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Women's Dress and Men's Thoughts


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16 hours ago, cinepro said:

There seems to be some sensitivity to the rules and guidelines in the Church about how women dress, especially when these rules are implicitly (and sometimes overtly) tied to how men think. 

The most famous quote on this subject is obviously from Elder Oaks, who said this:
 

In my recent thread about the stricter dress guidelines in my daughter's mission (they must wear sweaters or jackets when at the Church in the presence of Elders), this was said:
 

So I need someone to answer this question:

If it turned out that the ways women dress does have an influence on men's thoughts and they way they see them, why would it be wrong to tell women that?

With that question in mind (and assuming that simply telling girls and women how the world works isn't a bad thing), what is the problem with letting women know, or reminding them, that dressing in certain ways does affect men's thoughts (and in ways they might not appreciate)?

First, if anyone wants to argue that it isn't the case, they are welcome to do so.  I believe it is the case that the way women dress affect men's minds, so I'll proceed on that assumption.  Here's one example of the science on that:

Second, I will note that I do recognize the idea that it would be great if this weren't the case.  And I suspect Oaks would agree.  If the Church had a magic wand or rock that it could wave and get all teenage boys to stop being affected by how women dress, I think they would use it. 

Third, there appears to be an argument that by somehow mentioning this to women, it is giving license to or encouraging men to have those thoughts (or somehow creating those thoughts).  I do not see how that is the case.  Especially in the Church, boys are pleaded with to not have those kinds of thoughts.

I suppose we could argue about whether or not those ideas are genetics vs. environment.  As with most things, it's probably a bit of both.  But at the end of the day, I'm willing to bet that any 15yo heterosexual boy is going to physically react to a pretty woman in a bikini the same way, regardless of the society or culture they were brought up (their feelings about how they reacted will probably vary, of course).

When people got the vapors about Oaks' comment, one thing that no one seemed to point out was, that for all the hubbub, he was right.  I think that's what upset people the most. It's like at some point society decided that if we just pretended this wasn't the case, men would change and women would be empowered. 

I think we can all agree that we wish this was the case, but at the end of the day, what's the honest, rational and scientific thing to tell women about the way they dress?

 

 A healthy male produces between 12 to 17 times the amount of testosterone a woman does (https://therationalmale.com/2011/10/04/women-sex/).  That's biology that might be challenging for the Spirit to overcome, every day.

From wikipedia which is nothing but the truth 100% of the time, right?

Men's levels of testosterone, a hormone known to affect men's mating behaviour, changes depending on whether they are exposed to an ovulating or nonovulating woman's body odour. Men who are exposed to scents of ovulating women maintained a stable testosterone level that was higher than the testosterone level of men exposed to nonovulation cues. Testosterone levels and sexual arousal in men are heavily aware of hormone cycles in females.[48] This may be linked to the ovulatory shift hypothesis,[49] where males are adapted to respond to the ovulation cycles of females by sensing when they are most fertile and whereby females look for preferred male mates when they are the most fertile; both actions may be driven by hormones.

 

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11 hours ago, filovirus said:

I am reasonably fit. When I wear compression or run without a shirt I am aware that I get more looks.

Do you believe it's your responsibility not to wear compression or run without a shirt so that you don't become pornography in those people's eyes?

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3 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

When I was newly married at BYU, I was waiting in line at the BYU florist when I heard a conversation being me. What struck me was the accent of the male speaking, and I literally had to hold onto the counter because his voice was so twitterpating. I told myself "You're a married woman, don't look behind you!" And I didn't. 

It turns out, the accent was Scottish. Fortunately 20+ years later, I can enjoy beautiful accents without any danger, especially now that I live in Scotland!

;)

Ah!  I love me the Scottish accent.  My ancestry is heavily Scottish (probably obvious, since my last name is "Macdonald").  Every now and then I'll use Google Maps to zero in on Camus-luinie, a small valley in Kintail Parish, Ross & Cromarty, just a few miles northeast of Eilean Donan Castle, where my great-great-grandfather was born and raised.

My wife and I are discussing moving to Scotland (or possibly Ireland) for a year or so, after all our kids have moved out.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, nuclearfuels said:

 A healthy male produces between 12 to 17 times the amount of testosterone a woman does (https://therationalmale.com/2011/10/04/women-sex/).  That's biology that might be challenging for the Spirit to overcome, every day.

From wikipedia which is nothing but the truth 100% of the time, right?

Men's levels of testosterone, a hormone known to affect men's mating behaviour, changes depending on whether they are exposed to an ovulating or nonovulating woman's body odour. Men who are exposed to scents of ovulating women maintained a stable testosterone level that was higher than the testosterone level of men exposed to nonovulation cues. Testosterone levels and sexual arousal in men are heavily aware of hormone cycles in females.[48] This may be linked to the ovulatory shift hypothesis,[49] where males are adapted to respond to the ovulation cycles of females by sensing when they are most fertile and whereby females look for preferred male mates when they are the most fertile; both actions may be driven by hormones.

 

Perhaps red tents are in order.  To protect the men, that is. 

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Do you believe it's your responsibility not to wear compression or run without a shirt so that you don't become pornography in those people's eyes?

I run without a shirt only on hot day and only on days I will be running for an hour or more. The reason is to prevent 'ahem' "nipple chaffing", which is a common problem for men runners. If I am out for a shorter duration I always cover up with a workout shirt. So going shirtless is purely to address my own comfort post-run.

I run with compression shorts or tights on colder days. Compression clothing highlight the physical form, mainly muscle mass, more than loose fitting, and maybe even more than nothing. Again, compression offers warmth, among other benefits, so it is mainly for comfort.

However, with that being said, compression short and/or tights also offer views of a 'ahem' "man bump", to put it nicely. In the running community it is perfectly acceptable for men to use these compression shorts or tights without covering the offending area. I always wear a pair of loose fitting shorts over my compression to cover that area so I "don't become pornography" in my own eyes, but not necessarily because I am concerned about how others see me (although I'd be lying if I didn't state that I don't want to be perceived that way either). I don't feel comfortable exposing that part of me.

Same for hot summer days. There are 4 lengths of running shorts to choose from, ranging from 3 inch to 9 inch inseams (3, 5, 7, and 9). I won't wear the 3 or 5 inch shorts because it exposes too much of the high leg. When I ran X-country and track in high school and the uniform consisted of the 3 inch shorts, I would always wear compression shorts underneath. I guess it has stuck with me since then.

But the short answer is yes, I cover up as I feel appropriate so I don't expose too much of my body. And yes, I believe it is my responsibility to cover up my private areas from the masses.

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8 minutes ago, filovirus said:

I run without a shirt only on hot day and only on days I will be running for an hour or more. The reason is to prevent 'ahem' "nipple chaffing", which is a common problem for men runners. If I am out for a shorter duration I always cover up with a workout shirt. So going shirtless is purely to address my own comfort post-run.

I run with compression shorts or tights on colder days. Compression clothing highlight the physical form, mainly muscle mass, more than loose fitting, and maybe even more than nothing. Again, compression offers warmth, among other benefits, so it is mainly for comfort.

However, with that being said, compression short and/or tights also offer views of a 'ahem' "man bump", to put it nicely. In the running community it is perfectly acceptable for men to use these compression shorts or tights without covering the offending area. I always wear a pair of loose fitting shorts over my compression to cover that area so I "don't become pornography" in my own eyes, but not necessarily because I am concerned about how others see me (although I'd be lying if I didn't state that I don't want to be perceived that way either). I don't feel comfortable exposing that part of me.

Same for hot summer days. There are 4 lengths of running shorts to choose from, ranging from 3 inch to 9 inch inseams (3, 5, 7, and 9). I won't wear the 3 or 5 inch shorts because it exposes too much of the high leg. When I ran X-country and track in high school and the uniform consisted of the 3 inch shorts, I would always wear compression shorts underneath. I guess it has stuck with me since then.

But the short answer is yes, I cover up as I feel appropriate so I don't expose too much of my body. And yes, I believe it is my responsibility to cover up my private areas from the masses.

So you would agree it is okay for a girl to exercise in clothing that is appropriate for an event/activity? Because, the problem is, some do not. Some feel artificial standards should be placed on what women wear to make men more comfortable. That thinking is ridiculous. 

 

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4 minutes ago, rpn said:

Yes, because the idea that women are responsible for men's thought is demeaning completely.   

How about the idea that we, through our words and deeds (including how we dress) can influence the thoughts of others?  Is that a fair statement?

4 minutes ago, rpn said:

More importantly, men excuse themselves by saying, "if she hadn't done X, I wouldn't have done that", or "I can't help myself", when we all know that we are fully able and responsible for our agency.

I don't think this is a matter of "men excus{ing} themselves."  Rather, I think it is a matter of each of us regulating our words and behaviors.

Clothing is a form of speech.  See Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971).  This U.S. Supreme Court case dealt with freedom of speech where the "speech" is a form of clothing.  Our laws protect all sorts of symbolic "speech," such as the wearing of clothing, or wearing a protest button, or burning a flag, or marching in a parade.  These can all be nonverbal and nonwritten, but still "speech."

Symbolic speech, like verbal or written speech, can incite others into wrongful conduct.  Let me provide an illustration.  A 1995 Bruce Willis movie, Die Hard with a Vengeance, includes a scene where an NYPD cop ("McClane," played by Willis) is coerced by a terrorist into standing on a street corner in Harlem wearing a sandwich board which reads "I Hate N****rs."  Here is a link to that scene (there is some language, so be warned).  The scene also involves an imminent threat of violence against McClane by a nearby group of young black men.  The threat in this scene is not set up through exposition.  It is readily understood by the audience that a white guy wearing a "I Hate N*****s" sandwich board in the middle of Harlem is intending to provoke or incite others to anger or violence (that, I think, was the intention of the terrorist who set up the whole thing).  

Symbolic speech is still speech.  Symbolic speech can, in some circumstances, "incite actions" just as much as actual speech.

Now, if Person A uses speech or conduct to incite Person B to do some wrongful act, is Person B "excused" from responsibility for that wrongful act?  Nope.  But does Person A, by choosing to incite wrongful conduct, share some measure of culpability for that wrongful conduct?

4 minutes ago, rpn said:

What IS appropriate is for women to honor their divine heritage in what they wear, just like men should do so.   So teaching girls and teens to represent their faith in Jesus Christ by what they choose to wear is fully appropriate. 

I quite agree.  But I'm not sure this is an either/or situation.

Thanks,

-Smac

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3 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Off topic, but I've got to say, I'm hearing this over and over of missionaries being assaulted or in real danger in parts of their missions, but told only to send letters of the positives in their missions. Just spoke with a former neighbor who's daughter just returned from a mission in another country. She and her companion were in constant danger and this former neighbor had no idea of how afraid her daughter and companion were. But now maybe in their weekly ability to speak or skype parents they won't be able to hide what is going on. My son was beat up by his short tempered large companion. My son was much shorter and not bulked up at all, pretty thin. And was left for two weeks with him because the MP thought my son was the only one to put up with him, until he figured it out. The companion had gotten mad when my son needed the cell phone. The guy was under a blanket with the phone and my son needed to make a call for missionary work, and that is what caused the flareup. My son had to keep this to himself and only told me in causual conversation after he returned home. Did you write anything about it happening to you on your mission or keep it to yourself. That sounds so horrible.

I do not fit into that description. I went home after the attack. I met the other elders in my district. By then I thought the whole thing was kind of neat. I got some probably distasteful pictures of myself with blood dripping out of my mouth that we thought were hilarious at the time. I did write home about it. Mom worried a little bit. My brothers mostly laughed with me and dad was proud. There were several dangerous situations I was in. It was part of the adventure. Other then the time I am convinced I was attacked by unclean spirits I find them funny now and did then too. I got hit by cars while I was on my bike twice (once my fault, once theirs), was physically attacked, had slingshots fired at me, had our house robbed, had to outrun a drunk mob chasing me on foot, had a crazy nutter challenge me to a duel in the name of the Holy Spirit, almost got into a two on two brawl to defend an investigator from two thugs from the local criminal family who were seeking revenge because her Gypsy/Romany boyfriend did not let them steal from him and ran off to London (even to me that sounds made up), lived in a house that was literally right between a mosque (Islamic tensions were high with America at the time) and a house of prostitution that also sold drugs as a side business, and had a gun pulled on me by a guy who said he would shoot us if it was not illegal. It was part of the fun. It was an adventure. 

I was never instructed to hide the danger though I avoided writing anything that I thought would scare my mom too badly....well except once, when I came up with what I thought was a hilarious way of describing an event that in hindsight was a bad idea. Then again my mom is tough. One of my mom’s stories from her youth is her and her dad coming back from a boating trip. The tire on the trailer went flat in the middle of nowhere. My grandpa gave her his gun and told her to guard it until he could get back. She was 13. My grandpa lived in California and was the Deacons quorum advisor. He decided to take his quorum to a session of priesthood general conference in Salt Lake. He got tired of driving so let the boys take turns while he took a nap. I come from a weird family and I would be honored to be sealed to them for eternity. :) 

I do not think my mission was unique. One of my brothers had to negotiate with a local criminal organization to convince them to back off on harassing missionaries. A friend went to a mission where he was supposed to have $20 on him at all times because it prevented complications in the inevitable muggings. The mission also had a set of code phrases, one of which meant meant he was supposed to hijack some form of transportation and flee the country immediately. 

So no, I am okay with it and never felt like I was forced to stay in a dangerous situation. One of the gifts I feel my mission gave me was a general sense of confidence that if things get dangerous or bad I can take care of myself and solve problems.

Edited by The Nehor
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13 hours ago, juliann said:

I agree with you to a point. No one can be responsible for what someone else is thinking because there is no way in the world to know where the line is for each individual. If I wear jewelry am I responsible for something thinking they want to steal it? There is no rule book for what to wear. Two women can wear the same thing and look different. The only way to carry out this expectation is to completely cover up. And there will still be someone somewhere who will find that alluring. 

This line of reasoning is illogical. To believe it, we have to accept that all men would stop having lustful thoughts if women just wore the "right" thing. Do you actually believe that rapists would magically stop raping if all women wore the right thing? You have to if you accept this premise. Cause otherwise you are only talking about thoughts not actions. And frankly, I don't care what some creep is thinking.

Honestly, I think you should care how your influence might affect the thoughts of others.  I think most would agree that is a true principle generally speaking.  And I think that is how we should approach this issue - from establishing core principles and applying them to how we dress. If it is true in other scenarios, why is it not true in how we dress?

We are not directly responsible for the thoughts and actions of others, that is true, but I think we have a moral responsibility to do our best to be a good influence on others.  I think we will be held accountable if we take no thought for how our dress might influence others.  While there may always be someone who will find what we wear alluring, no matter what (which is why I don't think there should be a specific dress code), I think we absolutely should teach that how we speak, act, and yes, dress has an influence on others and to do so with respect and thoughtful consideration of our potential influence on others in the culture we belong to - knowing full well we can't please everyone, but to use our best judgment according to the light we have been given.

14 hours ago, juliann said:

And if this was REALLY about protecting thoughts, all of the men in here would be talking about inappropriate male dress. And no one is. It is always always always about women and it's old and tiring.

To be fair, I did include men.  You must have missed it. 

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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

When I was newly married at BYU, I was waiting in line at the BYU florist when I heard a conversation being me. What struck me was the accent of the male speaking, and I literally had to hold onto the counter because his voice was so twitterpating. I told myself "You're a married woman, don't look behind you!" And I didn't. 

It turns out, the accent was Scottish. Fortunately 20+ years later, I can enjoy beautiful accents without any danger, especially now that I live in Scotland!

;)

I love to walk around in English hill country but never been up to Scotland. 

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1 minute ago, The Nehor said:

I do not fit into that description. I went home after the attack. I met the other elders in my district. By then I thought the whole thing was kind of neat. I got some probably distasteful pictures of myself with blood dripping out of my mouth that we thought were hilarious at the time. I did write home about it. Mom worried a little bit. My brothers mostly laughed with me and dad was proud. There were several dangerous situations I was in. It was part of the adventure. Other then the time I am convinced I was attacked by unclean spirits I find them funny now and did then too. I got hit by cars while I was on my bike twice (once my fault, once theirs), was physically attacked, had slingshots fired at me, had our house robbed, had to outrun a drunk mob chasing me on foot, had a crazy nutter challenge me to a duel in the name of the Holy Spirit, almost got into a two on two brawl to defend an investigator from two thugs from the local criminal family who were seeking revenge because her Gypsy/Romany boyfriend did not let them steal from him and ran off to London (we hid her daughter and were ready to take them out but they backed off), lived in a house that was literally between a mosque (Islamic tensions were high with America at the time) and a house of prostitution that also sold drugs as a side business, and had a gun pulled on me by a guy who said he would shoot us if it was not illegal. It was part of the fun. It was an adventure. 

I was never instructed to hide the danger though I avoided writing anything that I thought would scare my mom too badly....well except once, when I came up with what I thought was a hilarious way of describing an event that in hindsight was a bad idea. Then again my mom is tough. One of my mom’s stories from her youth is her and her dad coming back from a boating trip. The tire on the trailer went flat in the middle of nowhere. My grandpa gave her his gun and told her to guard it until he could get back. She was 13. My grandpa lived in California and was the Deacons quorum advisor. He decided to take his quorum to a session of priesthood general conference in Salt Lake. He got tired of driving so let the boys take turns while he took a nap. I come from a weird family and I would be honored to be sealed to them for eternity. :) 

I do not think my mission was unique. One of my brothers had to negotiate with a local criminal organization to convince them to back off on harassing missionaries. A friend went to a mission where he was supposed to have $20 on him at all times because it prevented complications in the inevitable muggings. The mission also had a set of code phrases, one of which meant meant he was supposed to hijack some form of transportation and flee the country immediately. 

So no, I am okay with it and never felt like I was forced to stay in a dangerous situation. One of the gifts I feel my mission gave me was a general sense of confidence that if things get dangerous or bad I can take care of myself and solve problems.

Prior to serving my mission, I spent 18 months in military training (Army).  This involved elements of "danger" I would not have faced had I stayed at home.  I was trained in the use of M-16s, M-60s (heavy machine guns), hand grenades, grenade launchers, bayonets, tear gas, etc.  I participated in live-fire exercises.  I also had a few physical altercations with other soldiers-in-training.

I also experienced some dangerous circumstances on my mission.  I weathered a number of severe storms/taiphoons.  Bad road/traffic conditions.  Iffy food (I had a bout of food poisoning that was really bad).  Some health issues.  A run-in with a drunk man beating his wife on the street, and another with a high-on-something fellow walking down the street with his girlfriend in a headlock under his arm.

I mentioned some of these to my parents, but not all.  And my parents supported me in both my military and missionary efforts, despite the elements of danger inherent in both.

I volunteered for these things.  Serving in the military and proclaiming the Restored Gospel were worthy endeavors, and worth the risks.

Thanks,

-Smac

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25 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

So you would agree it is okay for a girl to exercise in clothing that is appropriate for an event/activity? Because, the problem is, some do not. Some feel artificial standards should be placed on what women wear to make men more comfortable. That thinking is ridiculous. 

 

Yes. It is OK. In the running community, believe it or not, there is a similar argument. On hot summer days women are out running in just a sports bra. For me that is ok. For others, they feel the women need to cover up more and that a sports bra is just too revealing.

I am an active member of the running subreddit forum and in the summer months this double standard of men running shirtless vs women running in only a sports bra comes up at least once a week.

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13 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I love to walk around in English hill country but never been up to Scotland. 

 

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Ah!  I love me the Scottish accent.  My ancestry is heavily Scottish (probably obvious, since my last name is "Macdonald").  Every now and then I'll use Google Maps to zero in on Camus-luinie, a small valley in Kintail Parish, Ross & Cromarty, just a few miles northeast of Eilean Donan Castle, where my great-great-grandfather was born and raised.

My wife and I are discussing moving to Scotland (or possibly Ireland) for a year or so, after all our kids have moved out.  

Thanks,

-Smac

Scotland is lovely. Of course I am terribly biased because it has provided a solution for our family that was urgently needed. And Ireland is also a gem. We live in Edinburgh but enjoy jaunts away into the country (and westward) when we can.

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14 hours ago, juliann said:

I agree with you to a point. No one can be responsible for what someone else is thinking because there is no way in the world to know where the line is for each individual.

Surely there is some responsibility that can be allocated? 

What do you think the legal concept of "incitement" is about?  What about "solicitation"?  And isn't it possible that if these concepts can be applied outside a legal/criminal context?  That Person A can, through speech and/or conduct, incite/solicit Person B into immoral thoughts/conduct?  And if so, isn't it reasonable for prophets and apostles to encourage Person A to not incite/solicit such thoughts/conduct in others?

Quote

If I wear jewelry am I responsible for something thinking they want to steal it?

No.  Because wearing jewelry is not intended (and generally does not function) as an incitement or solicitation to engage in wrongful conduct.

That said, if a woman were to wear a conspicuous piece of jewelry while strolling alone through Central Park at 3:00 a.m., and if she is robbed, has she "solicited" or "incited" the theft?  Technically, no.  But did she increase the risk to herself by putting herself into a situation where the risk of misconduct by others was reasonably foreseeable?  I think so.  So while she's certainly not culpable for the crime against her, I think it would be absurd to, say, criticize the police for encouraging her to not wear jewelry while strolling alone through Central Park at 3:00 a.m., or to vilify the police for giving her sensible advice.

Quote

This line of reasoning is illogical. To believe it, we have to accept that all men would stop having lustful thoughts if women just wore the "right" thing. Do you actually believe that rapists would magically stop raping if all women wore the right thing? You have to if you accept this premise.

Reductio ad absurdum.  That's what you are doing here.

Quote

Cause otherwise you are only talking about thoughts not actions. And frankly, I don't care what some creep is thinking.

I ask you to reconsider that.  Wrongful thoughts are a necessary precursor to wrongful conduct.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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2 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I think the issue is that women are often asked to cover up more than just their vaginas to keep from becoming porn, while your experience shows that the bar for Latter-day Saint men not becoming porn is much much lower.  None of that is your fault, and I don't care if you run without a shirt on or whatever.  If that causes lust in someone then that someone needs to change, not you.  

But my point in asking was to highlight how men in the church don't really even worry about whether or not their appearance is causing lustful thoughts in women.  They wear what is reasonable and comfortable for the activity that they are in, trying to be modest but not really caring about anything but keeping their private areas from garnering too much attention, and that's about all the thought they put into it.  

For the most part, women in the church have grown up living in a different world with different rules.  They are taught from a very young age that it doesn't matter what is reasonable or what is comfortable for the activity they are doing, all the matters is how men will respond to the way they are dressed.  And they are taught that if men are not responding appropriately, it is their job to put more clothes on, regardless of the activity, even if it they are not actually exposing too much of their body.

For women in the church, it's wearing clothing is a whole other ball game, and it would be very helpful if men could start to recognize and acknowledge the emotional and mental toll that that is having or has had on the women and girls in their lives.  

Having a daughter who is extremely "developed" early on can really sharpen one's awareness of this. She can just wear a normal fitting tee but be made to feel "immodest" because of the size of her breasts. 

I did not want my daughter to feel bad about that, but she felt terribly self-conscious for a long time.

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Just now, bluebell said:

I've been to a stake activity where the girls were told that they could not wear swimsuits and instead had to tube down the creek and do a large slip in slide in shorts and a shirt.  The boys however, were allowed to wear swim trunks with no other clothing.  

It is ridiculous.  And it impacts the girls.

😮

Im afraid I might have been... unpleasant. 

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10 minutes ago, bluebell said:

while your experience shows that the bar for Latter-day Saint men not becoming porn is much much lower. 

I don't necessarily agree with this statement. You don't know what my experience is. To take one instance and draw that conclusion is a little near sighted.

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23 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

 

Scotland is lovely. Of course I am terribly biased because it has provided a solution for our family that was urgently needed. And Ireland is also a gem. We live in Edinburgh but enjoy jaunts away into the country (and westward) when we can.

I keep wanting to go back but always hesitate. I think the hesitation is that I find the idea of being a tourist in a land I taught the gospel to be almost vulgar. I would never judge anyone else for going back but it just seems uncomfortable to me.

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1 minute ago, The Nehor said:

I keep wanting to go back but always hesitate. I think the hesitation is that I find the idea of being a tourist in a land I taught the gospel to be almost vulgar. I would never judge anyone else for going back but it just seems uncomfortable to me.

That's odd. I've been a tourist in lots of places I taught the gospel. But it was also while living there normally. I think many like returning to their old mission grounds to visit friends and connections but also experience more of the place.

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16 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I think the issue is that women are often asked to cover up more than just their vaginas to keep from becoming porn, while your experience shows that the bar for Latter-day Saint men not becoming porn is much much lower.  None of that is your fault, and I don't care if you run without a shirt on or whatever.  If that causes lust in someone then that someone needs to change, not you.  

But my point in asking was to highlight how men in the church don't really even worry about whether or not their appearance is causing lustful thoughts in women.  They wear what is reasonable and comfortable for the activity that they are in, trying to be modest but not really caring about anything but keeping their private areas from garnering too much attention, and that's about all the thought they put into it.  

For the most part, women in the church have grown up living in a different world with different rules.  They are taught from a very young age that it doesn't matter what is reasonable or what is comfortable for the activity they are doing, all the matters is how men will respond to the way they are dressed.  And they are taught that if men are not responding appropriately, it is their job to put more clothes on, regardless of the activity, even if it they are not actually exposing too much of their body.

For women in the church, it's wearing clothing is a whole other ball game, and it would be very helpful if men could start to recognize and acknowledge the emotional and mental toll that that is having or has had on the women and girls in their lives.  

I think that part of the problem and reason for this inequality is due to where society and the media places worth in each sex.  I think that girls are raised by the media and society to believe that their worth is connected to their appearance and sexual appeal, while boys are raised to believe that their worth is connected to success, power, and wealth.  This is partly why boys are more concerned about finding an attractive wife while girls are more concerned about finding a successful man of status and wealth (generally speaking).  There are studies that show this.  Because of this, I think we see a much bigger problem with sexually provocative dress in women then men - because that is what society expects.  This is probably why church leaders focus more on women with this issue, because our society/culture/media has made it a bigger issue for them.

Unfortunately, I think women get bombarded with propaganda and messages from both sides about how they should dress - their very self-worth is tied to it in these messages.  I think this is why this issue can have such an emotional and mental toll on women.  They are bombarded with conflicting expectations, while men have almost no expectations or messages from society or the church at all in regards to dress. 

I think church leaders would do good to take this emotional toll into consideration.  I understand why they are combating the evil propaganda of the media about how women should dress, but I think it should be more principles based rather than about specific dress codes.  I also think they need to attack the core of the message rather than the superficial covering - that is that women's self worth is in no way tied to how they look sexually.  

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16 minutes ago, filovirus said:

I don't necessarily agree with this statement. You don't know what my experience is. To take one instance and draw that conclusion is a little near sighted.

Sorry if I was confusing. I was speaking only of the experience you shared. 

That one experience shows that the bar for what you believe is expected of you to not be pornography to others is way way lower than what girls and women are taught is expected of them to not become pornography in another’s eyes. 

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