Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dear Women, What kind of women are we?

I am scared.  Certain themes are appearing in articles and comments in the media, and they scare me, because they mock the influence that we as women can have on the world.    

“Men should just control their thoughts.  They have their ability to choose what thoughts they have, so why does it matter if I dress immodestly?”

“There is a double standard in the church.  Women are supposed to be sexy enough to attract a man so that we can get married, but modest enough to not promote sexual thoughts.”

Those are just two themes that I have heard and seen recently.  And both are wrong.  

There are lots of different kinds of men in the world, but for now, I’m going to focus on two extremes to make my point.

There are men who don’t respect women.  They look at women to see their body, not the woman herself.  Then there are men who do respect women.  They look at women and yes, appreciate their body, but can still see the individual inside.  Now, let’s place these two kinds of men in a crowded area and have women walk through.  Who do you think the first kind of men will spend more time with?  My guess is women in tight or low cut or high cut clothes.  Why?  Because they want to see a pretty body, regardless of the woman.  Who do you think the second kind of man will spend more time with?  My guess is that they will spend more time with the women who dress and act modestly.  Why?   Because they want to respect the women they talk to, and that is easier to do when those women are dressing modestly. 

Now I’m done talking about men in the first group, and I’m going to talk about the men in the second group.  These men are living in a world filled with pornographic images, sexually explicit movies, and immodest women and girls.  They are trying desperately to control their thoughts, even though they can’t go through a single day without seeing someone or something that could trigger an immoral thought.  Yes, it is their responsibility to control their thoughts.  But those seeds are not their fault.  It comes from living in this world. 

Women, are we planting those seeds in their minds?  Would these men be comfortable around us?  Or would they turn away?  When I was a freshman and sophomore in high school, I spent a lot of time with my older brother and his friends.  One day, a girl with clothes that barely covered her walked past, and all the boys turned away so that they didn’t have to look at her.  They warned their other friends who hadn’t seen, and the formed a semi-circle away from the immodest dress to protect each other. 

There is no double standard in the teachings of the gospel on how we should dress.  The only thing I have ever been taught on this topic for my whole life is that we should dress and act in a way that does not bring unnecessary attention to ourselves.  That means covering your body and avoiding tight clothing and being kind, not rude.  The other half of this “double standard” is the media’s teachings, not Heavenly Father’s.  Being sexy enough to attract a man so that you can get married is NOT one of His teachings. 

Women, these ideas are a way that Satan is attacking us.  He is tearing families apart, and he’s doing it by filling our minds with lies.  Modest is a spiritual law, not a physical law.  Dressing modestly allows the Spirit to be with us, whereas immodest dress encourages improper behavior. 

He’s attacking us because we can be a force for good.  We as women can influence our families and friends in so many ways!  But Satan wants us to focus on mortal things so that we forget the immortal.  Heavenly Father lives!  He sent his son, Jesus Christ to pay for our sins and our pain.  He died for us, and rose on the third day.  We are daughters of God.  We are more than our bodies, and we are more than this world.  We need to stand up now and stop listening to the lies. 

Stop tearing down men.  They are good, and they need our help, just as we do theirs. 

Stop focusing so much on the things of this world.  Beauty is so much more a spiritual thing than it is a physical thing. 

Open your eyes!  Look for the beautiful things each day and learn to cherish them. 

I’m not angry, just scared.  I love my brothers, and my dad, and my husband.  Thinking about the amount of garbage that they have to see and avoid every day breaks my heart.  My children will grow up in a world much worse than the one we are in today.  And their children, too.

Women, let’s make a stand for what is right.  Let’s reevaluate our dress to make sure that we are helping men, rather than adding to the weight they have to carry.  Let’s learn what real beauty is, and strive to fill our lives with it.  Let’s make homes where our families can be safe from the lies of the world. 

Let’s be modest. 

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