Well There Go My Plans for a Catholic Nudist Colony

Dressing or putting on one’s clothes is a moral act and wearing them is a moral act.”

And while it’s not like dudes can walk around church naked, we all know who this modesty business is directed at:

Immodesty in dress is governed by two citations from God’s Law:

1) The Ninth Commandment: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife” (Exodus 20:17);

2) Jesus said: “Everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).

Which is interesting, as these two statements seem to indicate that men shouldn’t leer at women. Which apparently gets translated into telling those temptresses to cover it up, because if the dudes are looking at you, it’s because you’re dressed like a harlot and you’re inciting them.

The Bishop is careful to couch all of his admonishments in gender-neutral terms, but anyone with a teaspoon of common sense understands that when we’re critcizing people for wearing “provocative,” “suggestive,” “tight,” and “sexual” clothing, we probably aren’t talking to the guys.

Another example of what a religious text actually says versus how its interpreted by the people reading it, and how that interpretation reflects established cultural ideas about women’s position in society.

via who else?


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86 comments for “Well There Go My Plans for a Catholic Nudist Colony

  1. Marian
    July 13, 2006 at 9:35 am

    There is a religious website, http://capalert.com, where the guy reviews movies according to southern Baptist, strict standards. One of his criteria for ranking a movie down is “female anatomy ghosting through clothing” and “dressing to maximize the female form.” He doesn’t have such a category for male anatomy or form.

    Sorry can’t give examples as the site is blocked at my work, but if you poke around in just about any romantic comedy review on there, you’ll see for yourself.

  2. July 13, 2006 at 10:01 am

    I went to a Christian college for awhile, and the “modesty” debate came up every year when the weather got warm on campus. I think it had something to do with the ugly girls being jealuos of the cute ones.

  3. AW
    July 13, 2006 at 10:08 am

    What’s interesting though, is that fashions for clothing for men are in general fairly modest. Do you think there would be a shift in the tone of the article if guys all wore string vests and tight leather shorts that leave little to the imagination? Or came to church in tight strap tops and kilts cut above the knee? While women all wore suits?

  4. Em
    July 13, 2006 at 10:22 am

    Oh, but see, covering the female form is not enough. If it were, women could wear men’s clothes or baggy androgynous clothes and all the men could breathe a sigh of relief that there was nary the outline of a hip or bust in sight.

    No, indeed, women wearing modest clothes that are not ALSO clearly identifiable as ‘feminine’ are not acceptable either. In fact, I think it’s either classed as “abomination” or “detestable” for a woman to put on men’s clothes (and vice versa).

  5. Christopher
    July 13, 2006 at 10:23 am

    So, um, if the commandments that govern dress both involve men looking lustfully at women, isn’t the most efficient solution to just have the men wear blindfolds?

    Or maybe they could just always look at the ground and never make eye contact with women.

    It just seems weird that it’s men who transgress but women who have to change their behavior.

    It’s also a little surprising to me that there’s no category for provocatively dressed men at CAPAlert; I mean, you’d think a guy with a huge package running around in tighty whities would be pretty scandalous for your fundy Babtist type.

  6. Fitz
    July 13, 2006 at 10:28 am

    Is this really any different from the objectification of females feminists speak of. Of leering or “gazer” who debilitates with his wanton eye’s.

    What about sexual harassment laws and policies that include both “elevator eyes” & “dress” as unacceptable?

    In Genesis Adam & Eve were kicked out of the garden, they saw they were naked and they were ashamed.

  7. Marian
    July 13, 2006 at 10:40 am

    Christopher: It’s also a little surprising to me that there’s no category for provocatively dressed men at CAPAlert; I mean, you’d think a guy with a huge package running around in tighty whities would be pretty scandalous for your fundy Babtist type.

    He does have a category for “adults in underwear,” so maybe that covers that. Just nothing specifically male.

  8. Kat
    July 13, 2006 at 10:57 am

    While I think that there is a respectful way to dress for church (or court, or school, or work, etc.), I don’t buy that its dictated by these biblical passages. I think the Bishop is reaching there and way off base.

  9. Dianne
    July 13, 2006 at 11:06 am

    Odd how religious men seem to have so much less self control than non-religious ones. In Taliban controlled Afghanistan, men were assumed to be unable to look at so much as a woman’s eye, hand or ankle without going mad with lust (or whatever) whereas in Germany, a man who wandered around a nude beach with an erection would be ostracized for his lack of self-control.

  10. Em
    July 13, 2006 at 11:09 am

    Dianne, I think it’s sinful “desensitization” to sexuality that allows non-religious men to not be excited by ankles and wrists. Religious control of sexuality keeps all religious men on a hair trigger–and they believe it’s supposed to be that way.

  11. July 13, 2006 at 11:24 am

    Here’s the money quote:

    You should not come to Church dressed in shorts, miniskirts, swimsuits, bikinis, tank-tops, bare shoulders, low cut dresses, very tight fitting clothing, etc.

    Note that only two of these (bathing suits, shorts) are conceivably applicable to men.

  12. Norah
    July 13, 2006 at 11:32 am

    So, um, if the commandments that govern dress both involve men looking lustfully at women, isn’t the most efficient solution to just have the men wear blindfolds?

    You’re kinder than I am. I used to read stories about the female dress code in Taliban-run Afghanistan and think,”So, if those guys can’t control themselves…maybe they should have their eyes poked out.”

  13. Fitz
    July 13, 2006 at 11:38 am

    “Here’s the money quote:” ….”Note that only two of these (bathing suits, shorts) are conceivably applicable to men”

    Uh ya – so what?

    If you hadn’t noticed, Catholics don’t subscribe to your utopian genderless ideal.
    They don’t consider men and women to be an androgynized single unit demanding one uniformed standard. They believe in a human nature, that man is incarnate and God created them male & female – {and that this is an important part of who we are}

    They don’t think its some Hegelian power scheme meant to subordinate one class and privilege another. In fact, they believe that this very worldview strips men & women of their essential uniqueness and dignity. They regard the belief that all dynamics are power dynamics as antiquated, ugly reductionism, that leads to real human suffering.

  14. July 13, 2006 at 11:53 am

    I tried to touch on some of this last week.

    The great compatibility of Christianity and feminism revolves around a refusal to hold women accountable for men’s actions. The passages from Scripture, both old and new testaments, make clear that lust is not something that is provoked but rather an individual sin for which the luster is solely and entirely responsible. This goes for both men and women; serious Christians don’t deny the reality of women’s visual lust.

    Yes, we all live in community with one another. And no, to paraphrase Scripture, we shouldn’t cause another to stumble. But in the end, those of us who are Christians are given the grace to resist sin,and when and if we fall, the fault is ours and ours alone. It lies in our hearts and in our minds, not in the exposed flesh of the object of our desire.

  15. Christopher
    July 13, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    So, um, Fitz, do Catholics think that women aren’t lustful?

    Because that’s pretty damn stupid. Men and women may be different, but it’s pretty clear that women are still able to feel sexual attraction.

    So why shouldn’t men have equally thought-out dress codes?

    And, as above, why not just blindfold the men or tell them to lower their eyes when women are around?

    Are you trying to miss the point just to annoy people?

  16. Josh
    July 13, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    If you hadn’t noticed, Catholics don’t subscribe to your utopian genderless ideal.

    Indeed. The suggestion that the male form might appeal to women sexually can only proceed from a utopian genderless ideal. Better trolls please.

  17. randomliberal/Robert
    July 13, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    Jill sez (emphasis mine)

    The Bishop is careful to couch all of his admonishments in gender-neutral terms, but anyone with a teaspoon of common sense understands that when we’re critcizing people for wearing “provocative,” “suggestive,” “tight,” and “sexual” clothing, we probably aren’t talking to the guys.

    I don’t know about all that. He might be talking to Rob Halford for all we know.

    I guess that isn’t all that likely, though, is it?

    And Fitz, what the hell are you talking about?

  18. Fitz
    July 13, 2006 at 12:26 pm

    “Men and women may be different, but it’s pretty clear that women are still able to feel sexual attraction….So why shouldn’t men have equally thought-out dress codes?”

    Because men don’t generally come to Church dressed in
    in shorts, miniskirts, swimsuits, bikinis, tank-tops, bare shoulders, low cut dresses, very tight fitting clothing, etc.

    “it’s pretty clear that women are still able to feel sexual attraction.”

    Its also pretty clear that men feel sexual desire generally more strongly and more often (as well as being more prone to visual stimuli) – Or don’t you have cable, or the internet, or walked past a newsstand?

    “And, as above, why not just blindfold the men or tell them to lower their eyes when women are around?”

    Because then they couldn’t see.

    “Are you trying to miss the point just to annoy people? “

    No, I get the point…I just think its a stupid, narrow, and didactic one. (why are you being obtuse though?)

    “And Fitz, what the hell are you talking about? “

    You wouldn’t understand.

  19. QLH
    July 13, 2006 at 12:33 pm

    Fitz:

    Because men don’t generally come to Church dressed in shorts, miniskirts, swimsuits, bikinis, tank-tops, bare shoulders, low cut dresses, very tight fitting clothing, etc.

    Men don’t generally come to church in shorts, but women do? Men don’t come to church in swimsuits, but women do?

  20. July 13, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    The Russian Orthodox church discusses this ad nauseam, with ugly results. A monk once called my (primly dressed) mother a “whore” for wearing lipstick on church grounds.

    Interestingly enough, revealing male fashion is all the rage in Eastern Europe. Guys don’t think twice about wearingn tight jeans, t-shirts, shorts, and wife-beaters to holy places. NOBODY SAYS ANYTHING TO THEM.

    And when women complain we are told that we are “selfish feminists.” We are told that, “women don’t get excited by men, you’re making it up to get attention.”

    And people ask me why I quit going to fucking church.

  21. July 13, 2006 at 12:45 pm

    “Christian purity requires a purification of the social climate. It requires of the communications media that their presentations show concern for respect and restraint (CCC 2525).

    That’s what scared me. So christianity requires the rest of the world’s social climate to be run by their standards? How about you not watch what you don’t like on TV or listen to it on the radio? The kids? Well there is the V-Chip. Block what you don’t like for yourselves but leave the rest of us heathens our, “sinful” media.

  22. Thomas
    July 13, 2006 at 12:48 pm

    Is this really any different from the objectification of females feminists speak of. Of leering or “gazer” who debilitates with his wanton eye’s.

    This paragraph is grammatically flawed. It appears that both of these sentences are intended to be questions, but they do not end in a question marks. The words “leering” and “gazer” create a case disagreement, and it is not at all clear why you use scare-quotes around “gazer.” Also, there is no apparent purpose to the apostrophe in “eye’s.” Neither a contraction nor a possessive makes any sense in this context.

    What about sexual harassment laws and policies that include both “elevator eyes” & “dress” as unacceptable?

    This is hopelessly vague, as though you did not have time to completely relate your thought. You appear to be using the quoted words as terms of art, but “dress” in and of itself is innocuous. No policy makes “dress” (as a whole) unacceptable, except perhaps at a nudist colony.

    Your third paragraph is blessedly free of glaring error.

    Fitz, I had hoped by constant and pedantic criticism of your writing to drive you away; and so spare us all the pain of your nonsense. Failing that, I might at least have hoped that simply to save face you would begin to proofread and improve your language skills, and thereby save us all the pain of your poor writing. Alas, you continue to disappoint me.

    Also, your obsession with Hegel is really getting old. You seem to mention Hegel every time you participate in a comment thread, here or elsewhere. You appear convinced that everyone whose politics are left of yours has a little shrine to Hegel. We don’t.

  23. Malibu Stacy
    July 13, 2006 at 12:51 pm

    The greatest exposure of flesh in God’s House that I can recall from my years as a Catholic church-goer was on the nearly-nude, larger-than-life-sized crucified Christ that was suspended above the altar. If men and women are equal targets of this appeal for modesty, will our Lord be getting a pair of Dockers and a polo?

  24. Thomas
    July 13, 2006 at 12:52 pm

    (why are you being obtuse though?)

    Fitz, you have correctly placed both the sentence and the terminal punctuation within the parentheses. However, a complete, parenthetical sentence still begins with a capital letter.

  25. Fitz
    July 13, 2006 at 12:56 pm

    “Fitz, I had hoped by constant and pedantic criticism of your writing to drive you away;”

    I thought it was an inability to engage me on substance.

  26. Dianne
    July 13, 2006 at 1:03 pm

    Religious control of sexuality keeps all religious men on a hair trigger–

    Kinky.

  27. Thomas
    July 13, 2006 at 1:04 pm

    I thought it was an inability to engage me on substance.

    As long as you persist in the delusion that all of our ideas are derivative of Hegel, your comments are insubstantial. To the extent you have expressed a coherent thought, I could get the same view from First Things, or from an old buddy of mine who sometimes writes for First Things. In fact, to the extent I have seen you set forth any complex ideas, I suspect they have all been cribbed from Catholic theologians.

    I suspect you will persist in your delusions both that I cannot address the substance of your ideas and that all feminist thought is a Hegelian dialectic. I suspect you also delude yourself into believing that you are a competent writer and a great intellect.

  28. Anne
    July 13, 2006 at 1:05 pm

    the site is blocked at my work

    Now THAT’s funny.

  29. Em
    July 13, 2006 at 1:14 pm

    Fitz sez:

    Its also pretty clear that men feel sexual desire generally more strongly and more often

    Try again.

  30. little cabbage
    July 13, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    “Its also pretty clear that men feel sexual desire generally more strongly and more often”

    ……

    ……….

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

    *sniff* No, seriously, you’re killing me here. Next?

  31. Fitz
    July 13, 2006 at 1:25 pm

    All that internet porn aimed at women?

  32. Fitz
    July 13, 2006 at 1:28 pm

    “To the extent you have expressed a coherent thought, I could get the same view from First Things, or from an old buddy of mine who sometimes writes for First Things. In fact, to the extent I have seen you set forth any complex ideas, I suspect they have all been cribbed from Catholic theologians.”

    Thank You!

    Sir Isaac Newton said: “I have learned to accomplish things by standing on the shoulders of giants”

  33. July 13, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    All that internet porn aimed at women?

    That says nothing about sexual desire, just desire for objectification and immediate gratification (in most cases).

  34. Fitz
    July 13, 2006 at 1:44 pm

    “As long as you persist in the delusion that all of our ideas are derivative of Hegel, your comments are insubstantial. …I suspect you will persist in your delusions both that I cannot address the substance of your ideas and that all feminist thought is a Hegelian dialectic.”

    Perhaps the fish doesn’t know its swimming in water. Since Hegelian based dialectical materialism is the only accepted game in town, its many variations, spin offs, philosophical legacies and benefactors are (naturally… by you) admired for their divergence rather than commonality. In short: you fail to see the forest for the trees.

    But I’ll let Simone herself bring it into focus…
    From Part II of The Second Sex. Simone de Beauvoir 1949
    On the Master-Slave Relation

    “Certain passages in the argument employed by Hegel in defining the relation of master to slave apply much better to the relation of man to woman. The advantage of the master, he says, comes from his affirmation of Spirit as against Life through the fact that he risks his own life; but in fact the conquered slave has known this same risk. Whereas woman is basically an existent who gives Life and does not risk her life, between her and the male there has been no combat. Hegel’s definition would seem to apply especially well to her. He says: ‘The other consciousness is the dependent consciousness for whom the essential reality is the animal type of life; that is to say, a mode of living bestowed by another entity.’ But this relation is to be distinguished from the relation of subjugation because woman also aspires to and recognizes the values that are concretely attained by the male. He it is who opens up the future to which she also reaches out. In truth women have never set up female values in opposition to male values; it is man who, desirous of maintaining masculine prerogatives, has invented that divergence. Men have presumed to create a feminine domain – the kingdom of life, of immanence – only in order to lock up women therein But it is regardless of sex that the existent seeks self-justification through transcendence – the very submission of women is proof of that statement. What they demand today is to be recognized as existents by the same right as men and not to subordinate existence to life, the human being to its animality.”

    There Sir is your vaunted Patriarchy, fitting neatly through Hegel into Marx & Engels. The master/slave is simply foisted on to the male/female. The false conscious of the bourgeoisie is foisted onto the women. Her husband becomes her oppressor, her father her rapist. The only authentic work for the intellectual is to advance the revolution. (and so they did) Regardless of the growing pains on the way to gender equality.

    I persist.

  35. Kat
    July 13, 2006 at 1:52 pm

    Men don’t generally come to church in shorts, but women do? Men don’t come to church in swimsuits, but women do?

    Well, I go to church somewhat regularly and I have seen young people wearing belly shirts, mini skirts, board shorts, flip-flops, tank tops, sweatpants, undershirts, etc. I happen to live by the beach, so things are more casual here then in some parishes, but there have been a lot of raised eyebrows especially by the older parishioners. It wasn’t so long ago that men had to wear suits/ties and women had to wear head coverings to Catholic mass. When I was in high school, jeans were frowned upon but have become more acceptable.

    I have been wondering when an issue would be made of it from the pulpit, it seemed like it was coming. I just think if the Bishop had said “hey, don’t be such a slouch, put on a clean shirt and show some respect” I wouldn’t have a problem with him. Its the misuse of the scriptures to back his case that makes me cringe. Because, as Jill said, these statements “indicate that men shouldn’t leer at women” and do not give instruction on how to dress appropriately for Mass, and yet the women seem to be getting the bulk of the admonishment from the Bishop.

  36. raging red
    July 13, 2006 at 1:53 pm

    When I bow down to pray before my shrine to Hegel, I always wear a bikini.

  37. zuzu
    July 13, 2006 at 1:55 pm

    Plus, women can look at gay porn.

    Guys, you all must read Tbogg’s takedown of some of Fitz’s comments on an Ann Althouse post about Title IX.

  38. Em
    July 13, 2006 at 2:14 pm

    Fitz sez:

    All that internet porn aimed at women?

    All those romance novels aimed at men?

  39. Thomas
    July 13, 2006 at 2:19 pm

    All that internet porn aimed at women?

    The lack thereof is susceptible to several alternate explanations: (1) that the culture so disfavors women’s own sexual agency that women do not feel comfortable actively seeking erotica that satisfies them; (2) that women feel so alienated by some things about straight men’s porn that they seek instead material aimed at them, which for various reasons involving historical feminist politics is mostly written; (3) that women are undemanding consumers used to making do with sexual material not aimed at them, while the market for male customers rewards pitching specifically to the audience; (4) that a market imperfection exists because, like you, the male decisionmakers at large porn production companies do not think that women like visual erotic depictions when in fact a market exists in this area; and (5) that many women who want to see explicit sex on film watch gay men’s porn, which is readily available and has lots of hot guys in it.

    That’s just off the top of my head.

  40. Fitz
    July 13, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    It’s all a social construct.

    Never heard that one before

    .

  41. Anne
    July 13, 2006 at 2:30 pm

    Superb argument, Fitz.

  42. Fitz
    July 13, 2006 at 2:34 pm

    thanks

  43. Anne
    July 13, 2006 at 2:44 pm

    Hee. Is it too much to hope that he thought I was serious?

  44. Thomas
    July 13, 2006 at 3:22 pm

    Fitz, Sartre and deBeauvoir were close to (though never members of) the French Communist Party, loyal to Stalin, in late 1940’s France. See, e.g. Anthony Beevor and Artemis Cooper, Paris After The Liberation, for its excellent takedown of the intellectually disingenous and comically radical French Communist left after the war. Certainly she wrote some interesting things and became one of the several important theorists in the feminism of the 20th century. However, to cite her, and the separate school of Marxist-Feminism, as having common intellectual antecedents in Marx (and by extension Hegel) is to make an unremarkable observation. Both the radical and the liberal feminist traditions have different intellectual antecedents — Mary Wollstonecraft predated Hegel, after all, and I have seen nothing to suggest Hegellian influence at Seneca Falls.

    If all you are saying is that feminism sees sex and society in terms, at least in substantial part, of conflicting interests, that may be true. However, all conflict sociology grows in part out of Marx, as distinguished, say, from Durkheim and Weber. The incorporation of the root idea that conflict rather than cooperation ought to be analyzed no more makes all sociology (or all feminism) Hegelian than all rock and roll is descended from Ike Turner because he wrote Rocket 88.

    As an aside, the only US translation of Second Sex to English is famously horrible. I am no francophone, so I rely on others for this observation, but Ampersand at Alas posed on this and you can certainly find the post with a search at his site.

    Finally, Fitz, I followed Zuzu’s link to TBogg’s blog. In all seriousness, are you not ashamed of your inability to type a coherent thought without glaring errors? Is your professional work replete with similar errors? Like me, you have a persistent pseudonym across several blogs over time. Do you not realize that your reputation follows you, and that because of your poor writing, people take you for a fool? Do you not care?

  45. Thomas
    July 13, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    Never heard that one before

    I suppose by your reasoning, that means that you cannot engage me on substance.

  46. Josh
    July 13, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    I attended a Catholic church weekly until I was about 18, and men used to show up in shorts and tank tops all the time.

    Anyway, Fitz, even if men are more prone to lustful thoughts than women, your “argument” makes sense if and only if women are completely immune to sexual excitement caused by viewing men in revealing clothes, unless the Church is now cool with sin so long as it’s just a little bit.

  47. July 13, 2006 at 5:31 pm

    dressing to maximize the female form.

    What exactly does this mean? A classmate of mine in my P-chem class was a very religious Shi’ite woman. She wore a chador that was very modest: it was obviously opaque and covering and loose fighting. But it still maximized her female form quite nicely (and she sure’s a looker — if I may be excused for being enough of a male pig to comment about such things here) because of the way it was more loose in some places than in others. Would this be bad from the Southern Baptist fundie point of view then?

  48. July 13, 2006 at 5:40 pm

    So, um, Fitz, do Catholics think that women aren’t lustful? – Christopher

    From what I can tell, the answer is “yes”.

    Interestingly, the idea of a double standard in modesty is common to many “traditional” religions. Although not all of them have the same “women are objects of man’s lust” dichotomy that more traditionally minded Catholics seem to have.

    In particular, among traditional Jews, the Puritans of yore (who were certainly misrepresented in this regard by Hawthorne) and among many groups until the Victorian cult of domesticity, while it was generally agreed that men were more easily led astray by the “charms” of a woman (the general thinking with which, as a straight guy, I tend to agree, is that woman’s bodies are simply “objectively” more attractive than men’s bodies — note that this thinking is not at all objective but culturally constructed: many cultures, e.g. the ancient Greeks and Renaisance Italians, thought the male form to be quite aesthetic) and hence women needed to be more modest in dress than men, it was also thought that women actually had a stronger sex drive than men.

    Thus there was always the fear that a woman would be driven by her inner drives to seduce men who themselves were, while not as sexually driver, considered “weaker” in terms of resisting the “charms” of the opposite sex. So a lot of these double standards reflect actually a neurosis on the part of us males — a fear of sex and of women. Hardly something to be considered holy … or at least you would think “hardly”.

    Unless women are all goddesses and this neurosis is just the “fear of God” ;)

  49. July 13, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    Yes Fitz, the entire monolithic modern feminist movement is based upon Hegel and de Beauvoir. The worldwide feminist conspiracy hosts pilgrimages to their gravesites. If you join the conspiracy you’ll get a discount on the airfare.

    You’re right on one score: many women are generally less aroused by visual stimuli than many men. Doesn’t mean the average straight woman doesn’t find a visual of an attractive male enticing, but it’s not usually going to do as much for her as it would for the average straight man. However, when it comes to erotica marketed at female consumers, there’s an entire industry producing romance novels, most of which are pretty sexually explicit. Plus, look at all the slash fanfiction on the internet. Tons of straight women (some of them middle-class suburban wives and mothers *gasp*) read and write stories featuring sex between two male characters. I know straight women who don’t find straight porn moviese erotic at all, but do like to watch gay male porn. Hell, I know lesbians who like to read or watch gay male porn.

    Just because female sexual response isn’t quite the same as male sexual response doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. There’s a self-described feminist and sex-positive sex shop in my neighbourhood which markets all its vibrators and other such products to female customers, and seems to do a roaring trade. And I know someone who was a clerk there and said they also had a big internet business, for women who didn’t live nearby or were too embarrassed to visit the store in person.

  50. July 13, 2006 at 6:08 pm

    In all seriousness, are you not ashamed of your inability to type a coherent thought without glaring errors? Is your professional work replete with similar errors?

    He probably has some woman at work correct his spelling for him. I’ll bet she’s busy.

  51. July 13, 2006 at 6:11 pm

    Unless women are all goddesses

    No! Not the pedestal! Not the pedestal!

  52. Fitz
    July 13, 2006 at 6:42 pm

    “However, to cite her, and the separate school of Marxist-Feminism, as having common intellectual antecedents in Marx (and by extension Hegel) is to make an unremarkable observation.”
    Unremarkable but accurate.

    “If all you are saying is that feminism sees sex and society in terms, at least in substantial part, of conflicting interests, that may be true. However, all conflict sociology grows in part out of Marx”

    You noticed.

    “people take you for a fool? Do you not care?”

    I do not think you a fool Thomas. But do to the philosophical precedents of your milieu; a deeply immoral person.

  53. La Lubu
    July 13, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    Its also pretty clear that men feel sexual desire generally more strongly and more often (as well as being more prone to visual stimuli)

    And you “know” this how? You used to be a woman a couple of years ago? Because I have yet to feel that weak sex drive that traditionalists swear women have. And if women aren’t prone to visual stimuli, how do you explain all that emailed beefcake going around office sites, hmmm?

  54. July 13, 2006 at 6:55 pm

    I’ve posted a biblical critique of the good bishop’s stance at my blog. Thanks for posting this, Jill.

  55. Christopher
    July 13, 2006 at 10:11 pm

    Fitz: There is a metric crapload of internet porn aimed at women. Slash fiction, for example.

    Yaoi manga is basically an entire genre of gay porn comics aimed at women, and you hear quite a bit of discussion about it on the internet.

    Just because women’s internet porn isn’t primarily made of pictures and video doesn’t mean it isn’t a signifigant internet pressence.

  56. Thomas
    July 13, 2006 at 10:56 pm

    No, Fitz, people take you for a fool because, inter alia, you use “do” when you mean “due.” Despite every reasonable effort to correct you, you persist in your shortcomings. Are you perhaps trying to initiate a complete, alternate system of grammar, spelling and syntax? Or are you simply unable to do better?

  57. jayunderscorezero
    July 14, 2006 at 5:57 am

    Just some random thoughts:

    -I wish I’d read this post and commented on it yesterday.

    -Blinkers for men, now that’s a fabulous idea! Imagine people handing out blinkers in church. They could even be called ‘wings’ like in The Handmaid’s Tale. Ah, what a fantastic twist on a cautionary tale of misogyny and religious oppression that would be.

    -Women have lower sex drive than men, do they? Hmmm, doesn’t seem to apply to any of the women I know.

    -…And yes, internet porn IS just a desire to objectify over simply a desire for sex.

    -All this talk of ‘accentuating’ or ‘maximising’ the female form. Hmm, so it is obviously the female form that is to blame! You have hips? Harlot! Boobs? Whore! Seriously though, what about people who naturally have ‘accentuated’ attributes, are we to bind them up? What a ridiculous notion. All females by definition have ‘female forms’, get over it.

    Sorry for being a bit late to this one.

  58. midwestmom
    July 14, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    Fitz, don’t confuse these folks with the facts for God’s sake! They only resort to personal attacks (Where’s the girl who corrects your spelling at work, you fool?) and veer off topic.

    Let’s get back to the point of Bishop Yanta’s article. As Catholics, we receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ in the Eucharist at Mass. If we truly believe that, we shouldn’t show up dressed like prostitutes or hungover frat boys.

    Bishop Yanta is merely addressing today’s fashion trends. Other than the baggy jeans with the undies showing, what widespread male fashion trend is immodest? Personally, I’ve never seen a young man at Mass dressed like Snoop Dogg but I’ve seen plenty of young women underdressed for the occasion.

  59. July 14, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    If the good bishop were really talking about biblical modesty, he would stress simplicity too. The Ninth Commandment he cites about coveting goes beyond lust –it refers to material objects too. So I await eagerly his sermon about not wearing Rolex watches to church, driving up in a BMW 740i, wearing Gucci loafers. If we are truly responsible for other’s desires, then we must seek to avoid every possible display of wealth that might arouse envy — a sin as great as that of lust.

    I’m waiting, Bishop Yanta.

  60. midwestmom
    July 14, 2006 at 5:31 pm

    Hugo,

    Bp. Yanta is addressing modesty in dress for Mass-goers and, more specifically, those who serve as Lay Ecclesial Ministers. Read the article.

  61. July 14, 2006 at 5:45 pm

    I read it. But does the good bishop understand that modesty, understood in the proper biblical context, is as much about avoiding the ostentatious display of wealth as it is about displaying sexuality? The Ninth Commandment talks about not coveting the neighbor’s house too, but the bish can’t get past worrying about what the neighbor’s wife is wearing.

    It is immoral to elevate the “sins of the pelvis” above the “sins of the pocketbook”, but it’s been what the church has done for a long time. Moral consistency means that acknowledging that the BMW and the Rolex on the Lay Ministers wrist is as contrary to the Gospel as a bikini. That’s the plain meaning of Scripture.

    I don’t accept that we are responsible for another’s sin. But if I did buy it, for the sake of argument, I would go with my Mennonite friends, who understand that Christ was far more condemnatory of luxury and wealth than of sexual display.

    Read your Scripture, Mom:

    I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. 1 Timothy 2:9-10.

    Does anyone in Amarillo braid their hair? Wear gold or pearls to Sunday Mass? Where does the bishop preach against that? I read the letter twice, lady.

  62. July 14, 2006 at 5:53 pm

    Midwest Mom, post in haste, repent in leisure. I don’t take back anything I said of subtance, but I apologize for the tone. This issue is near and dear to my heart, and I fight this battle a lot, but it doesn’t excuse rudeness. I am sorry.

  63. midwestmom
    July 14, 2006 at 6:15 pm

    Hugo,

    No offense taken. I’m right with you on the materialistic slant but, again, that’s not the issue that the bishop is addressing. I suppose it’s different in a metropolitan area but there is absolutely no show of wealth in my small midwestern parish. Even the well-to-do look like slobs at Mass. The wealthiest family in my parish shows up with wet hair and sweatpants – they’d never be caught dead looking like that anywhere else. I believe this laissez faire attitude is what Yanta is trying to bring to the forefront. It’s a little lesson in reverence for the Eucharist.

  64. July 14, 2006 at 7:41 pm

    I do not think you a fool Thomas. But do to the philosophical precedents of your milieu; a deeply immoral person.

    You’re judging Thomas immoral based on the philosophical precedents of his milieu? And not based on, say, his professed sexual choices?

  65. July 15, 2006 at 5:21 am

    So are you feminutjobs determined to demonstrate that you cannot and will not behave morally? Is that the purpose of this idiocy?

  66. Hillbilly Geek
    July 15, 2006 at 6:59 am

    So… since he didn’t cover every possible permutations of sin, we can dismiss the problems he did mention. Because he didn’t hit women’s problems, we can dismiss men’s problems.
    Hm. And you think that’s air you’re breathing?
    All this intense struggle to diminish someone’s moral authority seems a bit… I dunno, defensive?
    It’s cause wimmins is purtyer to lookat, huh? Us neandethals are easily distracted. There’s a vas differens between the sexes, folkses. Not a complete disconnect, but a real difference. If you read Genesis, you’ll see that Eve was an engineered clone of a tissue sample from Adam.
    (By the way, love the comment auto preview!!! Way kewl! Is that a word press thing?)

  67. July 15, 2006 at 11:28 am

    Us neandethals are easily distracted.

    Thank goodness, therefore, that most men are actually homo sapiens sapiens, whose free will is capable of trumping their biology if they choose to exercise it. To those genuine surviving neanderthals, I give a free pass.

  68. July 15, 2006 at 8:43 pm

    What exactly does this mean? A classmate of mine in my P-chem class was a very religious Shi’ite woman. She wore a chador that was very modest: it was obviously opaque and covering and loose fighting. But it still maximized her female form quite nicely (and she sure’s a looker — if I may be excused for being enough of a male pig to comment about such things here) because of the way it was more loose in some places than in others. Would this be bad from the Southern Baptist fundie point of view then?

    I don’t know about a SBF point of view because I’m not one, but from a Catholic form of view that is completely acceptable. Everything covered that should be. No undergarments showing. The usage of undergarments. Pretty and feminine.

    And Christopher, you mentioned how about some guidelines for men. I’d love to hear from the ladies as to what they consider sexually tittilating, and I’ll be happy to not make myself a near occasion to sin for the ladies. Also, if my gay bretheren could likewise clue us in to their visual weakness, I’d be happy to dress appropriately.

    But I find it interesting that a bunch of feminists see fit to comment on dress codes in a Catholic church. If there was some country club that required jackets for the men and dresses for the ladies, I wouldn’t imagine it would be a problem.

    Oh, and Natalia, I’d imagine the dress code would be a little more lax in a “fucking church”. I can’t tell you for sure because I’ve never been in one. I’ll have to take your word for it.

  69. Jake
    July 16, 2006 at 12:16 am

    I’ve been reading this thread, and as usual, this is a tough subject to deal with.

    I apologize as this comment is going to be malely biased, because I am one. My head just isn’t wired like a woman’s, but I’ll do my best.

    No one can easily point out “modesty” here because it is a philosophical question (this might sound strange, but it is – it is a question concerning finding the answer to a question about how people percieve a part of reality — what is modesty?)

    Modesty would run off of temperance. According to Aristotle, this would be the geometric mean between two extremes (not exactly the middle, but the true balance).

    Let us set our obvious boundaries: shrouding the entire body in a formless sheet…too much. Streaking…too little.

    Ok, cut the boudaries: Revealing only eyes…too much. Swimsuit only…too little.

    You get the idea….

    Eventually there is going to be a point where too much and two little will blur. In which case, it would be prudent to err on the side of too much (humbling yourself instead of inciting lust). Besides, you shouldn’t exactly be soliciting admirers during Church services of any kind (espcially a mass).

    The aim is not to incite lust. There is a difference between attraction and lust. Attraction is normal. Lust is disordered. Men will be attracted to the female form and vice versa (unless something is wrong). However, very few (if any) have the ability to view the male or female form, uncovered, without lust. This is because humanity is fallen (see Genesis). We have disordered desires. We have to remember that. The more revealing clothing becomes, the greater the danger of inciting lust.

    But where do we draw the line? The easiest way is to check your motives and your clothing philosophy: am I trying to figure out what I can get away with or am I really looking for the truth of the matter (don’t try to fool yourself)? Am I trying to help out someone who is struggling with lustful passions, or am I going to get them messed up? Am I wearing this to solicit prideful attention, or am wearing something that shows my humility? Does this show dignity or carelessness?

    Further, if you broadcast that you dress to incite lust (short shorts, skin-tight clothes, etc.,) you will attract the type of person who looks for that. If you want to attract a person who will respect you, dress like you deserve respect, and not like you are the workin’ the corner. If you are not sure…try praying for the answer…ask and you shall recieve. God will find a way of letting you know what He thinks.

    Remember:
    The right thing is not always the easy thing.

  70. Fitz
    July 16, 2006 at 9:40 am

    “You’re judging Thomas immoral based on the philosophical precedents of his milieu? And not based on, say, his professed sexual choices?”

    Yes. Until this very moment I was not aware of his sexual choices (is that right? “choice”). I’m really not privy, nor have we discussed it, nor did I run across it.

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  72. Malachi
    July 16, 2006 at 7:51 pm

    Jake– I’d *love* to hear what distinction you’re going to draw between “attraction” to a female form which is “normal” and “disordeered” lust.

    As for the male bias–Your request for tolerance doesn’t impress me. I somehow doubt you’d let Jill or another feminist off the hook if she admitted to a “female bias.” Why don’t we jsut try to be unbiased?

    Finally, as for respect– you’re not seriously going to argue that you can’t respect a woman you fidn attractive? Doesn’t that put you in a bit of a bind? Marriage, for instance ,won’t work out too well. assuming you need to be attracted to your wife, you’re left marrying someone you can’t respect, which doesn’t sound too good to me.

    Luckily for me, I have no problem respecting the women in my life, even–or, sadly, especially–when I find them attractive.

  73. July 16, 2006 at 9:45 pm

    Jake– I’d *love* to hear what distinction you’re going to draw between “attraction” to a female form which is “normal” and “disordeered” lust.

    Malachi, that’s an easy one. It’s the difference between “God, you do good work” and “Wow, what a babe, I’d like to do X with her!”.

    As for the male bias–Your request for tolerance doesn’t impress me. I somehow doubt you’d let Jill or another feminist off the hook if she admitted to a “female bias.” Why don’t we jsut try to be unbiased?

    Because, I hate to break it to you, but men and women are different. Women aren’t just men with a vagina, they are wired differently than men. I bring my susceptability to visual stimula with me, so a provocatively clad woman affects me differently than she affects another woman.

    Finally, as for respect– you’re not seriously going to argue that you can’t respect a woman you fidn attractive? Doesn’t that put you in a bit of a bind? Marriage, for instance ,won’t work out too well. assuming you need to be attracted to your wife, you’re left marrying someone you can’t respect, which doesn’t sound too good to me.

    Well, a woman who dresses like her body is her best asset doesn’t garner much respect from me. I respect women who respect themselves. Women who don’t feel the need to display themselves like a sexual piece of meat for the viewing pleasure of any man who walks by.

    Luckily for me, I have no problem respecting the women in my life, even–or, sadly, especially–when I find them attractive.

    Revisit that when you figure out the difference between attraction and lust.

  74. Joshua
    July 17, 2006 at 7:30 am

    All the men I know, Catholic or otherwise, including myself, believe that men on average are more easily aroused and much more visually-oriented in their sexual arousal. That matches most of my experience, and it’s certainly what every mainstream magazine or relationship book says, and it corresponds with the fact that porn is predominantly targeted at men and romance novels at women (porn: instant and visual, novels: long and narrative). Even the various encouragements to women to let their lust out and declarations that women are just as lustful as men tell the same story: When was the last time you heard of an average man needing encouragement to be lustful?

    Many men’s fashions may be inappropriate for mass or other environments because they are too informal (depending on local standards) or because they have offensive slogans or graphics. But the large majority of men, including me, do not believe that there is any possible way we could dress that would cause a sober woman to feel lust. We accept as a fact of life that women are basically beautiful and sexy and men are basically not. (Most men try to impress with their wit or their style or their wealth or their charm or their art or whatever. Not directly with their body. Not that any of these things are always wholesome or honest.)

    So if you find Christian men publicly asking women to dress more modestly, it’s because nearly every man is prone to lust and nearly every Christian man struggles sorely with it. And if you don’t hear Christian men telling other men to dress more modestly, it’s not only because they are not personally tempted to lust by the site of other men but because honest-to-God it’s hard to imagine that anyone would be.

    If men are wrong about this, if women in mass are actually distracted by lust because of something men can reasonably change about their clothing, I for one will try to spread the word because I certainly do care about the soul of my sister as much as the soul of my brother or myself. But you’ll have to be specific, and you may have to repeat it a few times, because it’s really difficult for us guys to understand.

  75. July 17, 2006 at 7:57 am

    All the men I know, Catholic or otherwise, including myself, believe that men on average are more easily aroused and much more visually-oriented in their sexual arousal.

    And they know this because of their extensive experience living in both male and female bodies?

    Didn’t think so. How can your experience tell you about the physical reactions of the female body, especially if those physical reactions are well-hidden and only available to the woman herself?

    We’ve had the porn discussion here before. Putting aside the fact that women also consume porn in large numbers, it’s fairly obvious that porn is largely about eroticizing objectification, not about eroticism itself.

    We accept as a fact of life that women are basically beautiful and sexy and men are basically not.

    But this isn’t a fact of life, it’s a construction of our culture. In ancient Greek society, the adolescent male body was the beauty ideal — the female body wasn’t considered particularly sexy or arousing. So this is not an absolute truth — it’s the result of cultural conditioning which presents women as objects to be looked at and consumed.

    So if you find Christian men publicly asking women to dress more modestly, it’s because nearly every man is prone to lust and nearly every Christian man struggles sorely with it. And if you don’t hear Christian men telling other men to dress more modestly, it’s not only because they are not personally tempted to lust by the site of other men but because honest-to-God it’s hard to imagine that anyone would be.

    Well, newsflash: Women are. I find the male body sexually attractive. If that body is of the type that I prefer, and if it’s displayed in a particular way, I will think lustful thoughts. I think this is probably true of most human beings — when we see another human being who we’re attracted to, we may lust after them.

    However, my attraction to men has never translated into me believing that they must cover their bodies or dress in a particular way so as not to distract me. I put the onus on myself to behave properly.

    But you’ll have to be specific, and you may have to repeat it a few times, because it’s really difficult for us guys to understand.

    I really can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic here or not.

    Look, I’m not under the impression that men are stupid, or that they’re animals lacking self-control. I think that men are perfectly capable of controlling their sexual urges and desires, and they’re entirely capable of interacting with women without objectifying or sexualizing them. They’re also perfectly capable of operating in day-to-day life, which entails occassionally coming across an attractive woman, and still be able to do what they need to do, attractive woman nonwithstanding.

    It seems to me that the people who argue that men are incapable of controlling their urges, and so therefore we must put the onus on women to cover up, are the ones who are anti-male.

    Further, this argument over women’s bodies has been happening for centuries. Hundreds of years ago, when women were routinely covered from neck to ankles, religious conservatives were complaining about their scandelous clothing choices. And in several religious nations, we see laws requiring women to cover themselves, ostensibly to protect men from temptation, and to protect women from attacks at the hands of these poor males who are unable to reign in their desire.

    Long story short: I call bullshit.

  76. July 17, 2006 at 9:27 am

    I’d love to hear from the ladies as to what they consider sexually tittilating, and I’ll be happy to not make myself a near occasion to sin for the ladies.

    Eyes, hands, mouth, chest, of the right kind, for men. Since I suppose you can’t do much about the first three, I guess that translates into saying that if you don’t want to be a near occasion of sin to me in particular, be careful how you reveal your chest. Other women’s mileage may vary, a lot.

    Until this very moment I was not aware of his sexual choices (is that right? “choice”).

    Yes, I meant “choice”; I wasn’t referring to who he finds himself attracted to, but to, well, the fact that he engages in kinky sex in a non-monogamous way. Also, since he hasn’t talked much philosophy, I’m not sure what Thomas’ philosophical antecedants even are. I guess, though, that you and I must have attended to different comments.

    It’s the difference between “God, you do good work” and “Wow, what a babe, I’d like to do X with her!”.

    I’m capable of thinking “I’d like to do X with Y” even if Y is fully clothed. FWIW.

  77. StacyM
    July 17, 2006 at 10:15 am

    When was the last time you heard of an average man needing encouragement to be lustful?

    Well heck, guys encourage each other all the time. You just don’t think of it as encouragement. That kind of encouragement happens from early boyhood onward. It starts out with the first dirty joke told about a girl or some part of her body. Dirty jokes about women and girls are the common social currency of young boyhood onward.

    Sometime past the age of 10, it morphs into the expectation that you are somehow a nerd, dweeb or—even worse—gay, if you don’t pretend to have had at least one sexual encounter with a girl. Then of course, there’s the posturing about how vibrant and manly one’s sexual prowess is.

    All of it is tied up in the constant push to prove one’s self and one’s masculinity. Essentially it’s a mix of insecurity, over-competitiveness, and fear of homosexuality bundled with misogyny. That’s the boy culture I grew up with. And no, I don’t think it’s some inevitable outgrowth of hormones gone wild. Sexual urges are one thing, and how society interprets and constructs social reality around those urges is another.

    By the time that boys reach adulthood, talking about women’s body parts, misogynistic jokes, and humorous bragging about sexual prowess becomes a deeply ingrained way of sharing friendship and connection with other men. Rock the boat, challenge the social pattern, and you loose many of the ways in which you connect with other men. So, the ways in which men bond with each other encourage lustfulness and the tendency to do this is deeply intertwined in male to male interactions.

  78. zuzu
    July 17, 2006 at 10:17 am

    You know, Stacy, I think that bragging culture among boys is one reason that men always seem so uncomfortable to find out that when women discuss sex amongst themselves, they don’t really exaggerate, but they do discuss details.

  79. StacyM
    July 17, 2006 at 10:40 am

    Zuzu, I think that many men think they have the market cornered on sexual attraction and libido. I agree that a big part of that is a consequence of the constant bragging. So, when they encounter women talking about sex in detail, it’s somehow a major revelation of supreme weirdness.

    I also think it ties in with the “madonna/whore” duality that many men (and society in general) see women through. “Good girls” don’t talk about sex in any depth. Only racy women do that. So, when a guy finds out that a woman he respects does talk about sex—and in honest detail—he has to confront the false image of “good girls don’t talk about sex.”

    When I first encountered the notion of women discussing sex in honest detail, my first response was, “Oh wow. That’s cool.” My second response was, “It’s nice that there is some degree of honesty. It certainly beats the stupid, disrespectful things that I hear my male peers saying.”

  80. StacyM
    July 17, 2006 at 1:02 pm

    By the way, Sandra, thanks for the link to the Furies page. Having know a couple of women from that group, I have an interest in learning more about its history.

  81. StacyM
    July 17, 2006 at 1:03 pm

    Oh crud, I posted that to the wrong thread. I’m a dork. Yes I am…

  82. Jake
    July 17, 2006 at 9:37 pm

    And they know this because of their extensive experience living in both male and female bodies?

    Actually, there is evidence to support this notion:

    http://human-nature.com/ep/articles/ep01116126.html

    This is a link to a psychological study conducted to investigate this question. What they found (which is not suprising) is that both men and women are attracted by physical attractiveness. However, males place more weight on physical attractiveness.

    The reason for this is currently undetermined. It might be sociological, it might be biological. Nevertheless, the fact is that males pay attention to physical attractiveness more then women do.

    At any rate, neither sex ought to do anything that encouages lust. Again, check the intentions behind the way you dress to figure out what incites lust (and the probable intention of the fashion designer).

    Regardless,

    To answer a previous question:

    Jake– I’d *love* to hear what distinction you’re going to draw between “attraction” to a female form which is “normal” and “disordeered” lust.

    Normal = Attraction
    Disordered = Lust

    Attraction is simply the natural desire for the other sex, which is normal.

    Lust, however, involves a selfish notion. When lust kicks in one starts wondering what they can get from the other person, and not the other way around. This is what spawns pornography. Pornography hijacks the human sexual attraction making its end only pleasure with no regard for the individuals involved. The individual viewing the pornography almost never has any care for the “model” he or she is viewing. Pornography is an obvious product of lust.

    For those theologically inclined:

    Lust, as other disordered human desires (like greed, gluttony, etc.) is a product of a fallen human nature.

    Those who deny the validity of scriputre will have to use the long route to find this one out (but it can be discovered using the light of the human reason alone – we just haven’t gotten there yet). Scriptures are shortcuts to understanding (I mean really, who else knows what’s wrong with us better than God?)

    To respond further:

    As for the male bias–Your request for tolerance doesn’t impress me. I somehow doubt you’d let Jill or another feminist off the hook if she admitted to a “female bias.” Why don’t we jsut try to be unbiased?

    I was stating a philosophical (not to mention biological and psychological) fact. I wasn’t trying to impress anyone.

    Finally, as for respect– you’re not seriously going to argue that you can’t respect a woman you fidn attractive? Doesn’t that put you in a bit of a bind? Marriage, for instance ,won’t work out too well. assuming you need to be attracted to your wife, you’re left marrying someone you can’t respect, which doesn’t sound too good to me.

    You’ve definitly misunderstood me.

    Examine this case:

    Two women of equal physical attractiveness are trying to date a man. One always dresses like a hooker and the other respectively (in semi-formal clothes). Which one would a virtuous man (one who is not lazy, does his work, cares for those in need, and takes care of himself) prefer?

    I’ll tell you, the answer is not hard. Even if she was slightly less physically attractive, he would probably favor her (and I can tell you this from a male’s perspective).

    The same would go for a woman in a similar situation with two men (one wearing an a-shirt, boxers showing out of his baggy pants, to one who dresses in slacks and a decient shirt).

    Finally I have to comment on this from StacyM, because it shows some things.

    “Oh wow. That’s cool.” My second response was, “It’s nice that there is some degree of honesty. It certainly beats the stupid, disrespectful things that I hear my male peers saying.”

    First: we think sex is a dirty thing. It’s not. It’s a natural, beautiful thing, when it is used correctly.

    Second: I’ll second the notion that guys say stupid, disrespectful things about women. Such immature actions are evil. It’s also sometimes a way to cover up a bit of a self-conciousness void. Often, however, a guy who tries to speak up and contradict the view that women are an attractive peace of meat (as opposed to a beautiful person – notice the difference) is often made fun of and called gay, a wuss, not a man, or something stupid like that.

    However, a woman without the same sin can cast the first stone, to coin a passage.

    On a different note, the conclusion that Jill came to in the opening post:

    Which is interesting, as these two statements seem to indicate that men shouldn’t leer at women. Which apparently gets translated into telling those temptresses to cover it up, because if the dudes are looking at you, it’s because you’re dressed like a harlot and you’re inciting them.

    Is suffering from an incorrectly interperted biblical passage (the passage is taken out of context and out of meaning) as well as the logical fallacy ignoratio elenchi (the intent of the scripture passages are different from what Jill guessed they meant).

    What Jesus was actually doing there was restoring marriage to its original state as He created it (note the theological bit above). He was denouncing adultery (you must look at this teaching of Christ in connection with the total collection of teachings He gave on the subject). The sum total of New Testament teaching is that marriage is permenant and that women are to recieve the love of the husband and that husbands must love their wives up to and including dying for them.


    THE BOTTOM LINE:

    Women: dress with dignity (and don’t invite inappropriate acts).

    Men: do the same — women are people, not things.

    As such: “Dressing or putting on one’s clothes is a moral act and wearing them is a moral act.”

  83. sophonisba
    July 17, 2006 at 10:05 pm

    Two women of equal physical attractiveness are trying to date a man. One always dresses like a hooker and the other respectively (in semi-formal clothes). Which one would a virtuous man (one who is not lazy, does his work, cares for those in need, and takes care of himself) prefer?

    I’ll tell you, the answer is not hard.

    Of course not, it’s easy. He would talk to them, and see which one he likes better. He couldn’t very well decide which one to date without finding out a little bit about what they’re like as people.

    Oh, sorry, that’s not what you had in mind, is it? I got confused when you said “women are people, not things.”

    You’re right in that lots of men would prefer a woman who dresses in a nice pencil skirt and heels (corporate semiformal workwear) to one who wears sweatpants, t-shirts, and comfortable shoes (hookerwear – you do know that’s how hookers dress, right? You weren’t just fantasizing?)

    But of course those fashion preferences have nothing to do with virtue.

  84. Jake
    July 17, 2006 at 11:37 pm

    Of course not, it’s easy. He would talk to them, and see which one he likes better. He couldn’t very well decide which one to date without finding out a little bit about what they’re like as people.

    Certainly, but what people wear displays a bit about who they are (the situation I proposed suggested judgement on only externals, because physical attractiveness is the current topic of debate in this thread).

    You’re right in that lots of men would prefer a woman who dresses in a nice pencil skirt and heels (corporate semiformal workwear) to one who wears sweatpants, t-shirts, and comfortable shoes (hookerwear – you do know that’s how hookers dress, right? You weren’t just fantasizing?)

    You got the idea when I compared semiformal to what a hooker wears, so there was no reason for the ad hominem attack (in bold, above). Let’s keep this discussion clean and not allow emotion to cloud our judgements.

    But of course those fashion preferences have nothing to do with virtue.

    Actually they do. Fashion preferences in general need temperence – which is a virtue (as Aristotle explains is the balance — not necessarily the median — between two extremes). Not too little…not too much.

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