’ve been sexually assaulted in my home.

          I wrote an open letter to rape apologists last year. The section that applies to you is in the latter half.

          I’m glad that you’re teaching your sons to treat women with respect. I hope you’re teaching them to treat ALL women with respect, and not just ones who dress or act a certain way. Along with teaching your daughter reasonable precautions, you should teach her that if something happens to her, it’s not her fault. If you’re not teaching both, then she will think that if she doesn’t follow certain rules perfectly, then sexual assault is her fault. And it is NEVER the fault of a sexual assault victim.

          • Timothy D. Hooper

            I grew up being bullied and beat up for no reason. Violence isn’t the fault of the victim. All I’m saying is that there are realities and responsibilities. Realities never supercede responsibilities.
            The car was an illustration to make a point. No, women are not cars. Neither are men. People are of vast greater importance and therefore must be protected to an even greater degree. What I was inferring was that if you make consciencious decisions to protect your car, how much more should you be concerned about protecting your person? That should make sense…
            I’ve had my car stolen from in front of a police cruiser. No matter how much care we take in protecting things, there is always someone who doesn’t care. As I can not completely eliminate danger even towards a stupid car, I can not completely eliminate dangers towards my person. Or my daughter.
            I would do anything to protect my daughter from harm save taking away her rights to her own personhood. That doesn’t mean I don’t warn her about how she dresses, where she goes, and who she associates with. For some reason, that’s called good parenting but when you share the same thoughts to anyone other than your kid, your some neandrethal…

      • Timothy D. Hooper

        Anyone who reads an explanation and sees it as an excuse is looking for an arguement and not understanding. All I am saying is this is what the research has discovered as to why men naturally default where they do. It does not excuse bad behaviour. It is understanding so that we can know what it is we have to evercome. It does no good to deny we default this way any more than it is healthy to deny our tendencies towards violence. Burying our heads in the sand does not change what’s going on. Knowing what it is we are up against does.
        It also should explain why they are more likely to be a distraction to men if the present themselves in sexually provocative ways. But this is where womens rights supercede the realities we live in and they have the right to distract men to get what they want but get get upset when they get what they don’t.
        Don’t hear me saying men have the right to be sexist jackasses and harass women on any level for any reason. But there are some men who don’t care and it’s the equivalent of throwing blood in the water then swimming with the sharks.
        Advertisers know this, sales companies know this, bars know this. That is why they use and attract women with sex apeal. They know men’s brains will misfire and they will do (spend) what they normally wouldn’t.
        Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just pointing out the way things are… Not the way I wish they were. I have a daughter who gets her looks from her mom and therefore a lot of guys. I know what they are thinking and how they look at her. I so wish things weren’t the way they are.

        • Pi

          Do you go through “mental gymnastics” every time you decide to wear clothes in the morning, because your instinct tells you that it’s wrong? The study you have linked was not a study of men living in a vacuum – it does not address what men want biologically. Those men, like all other men and women, are affected by the messages of society, the messages that women are objects. If someone asked me as part of a study if I feel uncomfortable about the idea of being naked in public, I would answer yes. Does that mean we have a biological imperative to wear clothes? Nope, just means that society has pounded “clothes are not optional” into my head since before I could understand the messages so now my brain is affected by those messages.

          We’re both looking at a blue ball here. You’re saying “I can see the ball is blue, thus the ball must have been blue when it was created.” I’m saying “I can see the ball is blue, thus the ball must have been painted blue at some point.” I’m also saying whether or not the ball was created blue, it can be painted white with the right messages from society.

          • Timothy D. Hooper

            What is sexually attractive is culturally mandated. Sure. That’s why my 19 yr old son thinks girls from the 80’s look kinda weird. I sure didn’t back then!
            Some cultures that have full frontal nudity and find bikinies risque. So it’s culturally madated. I don’t know how that impacts the article or my comments but sure.I have no problem with that. What is culturally mandated still brings us to th parallel bars. And no amount of saying what should or shouldn’t be is going to change what is.
            For example, no amount of saying clothing is optional is going to keep you from getting arrested for running nude at the local McDonalds.

    • Cpt_Justice

      No one is saying “Don’t react as men do.” We’re saying “Be polite/compassionate/decent & look beyond that initial reaction.”

      • Timothy D. Hooper

        Real Men recognize their natural reaction and choose to make a choice as to how they will proceed. Hopefully with politeness, compassion, respect, and all those other good qualities that raise us above our base instincts.

        • Cpt_Justice

          No one is saying “shocked” or “surprised.” Just disappointed. Especially since what is modest to one person is not to another. In some of the communities I have been in, a full-sleeved, baggy jersey with a bright floral pattern is considered “immodest” because it still draws the eye. So, who is to blame in that situation?

          • Timothy D. Hooper

            Blame? Not blaming anyone. My point was there is a biological predisposition for men to subconciously interpret women they percieve to be sexually stimulating as an object. Thus, I question how the word “should” is used in the article. Don’t really understand what all the fuss was about it as I could have cited documentation after documentation of the reality we live in. Never said it justified treating women as objects, objectifying them, or treating them disrespectfully. Just pointed out a scientifically proven baseline of the male brain. That’s it.

  • Samuel Walker

    I would tell this to my son much differently. I would say that the female body, and obsession over the female form, is part of your base nature. However, this disrupts your higher functioning abilities, which is what you must use to rise to power. When you see women as objects, you become a slave who doesn’t have ownership over himself anymore. Stay focused on your own life and your rise to power, and these women will come to you without you even trying.

  • Tracy

    I was just searching for a great way to talk to some teen-age boys about rape culture, and stumbled across this. I am so glad I did, I will now follow and recommend you to the parents of the youth in my ministry! I will also steal this not only for them, but for my own 10 year old son, who will be coming into this phase of his life sooner than I’m ready for it! God’s Peace to you!

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  • suz

    great post. very needed in our current fear-based and victim blaming culture. thank you. the comments to this post are, however, one of the primary reasons i could never follow a traditional religion (rather than spiritual). to be kind is my religion. in deed not just in word.

  • nugeme

    This is a fine post…but I don’t think we can release the young ladies from responsibility for their dress. I would hope more Moms would have a talk with their daughters. The fact is, women and girls ARE dressing more provocatively because the scriptural admonition for the older women to guide the girls is not being followed. Why? the OLDER women are dressing that way. In more and more churches – cleavage and thighs are the norm. I’m sorry – it’s outrageous.

    • Winston Booth

      They aren’t dressing that way just for you. Some people like to dress nice. Are you seriously saying people shouldn’t be allowed to dress the way they want to dress? Sounds pretty unamerican to me.

    • Pi

      Why is it outrageous? Really unpack it. Why do you find thighs and cleavage offensive? Why do you see it as sinful to be closer to the sinless naked state of Adam and Eve?

  • Jonathan Ervine

    Great post! This is a really important topic for dads to discuss with sons.

  • Jeremy Dew

    THIS. This forever. Perfectly said. Absolutely perfectly.

  • Jeremy Dew

    I’m going to be destroyed by the crazy people in this thread but at what point did being a decent human being and treating every one with respect and courtesy be something to vehemently argue religion over? Don’t you think Christ would behave in a respectful manner to others? Don’t you think that this is the exact kind of message that he’d want us giving our children? You people make me sick. You know nothing of the Muslin people beyond what your carefully controlled right wing media or your priest tells you.

    The message Nate is sending is not a challenge to your archaic misogynistic christian views, because they’re being given to his son, not you, not your son, his son. And hopefully his grandson, and so forth. And my son will learn them, as will others who are decent human beings.

    • Winston Booth

      I often think Jesus would be appalled by his followers today. Helping the sick? Feeding the poor? Protecting prostitutes from judgmental men? Any of this ringing a bell?

      • Pi

        Even going back to the Old Testament, Adam and Eve in their completely sinless state were both naked. And yet somehow, the closer you get to naked in dress, the more sinful you are.

        Religion, I tell ya.

        • Winston Booth

          Well, there’s the whole “Once they ate the apple of knowledge then they were less innocent and saw each other for the first time and covered up and knowledge is bad etc. etc. etc.” but yeah, it’s all silly, especially this constant claim of “Adam and Eve! Not Adam and Steve!” which, if we’re taking this to its extreme, someone suggested that had it been Adam and Steve…maybe their children would’ve been raised not to kill each other?

          • Alexander Bouterse

            if it had been Adam and Steve there were no children to raise .. so of course there would be no brothers to kill each other.

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  • twopence

    YES. Thank you for bringing in the part about the other sex, how humans would generally like to be treated as humans. I would walk to church in the morning being objectified outside one way, and sit in church being objectified in another. It infuriated me, as a female human. Thank you.

  • Dominique Storni

    This is really brilliant! (I would just have added, women are just one of the other sexes. Yeah, I’d explain that sex and gender are not binary)

  • screwliberalism

    You, sir, will be raising *men*…! Thank you!

  • Kerwalsky

    You’ve given me a lot to think about. As a woman, these are thoughts I could definitely see my husband and I sharing with our children someday–things I had not deeply thought about the need for.

    I also appreciated the closing point–that it’s not just what women want; it’s what all people want–to be really seen, as human beings, and respected & valued for who they really are, not what they look like–that men need to be seen for who they are as much as women do. There can be so much fear and prejudice and misunderstanding on both sides. When one gender or group of people or individual is objectified or vilified, the whole (human) race suffers for it. Thank you for this.

  • Ingrid Bloemheuvel

    Thanks for this article. As a single mother of a son I was worried how to communicate this to my son. There are no male persons in our life that I trust to educate my son well on the matter, so thanks. I’ll probably translate your words in Dutch to be absolutely sure my kid gets what you are communicating here.

  • Rachelle Hearn

    I love this. Thank you. :)

  • FlacidMeatLog

    This is ridiculous feminazi stuff… Women who dress like whores are whores. Lesson to my son, “If she looks like a whore, treat her as a whore.”

    • Ashley Moreno

      Get help.

    • Brambonius

      So, how does one treat whores? Jesus counted them as friends and treated them as decent human beings…

      • Boomz41

        Yep that was my understanding of it….

      • FlacidMeatLog

        He was just trying to get a discounted rate most likely. It’s science.

    • Boomz41

      To paraphrase:


  • Karl Komara

    I am drawn to the appearance of a woman’s shapely body. I am not afraid of her body, but what I can do in my heart because of me looking at her with lust. I try to avoid looking at a woman for fear that I will look with lust, but I recognize the beauty God created and it should be valued just as the woman herself should be valued. She is a person with dignity and it should be upheld and respected. I am a man. I see. I appreciate. I value and sometimes I cross the line and lust and objectify. I need help and the grace of God not to. See how dependent I am on our Lord. If not for his grace I would be lost. Now I just need a savior to help me overcome my tendency to sin with my eyes. He said, “If your right hand offends you cut it off. If your right eye offend you pluck it out. It is better to go into hell without these members than to be in hell with them.” I am lost without Jesus. Without him I can do nothing. I am tempted. Sometimes I sin. Sometimes I do not stray, but I need his help. He can help me. He always does. Jesus, you are a blessing to me and to all.

  • Denise W. Lane

    This is beautiful. Thank you.

  • Ashley Moreno

    You should do it BEFORE he looks! Disney’s movies…. have you seen the latest one, Planes?? The male character in that CARTOON checks out the female characters “propellors”. Start BEFORE they look. Don’t wait for the opportunity– just do it!

  • stacie

    I applaud your effort. Making your transformation process public is brave. It’s a shame that some chose to nitpick, question, or argue your honest intent. I expected to read a buddy of encouraging comments, positive feedback or constructive criticism. It’s a shame we don’t lift others up as believers.

  • justme8

    I love your wording and view of how men should view women and agree with it completely. As a sexual assault victim, I worry for both my children, my daughter and my son. While your article does equip me with a better way of speaking to my son on the worth of a women not equating to her clothing, I wonder how to teach my daughter. I worry and wonder how I can better equip my daughter to be confident yet modest without feeling it is her fault if a man views her as an object. I understand that dressing modestly does not prevent sexual assault. Yet I would prefer her to dress this way so that she does not present herself as an object to be desired but as the strong willed and respectful young women she will grow up to be. I want to help her prevent what happened to me from ever happening to her. I unfortunately can not teach every boy, man or man-child she comes in contact with, so how do I help her to respect her body and not learn to use it as a weapon as I did.

    How would you have this conversation with a daughter? How would you present this information and encourage her to be confident and modest, because in our worldly society sexualization of women is often equated to confidence and power. Especially in the media.

    Thank you again.

    • lenkade

      This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately for myself–if it’s not a woman’s responsibility for how a man thinks, then what role does modesty have in my life and why do I feel strongly that I should teach my little sisters and (one day) my daughters that they should be modest?

      The conclusion that I’ve come to recently is that dressing modestly removes the emphasis of who you are from your body. Dressing modestly most likely means that I’ll be more comfortable in my clothes–I won’t constantly be tugging at my necklines and my hemlines and I won’t be worrying that people are objectifying me and I won’t have to constantly monitor the way I’m holding my body so that I feel like I look good in my clothes.

      By removing that worry about my appearance, I free up my mind to focus on other aspects of myself. I can focus on developing my mind and talents and I can focus on using my body to help other people. For me as woman, modesty is really about shifting the focus away from my appearance (and how the world would have me look) and toward becoming a better disciple of Christ. This is just my suggestion, but teach your daughter that her body is the means by which she can influence the world–she can use her body and her mind to help people in need and help build them up. That’s where her real strength is. She can change the world around her if she can shake the idea that her sexuality is the only thing that she has to offer, and modesty will help her focus her attention on who she is instead of what she looks like.

      I wish you the best in teaching your children. You sound like an amazing parent already :)

      • Pi

        Not every is more comfortable in modest clothing. It’s silly to say “wearing modest clothing is more comfortable for me, so I’m going to push that standard onto every impressionable girl around me”. I’m most comfortable in a t-shirt and underwear; should I be telling everyone else that that’s the best way to dress themselves because it’s comfortable for me? You also frame “immodest” clothes as clothes you have to constantly adjust – this makes it clear that you actually don’t know much about these types of clothes at all. If someone feels natural and comfortable in skimpy clothes, then your argument immediately falls flat and you’re stuck with no ground to stand on.

        The idea that women can’t have a body and a mind at the same time is steeped in patriarchal paradigms. Your comment exemplifies this – “modesty is good because you need people to focus on your mind, not on your body” is just another way of saying “you can be hot or you can be smart, but you can’t be both because smart girls don’t wear hot clothes and hot girls are dumb”. Do you want to send the message to your sisters and future daughters that they are incapable of being sexy and smart? That if they dress in a skimpy way, they are no longer able to have intelligent thoughts? That’s a dangerous, sexist message to send.

        • Boomz41

          “Do you want to send the message to your sisters and future daughters that they are incapable of being sexy and smart? ”

          I don’t think that was the idea she was getting at. I think the point is that how you dress will impact peoples’ initial reactions to you and what aspects of you they focus on. It is, of course, up to those other people how they choose to judge you, but it is important to be mindful of how your appearance presents you to the world.

          There is NOTHING wrong with dressing sexy if that’s what you feel like doing – but you have to be mindful that when you wear clothing that is intended to draw attention to your sexuality the first, and probably only, thing people are going to notice about you is your sexuality. No one is saying you can’t be smart AND sexy – what we’re saying is that when your outfit intentionally promotes the “sexy” aspect of it that is the only thing about you that those people will notice. On the flip side, when I walk around in my lady suit, I look “smart”… so that is what people will notice about me first and foremost.

          • Pi

            There’s a fine balance to be made here – between the messages society sends and the messages you want to send yourself. While there is value in noting that some misogynistic people will judge you negatively for looking too sexual or will not notice other things, there is also value in fighting back against that paradigm BY dressing the way you want and acting the way you want, thus shattering the message of “women have to dress and act like X”. I wouldn’t blame any woman who chose not to do that; it’s very difficult to stand up to patriarchal standards and can have negative effects on your own life through jobs, personal relationships, etc. But I’m also firmly not on the side of the fence where we encourage women to go with the flow, adhere to the standards because we see it as the right thing to do, not because it’s sometimes necessary to get ahead in life.

        • AMormonFeminist

          I think you misunderstand the point of Lenkade’s comment, Pi, especially when you say “push that standard onto every impressionable girl around me.” I believe Lenkade said she’d share this view with her sisters and daughters, with whom she should talk about her beliefs, and not every girl she talks to. Just because someone has a standard for themselves doesn’t mean they “push” it on other people. I believe in modesty too, and I don’t judge others for having their own standards. My body is my business. Your body is yours.

          I get your point about how smart vs. sexy is part of a patriarchal paradigm. Have you ever seen the documentary MISS REPRESENTATION? On one hand, when modesty is a thinly veiled excuse by the patriarchy to police our bodies and their appearances we should fight it. On the other, much of media/advertising is aimed at reducing the value of a woman to her sex appeal. We can be sexual creatures, but we need to demand to be valued as that and more, because we are. As women, we are everything and anything.

          So, for me (and apparently Lenkade too, though I don’t want to speak for her), modesty is the answer to that contradiction. And not modesty as some white dude in a suit defines it, but something I decide for myself.

    • dcmom5

      Sadly, nothing she does can ensure that she can prevent what happened to you from happening to her. I was sexually assaulted as well (as a teenager), at my workplace. I was not behaving inappropriately by any stretch of the imagination, and my work was dirty and grungy and so my clothing was dirty and loose and baggy, and not at all sexually appealing. And yet it happened. So you are exactly, exactly right that dressing immodestly does not invite assault. If a man wants to assault, he will create the opportunity for himself.

      I think what we can teach our daughters is to respect themselves first as people, and to respect everyone else as people, and to teach them to not take to heart the words and actions of those who do not offer the same respect. Also, to defend those who are not being respected. As far as those who cross many lines and assault, I’m not sure what we can do to prevent that. But if she has a strong foundation of confidence and love for herself, and confidence and love from you, she will be able to flourish despite her struggles.

      Also, I think we often miss the mark on “modesty.” I am not a biblical scholar, but I don’t think the biblical definition of modesty simply means “covering up.” It means to dress with humility–as in, you don’t want dress to draw attention to your body or your money. We don’t need to be invisible, but we do need to respect our bodies, which were bought with a price (1 Cor 6:20) and should be used to show respect for our Maker. If you are not religious, you can apply this to the idea that you dress to show dignity to yourself, your intellect, and all the other important things you have to offer the world.

      My two cents. I’m sure you are doing all the right things.

      • Boomz41

        Agreed – it is very, very, VERY important to be absolutely clear about the fact that if your daughter is assaulted at any time, any where, wearing anything it is NOT her fault. Teaching her that what she wears can maximize or minimize the likelihood of her being assaulted will only give her a false sense of security should she choose to dress “modestly” or leave her blaming herself should she be assaulted while showing a little cleavage.

        The clothing talk and the reality-of-sexual-assault talk should be two different talks.

    • Boomz41

      “I understand that dressing modestly does not prevent sexual assault. Yet I would prefer her to dress this way so that she does not present herself as an object to be desired but as the strong willed and respectful young women she will grow up to be. ”

      I’m not a mother nor do I plan to be, but I struggle with this issue as well. I’m not religious and I fully subscribe to the whole “do what you want just don’t hurt anyone” mentality… but I personally would prefer to see a lot of women and girls dress classier. It’s not up to me to judge, but when I see a young woman dressed in a skirt so short her cheeks hang out while her boobs threaten to pop her top I automatically assume she has no self-respect. I recognize that her self respect is not my business… but because we are seeing more and more of this it does worry me. I want to know WHY so many young women are choosing to objectify their own bodies. It bothers me because it feeds a culture in which our bodies are objects. It bothers me because it seems so strongly to me to be a symptom of internalized misogyny.

      So how do I go about having open, honest and constructive conversations with the women and men and children in my life about this issue without bordering on slut-shaming or contradicting my own values and beliefs about personal freedom?

      There’s no easy answer, but I’ll keep trying.

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  • nancyleecole

    If you can get them to listen to you for this long!!!They have short attention spans.

  • Cameron

    I was pondering how to dismiss lingering looks and their effects a while back, and I received the inspiration to picture the woman dressed in angelic robes or a white temple dress. Powerful article, thanks.

    • balance

      And someday you can dispense with the images altogether when it comes naturally to see everyone as a beautiful soul, and the reality without an overlay won’t even tempt an objectification. :) You’ll see her whole… body and soul.

  • LeftWingPharisee

    I admire the effort here, but I think that you missed the mark; it sounds like something written to get an A in a women’s studies class. Honestly, I would have laughed at my Dad if he talked to me this way.

    I think I can sum things up better here: Don’t be a pig. While many women appreciate being appreciated much of the time, don’t be rude about it.

  • Sam

    I like the Idea but I don’t think parents should wait that long on this talk. I think the reason the newer generation see’s things that way is learned behavior and if they are taught at a young age then maybe it will spread and they can teach each other.

  • David Barnes



    Weak willed little lady boys like you crack me up.

    • Sara

      This isn’t what he’s saying at all.

    • Kristen Rosser

      *rolls eyes* I agree that boys should not be ashamed of being attracted to women. But they should learn to handle their attraction responsibly. That’s what this post is all about.

    • Winston Booth

      Yeah! Real men cat call and grab women against their will! A bunch of sissies you are, looking for the approval of the gender you want to sleep with!

      • David Barnes

        First, there’s a galaxy of difference between openly checking women out and sexually or verbally assaulting them. Stop being ridiculous.

        Second. Go ahead, keep living your life in search of feminine approval. While you’re doing that I’ll just go ahead, do as I damned well please, and let the pussy rain down on me like it always has. Ever notice these feminist friends of yours always SAY they want a guy like YOU but ultimately end up crying on the phone to you when some guy they met at the bar stops returning their texts? There’s a reason.

        • Cee Bee

          You’re pretty sure of yourself aren’t you? LMFAO. Well here’s news for you: given your douchebag attitude, I’d bet any amount of money that any woman who has been with with you is either using you, hasn’t figured out what a douche you are yet, or is simply pathetic.

          You really think that is something to be proud of? Then I feel sorry for you.

          Sorry to sound mean but really, you sound like a pompous immature kid. Hopefully you are.

          • David Barnes

            Oh I’m definitely an asshole. I’m a moral and ethical person but I do not give one small bit of a damn who I offend with my opinions, and some of them are pretty far from politically correct. And yea, I’m sure of myself. But you can’t honestly say that the majority of women between 16 and 30 don’t respond very positively to arrogant, cocksure men. They like to remind me of how arrogant I am right before I slip off their panties. I’m also pretty sure the women definitely were using me every last bit as much as I was using them. That’s kind of how casual sex works, you really don’t care about that person too much more than any other human being.

            It’s nice to see that you’ve got absolutely nothing to fire at me but personal attacks. Obviously something I said hit home because you certainly didn’t bother to tell me I was wrong.

            I bet your a real treat yourself. Everybody loves bitter middle aged women.

          • Cee Bee

            You attack first and people will attack back.

            Women are attracted to confidence. End of story. The arrogant cocksure men might attract women for a bit, but at some point women figure them out. The smart girls tend to use these guys for sex because they know they won’t feel bad about hurting them, because they likely won’t. The not-so-smart girls sometimes fall for these guys but even the women that aren’t so bright eventually get it. Welcome to divorce. But yes, you have a point.

            Thing is, most people–men and women–want to eventually end up with someone they love and who loves them back. And they wish that for others as well. Maybe you don’t have that in you. Or maybe that part of you that once wanted that has died. I guess that’s your prerogative. If you’re ACTUALLY good in bed and you treat women nice and are a safe guy, you could maybe do some good in the world. The tone of your comments makes me wonder though. Sorry, but it does.

          • David Barnes

            I may be arrogant, cocksure, outspoken, opinionated and far from politically correct but I’m also have a strong moral and ethical center. I’m caustic, at times, and certainly offensive to the sensitive. But the 4 women I have built a relationship with basically left me because I was too much of a nice guy. They started dating a cocksure asshole, and ended up with a…nice guy. Wasn’t what they were in for I guess. It is fair to say that the majority of the girls I was intimate with were using me; but it’s just as fair to say I was using them, it was casual sex.

            Look objectifying anybody to the point of failing to see them as a human being is awful. I’ve never done it, but as a pansexual, leaning lately towards men and having a baby face and the prized, skinny, “twink” build, I can say I know how it feels to be objectified….at least by a raunchy pederast. All of that said. It’s not that bad. I got over it. Fast. And it involved a lot more than just being looked at. You can’t harm anybody by looking at them, no matter how mean or lustfully you look at them. I don’t care if you’re drooling and grabbing at your crotch; the worst you can possibly subject me to is an unpleasant sight. Making such a big deal out of checking women out is ridiculous.

          • Cee Bee

            for some reason this comment of yours was not here when i responded to your previous/similar one earlier…

            anyway. if women left you just because you were nice, then they were screwed up women. but keep in mind, most relationships fail. that’s just the way it is. as for casual sex, i don’t have a big problem with it — but I do think people need to be mature enough to handle it and be safe. and for most people at the end of the day, casual sex isn’t really all that satisfying, at least over the long term. most people want to connect. at least in some way. even if they don’t realize it.

          • David Barnes

            It was supposed to be a reply to your response, so it wasn’t written yet when you responded…..or was it a response to your reply…..o geez…. Also, from my perspective, all of the women of my generation are disgustingly entitled, solipsistic, irresponsible and shallow. They LIVE on a constant influx of sexual validation provided by the combination of social media and a serious imbalance between the male and female population numbers. I actually overheard a group of college aged girls talking loudly in public about how the government owes them a monthly check simply for being a woman. They weren’t joking. They honestly felt that they should get paid just because they are women and women are THAT special. Most women my age genuinely believe that women are superior to men in every measurable way. And since they’re basically doing us a favor allowing us to touch their superior bodies, why bother treating us like human beings?

          • David Barnes

            It was a reply to your response so it wasn’t there when you responded…or was it a response to your reply, therefore non-existent when you replied?…..oh geez.

            First off, you just totally changed your tone and general response to me when you realized I wasn’t a straight, white, cis-male. That’s pretty screwed up, and you should put some serious thought into that.

            I can’t say as I’m surprised though. Just yesterday I overheard a group of college aged women talking loudly in a restaurant about how women should be given a large monthly check from the government simply for being women. Their justification was women’s simple superiority. Again, there were no giggles of sisterly glee, they were not kidding, they were as serious as a heart attack. These millenial girls literally think they are entitled to the world, and totally free of any responsibility. The world owes them everything and they don’t owe anybody a damned thing in return. I mean we’re talking about a generation of women who honestly think that being looked at by a man they aren’t attracted to is a form of sexual assault. If he’s a stud it’s an empowering moment of sexual liberation; if he’s overweight, 40 and balding it was a violation.

            Let me sum it up with this: at 18 my sexual preferences leaned very strongly towards women, 7 years later I describe myself as “gay” unless I feel like explaining myself.

          • Cee Bee

            I changed my response to you when you changed your tone towards me. You actually seemed like a nice person who was revealing something REAL about yourself and a bit of vulnerability rather than being a “cocksure” asshole (your words) as you made a point to be in your other comments. It had nothing to do with your sexuality.

    • Cee Bee

      sounds to me like you’re the little boy. and guess what? you’re not impressing anyone except the other little boys.

      tale as old as time.

    • Konstanz

      David, what is the source of your anger? No one here has even suggested the w;orshipping females. Never. You are jumping to conclusions. Lead by an example of respect and compassion and true concern for others . . . not by worshipping them and not by belittling them with name calling . . . only then will YOU deserve to be called a strong man. And only then will you discover forgiveness within yourself that can lead to you letting go of all that anger so that you can experience real peace, real trust, real love, real security, and real joy.

  • tiredofallthebullshit

    The message behind this blogpost is about treating women fairly…right?
    Well, if that’s the end game, why treat women like they are made of glass?
    So it’s okay for women to oggle men on the beach, but I see a person i’m attracted to (female in this case) I’m supposed to act like I don’t want to look because that would mean they are less then human? HUH?
    I know one thing, nobody has the fucking right to tell me if I do or do not see women as human beings. The sheer audacity of that accusation is mindboggling to me, especially because it’s not to so many of you. Stop being so god damn insecure, because I can play your game too, except without all the fucking sublety. I’ll tell you a god damn uncomfortable truth you’re unwilling to admit. I have never known a single hot woman on the beach/whatever venue to actually be uncomfortable when men are checking her out, if those men are actually attractive to her…unfortunately, you insecure little shits, you’ve spent your whole life being yourself… be that a fatass, an unhygenic fashion disaster, or just incredibly socially ungraceful. Of course women would get uncomfortable around you and have many different responces to your sort of attention. Of course they would be uncomfortable- knowing that you don’t stand a chance… so you should look away because the longer you lustfully peek the more you dehumanize them…because obviously to these women, rather then admit to themselves that YOU are human as well(and a painfully lonely one at that), they would rather think a haphazard pile of failiure like yourself is nothing but a vagrant who would rape them the moment they become vulnerable.
    Exceptions to every rule my friend, all facts are but the opinions of the majority because even the most basic shit is something someone out there would disagree with. The only piece of wisdom I can give is to remember that nobody is infallable against hypocrosy, not yourself, not I, nor fucking women.
    The one thing I do know is that while there is much feminism should fight for, convincing me I’ve lost my humanity because I checked out a pleasing body isn’t fucking one of them. Women are more then their bodies, but to tell me that their body isn’t who they are at all is just pure bullshit. It’s part of them, and really the only tangible part unless you engage in conversation… but I’m not going to engage every woman out there in a curtain conversation and then pick one and hope she is good looking. Can you imagine the hurt if the world worked like that? No, I think I’ll stick to tradition in this particular case and go with the ol’ fashioned “If she’s hot I’ll take a god damn good look just to make sure it’s worth investing the time based on APPEARANCE alone…then if that checks out I’m going to fucking get her fucking attention and fucking try to see if she’s fucking interested as well, and then if our conversation and vibe fucking match well enough, I’m going to mother fucking try to make a god damn fucking relationship with that god damn woman because she’s hot and I like her fucking style (in this case style being her fucking disposition/outlook on life and it’s fucking issues).
    That’s how the fucking world works people, for the most fucking part. Deviating from this is fucking OK, just don’t try to ride a high horse because I ain’t fucking buying it and would rather do it my way.

    Oh and one more fucking thing, stop trying to fucking put women on a pedestial. I hate the fucking guy who tries to bring them down but I hate the fucker who calls them mysterious and pretends women are all unique snowflakes and they all know all the fucking answers and are never fucking wrong (unless it’s another woman who’s just more right)!
    Guess fucking what, human beings aren’t perfect and niether is fucking women, you want to understand women you fucking wad, then see them as fucking human beings, not your fucking god… because they aren’t, and they don’t fucking know what’s best for men. I’m sure they have lots of shit they can offer to the table, but if we all go along with their every fucking whim, then we ALL lose our humanity, they lose theirs because they consider us as lesser creatures who only have the advantage of higher body strenght, and us for actually buying and validating that sort of bullshit.
    I’m human, and there is no fucking woman in this whole fucking world who is more human then I am…not even the person I admire most in this whole fucking world -my mom… and she may not be perfect but I’m pretty damn sure I don’t care because nobody is, and in that knowledge I know she’s the best mom I could have ever possibly had… but not even she has all the fucking answers, not even she knew what was best for me every single time. She’s human, and so am I. So is everyone, and nobody is my god.

    Nobody is perfect, least of all people who prescribe the sort of feminism that is less about bringing women up where they are treated unfairly, but more about bringing men the fuck down. I refuse, I fucking refuse to feel guilty for being a fucking man, you go ahead if that’s your thing but don’t hate just because I’m happy and fucking guilt free. I had nothing to do with those men who hurt women out there, all I can do is know I’d never do the same- because they are on the same fucking floor as me, no less, and no higher. They are just like me, why would I hurt someone who is just like me? Do you really think I can’t understand a woman a heck of a lot better believing them to be human beings on the same level as me, compared to guy who just believes and does whatever the fuck feminism tells him to? You don’t stand a chance, let alone the poor fool who actually believes themselves to be superior. Fools, all of you.

  • Kristen A. Riordan

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I needed to hear this and be granted the opportunity to be “with” a man without being “for” a man.

  • Bro, Chill

    So he must carefully guard his view, but she can wear whatever she wants free of judgment? That is an awful double-standard.

    • Kristen Rosser

      No– because women also lust. I’m a woman, and I read this as applying to myself, “When you look at a man, guard your view. Just because he’s wearing a Speedo or put oil on his muscles to make them shine, is not a reason to lust after him. If you’re attracted to him, that’s ok, and it’s ok to think he’s good-looking. But don’t reduce him to an object. Look him in the eyes. See a human being.”

      So what’s the double standard? Neither a man nor a woman should get beat over the head with modesty messages that tell them their bodies are somehow sinful or problematic just by existing. Neither a man nor a woman should objectify people they find attractive or even sexy. And men shouldn’t get the message that they can’t help but lust any more than women should get the message that they’re too pure, not human enough to commit lust.

    • Tikatu

      The double standard is that men can wear what they want without censure and women can’t. You should read the original FYI post to which Nate is responding.

      ETA: Now I’m looking at how far back the comments go and I’ve realized that this isn’t a response to that FYI post. Sorry about that, y’all.

    • RebekahRandolph

      Uh… he said right at the beginning that a woman has the responsibility to dress herself (implying: she ought to dress modestly out of self-respect, love for God, and kindness to her brothers… not out of shame or fear).

  • Jason D

    While this sentiment is correct and good, it’s unrealistic. In a perfect world we can expect others to be honourable, but this is not a perfect world.

    Women should dress modestly for the same reason we lock our doors and have passwords on our computers and bank accounts – not because they are compelled to, and not to protect against the moral and ethical who were raised correctly, but to protect against those who are not moral, ethical and respectful of others.

    If I fail to protect my possessions properly and they are stolen, or broken, or misused, the people who broke the law are responsible for their actions, but I still have to take responsibility for my actions in failing to adequately protect myself.

    Women are not ‘asking for it’ if they fail to dress modestly. Those who commit sexual assault are not justified in any way if a woman is dressed provocatively. And often sexual predators will strike without regard for how you are dressed.

    Life isn’t fair – it never was and most likely never will be – especially towards women. Common sense should prevail – do not rely on how others were brought up. If dressing provocatively places you at risk (and I’m not saying it does in all situations and circumstances), don’t dress provocatively.

    • Jolene

      Right. And nothing in this comment suggests that women are nothing more than property to be guarded, as we would guard our computers or laptops. I would dream of a world where my daughter can walk in the street and not be afraid that some sick pervert is going to assume she is property to be used, taken and violated. It is incredibly offensive to compare a woman to an object. Or to suggest, as you do, that the responsibility is hers for failing to protect herself. Seriously?

      • Jason D

        Your body is what needs to be protected, man or woman. And you are the one ultimately responsible for doing the protecting.

        • balance

          I’ll have to remember to wear my metal face mask when I go out, then, to protect myself from the sick people who throw acid in women’s faces.

          • Jason D

            At the end of the day your rights will not protect you and can only be used to bring to justice a person who assaults you. Your common sense protects you.

            In a fair world all people can expect their rights to be respected. We do not live in a fair world. If your choice is not to wear your metal face mask because you shouldn’t have to, or to wear it even though you shouldn’t have to because it provides real protection, then you decide what is more important to you – do you want to protect your face or do you want to take a stand that may very well end in you having acid in your face? Either way it is your choice, make the choice that is likely to produce the consequences you want.

            This doesn’t justify or negate the actions or responsibility of the person throwing the acid in any way. They should still be punished under the law. But that punishment usually comes after the fact, and even if they are punished to the fullest extent of the law it does not repair the damage to your face.

            Society needs to change (more in some parts of the world than in others), but until that happens (or while it is happening) we all need to use our common sense – we need to do what we must to protect those things that are important to us. And sometimes that means not exercising a right because the consequences of doing so may be harmful.

          • Pi

            Yes, and black people should just go sit in the back of the bus because they might get beaten up or lynched if they resist. That’s how social change is enacted, right? By going with the status quo and allowing yourself to be subjugated by the male gaze and patriarchal standards of society?

          • Winston Booth

            So, don’t do anything to change anything ever because nothing will ever change ever, as history has shown by remaining exactly the same forever. Got it.

      • Jason D

        The world will always have sick perverts. And the law provides a mechanism for restitution and justice, it doesn’t provide any protection. Your daughter is only as safe as you teach her to be. If exercising her rights in this instance is more important than her safety, then that is what you can teach her.

        I dream of a world where I can leave my house unlocked and open so that strangers in need can find refuge, shelter and food. But until that becomes a reasonably safe option I’ll keep my doors locked and carefully vet strangers I allow in.

        The law protects both of our dreams. Society, however, does not respect the law sufficiently for us to do what we would like. We need to act appropriately. It’s unfortunate, but it’s life.

    • Cee Bee

      Actually, the belief that men commit sexual assault because they are so turned on by a “provocatively dressed” woman is not supported by data. The large majority of sexual assaults occur to women who are completely normally dressed. Psychological studies of sexual assailants/rapists consistently show that the motivating factor behind sexual assault is the desire to exert power or control over another person.

      • Jason D

        Sexual assault falls into many categories. The hardcore rapists who go out looking for someone to rape are the scariest because there is little you can do to protect yourself other than staying with a group of friends you can trust.

        Other forms of sexual assault are often situational and opportunistic. These types of sexual assault you CAN protect yourself against by being aware of how you are dressed. They can help by not attracting the person’s attention in the first place, or by making sure that the way you are dressed sends a signal that you are not interested.

        I do not pretend this is a 100% foolproof way to address the problem, But even if it is only 10% effective, consider what has been protected – a sexual assault has been avoided. And I believe that the inconvenience and ‘cost’ of dressing intelligently (i.e in a way that fits the occasion and location and environment of the places you will be visiting) are insignificant next to the benefit of avoiding a sexual assault.

        May I suggest you look at the definitions of provocative (in this context) and sexy. Both words are used specifically to denote the act of stirring sexual arousal and desire. While they are not the only causes of sexual assault, or even the primary causes, they certainly do play a role – and once again, isn’t it preferable to be safe than to be right?

        People who sexually assault others have very little sympathy from me. I do not believe that consent can be derived from how a person is dressed, and I also do not believe that anything I have said means that the perpetrator should be given a more lenient sentence. This is about recognising that you are responsible for yourself, and taking responsibility even if it means you are sometimes unable to exercise your rights. The law provides a framework for restitution and justice, it provides no protection. You are responsible for protecting yourself.

        • Tasha Turner

          One most hard core rapist are family members and friends. The stranger is the person you are least likely to be raped by.

          Secondly the only step women can take to prevent being raped is to magically not be where rapist are. How a woman dresses has no relevancy on the chances of her being raped not does it matter in helping her be believed.

          We need to start teaching Crystal Clear Consent .

          It’s also been shown that running “don’t be that guy” campaigns cut down on the number of rapes.

          • Tasha Turner

            To learn more about the “don’t be that guy” check out

            The only way to cut down on rape is to get people to understand what is consensual and what isn’t, to believe and support rape victims rather than blaming them, and to change bystander behavior so people step in earlier when they see warning signs at parties or with a “friend”

            A woman can only be safe from threat of rape by being 6′ under. Kids as young as 3 get sexually molested. Adults their 60s, 70s, even 80s get raped.

            Again most rape is done by family members, friends, co-workers (i.e. people they know well and might even live with).

          • Jason D

            Everyone seems to be missing the part where I say this isn’t a panacea – It isn’t the primary cause of rape, and will not prevent rape. It will help to reduce the chances that you will be raped in certain circumstances.

            90% of rapes are by someone the woman knows, and most of these go unreported. These are rapes that take place at home, at work, at friends. Date rape and such. In these instances how you dress very well may (most likely does) play a role – if you are dressed provocatively, or sexily, you are (by definition of those words), dressed to be “sexually attractive or exciting”, “as a stimulus or incitement”. While this does not imply consent, and while it does not excuse any unwanted actions, it can give the aggressor an excuse (in their own mind) to take things further, and may make it easier for them to justify their actions. It shouldn’t, but obviously these things happen.

            The sexual assault may have happened no matter how the woman was dressed, but if dressing modestly decreases the chances even slightly, isn’t it worthwhile?

            Just because I have the legal, moral and ethical right to do something doesn’t mean I can do it without considering how it will affect my safety.

          • Tasha Turner

            You are missing the point. How a woman dresses does NOT play a role in rape except as an excuse by society. The times many of the people, myself included, were raped we were not dressed in sexually provocative clothing unless you consider t-shirts/sweatshirts and jeans (not painted on) sexually provocative.

            Rape happens in just as high numbers in religious communities where women dress and behave modestly.

            It is a LIE that the way a woman dresses can prevent her being raped. Get with the program. Learn REAL facts. Stop perpetuating a myth that is based on victim blaming.

            The only way a woman can take preventive measures regarding rape is to be dead. There is no other preventive measure that offers ant chance at being successful.

            A woman should never trust a man to get her a drink that is open – bottled drinks with unbroken seals – that may prevent a woman from being drugged and raped. It won’t prevent some other woman at the party from being drugged and raped however. And it won’t prevent her from being raped only being drugged.

            I don’t understand what part of this you aren’t getting. All the preventive advise for women does not and never has, protected them from being raped. Continuing to give bad advise that hasn’t worked for a couple thousand years is beyond NOT helpful. It hurts women and continues the rape culture we live in. For most of civilized society women have been told don’t go outside without a family member, or their designated escort, when those are the people most likely to rape them. To cover our bodies including our hair and faces in some cultures. That did nothing to prevent rape we just blamed the women anyways.

            The only consistent factor in every rape is the presence of a RAPIST. Nothing a woman can do to prevent rape. It happens in our homes when we are in baggy sweats, it happens to little kids, it happens to the elderly, it happens when we wear burkahs, it happens when we wear Mini-skirts, it happens when we wear anything in-between.

            It happens when we are out with people we trust – wearing everything from burkahs to mini-skirts.

            So no dress has nothing to do with an action that is about power and not sex.

            If dressing modestly actually helped prevent rape it would be worth talking about and doing. But it does not. So yeah I take my safety seriously too. I take rape a lot more seriously than you do as it’s a real thing to me. It’s not a theory it’s happened to me. I know how I was dressed and behaving and I damn well know that real men don’t rape. I know men can stop at any point during sex if they see their partner as a human being. Claiming a women dressing provocatively leads to rape says men are animals and unable to control themselves. Is that really what you want to say about men? Think that through for a bit before you comment. Are you able to stop if your partner asks? If not your a rapist. If so your a real man, if your a real man why are you holding onto rape apologist lies so strongly?

          • Jason D

            Assuming that rape is not a real thing to me is both inaccurate and insulting. At worst what I am suggesting will not help. At best it will make it less likely that the woman will be raped. This is a real thing to me, and an important thing to me. If you are not prepared to read everything I have said, at least have the integrity to not insult or try to shame me. And if you have read everything I have said, please don’t twist what I am saying into something it is not.

            In your opening you say “except as an excuse by society”. A person (most frequently a man) faced with an opportunity to sexually exploit someone and the willingness to do so will use any excuse open to him. If society sees dress as an excuse, a potential rapist may use that too. I do not believe dress is the only or even the largest contributor, but it is a contributor. Provocative and sexy dress is, by definition of the words provocative and sexy, designed to sexually excite and lure. I am not saying that the woman is asking for it or that men are unable to resist. But dress will get attention (isn’t that the entire point?) and *some* men are unwilling to restrain themselves. Additionally, some men who would normally show extreme restraint fail to do so when intoxicated or high.

            With hardened rapists looking for someone to attack, clothing and dress probably play almost no role. But anything other than hardened rapists we need to look at other factors such as opportunity and environment, and in these instances it is reasonable that someone dressed in a manner that is intended to provoke a sexual response will become a target.

            But if common sense will not sway you, maybe this will:

            Antecedents of sexual victimization: factors discriminating victims from nonvictims – 1998

            “The variables found to be related to women’s being sexually victimized were (a) number of different lifetime sexual partners, (b) provocative dress, and (c) alcohol use.”

            An Examination of Date Rape, Victim Dress, and Perceiver Variables Within the Context of Attribution Theory – 1999

            “Because some men are confused about women’s sexual consent cues, how a woman dresses may be misinterpreted as a cue to her willingness to have sex.”

            “Students who viewed a photograph of the victim in provocative clothing were most likely to indicate that the victim was responsible for her assailant’s behavior, that his behavior was justified, and were least likely to judge the act of unwanted sexual intercourse as rape.”

            The effects of clothing and dyad sex composition on perceptions of sexual intent: Do women and men evaluate these cues differently.

            “as predicted, female targets who wore revealing clothing were rated as more sexy and seductive than those wearing nonrevealing clothing.”

            “Finally, both female and male targets were perceived as more kind and warm when they wore nonrevealing clothing.”

            None of these studies is saying that dress is responsible for rape. I ‘m not saying that. But surely there is enough to show that dress is a contributor, and that dressing in a manner more appropriate to your environment is a good strategy.

            You said “I know men can stop at any point during sex if they see their partner as a human being”. What would stop them from seeing their partner as a human being? Is it possible that ready access to pornography combined with a partner who dresses like someone from a pornographic move might cause the man to see his partner as a willing participant in a fantasy rather than a human being who wants this to stop?

            Addressing your comment that “men are animals and unable to control themselves. Is that really what you want to say about men?”

            That’s almost what I want you to say about men. I want you to say “some men are always animals and unable to control themselves.” I want you to say “some men become animals when drunk or high and are unable to control themselves.” I want you to believe that while the way a women is dressed does not invite sexual assault or indicate willingness to participate in sex, a sexy dress is, by definition, an invitation to be seen as a sexual object, and some men are unable or unwilling to restrain themselves if the opportunity and environment allow them to justify their belief that their actions are appropriate.

            Finally, when you say “All the preventive advise for women does not and never has, protected them from being raped” you are making a factually misleading statement. You do not know (no-one does) when a woman was not raped because something she was doing or wearing or where she was. Billions of woman are not raped each day. Anybody reading THAT statement may think *all* advice about keeping safe will not protect you from rape, and may make themselves a bigger target.

          • Tasha Turner

            Most rape is not date rape but a family member. Date rape comes in 2nd.

            The more helpful men like you tell us women to cover up the more you give rapist an excuse. The rapist and I the one raped both know the rape had nothing to do with how I was dressed. But when I go to a man and tell him what was done to me if one of his 1st thoughts/comments is “what were you wearing” that man is the one providing the rapist with an excuse. If men would stop telling women it’s about what we are wearing – each man who stops helps – the rapist would lose the excuse & support.

          • Jason D

            Insulting me doesn’t convince me, doesn’t shame me, and doesn’t make your point. Maybe try listening to me rather than attacking me.

            I’ve gone out of my way to make t clear that I’m not blaming women for the assault no matter how they are dressed. I’ve said it over and over. I’ve said this isn’t about giving the assaulter an excuse – I’ve said they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This isn’t about laying blame, this is about being safe. Don’t completely disregard advice because it doesn’t work in all situations.

            Moving on, I’ve seen no studies or data to show that most rapes are by family members. All the data I’ve seen says rapes are by people known to the victim, which includes sexual assault at work, at friends, and at home. It also includes date rape. Feel free to post links to data correcting me.

            Additionally, particularly addressing sexual assault by a family member – if we assume that family member X is predisposed to committing a sexual assault, why doesn’t he do it all the time? If he does, well that’s something not addressed by how the victim is dressed. But if it isn’t all the time, could it be because he’s predisposed to doing so AND there was some sort of trigger? The data I posted in my last post suggests that how the victim is dressed could be (a part of) that trigger.

            You seem to believe that my belief that you should be careful how you dress somehow translates to an excuse and support for rapists. I can’t see how that can be true in general (since I’m all for prosecuting them without reservation), and especially not for people who sexually assault family members. There is a near universal belief that any sexual assault on (or even sexual contact between) family members is taboo – feelings that override pretty much any other feelings on the matter. And yet family sexual assault continues.

            Through all of our discussions you’ve also played the card that you were raped and thus should know more than I do. That certainly allows you to share an opinion and experiences that many others can’t, but it gets old when you keep using it as your primary argument. I honestly hope the person who hurt you was dealt with by family and the legal system in a way that prevents them from doing this again, but it doesn’t justify you ignoring everything that anyone who disagrees with you has to say, and most certainly doesn’t give you the right to say things that are misleading enough that it may endanger others listening to you (specifically, dress aside, there ARE things you can do to protect yourself – you have said that there is NOTHING you can do to protect yourself).

            I think it’s time you stop being a victim and take charge of your life, including what happened to you. It may not have been your fault, but its your life and it happened – you are responsible for picking up and moving on. The thing is, you see, that you aren’t the only person to have suffered from sexual assault or rape. You aren’t even the only one in this discussion to be dealing with the effects of rape, especially by a family member. This isn’t an abstract idea for me, I just choose to look at the problem logically and deal with what I see and understand.

            I’m happy to continue this discussion if you are willing to discuss it logically. Otherwise I fail to see the point – neither of us is learning, and neither of us is being influenced.

          • Tasha Turner

            You may not think you are blaming women. You are not listening.

            I’ve told you I’ve dressed modestly most of my life before and after the 1st sexual assault.

            You need to start listening to women and their experiences instead of “being all logical and knowing better than us what we should do”. There is a word for what you’ve consistently done during this discussion where you’ve ignored my personal experiences and those of other rape SURVIVORS I know and keep falling back on a few studies and telling me what reality is. And I and other women live this reality every day. We likely know those women who don’t report – I know I do. And I know their rapist. The word for what you’ve consistently done in this discussion is called mansplaining – where a man keeps explaining to a woman that he knows her reality better than she does.

            I have explained to you how to change society to make it safer for women and you took it as an insult. But it’s because most of society says “what was she wearing” that we have the current situation. Each person who stops doing that and in conversations where they hear that stands up and points out how stupid that is changes society.

            It’s too bad you can’t take the time to listen to women who have been raped and listen to them and their stories & fully support them. It would do survivors more good than your proposed prevention tips. I’m done. This was a great post by Nate and should be lauded.

          • Jason D

            Well, it appears you didn’t even bother to read my response. Again. It’s possible that if you actually READ what I was saying you would understand what I was saying.

            May I suggest that it is rude and hugely insensitive to be more interested in what you have to say than what others have to say, to the extent of effectively ignoring them.

            Go back and read what I’ve said and respond to what I’m actually saying, not what you think I’m saying.

          • Tasha Turner

            You could try doing the same but whatever.

            Why doesn’t a murder kill everyone? Why doesn’t a thief constantly steal?

            I am responding to what your saying. And I’ve explained why what your saying doesn’t mean what you think it does.
            Mansplaining links:


          • Tasha Turner
          • Tasha Turner
          • Tasha Turner

            Sexism education 101 links to help you better understand where I’m coming from and why your prevention advice is insulting

          • Jason D

            The “Intent is not magic” article is a really bad example of a lot of things. Intent means “on purpose”. Saying “It’s not my intention to hurt but…” when you do mean to be hurtful is a lie because you have made a statement that is untrue. But if something happens, or is taken in a certain way, that was (honestly) not your intention, then while it still happened, you are not responsible for it.

            For example, I find you to be insensitive, pushy, one sided, illogical, dishonest, and think you are trying to be deliberately annoying and hurtful by painting me as something I’m not. Up until now I’ve chosen to believe that these things do not describe you, that you are probably just overly emotional and expressing yourself badly, that these things are unintentional side effects of how you express yourself. That these things are my perception and not your intention. If, however, I go by your logic, then I am to assume that you are responsible for how I perceive you, regardless of whether that was your intent or not. Imagine how insulted I could get by that. Pretty much as upset as you seem to be with me – you are angry with me more for your perception of what I’ve done than for what I’ve actually done.

            Since you seem to have missed it, it’s possible that I have as much experience as you do with rape and sexual assault. And domestic violence. And, and, and… I choose not to be a victim, harping on about it all the time. I’m not about to get into a competition with you about who had it worse, but this is a topic for me that is personal and real and something that I have been thinking about for years.

            My suggestions do not blame women – it recognises that you can’t control other people, but you can control yourself, and so you take power the only way you can – you change how you approach things.

            Is dressing modestly going to protect you from rape in all instances? No. In most cases? No. In many cases? Probably not. But as the studies I posted show, it may protect you in some instances, and the cost of it is so small that why not do it? I’ve always said ‘dress intelligently’, and that’s what I mean. Sometimes that means dressing modestly.

            Finally, just to be sure that you get it this time – I’m not saying that women are to blame if they are sexually assaulted while wearing provocative or sexy clothing. I’m saying that the man who commits the assault is to blame. But that the woman can do things to protect herself. And one of the things she can do is dress intelligently.

            Dressing intelligently is a tool that goes along with carrying a whistle, pepper spray, taking self defence courses, being aware of your surroundings, knowing the area you are walking in, knowing if unsafe areas to avoid, knowing how to call for help, knowing how to speak to your assaulter if you have the opportunity, knowing how to run away. Recognising that some people are amoral and do not operate under the same social norms as the rest of society. None of these things will prevent you from being raped. All these things can mitigate the risk, or help you escape the situation.

            You keep saying that I am blaming women when I’m not. I’m pointing out ways to reduce the risk. I often tell my wife that she has to expect the other drivers on the road to be idiots, and that she has to pay attention for everyone on the road because it’s the only way for her to drive safely (most countries recognise this and teach it in their driving certification programmes). This is no different.

          • Tasha Turner

            Maybe if you’d read what I’m saying instead of becoming insulted you’d be able to get past your bias and understand that intent is not magic and regardless of why you are giving advice you are still ending up being a rape apologist and part of the rape culture problem.

            I’ve read what you’ve said. You keep repeating the same thing over and over again convinced that any opinion that disagrees with you is wrong & is an insult to you. Again intention is not magic. Just because your intent is to prevent rape by telling women to dress modestly does not change the fact that by continuing to insist dress leads to rape you are blaming the victim whether you mean to or not. Intent is not magic.

          • Tasha Turner

            And you keep doing the same to me so I think we are pretty much at the end of the conversation. My links to help explain my position have been deleted/not let through.

            Try not to get insulted but instead consider that by suggesting women’s dress has something to do with their being raped you are unwittingly justifying rape culture & one of the excuses rapist use. You are trying to be helpful but instead you are unwittingly doing harm. You both hurt those who have been raped who have a hard time not blaming themselves and rapist reading your position see it as support even though you don’t mean to do either of those things.

            There is a saying “intent is not magic” while your intent is to protect women from rape unfortunately the advice you give has a very different effect as I state above. I get that you are trying to help. The point is your help is actually quite harmful and hurtful and unwittingly keeps up the rape culture we live in. Again intent is not magic.

          • Jason D

            In order for me to be justifying a ‘rape culture’, I would have to somehow be promoting victim blaming, sexual objectification, or trivializing rape. I do none of these things. Suggesting that more intelligent dress may offer protection is not that same as saying that provocative dressing invites rape, or makes the woman in any way to blame.

            If I leave my window open and someone comes in and robs me, I am responsible for leaving the window open. Whether that was a good thing or a bad thing depends on whether I had a reasonable expectation that leaving the window open was safe or not. Additionally, deciding to close the window afterwards may only provide marginal additional security, but if I recognise that it provides some security I can make an informed choice.

            You say that my help is harmful – I would argue that your help is harmful. If dressing intelligently (i.e. wearing modest clothing when going pub crawling) has only a 0.1% chance of preventing against or averting rape (and the studies I showed imply it’s a lot higher than that), that translates to one person in 1000. That’s good enough for me, especially considering that the trade-off is minimal.

            You have claimed on numerous occasions that “there is nothing you can do to prevent rape”, and this is untrue. There are MANY things you can do to reduce the chances of being raped. Women who hear you say “there is nothing you can do” and so do nothing are placing themselves at risk. That advice is harmful.

            When I say “dressing modestly may prevent rape, but if it doesn’t then it doesn’t mean you are to blame or that the rapist is less guilty” doesn’t place anyone at risk. It also doesn’t blame the victim, promote sexual objectification or trivialise rape (and therefore does not contribute to a culture of rape).

          • Tasha Turner

            So stop helping the rapist and stand with women. Don’t ask/think what were you wearing. Just don’t. Encourage any guy you overhear saying that to stop. You can be part of the change or you can continue to help the rapists. It’s up to you. But each time you tell a woman how she dresses might lead to rape you support the rapist in blaming the victim and letting him off the hook.

            If more parents taught their kids as Nate is we’d see a decrease in rape. If more men would standup and call other men out when they are doing victim blaming we’d see a decrease in rape. Why not become one of those men? Who knows how many rapist you might stop. Chances are you know several.

    • Boomz41

      In this imperfect world we still see the value in teaching our children not to steal, assault and murder… that’s the point of this article. And in the end, which approach is more likely to actually decrease the rate of crime – telling people to lock their doors, or instilling values in our children and teaching them not to steal?

      Teaching women that there is a list of things they can do/not do to avoid rape (such as not dressing provocatively) is no different than telling people to lock their doors, insofar as all you are doing is making sure YOU’RE not the one who gets raped/robbed. The worst part about it is that is provides a false sense of security and, whether you lock your doors or not, you may or may not get robbed. And if and when you do, regardless of any actions you did or didn’t take, it’s not your fault. It is entirely the fault of the person who robbed you. If someone is looking for a house to rob, they’re going to find one. If someone is looking to rape someone, they’re going to find a victim. Are there precautions people can take to try to avoid being the victim they choose? Sure there are. Are there precautions people can take to guarantee they will not become a victim? Nope.

      So, we’re better off on the whole expending our efforts trying to create a society with solid values such as respect, compassion and looking out for one another. The right place to start is with raising kids right.

      • Jason D

        We’re better off with both – teaching our children to be better behaved AND teaching them to be responsible for their actions.

        Regarding your locking doors analogy – locking your doors is not a false sense of security. It DOES enhance security. It doesn’t mean you will never be robbed, but it does reduce the odds, make it less likely. If someone is looking for a house to rob they will generally choose the house that’s easiest to rob. Why paint a target on your house by leaving the doors unlocked?

        And telling women that there is nothing they can do to reduce their chances of being raped is the fastest way to turn all women into victims – If there is nothing you can do, you are (by definition) helpless.

        Will it help in all situations? No. Will it help in some situations? Yes.

        Too much time is spent telling us to raise our kids (especially our boys) to be more sensitive to these issues. That doesn’t mean it’s not useful or important, it means that the fathers who are going to do this have generally already heard the message a million times – one more time is unlikely to strengthen their resolve. On the flip side, society spends far too little time telling women that they place themselves at increased risk of sexual assault by dressing provocatively and sexily (look up the meaning of those two words). There needs to be a degree of intelligence exercised when choosing what to wear – an outfit that is perfectly safe in one setting may be looking for trouble in another.

        NOTE: I am not suggesting that what a woman wears in any way justifies any kind of sexual assault at all, or even that it lessens the guilt of the perpetrator – people doing these things should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. But in this issue I’d rather my wife and daughters protected themselves – the law provides a means for seeking justice and retribution, it does not provide any protection. I would rather the women in my life were safe than that they stood up for their rights (in this specific instance).

  • Jason D

    Another thing (a pet peeve of mine) – t-shirts and clothing for women with writing across the breasts. I read books, magazines, cereal boxes, everything I see that has words on it. I will read what is written on your chest (I’m guessing it’s there to be read). If guys looking at your chest bugs you, don’t wear clothing that draws attention to your chest. If you disagree with me on this then you need to investigate what “draws attention” means…

  • jigar doshi

    Every parent need to have this very talk with their sons in the very early stages of their growing up.

    the post comes at the right time. :)

  • Air Potter

    Fantastic. Thank you for this. Tried your social links and got a 404. Can you post updated links? Would LOVE to get some more of your content.

  • Kristen Rosser

    The only thing I would add to this is to make sure to tell your son (I told mine) that it’s ok to feel attracted, and it’s ok to appreciate good looks. Lust and attraction aren’t the same. But it’s a great post!

  • Jenny McDaniel

    And then the son, white as a sheet, says: “Uhm… I was just reading her shirt, dad…”

    haha… just kidding. Actually, I really like this. As a mom of both genders, I do believe Christ-following women have the responsibility to help men by dressing modestly so as to not make it an uphill battle, but I also completely agree that to posit the idea that a man can place blame on the women he sees scantily clad is wrong too. A man can do stupid things with the image of a woman who is fully and modestly clothed. He is always responsible for his thought life and the things he does behind closed doors. But a woman who dresses with a heart desiring attention from men other than her husband is both sinning then, and an “accessory” to the sin of the young man who lusts after her. This does not mean I believe a woman who dresses provocatively deserves to be abused, raped, or objectified. In the scenario I described where she dresses to get sexual attention, a young man ogling her is both sinning “with” her and “against” her.


    Thanks for your article! Great food for thought!
    (glad my son is still a toddler though! 😉 )

    • Pi

      No. She is not responsible for his sin of choosing to lust after her. That is exactly what this article is against. If you disagree with that basic premise, then you can’t agree with the article at its core – it’s a strong rebuttal of the idea that women should be responsible for the lusts of men. Does the Bible say to blame what you see when you see something that offends you? No, it says to pluck out your own eye.

  • Tania Shaw

    Thank you for this post! I will share and hope it goes viral. A message all should read!

  • Cris Gladly

    Well done, Nate!!! Thank you, sir! :)

  • Amanda Ferry

    OMG. I just read that awful FYI, an open letter to teenage girls and was so upset that my friend sent me this to make me feel better. You made me feel better! Thank you!

  • Catherine

    What a beautiful essay! Thank you for your enlightened words. This is the conversation I will have with my son when he reaches that point, too.

  • Cee Bee

    The world needs more men like you. To be parents, to be husbands, and to speak out. Thank you!! :)

  • Rebecca Trotter

    Wonderful. Amen and amen!

  • lauraleemoss

    This is a really nice piece.

  • KelLil00

    As the mom of a soon to be teen girl I really appreciate this post. Thank you!

  • V4Vacation

    Thank you. :)

  • Lynae Eakett Greene

    Thank you! I appreciate reading this and knowing there are men out there that do take responsibility for their thoughts and actions. I’ve certainly experienced the men that don’t. It gives me hope for many things, society, the future, and for my daughter. I do agree that women should be modest, but it’s about how she values herself. Not about all the men around her. If I ever have a son I hope you don’t mind me sharing this with him.

    • Boomz41

      I’ve experienced both. There are a lot of men in my life that I am close with and they’re really great guys (three brothers, a great dad and predominantly male friends). I’ve also dealt with being street harassed/cat-called, groped, sexually assaulted while unconscious and having my sexual history judged and criticized by (now)ex-boyfriends who held themselves to different standards.

      All in all, either I am very fortunate or the world isn’t such a bad place, because most of the men I come across are decent human beings. That doesn’t make the challenge of getting through to the rest of them any easier, though, and we need those decent men to stand up for what is right, to emulate respect and compassion to their sons, nephews and friends and to be ambassadors for these values out in the world.

  • Pingback: That stupid blog on Facebook from Mrs Hall - Page 4 - Sybermoms Parenting Forum()

  • EricPoole

    A few years ago, in our small community, a former Amish man (he might have been on rumsprigga), along with a group of young men who hadn’t left the order, attacked a teenage girl. Here was the column that resulted from that incident:

  • steeked

    This is an excellent post and it’s refreshing to us secular people out there to be reminded that while the loudest Christians are totally crazy, there are others – like who – who are thoughtful and capable of critical thinking. Thank you for writing this!

    • Boomz41

      ….and that they (the “normies”) are the majority.

      I grew up christian and most of my family still is (I am not)… they’re totally normal people.. and so are most of the friends I grew up with in church and attended christian school with….

  • Kelly Diane Howland

    I just wanted to say thank you for writing this. I have an infant son and sometimes it’s daunting to think about raising him in the rape culture we live in. I hope that the personal responsibility and compassion you wrote about is exactly what becomes instilled within my son.

    • Boomz41

      Well, that’s up to you and dad! The best thing you can do is to ensure your son has positive male role models in his life… no amount of talking can ever achieve what modeling can (but the talking is still necessary).

  • chambanachik

    There is a big back and forth in blog world about this recently, and I disagreed with both writers and the way they put their arguments. This is what I was thinking exactly so thank you.

  • A. Carvelli

    Male or Female, it makes not difference. One should be able to appreciate a human body for what it is. It is a wonderful piece of machinery, art in motion. Size, gender, color – none of that truly matters, each has it’s own unique qualities.

    How each individual chooses to display their art, is entirely up to them. Tattoos, piercings, paint, and clothing (or no clothing) are all merely decoration used to accent themselves and their body.

    I agree that a body is a temple that would be worshiped for the masterpiece it is. To worship something is to respect it. To respect the inhabitant of that body and their individuality is to honor both their beliefs and yours. It doesn’t matter if they are male or female, to harm another in any way, shape or form is to disrespect beliefs, society and each other.

    We are all individuals with our own temples to worship and honor as we all choose, and if we choose to let others worship our temple, then that is our decision.
    Women do not ‘ask for it’ and men should not accept that other men use that phrase as an excuse.

  • Leslie Mitchell Simmons

    Thank you, thank you for writing this. Thank you for getting it!

  • Mamarific

    As a rape victim, thank you for this. Exactly what I intend to teach my son, and you put it so well.

  • girlwithgreenbanana

    This gave me chills. I can’t express how grateful I am for this post, just as a human. Because fortunately for me I’ve never been a victim, I don’t have a son or a daughter, I can just say I honestly appreciate this as a fellow human being.

  • where_are_your_manners

    Excellent post! Thank you for saying so eloquently what we sometimes struggle to express.

  • ThreeOranges

    They are not the weaker sex, but if you look at them the wrong way they die inside.

  • Niki Martins

    Loved this! Here was my take on this very subject:

  • T Daphne Vasquez

    I totally copied and pasted this article in response to a YouTube video a nasty, judgmental person posted cuz it wouldn’t let me include a link to here.

  • Gloria Webber

    This is beautiful. Thank you for writing it.

  • brainmist

    Well written…although I think the “Humans objectify the things they love” is less accurate than “Humans objectify people they don’t want to believe have feelings. I think we anthropomorphize the things we love, and objectify the things we want to use.

    • mjbrin

      Like! like! like!

  • Cpt_Justice

    Thank you. On behalf of women everywhere, and men everywhere, and civilization in general.

  • aezd

    Thank you for this, as a woman it is so refreshing to see men raising their sons to not objectify women. I left a link to your post as a response to another blog that showed up in my news feed on the same day:
    Yours was coming from the same Christian place but with so much more understanding for other people and personal accountability.

    • Tikatu

      Actually, I think Nate’s post here was in response to the other one, which went viral. A fine response it is, too.

  • seatownmom

    Just lovely Nate – thank you for your wise words. May there be more men who raise more sons this way.

  • Peggy Viney

    As a mother to a little girl, I am glad that there are good fathers teaching their sons to be righteous men and not animals. Thank you.

  • Sarah Paxton

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I wish every man I know would read this.

  • AlexisCeule

    Very nice Nate.

  • T. Elizabeth Newman

    Thank you for this message, this is what I wish we’d see more of. Instead of telling girls how they must act or dress – we need to approach it with both sexes. Teaching boys and young men how to view the opposite sex as people. The nice thing is your post allows someone to switch out the pronouns and use this to also educate their daughters on how to treat boys/men.

  • Tikatu

    Thank you. I love the idea that you are parenting your own son–and not someone else’s daughters.

  • Joy Wahlen Wagner

    Thank you so much for that amazing message. It is one that I will share with my boys. I have never read anything so clear and validating.

  • Mary Catherine

    I cannot even tell you the many things I love from this post (the list would be too long)! I will be saving it as reference for when my son gets older. Thank you. I cannot wait to check out the rest of your site.

  • Dawn Panda

    This post, albeit written in a Christian blog, doesn’t only address Christian virtues–it expresses ideal HUMAN values. It holds true for young men and for young women; the people you look at are much more than the clothing, hairstyle or bodies that you see. The writer speaks a classic truth: we can’t control how others look but we can control our reactions to them.
    I’m not a Christian, yet this post fills me with joy. It transcends religious boundaries, and we all can benefit from heeding this advice.

    • mjbrin

      like like like!

  • Amy @ Run Mom Run

    Love this! I’ve often said that modesty is a combined effort between the woman dressing well and the man controlling his thoughts. I hate that so often we give girls the idea that by dressing a certain way we control a man, or this thoughts, and therefore his agency. We can NEVER control another’s agency. Excellent post.

  • stopbackpain

    I’m afraid this article will make boys feel guilty for looking away.

    Son, it is your responsibility to look away when she’s not wearing enough, and not believe the lie that you should have will power to look her in the eyes no matter what
    she’s wearing or not wearing. In order to see women like humans you will have to look away from some of them and stay away from some of them. It is your job to control your eyes and don’t ever feel guilty about looking away.

    • LizBert

      It disturbs me that so many men seem to think like you, that a scantily clad woman is sub-human. I assure you that no matter what I am wearing I expect respect. As long as you keep telling your son to look away you are also telling him to not look deeper, not find the humanity or the humour or the intelligence because believe me, they are there. Do you read what you have written? That in order to consider another person human, you have to look away from them. As if displays of sexuality actually take that individual’s humanity away. Would you say the same thing about a man in military uniform, that if you want to think of him as human and not government deployed a killing machine that you should look away? Or can you see his humanity because he’s a man?

      • stopbackpain

        I’m sorry you misunderstood me. I didn’t mean to imply that scantily clad women were sub-human. Scantily clad women are a temptation and will trigger an objectification mechanism in the male brain. So men will see women as objects and tend to treat them the same. The chemicals in the brain also make us take pictures we can’t exactly unseen. More like we have to work at not recalling them. The article implies some kind of super power over how the male brain works. Looking away from scantly clad women makes it much easier to control thoughts, be respectful and look deeper and focus on the humanity, humor and intelligence of modest women.

  • Valerie Eyerly

    Thank you for this. So refreshing, so good.

  • HopewellKat


  • MikeGraf

    Thats some nice masculinity. it always comes in pairs. We need a daughters’ conversation that says “If you’re not selling it, dont dress like a whore” . Ok, maybe less blunt and a lot smarter… But there is something out there along the lines of ‘If you value who you are, you wont use tools like sexual attractiveness, bare skin etc against your “brothers”. And if you respect your brithers and cherish their best interest, if you love them as you should love other human beings, you’ll help them by keeping it tame in public.’

    • coltov mocktail

      actually, i think it would be a whole lot better if we all just went naked (again)

    • Cee Bee

      how about if women agree to help their brothers by “keeping it tame” in public, guys like you agree to help their sisters by not going out in public at all? that would help most of us A LOT.


      • Amber Ciofalo

        There are STILL many cultures where women do not cover their breasts, it is not conducive to feeding their children.

      • MikeGraf

        I am in full agreement that nakedness is contextual and cultural and 100% nakedness could be without sexuality. In North American culture nakedness is still sexy and not “business as usual”, save for some small exceptions like childhood and breastfeeding, otherwise nakedness has the (oft intended) effect.

        Why would you want “guys like [me]” to not go out in public?

        • Cee Bee

          Because you make it sound as though women are responsible for men’s behavior and you teeter on the edge of saying that women who don’t dress “appropriately” deserve to be shamed.

          But given that the level of “nakedness” at which men (or women) get turned on is entirely cultural, where do you draw the line?? In the Victorian era a hint of stocking was considered a scandal and enough to drive a man into a sexual frenzy. In fundamentalist Islam, where women live under full body and facial burqas, even a woman’s wrist can be considered taboo. Yet still, many cultures accept nakedness and go about their business just fine. As you note, it’s not nakedness that is really the problem. It’s what is forbidden that stimulates the imagination and titillates. So again, where do you draw the line?

          • MikeGraf

            Its simple. You draw the line by minimizing the troubles for the other person, that is the way of love. Mutual love would see Men doing their damnedest to allow women to just be themselves and would see Women caring more about the troubles that men encounter with scantily clad women. The hardest part in the system is who is first mover and how do we overcome selfishness?

            For men that means respecting women despite how their dressed (much like the article proposed) and being upmost gentlemen and overcoming the desire to objectify and use women for the man’s personal gain.

            For women that would mean dressing less revealingly than average despite their own right to dress however they want ( potentially more provocatively ) and overcoming the desire to utilise their body/sexuality as an instrument to get what they want from the opposite sex.

            Keep in mind I come from a position that Men/Women should have an intense amount of mutual love for eachother, one that necessitates selflessness. This is definitely an abnormal position and you have the legal right to be contrary to it, so I fully expect people to think I’m a whack job.

          • Cee Bee

            Yes but if all women dress “less revealingly than average” then by definition the average shifts. And at some point you end up at burqa. For the sake of argument, this is mathematically true.

            And who do you dress for? If there are women out there with variation in their style/preference, there are inevitably men out there with variation in their style/preferences too. Which men do we choose to dress for??

          • MikeGraf

            Yes, if all women were less than average we’d have a declining average. I doubt we will ever have everyone dressing less revealing than average. I doubt we’d ever have the majority dressing that way either, so in time I expect the average to become more and more revealing. IMO those daughters/women who respect men will dress less provocatively than their peers because they hold the men in their lives with greater regard than their own freedoms. (Those men ought to be initiating or returning that sentiment full fold as well.)

            On the personal side? I dress for myself and my wife. For myself in clothes that are situation appropriate and communicate the messages I want to communicate. Not very revealing, fairly casual, aimed to please my wife. Or work wise to communicate some amount of respect to those I work with and to show that I am serious about my profession.

            Which men ought a woman choose to dress for? IMO if she is in a committed relationship, probably for that man. If she isnt, then I’d say she could respect the weaknesses/vulnerabilitiy of her peer men and think of her future husband’s desires (eg, would he feel ok with her dressing in a way that she is oggled/ lusted after by many men ?)

            Btw: I’m using typical heterosexual roles here, I think either sex could be interchanged with the LGBT modes (eg, Monogamous respectful Lesbian women ought to be modest w/ other women etc.) .. Some people will not want to be monogamous, respectful etc and I full expect that. But when it comes to myself and those around me, I expect better.

          • Cee Bee

            I agree that ideally people should be respectful of others and use good judgement in whatever they do — dressing, behaving, speaking, whatever. I also agree that if you are in a committed relationship it makes sense for both partners to dress in a way that is comfortable for eachother, as long as this isn’t oppressive.

            But I disagree with any implication that women should be held to higher or different standards here than men and I also don’t think men are as weak or out of control as you suggest. I say this because I know many many men who don’t lose their minds when they are around women who dress a little provocatively (within reason of course). They notice it but it’s not such a big deal, they get over it. What makes these men so different??

            Men (particularly those with nice bodies) can distract women too — so if you are going to maintain the standards that you espouse, you need to be careful not to exclude men and their self-presentation/dress from your expectations of modesty. I hope you don’t.

          • MikeGraf

            Now that we’ve moved from a perspective of “the talk” is just for my boy, to a more moderate approach across the board. I agree. I say that women might need to pay more attention to looks because I believe it does affect men to a greater extent and because society is pressuring women to look “more attractive” (whatever that is) at any given moment.

            Similarly I think men need to pay more attention to things like rousing the interests of women through various false messages surrounding emotions and commitment. Many pick up artists and some ignorant men over commit themselves, or utilize some of these tools to manipulate women into circumstances that the women may not normally choose.

            IMO the standards ought to be equally high, but not necessarily in the exact same areas. As male/female sexes we’re equal, but not identical, and as such I believe we ought to aim to minimize our exploits of eachothers’ weaknesses. (Stereotypically, Image/Visual for men and Emotional/Committal for women).

    • Amber Ciofalo

      It is ridiculous to think that even a daughter who has been taught to be
      modest by her family wouldn’t eventually rebel at some point and decide
      she wants to dress provocatively. Shorts and skirts are made too short,
      shirts cut too low, bathing suits lacking, and constantly in the media
      women are literally selling their bodies to sell YOU a product. What we need to change is society as a whole, instead of fighting an uphill battle and blaming everything 100% on an individual who has simply been brainwashed to think that is what they want.

  • Courtney Puckett

    I thought this article was right on point! This is how I want to teach my son to look at women and I am so glad you posted this.

  • Tiffany

    I am raising 3 sons, I GREATLY appreciate this post. Thank you.

  • ♡ Malcolm Jackson

    Nate this is beautiful. Moving, touching, rebalancing. Thank you.

  • Joseph Mentor Nichols

    I simply cannot take this article seriously because we all know that we express ourselves a certain way in order to get feedback. To get a response of some kind. Women who dress slutty know what they are doing. They are doing it for a reason. Men who stroll around the beach or walk through the gym with their shirts off promoting their 6-packs also know what they are doing. It’s not rocket science. Obviously it is not cause to rape the person and obviously they are more than what they are wearing but you cannot tell me to perceive someone differently than the manner in which they have chosen to be perceived.

    If you walk into my home with a gun I will not assume you are a decent guy or respect the man you are behind the gun; I will fucking shoot your ass.

    What we need to teach our children is to identify this behavior and see it as disgusting or a turn-off. Show men and women that sexually expressing themselves is not going to give them the kind of attention that they seek. Do not indulge them. Teach them to value the people who actually make the effort to value themselves; and to dismiss those who shame our society and it’s values.

    As far as I’m concerned all persons are on a pedestal. Let them knock themselves off and appreciate who remains.

    • Cee Bee

      Meh. Teen girls often dress provocatively because they want to fit in, because it gets them attention, because they are learning and experimenting with being sexual beings, and sometimes to rebel. A lot of this is all part of normal growth and the process of figuring out how to be a women — which is not easy. Trust me, a girl who goes from having the body of a little kid to the body of a woman in a matter of months does not really know what she is doing with that body right away. If parents want to help girls through this process as they mature, compassion and conversation are much more effective tools than shame.

      I’m surprised you speak so confidently about such matters when you have never been a woman. Do you think you are qualified? Maybe you need to spend a little more time listening and thinking.

      Just a thought. :)

      • Joseph Mentor Nichols

        I don’t believe that I need to be a woman to understand how to dress myself.

        I speak confidently because such matters have nothing to do with being a woman or a man. They have to do with society and I am a part of this society. We all like to express ourselves. I like to write poetry, write music, sing, dance, make jokes, etc.. Some go even more extensively with piercings or tattoos. And then we have clothing. The most common form of expression.

        I will never understand why people need to go through such lengths to express themselves or to receive attention. Especially when it’s the wrong kind of attention. I will never understand how these people can realize how they are influencing our society and then complain about what our society has come to. It’s depressing even to watch it happen around us.

        • Cee Bee

          I was responding to your statement: “Women who dress slutty know what they are doing. They are doing it for a reason.”

          My point is that it is often more complicated with teenagers. And also, if you have not been a teen girl or a woman you do not have the qualifications to speak with confidence about their experience. To think you do only exhibits arrogance on your part. You do not.

          Enough said.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            You are right. I just simply don’t wish to understand it. Regardless of the reasoning I just dislike the overall perception, attitude, and influence it has on the world around them.

  • Emily
  • Kelly

    Its rare I ever leave comments on anything, but I was incredibly moved by this. As a woman, I’ve always wanted to have a daughter, so I could raise her to find her self worth in something other then her appearance. To love who she is and not the body she is, to be strong and confident, and to never think of herself as the “weaker” sex. I always felt this would be a challenging, but rewarding task, given the pressure that women deal with everyday.

    But it is just as challenging and rewarding to raise a son to truly respect women. Sadly, I think, currently, you are in the minority. But I am meeting more and more men like you.

    Thank you.

    Thank you for raising your son the way you are. Especially as a man. I in no way mean that to condescend, but so many men I’ve experienced have never been able to put themselves in our shoes and recognize what its like to be objectified, hollered at, or harassed. I hope you have lots of babies, because they are clearly going to grow up to be amazing people.

    Thank you one more time. I can’t tell you enough how refreshing it is to read something like this.

  • John Lysaght

    Sexuality isn’t a Gift, it’s a Cross to bear…..

    • coltov mocktail

      i can only hope you learn to feel differently.

      • John Lysaght

        Not likely

  • lilian98


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  • lilian98



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  • Nicole Resweber

    Bless you. This is the post I’ve been hoping to see.

  • Emily Mader

    Finally, a loving post about “modesty” written by a Christian. I am honestly so tired of trying to defend Christianity… most of the time I apologize for the behaviour of Christians and say, “Jesus was nothing like this.”

    I’m SO glad I could post this blog confidently on my facebook. It’s actually worth reading.

  • Guest

    Do you mind if I share this post on a blog I am starting?

    • Nate Pyle

      I ask that you only post a small sample of the post with a “continue reading here” or something like that, with a link back to my original post here on my blog. Thank you.

  • tricia

    Do you mind if I post this on my blog?

    • Nate Pyle

      I ask you only post a small sample of the post with a “continue reading here” or something like that, with a link back to my original post here on my blog. Thank you.

  • coltov mocktail

    Is any object any more than an object? Are there certain things (objects) more sacrosanct than others? Does the perception of certain forms dictate (or negate) expressions of compassion? Is the libido something to be repressed? Does the verbal articulation of sexual arousal equate violence? Is the mutation of one’s spontaneity by another’s disembodied past a form of authentic expression or does it herald a cavalcade of neurotic cause and effect? I am sexually aroused by the sight of women I find attractive and I find that (among the many other joyful sensations and perceptions of life), in itself, delightful. I wouldn’t be surprised should my sons find this to be so as well,

    • Cee Bee

      Is the writer of this post smoking weed?
      I wouldn’t be surprised should we find this to be so.

      • coltov mocktail

        Has the writer of the above post been subject to electro-shock therapy? A lobotomy? Or perhaps simply straight-jacketed by 21st century puritanical repression?

        • Cee Bee

          btw, the verbal articulation (or expression) of sexual arousal can easily equate fear in a woman if she does not know or trust the man. if she feels safe and is attracted to him, it can be delightful.

          it’s fine if you are sexually aroused by the sight of women you find attractive, just keep it to yourself unless she gives you a clear sign or you know she is on the same page.

          not sure if that was what you were asking. you gotta admit your comment was a bit opaque.

          • coltov mocktail

            that’s where you loose me. i’d say that articulating (even unrequited) sexual attraction is neither inherently violent nor threatening. more honesty and less signalling, that’s what i’d like in this world..

          • Cee Bee

            just don’t make her uncomfortable. straight women want men to be attracted to them. but if a guy wants women to like him and all he is doing is making the women he likes uncomfortable, he needs to re-strategize.

            sure, women are more sensitive to these things than men — but they have reason to be. you need to give them a break too.

            if a guy is genuine and doesn’t make women feel objectified or weird, most women will be quite happy to talk to him.

    • Joseph Mentor Nichols

      In layman’s terms you are asking if this behavior is wrong. The answer is, this depends on how you value sex.

      If you consider it to be nothing more than a hobby. Just something to do in your spare time. Then no; it’s not wrong. People may dress provocatively and speak with sexual innuendo. They may sleep around with absolute strangers and cheat on their current lovers. The power of their orgasm may take precedence over their emotional attachment. Abortions should be legal forms of birth control.

      If you consider it to be an act to be performed with someone you love. If you consider it to be an act of love. Then yes; it is wrong. People should not have to hear from their friends how good (or bad) you are in bed. People should not have to share you with the entire neighborhood or workplace. People should not have to wonder if you can be faithful to them. You should feel special knowing that you have what no one ( or few others) have had before. You should feel confident and willing to risk the chance to have a child with this person.

      It is extremely difficult for these two mindsets to coexist. Especially with the power of temptation, the need for social acceptance, and the lack of any true role-models guiding our society. Not to mention it’s just easier and less lonely being bad.

      • coltov mocktail

        It is frankly unbelievable that intercourse is the only method you can conceive of expressing sexual attraction. to some, the libido is ancillary to procreation. however, not only is its function much more profound, the communal the avenues open to enjoyment once one is comfortable with its healthy advent are, to say the least, of infinite variation and scope.

        • Joseph Mentor Nichols

          So you’re part of the ‘less lonely” category, I reckon. Emotional gratification does not justify the risks involved with sexual conduct; no-matter how pleasurable the experience.

          Just because if feels good doesn’t make it right.

          • coltov mocktail

            i’d say that “it” feeling good is what drives our every action – including your statement above. Even delaying gratification is driven by experiencing an undercurrent of sublime pleasure.

          • Joseph Mentor Nichols

            Moral pleasure or gratification is superior to immoral or unethical pleasure or gratification.

            There are many settings in which the pursuance of sexual behavior may enact a detrimental influence unto our society or culture. I.E.; Deadbeat parents, infidelity, prostitution, pedophilia, rape, abortion, or the social pressure to idolize sexual nature/behavior.

  • WL

    Thank you so much for posting this! There is so much truth in it, grounded in the gospel and what it means to love your neighbor. I shared it on Facebook and many people are resonating with it, both Christ-followers and non-Christ followers. Thank you for helping restore peace, and bring truth into the world. May the peace of Christ be with you my brother.

  • Albert A Arroyo

    Sorry but you don’t lose your humanity cause you look at another woman wrongly you lose your humanity when your killing one another.

    • stubbikins

      You lose humanity when you grab, force a kiss or rape another person also.

  • Andrea

    Mil gracias.
    Probably one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. And I’m soooooo grateful that a man wrote it.

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  • some guy

    I agree in large with this. however it seems you get to the point of shaming the boys. regarding clothes and overall physical appearance, its the first thing you see, you cant see their inner self or their personality in whole. you have to spend a lot of time with someone to truly see who they are, and if they turn out to not be what you were looking for or whatever, you just wasted that time. obviously you shouldnt judge a book by its cover, but that cover can give you a hint to its contents.

    sometimes you cant control your body from outside forces, you will react regardless, it just matters on whether you will act outwardly or its all within. if you see a woman you find attractive, your body will react in some way. from butterflies to an erection, or in the worst and most worrisome way, possibly sexual assault. the latter being the one you want to make sure you teach your kids that it is never the right “expression”.

    I really dont care how women dress, they can walk around nude or whatever. if one I find attractive walks by, of course I’m gonna look. nothing wrong with it, I’m not staring at her for longer than a couple seconds or raping her with my eyes. simply appreciating the beauty, and yes it might be something I find lustful. personal responsibility is important as touched upon in the article. its important to know laws of nature, regarding clothes and how women present themselves, cause and effect is an important one to learn because some people are more barbaric than others.

    if I walk down a dark alley in a shitty neighborhood wearing a fancy suit and gold all over the place, then I get robbed. well I’m partly to blame, I chose to be there and stupidly wore something to get myself noticed in the wrong way. same can go for women, maybe they dont realize how they are putting themselves out there, and I’m not saying blame the victim, but they need to understand that they put themselves into such a position. they chose to go to that place, they chose to put themselves someplace to get taken advantage of in some way, whether they drank too much or wandered someplace sketchy. they dont ask for it, but they dont see the whole picture.

    think I covered it, but I’m pretty tired.
    I’m sure there will be a whole bunch of comments calling me sexist or rapist sympathizer(think they deserve some ridiculously harsh punishments and have the same thing done to them in prison), but whatever. I’ve dated a couple women that were sexually assaulted, I’ve seen what it does to someone, which is why I say take preventative measures if you can. obviously you cant control everything, sometimes shit happens. “hope for the best, plan for the worst” is a good motto to have.

    • maryinbama

      The most common clothing that rape victims are wearing at the time they are assaulted is jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt. Old ladies on oxygen in nursing homes get raped. Babies get raped. Telling women that if they just dress a certain way, it might protect them is just generating a false sense of security and your attitude is what drives the blaming of rape victims. People (including women) have to live in those bad parts of town you mention. Should they be blamed because they do not have the money to live anywhere else?

  • jhlee

    Matthew 5:29

    “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”

    I hope no one takes this passage literally, but I think Jesus was saying something profoundly important here: The sin in is the person that sins, and not in anyone or anything else. Nowhere does he say to berate or shame the person that made you stumble, because there is no such person other than yourself.

    I think the message is, throw away the part of you that led to your sin–in this case, the idea that skimpy clothes are a license to harass or demean someone. That’s the part that needs to go, not the short skirt or oiled abs or whatever else you would like to blame. It’s about personal responsibility, pure and simple.

  • Bob

    I used to know a guy who was everything this post fears. He’d leer (not look) at young women, say something sexually provocative to them as they were walking, and then tell us all what he’d like to do to her. I am no longer friends with this person, thankfully.

    That said, a look doesn’t necessarily lead to any of that. I’m happily engaged, but when I walk down the street, I notice things. It is impossible not to, despite what you claim. But the things I notice never lead to any thoughts like those I described above, nor do I leer or stare. I notice, I continue with my life. I don’t see the harm in this. I also notice when women stare at some other guy as he walks by, and your son will probably have to deal with that himself at some point.

    He will walk by a group of young girls. They will brazenly stare at him, they will giggle, and they will whisper in each others ears about him. That’s far more harmful than a look.

  • JPReturns

    I used to believe that too when I was a kid. But it’s a childish oversimplification of male-female relations. Sometimes, women DO dress to attract.

    • mjbrin

      By this logic all humans should be alcoholics since liquor companies advertise to attract humans to drink. Some are and only change when they acknowledge it and get help

      His message is “choice”. Humans choose to either respect another or they not respect them. Those who choose to disrespect another are not the victims. They are the ones who need to take responsibility for their choice.

    • stubbikins

      And when they dress to attract, they are still human beings, they still are not giving you permission to have sex with them.

      • JPReturns

        I never said it was. But this kind of message, so poetically stated, isn’t really a good guide line. Mode of dress indicates at most that someone should make the attempt to come on to.

        • stubbikins

          Not at all. Married women dress up, that does not mean you should come on to them. If you actually looked at a woman’s face or actions or if you listen to what she says you would be able to tell if she is interested in talking to you. Clothes are just clothes.

          • JPReturns

            If you’re talking about a mature man who has experience and can recognize signs, sure. We’re supposed to be focusing on adolescents who are presumably in need of guidance.

          • stubbikins

            Thus the part where you TEACH them that women are not pieces of meat and that you cannot make assumptions based on clothing.

  • Ruth

    Your statement (in bold, no less) about woman’s responsibility being to get dressed and man’s responsibility to look at her as a human being was incredibly profound and not something I can remember ever hearing from the male side of the table. This is not what I’m going to stress to my daughter, since I want her to be modest (although I will tell her that men SHOULD be looking at her as a human being and to avoid those who do not), but I will certainly be passing this wisdom on to my sons. I think if people focused on their OWN responsibility on this issue and what it looks like to love others through what we wear and how we treat them, things would be much better. Thanks for this – loved the message.

  • Rachael

    Thank you for this beautiful message to your son. Every day is a struggle for women when they step into their clothes. I have an extremely large chest. Even on days when I don’t feel well and want to disappear in baggy sweats and glasses, I get heckled. I got threatened outside of a bar once by a man who made a comment. When I said, “Excuse me??” he got within an inch of my face to physically intimidate me and said, “You’re the one who walked out of your house looking like that, so I can say whatever I want to you.” I was wearing a turtleneck sweater, jeans, and ballet flats. The bouncer came to my rescue and handled the situation in a manner that made me think he saw the potential that the man looked as though he would physically harm me. Because of my body. Because of what I was wearing. I will never forget that night, and how that man made me feel. Every time I see a person raking over my body with their eyes, I hear his voice echo in their thoughts. I begin to panic and think, is my shirt cut too low? Is it too tight today? Should I be afraid? I have trained myself to brush off the rudeness of strangers walking up to me, asking if my breasts are real or fake and what size. Others literally grab at me. Thank you for raising your son to look at women as more than just their flesh, and to be responsible for his own actions. I cannot get rid of the body that was given to me, but I control my mind and my actions, as does everyone else. Thank you for being a compassionate citizen of this world. God Bless!

  • mjbrin

    thank you for teaching responsibility and helping others to do so as well

  • Leanne

    Thank you Nate for sharing this message; thank you in advance for the day you will share this with your son. I will definitely be sharing this with my daughter.

    As humans we judge one another, often harshly & most certainly incorrectly, especially when we make assumptions based on how someone dresses.

    Brene Brown has shared her views & research on how we, as humans, deal with our insecurities and vulnerablities. I have been challenging myself to be less judgemental of myself and others.

    Thank you for adding to my consciousness!

  • Sareem

    This is wonderfully written. Men need to be taught to respect women and not treat them as “sex toys”. That is what parents should teach their sons. On the flip side however, women need to dress in a manner that doesn’t sexually tempt men. They should not present themselves as “objects of desire”. That is what parents should teach their daughters.

    • Sareem

      I think it is futile to debate who is responsible for sexual assualts or any other sexual immorality. We live in a world where we are constantly exposed to sexually enticing images and ideas. Such exposure tends to corrupt our notions. Men who are constantly exposed to such things through what they watch on tv, magazines, internet, etc. tend to develop improper attitudes about women. These men are much more likely to tease or molest women irrespective of how they are dressed. On the other hand, when women dress provocatively, they tend to arouse improper notions in the men around them. When these two factors combine, they can have a profound effect on the inter-gender relationships in a society.

      We have to realize that for proper inter-gender relations, both men and women have to be sexually disciplined not only in how they dress but also in how they behave and treat each other. It is not a question of whether women should dress modestly or men should be more respectful. Both things need to happen for proper inter-gender relations. We need to change the way we dress and the way we think. We need to change the culture that influences women to be sexy and sexualizes women in men’s eyes.

      • stubbikins

        And here you display the entire problem. When a crime is committed, there is actually only one person to blame, the criminal. Waning what someone else has does not give you the right to take it nor is the person having what you want responsible for controlling YOUR urge to take.

        This is 100% true for sexual assault as much as it is for murder, robbery, car theft, etc.

      • maryinbama

        Rape existed long before TV and the internet. Dress has nothing to do with it. Respecting each other as equals does.

        • Sareem

          Rape and other sexual crimes did exist in the past. I will agree that the TV and the Internet has nothing to do with. Ideas of love, sex, and women do. The TV and the Internet is the modern medium through which ideas that sexualize women are spread. In the past, other methods spread similar ideas.

          Dressing does have an affect. Lets put it this way. When you go out of your home, you make sure that your money, credit cards and other valueable are secure in your purse. You don’t just keep them out in the open. Similarly, how you dress is an issue of protecting yourself from sexual attention. People who commit crimes will commit crimes. A theif can steal your valuables no matter how safely you keep them, and women can get sexually assualted irrespective of how they dress. In spite of that, the wise thing to do with your valuables is to keep them away from unwanted attention.

          I completely agree that we need to build a world that is more respectful of women. A part of that is stopping the sexualization of women that is rampant in our modern world. We have to stop ideas that present women as treats for men in our music, movies, fashion, and other cultural media.

          • maryinbama

            Quite a few studies have been done interviewing rapists and asking them why and how they choose their victims. Clothing is almost never a reason. The most common clothing that women are wearing when raped is jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt. The main reason they choose their rape victim is accessibility. Continuing to tell women that they are protecting themselves by dressing a certain way does nothing but give them a false sense of security. Wearing modest clothing will not protect them. No other crime immediately begins to blame the victim. If I have my credit card stolen, no one immediately asks, “well, why did you have your credit card with you?” The thief does not get off because you were “asking for it.” This is not about sexualization of women. This is about a lack of respect towards women that goes back thousands of years. Why wouldn’t men rape when they have less than a 3% chance of going to jail for it? It is time for men to just grow up.

    • stubbikins

      So women should wear burqas because men like you cannot control themselves?

      • RebekahRandolph

        Oh my. How did you get “burqas” from “a manner that doesn’t sexually tempt men?”

        I think common sense tells you that deep cleavage, skin-tight jeans, and dresses that show under-boob are, um, sexually tempting. Use common sense.

        It’s not because men “can’t control themselves,” it’s because you want to help them out as they do try to control themselves! I mean, sure they’re responsible for their own actions, but why would you want to make things harder for the poor guys?

        • stubbikins

          Because every type of clothing there is will tempt men. There is literally not a single type of clothing that has not been worn by a rape victim… or many rape victims.

          “poor guys” are not animals, it is not my job to protect them from their urges to rape and abuse, it is THEIR job to see women as human beings and not sex toys.

          • RebekahRandolph

            Agreed. It is not our job to protect men from their own sinful inclinations; we couldn’t do it anyway, as sin comes from within and not from external stimuli. However, I’m not sure why you object to helping them.

            Perhaps we’re not coming from the same background: I am assuming that as a Christian, you are endeavoring to walk in love towards those around you. If men are trying to keep their thoughts pure and to avoid lust, and I think that’s a good thing, why would I sabotage them by wearing booty shorts and a bikini top? They are certainly not animals but, like the rest of us, they’re flawed human beings.

            I do not need to wear a burqa to be modest. Standards of modesty do differ across cultures but as I said, I think that some are simply common sense! I don’t feel that I need to cater to every possible sexual inclination of every man who might walk by– I’m not going to throw away my flip-flops because some dude is turned on by feet. However, it seems pretty obvious to me that a plunging neckline (especially when you’re *very* well endowed like I am!) is a neon invitation for the vast majority of men to view me as a sexual object. If I wore that, and a guy made a lewd comment, I couldn’t pretend to be surprised– even though he should not have said it.

            And I don’t think that the articles of clothing worn by rape victims were the reason they were raped. Maybe men use that as an excuse, but it seems like rape has more to do with power than sexuality. Doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a turtleneck or a thong.

          • stubbikins

            Rape is NOT SIN, Rape is violent crime. Do not babble about sin when talking about violence and cruelty.

            You miss the entire point, that you even making proclamations about modesty an clothing shows that you missed the entire point. Clothing has nothing to do with it, if a man sees women as human beings, he will see ALL women as human beings. Anyone judging a woman to be less worthy or less human because of clothing is part of the problem.

          • RebekahRandolph

            Well, I never said that a woman dressing immodestly was less human or had less dignity, just that she has made a wrong choice. Surely you agree that humans make wrong choices? And I fully agree that a man should see every single woman as a human being, no matter what she’s wearing.

            Obviously, you and I don’t agree on the definition of sin; I think violence and cruelty are very sinful (wrong, displeasing to God, need to be repented of) behaviors. Not sure what you consider them to be. In any case, it looks like we’re speaking at cross purposes. I don’t wish to shame or blame anyone. I believe that it’s possible to offer correction and advice without simultaneously loading on the shame.

          • stubbikins

            The post I commented on said “On the flip side however, women need to dress in a manner that doesn’t sexually tempt men. ”

            That is blaming the victim, you are defending what that poster said.

          • RebekahRandolph

            Hmm, yes, maybe “need to dress” does imply “need to dress that way if they don’t wanna get raped.”

            A better choice of words might be “ought to if she’s a Christian,” as in “ought to because it’s honoring to the Lord.” Love motivates modesty, not fear or shame. And you might think that my obedience to the Lord is just another form of fear-driven bondage. All I can say is, it’s not. I am very happy to obey God and my dignity and sexuality are not at all repressed.

            Obviously you’re not going to agree with my motivation for being modest– honoring God. But hopefully it’s clear that despite my belief that women ought to be modest, no woman anywhere, wearing any thing, ever deserves or should be blamed for rape.

            I don’t believe that it is right for me to dress in a way that is sexually provocative, except when I am with my husband. If you disagree, well, I suppose that’s where our discussion will end.

          • stubbikins

            I don’t care what your religion is, no one does, keep it to yourself.

          • RebekahRandolph

            Okey dokey.

        • maryinbama

          So male sexual lust would disappear if ALL women covered themselves from neck to toe? Of course not. Poor boys. Slaves to their own sexuality.

    • Kirk

      My wife and I tell our 2 daughters that we don’t care what you wear, as long as you are appropriately covered. Our oldest is 13 and she has said many times “Why do girls dress so skimpy. You can almost see her butt”
      While I agree that men do need to be taught to respect women, Women need to be taught to respect themselves. Both sexes can dress appropriately and still be “sexy”. This is a subject that really needs to go both ways.

    • maryinbama

      So if they wear shorts or a tight shirt, it is their fault if some man sexually attacks them??? If every woman were covered in a burlap sack, they would sexually tempt men. Don’t place the burden of men’s sexuality on women.

  • Brian Sayler

    this piece of writing is replete with politically correct platitudes that I’ve been hearing for since adolescence. if you unload this barrage of “insight” on your son the first time you catch him admiring a woman’s beauty, the result you achieve will probably be the opposite of what you hope to achieve. You will make him forever confused and conflicted about something he shouldn’t be confused or conflicted about, namely, being attracted to that which is naturally attractive.

    how about letting nature take its course until or unless you observe problematic traits of womanizing behavior, which can be gently corrected with subtle advice rather than bludgeoned out of him with an overreaction the very first time he sees something beautiful?

    Oh and by the way, I find women eye-catching all the time…but it is almost never “lust”. In my experience, looking at female beauty is one of the great joys of life. It is almost never arousing or sexual, which means it is almost never an occasion for a brow-beating morality lecture. Beauty is the spice of life…don’t deny your son that enjoyment just because you have it confused with lust. People love to look at other people. Don’t conflate that with some sort of indignity or immorality, because you will be doing your son a great disservice if you do.

    • stubbikins

      You find it confusing to think of women as human beings?

      • Brian Sayler

        not at all confusing; however, since their beauty is intrinsically tied up in their humanity, there is nothing mutually exclusive about appreciating beauty and treating a woman as a human being.

        • stubbikins

          Every time a woman is assaulted, groped, and intimidated there is a man who is ignoring her humanity for his own desires.

          • Brian Sayler

            OK, I’ll concede that point…but what does that have to do with the original post, or anything I said in my comment? The author of the original post wants to pounce all over his son the first time he sees his son look at a woman, which is a FAR cry from “assault[ing], grop[ing], and intimidat[ing]” a woman. You, along with many other respondents here, seem to think that men are going to look with their eyes and then suddenly, uncontrollably leap on top of a woman and viciously attack her! I’m merely pointing out that noticing and appreciating beauty isn’t an indicator of imminent violence…in fact, it almost never is. Linking the two is so illogical and unreasonable that I find it absurd and bizarre.

          • stubbikins

            Boy did you miss the whole point of the article…

            “Because in the end, they want to be with you. Without fear of being judged, or shamed, or condemned, or objectified, or being treated as other. ”

            It is the treating of and thinking of women as the other that causes rape, abuse, grabbing, groping, and demeaning. You not understanding that is you displaying the whole problem.

          • stubbikins

            “You, along with many other respondents here, seem to think that men are going to look with their eyes and then suddenly, uncontrollably leap on top of a woman and viciously attack her!”

            You mean like telling women that if they wear short skirts it is their own fault they are raped? The millions of people who ask what a woman was wearing when she was attacked believe EXACTLY what you just said, that men cannot control themselves and women should be covered or else they deserve to be attacked.

          • maryinbama

            Very often those looks DO turn into physical contact. Let me just relay a few episodes in my life off of the top of my head:
            My butt has been grabbed so many times I have lost count.
            I have had boys and men grab my boobs.
            had a policeman change my tire one night and then he followed me to my
            apartment to “make sure I got home safely” and then proceeded to trap me
            against the door and kiss me.
            One night one of my girlfriends asked
            me to go to a party with her. She brought her little brother and his
            friend. The friend started flirting with me and asked me out and I told
            him I had a boyfriend. Later on that night he came to my apartment and tried to tear my door down with a crowbar.
            was in the grocery store parking lot once and had my hands full of
            bags. I was trying to get my key in the lock when a man came up behind
            me and tried to pull my shirt off.
            My first year in law school I lived in an apartment by myself. A
            across the way started looking through my windows with a telescope and
            leaving notes on my car. I had to cover every window with sheets and
            blankets the entire time I lived there to keep him from seeing me.
            I am sure I could come up with tens times this amount if I
            thought about it long enough. Not one of those times was I wearing anything provocative or risque.

      • Brian Sayler

        no, not confusing at all; however, since beauty is intrinsically part of humanity, there is nothing mutually exclusive about appreciating beauty and treating someone as a human being.

  • Josh Jackson

    What if he’s attracted to the beauty of her face? Facial recognition & acceptance/rejection is so much more stronger of a connector of two people. I do agree with the comments that attraction without action of love is empty, well said!

  • Meredith

    All in all, I think this is great. The one point I take issue is with “women are the other sex.” First of all, this is a problem as it removes genderqueer and all non-cisgendered people from this conversation you are having with your son. Because of your insights focus on treating all people with kindness and openness, it would perhaps be helpful to also include this conversation in a non-gender-binary way. Additionally, to say “women are the other sex” is to cite women as a monolith, which is counter-productive to your overall message of women as people, and all people as individuals. Finally, this statement is problematic because of the word “other.” To highlight a person, or a group of people, as “other” creates a rift that becomes difficult to bridge. Perhaps, instead, you could say “another,” which addresses the biological difference between men and women without a) enforcing a gender binary, and b) othering women. Unfortunately, this one statement undermines much of the rest of your statement as it stands now, which is too bad, because it is a great message.

  • Jackie

    I do agree with most of what you said. However…:)…I do feel that it is both a male and female’s responsibility to not be a stumbling block to the opposite sex by dressing immodestly. That does not mean we are responsible for others’ lust or sin, we are certainly not, but we can be a source of temptation. It’s the same as someone pestering someone trying to stop drinking to go party, or someone pushing a piece of chocolate cake on someone who is trying to diet, that behavior is not helping them, it is creating a stumbling block for them. I think it’s without explanation that this is excluding any kind of sexual assault. Victims of sexual assault come in all shapes and sizes and are dressed a variety of ways, and the assault is never their fault.

    • RebekahRandolph

      I don’t think he ever implied that immodesty is morally acceptable. Just that immodesty does not provide an excuse for dishonorable, rude, behavior. :) Women ought to take responsibility for dressing themselves well (i.e. not showing off or presenting themselves as sexual objects). But if they don’t, men do not have a free pass for nasty comments!

      • Basil

        I actually think he wasn’t talking about morality. He was talking about treating women as autonomous human beings who are free to dress how they like.

    • Belle Vierge

      I’m not a stumbling block. I’m not an object. I’m a human being.

      My mere existence as a female body in a public space is not the equivalent of me pushing food/drink repeatedly and forcefully on someone who is on a diet.

      My analysis of the misinterpretation of Romans 14 and my explanation of the flawed metaphor of the recovering alcoholic.

      • Basil


      • Jackie

        I just saw your reply, Belle, and I agree with you, your mere existence as a female is not a stumbling block, God created you female, but…a deliberate attempt to dress in a way to attract a man’s eye or to show a little cleavage or thigh is a stumbling block to some people. If we’re honest with ourselves we do dress for others’ to see us, we’re obviously not looking at our own cleavage or our own thighs. We don’t dress immodestly to so we can go to every mirror we see and check our ownselves out.

        • Belle Vierge

          Who decides what is deliberate? Who decides what immodest dress looks like?

          That is the problem with this line of thinking. It’s not at all biblical–it’s cultural. Societies across the world have vastly different ideas of what kind of dress is modest and what “body parts” are “sexy” to men. Even with the United States, an admittedly large country, people hold wildly different ideas of modest clothing or appropriate attire.

          You’re making vast assumptions about women’s intentions that you honestly cannot know. I’m married now, and the only clothing I wear with my husband in mind is lacy underwear if I plan on seducing him after work. The only time I wore specific clothes to attract his eye was on our first four dates (and two of those four outfits involved knee-length skirts and tops with no cleavage, outfits I’d worn to church dozens of times). After that, I wore what I wanted to wear, regardless or whether or not I thought he would like it.

          I highly recommend you read the blog post I linked above, which analyzes Romans 14 and the misinterpretation that we use today to objectify women and call them “stumbling blocks.”

        • maryinbama

          And yet…women who are covered from head to toe are raped. Babies are raped. Elderly women in nursing homes are raped. In Victorian times if a woman showed a little ankle she was “tempting” a man. Why do we not see rampant rape on nude beaches? Please stop trying to place the blame on women for men being jerks. They can control themselves, but after several millenniums of getting away with it, they don’t want to.

          • Jackie

            Please reread what I said, maryinbaba, I specifically stated that we are not responsible or to blamed for others’ sins, and I specifically excluded any kind of assault, people rape animals for God’s sake. I was merely stating that we are responsible for our own intentions. God wouldn’t have commanded us to dress modestly if there wasn’t a line somewhere defining what that meant. I tell my girls, if you have to ask if something is inappropriate to wear, the answer is probably yes.

          • maryinbama

            Sorry. If I want to wear shorts and a tank top because I live in a hot climate, I am not responsible for any man’s lust. I long for the day when what a woman wears is not a judgment of her moral character.

  • jh72de

    “You will feel the temptation to blame her for your wandering eyes because of what she is wearing—or not wearing.”

    There went a whole lot wrong if a father (feels he) has to tell this to his son.

    • stubbikins

      It has to be taught, too many people are out there, and commenting in here, that women should be judged on their clothing and are at fault if they are wearing something revealing and get abused.

      • jh72de

        ‘cause a lot went wrong in society and its so-called fundamental unit. And that’s _not_ a lack of teacher-talk by parents.

  • RebekahRandolph

    Excellent! I know that this is what my husband and brothers were taught, and they all treat women with great respect.

    Women ought to dress modestly and to exercise self-control over lust– that is their responsibility, and they are accountable to God for it. Men ought to dress modestly and to exercise self-control over lust– that is their responsibility, and they too are accountable to God for it. Thanks for telling your son that it is a two way street, and that while how women dress and carry themselves certainly matters (to the Lord), it shouldn’t determine how men treat them.

  • SuperShrug

    People do what they’re going to do. If you wear next to nothing, you are a treat to brighten my day.

    • Dog_is_Good


      • SuperShrug

        LAATFIG, can you see them?

  • Kirk

    This is how my father raised me. My parents have been married over 50+ years and he still sees mom this way. He taught us to see the WHOLE woman. Not just her looks or the way she dresses but everything about her. I am teaching my son the same thing. Its ok to appreciate a woman for her beautify, the confidence in herself, the strength of her charater. But she is not an object and it is not her responsibility to keep men in control of them selves. As a man with 2 daughters, I want them to see them selves this way as well.
    All women should be treated with respect. I hold doors for ladies, I stand when they enter or i’m introduced to them. I offer them my seat if needed. Its not because I see them as the weaker sex but because I respect them.
    I can only pray that my son will see how his Grandfather and father treat women and will follow us and not what society does.

  • Joel Anderson

    I read this earlier today and, while I COMPLETELY agree with the sentiment, I feel like it’s laying it on WAY too thick. Especially for a young boy who may be struggling with confusing new pants feelings that are both frightening and exhilarating. Basically, while he SAYS he doesn’t want to shame or judge his son, it’s entirely possible that the relative nuance of a speech like this would be lost on a impressionable pre-adolescent child and ultimately result in an association between perfectly normal feelings of lust and a disrespect for women. Which isn’t the case and, worst case scenario, might create a LOT of guilt, shame, and confusion. Maybe this approach is a little more realistic:

    “Hey son, I saw you looking at that woman’s boobs. No, no, it’s fine. I was looking, too. Those are really nice boobs. You’re at an age where you’re going to start noticing that sort of thing more often. A lot more often, in fact. It’s going to be relentless and it’s going to keep on happening for pretty much the rest of your life. You shouldn’t feel at all guilty or ashamed about feeling that way. No amount of guilt and shame is going to make you stop feeling this way, so there’s really no point. It also might confuse the fact that women’s bodies are AWESOME. Top five things that exist anywhere, all time. Easy. Don’t feel bad about noticing this. EMBRACE it. It’s a really great thing.

    However, it’s really important to remember that, while you’re probably going to inevitably objectify the women in your life to some degree or another from here on out, that won’t, CAN’T, prevent you from also showing them the respect they deserve. Because as great as what you feel about that ladies boobs is, it PALES in comparison to the things you’ll be able to feel about her as a person if you don’t get TOO caught up in the boob feelings. It’s probably going to take a few more years before you really understand that, but trust me, it’s true. That lady with the great boobs? She could open your mind up to things you never thought possible if you let her. She could end up being the best friend you ever had. It could be that if you don’t get totally hung up on the way you feel about her body, you’ll end up with a person in your life who teaches you marvelous things about life and living that will bring you an incredible amount of joy. And if all you see when you look at her is her body, she’s not going to give you that privilege. And that’s gonna suck hard for you.

    Also, best case scenario, you could end up reaching this place where the way you feel about her body and the way you feel about her personality work in concert to create something truly magical. Really incredible. It’s the sort of thing that, when it works out, can make everything you experience for the rest of your life better because you shared it with her. It’s what I have [wish I had] with your mother. Anyway, point is, it’s really easy to let your boob feelings get in the way of all this other stuff. DON’T DO THAT. It’ll mean those really awesome boob feelings will actually end up being a really bad thing for you, something that really makes your life worse in the end. And that would suck hard for you.

    Also, it’s entirely possible that woman over there is a terrible person. She could be mean and selfish and really suck. And if you let the way you feel about her boobs become too important, you might end up wasting significant portions of your life with a person you don’t really like because you’re obsessed with her body. This is an easier mistake to make than you currently realize. Fortunately, the basic behavior for avoiding this is the same one that allows you to have really amazing relationships with the women in your life. Always make an extra effort to see people for who they really are. This is applicable to all people, anywhere, all the time. Talk to people. LISTEN. As long as you do this, things can only go so wrong.

    Anyway, I realize that you are completely mortified at this moment, and I totally get that. I was, too, when my dad talked to me about this. But if you’re going to really live this life to its fullest, you’re going to need to be able to feel comfortable appreciating how great that woman’s boobs look without letting that stop you from appreciating everything else about her.

    Oh, and if I totally misread this situation and you were really looking at the ass on that man standing behind that woman, that’s totally okay, too. Everything I just said is equally applicable, you’ll just be having those boob feelings about men. No biggie.”

    • Brittany

      “Hey son, I saw you looking at that woman’s boobs. No, no, it’s fine. I was looking, too. Those are really nice boobs.”

      I can’t tell if you’re for real or sarcastic about saying this to your son. WTF?

      • Joel Anderson

        I take it you didn’t read the rest of it.

  • April Kelsey

    I want to print this out and hang it on the refrigerator.

  • Bree Ervin

    Thank you – best thing I’ve seen on the internets all week. Have shared, um, excessively. But – this needs to be read, heard and understood.
    Thank you again for putting it into words.

  • IThinkForMyself

    Brilliant article. I have also been reviewing the comments and wanted to add a few things.

    First, one of the things that men get a bad rap on is how often they think about sex. We say things like – he has a one track mind – all he ever thinks about is sex. But consider this, every species has one gender that is obsessed with sex. That obsession is needed to ensure survival of the species. Men don’t chose to be obsessed. They just are. (in fact you might want to thank them, it is the reason why humans are still on this planet!) For most men, sex is a need. That doesn’t make them wrong. What Nate is teaching his son is, yes, you will be compelled because of human animal but you CAN chose to come from human Spirit and not act on the animal instinct to reproduce. This will take conscience choice on their part.

    I would also like to thank all the men that do this already, day by day, minute by minute.

    Second, there are comments about modesty and although I agree that women do have a responsibility for how they present themselves it is not as easy as one might think. First, the female of our species is externally motivated, meaning we allow our environment to tell us what to do (which is why most of us can not stand a messy house) and the people in our lives tell us how we should act. We are made this way so that when the baby cries at 2am we get up and feed it. Yet another compulsion that has ensured our survival. It doesn’t make us wrong. It just is. Then on top of that, our society tells young girls that if they look good in a bathing suit they will find love. We don’t teach them that sex and love are two different things so they go about their lives trying to find love between the sheets with boys that are just acting on animal instinct and we wonder why things turn out badly. For women, especially young women, our self confidence comes from how we look. The clothing we wear and the response we get from others. Causing Sexual attraction can be a powerful tool in that regard. What we need to teach our girls is how to identify boys (and later men) that are charmed and enchanted with us. That want more then just sex from us because they truly care about our well being. Men that want to protect us, and provide for us and enhance our lives. The problem with this is that most of the men that fall into this categorize are the men that have always shown us respect but because they are not the ‘bad boys’ and the ‘Chemistry’ is not there, so we refuse to see them for the Princes and Kings that they are.

  • Jenny Block

    Thank you for this. Truly. Thank you.

  • WhyWouldYouSayThat

    What a steaming pile of shit.

    “Humans objectify the things they love in effort to control them. If you truly love a person, do not reduce them to an object. The moment you objectify another human – woman or man, you give up your humanity. ”

    No. Just no. Humans objectify in order to approach someone or something in an automated and focused way. I don’t love every single woman I see in the street. Yet I might be sexually attracted to many women I see in a day. These are not the same thing, not the same approach.

    You start with the absurd assumption that objectification and “lustful looks” are inherently bad. And that is simply not the case. I don’t care what the women I see are like as people, at the exact moment I see them, I don’t want to love them and spend the rest of my life with them. I just see them. And that sight will tell me certain things, one of which will probably be if I’m sexually attracted to them or not.

    If I am, I will probably look at them some more, because it’s enjoyable. This hurts absolutely nobody and isn’t disrespectful, or harmful at all. “Women don’t exist for your enjoyment, you sexist asshole!” is the typical butthurt response. Neither do puppies, flowers, or rainbows. Doesn’t matter I can’t enjoy the sight of them. Yes, they’re objects in that approach, yes I realize women are people. Again, when they enter my life in some other way – when I work with them, if they’re my friends, if I am to date them, if I want to have any personal interaction with them, THEN it’s the time to go from “oh she’s so hot, I really want to have sex with her!” to finding out about their personality.
    Physical attraction and the mental focus on it (what you call “objectification”) is not a result of being lazy and not putting in the effort to view women as “people”. It’s a natural response of the body. Men walking past me in the street are just that to me, bodies I have to avoid collision with. I don’t see any reason to start thinking about their personality when I bump into dudes on the train, or in a store.

    Good fucking grief, this is not rocket science. Teaching your son this ridiculous self-policing and flagellant behaviour is a pretty awful thing to do.

    One more thing: “But don’t do all this because she is weaker. That’s the biggest bunch of crap out there. Women are not weaker than men. They are not the weaker sex.”

    You know what’s a bunch of crap? This type of ridiculous feminist denial of facts. Women ARE the weaker sex. Ever took a biology class? It says precisely nothing about their worth as human beings, so why the fuck would you even deny this?

    • Cee Bee

      Chill out man. You are twisting his words.

      How’s this? Don’t make women uncomfortable and don’t be a douchebag towards them just because you are physically attracted to them. Can you handle that?

      In terms of PHYSICAL STRENGTH, women are the weaker sex, yes — that is probably one reason why being objectified makes them feel nervous and uncomfortable. It’s not that complicated actually. Emotionally, psychologically, and at all levels of health and survival at all stages of existence (embryonic until death), females are actually stronger then males. In case you have been living in a cave and know nothing of this data.

      • WhyWouldYouSayThat

        I’m not twisting anything. This whole text is one big guilttrip, trying to convince boys that looking at women you find attractive without “considering their humanity” and giving them your full attention is wrong. No, just no. I’m not giving anyone my full attention unless there’s an important reason for me to do so. Just “being human” is NOT that.

        Women being uncomfortable is for a large part their own responsibility, not mine. Of course I’m not going out with the intention to make women uncomfortable and I actually manage to hold eye contact, or at least hide my “lustful stares” pretty well.

        This asshole is all about how immoral it is to reduce women to sex objects and bla bla bla, it’s only playing into the cards of the growing population of women who get offended way too easily.

        Guys check out girls, girls DO check out guys, it’s normal. I could go on into his absurd schtick about how women don’t need to dress to impress you and wahtever other bullshit he came up with, but there’s just no point, it’s all the same nonsense.

        To all the fathers out there: Don’t teach your boys to be ashamed of their sexuality and their desires, don’t teach them to break their backs to satisfy every whim of every woman in the world. Grow some fucking spines and be decent people, that’s all there is to it!

        • Cee Bee

          The author isn’t saying that looking at a woman and finding her sexually
          attractive is wrong. Where do you see shaming?? He’s just saying to remember that every woman (or person) you might objectify is a real
          and interesting person — do your best to understand and see the person. It’s a good lesson for everyone.

          Speaking as a woman, if all you want to do is get women, this method will actually work well for you.

        • Michelle Wallace

          So instead women need to be ashamed of their bodies? Because you can’t be responsible for your own urges?

          If a gay man came on to you (I’m assuming you’re straight), cat called you as he was driving by, grinded up against you uninvited, was WAY too close or touching your body without your ok, how would that make you feel? Probably the same as it does me. I feel icky and uncomfortable. As a registered massage therapist who treats whiplash/knots/etc. I’ve had male clients come on to me sexually, pointing out their erection. I supposed you think I was wearing my shirt too low that day? That they just have urges, I can’t expect any more from them and I just have to deal with it.

          • WhyWouldYouSayThat

            Errr, can you read? I am perfectly responsible for my urges and when they happen, I’m fine with it.

            There’s a big difference between fucking grinding someone with your erect penis and looking at her boobies with pleasure, ok?

            Also, when did I mention any shame at all? Wear the sluttiest clothes you want, I don’t give a shit. My dick might respond, but I won’t tell you to dress differently or anything.

            If a gay guy came onto me, I’d be kinda flattered and explain politely that unless he’s way feminine and willing to dress up, I ain’t game.

            edit: ” I just have to deal with it.” Yeah, exactly. You just deal with shit. That’s what people do. Oh, except for those thin skinned whiners who’d rather the world stopped being mean to them.

      • WhyWouldYouSayThat

        “women tend to be stronger than men even physically, they’re just smaller and less muscular.”

        :DDD Yes, that is obviously the case. Good grief, I see. That’s the main reason why the majority of firefighters, soldiers, bin collectors and other professions requiring physical fitness are women. Women are just “stronger”, of course.

        • Cee Bee

          did you miss the ounce for ounce part?? one ounce of women’s muscle tissue relative to one ounce of men’s. women’s muscle tissue can do more WORK (physics term) per ounce. in other words, it is stronger.

          btw, you can’t take someone’s words and remove a phrase and then put it in quotes. that makes no sense obviously.

          there you go — a physics lesson and an english lesson in 30 seconds. don’t forget.

          • stubbikins

            He obviously missed any part that includes more than a first grade level of comprehension.

        • stubbikins

          Good job proving that you are incapable of reading and comprehending basic concepts.

          • WhyWouldYouSayThat

            Good jo proving you’re perfectly capable of not adding anything of value.

          • stubbikins

            Just pointing out that you missed the whole point. If that offends you then you should actually read what you are commenting on so you do not continue to make a fool of yourself.

          • WhyWouldYouSayThat

            Or I didn’t miss the point and you’re being annoyingly patronizing.

          • stubbikins

            Your comment says nothing except that you failed to read, see how other people are also telling you that? Go back to third grade…

          • WhyWouldYouSayThat

            His/her claim that women are stronger on a “ounce per ounce” basis is: A) irrelevant to the issue of a “stronger sex”. We’re not judging performance based on overall weight, B) a claim of some anyonymous person on the internet, not actually backed by any sources. Considering the fact I found mostly scientific literature that contradicts his/her position, I remain sceptical. C) using ounces and therefore utterly ridiculous.
            Go fuck yourself.

          • stubbikins

            There is no we, you are the only one claiming all strength is measured in sheer volume of muscle.

            You sound like some pathetic tiny dicked little steroid tweaker.

          • WhyWouldYouSayThat

            The relative strength point of view (even if it were true, which nobody has shown it was) is simply not practical and therefore never used in real life. Hey, ants are the strongest creatures on Earth! Fuck yeah! I can still stomp on them very easily. Women do not and mostly cannot compete with men in physical contests. It’s reasonable to state that men are on average physically stronger than women.

            I’ve never taken steroids in my life and you’re turning to ad hominem attacks. Way to go.

          • stubbikins
          • WhyWouldYouSayThat

            A) It’s not a study, it’s an article in the Telegraph. Reading is hard, I know.
            B) it doesn’t say anything about strength, or muscle tissue efficiency.

            It’s so precious that you even dare call someone else a moron..

          • stubbikins

            Googling the author and publication is hard for people like you I am sure. Do you still ride the short bus or did you get kicked off for being too stupid?

            Not all strength is muscle mass. Strength is ability to survive.

        • Dog_is_Good

          I can’t wait ’til a man gives birth. Oh wait…

          • WhyWouldYouSayThat

            Because the ability to give birth is a sign of greater physical strength? Sure, if that’s what you call “logic”…

          • stubbikins

            try it.

          • maryinbama

            It is the sign of ONE greater physical strength. Women have more endurance than men pound for pound. Women can endure more pain. Why is one ability given precedence over every other ability? On average there are some things that men excel in and some that women do. To make one characteristic paramount is just silly.

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  • Tim

    Women can also objectify men if they are really hot and have perfect bodies.

    The problem is that men find a much larger percentage of women attractive and thus objectify them with their gaze. This makes it seem like a gender specific phenomenon, when in reality its just that women are selective in their objectification.

    Only the really hot guys are worthy of being objectified by female gaze.
    Am I right, women?

    • Cee Bee

      as for sexual objectification, you are probably largely right. women are pickier. but when the right guy comes along it can be very distracting. maybe even worse because we aren’t as practiced with handling it. at least this is my observation.

      but women also need to be better at seeing guys for the real people that they are in many areas, not just the physical realm. most people do.

      • Tim

        If women objectified men’s bodies in an egalitarian way as vice versa, men would be better off. Men would feel more sexually desirable and validated. It would also become much more easy for men to attract women and remove the burden of pursuit and effort off their shoulders.

        The fact that men can objectify and sexualize most women’s bodies is a benefit to women. Most women wouldn’t like to live in a world where the average woman’s body is as sexually and visually worthless to men as the other way round.

        If you remove the tangible harms to women that supposedly ensue from ‘objectification’ then objectification isnt a bad thing and women are realizing it. It is only the ones who cling on to 2nd wave feminist rhetoric who still have a problem with it.

        • Cee Bee

          Well for the sake of argument, if straight men want women to objectify them “in an egalitarian way” then they need to start investing more in their looks and bodies. Take a tip from women and from gay men. Comparatively speaking, most straight men are waaaaaay low down on the totem pole when it comes to effort here. But be warned, this can come with all sorts of psychological baggage.

          I am not saying that I believe ramping up objectification is a good thing. I don’t. But greater egalitarianism in expectations and standards would be good for women and could likely help some men. Plus lord knows we could all use healthier bodies.

          • Tim

            Your presumption is that straight men only objectify the best, perfect looking hot babes. As I’ve implied it before men are actually attracted to a large percentage of women, atleast to some extent. Men are attracted to women of all shapes and sizes – short, tall, thin, curvy, fat, or even obese. Yes, even every fat women are sexualized and objectified by men (Ever heard of BBW / chubby chaser phenomenon?)

            On the other hand, the definition of male beutaty is extremely narrow. Only a man who is very handsome, tall, broad and lean can be considered physically attractive.

            Women’s bodies are naturally and instinctively attractive to men, even those belonging to ordinary looking women. Women’s breasts, butts, legs, bellies, etc are all appealing to men. They have the ability to arouse men.

            On the other hand, you must have felt that unless a man has the face of an Adonis and the body of a Greek god, his looks alone do little to excite women. He cannot be lusted after, sexualized or objectified.

            Women often tend to conflate the media standards with men’s sexual preferences. Yes, the media is harsher on women but that doesnt say anything about men’s sexual preferences and choices. In the real world average looking women, who are overweight, and low maintenance can have hot studs come at their doorstep to have sex with them.


          • Cee Bee

            My presumption was not the “straight men only objectify the best, perfect looking hot babes.” Not sure where you got that. I generally agree with what you say here.

      • Tim

        Men who are hot and lucky enough to be objectified by women are usually envied by other men. I have heard plenty of women say that for flings and casual sex they want hot guys with great bods and they dont really care about his personality, profession or intellect.

        As I said the only difference between the obectification of women and men is the difference of prevalence. This doesn’t make it a gender specific phenomenon or make women morally superior. The recent popularity of the move “Magic Mike” among women must give you some idea that men’s objectification is slowly catching up.

        So you really need to see a holisitc view

        • Cee Bee

          The thing is, hot guys with great bodies who can get women easily are often not so great in bed. They don’t need to be. And if they don’t end up in long term relationships, they don’t have a woman to invest in their skill-building. This is a major reason these guys can often get a woman once or twice, but women are not dying to go back afterwards. He’s boring.

          If you really want to get women, be cute, fun, and nice enough to get a girl to stick around for a bit. You don’t need to be crazy hot but make sure to be a good guy. And then be killer in the sack. She will be back.

          • Tim

            If you dont see hot guys in committed relationships its because they dont want them. Many of the women they have sex with are actually interested in dating them. They dont committ because they dont have to: they can get sex, intimacy and female companionship without committing.

            As for the vast majority of men, commitment and monogamous long term relationships are their only option. You probably never have thought about it this way but most men dont have the option to be ‘promiscuous’ . Many young men dont really want committment or to settle down but they realize that the ‘singles lifestyle’ – casual sex, hooking up, casual dating, flings, Friends-with-benefits etc – is only for hot men with good bodies. When women want these things; when they want to have their fun; they want the best looking men or nothing at all.

            Women are more selective, they find fewer men sexually attractive…much much fewer than vice versa. Its just an inherent difference between the sexualities and no political movement is going to change that. Sooner or later society will accept it and it will put into perspective a lot of things we wonder about.

          • Cee Bee

            Think what you like. I have had several very hot guys (who had an easy time getting women) who turned into long term boyfriends and they had to be taught to be good in bed. They were behind the curve and they themselves even admitted it. And hot guys do fall in love and look for relationships at some point. They are human.

            And if you talk to women who have had enough experience, many will agree with what I said.

            Keep in mind, you are a guy — you probably aren’t sleeping with straight men. You might know as much as you think about other men.

          • maryinbama

            So how did Billy Bob Thornton get Angelina Jolie then? This is just hogwash. Women are actually MORE forgiving in terms of looks.

    • Claire Bullows

      I have a male friend who is sickeningly skinny (yeah, I’m jealous of his waist) and always had his blond hair long. He is living proof that men aren’t as picky as women, just the back is enough (skinny blonde…)

      • skeptic

        Ofcourse. Men are a lot more forgiving to women on their looks and bodies, than we like to admit. Really average looking women have no problems attracting men (much better looking men) for sex. It flies in the face of what we’re taught about the importance of female beauty to men !

    • maryinbama

      No you are not right. If you look at a lot of attractive women, you will see them paired up with men who are less attractive by societal standards. Women want to be with men who respect and treat them like equal human beings. Most of the more attractive men I have known throughout my life were the ones least worth getting to know. Narcissism is not attractive.

    • Nah

      “Objectify” is not a synonym for “be attracted to.”

  • Tim

    What is wrong with wandering eyes if they dont cause any tangible harm to women?

    As long as men don’t make a woman uncomfortable, intrude her space, or threaten her, whats wrong if they objectify her body in their minds and allow that stimuli to sexually arouse them?

    • Cee Bee

      The author isn’t saying that looking at a woman and finding her sexually attractive is wrong. Not in the least. His point is really about values. It’s to remember that every woman you might objectify is a real and interesting person — do your best to understand and see that. I think this can be difficult to remember sometimes, perhaps especially for men who are bombarded with a culture where women’s bodies are regularly objectified. But it’s an important lesson for everyone, including (absolutely) women! Unfortunately it’s not likely the kind of thing a boy or any person will simply learn from one conversation or essay. It takes practice and an authentic ordering of one’s values. That is what he is trying to instill in his son.

  • Thomas Shafer

    Wow. Spot on. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • Brittany

    This is amazing. We need more men standing up and saying this, because I unfortunately feel that only my female friends are vocal about the male gaze, objectification of women (and men), and teaching young women and young men to grow into a healthy and safe sexual life. Thank you for writing this.

  • laura

    Oooh this is so good. So full of truth that all sexes should understand and hold dear.

  • Cari

    THANK YOU for this post. After seeing another blog post on the same topic around facebook this week (except one that promotes all the lies you so aptly dismissed in this post), I was so relieved to see this and see that there are people who are willing to stand up against the lies that people use to subjugate others. Keep up the good work, and thank you for your respectful, honest, uplifting words.

  • Jessica Clemmer

    Pretty much think this is in my top 5 favorite posts of all time, ever. Thank you so much for these words. I included a link in a recent post of my own…and hoping that many people will come and read this perspective. It carries much weight coming from a man, both for women, and as a man-to-man conversation. Absolutely wonderful post.

  • Alexander Bouterse

    I don’t agree 100% with the punchline of this story. It is told not to play the victim, but the whole story is setting the woman as the victim. What is described, happens both ways. Both women and men judge the other sex by how they look. I would more talk to my son or daughter not to let them be judged. I used to be very influenced by people about how they perceived me. Now I don’t care. If they don’t like the way how I look, it is their problem, not mine. In my opinion it is just very natural to look at a woman or man if you find them attractive. I should be worried if we stop doing that. Of course it is wrong to look at women or men only as a lustobject, but at sometimes it is allowed. As long as they don’t touch you, just see it as a compliment. I think, just don’t force yourself not to follow your instincs, but just learn to control them. If you find a woman attractive, it is ok to look, but don’t keep staring .. In the end, people can judge me all they want, but I will not let myself get affected by it. They don’t control my life, I do, or in my case, God does.

    • Michelle Wallace

      ‘see it as a compliment’ AGH
      Alexander, do you get catcalled while you’re walking down the street? I do all the time. Do you have to watch who’s walking towards you at night, in case they notice you and harass you or worse? I do. Do you go to a club to dance and suddenly you’re being grinded up against because your body is now public property and men are entitled to it? I have many times. So many that I now frequent a lesbian bar where I can just dance. It’s about objectifying and feeling entitled to someone else’s body. Feeling that it’s your right and responsibility to comment on someone else’s body. Yes, I may notice if I like or don’t like a shirt a guy is wearing walking up the street. Or that he is particularly handsome. But that’s it. That’s as far as it goes. So no, being objectified is nowhere near the same as noticing a guy walking up the street. It’s about objectifying and blaming women for men’s actions due to the way they dress, etc.
      Also, the post has nothing to do with setting the woman as the victim. He’s saying that she has a responsibility to get dressed in the morning. And it’s mens responsibility to treat said women with respect. There are no victims in this story…

      • Alexander Bouterse

        Michelle, I also said, as long as they don’t touch you. What you describe is of course wrong. But the article only mentioned looking, nothing more. I am going to move to Indonesia soon, and in some parts of the country women look at me there as a lustobject. Sometimes it makes me very uncomfortable. But it doesn’t harm me. But of course we have to treat everybody with respect. But after all, that is just my opinion .. it doesn’t mean that if people look at the same thing differently, only one person has to be right ..

        • pro64

          Take it differently? Why not say it differently? Not getting a lot of love for that.

        • maryinbama

          It is not just “not touching.” I have had strange men make what they might think flattering comments about my body and when I ignored them they got VERY angry. I have had them follow me, stalk me, etc. for nothing more than merely existing in their world. I do not have to acknowledge someone telling me I have a nice butt and I should not feel threatened if I ignore that speech.

          • Alexander Bouterse

            I agree with you. I think you are free to think what you want, but not to bother the other person with it. If I see a beautiful woman, if only make a comment about her body when she is clearly asking for it. Otherwise I think it is rude to even say something. You don’t just say ”hey, you have a nice butt” or something. If someone gets angry when ignored, they have issues ..

          • maryinbama

            Only one quibble. How do you determine if she is clearly asking for it?

    • stubbikins

      As a male you have no idea how quickly that look or just a compliment turns into violence and fear. Do NOT tell women to take that crap as a compliment when you obviously have NO CLUE what women deal with.

      • Alexander Bouterse

        All I said was like if a man looks at a woman with desire and don’t act further on it, to take it as a compliment. That is what I do when I get the same treatment from a woman. And no, I am not a woman, so I don’t know how it feels as a man. But I don’t think woman are so different that the same treatment is always very negatively on women and not on men.. I just gave my opinion. I respect everybody’s opinion. But if you think men don’t have a clue what women deal with it has no use reading a comment of a male .. because they have no clue what they are talking about .. I don’t approve of any treatment of women (or men) as lustobject, but the the power of attraction is normal, it is nature, we cannot ignore that .. Again, I think it is free to give an opinion here .. I don’t tell anyone what to do .. I think that was the whole intension of my opnion: don’t be someone else because of what people think!

        • Pi

          There is a massive difference between being complimented by a woman as a man and by a man as a woman.

          1. That man feels entitled to your time, so if you don’t want to respond or interact, he will likely get angry.
          2. Most men are bigger and stronger than most women, so there is by default a power play at work – a man looks at me with desire and I see it, I realize he’s strong enough to grab me, take me somewhere else, hold me down…I start looking to see how many people are around me, whether I have something to hold onto, mentally remind myself of weak spots, look for an escape route.
          3. There is always, always the risk of harassment that comes with being “checked out”. The misogynistic slant of our culture allows men to feel that they’re entitled to the bodies of women, that these women care about their opinions as a man about their bodies, that their attention, no matter how unwanted, is a compliment. This does not work the other way – it’s very uncommon to see a man being harassed on the street by a woman, when there are plenty of attractive men in the world.

          Your viewpoint is steeped entirely in the blindness that occurs as a man trying to speak on how women live, and it’s predictable that you ignore women who tell you that you are wrong and instead push that you must be right and these women, who have actually lived life as a woman, don’t really know how to appropriately react to harassment and they just need a big strong man to tell them. Think about that for a second – I am the fourth woman to tell you that you are wrong, and yet you still cling to the idea that you must know enough about harassment as a woman to be able to tell people how to react to it. Your lack of respect of a woman’s perspective on something only women can experience is indicative of your lack of respect for women.

          • Alexander Bouterse

            First of all, I am sorry if anyone feels offended. It was never my intention to tell how someone should live. I just gave my view. And that is just somewhat different than most of the people here. I also didn’t say the viewpoint of the author was wrong. I agree on some level. I don’t think a viewpoint can be wrong, because we all perceive the world in a different way. So yes, as a man I see things different as a woman. I don’t think I am disrespectful for woman just because of that. And about harassment, I never written anything about that anywhere on how I would react, only about the ‘wrong look at a woman’. I don’t know anything about that no, and I can’t tell anyone how to react because everybody is different. I disapprove of any action further than just look. I agree with the topic that we should learn our children to respect woman as they are (I didn’t think I written something else), but I want to try to make my children strong as well by teaching them not to be influenced by what people think about them (I am not stating anything about harassment). Because there will always be men who don’t respect women and I don’t want my children to worry about how they look ro dress, just because of what other people think of them.
            And I stand corrected here, because I always thought it was nice to say something nice to a woman, but I realize now they might get it the wrong way. I will better don’t say anything to a woman at all .. And hope people stay always honest to me and tell me when I am wrong, because I am just one small person on this earth, I can’t tell anyone how to live. If I am wrong about something, and people tell me, I can learn from it. So, thanks

          • Dmitri Shostakovicz

            If this is how you genuinely think, then you will always always be a victim. Not a victim of evil wicked men, but a victim of your own insecurities and your own pre-conceptions of men.
            You look at men as predators and yourself as prey, and if you don’t change your outlook, you will always be prey. Men are not automatically predators, any more than women are automatically prey.
            As a man who has been sexually assaulted in my youth, I do understand more of the perspective you claim as your sole property than you might think. But I made a conscious choice to NOT be a victim, to NOT look at everyone as someone out to get me.
            No, I’m not telling you how to react to it. What I’m telling you is that how you react to it is your choice. You choose to be prey, you will always be prey.

    • maryinbama

      I never appreciate having my boobs talked to and it happens more often than one would expect. Just show some common courtesy and keep those lustful thoughts to yourself. None of us can control what we think. We can control what we do however.

      • Alexander Bouterse

        That is what I meant exactly. Thinking is fine. But don’t bother the other with it. I have to admit that my eyes sometimes wonder towards the breasts of a beautiful woman if she is close, but I never stare at them, especially when talking. That is indeed very disrespectful.

  • DataLaForge

    This is really great! Your kid is going to have such a great perspective.

  • andyrwebman

    This is really lame, in an “I’ve handed my balls over to the feminists” manner.

    I don’t object to the idea of not attacking women. At the end of the day you don’t harm other human beings, period.

    I do object to the term “objectifying”, however – it means the author has subscribed to feminist propaganda which is entirely based on the rambling thoughts of man haters, and has no empirical basis behind it.

    In other words, embittered women have seen things they don’t like about men, and have decided that they know how men’s brains work.

    When a man looks at women and is turned on, it’s a very instinctive. At its best and most shameless, it’s just a sense of how wonderful a hypothetical situation could be. There’s no sens of trying to turn her into an object, there’s just the sudden leaping out of certain attributes.

    I remember my first feelings of arousal as a small boy – seeing a woman in a bikini on the TV (Daisy Duke in “The Dukes of Hazard” in fact). I didn’t know why looking at her made me feel that way, but I had an instinctive sense of it being something I really wanted to get involved in, that it was just really, really great.

    Arousal does that – it works on an instinctive level. There’s no point trying to wrap it up in sophisticated feelings about the wider person, because that’s jsut not how a man’s mind works. Male brains focus on detail a lot – sometimes to the exclusion of all else. The best, most free feelings just happen without any self prompting – in other words, they’re not a choice.

    The choice is, I think, far more about how to behave than how to think. There’s nothing wrong – or even unusual – about a man looking at women and seeing a lot of potential fun.
    If he’s been conditioned to polite behavior in general, he won’t make them feel uncomfortable. If he has self control and a positive way of dealing with the feeling, he’ll either ask one of them out, go home to his existing girlfriend/wife, or else go home and masturbate.

    This is, I think, the crucial difference between male and female attitudes to virtue. Men approach it by believing they have to DO the right things- because they’re task oriented, problem solvers. Women seem to think that their own feelings need to be nurtured to make them do the right things, and then they’ll just need to trust that their own feelings will lead them on the right path.

    Perhaps this might be a little scary to women – the thought that their men are good by deed, not by thought. But it’s scary the other way around – women seem so often to think “I feel it is true, therefore it must be true” without any introspective suspicion that their feelings are leading them awry. It’s a scary but true fact, for example, that more mothers murder their children than fathers.

    Overall, therefore, I think that the author is a rather more than averagely feminine
    type of man, and what works for him will not work for the average male. A woman psychologist put it well when she said “Boys are not dysfunctional girls”.

    • Cee Bee

      He isn’t telling his son that his instincts are wrong. He is telling him that he has a mind too and that he can use it to filter his instincts. Maybe you don’t have a mind, and if this is the case then I sympathize.

      Also, keep in mind that he is addressing the biblical sexist mindset that is into shaming women’s sexuality and blaming women for whenever a man gets turned on. Sounds like that isn’t necessarily you.

      • andyrwebman

        I assure you I have a mind, perhaps it’s works a bit unusually by your standards.
        It feels odd, reading the story though. On the one hand, he’s saying “don’t be ashamed” and yet on the other hand it seems to be adding a lot of caveats of “as long as you think all these Politically correct things”.
        I’ve known plenty of friends who really enjoy looking at women, but nobody I call friend has ever forced them into something against their will. I think we just always had a simple sense of “this is something you don;t do unless you’re scum”. We knew of lads who regularly beat their girlfriends, and we hated them.

        I’ve never seen the point in shaming women’s sexuality, I’ve never been the sort to shame a woman for having sex with men. As someone who wanted them to do with me, shaming them always seemed like shooting yourself in the foot!

        • Cee Bee

          I fully believe that the author does not want to shame young men. His primary point is just that we should all strive to see and connect with the value in others (as well as ourselves) that goes beyond the physical or the material. This is basic humanity and I think most people would say this is a positive thing. But with respect to boys, I think the author is directing this lesson toward his son with the recognition that young American males are forced to develop their sexuality in a culture that is high gear in the sexualization and physical objectification of women. American culture — especially commercial culture — is pretty shallow, and I think he wants to instill a value system in his son that challenges the distorted messages he receives from it. Personally, I think this is a very noble thing for a father to do for his son.

          Also, I think the author is largely responding to another article posted last week on another website by a self-righteous super-Christian type woman that shames young women for posting sexy selfies and implies that boys and men are basically mindless slogs who have little control over themselves or how they manage their sexuality. His article rejects this premise as destructive for both young men and young women. In essence, he is challenging the acceptability and authority of the standard Conservative Christian worldview.

    • The Absent Minded Housewife

      “Women seem to think that their own feelings need to be nurtured to make them do the right things, and then they’ll just need to trust that their own feelings will lead them on the right path.”

      I’m a woman, capable of a great amount of logic and full of knowledge, with much time dedicated to self introspection, and I do not rely on my feelings to lead me.

      Nor do I think that men shouldn’t instinctually be turned on by a visual. After all, I often am.

      PS, I own all the power tools in my house.

      • andyrwebman

        You remind me of my girlfriend – the two of you are somewhat unusual in this respect, but not ever so.

    • pro64

      I read a lot of rhetoric and assumptions right there. You come across somewhat misogynistic. I don’t know what horrors the females of our species have inflicted on you but it is clear you think we all want to read about your masturbatory habits.

      • andyrwebman

        Not mine, but those of men in general. It’s relevant to discuss it as an option that a man can use without shame. I’m hardly describing technique and material of preference, am I?

        And I’m not misogynistic in the most part – though I do dislike feminism intensely, but that’s a different thing.

        I do see the attributes I’ve described in women a lot – the “I feel it is so, therefore it must be so” attitude. So, in fact, does my girlfriend, who also uses a lot of power tools and is very rational and introspective.

        • maryinbama

          Well this feminist thinks you have the right to your lustful thoughts. Fantasize away. However, do not act on those thoughts without consent.

          • Herschele1

            you do realize that many people supporting the author here have a problem with men’s thoughts. They are supporting the vague made up concept that “you can look, get aroused but not forget that she is a human being etc”

            When we agree that men only need to control their actions, its irrelevant how they get aroused. Its irrelevant that they only tend to focus on certain body parts when fantasizing and “forget about the person”

          • maryinbama

            All they are asking is to keep in mind there is a human being beyond those boobs. Not that hard is it?

    • Alexander Bouterse

      I think you can show a little bit more respect to the author. I don’t agree on all levels as well, but after all, everybody is entitled to have an opinion. If I read all the reactions I notice that it is almost impossible to understand everybody’s reaction, just for the simple fact, that woman will never totally understand men and vice versa. I think you are right to say that some things are instict driven. And if I look how man and woman are meant for each other from perspective of the bible, the woman is more sensitive and a man more to the point. God knew what he was doing, because man and woman can keep each other in balance. I do agree totally on the author that we should blame women for dressing “inappropiate”, but on the other hand, if you are a woman and you hardly wear anything, you shouldn’t be surprised you got a lot of attention. It goes both ways.
      I recognize your statement that women tend to believe they are right, but there are a lot of men as well who think that. As far as opinions go, there is no wrong or right, just an agree or disagree.
      I do get your point, but I might consider give people more respect as the intention is to be more respectful to women. I do think you respect women as well.

      • maryinbama

        The problem with the “modest clothing argument” is that the line changes. If every single woman out there suddenly began dressing with what present society deems modest, would male lusting suddenly disappear? No it wouldn’t. They would just change the definition of what constitutes modest. This kind of thinking always sets women up to fail, because nothing a woman wears will eliminate male lusting.

        • Alexander Bouterse

          I do not agree on you here. Of course it depends always on the man itself how he looks at a woman. But if a woman doesn’t do any effort to cover her body a little bit up (read: shinetrough clothes, push-up bra, etc), they can not blame everything on the men. I am only talking about showing the breasts and butt, because it is hardly covered. So yes, a man should not blame a woman before she is dressed improper, but common sense is also a factor I think.

          • maryinbama

            No. Just No. I do not attack or grope men because of what they wear EVER. Let me just relay a few episodes in my life off of the top of my head:
            My butt has been grabbed so many times I have lost count.
            I have had boys and men grab my boobs.
            I had a policeman change my tire one night and then he followed me to my apartment to “make sure I got home safely” and then proceeded to trap me against the door and kiss me.
            One night one of my girlfriends asked me to go to a party with her. She brought her little brother and his friend. The friend started flirting with me and asked me out and I told him I had a boyfriend. Later on that night he came to my apartment and tried to tear my door down with a crowbar.
            I was in the grocery store parking lot once and had my hands full of bags. I was trying to get my key in the lock when a man came up behind me and tried to pull my shirt off.

            My first year in law school I lived in an apartment by myself. A neighbor across the way started looking through my windows with a telescope and leaving notes on my car. I had to cover every window with sheets and blankets the entire time I lived there to keep him from seeing me.
            I am sure I could come up with tens times this amount if I thought about it long enough. Not one of those times was I wearing anything provocative.
            So STOP saying that women are somewhat responsible for men’s thoughts and actions. I was not responsible for ANY of the above things that happened to me.

          • Alexander Bouterse

            I do sympathise with you and I do agree with you here that you were not responsible. And I do agree with you that women are never responsible for what men do, but IF they wear hardly anything (so, not in your case), THEN I would say it is also the responsibility of the women if they get too much attention. But again, I agree with you .. harrassment is never the fault of the woman.. it is wrong!

          • maryinbama

            No. You still do not get it. It happens REGARDLESS of what women wear. If every single woman covered up, it would STILL happen unless we change the mindset of boys/men who think this is acceptable behavior. Adding the caveat of “IF they hardly wear anything” just continues on the burden women have to bear for men’s sexuality. You are still trying to cast some women in the role of whore/slut for what they wear. Every single woman of my acquaintance, all three of my sisters, my mother and my two daughters have had similar experiences over the years. It happens ALL OF THE TIME!!! I am 54 years old and it STILL happens.

          • Alexander Bouterse

            I do get your point. And I know it still happens regardless what women – or men for that matter – wear. Still it is no reason to stop taking responsibility at all. If I lock my house and still get robbed, it is of course not my mistake. And if I leave all doors and windows open en get robbed it is still wrong if a burglar takes my things, but there is a difference. So, yes, in all cases if men harrass women, it is wrong. But I think women should be a little bit considerate with what they wear. And maybe we just disagree on this ..

          • maryinbama

            We will continue to disagree because placing ANY blame on women for what they are wearing just contributes to the fallacy that they are responsible for sexual crimes against them. The most common apparel women are wearing when raped are blue jeans and a sweat shirt. When rapists are interviewed, they say that what a woman is wearing has no bearing on whether or not they choose her. Opportunity is the main criteria. That is why little old ladies in nursing homes get raped and babies get raped. 50% of rape victims are raped at home. Your attitude just helps to propagate the rape culture in this country.

          • Alexander Bouterse

            I think you are the one who doesn’t get my point. I never put any blame on women. That is nonsense. But it don’t think it is too much to ask to also be aware as woman what you wear. I don’t see why thinking that woman should also be a little bit aware of their own dresscode is propagate rape. It is not to take the blame away from men, but to protect women from men who are disrespectful towards women, who sadly will always be there.

          • maryinbama

            I get your point. I merely disagree with it.

    • Andras

      I’m really glad you said this.

      When I read the article, I too had a similar response to the author’s handling of the situation. I felt as if he was addressing his son from the perspective of how a woman thinks a man’s brain works and not from how a man’s brain actually functions.

      I’m not so good of a writer, so I won’t repeat what you already articulated so well, but if I were to add my two cents…

      We’re not monsters and our feelings do not control us.

    • maryinbama

      I do not care what you think in your head. Just don’t act on it without consent.

  • ƒolloω мe яỵan

    Ryan Good sent me here ♥

  • spicymeatball

    This is fundamental to human rights and how we must always see things, otherwise we end up like countries that we hear about that kill the victims of rape. Very fundamental in a civilized culture.

  • D Scott Penman

    As a father of a son and a daughter I really appreciate what you written. But I am not in agreement with your conclusion at the end, the last paragraph. To say “Because in the end, they want to be with you.”I dont think it is appropriate to tell boys to expect girls to want to be with them. Sounds like you slipped back into the same paradigm you are trying to displace.

    • stubbikins

      I don’t think he meant that the lesson is that all girls would want to be with him nor should want to be with him, but when treated with respect, a boy should want a girl who also wants to be with him. and visa versa.

      • D Scott Penman

        Agree that was the main point. But if you read the section I am referring to it says “they want to be with you”. I will substitute your statement for what he has written in that section currently and it all comes together.

        • stubbikins

          It was clearly in context with the whole article.

          • D Scott Penman

            Thank you for reminding my why I rarely post on public forums. The author has either poorly expressed his final point or it is inconsistent with the rest of the article. My only point.

          • Pi

            I agree with your point, that the last paragraph doesn’t seem right – not all women want to be with men, or anyone, some are bi or pan or lesbians, some are asexual, some just don’t want a relationship.

            That being said, stubbikins wasn’t rude, all he did was disagree with you, there’s really nothing there to evidence “why [you] rarely post on public forums”, unless the reason you rarely post is because people might disagree with you. If that’s the case…carry on, I guess.

          • Dmitri Shostakovicz

            Or perhaps you misinterpreted his intent? There’s always that possibility, you know.

  • April Hunter

    Thank you for this. It’s an issue that’s been niggling me for a long time and recently with the whole cyber drama of the “FYI for teenage girls” blog and the different responses to it, I’ve found it hard to not get drawn in to the comments. All I can say is thank you. you said it. Thank you for planning to have this conversation with your son one day…thanks for putting it out there.

  • Mary

    This is very awesome. I hope that the men my young daughters eventually end up with have fathers who will talk to them like this. I wish this could be required reading for all parents of tweens and teens as well as for their kids. Thank you.

  • terrep263

    Nate, thank you so much for this article. I hope dads every where have that conversation with their sons.

  • Dog_is_Good

    You’re getting some big love from the women over at xoJane right now. You definitely get it, and the world needs more dads just like you. Thanks!

  • Rachel

    Thank you for this.

  • Mikel


    I think before I would hold such a monologue, I would ask my son for his feelings. 😉 The header “Conversation” doesn’t fit so well to this, right? I don’t like it, when somebody tells somebody else what her or she “should do” and whats right and wrong. What about talking about your feelings and needs and what helps you to satisfy them and what not? What about being a role model instead of a just preaching?

    • Cee Bee

      I agree that he should ask his son what he is feeling before jumping in — if this was in fact a real situation…
      valid point.

    • stubbikins

      It is not either/or. If he feels this way, he is no doubt also practicing it. The article is not giving a script, it is an essay. Assuming he does not let his son speak is a far reaching and bizarre assumption.

      And there are things people should be told when young, because they should not be optional, treating others with respect is certainly one of those things.

      • Mikel

        Yes, I agree, the son would eventually interrupt his father anyway. :) I guess what most irritated me was to call this a conversation. And no, that he is preaching it does not mean he is “no doubt” practising it. I know too many who don’t practice what they preach. Maybe he is, but that does not matter here.

        Anyway, I don’t like it when people put up these noble moral standards, be it in an essay or in a conversation. In my point of view these standards are very likely to put people under pressure and make them feel bad when they don’t live up to it.

        To give an example: “Don’t play the victim. You are not a helpless victim when it comes to your eyes. You have full control over them. Exercise that control. Train them to look her in the eyes. Discipline yourself to see her, not her clothes or her body.” This assumes so much. Come on, seriously. Is it so bad to look at a womans butt and feel aroused from it? Is it wrong at all? Is the lord (or who?) condemning it the moment you do it?

        I could go in with a lot more questions on this, but my point is: Please talk about YOUR FEELINGS, each others feelings and so on, instead of making such general declarations about good and bad.

        And yes, I think it puts the son under moral pressure not to play the victim, before he has even had a thought on it. And he will moraly judge people who tell these “ridiculous lies”. Which is going to make it harder for him to face those people (or himself) with respect.

        And the text is becoming more moralizing after the first paragraph.
        And no, I do not think that moral is totally unnecessary. But our children will not automatically become evil if whe miss to tell them “dont do this and dont do that”. They watch us and they make their inferences.

  • Kim

    Thank you for sharing this. It renewed my faith that there are men out there that get it. I hope my husband has this very conversation with our son AND daughter when the time is appropriate. Men and women need to both “see” each other and this is beautifully stated!

  • Chuck Moreland

    The self victimization of men is not always recognized, but I think you nail it accurately. Equality is not just a woman issue, it is an issue that impacts us all. Men are not powerless beast subject to uncontrollable hormones. Not that shit doesn’t happen,but it is not an excuse and men should own who they are and not blame women or anybody else for that fact.

  • The Absent Minded Housewife

    Day before yesterday I wrote this piece. Well not this piece exactly because before now I’d not read it, but explained that I am the mother of sons and the expectation I have of them is that they look women in the eye.

    However, I don’t ever want them to think that a woman’s body is a mystery. Or that their bodies are mysterious to women. I believe very much in teaching them biology and anatomy when it comes to sex education. When you approach this matter of factly you do your part in removing shame…shame that causes so much damage. When they grow into full adults with relationships of their own they will have the thrill of discovery without the embarrassment of ignorance.

  • thrasha

    A few things:
    1. A woman’s body is many things, in addition to “beautiful and wonderful and mysterious.” Women’s bodies are strong, powerful, creative, etc. Also, women’s bodies are no more “mysterious” than other bodies, except for that medicine and science have long preferred to study men’s, which is a pretty big problem for women socially and medically.
    2. Setting up woman as “the other sex” has been a problem for a long time. I’d recommend reading up on “othering” and “otherness,” which are often detrimental to those considered “other.” You’ve heard of Simone de Beauvoir’s “The Second Sex?” Women are not second; men are not the norm.
    3. Thank you for believing – and asserting – that men can be more than our culture tells them they are.

  • milehighmama

    Thank you for this. I hope that when my husband and son reach this point in time, their conversation will be just as respectful and insightful as yours.

  • Alicia Randisi-Hooker

    Simply and beautifully stated.

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  • Elizabeth Miller

    This is written absolutely beautifully. I do have a question. I am a stepmother of a ten year old. My husband is not a Christian, but he does have a moral compass. Do you by any chance have a blog entry of the approach you will/plan/have taken with the birds and the bees talk? My concern is mainly the need to relieve himself. Not being male, I do not know or understand the mechanics of it and I would like to have a biblical approach to this subject for my son and my husband. We both agree that we do not want him to grow up objectifying women.

  • Catherine Fogle

    I am breathless. This is beautiful, and I hope my girls find someone whose father talked to them as you will one day talk to your son.

  • Jess

    I haven’t read all the comments in here, but I feel that everything you wrote here is so bang on. Interesting though that you mention in your bio lines that the “more you follow Jesus etc etc…” and yet you’ve criticized the church’s way of adding to gender misogyny through the Adam/Eve references in your post. I’m not religious at all by the way, but I was raised Catholic, so I am familiar with the bible, and don’t have problems with lots of the sections of it. My question: why do you follow Jesus? Is it a “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water thing”? I’m only asking because I ditched Jesus along with the church long ago, exactly so that I didn’t have to be associated with the dark side of the church. I like not being associated with any religious dogma and find lots of inspiration and spiritual nourishment outside of the church that would support your exact opinions on this post’s subject. Will it be a phase? Or do you think you’re going to stick with following Jesus?

    • Pi

      I’m not the author but I kind of highly doubt anyone that’s so into their religion that they have a regular blog about it is going to reply “Oh, I’m just in a phase, not a big deal”.

      As an atheist, Jesus was actually a pretty cool dude, if he was anything like the character created in the Gospels. Good person to follow.

      • Jess

        It depends. I was religious, then I was atheist and now an agnostic… People are going through phases all the time. Certainly they can convert religions too. So, I think it’s a valid question to ask, especially since he’s not necessarily towing the “Church’s” line. He’s questioning, reacting and grappling (all key aspects of faith) and I’m just curious to know how he approaches spirituality.

  • Peg Johnson

    You rock Nate.

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  • Michael Thomas Angelo

    As my dad and I drove by a girl or two, he would nudge me and say, “They look like a couple of (insert exploitative adjective-noun) here and I would stare back blankly… thinking,,, I have no idea how I’m going to feign interest when I am grossed out to the max:
    Coeds were more his thing anyway. They got younger and younger the older I got… until we were estranged— Do straight boys really have these kinds of talks with their dads? Eww. Thank God, I was gay,

    • Cee Bee

      Thank you for voicing this. I have often wondered about how gay men think about the way that straight men interact with and treat women. Not that everyone is the same, of course, but still — it is valuable insight.

      • Tim

        Gay men objectify the hell out of other men.

        • Dmitri Shostakovicz

          Some do, some don’t. Just like not all straight men objectify women. It’s not in the orientation, it’s in the behavior and the thoughts behind it.

        • Cee Bee

          Sure. But it’s equal opportunity objectification and I don’t imagine there is the sort of blaming and shaming that goes with traditional heterosexual gender roles. Although I’d be curious to know if the madonna-whore complex and shame game exists in gay culture. Are chaste gay men put on pedestals? Are gay men who show their bodies treated like Jezebels, temptors, or people unworthy of respect?

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  • Jenn

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! I have been divorced for many years, and the reason for the divorce was my ex-husband’s sexual addiction. In all the time that we were married, he played the victim of what women wore. But worse, most of the people around us agreed with him. It was maddening! Our marriage counselor told me the same thing. “Men look- they can’t help it.” The thing is, I can’t make all women everywhere wear clothes that aren’t provocative. So at some point, you just have to take accountability for your own thoughts and actions.
    I’ve spent years defending that stance, and being leery of dating men because I consistently hear that same point of view. I literally breathed a sigh of relief when reading this post. It is SO refreshing to hear that there are still people out there who “get it!” This is exactly how people should think and behave in order to be a healthy individual, not to mention have a healthy relationship at some point. I do everything I can to help women see the role they play in regards to the objectification epidemic. It makes me so happy to remember that there are men out there doing the same thing on the other end. Thank you for writing this post and for feeling this way. You just made my day!

    • Dmitri Shostakovicz

      Of course men look! Women look too! It’s why we have eyes. What’s important is that that look means. Are you looking at a pretty girl and thinking, “Wow, she’s a very pretty girl!” Or are you thinking, “Damn, what a hot piece of ass!” Big difference. The first acknowledges their humanity, while admiring their appearance. The second treats them as an object there for your pleasure and eliminates their humanity.
      Incidentally, this applies to any gender-orientation combination you’d care to name, so no inane questions, “Well what if he’s gay?” or other such nonsense. If you consider someone a human being, that’s good. If you consider them a piece of ass or other object, that’s bad.

      • Herschele1

        Actually I do usually think “Damn, what a hot piece of ass!”
        But I also make sure that my actions do no harm to her.

        Just get over it.

  • Dawn

    Yes, thank you, thank you, thank you. I am pinning and bookmarking this post so that I can show it to my husband, and read it to my sons in a couple of years. THIS is why I’m so fed up with the purity movement. It places the burden of responsibility on girls and gives the guys no responsibility for their behavior. It encourages a rape culture rather than encouraging young men to be strong in their values and treatment of girls. Thank you.

    • maryinbama

      Also girls who have sex get called sluts, but the boys who helped “create those sluts” bear absolutely no responsibility. Should we begin to slut shame boys too?

  • Mindy Ladner

    Thank you for voicing these words. All too often, especially in Christian culture, fear and shame seem to be modus operandi of parents and the church, in all things related to sexuality. It’s a beautiful thing to put more heart and humanity into this most valuable life less.

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  • Pablito Garcia

    What will you tell you son if he’s gay?

    • stubbikins

      That hot men are also human. How is that confusing?

      • Pablito Garcia

        The author is religious, many religious people have issues with gay people.

  • Pablito Garcia

    There’s no way to “like” comments, per se? There are some really worthy ones!

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  • Sheri Whispers

    You all need to back over into Proverbs an take your ques from there, You can go on an on abt how women this an males that but the facts are clear. Women have a responsibility that males dont an visa versa .Its more then just a simple statement, it is a Spirit moving throughout the world an it is degrading equally males an females. An charmed little conversations wont get the job done however prayerful consideration of your children might.

    • Dmitri Shostakovicz

      That’s nice. But I don’t believe in your bible, your god, or your prayers. Why should that have any power of me whatsoever? Also, you seem to have a misunderstanding over what the word “fact” actually means. Nothing that is rooted in faith and belief without documentable verifiable proof is a fact. That’s what we call an opinion.
      I’d put MUCH more stock in having a good talk with my children than in simply praying for them. It worked for me with my kids.

    • maryinbama

      So if women suddenly covered themselves from neck to ankle, would male lusting in their hearts disappear? No, the definition of modesty would simply change and women would still be accused of enticing men with their clothing. Take responsibility for yourself.

  • thunderhayes

    Something that I’ve constantly thought of…I have no problem with women who might want to wear short shorts or tank tops, I’m in control of my urges that when I see a person dressed in a manner like, let’s say, Daisy Duke, that I don’t instantly go “Must have sex with her.” My problem is when women want to wear shorts that are showing off the bottom of their butt cheeks or have underwear showing inches above their waistband. I know modesty can be a bit different between individuals, but the idea of “underwear” is that it’s “under” “wear.” Also I don’t get people who want to wear something like skinny jeans or shirts that are two sizes too small for them. That screams that they are in denial of the truth that their body isn’t made for those clothes.

    • Pi

      Our bodies aren’t made for clothes at all, if you want to talk about what our bodies are made for.

      I find it hilarious when people pick apart the etymology of a word and then decide it can only be used in the way the etymology describes. I stand in my bathtub to take a shower. My laptop isn’t on my lap at all right now, it’s on my bed. I live on a street called Enchanted Forest Street (no, not kidding on that one), but I’m fairly certain there’s nothing that can be called a forest in the vicinity and if there was it wouldn’t be very enchanted. So why is underwear suddenly incredibly closely bound to its name, to the point that if you see it, even if it’s worn underneath something else, it needs to be criticized?

      Would you feel better if we called them all by their other names, like panties? Then you can rest easy since there’s no arbitrary etymological conflict.

      • thunderhayes

        Hey, I’m not just opposed to women’s underwear showing, I don’t like seeing guys with jeans to their knees and boxers on full display. I’m not talking about a waistband of a pair of panties being visible when a girl sits down, or even when she’s walking, but if I am able to tell what pattern is on a person’s underwear from just glancing, then it’s too much showing.

        • Pi

          Why? What are your specific reasons for being offended by being able to see the pattern on a pair of boxers or panties?

          • thunderhayes

            I didn’t say I was “offended” by it. I said I was opposed to it because of the reasons stated above. I just feel it’s poor taste. Part of the reason why I feel it’s poor taste is because it shows that you don’t care about wearing proper fitting clothing. Me being able to see enough of a guy’s boxers or a girl’s panties to be able to pick them out in a store shelf to me says they are showing too much of them. Particularly with guys, pants are meant to sit at a certain point. I am mainly referring to younger people here, people under like 16.

          • Pi

            These people you’re talking about are people that are intentionally showing their underwear, so I find it odd that you define the clothes they choose to wear a certain way as improperly fitting them. At this point, there are plenty of pants created that are “meant” to sit around a guy’s thighs, so his underwear is in full view. That’s how they were designed, that’s how the cut is, that’s how they were meant to be worn. Thus, your argument of how pants are “meant to sit” is disproven.

            I am being led to assume here that you also think that people rolling up pants to make capris are also in “poor taste” according to you, as that’s not what the pants were meant to do. And people that tie or roll up the sleeves of t-shirts. This is true, yes? Because if you only care about how clothes are “meant” to be worn when it comes to underwear, you’re a hypocrite and there’s much more behind it than “pants are meant to sit at a certain point”.

          • thunderhayes

            I have no problem with rolled up sleeves. But you will have to show me proof that these guys walking around with pants at their thighs aren’t wearing 44 inch waist jeans when they need 34 inch waist jeans. There’s a reason it’s called a “waist band”. Also, many schools and business have dress codes that dictate pants not sagging and underwear not showing. What I consider “poor taste” is incredibly tacky displays. Heck, there have been towns try to pass laws about sagging pants but civil rights activists strike them down.

          • Pi

            I’m not the one trying to judge them, you are. The default state of a compassionate human being should be not to judge until actions prove that a person deserves judgment for their actions, not to judge until they’ve proven they don’t deserve judgment.

            And you’re back to etymology. I thought we already talked about this – laptop not on lap, showers in bathtubs, etc.? You seem to have an obsession with sticking to etymology at arbitrary points. I have to assume you judge every person you see with a laptop on a table and refuse to shower in a bathtub as well, since you’re so caught up in what the original of words are that you can’t accept what they might mean now.

            I am aware that there are dress codes against it. In some places dress codes require that women wear a skirt. This does not make it right.

          • thunderhayes

            I think this is something where we are going to have to walk away from it saying that we’re just agreeing to disagree. I know I’m not gonna change your view on it, and I know I’m not going to change my view (despite acknowledging that there are some valid points in your argument). I will end my part in it by saying that there is a difference between allowing other’s opinions to negatively affect your view of yourself and your actions (negative peer pressure to get you to do drugs because it’s “cool”) and just not giving a crap what anyone has to say about anything. PS: I’m typing this on a laptop computer that is not on my lap.

          • Dmitri Shostakovicz

            thunderhayes wrote: “PS: I’m typing this on a laptop computer that is not on my lap.”
            There may be hope for you yet.

          • Dmitri Shostakovicz

            The reason that civil rights activists strike them down is because of that annoying little thing called the First Amendment, which guarantees, among other things, freedom of expression. That’s the same amendment that says it’s ok for me to wear a hot pink blazer over a lime green plaid shirt with a fluorescent blue tie over shorts with socks and sandals. Yeah, I look incredibly stupid, but there’s no law against that. Good thing too, or your posts would be illegal!

            Incidentally, the right to wear something, however, does not protect one from the consequences of wearing it, as long as those consequences do not, themselves, violate the law. So if you want to laugh at someone for wearing the outfit I described above, feel free. If you want to beat the crap out of them, prepare for a jail sentence.

          • TattooedLittleMiss

            Fine. You consider it tacky. Explain why that calls their humanity into question, or makes them somehow less deserving of common courtesy, or, for that matter, why anyone but you and your personal shopper should give a damn?

          • maryinbama

            So would you feel better if they marketed them as “hipband jeans?”

          • maryinbama

            Styles change. Almost every generation of teens has fashions that the older generation disapproves of. In the 50s it might have been leather jackets and poodles skirts. I say let them find their own way without undue criticism from the older generation.

    • maryinbama

      And while there are some clothing I do not care for, it is not my business what other people wear. I don’t get to dehumanize them just because I think their outfit in in poor taste.

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  • MartinP

    You may be blessed with a gay son so you may not have to have that conversation.

    • Dmitri Shostakovicz

      And why not? Do you thing gay men are immune from what the author is talking about? Do you think that it’s impossible for a gay man to look at another man and think, “Damn, what a hot piece of ass?” Nope, it’s not about gender or orientation. It’s about treating people with respect and remembering they’re human beings, no matter to whom you’re attracted or what gender you are.

      • Cee Bee

        I agree the author is talking about treating people with respect regardless of sex/gender, but he is also addressing biblical sexism — or the notion that women can be categorized as madonnas (chaste women) or whores (sexual women) and that any woman who engages her sexuality is likely to be a temptress (a Jezebel!) who aspires to cause the downfall of honorable men. Conservative Christianity is HUNG UP on this stuff and regularly uses shaming/blaming to control and regulate women’s sexual behavior, while letting guys off the hook for their own sexual behavior. It’s like second nature to Conservative Christians and the author is fighting back against these assumptions and double standards.

        • Dmitri Shostakovicz

          Well thank God I don’t believe in that silly bible stuff then.

  • Wendi

    While it is our responsibility to teach our young men not to objectify women no matter what they look like, it is equally our responsibility to teach our young women that they do NOT need to dress like streetwalkers to show that they are beautiful.

    • AuroraMoon

      But what if they really liked the fashion of “streetwalkers” as you called them? Hey, just saying. *shrugs* a lot of people have a wide and varied tastes in clothing… and sometimes it will go against the mainstream ideal. And they’ll think this is beautiful, while the mainstream popular fashions are just cliche and overdone. I personally don’t dress like that myself, but I’ve goth-ed it up myself in the past and often have been judged for it. so I know the feeling when stupid idiots think that they can judge people by how they dress.

      • Wendi

        I didn’t say that I judged anyone on how they dressed. Saying that someone is dressing like a streetwalker isn’t judging them if that’s exactly what they are dressed like. I didn’t say that they were streetwalkers. That would be a judgment. See the difference?

        • AuroraMoon

          the thing is… what if it wasn’t “street walker” clothing, the person doing the criticizing only thought it was? I brought up goth clothes for a reason… many times some conservative christain would think that I dressed up like an Satan-worshiping prostitute but that didn’t make her right. To give you an visual idea of what I typically wore:
          A lot of Gothic clothes are typically very demure and covers a lot of things. But since I usually wore an corset as a part of my outfits, that somehow made it “slutty” in that prude’s eyes. I also don’t worship Satan, BTW. *shakes head*
          A lot of people have different ideas on what constitutes proper clothing, and what makes a clothing style “slutty”. 😛 Who are we to say who’s right and who’s wrong??

    • maryinbama

      Who are these “streetwalker’s customers?” They would not walk those streets if someone wasn’t paying them to. If a woman is deemed a “whore” some man bears 50% responsibility in her status. If every single woman on this planet suddenly began dressing as you think appropriate, do you think prostitution would suddenly disappear? That men would stop trying to have sex with women outside of marriage? The definition of modesty would just change and women would still be blamed for leading men on.

  • JamieHaman

    How to teach your son to be a human being. Wonderful. Thank you. Wish more fathers knew this, and taught this.

  • Matthew West

    This is spot on. But there’s a risk that it can be used to justify something I don’t believe it was intended to justify. This verse explains my position:

    “And he said to his disciples, ‘Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.'” (Luke 17:1–2 ESV)

    Does a temptation to sin mean that someone will sin? Certainly not, God can give victory. But this verse does make it pretty clear that we’d better be sure our actions aren’t causing temptations for someone else. Just as Paul in 1 Corinthians 8:13 gives up the right to eat meat if it might cause his brother to stumble, so women must consider beyond themselves and not wear things that will put stumbling blocks before their brothers.

    Again, this does not contradict the blog post; I agree with the conversation 100% — it is a man’s responsibility to not lust after and objectify women. But according to the Bible, women should consider it also.

    • Dmitri Shostakovicz

      Sorry, that’s the same old misogyny, dressed up in nicer clothes. It’s the same reasoning that says that women should wear veils and burqas lest they present a temptation to men. Women can dress how they want to dress. Yes, some will dress provocatively. That’s NOT an open invitation to sin, it’s not a statement that says, “Please rape me;” it’s a statement that says, “I’m attractive, I’m pretty, and I want people to notice it.” If you can’t control yourself, then perhaps YOU should be the one to shield YOUR eyes; or perhaps just stay at home, safely behind your four walls. I don’t care WHAT your faith is, or even if you have no faith at all. Keep your hands to yourself, and your thoughts inside your own brain.

      • Matthew West

        Therefore let’s not judge one another any more, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block in his brother’s way, or an occasion for falling. (Romans 14:13 WEB)

        It is good to not eat meat, drink wine, nor do anything by which your brother stumbles, is offended, or is made weak. (Romans 14:21 WEB)

        Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who doesn’t judge himself in that which he approves. (Romans 14:22 WEB)

        But be careful that by no means does this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to the weak. (1 Corinthians 8:9 WEB)

        I agree with your point that it is my responsibility to control myself. And by the grace of God, I do and temptation has no power over me. The Bible is very clear, however, that a Christian will consider the way what they do affects others – “the weak”. Like it or not, that’s the Biblical teaching.

        • Dmitri Shostakovicz

          Perhaps it IS biblical teaching. So what? Using your holy book to avoid personal responsibility is nothing new either. Christians and other religions have been doing that for centuries. Not everyone believes your religion, and not everyone needs your holy book to tell them what’s right from wrong.
          Nothing changes the fact that YOUR actions are YOUR responsibility. Not “the devil made do it,” or “she tempted me beyond reason,” or any drivel like that. YOUR responsibility and no one else’s.
          You can wiggle around, quote scripture, point fingers, or whatever you want to do, but nothing changes that cold hard fact.

        • Cee Bee

          There comes a time when a person has to stop quoting bible verses and think for themselves. If you don’t, your mind will become so weak that you won’t be able to talk, reason, or have a worthwhile discussion with anyone who doesn’t think like you or share your beliefs.

          Something to think about. If you care.

          • Matthew West

            I apologize if I may have seemed to be in contradiction to this article; my burden was not to argue against its thrust for personal accountability for each person. I emphatically affirm that point.

            Also, I don’t believe I ever stated anything about that women *can’t* dress a certain way. I’m *not* trying to dictate morality across society; I *am* trying to clarify the teaching of the Bible for those who believe in it and want to know its position. Therefore any rebuttal along the lines of, “I don’t accept the Bible so your comment is nonsense” is arguing against a straw-man; with all respect, I was not speaking to you, but to those who do accept the Bible.

          • Cee Bee

            Thanks for your response and clarification.

        • Dmitri Shostakovicz

          Doesn’t matter whether I like it or not. I don’t believe in it, so it has absolutely zero effect on me. Fortunately, however, I have a strong moral code that helps me know for myself what’s right and wrong. I don’t need a set of thousand year old words written by people who have no idea what the world today would be like back then to tell me.

    • TattooedLittleMiss

      Please explain why your religion should influence society outside of your church. I am an atheist. Why should my safety, humanity, comfort, and legal protection be dependent on what your holy text says about a concept I believe is BS?

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  • Patrick Hoffmann

    Just really good stuff, can’t say enough thank you’s I will be printing this and using it with my grand children

  • Rebecca Mullen-Truitte

    PREACH IT BROTHER — and THANK YOU- I hate the lies and misconceptions you put forth in your blog! They are painful and shaming! And people believe them – and I have encountered much opposition to this very argument – probably because I am a woman! I have two boys- and I too want them to see women like you want your son to see them! I was abused when I was a very young child – and repressed it for a long time- and this had horrible effects on my sexuality – feeling shameful about my body– I have since accepted myself– and what I ware as an adult – I find that I need to be modest – but not to the degree of being in burka type dress- I do like to feel pretty- but I like to feel confident – and not just in my dress – but in the way I present myself to the world– clothing is a way in which we can express ourselves – and so often we can get blamed for trying to lure attention… sometimes this can be the case- but I like that you put responsibility on the other sex to rise above what a woman is wearing! I was in a counseling session and I told my therapist with my husband that I hated when he would say to people look at my wife doesn’t she look beautiful – or ask my boys to look at me and tell me how pretty I looked– and my therapist told me a lot of women struggle with this – not because we are being bitchy about receiving compliments but because we feel objectified – this probably stems from my early childhood abuse– now my husband understands and tells me personally if I look beautiful – and praises what I do and not how I look in public and to our boys! Thank you for everything you said- it blessed my heart! I hope this reaches the hearts of parents- women and men everywhere! God bless you!

  • Kristina Linden

    Thank you so much for addressing this issue with empowerment for both genders. I grew up being told that as a woman it is my responsibility to keep men from lusting, an impossible task. I am all the more grateful that you, a man, are saying this. Sadly it is often men who are the ones to disempower women, and men by proxy, or to remain silent on the issue, which is just as damaging and culpable. Again thank you.

  • Grace Biskie

    Thanks so much, Nate for this. It’s refreshing & beautiful & needed.

  • Anon

    Could you elaborate on what you mean? “Appearance” is a tremendous concept that is not limited to a photographic description of what a woman is wearing, the arrangement of her hair, and the expression on her face. It is extremely complex, and men make complicated judgments when deciding to whom they are or are not attracted.

    I know only a few men who will make a judgment about a woman totally based on her appearance and who would be willing to take that as an invitation for sex–because I don’t frequent the places where that kind of man goes, and avoid becoming common in that type of man’s company. It isn’t morally wrong to dress a certain way just as it isn’t morally wrong to drive through dangerous neighborhood, but any parent would be a fool to allow his/her child to wander the streets at night on the basis that “you ought not to have to worry about your life.” You can never guarantee avoiding the company of scoundrels, even in normal society, but you can take measures to avoid them.

    I will always try to treat individuals with politeness and decency, but I will still make involuntary mental judgments about a person just like every human–and really, every sentient life form–is biologically made to do. Trying to suppress that feeling or disqualify it as objectification, if that is what you think ought to be done, is as dehumanizing, self-destructive, and futile as telling your eyes not to see and your ears not to hear.

  • Baretta82

    ..or you could put on some clothes. Just a thought.
    I’m not saying males are 100% dictated by testosterone, but it’s close.
    Am I defending rapists? Heck no.
    Am I defending my right to do a double-take of a scantily-clad woman as she walks down the street? Heck yes.
    That’s nature. If you don’t like that kind of attention, then dress accordingly. You’re not going to be able to trump thousands of years of evolution because you just want to look sexy for your girlfriends and not deal with guys.
    I feel bad for the poor kid in this article, for having to feel like something so natural is somehow his fault.

    • TattooedLittleMiss

      Why should my safety, comfort, and humanity rely on what YOU find attractive? Hint: most women dress for themselves in order to feel confident, beautiful, proud, comfortable, in control. NOT to seduce men. Stop flattering yourselves.

      • Baretta82

        Cee Bee: I do agree with you, it’s all relative. Unfortunately we don’t pick the society or time period we get to live in, or I would be in the Wild West right now. Women, I feel, are well aware of what will and won’t attract the average man in this society. When they choose to wear it anyway, all bets are off. If I walk down the street in a wife-beater and sporting a mullet, can I realistically be offended when people think of me as some kind of redneck?

        ‘Why should my safety, comfort, and humanity rely on what YOU find attractive? Hint: most women dress for themselves in order to feel confident, beautiful, proud, comfortable, in control. NOT to seduce men. Stop flattering yourselves.’

        Hey, I told you what I feel are the plain facts. Do action ‘A’, expect result ‘B’. Why should your safety, comfort and humanity rely on what the average man finds attractive? It shouldn’t, but it does. What you wrote is a lazy justification for doing what you want anyway.

        • Cee Bee

          You’re not making 100% sense, but say for the sake of argument, your version of “scantily clad” is a woman who wears a slightly shorter skirt than average or a slightly lower cut shirt than average. In your mind, does this mean that men (or women) suddenly have the right to disrespect her and treat her like a whore?? Or that men suddenly have the right to make her feel objectified, whereas they wouldn’t have this right if she was dressed average?

          Is this the way you think?

          If it is — NEWSFLASH — most people don’t think this way. You are banging your own noisy drum with a strange tribe of primitive monkeys and douchebags. And hey, don’t get upset if someone calls you a douchebag. If you walk and talk like a douchebag, someone is going to call you a douchebag.

          Hopefully you don’t reeeally think this way.

          • Baretta82

            Listen, don’t run into the horizon with what I said. Nobody is talking about treating a woman like a whore. I’m talking about the second glance men often give an attractive lady on the street (which is what the original article sets out to deprogram from a young boy). And I never stated what scantily clad means for me personally.

            Let’s be realistic, most women that dress a certain way are -well aware- of how it will be seen by men. In fact, most of those women -court- that kind of attention.

            And newsflash: if my perspective was uncommon enough to put me in a small tribe of douchebags, there would be no reason for this article in the first place.

            I respect women. Lord knows I invest enough of my own time trying to win their attention, but for example when a woman comes into the office in a very low-cut top, I don’t think that’s right. Our eyes are drawn to the worst place automatically, and we have to feel bad for it. Men wear real shirts, so should women.

          • Cee Bee

            Keep in mind, the author is a pastor and was once a more rigid thinking Conservative Christian who is now in the process of shifting some his views and blogs about this. His regular audience is other Conservative Christians but this particular post went viral, so average people are weighing in.

            The root of what he is addressing is essentially biblical sexism — or the notion that women can be categorized as madonnas (chaste women) or whores (sexual women) and that any woman who engages her sexuality is likely to be a temptress (a Jezebel!) who aspires to cause the downfall of honorable men. Because these women represent TEMPTATION and SIN they deserve to be SHAMED in order to keep them in their place and channel them towards what Conservative Christians believe is God’s will with respect to appropriate gender roles and natural/acceptable behaviors for women and men. Mainstream Americans are not really aligned with this view but Conservative Christianity is still very HUNG UP on preaching these ideas and regularly uses shaming/blaming to control women’s sexual behavior, while letting guys off the hook for their own behavior. That is why I asked where you stand. It doesn’t sound like you really align yourself with these views, at least not fully. It sounds more like you think people should be sensible in their dress and what they reveal so as not to distract others from going about daily life. That is quite different from the elaborate views that many Conservative Christians hold. If that is all you are saying, most reasonable people would basically agree.

          • maryinbama

            When I put on shorts and a t-shirt to go to the grocery store, the last thing on my mind is what some man might think of my outfit. If I am not wearing a bra it is because they are painful after a while, not because I think some man might drive down my street and see me. If I do not button the top button on my shirt, it is because I feel constricted with tight things around my neck. How narcissistic to think that we are dressing for YOU.

          • Baretta82

            Ok, I shouldn’t have suggested that women only wear less clothes to get attention from men.
            But whatever the reasoning or innocent intent behind it: be it comfort, convenience, impressing fellow women etc, the result is the same. The more you expose, the more attention you’ll get from men. Fact. And no amount of new-age religious ideals are going to be able to overcome this basic human behavior.

          • maryinbama

            OK…so let’s say that every single woman suddenly starts dressing modestly by the current definition. Will this totally eradicate male lust? No…it will just cause a change in definition of what it means to be modest. Knees covered? Well then next it will be calves and then ankles. There is absolutely no possible way for women to win in this instance. What if half the men think long skirts are modest and the other half pants? I am not responsible for someone else’s thoughts or behavior.

          • maryinbama

            So would male attention simply disappear should all women completely cover their bodies?

          • Baretta82

            I do understand your argument that it seems pointless to define a standard for modesty because it will always lead to the same situation anyway. But take the current socially-accepted women’s fashions for example. It’s almost like the blouses are designed to ‘showcase’ a woman’s chest. Pants and dresses are tight and form-fitting. Girls walk around with logos on their backsides. Surely it’s no accident. This is apparently what women want to wear. But then they’re quick to get on board with the whole ‘don’t treat women like sex objects’ argument. It’s just a bit contradictory is all.

          • maryinbama

            Men wear tight t-shirts and jeans. They wear shirts with sexual sayings on them. They wear low slung shorts with no shirts. It’s funny how I do not automatically assume they are advertising for sex. Women don’t really dictate fashion. Designers do. I remember once sitting in on a dress code meeting with my children’s principal. The dress code called for shorts that were no more than 4 inches above the knee (this is in an area with high temperatures and bad air conditioning in the school). I told him I would be happy to dress my kids in those 4 in above the knee shorts if he went shopping with me and told me where I could buy such an animal. They did not exist in the stores at that time. As much as guys like to think so, it really is not all about them. When we start “slut shaming” the boys/men who sleep with these so called “sluts,” then perhaps we can have an egalitarian conversation. But as long as they get a free societal pass for promiscuity and women do not, then any comments they make about the attire of women is just a double standard and blaming women for their own failings.

          • Baretta82

            Can we just blame society at large for this? I don’t know that the designers that dictate fashion are all men. I see your point though..

          • maryinbama

            So society AND girls are responsible for policing men’s thoughts now?

          • Baretta82

            I don’t see how I’m blaming society for how men think specifically. If anything I was saying it affects how women think, in terms of what clothes they buy. It’s what makes celebrities and models dress the way they do, and in turn makes women want to emulate them.

            I said women dress too provocatively. You argued that it’s not to impress men. Instead you attributed it to convenience, comfort, and also the difficulty in finding more modest clothes due to fashion trends. In the end it doesn’t matter WHY, the result is the same.

            Should men be judged the same way if they wear tight-fitting etc clothes? Yes, I agree that’s not fair. What forces are ultimately responsible for the skewed standards and values of our society? Who knows!

            But whoever we decide is to blame, I contend that anyone, male and female alike, should have the judgement to know what will be percieved as risque in whatever society they live in. As such neither can escape ALL responsibility for other people’s perception of them.

            I stand by my original point: wear more clothes.

          • maryinbama

            Let me just relay a few episodes in my life off of the top of my head:
            My butt has been grabbed so many times I have lost count.
            I have had boys and men grab my boobs.
            I had a policeman change my tire one night and then he followed me to my apartment to “make sure I got home safely” and then proceeded to trap me against the door and kiss me.
            One night one of my girlfriends asked me to go to a party with her. She brought her little brother and his friend. The friend started flirting with me and asked me out and I told
            him I had a boyfriend. Later on that night he came to my apartment and tried to tear my door down with a crowbar.
            I was in the grocery store parking lot once and had my hands full of bags. I was trying to get my key in the lock when a man came up behind me and tried to pull my shirt off.
            My first year in law school I lived in an apartment by myself. A
            neighbor across the way started looking through my windows with a telescope and leaving notes on my car. I had to cover every window with sheets and blankets the entire time I lived there to keep him from seeing me.
            I am sure I could come up with tens times this amount if I
            thought about it long enough. Not one of those times was I wearing anything provocative or risque.
            So STOP saying that women are somewhat
            responsible for men’s thoughts and actions. I was not responsible for ANY of the above things that happened to me. If you don’t want to see a push up bra or a see through top, then don’t LOOK.

          • Baretta82

            Ok, I’m honestly sorry if that’s been your experience. I can definitely understand your view considering that. All I can say is that neither I nor any other sane person I know would ever do any of those things. I’ve never known people to behave that way. My argument was only in defense of visually ‘checking a woman out’ as she passes by.

          • maryinbama

            The thing is my experience is not unique. It happens to women all of the time. Things like this have happened to every single woman I know. I am 54 years old and it STILL happens to me. The clothing women wear is not going to make this stop. Only raising our boys to be men who respect women and their autonomy will help. Telling women not to wear certain times of clothing only makes things worse for women because men think they can say or do anything they like and have absolutely no consequences. Who was I supposed to tell about the policeman? One of my friends married a policeman and he beat her. When she reported it, they failed to press charges and he beat her for reporting it.

          • Baretta82

            I’m going to sound ignorant, but this actually is an eye-opener for me. Like I said, not something I would be involved in. I guess if the women I know have had similar experiences it hasn’t really come up in casual conversations. So thanks for telling me. Sorry if I was coming across as a jerk.

          • maryinbama

            Thank you. I doubt even my husband is aware of all of the things that have happened to me. After a while you almost take it for granted. It has happened to my two daughters as well. We probably did not tell their Dad because we did not want him to get in any trouble confronting people. We live with this all of the time and almost internalize it. So clothes do not make it better and bringing clothes into the discussion just diverts the conversation from where it needs to go.

          • maryinbama

            It doesn’t matter if they are men or not (although a significant number of them are). The point is and should remain that women are NOT responsible for the sexual thoughts of men just as men are not responsible for the sexual thoughts of women. Stop trying to tell girls that they are somehow to blame for men’s lack of control.

    • Cee Bee

      Wait one second!!! You are blaming this on evolution? So what about all the societies where women wear very little (for example, where women don’t normally cover their breasts AT ALL) but where the men just go about their normal business and do not lose their minds ??

      I doth protest. What turns men on is whatever they are denied — it is in their imagination. But men’s imagination will be provoked regardless of what we wear. In the Victorian Era women were told they couldn’t even show their ankles because it would provoke men into a sexual frenzy. There is no absolute line of safety. We are probably better off just all being naked.

  • WeshleySmedricks

    This article is naive and one-sided. Men must see women correctly, yes, and women should not be generally sexy. They should strive, in their demeanor and dress, to be specifically sexy–sexy for one man. The issue becomes extremely complicated when you consider that the clothes we wear were designed by those whose desire is to create sexy people, people of swagger, dominance, and sex appeal. Clothes like any other artistic production are not neutral. I believe that, had Adam and Eve not sinned, every man would have had absolute control over his lusts and every woman total control of the vibe she produced. Now it is not so. Women either know what they are doing and dress seductively, do not know what they are doing and dress seductively, know what they are doing and dress nonseductively, or do not know what they are doing and dress nonseductively. Men are either one-woman-men who do not struggle with roving lusts, or one-woman-men who struggle with roving lusts, generally-sexual-men who do not struggle with roving lusts, or generally-sexual-men who struggle with roving lusts. Mix these eight categories up and, voilà, you have our world.

    • TattooedLittleMiss

      Or, you know, we can live in an empowered, sex-positive society where people are sexy for themselves instead of other people and we don’t blame crime on the victims or fairy tales.

    • Cee Bee

      hmmm. this all sounds very scientific. lol.

      so what about the sexy men who tempt and distract women to lust? you haven’t categorized them in your male/female sexual temptation lust typology. do these guys get a free pass?

      also, i know that the average biblical-quoting man such as yourself believes that women do not know lust — but we do — and I demand that we be given recognition in your lust typology!!

      Please make these necessary revisions, resubmit, and tell us again how the world works. Otherwise you get an D-.

  • Anne

    Women can not teach men how to be men, only other men can do that. As a single mom of boys – and for those boys who don’t have dad’s that know this, thank you for speaking publicly and so eloquently.

  • Day

    Thank you so much for writing this. The whole time I read, the only thing I could think was ‘This is a man who gets it’. It’s an uphill battle, but with support and affirmation from both sides, female AND male, it becomes a lot less difficult. Again, thank you. 

  • Jools N

    I just wanted to thank you for this blog post Nate, and send you a small prayer for your continuing journey of the soul, Amen!

    These are five of my tenets, they sound simple but are hard to live by:

    *Free your heart from hatred
    *Free your mind from worries
    *Live simply
    *Give more
    *Expect less

  • Pingback: Seeing a Woman: A conversation between a father and son | Kenilee's Weblog()

  • mindy

    As the mom of two teen girls, I am almost in tears reading this. Thank you. THANK YOU.

  • LaurieAC

    I am so disgusted by these anti-male, sexist blog posts making women who dress with an intent to control and seduce men appear to be the victims while males are demonized for looking at these women! What is wrong with people- wake up! Women are 100% responsible for their actions, how they dress and what message they are giving out. If they don’t want to be stared at, then they should not be doing things such as going on National TV and “twerking” in plastic underwear with their tongue hanging out! Period! Sexual assault is NOT about gender. Boys and men have been historically and are still equally the victims of sexual assault and females perpetrate sexual assault in much larger numbers than the media and the victims report; it is just disinformation prevents that info and those studies from being seen. When a woman like Miley does what she does, I believe that is a form of sexual exploitation of the public.

    • Ian Osmond

      Are you a real person, or are you a character made up by a comedian?

    • TattooedLittleMiss

      Really? So the only time you’ve ever put on sexy clothes is to seduce and manipulate men? Because, gotta tell ya, I own a LOT of sexy clothes and I buy and wear them with one person in mind: Me. How I feel, how I think I look. If men find me attractive in them, that is irrelevant to me. Wearing revealing clothes is NOT attacking someone and violating them and should never, in any context, be put on the same level as such. Furthermore, men and boys have never and probably never will be equal victims of rape and assault, since, you know, they’re a third less likely to be assaulted in their lifetimes than women. But hey, facts and common decency. Why bother with shit like that when we can hate our own gender to try and ingratiate ourselves to our dick-bearing overlords?

    • JenFizz

      If a man can be “controlled” by what a woman wears he is too dangerous to society to be allowed to leave the house. You do know that sexual assault occurs in places where women cover their entire bodies from head to toe, right? And, no, men are not victims of sexual assault by females at an equal rates. Not even close. Please educate or sterilize yourself…or move to Saudi Arabia where repressing women’s bodies is a suitable solution for social ills.

    • maryinbama

      And yet, married Robin Thicke was barely criticized at all.

  • Michael Hackmer

    I loved the article. But in my church, my Catholic Church, all the priests and religious education teachers I have encountered over many years ALWAYS teach and stress the importance of respecting others. How to objectify is not what we are taught or learn as Catholics, nor do we learn that women cause men to sin. We all sin, everyday, because we are human. But just as St. Paul stressed in his letters that religion cannot be forced on people, that all individuals must choose to love God or choose to become Catholics, so are we also all responsible for our own moments of weakness. Lastly, we also do not learn that our bodies are dangerous, but sacred and beautiful. And that true love and getting to know the most intimate aspects of another person is in fact a beautiful thing that should not be treated lightly. That we should respect ourselves and others… And that goes for men AND women…

    • Joseph Mentor Nichols

      People should never be thought of as sex objects. Despite their many attempts to become sex objects.

  • luke

    hmmm. ok. if one were to like this i could see that but i could also see the opposite. men can be tortured by a womans sexuality. thats true. and it is dangerous. and the fact is no man is going to react to a woman who is dressed in a more sexual way than he would with a woman dressed in a more conservative way. is that the point of the article. to ignore that instinct? good luck. sounds good though and got attention. but is not necessarily natural….

    • Ian Osmond

      I am sorry that you are so weak. Perhaps you should take reasonable, common-sense precautions, like always covering your eyes when you leave the house, or making sure that you are always chaperoned by a female relative?

  • Ferns

    I love this beyond words. Thank you for being a father who gets it, and thank you for raising your son to walk this way in the world.

  • Erin Michaela Brandt

    Nate, Men, I’d like to take this one step farther. One different distinction.

    I haven’t read all the comments here, so forgive me if I repeat. And, my view below is not related in ANY way to sexual assault.

    From what I understand, it is perfectly natural for (especially) men to be impacted by beauty and sexiness around them. I think it’s absolutely fine to have one’s head turned, or one’s eyes drawn. I don’t think that needs to be resisted at all. I actually like to celebrate it, and be celebrated!

    I think the next step for men is the REMEMBRANCE of this woman’s beauty as being inherently part of the soul that stands in front of them/ walks by them. A soul-being with her own pain and hopes and disappointments and past/future.

    Nate, I LOVE that you will demand/ encourage that your son empower himself, and not be fooled by the lie. And… rather than men discipline themselves to not look at my body,
    I think men should discipline themselves that their appreciation of our bodies IS IMMEDIATELY, time-sensitively, linearly CONNECTED TO their awareness/ appreciation of the REST of us. Please don’t leave my body out! It’s the first thing you will see! It will naturally attract you. Let it!
    And THEN, men… that’s where your control, presence, heart and soul come in.

    I think that if/ when women can understand that there is no threat to appreciation… sexual, verbal… if WE can relax into 1- being appreciated while we 2- hold our boundaries regarding how far we allow that appreciation to go, men and women can live in more ease, both allowing for maximum, mutual appreciation in daily life.

  • Suzanna George

    thank you so much for posting this. It is wonderful to hear how a father plans on speaking to his son about sexism and teaching him how to be a responsible, respectful man. Unfortunately, there are too many boys out there who either have clueless, negligent or sexist fathers or absentee fathers.

  • erin

    As the mother of 3 sons and 1 daughter, I agree. Yes, my sons, see to know and not only possess; and for my daughter, be a woman worth knowing.
    Men and women carry equal responsibility for making such a conversation a reality.

  • Siri Brown

    This entire article is completely perfect.

  • John Lysaght

    So, when women objectify men at the beach, on a construction site, in a gym or playing sports, that’s perfectly fine? Or, the worst objectification of all: men on marriage being milked for their reproductive abilities through NFP, that’s perfectly alright, right?

    • TattooedLittleMiss

      A) The female gaze does not have the same over-arching social and political consequences the male gaze has. Or did you routinely hear that male politicians shouldn’t be allowed to hold office unless they looked like Ken dolls?

      B) There is a difference between admiring and objectifying. No matter how attractive I have found many a man, I have never once forgotten that they are people with autonomy, thoughts, and feelings. Facts that many men tend to ignore about women.

      C) Don’t like NFP? Find a new partner or don’t consent to risky sex. You whine about something you have complete control over.

    • Cee Bee

      I think the author would say we should all strive to value and connect with the things in other people (as well as ourselves) that go beyond the physical or the material. A good less for everyone, especially if you don’t want to end up with a marriage partner who picks you for the wrong reasons. Wouldn’t you agree?

      As for why it is targeted to a teen boy, I think he is largely responding to another article posted last week on another web site by a self-righteous super-Christian type woman that basically shames young women for posting sexy selfies and implies that men are basically mindless slogs who have little control over how they manage their sexuality.

    • JenFizz

      Just because an article discusses one particular relationship–doesn’t mean that it’s condoning every other sort of behavior that it doesn’t cover. Use your brain.

    • greenpatches

      Oh, the poor men. Tell us more about how men have been persecuted and exploited throughout history.

    • dollface

      Yeah, that old “ladies objectifying construction workers” trope! It seems a man just can’t get his work done outside without getting harassed and whistled at by some woman walking by!

      Wait… what?! I think you’ve got this reversed buddy.

  • Hilary Georgia Millet-Clark

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciated this. It’s the best way of looking at this that I’ve ever seen and it surprised and gratified me to see that it was written by a man. I was sexually harassed as an adolescent and into my teen years. I learned to hate and fear my own body because of the unwanted attention it got me. Feelings that crippled my ability to be in any kind of romantic relationship for a long time. I became my own body’s worst enemy, engaging in self-destructive behaviours because I hated the form I was born into. I’m now in my 30s and things are better, though far from the way they should be. And I remain one of the most conservative dressers I know, not because I think there is anything wrong with dressing as I please but because there is a part of me that is still afraid of how men will react.

  • Karl Lee

    good one! Your actions are very important as well. Remember that children especially at a younger age learn this way: simple to complex concrete to abstract.
    By the time you rely on that conversation it will be too late. You need to show that deep respect for people around your child early on to really put a good influence on him!

  • Sean Lynch

    Good article, my wife sent it to me. I will take it as a tool and or reminder how I influence my 9 & 7 year old boys. I think I am doing an ok job so far about respecting woman and seeing them for something other than sex objects. I will admit however, I can get very ‘complimentary’?!, whether physical or verbal with my wife. She is the most BEAUTIFUL woman I have ever been or seen with for that matter. I admit, my lust for her is nothing less than a thoroughbred STUD HORSE, but after being SAVED and rebaptized, there is so much more to her than I ever dreamed possible. She is more than an object, she is an angel, I have to remind myself about how lucky I am when we have our moments. As far as my boys, it is truly a miracle that putting myself in God first, will help. There is nothing wrong with saying, ‘VA VA VA VOOMM’ in your head and getting it out of the way and then experiencing the encounter. Let’s be real! And I will continue to look at my wife out of the shower, if so lucky and believe it or not, her eyes are ultimately the best part. Cool article

    • JenFizz

      She was more than an object before being SAVED as well.

  • Alissa Holmes


  • jeux999

    please… the church makes men’s wants paramount. i guess the abrahamic faiths, with their male book writers, male prophets, male deities & demigods & disciples is supposed to see everyone the same? the virgin is basically an incubator with legs, but you think christianity will teach people how to accept equal sexuality? here’s a little pro-tip: get that child out of church and into the real world, and they will learn what is proper when it comes to public interaction, REGARDLESS of their gender.

  • Brianna Aubin

    One objection. Physically, women are the weaker sex. It’s a simple fact that almost any man is going to be physically bigger and stronger than almost any woman. The differences are not small, and there are very few women who are even average physically compared to men, let alone exceptional. There are ways to deal with this reality, but the basic fact is not going to go away no matter how much we don’t like it.

    • Ian Osmond

      … and?

      “Weaker” in this case isn’t speaking physically, but generally.

    • Melodic

      what does this have to do with anything….just because they are physically weaker does not make them inferior

    • greenpatches

      ” Physically, women are the weaker sex.”

      Your entire post is hinged on this generalization, and not even that is entirely true. Men and women come in all shapes and sizes, and many of the latter could easily physically dominate many of the former. It could be argued that because our culture values physical weakness in women and physical strength in men, these traits have developed through evolution to form the dominant power dynamic in our society – but even then, you’re generalizing.

    • Cee Bee

      Actually, women are clearly the stronger sex when it comes to health and survival from embryonic stage until death. They are also stronger when it comes to their ability to endure pain. At the mind level, research also indicates women are generally stronger emotionally and psychologically than men and if you pick an average man and woman out of the population, the woman is likely to have a higher IQ. AND women’s muscle fiber ounce for ounce is actually stronger than men’s muscle when it comes to its ability to do work. All backed up by consistent research.

      Men are just bigger. And often more aggressive.

  • TL Huffmeister

    I don’t think I have ever read anything more beautiful and more open hearted than this. This makes me so happy and relieved to read your words. As a mother to two sons and three beautiful girls, this really gives me hope for the generation of young men and women to come.

    I can tell that this was written with your heart and not with your mind. From the bottom of my heart to yours, thank you. Thank you for every single little word you put down. Thank you for sharing, not just with your son(s) and mine, but with all the sons and daughters of all the people out there. Thank you.

  • Al Jrwan Al Enzi

    Well. I don’t agree at all of what you said , but I respect your Point. Women should drees well to not make men suffer of discipline themselves. If she wants men to treat her as a human being , she must cover her body parts you know !! If its Not well she wants the creepy attention from men to look at her and ..
    What am trying to say you don’t find women when there are old trying to show there body parts, because she will not get attention from men because simply that would be disgusting :)

    • Ian Osmond

      I am sorry for you that you are so weak. I’m glad that you’ve recognized it in yourself, and I hope you take reasonable precautions, like covering your eyes when you are in public, or simply never going out without being chaperoned by a female relative, so that you do not lead yourself astray.

    • TattooedLittleMiss

      Why is my humanity based on what I am wearing? My genetic make-up does not change when I am in a bikini. When I put on a short skirt, my intelligence does not disappear. A low-cut sweater does not invalidate my feelings. If you’re incapable of recognizing a woman’s humanity because she’s showing a bit of leg, all that tells anyone is that YOU are an inhuman monster, not that SHE is less deserving of respect.

    • Cee Bee

      Are you aware that there are many cultures all over the world where women traditionally didn’t (and in many cases still don’t) cover their breasts? And yet the men don’t lose their minds or their respect for women — they simply go about their business.

      How do you explain this???

      Given this reality, do you think it is possible that the reason men “lose respect” for women who “show their bodies” in some cultures is because these cultures TELL MEN they should lose respect for women if they show their bodies?

      Think critically now…

    • TL Huffmeister


    • maryinbama

      OMG!!! So you are a virtual animal with no self control…huh? Are you saying that women who are completely covered do not get creepy male attention?

  • Michael Ezell

    I definitely appreciate the sentiment and agree in as much as it is essential to teach our sons about respecting women as sovereign human beings, however, I don’t believe in ignoring a woman’s beauty. There is a way to hold space with women that appreciates the time they took to adorn themselves in the public square that isn’t demeaning, but empowering. This way of engaging with women not only increases the value of a woman’s femininity, but also honors masculinity in the 21st century.

  • steve

    Right on Nate. As a father of 2 young boys I am looking forward to having both conversations mentioned above with my boys. Heartfelt, wise and well stated. May the LORD bless you and your family.

  • Rhaina Kincaid

    For Joseph Mentor Nicols, Christiaan Funkhouser, “the name written in Hebrew”, and others of similar mind sets:

    There is no “one true way” to be. Your inability to respect people you view as “sluts” is your problem not theirs. “If your eye should cause you to sin pluck it out” and all that (probably misquoted but still IMPORTANT).

    I have a wonderful romantic relationship with my fiancee and he and I met with me in my underwear but he’s not interested in sex at all so I get a unique world view to share with people. Still, I have multiple relationships with other men and women and they are all beautiful and wonderful people met through communities where verbal consent is the basis for all interactions. Those who ignore the rules related to consent within that social group are cast out quickly. I wish all of society could understand the wonders of having someone feel the freedom to come up to you express they find you attractive and there be no negative consequences of “thank you but I don’t think of you that way” or “give me a few more months to get to know you and you me and then we’ll come back to that” and where people feel the freedom to do this no matter what the person is wearing because the clothing in the room ranges from nudity to formal wear to grungy work clothing and more options between.

  • Lauren

    I very much liked the idea provided and the message sent in this article. It is an issue that has really been bothering me lately: that a woman’s worth is decided by her looks. It is not only men, but other women as well that decide what a woman is like based on how pretty she is and on what she is wearing. However, I noticed that you said, “They are not the weaker sex. They are the other sex. ” I do not like the idea of women being “the other.” You also said, “Because in the end, they want to be with you. Without fear of being judged, or shamed, or condemned, or objectified, or being treated as other.” You’re right, I don’t want to be treated as other, but you just said that I was about a paragraph earlier.

    • Gizmo

      I honestly didn’t take it like that. If you’re talking about the gender, we ARE the other gender to them, just like they are the other gender to us.

      I think thats all he was trying to say, is that we are a different sex but that doesn’t make us any different.

  • Eve

    Good article, and thank you for writing it.

    How people look at each other is immensely complicated. It’s about a number of things, including communication, power, sex, curiosity. Your son could grow up to be gay. He’d still look at women! Not necessarily with lust, but perhaps with curiosity – all the gay men I know find breasts fascinating and rather wonderful, for instance. And if he’s straight or bisexual, then yes, desire will be part of how he looks at some women, and that’s something he will learn to deal with in a mature and respectful way.

    I’m a bisexual woman, and I find myself curiously positioned in this way. I know full well what it’s like to be looked at as a woman, to be judged by how my clothing relates to my sexual body, how that can be lovely in some situations and horrible in others. I have no desire to make other women uncomfortable in any way. And yet if I’m talking to a woman in a low-cut top, I can find that my eyes accidentally stray to her bosom. It’s just something I have learned to be aware of and to try not to do, assuming of course that I’m not dating the woman in question. I don’t beat myself up when it happens, because these things do happen, and guilt and repression make them more likely to occur.

    I’d tell you what I’d really love to hear that you’re teaching your child(ren), and that’s how to look at *everyone* who catches their eye. Particularly people with disabilities. I became disabled as an adult, and it wasn’t really visible until I started using a walking stick and occasionally a wheelchair. The way people look at me now is entirely different. It’s rarely sexual, which can actually be rather upsetting, in that people often make it clear that they don’t consider me a sexual being, and look shocked if they see me kissing someone or wearing an attractive outfit. I don’t want to be objectified, but I don’t want to be removed from the world of people it’s OK to look at either. There’s nothing worse than the combination of being stared at (often downright glared at) and people averting their eyes once they realise I’m disabled. They stop treating you as human when this happens.

  • Guest

    I disagree. Understanding that a woman is more than her body doesn’t mean that looking at her body instead of her eyes is to objectify her. Her eyes are not more herself as it is her body or the way she dresses up. You can get a lot of information from her eyes, as well as from the choices she made by wearing her clothes. She is body, the eyes are part of her body, a very sexy part, yet another part. If you want to teach your son something, teach him that every other human being is just like him: full of problems, concerns, thoughts, whatever, teach him to wear other people’s shoes. Then, and only then, you’ll develop an hones common sense.

  • 099102

    I disagree. Understanding that a woman is more than her body doesn’t mean that looking at her body instead of her eyes is to objectify her. Her eyes are not more herself as it is her body or the way she dresses up. You can get a lot of information from her eyes, as well as from the choices she made by wearing her clothes. She is body, the eyes are part of her body, a very sexy part, yet another part. If you want to teach your son something, teach him that every other human being is just like him: full of problems, concerns, thoughts, whatever, teach him to wear other people’s shoes. Then, and only then, you’ll help him develop an honest common sense, not an artificial discipline.

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  • Kimberly

    PERFECT!!! I LOVE this! I wish ALL fathers taught this to their sons. I wish all men felt & thought this way and then acted upon it.
    Thank you for sharing this!

  • Alena@TheHomemadeCreative

    Bravo, well said!!

  • Trix88

    Because Humans aren’t sexual creatures. Objectifying their production (work) or personality is perfectly fine, and not dehumanizing in any way. However, looking at a woman in a sexual way, when humans are inherently hypersexual creatures, now that is dehumanizing. Sarcasm. Sexualizing someone, while still respecting their autonomy; is the most humanizing thing you can do. Ask yourself, how do you feel when you feel genuinely desired and wanted? How many Wives/husbands feel the pain of not being wanted anymore? Even on a Christian sexual ethic there is nothing wrong with looking at a person with sexual desire.

  • Sivar’s Comic Relief

    I quoted your article in a response I did to the letter “Dear daughter, let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to you.” Sorry it is in Spanish.

  • Andras

    Interesting article.

    I will teach my son to respect women and to find beauty in our differences.

    I will not, however, teach my son that lust is inherently bad. I will not make him feel guilty for his “wandering eyes”, that he needs to “blame” anyone for them, nor that it is possible to “look at [someone] wrongly.”

    There is no victim or assaulter because there is no crime.

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  • erbmon

    People who enjoy making others uncomfortable taste like beef. They are also pathetic and are clearly making up for some personal failure by hurting others.

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  • Jodi Summerson

    While I wholeheartedly agree with every word written here…I think this conversation needs to be about all people. Whether it be woman, man, disabled person, etc, etc, etc. All human beings deserve to be respected in every way. We are all unique children of God. What sex we are, what our body looks like, what our culture says about us…we all deserve to be looked in the eye and for people to look at our soul instead of our shell. This is what I try to teach my boys!

    • Barbara Fryman

      He is discussing what he hopes to teach his son in a particular circumstance. Parenting happens incrementally, you can’t give a dissertation or a kid will stop listening.

      • Jodi Summerson

        I absolutely agree, Barbara! Every topic starts with a catalyst and the discussion should be based on that. However, what I am saying is, while this is definitely one of the issues needing to be taught, we need to remember to teach our children that all people deserve this same respect. I am in no way belittling this mans conversion with his children. I’m just responding to it in the way that I personally teach my boys.

  • Discpled

    I want to comment because I disagree on some points. Many other commentators have made mention they were sexually assaulted and that is absolutely no ones fault but the victimizer, not the woman. What I want to disagree with is that Men were made by God to be visual creatures, attracted to the female form. Women have a responsibility to dress modestly. Now I can’t say that without sounding like a loon trying to control women. I have not problems with being stylish or fashionable. The female form is an attractive thing to Men, period. The bible is filled with examples of this, from Song of Solomon and everywhere else. Now, Men have a responsibility to control themselves as well. The Woman’s form is a thing of beauty and must be respected as such. A Woman is also more than an amazing sunset or the Grand Canyon because she is a person with hopes, dreams, passions, loves/hates, and daughters of God Almighty. The problem we have as a western society is that we always want to blame someone else instead of understanding that we are a part of the problem, sexual assault aside because no Woman asks for that. There is no excuse for sexual assault. There is responsibility that Men are to treat women with respect as a person. Men can appreciate the female form in its beauty and glory. Women represent Gods beauty more than any other part of creation. There isn’t a single thing in all of creation more beautiful than the female form. Why then do we want to demonize Men for appreciating it? There is a line between seeing the beauty and lust. By Nate Pyle’s argument it almost seems as if the Venus De Milo or any other work of art showing the female form should be destroyed because someone appreciated the raw beauty of Women. No other single subject in all of art history has been done more than Women. That being said, I refuse to blame Men for having to live in a sex saturated culture where we have to deal with Victoria Secret ads. The article above also seems to suggest, though I know he wouldn’t agree that this was his intention, that a wife shouldn’t dress sexy for her husband because she is longing for his affections or a desire to please him. That a husband shouldn’t want to catch a glimps of his wife in the shower and so on. We as western people need to realize that our sexuality is a part of us, ingrained in our very human nature. There is responsibility and self control that each of us needs to employ. Looking attractive is O.K. Wanting to be seen as attractive is O.K. Enjoying the beauty of Women, is O.K. Lust and Conveting is not. It’s the sin that we need to focus on.

    • greenpatches

      “Men were made by God to be visual creatures, attracted to the female form.”

      And many sexist pillars of your faith, this included, were made by men of god to justify and perpetuate the patriarchal power dynamic of various civilizations. Just saying.

    • maryinbama

      You can look all you like. However do not tell a girl, “nice butt” or “nice boobs” and expect her to appreciate it or respect you. It is creepy. Women have NO responsibility to dress to YOUR cultural or societal satisfaction. Societal norms change and making women responsible for the lustful thoughts of men places women in a no-win situation. If every woman were dressed from her neck to her toes, she would still be subject to the lustful thoughts of men.

      • Discpled

        You took quite a liberty and jumped to a very large conclusion assuming that I, or that I encourage, that boys/men go and say “nice butt” or “nice boobs” You really didn’t read what I said. Women’s forms are a work of art by the creator. That doesn’t mean that men can disrespect them or value them for ONLY their bodies.

        • maryinbama

          I did not say YOU did state it was OK. Yet many men think just that. As I said before, look it you like, but do not touch without consent and if you do not want to be taken as creepy, keep any sexual comments to yourself if you do not know the girl. Women still do not bear the responsibility to dress so men can continue to learn no control.

  • Davin Prince

    I see a lot of people praising the viewpoint of the father, and they should. Men are responsible for their actions. Unfortunately I also see a lot of women justifying whatever they wear is fine and is above reproach. I think you missed the author’s point women are responsible for how they dress themselves in the morning.
I too get irritated about the monologues about modesty because they are often pigeonholed. I grew up near the beach, seeing girls in bikinis on the way to or from the beach. Not such a big deal for me, at least at the time, might be a little different now that I live landlocked Arkansas. I will say that I had to watch my gaze on the low cut, skin tight clothes, that some of the ladies would wear. Still more coverage than a bikini, but that wasn’t a norm at the time so it would draw my attention.

    I will never forget an article in sociology about social norms. A cultural anthropologist was in a culture where women didn’t wear a shirt or bra. She was trying to be inconspicuous so she could observe without interfering. So she finally worked up the courage to go topless. The women from the village took her aside and said she needed to stop being so immodest around their husbands! Confused she asked why would going topless interfere she was just trying to fit in. They responded “we are talking about your exposed ankles!”

    Context changes everything. Modesty isn’t about a predetermined mode of dress. It’s being aware of your surroundings and dressing accordingly. And to mirror what some ladies have said here as well that statement applies to men now. Women have been taught by our culture and media to see men as objects too. Know any teenage girls with topless guys on their walls? Abercrombie & Fitch anyone?

    While it’s not ok to blame people responses on the dress of the person they are objectifying, it does not absolve anyone of their responsibility to act responsibly and respectfully to honor those around them. Is it fair? No, actually it’s not. Why are we so hung up about that? Unfortunately it’s because even people in the church have become more interested in practicing our rights than acknowledging that we all struggle with different things. It can also be inconvenient to be sensitive to those around us might mean we might have to give up some of our rights.

  • Cassieleigh

    Thank you so much! I especially love two things of what you said here – both of which I’ve been saying for a long, long time. “The moment you objectify another human – woman or man, you give up your humanity.” And, “Son, you are better than both of these.” These two simple thoughts should really resonate with people. We are human and that is beautiful truth, because to me, being human means that we don’t have to be slaves to our instincts like animals. We have the beautiful option to be more. The people in your life are blessed to have you.

  • zombiegreen

    I left Christianity in large part because of the way the Christians I saw treated women, treated me. If you ever decide to show your son this comments thread, here is my vote, as a non-Christian feminist and as a woman:

    These words are true and good. This IS how we should treat our fellow human beings. This is how I want to be treated, what makes me happy, and what makes me thrive. Being treated this way is what makes me respect my parents and my friends and my spouse. It is what pleases me about myself.

    It’s often not easy to treat other humans well. It’s really not. But it’s good. Please try. I am trying, too.

    • Chad Myers

      But how about how women treat men? If women purposely wear revealing attire that causes mental anguish and temptation for a young man dealing with sexual addiction and pornography, is that not hurting the young man?

      Why not walk around naked or in underwear all the time? Why clothes at all?

      Certainly there must be some balance somewhere, right? I see a lot of comments to the effect of “I can wear whatever I want to wear!” as though it has no bearing whatsoever on anyone else and that the men, essentially, just need to “deal with it”. That seems rather unfair and not balanced — self-centered, even.

      • greenpatches


        Good grief. Men are doing just fine in our society, as they always have. Maybe you personally feel persecuted, but that doesn’t mean our gender is in any way at a disadvantage.

        The thing is, woman *can* wear whatever they want to wear, regardless of the effect on men. We’re already allowed to walk around shirtless without violating decency laws – women, for the most part, are not. We are not shamed for doing so. Quit whining, you have it just fine.

        • Chad Myers

          “Men are doing just fine” Are they? Really? Pornography and sexual addiction at all time highs. What about men reporting that pornographic and/or sexual addiction is interfering with their daily life (getting fired from work, breaking up marriages / relationships, etc)?

          Lives, marriages, and families are being destroyed.

          Men are increasingly disinterested in marriage and families, there’s been a noticeable up-tick in the number of average partners a man averages over several years, sexual addiction is up, casual sex is up, VD is up, AIDS is up, etc, etc, etc.

          Neither men or women are doing fine. And the kids definitely are not doing fine.

          • greenpatches

            “Pornography and sexual addiction at all time highs. What about men
            reporting that pornographic and/or sexual addiction is interfering with
            their daily life (getting fired from work, breaking up marriages /
            relationships, etc)?”

            Unless you are implying that those problems are directly correlated with women gaining ground in our society, they are irrelevant to what either of us was talking about. You were whining about men being victimized by female sexual brevity, and I was reminding you that we are still the privileged gender in this society by a good margin. Sexual addiction is a completely separate issue that has very little to do with gender politics and pornography is pornography – only a “problem” insofar as your personal morals deem it to be one.

            “Lives, marriages, and families are being destroyed.”

            Yes, but not by feminism. It’s arguable that marriage is simply going out of fashion as an institution and that a number of other systemic causes are far more to blame for its decline.

            “Men are increasingly disinterested in marriage and families, there’s
            been a noticeable up-tick in the number of average partners a man
            averages over several years”

            So? Our numbers are pretty strong as a species, in case you haven’t noticed. Unless you think that overpopulation isn’t a big enough problem and that we need *more* people settling down and reproducing… And the latter thing, more partners? Again, only a “problem” in some people’s opinions, not demonstrably harmful to our race.

            As for VD and AIDS, these things are also not because of feminism or men being victimized or any other silly nonsense like that. Simply designing better sexual education for teens could help significantly with these problems – far more than telling women to dress modestly.

            All you’re doing is beating the same old “We’re Living In Sodom” drum Christians have been beating for centuries.

          • maryinbama

            So men have no control over whether or not they click on a porn site on the internet??? Boy, you sure have a low opinion of your own gender.

          • Cee Bee

            Men aren’t less interested in marriage. People are marrying later than they were several decades ago largely because of investment in education and the desire for economic stability before marriage. With marriage postponement it is only normal that the number of sexual partners one has before marriage would go up. This is not the devil at work. Also, the crappy economy is undermining people’s desire to marry because they don’t want to marry without resources to build an adult life.

            With respect to porn use, have you ever seen the data on porn use across US states? The states with the highest percentage of Conservative Christians always have the highest rates of porn use. These states also have the highest rates of divorce as well as the highest rates of domestic violence. If the Conservative Christian worldview is supposed to be the antidote to all these problems — why do you think this is?

      • maryinbama

        You know what? I have never once looked at a man’s crotch instead of his face during a conversation, but I cannot even count the number of times a man looked at my chest when I was fully clothed with no tight or plunging necklines. I have never told a man he looked like a slut/whore for what he was wearing. I CAN wear whatever I want and it is none of your business. I am so sorry that you believe men are so animalistic that they are incapable of controlling themselves.

  • Brian David Kidd

    I agree with this article to a point.
    The point that I am speaking of is that as a people, we are behind the times.
    It is not just the men, young men and boys that we need to teach this to.
    There is s Society of Women, Young Women, and Girls that also need to learn and realize from this.
    Women are out chasing the Men, and taking what they want.
    With articles like this, I feel that they are thinking ten to twenty years ago, and not in today.
    There are many Christians that are addressing this issue of the role reversal where Women are far worse than Men ever were.
    School age kids with Cell Phones, Girls are sending pictures of their body to get boys attention.
    Women in this day and age do not feel equal to men.
    Women feel far superior to Men in every way.
    Men are being viewed as useless, worthless, and needing to be controlled.
    While Women Sin to a degree that makes past generations blush.
    Also with teaching Men to do the right thing, Women will take what they want.
    If it does not work out to what they expect it to, they leave and find someone else that will do as they expect.
    Women are becoming the cause of Divorce rates being so high.
    They go commit adultery to end their marriage.
    All in getting what they want selfishly, and thinking with out consequence.

    • Cee Bee

      Oh my goodness. You sound like you have been brainwashed with all your beliefs about how women are — where do you get this stuff?? Please!! First, there is A LOT of variation among women, so your idea that you can dump all women into the same category is just absurd. Second, as for the things that most women want — women want to love and respect men and they want marriages that work and they want good fathers for their children. Don’t believe it? There is a lot of survey and research data that shows this.

      Maybe you are angry because you had a bad experience with a particular woman. Or maybe you have been spending too much time on crazy fear-mongering, women-hating websites, or maybe you just hang out with the wrong crowd. But any time one expresses or feels such anger, certainty and vitriol towards another group — something is twisting and distorting your view. You need to take a step back. Are all men exactly the same?? No. Women aren’t either. Women are people, just like you. The idea that somehow their sex/gender makes them evil is nuts.

      BTW, if you want to talk about divorce — the primary reason women give for initiating a divorce is emotional or relationship neglect. Society spends a lot of time telling guys that they are basically mindless chumps who are incapable of being thoughtful responsible human beings, particularly when it comes to their interactions with women. This article is challenging that view. I think one reason women are supporting it is that most women believe men are better than that view, and they want more for their sons.

      • Brian David Kidd
        • Brian David Kidd
          • Brian David Kidd
          • Brian David Kidd
          • Brian David Kidd

            My statement is about the tides and times changing.
            Women themselves are changing with each generation.
            What one Generation has done now, Past generations would never do.
            So your right, Women are not all the same, it is the Generations that are changing.
            Women want what you speak of, but the next generation are not taught what it takes to get it.

          • Cee Bee

            You just made my point with the websites you posted. Those are books written by people who are trying to push an agenda — largely a religious (and even political!) fear-based agenda around religious, family and gender change. They aren’t academics and these type of books rarely give a fair interpretation of data or present the entire picture.

            I’m not sure what point you are trying to make though. It seems like maybe you think we need to go back to some past “family traditionalist” era where gender roles were more clearly delineated and women stayed home and men were heads of households — or something like that?? I’m not sure, but you might be interested to know that: 1) that family style was only somewhat normative for a very short period of time in the US (post WWII until mid-late 1960s) and that, 2) data today indicates that the most stable families and relationships are ones where men and women have adopted egalitarian attitudes as well as behaviors when it comes to gender roles, family behaviors and careers. Some of this is economic (the need for two earners) and some of it is values (women desire jobs/careers and men want to have a more active role in their children’s lives). The old “traditionalist” model is not realistic in the changing times and often produces instability and conflict.

            Also, people are marrying later than they were several decades ago largely because of investment in education and the desire for economic stability before marriage. Careers require more education than they once did. And the changing economy, globalization, and weak job protections and low wages for many workers means that establishing the resource foundation for an adult and family life is often difficult. With marriage postponement it is only normal that the number of sexual partners one has before marriage would go up. This is not the devil at work.

            I think it makes sense to show concern over how we as a society are dealing with gender, family and economic change — because we want the best for all involved. But be careful in what conclusions you jump to, and what voices you hear and believe. And don’t be so quick to condemn.

          • Brian David Kidd

            Those Websites and People are a Biblical Base of Theology and Moral Standard.
            How about this one from CNN.

          • Cee Bee

            what point are you trying to make? this is not clear.

          • Brian David Kidd
          • Brian David Kidd
  • Chad Myers

    So women have no role whatsoever to play in the temptation of a man? It’s all the man’s fault if he lusts or has impure thoughts?

    I’m not talking about sexual assault. That’s always the fault of the perpetrator. I’m talking about impure thoughts, lust, etc. Women have no role whatsoever in inciting temptation in men?

    And what of the balance of the sexes and man’s role towards woman and woman’s role towards man? Are women not required to respect men and who they are as men?

    • Cee Bee

      Remind me again, what is wrong with lust or “impure thoughts” ? And what exactly is an impure thought?

      • Chad Myers

        It’s a form of objectification. It reduces the woman to a mere sexual device in the mind — the subject of fantasy — instead of a human being body *AND* soul. Matthew 5:28 “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

        • Cee Bee

          First, I’d want to know the various interpretations of the original Hebrew version of that verse before I would go around quoting it or implying you know exactly what it means. Just good practice. Usually when it comes to any verse related to sexuality, biblical translators have taken pretty slanted liberties in their interpretation and translation — generally to make verses fit with dominant or conventional morality.

          Second, do you really think you should feel guilt because you are a sexual being? People are going to be sexual even if we all walk around covered in drapery, tents, and sheets. Is it sin every time you have a sexual thought??

          • Chad Myers

            I sin if I objectify someone in thought or action. That was the premise of this article. I believe the author’s exact words were “The moment you objectify another human – woman or man, you give up your humanity.” I wouldn’t say “give up your humanity” — that language is too strong. I would say “you sin”, or as Aristotle might say, “you have acted contrary to your nature.”

            Sex has a specific purpose and place and time in human interaction. To invoke or elicit sexual thoughts outside of the purpose or place or time is to place a stumbling block before your brother or sister. To lead another into sin (any kind of sin, whether sexual or not), is to sin yourself.

            If it is sinful for a man to sexually objectify a woman, then it is also sinful for a woman to willfully induce temptation (seduction is a different matter) in the man. Once again, I invoke the language of “balance” here. A woman shouldn’t be expected to wear a burqa, and likewise a man shouldn’t be expected to see naked women all the time without being tempted. In there, somewhere, is balance. And it is somewhat subjective to the place and time and cultural norms and the every-day conditioning and norms of dress of men and women. If women wear bikinis all the time, men might be less tempted as they get used to the sight. But in areas where women are heavily clothed (think: Upper Canada), seeing a woman in bikini might be an undue burden for the man. So men should either avoid women when they’re bathing to reduce the temptation, or women should balance their clothing so as not to unduly cause temptation among the men (even if that is not the woman’s intent).

          • Cee Bee

            A thought or action implies agency. I think the author is only trying to channel his son towards respectful behavior in the areas where he has agency. As for sexual impulses that we have no control over — that are not filtered through the mind — I do not see how there could be any sin there because there is no agency.

            You say, ” If women wear bikinis all the time, men might be less tempted as they get used to the sight.” Then why don’t you just prescribe that all women wear bikinis all the time? For the sake of argument, this scenario has fewer costs — less temptation for men and less shaming for women.

          • Chad Myers

            The mind influences the body and the body influences the mind. To suggest otherwise is to ignore the basic experience everyone has.

            “Why don’t you just prescribe that all women wear…” for the same reason I wouldn’t prescribe them to wear burqas. The point is that men and women respect each other and acknowledge, cherish, and respect each others’ strengths and weaknesses rather than demanding, illogically each suppress them.

            I want women to wear beautiful clothes, I want men to appreciate the beauty inherent in women both body and soul. I want women to respect that men’s view of women can be easily perverted and distorted and they are easily led into temptation. I want men to recognize this about themselves and take active steps to work against it. I want women to help them in this — for the love and mutual respect of each other — not because of some edict on high from the Great Wise Council of Men or the Great Wise Council of Women.

          • Cee Bee

            If I said I wish more men with hot bodies should walk around with their shirts off because I like it, would you give me a free pass because I am a woman?

          • KeepinBlitzesAway

            Cee Bee, you rock my world. (In a totally non-lustful manner)

            Likewise, I personally, have a weakness for a nice muscular forearm. Even if it is someone I don’t particularly ‘like’, sometimes seeing a nice forearm will randomly send my mind into a tailspin of the things I want to do with and to it. Especially depending on if I am ovulating around that time.

            Should I require my brothers-in-Christ to never wear short sleeved polo or t-shirts in front of me? No, I think most people would say this is ridiculous, me included. I just refocus my thoughts and try not linger on them, and remember that there is a whole mind and heart attached to mr. forearm.

          • greenpatches

            “Sex has a specific purpose and place and time in human interaction. To
            invoke or elicit sexual thoughts outside of the purpose or place or time
            is to place a stumbling block before your brother or sister. To lead
            another into sin (any kind of sin, whether sexual or not), is to sin

            Yeesh. I’ve already said all I have to say about this kind of nonsense.

        • Gizmo

          I disagree that merely looking at a woman with interest is reducing her to a sexual device. Most people are capable of looking at somebody with interest WHILE knowing that they are a human being with thoughts and feelings who might not even want to be looked at.

          Even if you see an attractive woman and only think about her as a sex object, it might just be because you don’t know her, right? Well, it only becomes a problem if you treat her like an object. If you don’t, then theres no problem, and theres nothing to blame the woman for.

          • Chad Myers

            For the record, I do not consider looking at a woman with interest, or even noticing her attractiveness as “lust”. Lust is objectifying her, and allowing those initial thoughts to continue unhindered — eventually devolving into fantasies about her. She ceases to be a person and becomes a blow-up doll in your mind. This might not be so bad, you say, except that if the man sees her again or actually meets her, he will have already developed fantasies about her in his head and will be less able to have a real relationship with her in the future.

            Men generally don’t go to nightclubs or spring break parties to find life-long friends and soul mates.

          • Gizmo

            If she ceases to be a person in your mind, then its not the womans fault at all.

            I agree that women need to keep in mind that what they wear can have an effect on causing guys to look at them. I don’t think it follows that its her fault if the men can’t keep from turning them into sexual objects in their head.

          • Chad Myers

            “I agree that women need to keep in mind that what they wear can have an effect on causing guys to look at them. I don’t think it follows that its her fault if the men can’t keep from turning them into sexual objects in their head.”

            I agree with this, to a point. If she is wearing something that would be considered, in her time, place, culture immodest (and yes I admit that can be gray), then she can share in the responsibility of the sin by laying burdens upon the tempted. We can all lay burdens on the tempted in many ways. This isn’t just restricted to sex and women, by the way.

            Imagine going to an AA meeting with a flask of whiskey and drinking through the whole meeting, in sight of the attendees.

          • Gizmo

            Well, those blatantly aren’t even on the same level, and if they are, then there’s another problem at play.

            It’s like putting alcohol on display in a city and expecting the alcoholics to control themselves enough not to buy the drinks. It’s not the bars fault that some people can’t handle it.

            The people being “tempted” are welcome to have an issue with it, but the blame still does not lie with the people tempting them.

          • greenpatches

            “Imagine going to an AA meeting with a flask of whiskey and drinking through the whole meeting, in sight of the attendees.”

            You are essentially calling all of male society sex addicts and equating a woman wearing a low cut blouse in a public place with her drinking in a recovery meeting. Again, your mind seems like a pretty dark place, sir. Perhaps if you tried embracing a bit of human nature here and there it wouldn’t seem so wretched to you, hm? I know your faith is kind of predicated on the belief that we’re all hopelessly vile sexual deviants with a penchant for unwitting devil worship – but life’s not actually that grim, and you really can believe in god without emotionally flogging yourself every time you see a pair of boobs.

          • greenpatches

            “For the record, I do not consider looking at a woman with interest, or even noticing her attractiveness as “lust””

            Well that’s your opinion. Not all of us instantly lust after any woman we find aesthetically pleasing, but whatever floats your boat.

            ” Lust is objectifying her, and allowing those initial thoughts to
            continue unhindered — eventually devolving into fantasies about her.”

            Lust is being sexually attracted to someone. Being sexually attracted to someone does not automatically mean you are objectifying them. Or at least for most of us it doesn’t. It is possible to respect someone and also want to have sex with them, I promise you.

            “She ceases to be a person and becomes a blow-up doll in your mind.”

            Alright…are you sure it’s society that needs help, not just you personally? Your thought processes reflect the mind of a very disturbed, repressed and guilty individual. You should really stop projecting these issues onto people at large and focus on them within yourself.

            You certainly argue like the Christians I remember from church, though. All doom and gloom and sin and guilt cast into a lot of weird generalizations and faulty logic concerning human nature and societal trends… There’s a whole world out there beyond the sermons, friend. Check it out.

          • maryinbama

            So you are unable to have a relationship with a woman you have fantasized about???

          • maryinbama

            So what are they hoping to find?

        • maryinbama

          Men lusted after women in the 19th century if a bit of ankle was showing. Men lust after women in Arabic countries when they are wearing burkhas. If you cannot get your lust under control, then that is your problem.

      • Chad Myers
        • greenpatches

          Because if there’s anybody we should be listening to about sex, it’s someone who lived in the 13th century.

      • Chad Myers

        So just “be a man” and shut off your manliness that might attract you to women? Have you not seen the studies that show intense brain activity and distraction in men as pictures of women in various states of dress or undress are flashed by them?

        Your gnostic reduction of men to just pure mind/spirit and 100% total self control irrespective of the body is as ridiculous as it is provably wrong.

        Men are human beings as are women. Men are not 100% in total control over their bodies and thoughts any more than women are.

        Men are scientifically proven to be distracted by women. Women need to understand this about men and treat men with dignity and respect as men need to treat women with dignity and respect.

        What I hear in this article and in the comments amounts to: “Women, do whatever you want, men, shut up and close your eyes or castrate yourself”.

        Thank you, but no. I would prefer to live in an alive society where men and women’s differences are respected, cherished, and celebrated as opposed to discarded, suppressed, and shamed.

    • maryinbama

      Women have NO responsibility for YOUR thoughts!!! Just as YOU have no responsibility for THEIRS. You can lust all you want. You just cannot act on it without consent.

    • Nate Pyle

      Is it the alcohol’s responsibility for the temptation of the drunk? The lie’s responsibility for the temptation of the liar? The item’s responsibility for the temptation of the thief? I don’t think you would say it was. So why do we say it is the woman’s responsibility for the temptation of men? Might it be that in blaming the woman, men are trying to rid themselves of responsibility and play the victim?

    • maryinbama

      Actually it IS the man’s fault for his own thoughts. How could it possibly be the female’s fault? Some men will be excited about sweat pants. Others like dresses. Some like blondes, others brunettes. No matter what some women wear, it is certain that some men will have lustful thoughts about that woman. I do not plan to let my entire life revolve around just WHAT might turn a man on. I am too busy worrying about myself to have to appoint myself someone else’s babysitter. If it is 100 degrees outside and I want to wear shorts because of that heat, I should not have to restrain what I wear because of YOU.

  • Tülin

    And then suddenly it turns out he looks at boys instead.

  • Ramya

    Thank you. That was one of the most insightful pieces I have read sicne long

  • Katherine Gerbracht

    You wrote something rare. As a woman sensitive to all kinds of strange ways that men engage mentally and visually with women and the female body, you managed to be straight up about objectification without being paternalistic or condescending to women (I didn’t feel those things, anyway). That’s rare. I love that your article points out, repeatedly, that men are in control of their eyes and their actions. And that we women are human beings- that we are ALL just human beings being human in various ways- and deserve the simple respect of being seen as people, not objects. Thank you.

  • Bob Cannell

    This story is so 90s. Act like an adult, put people in their place if they act inappropriate. If you dress like a pole dancer do not be surprised if people treat you that way.

    • maryinbama

      So it is OK for men to sleep with pole dancers, just not respect them…right?

    • Cee Bee

      Wait stop!! For some reason I didn’t get the memo on how to treat a pole dancer. Please advise.

      • Discpled

        They get treated like crap when they are pole dancing. You’re trying to justify your point under an article about treating women as more than their bodies by that as an example? Bob may have been a bit harsh and no matter what choices a person makes we need to treat them with respect. On the flip side, a stripper welcomes objectification when they strip.

        • Cee Bee

          LOL. Ya well the large majority of American low-wage workers get treated like crap too. And they also get paid like crap. At least pole dancers get paid pretty well. The BIGGEST reason a woman pole dances or strips is MONEY. And they don’t always get treated like crap UNLESS “gentlemen” like Bob treat them that way. Not all men are such imbeciles. And as you point out, objectification goes with the business — they accept that or they get out. At least they are getting something back.

          BTW, if a man both believes that women who pole dance deserve to be disrespected and treated poorly AND then he turns around and pays a woman to pole dance for him — he is not “a bit harsh”, HE is the piece of crap. It’s not rocket science. But for some reason a fair number of men have a hard time putting two and two together on this. Men essentially create this industry and then they think it’s okay to disrespect the women THEY produce. It’s laughable and amazing really — the low level of accountability, responsibility, and awareness some men have.

          • Discpled

            So in your first paragraph you say that a woman accepts objectification, she made the choice to get that kind of employment, or get out. But then your go on to say that men create those jobs? I do believe that stripping is a choice. If women didn’t do it, it would never exist. Stop blaming men for many of the poor choices women make. Both sides have made poor and irresponsible choices. It’s not just men who have fault here.

          • maryinbama

            OMG! Have you never heard of supply and demand??? If there was no audience, there would be no job!

          • Cee Bee

            when was the last time a stripper forced a man into a strip club? or a prostitute forced a man to visit her?

            i’m waiting…

            still waiting…

            stop deluding yourself. you sound silly.

        • Tim

          I occasionally pay for sex and I have no disrespect for prostitutes. They are providing me a service and the ‘boundaries’ are decided beforehand. I don’t see why the question of ‘respect’ or ‘disrespect’ comes in.

  • sleepmon

    Advice to women: even still, don’t dress like a whore. It’s your responsibility to treat men like human beings regardless of how they look at you or what job they have.

    • maryinbama

      If women are whores, who has at least a 50% responsibility in creating them?

    • Cee Bee

      Judging merely on the basis of the fact that you seem to think it is perfectly fine to go around calling women whores if you don’t like the way they dress — you might consider that if a woman treats you poorly, it is actually because you are an asshole. The first step to being treated like a human being is to treat others like they are also human beings. BUT, this has nothing to do with how you dress. Some of the worst human beings I have ever met have dressed quite well.

      • sleepmon

        You might want consider the possibility that women shouldn’t dress like whores.

        • Cee Bee

          So are you saying that you would prefer it if “whores” dressed like librarians? or maybe little school girls? Would that make you feel better about yourself?

  • QUARKy

    “They are not the weaker sex. They are the other sex” -> They are not the “weaker” sex. They are ANOTHER sex. (You need to show that you REALLY _KNOW_ that we are not weaker. You need to LEAVE OUT the idea of OTHER-NESS!)
    – See more at:

  • QUARKy

    You’re article is EXTRAORDINARILY amazing, btw.! <3

  • alicia

    and what next….castration. such bullshit. another way humanity is being disconnected from its truth and being divided from each other.

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  • Billy Hollis

    Thanks for this Nate – I appreciate the accessibility within your writing, meaning that it’s “down-to-earth,” relational, and easy to understand. I also appreciate you modeling having those important conversations with our sons. God wants Fathers. Fathers who instruct their children. This also made me think of Jesus. You’re statement to “really see women” made me think of him. Jesus really saw women. Many of the stories I read were about Jesus and women – interacting in a very healthy and meaningful way. I feel that God’s heart aches at this divide between men and women. He longs for us to experience relationship with mutual honor and respect. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

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  • Vack

    Genius. Brilliant. Eloquently written – bravisimo!!!


    This just reads like commons sense in a way. This makes me wonder if I am uncommon, or if I am common, but that the common view is that men are doing something bad by looking at women?
    I have to ask though, is there any views to be discussed on women staring lustfully at men? Obviously it is not wrong for them to do so, it is natural to look at people we are attracted to.
    Is it just part of the view that men are somehow bad, or predatorial, and that their actions should be questioned more? I think a lot of this is the lingering effects of a Christian culture and seeing sexual feelings as somehow wrong, and the damaging idea that lust is somehow bad.

  • Leah Brandt

    This. This is exactly the type of man I want to father my children.

    I was in a three year long mentally abusive relationship with someone who justified cheating by saying it was my fault for not having sex with him frequently enough. That sense of entitlement is toxic. When men, or anyone really, disrespect you for long enough it becomes easy to stop respecting yourself. So for years, I let myself stay in that relationship because I stopped believing I deserved better.

    I don’t care if you’re overweight, broke, flat chested, or still broken over a s