There are a number of things I don’t think of too often. What people wear is one of them. How they have their hair is another. Basically, if it’s style related, I’m not thinking of it. It’s just not “my thing.”
Yesterday I found this account from a 17 year old girl who was kicked out of prom because her dress was too short…except, it wasn’t too short at all. She’s one of those girls who’s fortunate enough to be beautiful, tall, thin, and have an amazing body. When she showed up, the prom organizer said the dress didn’t meet the “finger tip” length requirement. She showed them that it did and was allowed in.
Shortly after, they kicked her out anyway because “some of the dads who were chaperoning had complained that my dancing was too provocative, and that I was going to cause the young men at the prom to think impure thoughts. At this point I said to her that I hadn’t been dancing at all! Much less seductively, and that even if I had been being inappropriate, they should issue a warning instead of just kicking me out.”
Actually, the article was quite interesting. It’s her account of the events. How often do similar situations occur and just get swept under the rug? If something like this happened to my daughter or niece I’d be pissed. If she was following the rules, she shouldn’t be held accountable for what the men around her may be thinking. Honestly, I see girls dressed more seductively walking down the street in shorts and a low cut or cut off t-shirt.
After reading that, I remembered something about a school banning yoga pants and leggings because girls wearing them created too much of a distraction for boys to concentrate.
When I went to find that article, I actually found this gem of an interview by Fox News talking about that story. I’d say “reporting,” but that might be a stretch. Anyway, their contributor, psychiatrist Keith Ablow, actually said, “I don’t know that we can restrain boys from being boys. So the long stare, the offhand comment, you have to — what do you do, excuse it? Because it was certainly provoked. And I think girls put themselves in the line of fire that way.”
I don’t know that we can restrain boys from being boys either. But since I’m raising two of them, I certainly hope we can set the expectations for the boys above where that psychiatrist has his expectations set. There are things that can’t be controlled. Our thoughts can’t always be controlled. If a teenager gets an erection, they can’t control that. However, if he goes on to make the “offhand comment,” we certainly shouldn’t claim that it’s okay because it was “provoked” by yoga pants or leggings. Actions can and should be controlled, but we need to teach boys that, not give them a free pass.
This, however, reminded me of Brother Dean Samuel, who is an attendee at University of Arizona. He protests (or, uh, preaches?) on the campus, holding up signs reading “You Deserve Rape.” He shouts at women to “give up your immodest clothing” and “yoga pants are sin.” He goes on to say, “One street preacher said, you know, if you dress like it, you act like it, different things like that, you’re asking for it. Therefore, you deserve rape.” He also made a shirt saying “you deserve rape” which he wears while shouting at women passing by.
I understand that everyone, even that idiot, is entitled to their opinion, however asinine it may be. But how many people actually believe that? How many times have we heard people say similar things? Apparently, if a woman wears anything form fitting at all, “she is asking for it” and that must be the point where men are no longer responsible for their actions.
You may feel like I’m being harsh, but consider this. A 14 year old girl is raped by an 18 year old at a school in Texas. The man admitted to raping her. She said “no” and told him to “stop”, but he didn’t feel the need to listen. The judge determines the girl wasn’t a virgin and “She wasn’t the victim she claimed to be.”
The rapist’s sentence? 45 days in jail, 5 years of deferred probation and 250 hours of community service. The judge originally sentenced him to fulfill his community service at a rape crisis center. What was that judge thinking? She must have been thinking it would teach the rapist something, but what about the clients at center?
The center’s response was, “That’s like saying a pedophile should do their community supervision helping at a pre-school.” The judge has now taken off the mandate that the community service is done at the center.
I understand that a girl getting kicked out of prom because of her dress, or even because of provocative dancing, seems to have nothing to do with the rapist who received a light sentence. The common thread with all of these stories though is girls are being told they are responsible for what men are thinking or how they are acting. If a girl dresses provocatively, yeah, guys might think “impure thoughts.” However, the actions are a complete different story, and no woman is responsible for that.