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Women's Dress and Men's Thoughts

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56 minutes ago, bluebell said:

The bolded is probably where the disconnect between us is, because when I said "everyone should just learn to keep their clothes on and certain parts covered" it was specifically about flashing.

I think it is excellent advice even when not in reference to flashing. But we can disagree about that.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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28 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

For what it may be worth, when my young men told me that a certain young woman's clothing choices made them feel uncomfortable and threatened at church -- 'yucky' was the word one of them used -- we had a good discussion about their need to feel safe and her need to feel safe and how best to balance those competing needs. I was proud of them that they brainstormed ways they could feel OK without making her feel unwelcome in any way.

My understanding is that the Young Women president had a slightly more difficult time with the other Young Women, but I don't know the details of those conversations.

They are blessed to have had you as their leader.

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32 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

For what it may be worth, when my young men told me that a certain young woman's clothing choices made them feel uncomfortable and threatened at church -- 'yucky' was the word one of them used -- we had a good discussion about their need to feel safe and her need to feel safe and how best to balance those competing needs. I was proud of them that they brainstormed ways they could feel OK without making her feel unwelcome in any way.

I think such discussions about how youth as individuals feel about others and what they should personally do to learn to cope in difficult situations as opposed to leaders trying to fix everything for them is a better way to go.

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4 minutes ago, Calm said:

 

I think such discussions about how youth as individuals feel about others and what they should personally do to learn to cope in difficult situations as opposed to leaders trying to fix everything for them is a better way to go.

Isn’t that what he did?

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18 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

I think it is excellent advice even when not in reference to flashing. But we can disagree about that.

I think bluebell may be thinking the issue being discuseed in the thread is what parts actually need to be covered given the opening post had women and only women being required by their MP to cover not only bare arms, but also any clothed arms with coats or sweaters in the presence of possibly short sleeved elders.

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2 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Isn’t that what he did?

Did I say he didn't?

You might want to stop assuming posts from certain posters are always in disagreement.  It would help in not wasting yours or others' time or patience.

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1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

Several weeks ago, a young man, about 25 years old, visited our ward. Long hair, beard, ragged clothes, multiple piercings, ear gauges, etc. He sat by the missionaries. They engaged him in conversation. He left after sacrament meeting. No one said anything to him about his clothing.

Two weeks later, our two missionaries had become a threesome, or so it appeared. With them was that same young man dressed in a suit, sans piercing objects and gauges, no beard, short hair. He stayed for all the meetings.

The son of Presbyterian ministers, he had been looking for the true church. He had had some LDS friends, so he decided to check out their Church. Obviously conversant with Christian history, theology, and ancient scriptures, he eagerly participate in the SS lesson from the New Testament. 

The Restoration appeals to him. He has decided to join the Church and is planning to move to SLC and apply to BYU. I don’t know if his change in appearance was because the elders spoke to him about it, that he brought it up, or that he was keen on picking up the visual cues. I’ll have to ask them.

 

On the other hand, once we were at a ward dinner. Someone came up to me and said, “Bishop, there’s a man who speaks only Spanish at the kitchen door.” I went to the door. He was a disheveled Cuban refugee. He said he would wash dishes for a meal.  I said, “Of course! Come in.” He said thanks and observed that everyone he had met looked at him with disgust, but here he felt welcomed. I said that it might have something to do with the swastika tattoo on his forehead. He asked what that meant. When I explained it was the symbol of Hitler’s Nazis, he was mortified. He had seen it in a tattoo shop and decided to have it done because he thought it looked cool. He had no idea what it meant nor why it so repelled people around him.

 

Love these two stories!!  Both are good examples for the subject at hand. By not saying something and waiting it out, you get a better picture. A young woman might dress inappropriately (not enough to call it porn) and think this is a way to get some attention. She may have got the wrong idea about it and then realize her mistake, on her own. I did this once, went braless. I'm pretty flat chested so no biggy. But on my own, I felt very uncomfortable the whole evening out at an outdoor party in my single days. Not proud of myself, but no one really even noticed, lol.

What if the young man who later joined the church and the guy with the swastika tattoo, had been made to feel bad about their looks, how would that have changed these happy endings? See how that works? 

Edited by Tacenda

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4 minutes ago, Calm said:

Did I say he didn't?

You might want to stop assuming posts from certain posters are always in disagreement.  It would help in not wasting yours or others' time or patience.

I didn’t understand your reply. That’s why I asked. Having a bad day?

 

Edited by Bernard Gui

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7 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Love these two stories, both are good examples for the subject at hand. By not saying something and waiting it out, you get a better picture. A young woman might dress inappropriately (not enough to call it porn), and think this is a way to get some attention. She may have got the wrong idea about it and then realizes her mistake. What if, like with the young man who later joined and the guy with the swastika tattoo, had been made to feel bad about their looks. See how that works? 

Yes. That’s why I posted them. But you will notice that in the Parable of the Cuban Refugee, I did feel the obligation to speak out and inform him of his error, but for his welfare and in a loving way, not for any gratification nor empowerment for myself.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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1 minute ago, Bernard Gui said:

Yes. That’s why I posted them. But you will notice that in the Parable of the Cuban Refugee, I did feel the need to speak out and inform him of his error, but for his welfare and in a loving way, not for any gratification nor empowerment for myself.

Oh, that was far more than pointing out immodesty. That could get him killed, lol! But good on you! :)

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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

It has been my experience that young people in the Church may be made uncomfortable at church by things that 'greater society' merely overlooks. We are, after all, a people quite apart in most societies. Church attendance -- and I include all Church activities in this -- is a place where many of my young men specifically sought refuge from the world.

I used "for example" meaning those kind wouldn't be the only such behaviour.

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34 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

To me it’s fundamentally different. If there is a specific dress code, I think it’s fine For leaders to enforce the dress code. (No vulgar shirts, shorts to the knee). Enforcement should be even between boys and girls. The problem for the church is that it uses ill defined terms and puts it in terms of women contributing to problems for men if it’s too “tight” or “short”. So a young woman may think she is fine and be somewhat traumatized when a leader approaches her. 

The FSOY is very vague and subjective. Also, church does not have a dress code. 

This is what visitors are told to wear. 

“Just try to look nice. You’re welcome to come in any clothes you feel comfortable in. Most men wear suits or button-up shirts and ties, women typically wear dresses or skirts, and children usually dress up too.” https://www.comeuntochrist.org/belong/church-community/what-to-expect-at-church

 

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19 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

 Having a bad day?

 

Nope.  :)  had a good ten hours sleep in fact.

You might want to label questions asked for clarification, such as saying "I don't understand" since English is often ambiguous.  I have found I get answers that provide the info I want when I do that as opposed to ones that go off on tangents.

Edited by Calm

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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Are you asking if she would have been told that or if she would have inferred that? I never spoke to her, and she certainly continued to attend. What do you think should happen in this case and in the case of my young man in the vulgar T-shirt? I'm genuinely asking, having been in both situations.

I think I would have asked him questions or had one of the YM leaders ask him questions. Depending on the situation (you obviously know more about him: first time to church, short on funds, going through a rebellious period etc)  and being prayerful and loving about it they would be somewhere along the lines of: What are your feelings about what is on your shirt? Did you have a reason you wore it tonight? How do you feel when you wear it? What reactions do you get when you wear it? 

Just some kind of questions that give you more understanding of why he wore it. Then I would have to go from there as to what I would do next.

The difference I see in this and the modesty idea, as calm sort of talked about, is not that the picture was modest by any means, but when you remark on a girl's modesty she sees you as looking at her body. When you remark on someone's picture on a t-shirt, generally, it is unconnected to her body in her mind. 

So personally I am going to treat it differently. But I've never been in YW or YM so maybe I just don't know better. 

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26 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Evidence of how American-centric this thread has been is that people seem to have completely overlooked that, for many cultures, the reaction to 'immodesty' is shock, embarrassment, discomfort or even fear -- not lustful thoughts.

I don't think it is so much overlooked because the same reactions are present in American culture, but that many of us are focusing more on the typical cases that are likely borderline or even modest by most local church members' standard, but a particular leader or adult takes it upon themselves to criticize the young women (seen in blogs, on Facebook, twitter, heard walking down church corridors, taught me and others in classes and across the pulpit stuff).  So fear and shock aren't likely to be included in most people's reaction.

Plus I don't see any significant overlooking of at least embarrassment and discomfort, I think I used "uncomfortable" or something similar myself in at least one post.  The reason why " lust" is generally focused on in this thread and others talking about this issue of how modesty is taught in church and through church culture is most of us probably don't see shock, embarrassment, discomfort, or fear as thoughts that need to be controlled because they are sinful.  So when leaders focus on modesty as helping others' control their thoughts, it is reasonable to think "lust". 

Edited by Calm
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Sincere question...

Does anyone remember church leaders (feel free to mention local ones, but identify them as such please) teach that we can influence others' thoughts of greed and so we should choose our clothing and accessories, vehicles, and even houses and yards (or anything else that might be examples) so as not to present temptations to those prone to thoughts of greed.

Can you think of anything similar taught (where concern for our use of something is about how our using or having something might influence the other to desire it in sinfuls ways)?

Hope that was clear what I am looking for.

Edited by Calm
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1 minute ago, Rain said:

I think I would have asked him questions or had one of the YM leaders ask him questions. Depending on the situation (you obviously know more about him: first time to church, short on funds, going through a rebellious period etc)  and being prayerful and loving about it they would be somewhere along the lines of: What are your feelings about what is on your shirt? Did you have a reason you wore it tonight? How do you feel when you wear it? What reactions do you get when you wear it? 

Asking a boy about his feelings isn't going to fly, at least in these parts. I suspect that's one of the reasons why boys have male advisers and girls have females!

FWIW, my conversation was something like this:

Do you have any idea how lucky I am to be your adviser? There is literally nowhere else I'd rather be right now than here at the chapel with all you guys [NB: complete truth, and I knew he already knew that]. God must really love me. Do you remember that time we _____. I'll never forget that as long as I live. In fact, someday we're going to be in the Celestial Kingdom together all reminiscing about that!

Now, things are about to get awkward for both of us, but that shirt you're wearing? It's not on. I reckon you thought it was funny, but it's actually scaring people. I know you well enough to know you wouldn't do that on purpose [NB: total lie! but sometimes we tell people lies in the hope they'll believe us and live up to them, I think], but I can't not tell you cos you're too important to me.

So, quick question: I would rather cut off my second-favourite body part than make you feel like you don't want to be here tonight, so how do you think we can fix this so that you and everyone else is OK? I don't want you to go home, and I certainly don't want you to feel embarrassed. So what do you think you can do? And remember that I'm behind you on this one, so I'll do what you need me to as well.

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Just confirmed with my daughter what I said above.  She had a good thought to add.  Anything that we are talking about is "relative to the body".  

Too short? That's relative to where it falls on your legs. Too low cut? Relative to where it dips on your chest. Too tight? Relative to how it hugs your body.

Or how my daughter's relative compliments her on having modest prom dresses? Relative to how it looks on her body and boy, does this make her feel uncomfortable.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Calm said:

Can you think of anything similar taught (where concern for our use of something is about how our using or having something might influence the other to desire it in sinfuls ways)?

Yes, I have many times heard that we should be modest in our appearance so as not to appear focussed on the things of the world (including wealth). I can't tell you if it was all local or not. But the Book of Mormon is pretty clear on this.

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6 minutes ago, Calm said:

Sincere question...

Does anyone remember church leaders (feel free to mention local ones, but identify them as such please) teach that we can influence others' thoughts of greed and so we should choose our clothing and accessories, vehicles, and even houses and yards (or anything else that might be examples) so as not to present temptations to those prone to thoughts of greed.

Can you think of anything similar taught (where concern for our use of something is about how our using or having something might influence the other to desire it in sinfuls ways)?

Hope that was clear what I am looking for.

Perhaps envy or coveting would be a better one? We shouldn’t display our success so that others won’t feel envious? I certainly have never heard this taught. 
 

 

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6 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Asking a boy about his feelings isn't going to fly, at least in these parts. I suspect that's one of the reasons why boys have male advisers and girls have females!

FWIW, my conversation was something like this:

Do you have any idea how lucky I am to be your adviser? There is literally nowhere else I'd rather be right now than here at the chapel with all you guys [NB: complete truth, and I knew he already knew that]. God must really love me. Do you remember that time we _____. I'll never forget that as long as I live. In fact, someday we're going to be in the Celestial Kingdom together all reminiscing about that!

Now, things are about to get awkward for both of us, but that shirt you're wearing? It's not on. I reckon you thought it was funny, but it's actually scaring people. I know you well enough to know you wouldn't do that on purpose [NB: total lie! but sometimes we tell people lies in the hope they'll believe us and live up to them, I think], but I can't not tell you cos you're too important to me.

So, quick question: I would rather cut off my second-favourite body part than make you feel like you don't want to be here tonight, so how do you think we can fix this so that you and everyone else is OK? I don't want you to go home, and I certainly don't want you to feel embarrassed. So what do you think you can do? And remember that I'm behind you on this one, so I'll do what you need me to as well.

You did it much better than I was coming up with, but it is in the direction I was trying to go - asking him questions so he can think through it and make his own choices. I suspect that is how many loving YW leaders would handle some of the more extreme cases with young women.  

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49 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

But the Book of Mormon is pretty clear on this.

I agree.  It makes me surprised actually I don't hear of it much at church and can't recall hearing it from General Authorities or church officers.

The difference in local maybe because we (in my area) have bought into too much of the greater consumer culture.  I get the impression that many around here feel as long as we give a significant portion to others (and they are very generous in terms of time and money given to others), we don't need to be concerned about other effects on others (like emotions relating to economic class division).  I have heard quite often in the US and Canada from church members as well as others "it's my money, I earned it, so I should be able to spend it on what I want" which included implying that others telling them they should spend more on charity or less on toys or entertainment is insulting and inappropriate (could be because I hang out a lot with business people who both have money to play with plus there is an American cultural concept of independence meaning others not telling you what to do, imo)

Edited by Calm

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Well, both my Stake Presidents in this area were very wealthy men and their homes, suits, cars etc...reflected that. A former area seventy also was rich with a big house. My former Stake President who is a GA also has a beautiful lake cabin. 

I can’t remember ever being taught not to buy something or live somewhere because  of how it makes others feel. And It does make people feel things like envy and jealousy but it also makes people feel inadequate and intimidated. 

 

*this ties in with the deeper meaning of modesty.

*sometimes, I think we reward narcissism in the church. 

*I have some pretty introverted kids...a lot of leaders seem to like the “show ponies” a lot more.

Edited by bsjkki
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