I have always been conscientious on how to teach my dynamic daughter (DD) age appropriate topics in stages….especially when it comes to her sexuality. We are in a string of generations that it has become more and more difficult in helping them want to go against the grain….to teach them to listen to their inner voice (with the help of the Holy Spirit) guiding them and protecting them….to teach them about some of the road bumps that can be there without overwhelming their innocent minds with too much info too soon.
It is an amazing delicate balance…..and NO one can tell you how to do it….because we all have our own unique situations…personal experiences….struggles….circumstances that determine what is right for your family verses the one next door.
But we can all use guidelines….thoughts….support to help us maneuver this crazy world.
When I was looking up some stuff to discuss with my DD, I came across a feminist site about how we are teaching a rape culture. That the message we are sending is “don’t get raped rather than don’t rape”. The “beef” this group has, from what I was able to tell, is we as women (girls) should be able to wear whatever we want and it is not our responsibility in anyway shape or form in how a man/boy may respond or act toward us. I am so tired of this mantra.
WE AS WOMEN DO HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY….
AS WELL AS THE GUY!!!!
There are so many facets to this conversation….I will try not go on too many tangents…..lol….but this is something I have really been reflecting on even more since my last postings about our dressing with dignity….etc….
I think how we dress not only influences the men, boys,
but women, and within ourselves.
Here are my thoughts and even my personal experiences.
When I wear something a bit tighter, more revealing, less guarding of my body’s figure then I am leaving myself up for vulnerabilities. I am leaving myself open to a guy looking at me in less than chaste thoughts (and that’s not fair to him either!)…..I am leaving myself open to being compared, scrutinized by another woman, thus not nurturing a “sisterly” bond……and I am leaving myself open to feeling self-conscience, critical, or even feeling naked…… It is truly a no win situation when we continue to insist on walking around “naked”.
Yet, the balance and struggle we have in this generation of walking around with spandex, yoga pants, that leave no imagination, or skirts, dresses, that barely cover the rump…..heaven forbid if we bend over……the balance is trying to find something that is still fun, makes you feel pretty and not frumpy.
OH the days of Scarlet O’Hara……okay they had busts about to burst out….lol…..
It seems like women have always struggled with wanting to look attractive…to draw the attention of the male suitor. And now it has even become a competition (conscience or unconscious) among women of who can wear, what and when.
Okay I am going on some serious tangent I know….I guess it just makes me sad because we are all so beautifully made.….and I truly don’t believe God ever meant us to be walking around letting everyone else see every intimate curve of ourselves for others to see, Lear, compare, lust…..and even ourselves feel judged, righteous, etc……
And I think it throws in an interesting twist if you as a woman or even some gentlemen have any sort of body distortions (dismorphia) or traumas……or even in the fitness industry of this expectation to “look” a certain part…..
Maybe I’m more sensitive to all this than others because of having experienced sexual harassment, being objectified, and abuses at an early age and throughout most of my life….but I like to look at it as, all of that could have made me bitter and angry and want to be like so many of the women out there who say “I am going to wear what I want” or “I have no responsibility to how he looks at me”…
But I know better….I know every action has a reaction…..every choice has a consequence.
This is by no way me saying a women deserves to be sexually assaulted or harassed…..I have been there……I didn’t deserve it.
What I am saying is….
What if I could’ve maybe thought about my role and responsibility as a women…..
what if I was more compassionate to the delicate balance of how we as women and men DO THINK DIFFERENTLY.
My no is still a no…..and a man who doesn’t respect that… has his own wrongness that must be addressed.
I was watching an episode of “Switched at Birth” and the one young girl and a boy she had dated, were at a party, things got out of hand…..things got blurred….and I really really respect how they handled the episode. It was amazing because they truly touched on all sides of the story. They showed how rape is not always cut and dry especially when a person knows the other person. And ladies…..most rapes aren’t strangers, aren’t violent…..most are not only confusing when it happens…but are confusing for years to come: mind, body and soul.
Again…..this is why I think when it comes to our clothing…we must guard our most precious gift….because even if a woman is not ever physically raped, harassed, assaulted……how many men are thinking impure thoughts…..how many of us are being mentally raped, harassed, abused because of how we present ourselves.
And take it on the other aspect…..
take the guy totally out of the picture and just focus on how our clothing makes us feel?!
If we focus on being “sexy” or being the “I’d hit that Mom” then there is something wrong. When we find it flattering that someone obviously looked us up and down in a suggestive way….that is not our spouse…..or made a suggestive remark…..where are our priorities….???
So what if a person is in the industry of being in workout gear all the time? Well there are some really cute tunics and stuff that can be thrown on to not have them feel so vulnerable, so naked in between clients, or going from the gym to the store, to the house, to where ever….
Heck how about we give up all the tight, spandex stuff…There are some really cute work out clothes and gear that are still lightweight, fun, functional and not legging like….
..I even struggle with this …in that I like my yoga pants at home…they are comfy and sometimes they are just easy to go out in….but I make sure I have a tunic, sweater, whatever that covers me… helps me feel armored….helps me feel respectful not only to myself but to those around me….especially other men.
I watch my beautiful young girl budding into an amazing woman and I want her to feel armored for anything that is thrown her way. That includes teaching her WE DO HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES in how we dress…how we carry ourselves….and how it makes us feel.
I truly believe part of why so many women struggle with body, self image issues, is because we are all walking around naked.
We are saturated by billboards, commercials, media, friends, even at church with people walking around “naked”…..and what I find the most interesting is …
do men walk around in spandex? In yoga pants? little tank tops?
NO……so why do we?
***Side note: All the books I have pictured in this posting are books that have helped me over the years with my DD….and continue to help me teach her, guide her, empower her….to become a Wonderful Warrior Woman! And thus embodying the bible scripture of true freedom with her sexuality….the scripture of being “Naked without Shame….”