Disclaimer: My husband and I wrote this response together. I believe it was important to discuss these comments and questions together to offer as much clarity as possible.
These past few weeks have been shocking, to say the least. I have weathered the most hateful comments of my life. People have called me a countless number of names, some I can’t even repeat. Women have talked about my husband with graphic sexuality asking for favors and soliciting their bodies to him.
Furthermore, several readers claim I did this for the attention and money. I thank God He didn’t show me beforehand the reach my article would have, or else I would have never posted it. Second, I have not received any form of compensation for the interviews I have done, just to make that clear. And third, I have seen the difference between disagreement and hate. Those who have said cruel words to me, know that they have been felt. I understand how it feels to be disliked and bullied, so if the goal was to hurt me, you’ve succeeded.
But still, I stand by my post. As I have clearly stated in the opening sentence of my article, this is my opinion for my life and I have no judgment for anyone who does not share my views. I still believe God laid this message on my heart for a reason, and I don’t expect everyone to have the same convictions or views.
Of the many thousands of comments I’ve received, I thought it would be beneficial to further explain myself by speaking to a few common responses and/or questions. I have listed them below.
1. “Why are you blaming women? I should be able to wear whatever I want, it’s men who need to work on their self-control. Men are going to look anyway.”
Sure, if a man wants to look, they’re going to look. But, as a Christian, it is my responsibility to be mindful of the things that may cause my brothers (and sisters) in Christ to stumble. This includes my words, my actions, and yes, even my wardrobe.
Let’s just say a woman walked into park topless, is it solely the man’s responsibility to “not look”? No. Responsible sexuality should be led by both men and women.
When men or women act individually minded (thinking of only themselves) rather than community-minded (courteous of others), we put our culture in danger. In reference to the original statement, “I should be able to wear whatever I want” I want to clarify that you can. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. And let’s not forget that 25-year-old men are not the only ones with eyes.
For example, If I’m individually minded, not thinking of how my outfit may affect others in my community, I might not realize the effect I have on my neighbor’s 13-year-old son entering the age of sexuality. I might not realize the effect I have on a mother’s daughter who may be struggling with the shape of her body. And I might not realize the effect I have on the bus driver who may be fighting through his own battle with sex addiction.
Sexual responsibility is for both men and women for the benefit of our community.
Yes, men must learn to have eyes for a woman’s heart, character, and face, not just her body. Women must learn that men are scientifically and biologically far more visual than a woman and that a woman’s choice of clothing, whether they accept it or not, has a variation of effects on not just men, but young boys and girls too.
2. “Jeans are no different than leggings, where do you draw the line?”
Jeans are different than leggings. Just like a shirt without a bra is different than a shirt with a bra. Men are biologically motivated by the form of a female body. Science tells us it’s the male’s way of defining a good mate.
This attraction to form, is thought by many to be the primary driver behind the rise of breast and buttock implants in the past 20 years. To men, the clearer the woman’s form to their eyes, the more sexually stimulated they are. In my opinion, this is also one of the reasons why leggings have become so popular. Women have naturally noticed more male eyes in their direction when wearing form-fitting leggings. This has reinforced their choice to wear them more often. At the biological level, this is normal. Add cultural and community responsibility to the equation, and you have to add other factors into consideration.
Furthermore, men are also attracted to certain micro points on the woman’s body. As I mentioned earlier, a shirt without a bra is different than a shirt with a bra. Ask any honest man and he will tell you that seeing defined nipples through a women’s shirt, is more sexually stimulating than a breast covered with a bra and a shirt. But this goes even further when a man can see the outline of a woman’s butt, or her underwear line, or even the outline of what makes her a woman, their sexual stimulation naturally increases.
In my experience, many women wear leggings that show such details. So whether you believe it or not, leggings are different than jeans and they do increase sexual stimulation. Just like a shirt, without a bra.
3. “What about bathing suits?”
In my opinion, there is no bad clothing, just inappropriate times to wear them. Now, we all have the freedom to choose when and if something is inappropriate for our own lives. For me, leggings are inappropriate in public, but not inappropriate in my home or if I’m wearing them beneath a dress.
The same logic might go for a bathing suit. While a bathing suit may be appropriate for you in the pool or at the beach, it may not be appropriate at the office. Or leggings might be appropriate for you in your pilates class, but might not be for running errands.
Personally, and like many of you, I am redefining what’s appropriate as I grow older, become wiser, and understand my own personal convictions. As for you, it may be a bikini, for me, it might mean a one-piece with some board shorts.
Whatever the case may be, we must make our wearable decisions based on what’s appropriate to us, our spouses, our community, and for me, what God has put upon my heart.
My husband and I plan on continuing to edit and add more responses to this post in an effort to bring clarity to where we stand on the conversation.
For now, we have disabled the comments section as it has proven to be uncivil and hurtful toward us and others. If you would like to join the conversation with respect to others, please feel free to join us on my Facebook Page here.