Young Men, Sex, and Urge Ownership (And Why It’s Not The Girl’s Problem)

GuysWatchingGirls
Young men, I need to tell you something; something that maybe your fathers or your coaches or your uncles, or your buddies never told you, but something that you really need to hear.

Your sex drive? It’s about you.

I know you’ve been led to believe that everything is the girl’s fault; the way she dresses, the shape of her body, her flirtatious nature, her mixed messages.

I know you’ve grown-up reading and hearing that since guys are really “visual”, that the ladies need to manage all of that by covering-up and keeping it hidden, that they need to drive this whole physical relationship deal because we’re not capable.

That’s a load of crap.

You and me, we are visual.
We do love the shape of women’s bodies.
We are tempted and aroused by their physicality.

And all of that is on us, not on them.

You see, we actually live in our bodies.
We direct the limbs and the words.
We choose what we grab and touch and rub-up against.

Our bodies ultimately do only what our brains tell them to do.

Men, this is not a sex issue, it’s a brain issue.

This is about what we’ll choose to cultivate in our heads and what we’ll choose to do with our hands as a result.

If I’m in a grocery store, and a woman’s standing next to me with a wide-open bag, filled with money; bills practically spilling-out onto the floor, is it OK to reach out and take any of it?

If I’m a man of integrity, decency, and restraint—of course it isn’t.

The “visual” of that money will certainly be tempting and I’ll probably instinctively run down the road in my mind about what I’d like to do with that much cash. Does it mean that it’s mine for the grabbing?

No, and why not?

Because the money’s valuable, and it doesn’t belong to me.

Would it ever be acceptable to rationalize, that because the woman is so careless and reckless with her own money (money that I find enticing), that I’m somehow justified to take it?

No.

Because the money’s valuable, and it doesn’t belong to me.

Guys: the girls you date, the ones in your class, the ones you meet on social media, the ones you pass on the street, the ones you hook-up with at parties? They’re not only not property, and they’re not only valuable, they’re priceless—and they don’t belong to you.

Sometimes, doing what’s right toward someone even needs to transcend someone’s opinion of themselves. Even if you think that a girl you know shows too much, advertises too much, and offers too much, it doesn’t mean you can take too much because it’s about the value you assign to her.

At the end of the day, young men, this is a matter of ownership.

You don’t now, and you never will own her, and so any part of your actions that break the plane of her body, aren’t your jurisdiction, they’re hers.

The only thing you own, the only thing you’ll ever own, are your choices. 

That’s why it’s called self-control.

That’s an old-school idea and it isn’t particularly “sexy”.
It’s not typical pop music fodder.
It’s not something you’ll brag about in the locker room, and it won’t make a good multiplex movie.

It also the place where we move from being men in theory, to men in practice.

I’m sorry to have to break this news to you, as I know it’s probably difficult to hear.
It will certainly make life much more challenging and you’ll probably have to make some changes as a result.
I also know that these words could alter your relationships now, and preserve your marriages someday.
They can protect women from damage and nurture your character.

Control yourselves, men.
Be responsible for your responses.
Own your urges.

382 thoughts on “Young Men, Sex, and Urge Ownership (And Why It’s Not The Girl’s Problem)

  1. Reblogged this on kinginascent and commented:
    This is a concise and well written piece about how as men, we are not entitled to women’s attention but we have to earn it. A mature man has boundaries and self control, he’s comfortable around women because he is understanding and non judgemental of them. He is the driver and the witness to himself. I’m passionate but it’s never at the expense of anyone’s autonomy or privacy. Nor should any man be so inclined. We’re elegant as a species but we can always improve.

      • Whenever I see this I go duh when it comes to teaching men respect. What I find most appalling is the fact that fathers and mothers do not teach their daughters to respect themselves and their G-d. This teaches our daughters that they can go around looking and acting unbecoming of a child of G-d. The Apostle Paul says that I’m not to do anything that makes my brother weak, I’m not to tempt him. Ultimately, it is the rapists fault, but we are responsible to not tempt. For example, say someone knows how much you love your favorite ice cream, but know you can’t have it because you are diabetic. Would it be proper to teach your sons and daughters to get a large bowl and set down in front of them and tease them with it? To tell them it is the diabetics problem? Same message we’re sending our daughters. I feel it is improper and thoroughly rude.

        • Temptation’s a tricky word. What tempts one person may not affect another. Women can anticipate everything. They shouldn’t have to.

          Ultimately though, temptation is just that. We all choice to fall to it or rise above it. I teach my son that.

          Thanks for reading!

      • 7 “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man/woman through whom the stumbling block comes!NASB

        • 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. Matthew 5:27

          Jesus challenges the one tempted, not the tempter.

          In other words, “Lust is an ‘inside job’.”

    • It’s not a progressive thought. It is an old respected thought. What is regressive is not teaching girls how to behave and dress. And now men are dressing improperly with their pants hanging down. Accepting and endorsing crude behavior leads to more crude behavior.

      • There is NOTHING in this piece about accepting or endorsing crude behavior. You are making up something to talk about, perhaps so that you don’t have to talk about what the piece is really about: rape apologism.

      • There is nothing in this piece about accepting or endorsing crude behavior. You are inserting that yourself. Why? Does what the piece is about scare you so much that you need to change the subject?

      • Without any intention other than observation, you say that girls need to be taught but not boys, in terms of how to behave? It’s not mature men that are the issue here, but boys and some of them are biologically mature but not physically.

      • Marq57 women are being taught how to behave and dress, and that is often part of the problem. The media and society teaches them day in day out that they have to look a certain way in order to be wanted/desirable to men, that they shouldn’t wear xyz because it’s ‘slutty’, that if they reveal too much flesh they’re ‘asking for it’. Women should be able to put whatever clothes they choose on their bodies and feel safe and beautiful. As this article repeatedly says a woman’s body ‘doesn’t belong to’ anyone but herself, and so whatever she wears or however she behaves (as long as she’s not breaking the law) is no-one’s business but her own. If a woman wishes to have a lot of sex it’s her body, her choice. If she chooses to show a lot of flesh it’s her body, her choice. If a woman chooses to cover up, it’s her body, her choice. Likewise, if you shame her for wearing those clothes, behaving in that way, or believe that because a woman is dressed/ behaves in a certain way she owes you sex, that’s your choice, and is totally on you. It doesn’t make her any less of a person or any better or worse a person, it reflects entirely on you.

      • How they dress or behave, as long as it doesn’t violate the law or actively harm others, is THEIR business, not yours.

        And a woman could be walking around wearing nothing but a thong and nipple cups and that STILL doesn’t circumvent her consent. If she doesn’t explicitly give you consent, you don’t get to do s%&t, regardless of what she’s wearing.

        Also, I saw some of your other comments. A woman dressing skimpily doesn’t mean she respects herself less. And assuming that, or inferring that this justifies sexual harassment or assault on men’s part, means that YOU don’t respect those women, not that they don’t respect themselves.

      • Johndpav: Did you read what I said. I said that the tempted IS responsible, but that Y’shua said that so is the temptor. That is why He used a Hebrew word that was translated Οὐαὶ in the Greek it is a denunciation to the world and especially to the tempter. How you just glossed over that could reveal an attitude toward sin.

        Matt S: Yes there is endorsing going on. The article clearly states that no matter what the woman does it is not her problem. She can do just as she pleases. I am not an apologist for raping. It is ALWAYS wrong!

        kinginascendent: I said it’s the duh factor. Teaching boys and men how to behave is a no brainer. What I’ve said is equally important, but lacking, is teaching girls how to behave. This is the break down of society that progressives love. The article also suggests if the girl is willing you can go as far as she’ll permit. That is a total perversion of what Y’shua and the Bible teaches.

        RMR: You claim that the world teaches her to dress and act a certain way and therefore she has a right to. Everyone screams for their rights and this is why society is breaking down. I’m not nor do I desire to force women to wear clothes I approve of. All I’m saying is that Y’shua saved us and He commanded us to serve one another out of love. Under what your saying why not just go around naked all day and go up to some little child of thirteen and rub him with your spread legs and say don’t touch me? Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. If you cannot tell the difference between a harlot and a Christian girl by the way they dress and act then what is Christianity for?

        • You’re leaning a little to have on isolated Scriptures, rather than simply asking men to live with dignity and accountability, (which again, does not let women off the hook)

          “If you cannot tell the difference between a harlot and a Christian girl by the way they dress and act then what is Christianity for?”

          Christianity isn’t simply about behavior modification. Thanks for commenting.

      • You have spectacularly missed the point. Besides which–what if I’m not Christian? Why should all girls be held to a religious standard that not all of us share? Maybe you can put your Bible down and try looking at something else. Broaden your mind and listen to others instead of narrowly parroting an increasingly-irrelevant view.

      • johndpav, Matt S, kinginascendent, RMR: I just wanted to add that I’m not here to troll. I know it may seem that way from my tone. Especially the girl I gave in that example. I just used the extreme for a point and am no way saying that it was promoted.

        My purpose was to point out the fact that both girls and boys need to be taught respect for one another. This is what a civil society needs.

        We need to teach:

        MANNERS: Socially correct behavior.
        ETIQUETTE: Conventional rules for correct behavior.
        POLITE: Good manners and tactful behavior.

        I agree with John on the fact that men need to know that women are not to be violated no matter how they act. I would have gone further and said that they are not even to have consensual sexual relations; it is only reserved for the marriage covenant.

        I also think it neglected to point out the girl’s responsibility. Y’shua did not demand His RIGHT to be worshipped, but gave up that RIGHT and came to serve. Caps used for emphasis only.

      • I think you may have missed the point the Bible is making when it mentions tempter/stumbling block. The tempter/stumbling block is the person who intentionally tempts someone into sin. Not every girl/woman you think is revealing too much is doing so with any intention of being a stumbling block for another person. For instance, I have to wear two piece bathing suits over one pieces (I have an odd body shape and have trouble finding one pieces that fit, and am actually more secure in the fit of a two piece). This means I end up revealing a fair amount of skin when at pools, the beach, etc., but that does not mean that I am a tempter. If a man were to see me and lust after me, that is not for me to decide, nor should I be labeled a stumbling block. Were I to walk into a man’s home and undress with the intention of tempting him, That is when I should be considered a stumbling block.

        You’re probably more familiar with the ESV version of Matthew 5:28 “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart”, but the Weymouth New Testament puts it this way:
        “But I tell you that whoever looks at a woman and cherishes lustful thoughts has already in his heart become guilty with regard to her.” It’s a bit easier to see in the second version I listed that the verse isn’t blaming the woman being looked at for the sin of the man. The man is the one who is sinning, the woman is just a passerby. Intentionality means almost everything in regard to this type of sin. If a woman is *intentionally* making herself a stumbling block, that is one thing. But even if that is the case, the man who lusts after a woman is still the guilty party for his own thoughts and actions.

        Anyway, I hope this helps with seeing what many of us might be thinking. Not every woman who is lusted after is intentionally a stumbling block, so it’s kind of offensive in your phrasing because it makes it seem like you are considering them so. Also, I think this article is more about men being taught how to respect the autonomy of women and not really aimed at teaching women, because there are significantly more articles and books and rules and resources about teaching women modes of behavior than there teaching men respect. If you consider it a no brainer, that’s one thing. But it’s an increasingly rare trait to seek out men and teach them not to take a woman’s training to mean that they get a free pass when a girl is perceived as violating that training.

        Have a good day, and thank you John Pavlovitz for writing this article. I very much enjoyed it.

        • Aksmith,

          Some things are done out of ignorance, and yes deliberate tempting is the problem. I wholeheartedly agree with you concerning it being the man’s fault for falling.

          My greatest diappointment is the fact that ministers do not teach why decorum in dress and actions mean a lot. Without clear standards being taught by the leaders people are making their own standards.

          The following was copy/pasted from Jul 27, 2014 @ 2:24p http://biblehub.com/proverbs/29-18.htm

          Holman Christian Standard Bible Without revelation people run wild, but one who listens to instruction will be happy.

          Pulpit Commentary

          Verse 18. – Where there is no vision, the people perish; rather, cast off restraint, become ungovernable, cannot be reined in (Exodus 32:22, 25). “Vision” (chazon), prophecy in its widest sense, denotes the revelation of God’s will made through agents, which directed the course of events, and was intended to be coordinate with the supreme secular authority. The prophets were the instructors of the people in Divine things, standing witnesses of the truth and power of religion, teaching a higher than mere human morality. The fatal effect of the absence of such revelation of God’s will is stated to be confusion, disorder, and rebellion; the people, uncontrolled, fall into grievous excesses, which nothing but high principles can restrain. We note the licence of Eli’s time, when there was no open vision (1 Samuel 3.); in Asa’s days, when Israel had long been without a teaching priest (2 Chronicles 15:3); and when the impious Ahaz “made Judah naked” (2 Chronicles 28:19); or when the people were destroyed by reason of lack of knowledge of Divine things (Hosea 4:6). Thus the importance of prophecy in regulating the life and religion of the people is fully acknowledged by the writer, in whose time, doubtless, the prophetical office was in full exercise: but this seems to be the only passage in the book where such teaching is directly mentioned; the instructors and preceptors elsewhere introduced as disseminating the principles of the chochmah being parents, or tutors, or professors, not inspired prophets. But he that keepeth the Law, happy is he! “The Law” (torah) is not merely the written Mosaic Law, but the announcement of God’s will by the mouth of his representatives; and the thought is, not the blessedness of those who in a time of anarchy and irreligion keep to the authorized enactments of the Sinaitic legislation, but a contrast between the lawlessness and ruin of a people uninfluenced by religious guidance, and the happy state of those who obey alike the voice of God, whether conveyed in written statutes or by the teaching of living prophets. (For “happy is he,” comp. Proverbs 14:21; Proverbs 16:20.) Septuagint, “There shall be no interpreter (ἐξηγητὴς) to a sinful nation, but he that keepeth the Law is most blessed.”

          I hope that wasn’t too long. G-d bless!

    • johndpav: I’m glad you said it doesn’t let the woman off the hook, but that was the message whether intended or not. As you stated to me (which again, does not let women off the hook).

      From DLN on July 7, 2014 at 9:28 pm said:
      “Thank you for taking a stand. As a woman, it is nice to be off the hook.”

      From the standpoint of the law, as long as she doesn’t use it to trap him, then yes she should be (off the hook).

      As far as isolated passages there are numerous passages that deal with leading people astray, which is what temptation is.

      johndpav says: Christianity isn’t simply about behavior modification.

      Absolutely! I don’t think you were implying that in your article either. Just as circumcision of the flesh doesn’t either. Behavior modification or as the Scriptures call it “works” or “deeds” comes from the fact I’m right with G-d, not because I’m trying to get right with him. One can be covered like Muslim women but that does not equate with being right with G-d. 🙂

      Talisguy says: And a woman could be walking around wearing nothing but a thong and nipple cups and that STILL doesn’t circumvent her consent. If she doesn’t explicitly give you consent, you don’t get to do s%&t, regardless of what she’s wearing.

      My point exactly! What’s your beef?

      Talisguy says: Also, I saw some of your other comments. A woman dressing skimpily doesn’t mean she respects herself less. And assuming that, or inferring that this justifies sexual harassment or assault on men’s part, means that YOU don’t respect those women, not that they don’t respect themselves.

      No, it doesn’t justify men being jerks. Why do advertisers use women in skimpy oufits? To sell! If women respected themselves they would not go along with the advertisement (IMHO) and would refuse to buy from those who use them for sexploitation, and if you respected them wouldn’t you do the same?

    • I take issue with that – i don’t have to earn attention any more than she does. The whole article is a bit patronizing, actually – equating talking to a girl at a store with fishing dollars from her purse. If I like her and am able, sure I’ll flirt a bit, maybe get a number. It doesn’t imply ownership, only interest.

      really, it’s the notion that men are taking sex from women – it’s probably a consequence of the expectation that men always approach, so people can see it as them taking possession, which is missing a whole lot.

      • Chris, it sonds like you keep your head above water, but there are many who do not.

        I have witnessed men, especially young men, intentionally bump and grind against a woman simply standing in a cafeteria line waiting for her turn. These men were grandstanding and trying to trivialize what they were doing to the young woman. She deserved better. And she was NOT wearing a single skimpy anything.

    • Oh wow! This is great. Thanks! I completely agree with this! Although I do not condone how some women dress with half of their butts hanging out, I also don’t think that a man cannot control himself around that. I think ladies need to dress up better, because it’s a matter of self-respect. But men that don’t respect women… well, that also reflects on how they see themselves. If a man doesn’t see himself as more than a sexual and uncontrollable being, there is not much that he will be able to offer. He is setting himself short like that.
      I think it is very proper to teach young men to respect women, and yes… they’ll be attracted to women, it’s only natural, but they should own their own thoughts, and decisions.

      Thanks kind gentleman! We need to hear this from men, because they can set an example for young boys and other men.

    • I think this applies to all men, not just the younger crowd. Maturity isn’t given , it is earned. Same with respect.

    • It’s a great message. But I would add that instead of “control yourselves men…” I would suggest, allow God to mold you men, through prayer meditation and self-sacrifice in right action. I submit that I alone cannot control myself but through my higher power I have a chance. 🙂 Thanks John for your wonderful words of wisom!!

  2. Great article and is integral part of the bigger discussion. But that photograph is such a poor choice of imagery. I would prefer that you showed the woman being treasured and valued, as opposed demonstrating what the world does every day. Missed opportunity.

    • Hi Jennifer. The reason I used that photo, was because I was trying in as inoffensively a way as possible, to illustrate what men do every day. I’m trying to draw men to read the blog, so showing guys like that, is hopefully getting them to click the link, and being confronted with those words about women being treasured.

      Thanks for reading and replying. I appreciate it!

      • Because it isn’t a picture of a whole woman, I think it showcases very well the issue that this kind of “guy” tends to think of a woman as a collection of body parts and not a whole person. Well done.

      • That is fine as a choice of photo, but looking does not a jerk make, or really have anything to do with a sense of ownership., right? It’s just two guys in tune with an attractive woman passing by. No big deal.

  3. I just wanted to thank you for writing this article. As a single mom whose husband left because of multiple infidelities, I sometimes find it difficult to talk to my teen boys about this subject without it sounding like I’m criticizing their father. I am encouraged by men like you that are bold in your writing so that I can read the article to my boys and then talk to them about it afterward. It then comes from a neutral man talking to them and not their mom. So thank you and God bless you.

    • In response to gsprendergast: No, you don’t hang your head and hide when a woman walks by. You LOOK TOWARDS HER FACE & EYES, with a kind smile on your face. Not only does this show respect to the feminine gender, but sends the message that you see them as a person rather than an object to satisfy a lust.

      • Are you really 100% aware of what you first notice when you see someone of the opposite sex? You cannot tell from the photo where the men are seated and where the woman is positioned, if all they noticed was her rear end. Maybe they first looked at her face. The fact that they are looking at her rear end does not necessarily mean that’s all they see. You seem to be jumping to conclusions and being judgmental based on a snapshot. Personally I treasure all aspects of women, when I find a good mind, in touch with their emotions, and yes their beauty both physical and otherwise including graciousness when I come across it.

    • Tina, you have every right to explain to your boys that what their father did was wrong, and that they shouldn’t do that. It’s fine to criticize someone who did something like that to show how to NOT do things. I’s constructive.

  4. Those men in that photo aren’t doing anything wrong. How do you “treasure and value” a woman? Hang your head and hide your eyes every time one walks by? We’d get a lot of men (and more than a few women) walking into lamp posts this way. There’s nothing wrong with looking at another person. It’s only wrong if it’s done cruelly with the intention of making that person uncomfortable. I don’t want to put the message out that it’s wrong to notice and admire beauty, personality, style, confidence, cuteness, humor, energy, strength or warmth. It’s not even wrong to covet it, despite what the bible says. What is wrong is to knowingly and intentionally make someone uncomfortable with your attention through words or actions. I

    • To many men are afraid to be men and now you write this crap
      Damn near everything done on this planet had been done because of women
      We try to get one, protect one or run from one
      I don’t need fancy words to explain myself or what I am
      Men do need some restraint in today’s society pushing it to far does nothing but to emasculate us
      Your money analogy is also a bunch of crap
      Men and women steal, there reasons are there own
      They don’t do it thinking the other person should have taken better care of it
      Your brainwashed crap is jus another attempt to cut off a pair
      This is what society has devolved into lately and it saddens me that you think this is what a man should be

      • actually, given your first point, the money analogy is very accurate. your first point talks about men trying to EARN the love or affection or physicality of a woman just as you would try to EARN money rather than just taking it because it’s there and you want it. what do you define as a man that goes against anything written here rather than what you inferred? this is all about taking and violating what’s not yours. it says nothing about it being wrong to try to earn anything. it says nothing about trying to woo a woman for whatever your manly purposes may be. it doesn’t even say it’s wrong to look. it just says don’t just take and blame her for tempting you.

      • Larry,
        No one is trying to “cut off your pair.” Having restraint does not emasculate you, and if you think it does, you aren’t much of a man to begin with. A man can posses self control and respect, and simultaneously find a woman attractive. The two are not mutually exclusive. If you can’t figure out how to admire a woman in a way that expresses dignity (both hers AND yours), then you probably shouldn’t look at women at all. Women get violated, threatened with violence, and murdered- just for being women. I’m sorry you’re so angry that you can’t now openly leer at women without being reminded of this article. That must be rough.

      • Larry, you say “damn near everything done on this planet had been done because of women” … and that’s as it should be. Think about this observation by Robert Heinlein:
        “All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly which can—and must—be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a “perfect society” on any foundation other than “women and children first!” is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly—and no doubt will keep on trying.”

        Note: This is not saying “put women on an idealizing pedestal”. This is saying “women, and their role, are more important than many testosterone-soaked males are willing to admit.”
        Men—those who are truly worthy of the term—don’t let their egos (or their gonads) lead them to demand domination by virtue of having big muscles or big aggressivities. True men act as equals, with proper respect.

        (BTW, be careful with your typing—or your language. Use “too” instead of “to” when appropriate. Use “their” instead of “there” when appropriate. Use periods at the ends of sentences when appropriate. Don’t make it unnecessarily hard for us to understand what you’re trying to say.)

      • Men, we need to stop exploiting women and start treating with respect. I am only a 17, but i have found a girl that i actualy want to spend the rest of my life with. I didnt get close to her by loveing her body, but because I treasure her as a woman. Her grandmother also likes me because i showed her and her granddaughter respect from the beginning. It is when we court, love, and respect a woman, when we are truly men. God calls us to be leaders in our lives, jobs, and families. I highly recommend the movie “Coragous”

        It is time for us to man up.

      • Wow, your incompetence is proven simply by the fact that you can’t use the correct form of “too”. Good luck finding a woman who supports all of that ego and masculinity. Blaming “damn near everything done on this planet” on women just goes to show how immature you are and how little you know! Shame on you.

      • These types of different beliefs come from one thing lack of God in our lives back then we were taught to be men it wasn’t just about women , but everything and women were taught to be ladies it all boils down to one thing when Gods not in it it’s going to be bad!

      • Why aren’t you embarrassed that you think it’s emasculating not to make women feel like trash? Don’t you think that’s a little weird?

    • I feel like every single person who makes this argument genuinely doesn’t understand the difference between checking out an attractive person and openly leering and nudging your buddies to make sure they’re leering too. No one is objecting to looks, the fact that you jump so quickly to defending your right to look says way more about you than it does about anyone else.

  5. A recent mantra in our household with my four children has become:

    “If I have not been given it, if I have not purchased it, it does not belong to me.”

    After observing unrestrained summer preteen/teen behavior at the park the other day (porn/masturbation jokes and fondling under shaded playground equipment), I’m convinced this same saying has implications in my children’s sex lives as they come of age, especially my boys.

    “If I have not been given her by the Lord above, if I have not ‘purchased’ her with my covenantal commitment in marriage, she [her body] does not belong to me.”

    This article speaks to the same.

    Thank you for honoring women and challenging men!

    • Excellent sentiment, but with one caveat. You cannot ever (at least not legally) “purchase” another human being. Nor can a human being be “given” to you. Therefore women, as is true with all human beings, belong only to themselves. Their bodies will always be theirs and theirs alone, to be shared with you at their discretion (same is true of men and men’s bodies). That choice to share whatever part of oneself with another is the true gift, and is revocable at any time by the “giver.” It is a gift and a privilege to be appreciated, not demanded and not subject to entitlement.

      • Of course you can’t purchase a human being. That’s why I call them, (simply by their humanity), as “priceless”. That’s the point.

        Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • ” if I have not ‘purchased’ her with my covenantal commitment in marriage, she [her body] does not belong to me.”
      This sentiment is exactly why marital rape exists.

      • I assume we are striving to live within the biblical model of marriage, if not: ignore my comment. The bible says that people who are married should only refrain from sex by mutual agreement in order to focus more closely on God FOR A TIME and then they should come back together so as not to fall into sin. In the biblical model of marriage, “marital rape” does not exist as a possibility.

        • This, is exactly why I wrote this piece, Aaron.

          I think you couldn’t be more horribly wrong and dangerous in your thinking, and in your understanding of Scripture.

          • 1 Corinthians 7
            2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

            I was not making my own interpretation of scripture, I was quoting directly.

            I am not saying that forcing sex is ever allowed. What I am saying is that neither husband nor wife should ever withhold sex, unless they and their spouse have previously discussed it with the intention of abstaining in order to focus on God. Within that model of marriage, “marital rape” is not a possibility, because both husband and wife understand that sex is something that needs to happen often to avoid falling into sin.

            So please, take me to scripture that shows that I am wrong.

            • You are so far off the original blog subject, that I’m not quite sure how to get you back.

              This is about men respecting women, and that transcends anyone’s religious beliefs.

              This is about the intrinsic value of people.

              Not gonna debate Scripture on marriage, as I don’t think it would help you see what you aren’t seeing about the blog itself.

              Thanks.

              • So let me get this straight: You view me as a brother in Christ who has misunderstood what scripture says. You view me as someone who totally disrespects women. You view me as someone who doesn’t fully understand your point. And even though I invited you to point me towards scriptural correction, you won’t because it would be a waste of your time?

                Who cares what the original blog post was about, this is the comment section. The comment section is meant to be a place of discussion regardless of how far it strays from original thought process.

                You have so clearly stated that you don’t care if I am wrong in my understanding of scripture, which means logically that you don’t care about the destination of my eternal soul. That stance on your part totally invalidates anything you have said or will say on the issue. Religious beliefs are of utmost importance to this debate, because the majority of religions place men higher than women. The scripture I shared shows that husband and wife belong equally to each other within the framework of a Christian marriage.

                I apologize for wasting your time trying to fully understand your point of view.

            • Aaron, you wrote “Within that model of marriage, “marital rape” is not a possibility, because both husband and wife understand that sex is something that needs to happen often to avoid falling into sin.”

              What is the possible sin referred to here that is worse than a man pressuring his wife to have sex with him even if she’s not in the mood or doesn’t want to? Note that if she’s not in the mood, sex will be physically painful for her. She’ll lose some respect for him each time, making “in the mood” less and less likely. It’ll also affect her self-esteem. What greater sin is avoided doing this?

              • Well, correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding of women “being in the mood” is that if you invest the necessary time in foreplay and romance, a woman can become “in the mood”. So following that logic, investing time in romance doesn’t sound like pressuring your wife to have sex. Absolute worst case scenario, a man romances his wife, and nothing happens. Now granted, that also requires that he recognize that women are incredibly complex and not easily persuaded to do anything, but that’s really not a hard conclusion to come to.

                Now, it seems that you are referring to sex by violence, when you say marital rape, because if a woman says no (to anything) it is usually very hard to change her mind just by continuing to ask. In that case you are right, there is no greater sin he could have fallen into.

                If that’s not the scenario you are referring to, then please explain, because I don’t fully understand where you are coming from, and I’d rather not make a mistake by assuming something.

  6. I definitely agree with your overall message. In fact, I have often voiced these sentiments to my students. However, I have heard this message a lot over the past twenty years. Actually, I seem to hear this message almost exclusively. What I have not heard in quite a long time is someone encouraging young ladies to be modest. On the contrary, the message I hear much more often is for young women to love their bodies. What I hear young women being told is to love themselves and not be ashamed of it. While on the one hand I thoroughly agree with the premise; I do not hear very many voices clarifying what that means for young people. Personal responsibility cuts both ways. I do not see that happening in the Church or the schools these days.

    Thank you for sharing this truth. I would love to see you share the whole truth.

    • Hey KC. I think we’re running in different circles, as the “modesty” thing has been all over social media. I actually wrote this in response to so many such posts.

      This blog is meant to speak as a man, to young men, so yes, it is half the story, which is sort of the point. Young men need to take responsibility for themselves, independently of what women do or do not do.

      Having said that, my advice to young women on this issue, is coming. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and replying.

      • That’s what I’ve always heard! I can’t speak for anyone else, but all I’ve ever heard from the Church is “women, modesty is all on you. Men have no self-control (and yet only they can be leaders…???) so you are responsible for the sex drive of EVERY single man on the planet, and men themselves have no role in this.” How fair is that??? If it really takes two to tango, then women AND men have roles they need to play. Thank you for finally providing the other side of this issue – yes, it is one-sided, but that’s EXACTLY the point – the whole modesty movement has been one-sided for years, it’s time the balance came back to it.

    • I just have to say, that when a woman REALLY loves herself & her body, she does not normally show all! The modesty is not needed. It’s a respect for her own body & space that is. And while so many women (and young girls) admit to being harassed, touched & made to feel they are less than, it’s a way of acting out for attention & love from the men in their lives. Instead of saying they need to dress better, they need to be complimented and taught their brains & personality are sexier & more important than their bodies.

      • My body is both important AND awesome- Not some sort of counter force to my brain and personality.
        I’m responsible for following legal guidelines for how to dress in public. Others are responsible for following legal guidelines to not touch or harass me.

        And yeah I rock my midriff. Its summer. *I* love my midriff and my body. Don’t you dare say that if a woman (which I am) REALLY loves herself and her body (which I do) then she would cover up. I’ll show it because its awesome and not an invitation to touch.

      • You are welcome to this opinion, but please be aware that it isn’t the only one.
        “I just have to say, that when a woman REALLY loves herself & her body, she does not normally show all!”
        I know that people have different ideas of what “showing all” means, just as different people have different bodies. Also, to say that some women use unwanted sexual attention to get attention is just plain harmful and wrong. If a woman says she has received unwanted attention the only appropriate response is “I’m sorry this happened to you. How can we make of right?”

    • I have to agree with John, “cover them up” is the ONLY thing I have heard within the church on this topic. 98% of the “teaching” on this subject has been to basically shame women into believing that it is their responsibility what happens to them, no matter what. And when modesty comes up, it is to cover yourself so you don’t cause men to sin. The church itself is teaching women that they have no value above their bodies when the primary message about this topic is JUST COVER UP AND IT WILL ALL BE OKAY. Which is a lie and also a terrible, terrible thing for their self-esteem (if anyone cares).

      • pamela you rock!! 😀 hopefully you inspire more women to feel as comfortable and proud of themselves as you do. you are damn right that skin to be seen is not an invitation and noone should be afraid of feeling good in their own skin. I damire that and i fell sorry for all men that can`t.

    • The problem is that “modesty” is often used to pressure or threaten young women into the other’s personal idea of what “modesty” is; why shouldn’t women love themselves and express themselves freely without constantly being shamed and pressured to hide themselves, while young men walk around freely grabbing their crotches and half their underwear sticking out and that’s just dandy?

    • I would love to live in the same world as you! But I’ve been stuck in a world that tells me “not to cause my brothers to stumble,” one that condones sexual harassment and sexual assault because “she was asking for it,” one that tells women that we should show our self-respect by complying to strict yet arbitrary standards of modest dress.

      Based on the high rates of eating disorders among young women, they DO need to be told to love their bodies. I’m not entirely sure why you think self-acceptance is a bad lesson to teach…

      In regards to personal responsibility, yes, I take responsibility for my thoughts, my words, and my actions. But I am NOT responsible for a man’s thoughts, words, or actions.

      • Brita and JohnD, I wasn’t planning on posting again, but when I see encouraging people whether man/woman to be totally selfish I just had to.

        Without standards, without etiquette, we will always be at war with one another and society breaks down.

        Society needs standards, we need to know right from wrong otherwise chaos ensues. That’s where we are in America today. Nobody seems to know right from wrong so everyone does as he chooses and the h with everyone else.

        I would love to live in the same world as you! But I’ve been stuck in a world that tells me “not to cause my brothers to stumble,” one that condones sexual harassment and sexual assault because “she was asking for it,” one that tells women that we should show our self-respect by complying to strict yet arbitrary standards of modest dress.

        If I asked ten women or men what is modest dress I would get ten different answers. You say you live in a world where your told blah blah blah. So whose standards do we go by? Yours, mine, the Bible, or nobody’s, were already at the latter. Has that stopped rape? No, but it sure has lead to a lot of divorces since noone seems to know what is right.

        Everyones screaming for their RIGHTS, but very few are asking what’s best for my fellow man. What can I do to serve him. Instead we’re encouraged to serve ourselves.

        Women are told if you’ve got it flaunt it. This is where eating disorders come from. Hollywood not Biblewood are the ones causing women not to care about their body image.

        We’re not telling women to cover their bodies because they need to be ashamed of it, but because they are to honor their bodies. I Cor6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. If showing off your body is helpful to a good body image, then why not do away with blinds, shades and clothes.

        It’s funny how people accuse us of having arbitrary standards and yet the standards they set are arbitrary.

        Finally, if I being a man went around naked do you really believe that you as a woman would not gawk and not comment about my body parts? No? Yeah right! I hear women who wear skimpy clothing always commenting that men should pull up their pants!

        • 1) Standards I set for MYSELF are far from arbitrary. If I were presumptuous to set standards for other women, yes, those standards would be arbitrary. Those of us who speak out against Modesty Culture are not trying to dictate the clothing of others. We’re trying to free women from shame and teach men to be responsible for themselves.

          2) Unfortunately, there are many people with eating disorders. Just like all people are unique, the causes for eating disorders are unique. Do media portrayals of airbrushed women contribute to eating disorders? Yes. But so does “Biblewood.” Below are just two stories of women who grew up hearing the harmful messages of Modesty Culture and developed eating disorders as a direct result.

          http://www.alternet.org/story/153227/how_creepy_conservative_christian_modesty_doctrines_harm_young_women/

          http://www.bookwormbeauty.com/2013/05/the-only-thing-my-double-ds-ever-got-me.html

          3) You know what stops rape? Teaching people they and ONLY THEY are responsible for their thoughts and their actions. Teaching people to respect all people, regardless of how other people dress or look or walk or speak. Teaching people boundaries. Teaching people consent. You know what doesn’t stop rape? Telling one group of people (in this case, men) that they can blame their thoughts (lust) or their actions (sexual assault) on another group of people (in this case, women).

          4) False equivalency much? In most places worldwide, public nudity is illegal. If you’re a man walking around naked on a nude beach, no one will care. If you’re a man walking around naked in most cities, you’ll be arrested. The exact same thing is true for women walking around naked on a nude beach vs. in most cities. Do some women complain about men wearing pants hung slow? Sure. Some women also complain about beards, or knee socks, or cargo shorts, or some other male aesthetic they don’t like. But women who complain about men wearing their pants hung low aren’t complaining because it’s causing them to lust. They’re not telling those men they’re sinning. They’re complaining about fashion!

          • Brita said: 1) Standards I set for MYSELF are far from arbitrary. If I were presumptuous to set standards for other women, yes, those standards would be arbitrary. Those of us who speak out against Modesty Culture are not trying to dictate the clothing of others. We’re trying to free women from shame and teach men to be responsible for themselves.

            My response: They are arbitrary if you have no absolute standard to go by. Either yourself or others. You just said you are teaching other men to be responsible for themselves. Which you then proceed to decide what in your own mind is responsibility. Those standards are arbitrary. Who are you to decide what is responsible? You claim that you are not dictating the clothing of others and then dictate the actions of others.

            Brita said: But women who complain about men wearing their pants hung low aren’t complaining because it’s causing them to lust. They’re not telling those men they’re sinning. They’re complaining about fashion!

            My response: Lust? Sinning? Fashion? Doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s still arbitrary unless you have an absolute standard to go by. We have laws against murder and we teach that you’re not to murder. Does that stop people from murdering? This is such naivete. Remember the campaign for drugs “Just say no.” Has that worked; no! We’ve had classes on drugs, AA, anger management, rehabilitation, you name it ad infinitum. With the billions of dollars spent what have we got to show for it? Very few ROI. So my question to you is what standard do you go by?

            Finally, I condemn in the strongest means possible rape! It is NEVER right no matter what a woman is wearing or the lack thereof. We as a society are responsible FOR one another. I’m talking voluntary submission not government coersion. Also, I not talking about being obsessive as the two articles you pointed out. We’re talking about loving your body as unto the Lord. It goes both ways. Men are also to dress modestly, so that their brothers who fight homosexual temptations will not be weakened.

            • It is illegal to touch other people without their consent. Asking people to maintain those standards is far from arbitrary. Asking men not to sexually harass women is not exactly arbitrary either.

              “Lust? Sinning? Fashion?” I was pointing out a false equivalence in the comment above mine, not making an argument that it’s right or wrong for anyone to have certain preferences in what other people wear. What is wrong is to demand other people wear something so that you feel better about yourself, aka for men to demand women dress “modestly” to help them “not lust.”

              Those articles I quoted are far from “obsessive.” I could have cited countless others, from women across America, who have been subjected to hurtful, controlling standards set by men.

              • Brita, You never answered where you get your standard from.

                It’s not a logical argument to say it’s illegal, therefore, it is not arbitrary. In Muslim society it is legal to rape; therefore, according to your definition it is ok to rape. All laws are arbitrary judgements made by whoever is in power at the time. They are not universal, objective, or for life. They are made only to regulate what those in power believe are moral.

                Without absolutes, it’s arbitrary.

                My absolutes work regardless of whether it’s legal or not. They are universal in that they apply to everyone everywhere at all times and all ages. People hate that, because they want to make their own morals and complain when others do the same.

                There are two universal laws. Only two. Luke 10:27 And he (Jesus) answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

                Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself…22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

                Finally, with 300 million people in the US anyone can find examples to prove any point.

                • Arbitrary: based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system

                  Just because I choose not to share with a rude and dismissive stranger the rather detailed and extensive reasoning for my personal clothing choices does not mean my own standards are arbitrary.

                  Furthermore, the scripture you cited does not tell Christians to dress a certain way. By love, we are to serve one another. Just because one group has dominated and controlled another throughout millennia does not mean that group gets to decide how best the oppressed group can continue to “serve them” “in love.” I assume you quoted that scripture to somehow prove that women should dress “modestly” to “help men” not lust.

                  But I read that scripture and think of the people with eating disorders who need encouragement, the rape survivors who need reassurance that their rapes weren’t their fault, fat people who need to hear that yes they too are made in God’s own image, poor people who need love and acceptance no matter their cheap or ill-fitting clothes. These are the people I try to serve with love. These people are hurt, oppressed, and marginalized further when told their bodies are the problem of men’s lust. I refuse to contribute to that.

                  • Brita,

                    Arbitrary – adj 2 having only relative application or relevance; not absolute. This is the definition I am using for arbitrary. Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003 From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/arbitrary copy/paste Fri July 25, 2014 4:50a

                    As I’ve said a thousand times, it is not the woman’s fault if she is raped! Unless it can be proved she stuck a gun to the man’s head and threatened to kill him if he didn’t. What I told my daughters (both married now) and other woman who are looking for men to date, or marry, the way you dress and act goes a long way towards the type of men you will attract. Ditto for men.

                    I never said I was giving scriptures to show how to dress. I am only saying that there are only two universal laws needed for society. People who only care about what they want (not saying you are one) need millions of laws, because they are wicked. Wicked people need lots of laws, righteous people don’t, because they naturally self controlled.

                    I’ve never said it’s the woman’s body that is the cause of men’s lust. It is man’s problem he has the lust. I’ve also stated that men need to dress properly also, since both men and women have been told they can dress and act however they want, STD’s, divorces, and all other societies ills have exploded. We now live in a society of total selfishness and I guarantee it’s going to get much worse faster than you will care to know.

                    Here is what happens when people do as they please.

                    Galatians 5: 13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like…

                    Brita said: But I read that scripture and think of the people with eating disorders who need encouragement, the rape survivors who need reassurance that their rapes weren’t their fault, fat people who need to hear that yes they too are made in God’s own image, poor people who need love and acceptance no matter their cheap or ill-fitting clothes. These are the people I try to serve with love.

                    All people are made in G-d’s image. So whatever church, or like me a synagogue, that teaches what you say they teach, then leave. What I think is the problem is that people are hearing what they want to hear. What they truly need to hear is G-d’s love for them and forgives them all their trespasses. If people feel guilty, they probably are guilty. I am guilty, but thanks to Yeshua, I’ve been set free.

                    Until one comes to the cross for their guilt all the psychology in the world won’t cover up their problems it will only fester until it explodes usually in the form of rage.

      • Brita:

        The issue with your statement, and the unfortunate concurrence from John, is that you indicate that it is the “world” that expresses you should not cause your brother to stumble. That is far from the truth. The world is at enmity with the portion of the Word that you quoted. Those that follow the Word and encourage you to not do anything that would cause your brother to stumble are not, as you indicate, ok with sexual harassment. When I instruct my daughter on what is appropriate to wear, it is because I love her and want to protect her, not to squash her self worth.

        For the same reason we instruct our sons to control themselves and refrain from sexual immorality. And believe me, when women of the church dress appropriately and help them achieve that, I know they do it out of love. I would encourage you to consider that as you make choices about dress, out of love.

        And yes, any guy attempted sexual harassment of my daughter, he would have to face Papa Bear, and would soon learn the error of his ways.

        • That world I live in is one full of Christians who blame women for their own sexual harassment and sexual assault. I’m going to pretend you’re not being deliberately obtuse in misunderstanding me. It’s definitely Christians who blame women for all sexual sin.

          Does your Christian circle not blame women for everything? Good for you. That doesn’t make my experiences, or the experiences of countless other women I know, less valid or true.

    • Then you haven’t been listening. The recent SCOTUS decision about Hobby Lobby had people triumphantly crowing at women to keep their legs together. If I had a dollar for every single time I’d been told that rape is caused by short skirts or heard about a girl being sent home from school for having a visible bra strap or of a woman denied birth control because of the moral beliefs of her pharmacist, I’d be a wealthy woman.

      • Ok going to stop you right there. Hobby lobby still provides 15 different type of contraceptiv in their insurance policy. Just because they choose to not support a few (which goes against their religious beliefs FYI….funny how separation of church and state goes both ways huh?) Does not mean they are suggesting that “keep women’s legs closed” is their policy. When such broad strokes are used in an argument you often find the color or hue of it changes.

      • @Griff Hobby Lobby still covers 15 birth control options- so what could possibly be wrong?
        The fact that all of the options are no longer on the table for a woman and her doctor, because some business executives don’t want it to be. The fact that business executives now have been invited into my doctor’s visit. The fact that the door is opened for anyone other than my doctor to be part of my personal medical decisions. These things, in my opinion, are wrong.

  7. Thanks. From the mother of daughters, I am so tired of hearing JUST hearing ‘women cover up!”. I do think girls have some responsibility to dress modestly, but I am just so tired of that being the only angle. Thanks for placing some burden of the responsibility on the guys.

  8. “If you judge your actions and the standards of the Church on the basis of where the world is and where it’s going, you will find that you are not where you should be.”

  9. More beta male propaganda that describes women as “priceless” and men as theives looking to steal some of their value. As if women never attract a male and get married or have a baby or as some women call it an “insurance policy” to claim ownership to alimony or child support. What is all this nonsense about men wanting to own women? It’s called marriage and its not ownership, it’s two people who agree to have a monopoly on sexual activity with one another.

    • Frank, you’re doing exactly what this post is talking about; switching the responsibility on women.

      This blog is asking men to take ownership of themselves, and not to be concerned with anyone else’s response.

      You wanna be an “Alpha” male? Then yes, dignity, character, responsibility, and integrity are part of the deal.

      My advice to women will take place on another post.

      By the way, marriage is about much more than a sexual monopoly”.

      Thanks for reading and replying.

      • To point out the responsibility of “one side” is not to excuse inconsideration of the “other side.” And until we all realize that we are on the SAME side as men and women, we will be playing into the hands of social Marxist engineers who seek to set us at enmity with one another for their own purposes.

        • A think some of you may be missing the point.

          To underline the responsibility of one side on this issue, is to simply do that. This blog doesn’t exonerate women at all; but is a direct challenge men to own their thoughts and actions. Of course women have a part to play, but that’s not the heart of this piece.

          Thanks for the great dialogue.

    • The idea of “alpha” and “beta” males comes from a flawed study of wolves in captivity that were stressed out and not in proper packs, which are more a family unit than anything.

      We are not wolves, in any case.

      There ARE no “alpha” and “beta” males in a human troop (tribe). There are men and there are women. A man may obtain a position of leadership in a tribal situation by proving his trustworthiness and prowess in various ways, but if he were constantly beating up on the other males, the entire tribe would be stressed out and more vulnerable to dying of various causes. We are not as strong an animal as a gorilla or even a chimp; we *cannot* protect ourselves sufficiently through brute force alone. We must use our brains and our capacity for sociality instead and work together intelligently. A fact the more successful human tribes have known for many millennia now.

      So I don’t know what YOU have been reading about human behavior but you need to find better sources.

    • Frank, your comment shows that you are very much the kind of man who needs to pay attention to the article and perhaps try actually reading it and letting it sink in. Stop being part of the problem already.

    • The irony is that all you guys who claim you’re alpha males are the true betas, quaking in fear of a woman who would be your equal.

      • I am desperately trying to “like” your comment. It’s a horrific irony that most guys who obsess over the idea of being “alpha” are the most insecure people you will meet.

  10. I like this post. And I think you’ve done a marvelous job in challenging men to act as men and to take responsibility for themselves. It is something that we need in today’s world.

    That said, I think you made a small oversight with big ramifications.

    In NO way is a man’s sex drive a wan’s problem but neither is it a man’s. You said, “Your sex drive? It’s your problem.” I realize the point behind this sentence is to emphasize your and where the ownership lies. That said, I really disagree with the idea that our sex drives are problems.

    Sex drives are natural, good things that are really great gifts. Without them, families would dry up pretty quickly. In Japan, an increasing number of men have decided that sex and relationships, ‘aren’t worth the trouble.’ This is, I believe, is one of a number of reasons that Japan is facing such major problems with population and birth rate decrease.

    Our sex drives are certainly our responsibility and, when managed well, are an integral part of our life. When mismanaged, as with any responsibility, they can cause great harm to ourselves and to others. As in your illustration with the money, it isn’t bad for us to desire (sex, money, etc) but when we can’t control ourselves/our desires/our urges we lose ourselves and, in many ways, the very essence of being men.

    I think you, however, did a great job pointing that out and there is nothing I can add to it.

    You also said:

    “You and me, we are visual.
    We do love the shape of women’s bodies.
    We are tempted and aroused by their physicality.

    And all of that, is on us, not on them.”

    I agree that all these things are our responsibility. Usually, though, I’ve heard the phrase, “on me, not you” used as an admission of guilt/to say it was my fault, etc.

    None of the things in that list, however, are faults or things we should feel guilty for.

    To use church language, temptation isn’t a sin but not fleeing from it is.

    Finally, if it seems like in nitpicking, I’ll agree, these are tiny distinctions. I believe, though, that our vocabulary can truly define and shape our worldview and perspective. All the more so when they are small details we don’t pay major attention to.

    I think you did a great job in every other aspect of this post and I really don’t mean to attack you. Hopefully that comes across. Thank you for your blog and your writing.

  11. This is such a spot on article! My husband and I have been discussing this over the past week or so, and you’ve verbalized exactly what I couldn’t. Thanks so much for writing this!

  12. I appreciate the perspective you bring on this and look forward to your advice for young women yet to come. I posted the comment below elsewhere and think it applies here as well I think all professing Christians would do well to stop standing on their own perceived “rights.”

    From my Facebook response:

    The notion of this being either the “fault” of the man or the woman is COMPLETELY off base and misses the point for a professing Christian. I think most men would admit that the problem lies within them, but to say a woman bears no responsibility (or has no desire to BE desired) is just plain wrong. For both men and women, it would be good if more people thought of this from the perspective of the other and tried to put the needs of others before themselves, it seems like I remember reading that somewhere: Luke 10:27 “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” I also think that Romans 14 is very instructive on the heart we should have toward others who may be struggling with something (whether it be food, drink, festival days, or lust of the eyes!) Romans 14:7-8, and 13 “For none of us lives for himself and none dies for himself. If we live, we live for the Lord; if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s….Therefore we must not pass judgment on one another, but rather determine never to place an obstacle or a trap before a brother or sister. “

  13. Great ideas, but never once did you explain why men should behave this way. Why should I control my feelings? Why should I own my own choices? Because you said so? Or because every one of us was individually created by God and entitled to respect? That treating women – anyone, really – like meat or an object dehumanizes them and makes God grieve.

    Just food for thought.

    • Hey Elijah. Totally agree with you however, I’m aware that not everyone who reads this blog shares my faith, and so the truth of that inherent value of women is something I wanted to speak to without attaching religious beliefs to. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  14. ultimately, a man is responsible for his own actions. that does not take away from a woman’s responsibility to dress in a way that isn’t provocative. its very shortsighted to believe she plays no part in influencing the man. time to wake up and stop pushing all the blame to one side of this argument.

    • Bobby (and other guys who have expressed similar ideas), no where in the blog to I exonerate women from their part in the equation. This blog post, however, speaks to men, and to their responsibility.

      This previous blog post explains the principle: In every relationship you have with another person, you are 50 percent of the relationship. You own 100 percent of your 50 percent.

      This blog is challenging men to own their part of this and of their interactions with women, regardless and independently of the women’s response, attitude, conduct, etc.

      Of course they have a a role and responsibility, but as a man, that’s not your concern, unless of course you have to self-control or freedom of choice.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      https://johnpavlovitz.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=4066&action=edit

    • Provocation is in the eye of the beholder. I should be able to walk down the street naked without anyone bothering me. (And I guarantee most of them wouldn’t–it’s not a pretty sight anymore.)

      NOW. That said, I understand that it is easier to look at a visual signal than it is to ask every single person you meet whether they want to have sex with you, and it would be NICE if we could all agree on a common set of clothing signals that could advertise whether someone is looking for a mate, as it were. But that’s not practical or feasible in a multicultural society. Can we not all just agree that if you are not in fact in the bedroom with the other person climbing all over us, that we cannot assume anything about their sexual desire, and just leave it alone?

  15. the person who wrote this page thinks like this…….. so how are you going to get a woman to like you? YOU BUY THEM, with the things that you own. Your value is with the stuff you have. Your car makes you who you are, and your house is the definition of your soul………… you do not talk because your things you own will do that for you. At the end of the day it is them that makes the final decision base off of what they can see….

    P.S. money is a powerful thing.

  16. Let me add that young (or old) men should not run down the road mentally with all that cash! No. Don’t entertain the thought of sinning. It’s still lust even if it isn’t acted upon. Train yourself to automatically look away and think of something else. Run, don’t walk, from temptation.

    • Wait so as a male I am required to turn my head and run if I find myself attracted to a woman? When did sexual attraction become this evil entity to be repressed and held down until you are either too afraid to open the door again or when you finally do its this terrible awkward experience that only happens once a year.
      I can’t even count how many of my married friends who waited confessing that they thought the sex was terrible and it completely ruined what is supposed to be an awesome experience.
      Should men understand and control their own emotion and passions, yes! No one has any right to take what is not theirs,
      Should men also be taught that those innate sexual desires are bad and should be beaten down as if it was Satan himself? No…..
      We need to stop treating sex as this gem that will forever be tarnished and ruined if we think about it or are interested in it. I know if/when I have kids they will know about both abstinence and protection.
      I freely admit I didn’t wait. I don’t feel I am giving any less to the person I will marry because I didn’t wait. I like the article I just wish there was a less repressive way to handle what are biological reactions that both sexes have.
      Perhaps I am just moving from my pessimistic phase to my realist phase, but the more I was told not to think about it, the more it occupied my mind. At this point I am veering most verbosely as its 7am and I have yet to sleep (curses to you insomnia and PTSD). I will finish by saying thank you for the interesting read and that it gave me a lot to think about. I look forward to any replies as long as the discourse stays civil.

      • Sir, I don’t believe it is a sin to be attracted to someone. I do think God doesn’t want men or women lusting after another person’s body because it can quickly lead to a type of idolatry. If you dwell on how sexy she looked, and stop dwelling on God who made her, you are now placing her body over God. And that is a bigger issue. Also, the famous story of David and Bathsheeba is in the Bible for a reason (2 Samuel 11). After seeing her bathing on the roof, David acted on the lust for her, eventually killing her husband so he could marry her and cover up his sin when she became pregnant. He didn’t follow the better road, and Bathsheeba’s husband and child died. Both had a part to play in the sin. Bathsheeba certainly shouldn’t have been bathing naked on the roof. David certainly shouldn’t have started lusting after her until he couldn’t control himself. I’m also NOT saying those are the consequences today. I am saying letting lust rule your heart and mind was the issue. You can be attracted to someone without lusting after them. Both men and women have to guard their minds and hearts, because this issue goes both ways.

        My bottom line- God wants a relationship with you. Letting other things (like sex, love, and attractive people in this article) get in the way and are bad because they put a barrier between you and God. When He is your primary goal, other things fall into place. Pursue God, read His word. It clears up a lot of issues, at least it has for me. Hope this helped.

  17. I want to agree with this article, and I do to a point. The analogy of the woman with a bag full of money is a good point that wasnt carried through. Yes, a man of integrity wouldnt touch it, BUT the man without integrity would. The old adage, ” locked doors are for honest people” applies here. We know the reality of our world , and know it would be utter foolishness to carry an open bag full of money around in many places in our society. Just so, women have a responsibility to be smart about what and where and to whom they expose, because believe me a man without integrity cares not one whit about whose responsible for what. They take because they can.

    • There are people without integrity all over the globe, regardless of their sex. Thus this article is not about those people without integrity. It is written for and about those people who do have integrity, or who claim to have integrity.

      The bag of money is a metaphor, and in this case an apt one, for the idea of taking something that does not belong to you. The bag of money is not necessarily intended to be a statement of reality, but rather an allegorical vehicle to pass along the message of, “Live with integrity.” Simply because someone else has no integrity is absolutely no reason for those actions to get a pass. Simply because someone else treats those around them as if they have no value is absolutely no reason for someone who does have integrity to let that pass and stand as normal, acceptable behavior.

      Be the one with integrity.

    • “Women have a responsibility to be smart about what and where and to whom they expose.”

      This sounds VERY close to holding women accountable for their own sexual assault or rape. I’ve been sexually assaulted while wearing a knee-length wool coat–I’m pretty sure my winter attire didn’t cause an a$%hole to grope me.

  18. I do not disagree with your comments in any way but I would like to input a little spin. A man’s sexual desire and urges are completely natural but he should also control them as they are indeed not anyone else’s (women’s) problem. Too often I see men told to control themselves but at the same time, I hardly see anyone telling women to control their emotional roller coasters. Women’s emotional and hormonal changes are no more natural than a man’s sexual urges and if men are tasked with controlling their urges then women need to be held to the same standard when it comes to keeping their emotions and more importantly emotionally charged actions in check.

    • Why? Why shouldn’t women express their emotions? Or do you think being yelled at by an angry woman is as awful for you as it is for a woman who gets groped by a stranger?

      • He was merely asking for self control from both parties. I will treat you with respect until you disrespect me. Your hormones and emotions can only take you so far. So a woman can yell at me all she wants, she can also expect to sleep on the couch herself since she is the one being moody and obstinate.

  19. The idea that only men are visually stimulated is ridiculous and leads to all sorts of men “letting themselves go” and not bothering with elementary things like sufficient bathing and basic grooming. It’s your own business how your body looks, but seriously, a lot of guys are slobs now. (And I have no room to talk these days, I’m just saying, it’s still true.) The really stupid part is, this culture expects women to care about things like color names and fashion and decor, and yet we’re supposedly NOT visually stimulated. Pick one, because this is a HUGE contradiction. Or better yet, just listen to us. We like to look too! We’re visually stimulated too. It was MEN who decided we weren’t, somehow, and who refused to listen to us when we said otherwise.

  20. The author makes a good point: men need to own 100% of their 50%.
    But the fact remains, the woman is completely out of line if she thinks there are no consequences to how she presents herself. That is not to justify men’s bad behavior in any way. Just to say, “women, dress and act with discretion.” Commit Proverbs 11:22 to memory. Men, don’t reward them with attention when they don’t meet biblical standards of purity in dress and behavior. Pay more attention to women who dress modestly and respectably.
    btw, if you drop the “pav” from your name… are you sure this isn’t John Lovitz?

  21. Your position is very similar to the responsibilities of husbands and wives. God spells out different responsibilities for each role. Sacrifice through submission for one and sacrifice of their everything for the other. For a healthy relationship, both need to be fulfilled. The failure of either side will result in a dysfunctional situation, but anyone’s true responsibility lies in their own actions. Just because the other doesn’t fulfill their part does not negate our duty to fulfill ours.

  22. Entice is to attract by arrousing desire. Most men are arroused by the less amount of clothing and form revealing. The woman shares the guilt for this reason.

    • Incorrect, Josh. YOU are enticed by what YOU are enticed by. If I eat fast food every day and get obese, it’s not the food’s fault, it’s mine.

      All men need to grow-up, and own this. It’s about self-control. That’s what a real man does.

      • Absolutely, but fast food companies that take direct action to market to kids with toys, spend millions on marketing, show commercials during cartoons, research what kind of chemicals are the most addictive (have you seen Super Size Me ? ) , Do you deny this? So clearly they are taking actions to achieve a goal: $$ and repeat customers.

        don’t you think these actions are DELIBERATELY taken by them to entice, attract, addict and keep customers coming ? Anyone who flips it around and says “well it’s your responsibility what you’re enticed by” is just being ignorant. no offense.

        It’s like Chris Rock’s joke about women who complain about being “harassed” (and he’s quick to exclude violence, rape, assault, or power differences, ie a boss forces a subordinate to do sexual favors in exchange for keeping ones job) – everything else is “trying to get laid” and sure a woman can deny, it’s her right, but the same women in 10 yrs will probably WISH she gets “harassed” and the first day she doesn’t will invariably start to think to themselves “am I not attractive anymore?”

    • This comment is really disturbing and frankly I’m scared of anyone who expresses this kind of utter rubbish with any seriousness. Wow.

  23. After reading through these comments I just want to say that I am a woman who has always dressed a bit more modestly. Guess what? It has never stopped men from cat calling, hitting on me at work, trying to touch me, etc etc. Never. This happens too often. And guess what else? More mature adults often presume that I am still in 9th or 10th grade so how old do the men who behave so badly think I am??? My clothes, my professional interactions as an employee paid to help them, my straightforward body and verbal language about where I stand when it comes to their choice, not going to bars or clubs ever, only going to restaurants witg friends, not dating, never encouraging this unwanted attention has never made a difference to these men. Men commenting, do you know what it feels like to be looked at with lust? *shiver* with that slight lip lick while they ogle my chest that is covered and not jiggling and/or my crotch *shiver* worst experience ever! I hate being hit on!! I do all that is within my power – 100% of my 50%. When my Beloved does come into my life in the future he is going to have his work cut out for him unfortunately because I do not trust men who are being “complimentary” – they always have an alternative motive.

      • I’m not sure how you are intending this comment, as it is very hard to interpret tonal inflection and nuance through written words. However, this comment of yours is coming across as highly sarcastic and even demeaning, which seems highly out of place in the comments thread of an article that is trying to engender positive discussions.

        In light of the comment you are responding to — a woman detailing her own experiences in her life, particularly about street harassment (and that does fall into the article’s purview of personal sexual responsibility) — I do not see how your comment is helpful to this conversation. May I ask why you felt the need to respond in this way?

      • Why.. Miss_C, you cut me to the quick! Forsoothe I meant no harm by introducing a bit of levity into an otherwise serious albeit necessary conversation. I hoped only to attract the attention of a fair damsel such as yourself. Now that I have succeeded, might I suggest, “me thinks thou doth protest too much.” Fair enough though. You call me out and I stand corrected. Respect.

      • Jamswinkler, the problem with your response is you took it to mean that she has a physique that society would deem highly attractive, so clearly she should just expect it.

        I have a physique that society tells me constantly I should apologize for merely exiting my house while living in this body. I have also been sexually assaulted, catcalled, and ogled. None of these things are acceptable regardless of the body type of the person on the receiving end. The intention is always to reduce the human dignity of the person on the receiving end, and that should never be made light of.

    • I always dressed (and still do) to suit my personal aesthetic. It was never really my thing to have a lot of “skin” showing; that’s not to say I never have worn a short dress, tight skirt or lace leggings. I dress for myself . I like certain styles of fashion and I think clothes and makeup can be artistic.

      I never cared (and still don’t) if men “checked me out”. I was always (and still am)mostly oblivious to it. I am now married, but never really cared that much whether or not I was going to wind up in a romantic relationship. I spent and spend my effort keeping my eyes peeled for potential dangers (roving dogs, suspicious looking activity, people not paying attention to their driving) to worry about a man who may just want to look at someone they think is attractive.

      Where the problem ever came in was when men got angry because I didn’t react to them the way they thought I should. Obscenities yelled at me. Being called the B word. Men trying to block my path.

      More than once in my life, I’ve had a woman tell me things like, “You need to be nicer to men when they look interested in you”, or, “Throw them a bone!” Wow, my own sex implying to me I “owe” a man something because of my temerity to be within their range of sight.

      Oh, and I’ve been groped and harassed in bars, (where I do and have as much right to go as a man), and I’ve also been groped and harassed in work places. It’s wrong in BOTH places.

    • Amber,
      I’m a woman who used to dress quite immodestly and also got tons of (unwanted)attention before I became a Christian and made MAJOR changes to my wardrobe. And guess what? Men treat me well now, do not ogle me crudely, really even seem to appreciate who I am. True, it is a different “kind” of man who appreciates me now, but who wants the other kind?! Not me. I will never go back. I don’t dress frumpy, but tight, revealing and short are completely out. Does that mean no one ever crosses the line? no, of course not. But the incidence is WAY down! And I am glad for it. I am in no way ashamed of my body, but it’s not for public display.

    • Libby, thank you for telling me the problem with my post AND how I took Amber’s post. Next time I need to know what I think, I’ll check in with you. 😉
      Seriously though, I get a lot of attention from all kinds of women, so I was, in my own way, relating to her post. You know what they say… “sexual harassment is UNWANTED attention.”
      That being said, I have had many women indicate interest in something more. I’m talking ladies with supermodel good looks and incredible intellects, good, decent, productive, passionate, and classy in every way, and I was not led to pursue them.
      I know what it’s like to receive unwanted attention. It is demeaning–I mean what am I? A piece of meat??, but I believe it is different for women. There’s a reason you see way more female hookers than male. There’s more of a market for it.
      As for how I handle purveyors, my attitude is: you can look but don’t touch.”
      Believe me when I say, “I gots mad love for y’all.” I have many respectful relationships with all kinds of women: sisters, mothers, friends, married and unmarried, gay, bi, straight, young and old. The ones I allow close to me are those who exhibit trustworthiness. But if you lack integrity, digression, and a sense of humor, I have to create distance between us. Sorry, nothing personal. But no flakey women allowed.

  24. I can agree with this. It is ultimately the men’s issue to control. However, women know when they dress, who they’re dressing for. If we dress provocatively, we’re dressing for a man, maybe our husband or if you’re a single gal, men in general. Case in point, how we dress to go out on the town as opposed to church. Women should recognize that they have the ability to tempt the opposite sex by the way they dress. Don’t give us gals the green light just because it’s a guys ultimate responsibility to control his natural urges.

    • Lisa, I don’t think telling men that they own their lust, is giving ladies the green light to do anything. Whatever responsibility women have to have integrity, modesty, decency, etc., is independent of a man’s responsibility. They are separate issues.

      Thanks for commenting.

  25. Wow I’m not sure I’ve ever read such a great article. Every single word was dead on! I’m sharing cause I think EVERY woman needs to hear these words. It may not change things today but it could have life altering effects down the road.

    Thank you!

  26. Women we have a Godly, moral responsibility to not tempt men to error. They deserve respect in every area and then they will treat us with the respect. Thanks for the article.

      • Actually, Katherine, the exact opposite of of what Sherry said would be that women SHOULD tempt men to evil and that women SHOULD NOT respect men. If Sherry believes the exact opposite of what John believes, then he must believe these things. I find that very disturbing, or were you simply emoting and misrepresenting what she said to find favor with John. Again, very disturbing that John thanked you for it.

  27. Thank you for writing this. Men need to hear this more from other men. Young boys growing up need to hear this from other men. As a single mom, I’m discouraged at times by the kinds of behaviours I see men show, and I wonder where the role models are for my own growing up in today’s “modern” world. Right or wrong, the reality is that a man saying these things to other men makes a difference and I think has a huge impact. Will bookmark this one for my kids 🙂

  28. Thank you John. This is the best article I’ve ever read on the subject of sexuality. You did a GREAT job. Thank you for speaking up.

  29. This author lacks a very fundamental understanding of the feminine nature. That is, women actually WANT to be objectified by men. Women are drawn to masculine traits that signal high testosterone, assertiveness and dominance. Facts that modern day doughy betamale niceguys simply do not comprehend.

    A woman presents herself to be attractive to men in the way she dresses, grooms and carries herself. She craves (and don’t give me the “societal construct” bullshit about that fact) male validation that she is attractive and worthy of an Alpha male’s genes for procreation. She then gets female validation from attracting this same Alpha.

    Women are simply not attracted to the asexual guy who pretends so hard not to notice her intense sexuality which so much of her female nature relies on. Truly feminine women (and why would a man want to pursue an angry ballbusting masculine woman anyway?) absolutely love the sexual tension created by men who make her feel deeply feminine and sexy, and love to “hate” the catcalls and stares from random men, all of which confirm their sexual attractiveness.

    The same woman who walks by a construction sight and gets whistled at and “complains” to her girlfriends about it, will also complain if she were to walk by and the construction workers didn’t even glance at her.

    Besides, women objectify other women as much as men do (and their snide, bitter remarks about each other are much more vindictive and mean than are any man’s):

    http://guardianlv.com/2013/10/women-objectify-other-women-on-par-with-men-says-study/

    To the author, I agree we are all in control of our actions. Absolutely. And must be held accountable for them. But if you think that you are being attractive to women by acting chivalrous (“White Knight”), controlling your urges to the point of asexuality and keeping your comments Rated G, then you are sorely misinformed about the sociosexual attraction triggers of women.

    • Dear Joe,

      We’re human beings, not wild animals. All the Alpha talk is good for creatures in zoos and woods.

      In your world, I guess there are only two types of men: oversexed and asexual. I’d beg to differ.

      We’re trying to have a society here.

    • So, I’m female, which makes me an expert at least on my own femininity/womanhood and my own desires. I can’t and won’t speak for any other woman because that is not my place. And I have to say, I think the author is just fine in what he understands of “the feminine nature”.

      I’m really, really, really, REALLY not interested in being seen as an object of someone else’s desire (platonic, romantic, or sexual) instead of the living, breathing, thinking, feeling human being that I actually am. I want nothing to do with any person — male or female — who sees me as less than human. Because that is what objectification is: seeing another human being as an object to be owned, used, played with, and potentially broken and/or discarded.

      I do not, in fact, “[crave] … male validation that [I am] attractive and worthy of an Alpha male’s genes for procreation”. I already know I’m worthy of any person I choose to be with, and need no man to “validate” that fact by virtue of his sexual interest in me. Also, “Alpha male’s genes for procreation”? Yes, I have a uterus and uteruses are the places in which babies are held until birth, and if you think that that’s my sole defining feature and purpose as a woman then that means we should be having a completely different kind of conversation.

      As for “female validation from attracting this same Alpha”, again that’s not why I’m with the person I’m with. I’m with him because he’s a gamer (and he’s set aside a few computer games that only he and I play together); he’s a bio-medical researcher (for great science!); he lets me dress him up for Dickens Fair and the NorCal Renaissance Faire (mmmmm baby a man who knows how to really wear a cravat and flintlock pistol!); he’s learning how to use a longsword in the medieval Italian style; he’s learning Tai Chi; he brews his own beer; he goes rock climbing instead of to the gym; he lets me cover his desk in silly, sappy little knick-knacks (the rose I drew for him when he graduated from college is *still* taped to his spare monitor and honestly I think that’s why he even keeps the thing still); he lets me drag him to Victorian style balls and then he makes sure that I dance all the waltzes with him. I’m with him because he’s silly, goofy, a total dork, and he loves me (and I love him).

      As for “[women being simply not attracted to] the asexual guy who pretends so hard not to notice her intense sexuality which so much of her female nature relies on”: the fastest way for a man to make me desperately uncomfortable and even afraid of him is for him to “notice [my] intense sexuality”. This is for multiple reasons:
      1. Even if I weren’t in a committed, monogamous relationship with the love of my life, my sexuality and/or my sexual availability are not anything I want to be noticed or discussed by any random man in the world around me. It is, obviously, a deeply personal and intimate thing that I do not feel is the business of any person other than myself, my gynecologist, and my chosen significant other.
      2. I’m on the asexual spectrum, myself. I’m honestly and only attracted to my Mr. Man, so the idea of anyone else thinking about, commenting on, or otherwise “noticing [my] intense sexuality” makes me physically ill and gives me panic attacks like few other things in this world.
      3. I was molested as a child. Someone I trusted took advantage of my trust and my ignorance to touch me in ways that a child should never be touched. I was lucky enough to escape being raped, though that does not mean I do not have my own hidden issues to deal with from that. This is also another reason why “the catcalls and stares from random men” do not, in fact, “confirm [my] sexual attractiveness”. Instead, it sends me in a jittery, hyperventilating panic.

      A recent experience: I was at my local county fair yesterday (June 29th, 2014), and since it’s high summer (or at least feels like it), I was wearing a broad-brimmed hat that happened to have the top ‘cut off’. This apparently meant that, while on my way to meet up with my Mr. Man and a few friends, every man I walked past was obliged to “notice [my] intense sexuality” through the guise of my hat; this apparently meant that they felt they had free reign to reach out and touch me, grab me, pull at my clothing (yellow skirt and blue t-shirt) or my hat or even my purse, and that they felt their “noticing” meant they could follow me through the fair and call out to me and, when I pointedly did not respond (or even when I did, to tell them to leave me alone since apparently my being on my phone and speaking to Mr. Man wasn’t deterrent enough) I was loudly, angrily, and aggressively proclaimed either an “ugly bitch” or a “frigid whore” or other such epithets. By the time I reached Mr. Man and our friends, I was pale and shaking and ready to cry.

      No, I do not “absolutely love the sexual tension created by men who make [me] feel deeply feminine and sexy” because such attention does not make me feel “deeply feminine and sexy” at all. Instead, I feel hunted, harried, and in some aspects even dehumanized. I certainly do not feel respected, which for me is the first basic requirement for any human interaction.

      Now, as for chivalry equaling asexuality, that’s not how the word works. The modern definition of ‘chivalry’ is as follows: “courteous behavior, especially that of a man toward women”. This is the THIRD definition of chivalry, and is based off of the original context. Namely, that chivalry is the medieval knightly system with its religious, moral, and social code. It came from the era of King Charlemagne, particularly from his idea of ‘aristocratic warriors’ (namely soldiers mounted on horses), and the name ‘chivalry’ comes from the French word ‘chevalier’ which translates as ‘horse soldier’ (mounted cavalry, really).

      What we call the “Code of Chivalry” was a system of morals, ethics, and honor. It included vows that all knights should protect those who can not protect themselves, in particular widows, children, and elders. Knights also vowed to be loyal, generous, and “of noble bearing”, which covered such requirements as to tell the truth and respect the honour of women. They swore this to their king, their comrades, and yes to their people. Knights were traditionally landed lords, which meant they ruled over people. By swearing these vows to their king (who is responsible for the protection of all subjects within a realm), a knight extended his responsibility from not only his personal demesne to all the king’s subjects.

      As the author himself states, “We’re human beings, not wild animals. […] We’re trying to have a society here.” A society that functions honestly and with harmony requires all participants to be equals — to act that way and to be treated that way. A society is created by people, not by objects. I don’t want a “White Knight” (I can slay my own dragons, thank-you-very-much), and it still sounds to me like chivalry is the way to go.

      (@johndpav, my apologies for my many comments on your article. I think this article is a desperately needed step in a conversational direction that can aid all people, male and female. Thank you for writing this article.)

      • Miss C…I 100% agree with you. I dress in loose fitting clothes and I still get looks. I am modest. I, too, as a child was molested but I did not escape the rape. It didn’t matter to him that I was too young. I personally feel that even if a woman is nude, it doesn’t give a man a right to touch her. Look all you want if she wants that attention, but you never have a right to touch.
        I think some men just don’t get that we ladies dress for ourselves not them. Well at least I do. I care about my comfort, not what a man finds attractive.

    • Thank you Joe, for your truly enlightened mansplaining about just what we women are all really about. I’m assuming the degrees you’ve earned in biology and physiology are serving you in good stead. P.S. please tell me where you are so I can avoid all contact with you and your frankly caveman ideas.

    • Mr. Joe, more female perspective for ya,

      Christ treated women with respect. He gladly served women. He loved them the way they were meant to be loved. If you draw a Christian woman to Christ, you will be extremely attractive to a God-fearing woman. Love and pursue God first. Ladies come later. Honestly, the guy I am most attracted to is attractive because he strives to be like Christ. And yes, he stumbles and falls, but he is always trying to let Christ lead his every step. Strive to be a Man of God. The Man of God respects women and knows how to act around them. He lets his humility speak.

      I think that is the point the author was aiming at. It isn’t about pointing fingers or what any study says about the desires of women’s hearts. It’s about being a God Guy. When you are following in God’s steps, He will bring a God Girl into your life. Whether she’s your sister or romantic interest, always treat all women, no matter where they are from or how they dress in a manner pleasing to God. Love and respect others like Christ did. The same goes out to women. If we are striving to live like Christ, we become much better ladies who respect and love men the way they need to be respected and loved, as well as figuring out the whole modesty thing.

      • I’m sorry but this is a load of crap. Most of the negative things in our society that are done to women by society have been done in the name of religion.

        If you follow what the Bible says about how women are supposed to behave, you are supposed to be quiet, barefoot, pregnant and do what your man tells you to do.

        This is a terrible way to go through life for a woman. Women have rights, opinions, feelings and thoughts and it sickens me when I see this rhetoric about how religion shows people the proper way to treat women. What a load of crap!!

      • Kaspr, I challenge you to re-read the Bible. From the Bible and reading it for myself, I have discovered that I am a daughter of the King. (1 John 3:2) I am a princess. Pretty sweet, huh? I have learned that my body was perfectly designed by God. (Psalm 139:33-18) I have learned that Christ looks at my heart, not my outside appearance like people do. (1 Samuel 16:7) I have learned that God can make me a woman who is strong, loving, determined, diligent, and a woman who can “laugh at the days to come”. Read Proverbs 31. I have learned that God is on my side.(Isaiah 54:17) I have learned that God, my God is incredibly powerful. (Job 38& 39) And that same God loves me with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3) That same God sent his son, Jesus Christ to die for me so that I might have life. Read the gospels.

        My identity is found in Christ. I don’t need men to give me my self worth, I don’t need to be perfect. I have been blessed beyond words just to be able to breathe. I have not been spoon feed these beliefs. They are mine. They have been tested and will be tested. This is MY God, and I want you to know Him. If you want more, here’s a link: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yzqTFNfeDnE

        Still want more, I will personally buy and mail you a Bible.
        God bless you.

  30. INSERT HUGE APPLAUSE!!! As a Mom of 4 daughters, and hear what the teenage ones come home and tell me what guys do/say these days, I’m blown away on a regular basis. So tired of hearing people say “Dress this way” or “Change your behavior this way”. My girls dress fine and act appropriately – and I love to hear a more conservative camp bring up the conversation about who’s really responsible! Sharing this with my son (and my girls) – and thank you for a refreshing perspective!

    • Haha

      You really have no idea what girls are saying to and about each other do you? It is magnitudes far worse than what any guy is saying. Your boys are very likely upset that other boys are saying these things and get tng positive female attention for it while realizing that opening doors and complimenting the girls gets them nowhere. I suggest really talking to your sons about this and listening to the deeper issues.

      Women are their own worst enemy. Your trying to push the ” sugar and spice” angle and blame men is absolutely hilarious feminist propanganda widely debunked by sociological study and anecdotal evidence..

      • The longer you comment, Joe, the more apparent it is that your issues are with women, and that your blind spot, is really the point of this article.

        You can only control you; your attitudes, actions, motives. It doesn’t matter if every “sociological study” you cite about women is 100 percent true, (which is completely incorrect), that wouldn’t change a word of this blog post.

        The mirror, Joe. That’s what this is about for men.

    • I aplogoze you have daughters. Not sons. From that perspective I can understand their frustration in hearing certain boys comments, because young men learn that the chivalrous behavior does nothing to attract attention from girls. If a girl is indeed a quality girl, (a bit hard to find in modern America as I’m sure hard to find quality guys), seeing such behavior is as frustrating for them as it is for the typical guy.

      Raising a girl or boy in today’s world is a real challenge.

      But girls are indeed cattier to one another than any boy will ever be, and it’s well known by both sexes that girls are not sugar and spice innocent. They lie, cheat, make false accusations, gossip, and objectify the opposite sex just as much or even much more so than guys.

      The “feminine mystique” has been exposed via repeated sociological, psychological studies and simple observation of human behavior. The solipsistic, hypergamous dark underbelly of the female nature is as dark or darker than that of males.

      • Since women are people, and men are people too, I have always found it really hard to apply any such nursery rhyme as “Sugar and spice and everything nice” or “Snips, snails, and puppy dog tails” as the sole defining factors of a person’s character because that negates whole entire universes of personal experiences that truly make a person into who they are. We, as people, are more than a sexist description found in an English nursery rhyme from 1820. I think, since we’ve had just about 200 years pass from the creation of this nursery rhyme, that we can let it go and stop using it to try and flatten our humanity.

        As for people who “lie, cheat, make false accusations, gossip, and objectify the opposite sex” well that just sounds like people, be they male or female. It’s unfortunate human behavior, yes, and it is not exclusive to one sex or to one gender.

        Also, the author himself has clearly stated that this article is not a stand-alone. Yes, this particular article focuses on the personal responsibilities that men hold to themselves and their own sexualities (and thus by extension to the world around them). Again, the author has stated — several times in this comment thread — that he is working on an article to discuss the personal responsibilities that women hold to themselves, their sexualities, and thus the world around them, as well.

        I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea that “female nature” is negatively solipsistic. Solipsism is a theory that the self can know nothing but its own modifications. Which, if we’re applying that definition to something that is pretty much relegated to one specific sphere of experience (FEMALE NATURE), then doesn’t it make sense that such a specific reality would only be able to understand itself and the changes it makes to itself? Now, if we take that definition to an extreme — that being extreme egocentrism and thus the idea that the ‘self’ is the only thing that truly exists — then well yeah, that can be a negative thing.

        Also, hypergamous is an adjective-based derivative of “hypergamy” which is defined as “marriage into an equal or higher caste or social group” and isn’t that kind of what every person on this planet is, in some small way, looking for in addition to love? I am not sure what that adjective was adding to your final comment. Please explain?

  31. You make some great points in this article, however I would have liked to see you refer to young women alongside your reference to young men instead of using young men and “girls”.

  32. I love the article, however I may add that a woman even in marriage is not “owned”. Each and every person born is human and belong to no one but ourselves.

    Marriage is to entrust yourself to the one you love, to be safe from harm and protected. We live in a modern society now. Before there was no law to punish you for raping your wife. now there is NO means NO.

    In westernized society we expect people to clothe “properly”. But in other countries the state of dress differs. Even for tribes in Africa a beaded belt may all be that is worn, this does not give anyone the right to do what they want.

    Just because something you have seen turns you on, it is up to you to deal with that no one else. Just because you feel in that moment it doesn’t give you the right to grope and demand the nearest person your attracted to.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, that also includes your sexual desires.

    Just because someone turns you on doesn’t mean you turn them on.

    I am not saying women don’t commit these offenses either. It is up to everyone to control themselves.

  33. Topic: Owning one’s thoughts; relevant not only to young men but everyone; learn to control your mind, sin is born in the mind.

    Scope: Too narrow, enlarge to the include everyone as no one is immune to this sin.

    Problems: Our sex drive is God given, and should not be considered a “problem”, but rather a gift to be used for God’s glory, within the constraints of marriage. For young people who are not married they should consider their chaste state a “responsibility”. Thinking of it as a problem will only cause people to want to solve the problem, i.e., have sex to satisfy the urge or point the urge to another target group (homosexuality?). No one wants to hold onto a “problem” for a decade without there being an end in sight, but a responsibility is manageable provided a holy ordained end is in sight.

    Bits and pieces sound very feministic in nature. I had mixed feelings as I read this. Parts of me agreed with you on some points, but overall I felt bad for even existing as a man. I don’t think that Christ would want that to be the overall theme here, do you?

    Kudos: Good topic.

    How about an article on “emotional porn”, you know, for the ladies?

  34. It’s always interesting to me how vitriolic conversations like this get.

    This part is going to seem apropos of nothing, but it ties in:
    I was shopping with my kids one evening after a long day. My husband worked late evenings and I needed just a few things at the grocery store, so I packed up the kids and went to the Super Walmart just before he got off at 11:00pm so that I could pick him up afterward. I only have two kids, and that late evening they were really “on one”. My daughter would have been 3 and my son was younger than a year. So my son starts to cry shortly after we get into the store. Not cry – scream bloody murder. Would not be consoled for anything. My daughter, thinking she was cute, would run away and hide under a clothes rack or grab something and ask me to buy it for her. I didn’t have much time before I was meant to be picking my husband up, and I only had 4 or 5 things to purchase, and this was taking huge amounts of time and patience. After the fourth or fifth time chasing down my daughter, and dodging the glares of other shoppers for not controlling my son’s screaming, I broke. I literally sat down in the middle of the aisle and bawled. Not a little bit. I was sitting there for a good five minutes. And then this woman came up, holding my daughter’s hand, and sat down next to me and chatted with my daughter and me for about a minute. Nothing huge – just enough to get my daughter’s attention and help me realize I wasn’t alone.

    It’s not just about controlling the “negative” urges that could harm the person’s dignity or self-respect, but also controlling ourselves to do something positive within the situation. Doing nothing is like the Levite or the Priest walking by on the other side of the road in the story of The Good Samaritan. No, they didn’t rob the man, and they didn’t put him in a worse situation. But they also didn’t help. To ME, choosing the better part is making the choice to not only not remove someone’s dignity, but to help restore it. It doesn’t have to be confrontational, and it doesn’t have to feel like a judgment to the recipient. But while women (and men) seek attention the wrong way all too often, we can give them attention without it being about the amount of skin they show, how quickly they’ll get into bed with someone they don’t know, or other “easy” attention. It’s hard work to treat people the way they should be treated. Darned hard work. But people who are treated like human beings should be treated eventually realize that they are WORTH the hard work, and REQUIRE the hard work.

    So my only suggestion is, after all that: Look. People WANT to be SEEN. But if you’re going to look, REALLY LOOK. They are showing you their soul if you will look. Sometimes that is the overweight teenager who won’t look you in the eye and wears clothes that cover every inch of her body to try to cover up where she cuts herself. Sometimes it’s the boy who wears a perfectly cut suit and every hair is in place when he attends church but is hiding a porn addiction that he doesn’t know how to ask for help with. Sometimes it’s the mom who is pushing her cart through the Walmart and whose baby is screaming and three year old has just run off giggling with a video she can’t afford and who could really use a break after her own 8 hour day at work. It’s not just leering at a beautiful woman that is the problem. It’s the not seeing the people. It’s the NOT LOOKING. If we would actually LOOK, we might be surprised at what we see in others – and in ourselves.

    That said, thank you for writing an article that addresses a much-needed topic.

  35. Thank you so much. Your words are hard to come by in our society and much needed to hear. It’s men like you that hold our society together. Keep up the great work!

  36. The “bag of money” analogy is fair. Nobody’s justified in taking it. But, its still probably best not to leave it sitting out in the open. I have large amounts of cash fairly frequently. I keep it hidden. Because this isn’t Candyland. People are crooks, and its going to get stolen. It’d be their fault for being a degenerate criminal. But, the cash’d still be gone nonetheless … and that’s worth protecting myself over.

    Maybe people ought to be able to leave $10K sitting on their dashboard with confidence that it’d still be there when they got back. But, that’s not the world we live in. Mankind isn’t that good, and it never will be. No good comes from pretending otherwise.

    • Doesn’t matter, kbz.

      At some point, the money analogy fails, as we’re talking about flesh and blood human beings with infinite value and free will.

      We’re all accountable, not for others (as we can’t protect ourselves from every kind of ill that could be done to us).

      All we have and can control is our personal integrity.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • And this is why, although I think it can be slightly helpful as a mental stepping stone, I don’t like seeing the money analogy used. Because as a woman, my apparent ‘valuables’ are ME. I don’t leave them ‘sitting on a dashboard’. They are me. I can’t hide them away in a bank. They are me. I don’t get to leave the house without carrying my ‘valuables’ EVER, because they are me. I don’t get the option of ‘protecting myself’ by not waving wads of cash around, because according to the money analogy, the wads of cash are ME. Imagine having $10K grafted to your face, and you might be getting closer.

      And if someone tells me that I should be wearing more clothes to protect myself against having my ‘valuables taken’, they have clearly never tried it. It doesn’t work.

      This is why the key point should be not that women have or are ‘valuables’, but that women are people. Just like men. We are not things. Not even valuable things. Please treat us accordingly. It’s not that hard.

      • Totally agree, Kimberley. That’s why, although I set up the money scenario, I say that women, as people are priceless.

        Of course the imagery is imperfect, but I think we agree on the spirit of the blog.

        Thanks for commenting!

  37. I think I read most of the ridiculously lengthy line of comments and am hesitant to be redundant, but I was listening to James Dobson one day and he said that men are physiologically “wired” to notice when a beautiful woman walks into the room and physically can not avoid turning their head or eyes in that direction.

    Now, I am no stranger to lust and as a former pornography addict am commenting solely on the physiological aspect of “noticing”. Subtract lust and what is left? A chemical reaction.

  38. Love and agree with the article 99%. I think it is just missing touching on one major component. Men need to be accountable for their urges and the actions they do or dont take based on those urges, but its not just physical action. Its not just taking whats not yours but also whats going on in the mind. We, as men, are also responsible for where our mind and thoughts and fantasies go when we see women. This is even harder than controlling the physical response to urges, but also, IMO, much more important that would nullify many of the “uncontrollable” physical urges.

  39. Thank you for this really insightful post. I read all the comments too. I have been humbled and touched by the honest stories people have shared.

    It might be useful for other people who read these comments to know the context of the most negative comments. Those by Joe Sixpack and G. Grant are Red Pill rhetoric. Joe Sixpack also used many words and phrases from PUA (pick-up artistry).

    This article introduces Red Pill. http://www.businessinsider.com/the-red-pill-reddit-2013-8

    If you’re interested, have a look at the Red Pill glossary http://www.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/comments/17xmry/acronym_and_glossary_thread/ – once you know the terms, you’ll can easily spot Red Pill believers.

  40. Even though it is true that the money laying out is not yours, there is still reasonable caution that a person with that much money should exercise. I would caution that person to protect themselves from those who cannot or will not be responsible. It is still wrong for someone to take that money, but as the owner of the money you can take measures to protect yourself. I would teach young women that while it is not a man’s right to “take” them, they should exercise reasonable caution to protect themselves. The reality is that the world does have plenty of men who won’t appreciate your words of personal responsibility on the mans side and will continue to take what they want. That said, I definitely agree with your premise and I teach my sons the role of personal responsibility in all aspects of life, be that school/grades, women, jobs/money, etc. Thanks for a thoughtful article.

  41. Thank you all for reading, sharing, and commenting. It’s been really cool seeing the response to this piece.

    I’ve tried not to delete any comments received, other than ones containing blatant profanity or vulgarity toward other readers, or to women in general.

    I appreciate that we can have passionate dialogue, without it degenerating into insults.

    Thanks again for reading and joining the conversation.

  42. Really enjoyed your point. In a world gone a bit mad with self justification, instant gratification, and a general lack of commitment to long term relationships and living by principle, this article is applicable to us all. Thank you. 🙂

  43. Thank you for writing this. Modesty is a hot topic and debate among Christians and certainly a lot of the arguments still reflect a patriarchal cultural message – that girls are responsible for controlling men’s thoughts. I had a debate recently with a male loved one who insisted that a man’s only 2 options when confronted with an immodestly dressed female was to “flee” or to avoid her existence completely. I was flabbergasted at his statement and his adamant argument that men can’t control their thoughts. And he mocked me, a Christian women, for being a “feminist” as if it were a bad thing to be. I pondered on that stance for several days, wanting so badly to state to him and the world that men are capable of a third option – becoming sexually whole in their thinking and seeing women in compassionate, Christlike ways, no matter what they are wearing. So THANK YOU for showing me that there are some men that know that option 3 is not only possible, but the only option for a Godly man.

    Another thought I had and that I wish would be shouted from the rooftops and sounded in the ears of all guys of faith – if you hate immodestly dressed women and teen girls, than why don’t you rise up and fight against the culture that has told women and teen girls that their only value is in their sex-appeal instead of individually blaming and shamming the women and teen girls around you for being “foolish” and a threat to your purity. Do these men not realize that other men out there (a few women contribute too, but mostly men) have worked really hard to shape the culture into a sexually explicit one and that the women are VICTIMS of it? If you want to blame and shame – blame and shame the men behind movies, TV, pornography, fashion, beauty, and diet industries. And start blaming children’s toy and clothing manufacturer’s too – as our culture is now working hard to sexualize female children.

    Sigh.

    Thank you John for speaking up. Hope you reach few masculine hearts.

  44. Pingback: Young Men, Sex, and Urge Ownership (And Why It’s Not The Girl’s Problem) | Libertarian Diva

  45. Pingback: Young Men, Sex, and Urge Ownership (And Why It’s Not The Girl’s Problem) | Escape From Porn

  46. This article is not thought through. You say that is the man’s responsibility to keep himself from sinning and preserve the mans marriage. But it is also the womans responsibility to do her best to keep the man from sinning. Showing off everything you got is not helping you…what is the point? For example if you are in the store with your boyfriend and a women starts flirting with him and making inappropriate moves the man may lust amd im sure you as the girl friend or wife of this man would think it was much more appropriate of she acted like a lady and dressed like one….if you are dressing with the least amount of clothes possible such as a bikini it isn’t hurting anyone you say but who is it helping…we are told to live as if Jesus were with us would you wear a bikini in front of him and then if he asked you to put clothes on would you tell Him He needed self control?

    • If Jesus and I were hanging out at the pool or the beach in July, yes, I would wear a bikini with Him, and I’d be totally comfortable doing that.

      Your example is a false equivalency. You can’t compare a woman who takes deliberate, inappropriate action to a woman whose mere existence in a female body–especially a curvy female body–and pretend they’re equally to blame for male lust.

  47. Okay, I’ll start by granting that your heart is in the right place and your intentions are very noble in what you are trying to communicate here. I believe there have been extensive efforts deployed to destroy the family unit in society and that has largely taken the form of assaults on men’s character and targeting of young people, so we need more voices like yours out there advocating for self control, modesty, restraint etc.
    But where you fail is that the entire tone of the article is accusatory and does not make much, if any, attempt to paint a better picture of what young men can aspire to by developing restraint. You explained very well the morals behind not taking money from someone who does not seem to value it, but could have done much better by explaining the rewards of going out & earning your own fortune: the self esteem, the recognition, the knowledge and experience gained along the way etc. etc. It would not be hard to relate that to how much more rewarding a relationship that is earned would be. You implied this, but spent most your time painting a negative picture. We have all types of clarity and detail on how bad a young man is, but on the benefits of character and meaningful relationships we have broad brush strokes and blury abstracts.
    And although this is an article directed at young men, I don’t see why it is not valuable to teach young men about the responsibility that women carry. It’s true to say that if a woman dresses immodestly it should not mean that she is free to touch, but I think that it benefits both men and women to teach young men that if a woman does not value her body and modesty and her own mind then she won’t value you. All she will value is the money the court system will make you give her if you touch her too much. It is not a problem to teach men that woman have responsibility too. (Now for those who may read this and think with their emotions, I am not saying that women who dress immodestly are at fault if a man sees her as an object. If that’s what you think then go back and read again.) Rather teach men to judge well which women are worth their time.
    Another suggestion would be to add some statistics about behavioral trends so as to give some perspective to what we are talking about. There are probably millions of cases of kids getting picked on and girls getting touched or stared at in schools every year. But there are also millions of kids who do control themselves and who do treat people with respect. The complaint here is that your article speaks as though all young men are culprits. Yeah, you may have mentioned that it helps their character, but young men don’t respond to accusations. They respond to inspiration. We need more talk on what to aspire to.
    Lastly, there was only one thing about your article that truly offended me (every suggestion above is merely suggestions on where I thought the article fell short. But perhaps you are limited on writing space so I won’t judge). But I am going to offer something for everyone to consider. How about we consider the idea that a young man’s sex drive is… get this… NOT a “problem”. Although it is hard to find, the topic of sex transmutation (or the direction and channeling of sexual energy) is a well researched science that can be very encouraging. I recomend reading the classic “Think and grow rich” by Napoleon Hill for a good introduction on the subject. Maybe a man’s sex drive is one of his greatest virtues and source of the greatest blessings he has to offer a worthwhile woman. In order for human beings to be inspired to action, there needs to be an emotive (emotional) force driving them to it. And in both men and women the most powerful of emotive forces is the desire for sex. Therefore, if properly channeled (and not repressed or demonized) then men have direct access to the sources of power that help them become anything they want to be in this world. There may be some who will say “But that is what the author is saying, direct you urges and develop your character!” And my response is “Yes, I can see that, but what “I” am saying is that he destroys that message by defining the most powerful feelings and greatest souce of potential in a young man as a “problem”. And we need to stop that.” I was offended by that and I believe you ruined a lot of the potential of your otherwise well-intentioned article.
    Sadly, the young men who need to read this article probably won’t waste their time, but hopefully some future fathers will read. And if they come across this article, then Dad’s please also paint a clear picture of the potential for good your sons have within them and don’t focus solely on how they have potential for bad in them.
    Take care.

    • Thanks for the thoughtful insight. Appreciate it. No post of 600 words can ever capture all the nuances and perspectives of an issue. It’s meant as a conversation starter and place to begin. Glad it made an impression. Thanks for commenting.

  48. My husband has the self control of which you speak. That is how I knew he was the one. I found a relationship that was based on love, not making love.

  49. I previously deleted a mean-spirited comment that came in, and emailed the author privately. I received this reply back. I wouldn’t normally publish such hateful garbage, however it perfectly illustrates the attitude this blog was intended to address, and reveals the anger that men have been led to believe is the mark of a man.

    Guys, we can do much better.

    _________

    Here is his reply:

    “Your sad little article belongs in the trash as well. There was a time when I would’ve tried arguing with someone like you, tried debating facts and showing you the error of your ways, but I learned long ago that it is absurdly pointless to try reasoning with someone who has partaken of the feminazi kool-aid. My hope is that, one day, one of the many women who have friend-zoned you over the years decides to breed with you, so that when the spawn of a feminist and a spineless mangina gets older you can instruct it with the same nonsense you filled your article with, telling that child that it should never alter its behavior based on the world around it, that it’s always someone else’s fault, so that child can get hit by a car, or eaten by a bear, or experience some other misfortune by adhering to your words of wisdom. Because in that moment, when you write another mindless article about how your child shouldn’t have had to wear a helmet or look both ways before crossing the street, all of your fans can finally see just how full of sh*% you really are.”
    __________

    Friends, keep sharing the article. We’ve got a lot of work to do together.

    • Wow. That comment was not only hateful, but verbally violent. Totally unacceptable and completely archaic. Men who appreciate and respect women, and themselves, live with integrity and can openly and honestly communicate their desires while respecting boundaries…there is nothing more appealing than that.

  50. All very thoughtful, many great comments and very wise. I still lock my doors at night and don’t advertise the details of what’s inside my house even though everyone has a basic idea.

  51. The point that seems much missed in the comments is that adults, ideally, will take full responsibility for their own thoughts and actions *regardless* of what others do or say. Jumping in with “But women should dress modestly, be more careful,” etc., etc. is irrelevant to the blog post. The post is about men taking responsibility for their own drives, thoughts and actions, and one of the primary points therein is that this should happen regardless–not as though it’s contingent on women behaving “properly.” That is what you’re saying when you read this blog post and respond with, “Yes, but women…” Just own it.

    I can assure you that women who grew up in conservative Christian homes are still, to this day, being taught (through word or action) that they are responsible for male lust and reactions. The word “modesty” is still taught as 99% girls’ responsibility with a token “and boys should dress modestly too” thrown in there. As if modesty is only about dress, and only about girls taking responsibility for the lust and actions of males of all ages. We get advice and judgment all our lives about what we’re wearing and for merely having a female body.

    If a man believes his sex drive, thoughts, words and actions are his own responsibility, then it doesn’t need arguing on what women should be doing, because you’ll be the same man no matter what the women do.

  52. First: I fully understand that this is intentionally one side of the story (directed at young men) and so it does not address the issue of any girl self-responsibility. I appreciate the thought that went into this. I like the message you are presenting. Now I am going to be brutally honest in my reaction: I HOPE no one in the youth group I am the pastor of sees this, because it will only fuel the “guys just need to look away from my short shorts” fire. I understand what you are saying, but any teenage girl (at least any I have met) is going to view this as justification to dress however she wants “because it is the guys responsibilty to control himself and look away.” All that said: I am going to be drawing heavily from this article for guys bible study, because this is absolutely a message boys/men need to hear. Thank you.

      • How did I miss the point? I get what he is saying, but too often girls use the responsibilty that rests on men to say they are allowed to dress however they want. It is a huge problem in my youth group, and this material would not help because the girls ARE NOT spiritually mature enough to recognize their own responsibilty to dress appropriately. I will definitely be bringing this to the guys, because they ARE spiritually mature enough to accept their responsibilty to look away and flee from sexual temptation.

        Saying that I have missed the point because I am a youth pastor who understands my youth group is silly.

        • Aaron, this is far bigger than the kids you have in your group, so don’t make the mistake of thinking they represent all young people. As a 17-year youth pastor, I’d also suggest that you overestimate the spiritual maturity of the guys in your group. The simple fact that you suggest that the girls in your group aren’t spiritually enough to handle this stuff, but the guys are, makes me think your attitude toward women is shading your beliefs.

            • You stated it, in your previous comment about spiritual maturity.

              Again, you’ve missed the point of the blog, and seem to prefer to debate about Scripture, and women’s roles as you see them defined in the Bible.

              I’m not interested in that, but if you write that blog, I’d definitely read it.

              Thanks.

              • Actually, I stated no such opinion. I used examples from my own experience with my youth group. If the truth is to be known: you have NO idea how I feel about women because you are making assumptions from a very limited point of reference, instead of asking me directly.

                Yes, I do prefer to bring scripture into it, because anything less is just mans opinion and not Gods. I could not care less what men feel is the right thing to do, because I already have a book with what the creator of the universe says is the right thing to do.

                • And He says when you as a man are tempted with lust you should “gouge your eye out”.

                  Be careful when throwing the Bible around out of context.

                  Keep up the great work serving students, as it’s something we have in common. Leaving for mission trip tomorrow and will only be approving comments, not replying much.

                  Thanks.

  53. Pingback: Young Men, Sex, and Urge Ownership (And Why It’s Not The Girl’s Problem) | TheDerpGuru

  54. John, thank you for this thoughtful post. I deeply appreciate you encouraging men to take ownership over their own, bodies, thoughts and urges. The problem of mean objectifying women in the manner which you describe and then blaming it on the women is of course universal. But I think it is especially bad in our shared Christian tradition because it has been enshrined in our our Sacred Text, particularly in 1 Timothy 2.

    I don’t want to derail the fine conversation you have started here. But here is my lament, the plain sense of that text does exactly the type of thing your post is challenging us not to do, only in a spiritualized sense and then attempting to make it an eternal principal by grounding the argument in creation. I can get along quite well with brothers and sisters of both complementarian and egalitarian conviction. But I have a really hard time with folks who combine a literalist and inerrantist approach to this passage and suggest we must accept the plain sense of this particular text as God’s timeless word…

    Essentially, Eve as an archetype for all women was deceived and thus inherently – even before sin entered – more naïve than Adam. Because she was made second and should have stayed that way through her sin and suffering befall us all and so a woman should remain silent. I suspect we don’t touch it much because whether we admit it or not we know that it starkly contradicts Paul’s theology of Adam in Romans. And it is a rather misogynistic view of womanhood even if one allows for gender complementarity grounded in creation. The best arguments by some of the best egalitarian theologians (including NT Wright) have not convinced me that is passage is saying anything otherwise.

    I believe that kind of teaching in a boy’s subconscious religious mind will always override a hundred messages like this one from bloggers, youth pastors or socially conscience friends – no matter how well the message is presented. God said (via Paul) that women are to blame for the worlds sin and suffering (presumably my sexual struggles too) who can compete with that? Of course there are soooooo many other passages in scripture that would contradict this narrative. But a a literalist and inerrantist approach allows for no contradictions.

    Sorry for the tangential ideas. Even if you disagree, I hope you will find it has some relevance to your well written post.

    Towards Shalom,

    Wayne

    • Wayne. Sorry, thought I had approved this previously. I will confess that I don’t quite understand what your bottom line is in this comment. Would love it if you could distill it down to a few sentences. By the way, While I am a Christian, I don’t want top engage in a conversation on Scripture for the reasons i have expressed previously. Thanks for sharing.

      • I can respect wanting a wide discussion forum and not wanting to get get deep into engagement with (or arguments about) scripture in this place. My bottom line is that 1 Timothy 2 teaches exactly what you are so rightly trying to call us away from (if we are Christians to repent of). There is no way around it: “It was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” This underscores and lends justification to the attitude in the church that ladies just need to cover up and be modest and stop tempting men.

  55. This is completely true we are all individually responsible for our actions. It is also true that it is unwise to carry a bunch of cash out in the open, leave our cars unlocked with the keys in the ignition, etc. It is not merciful to intentionally create temptation to do wrong. We are our brothers keeper, and we should not use our freedom to make it easier for others to fail.

  56. The premise is good, the practical application is not as easy. There is responsibility on both sides and this is a very one sided blog. The urge needs to be controlled but you cannot simply write-off improper behavior of some young ladies and their attitudes and attire. Especially when there is “intent”…and there is.

    “JUICY”
    “SUPER SIZED”
    “I’LL BE USING THESE TO MY ADVANTAGE”
    “CERTIFIED WHACK OFF MATERIAL”
    “CHECK THESE OUT”

    None of these sayings indicate someone who is innocent. And there are 15 year olds wearing these with their parents knowledge and blessing.

    Guys should be responsible, but females need to be prudent and responsible as well….too often some females use their means to attract the attention they want, and use it to get specific advantages. Women wear clothing that “attracts”, and it attracts both good and bad.

  57. I really appreciated this article. I read a post in another where this guy said “women that let it all hang out deserve to be objectified.” I wondered if this man ever stopped to think of why the woman was dressed that way? Usually when you have someone that is dressed intentionally provocative manner, you are witnessing a man’s failure. the victim of abuse. A father, or some other powerful authority figure in her life. & so what he is saying to me is that she deserves to be objectified for the rest of her life because someone that should have loved her, taught her & protected her. Broke her & used her & taught her a lie. & now she has no respect for herself or other men, & she’s trying to get that “respect” back & doesn’t realize that is NOT respect! If men had that kind of compassion, to look at those women & realize someone stole something from them, & sold them a lie… I wonder if it might help. My sister was a GORGEOUS girl. Men tripped over themselves for her. She was also the victim of horrific abuse, as am I. & it colored her perceptions in a way that caused more suffering. She lived a life of being objectified & abused & in the end, was shot & killed by the one planning to vow to love, honor & cherish. Her life was short & tragic. She was so vibrant she lit up whatever room she was in. You couldn’t know her & not love her. But the damage done to her was so deep & profound. & it set of a cycle of suffering. In a way, what that mans comment said to me was, she’s already been devalued, so it doesn’t matter what happens to her. I realize that isn’t EXACTLY what he said, but having witnessed what I have, & experienced what I have, that is what he said. Thank you for the article. It is healing to me to read that their are men to take unconditional responsibility for their own actions. It’s pretty hard to carry this weight around, & there are been times I’ve cried, or worse, wanted to die, because somehow I thought I was to blame for the words & actions of men. SOMEHOW it must be my fault. & I have heard even so called christians get up speak about how no one has ever done that to THEIR wife, so if it’s happening to you girls, it’s your own fault. It started when I was barely more than a toddler, & it was the man I should have been able to trust MOST in all the world to protect me, but it made me feel like it was my fault. That fear made me afraid to speak up & make it stop. I knew without a doubt I would be hated… I don’t know if anyone can rightly imagine the terror I felt when I FINALLY spoke up & said what was happening to me. I was still a girl. 11 years old. & I believed it was all my fault & fully expected to be hated, but understood I needed to speak up & it was harder & more terrifying than anything anyone can ever know,because of that horrible burden of false responsibility I was carrying. Thank you, SO MUCH for not making that my fault. 🙂

  58. I dunno, this seems to stereotype and demean men, and I don’t think that’s your ultimate goal –

    “I know you’ve been led to believe that it’s the girl’s fault; the way she dresses, the shape of her body, her flirtatious nature, her mixed messages.”

    Really? I’ve never heard anything like that in any of the social circles I’ve mixed in, and that cuts across blue collar through upper class. Sure there is the odd thug but I meet women equally crass too, so it’s stereotyping, a sweeping generalization that I’ve simply never experienced. Have you? If so maybe it’s the company you keep rather than a broader social issue then?

    It’s like your rude commenter, there are plenty of vile online comments come from women too and for any and all topics, that’s the Internet for you. To make it all about men seems more like you’re trying to score PC points, sorry.

    • Guess we run in different circles. The only thing I ever hear (especially in the Church), is that ladies need to be modest. Everything has been placed there.

      Just the fact that you equate challenging men with “scoring PC points”, shows me that you do see women in those dangerous stereotypes.

      I believe it’s a massive issue.

      Thanks for reading.

      • Ah bingo, right. No never been into church, because as I’m sure you hear too the problem I have is that you have men there dispensing certain moral advice and then later they’re discovered to be pedophiles and so forth.

        So yeah I don’t think you’re challenging men at all, you’re extrapolating from your personal experience and applying to all men, when it seems really the defining factor in this is instead the overt moralistic influence of the church, which happens to be run by men. I think you’ll find that for many like myself, that is why we do not go there.

        As I say I don’t disagree it doesn’t happen, just the idea that all men are raised and behave that way as I know that to be true. Also there are vile women and like above, other rotten aspects of society, so why just single out these men? That’s where I start to doubt your motives a little too.

        Anyway anything that stimulates debate about taboo topics is always good, so all the best. Neil.

    • I think you missed my entire point. I’m referring to pedophilia & incest. & horrific child abuse, Is that PC? did you miss that? I am sharing MY story & it is true. It happened to ME! In my ‘circles’. Not now, of course. I will never return to those “circle’s”.
      It was all on the girl in more ways than I wrote down! Went to a school where relationships were not permitted. Which was fine by me! Except whenever there was any whisper of a violation, They NEVER questioned the boys, it was always the girls. The girls were interrogated, the girls were punished, that rarely included the boys, unless they could actually confirm the relationship, then the boys MIGHT get in on some punishment. The sermons & speeches that happened every day, several times a day, throughout the day for 3 years, never indicated what a man was to be, but how a woman or girl should dress, & how guys were “wired” differently… & yeah, to a severely abused kid, it came across that they were saying all guys were perverts & they couldn’t help it. I was never told or taught about men’s purpose, what God means for them to be, their nobility. I was never given an image of what a good man looked like. & my father was a pedophile!
      You have no idea what my life has been the words I’ve heard & what I’ve been taught. I was raised believing if I wanted to be a real christian woman, I needed to dress like Rebekah before she met Isaac, she wore a veil, I think even her eyes were covered! I didn’t understand it as well, then, I was just a little girl! I wanted to play outside, ride my bike, & hang from the trees. It got harder & harder to be a kid as I was forced to wear skirts. not a teenager, a child. I grew up flying through barbed wire fences, chopping firewood, playing in trees, & suddenly I had to wear skirts that got shredded in fences, so I got in trouble. & you can imagine how well my hanging upside down from my apple tree went over!
      It was awful, it was real. & NOW I am surrounded by kind Christian people who are loving & genuine,but also very ‘modest’, & all for the sake of men. & it harkens back to this pain I already carry, the injustice done in this area. I usually wear long skirts, though I like pants, because of how I don’t want to be responsible for some guy tripping up & going to hell, nor have I wanted to get blamed by God for the thoughts of others I don’t even understand, let alone try to provoke. So my motives are not the best. I resent it.
      I have seen some of the vulgar clothing esp “juicy” I won’t wear it. & was offended beyond measure when I saw those vulgar slogans marketed to babies & small children! I picked it up, looked at my husband & said “is this pedophiles R us?! seriously?” He wasn’t impressed either.
      Now HE is awesome! Part of the reason I fell in love with him is that not only does he respect women, & love God, but never but any of those kinds of burdens on me. I’d never met anyone quite like that, & he fascinated me.
      I have just wanted to BE! Not a girl, not an object, but a human being. & so often I’ve felt like I’m a sick joke just because I’m a girl. I’ve often been ashamed that I was born a girl. When I was a child, I used to wish I were a boy, for so many reasons! It seemed like it was a shame & a curse that I was girl. & i despised what I was.
      I never know if what I’m wearing is modest enough, or if I’m allowed to be comfortable too. you know? & no matter how loose & long & covered I am, it hasn’t stopped some guys from behavior towards me that made me feel ashamed, like I must have done SOMETHING wrong! THIS is my reality. I hope it’s not PC, because I would LOVE for it to have been misguided well intended people that just had the wrong idea, you know? I am totally a real person, with a real story. I have children of my own now. & I want to raise them up to know the truth, to respect people regardless of gender, & to appreciate the differences, rather than fear & even hate them.
      My son actually helped me to forgive, & realize that not all men are responsible for the actions of a few, or the misguided woman that make excuses for these men & double the unbearable burden that every bad thing that happens is somehow our own fault concerning men.
      But the inappropriate weight of responsibility, coupled with so much inappropriate behavior, I respected men as individuals, NOT has men, I had to get past their gender… I was a sexist. All that changed to moment I met my baby son!looked at my baby, & realized, we are all human beings. I looked at him, this beautiful innocent baby boy, & I could never hate anything about him. Not who, or what he was. I was proud of what God had made him to be & I loved him entirely & it made to cry to realize, other men were once these precious little bundles, loved by their moms too, all the hate melted away. Please don’t take this wrong. I’m a flawed human being, not everything I have thought, or believed, or think & believe is going to be right. Only that I’m on a journey to get there. I could have become one of those true guy haters, only I hide that stuff better than some, no one could see my biases. You can’t see prejudices hiding behind a smile.
      I’m not because God didn’t leave me where I was. He gave me an amazing husband that loves me, flaws & all, & respects me, when I didn’t understand respect. & then a beautiful son that rocked my world. to look at him, I knew that all men were human beings too & not the monsters I’d been raised to believe they were. I could not look at him & believe that, not for a minute, so it couldn’t be true of other men either.
      My baby sister is DEAD. How is that PC? she was shot to death, by her fiancee. How can you tell me that sounds PC? I don’t understand. I talk about some pretty horrible stuff in my previous post. though I try to do it gently, & your take away was PC? for me it was a living hell, but to you it is PC? I really do not understand.
      at 11, our choice to become christian was used against us, if we were REALLY Christians, we had to call our dad & tell him we forgave him. He got a slap on the wrist for all he did, mostly because what he did was so horrible, & lasted for so long, they didn’t want to put us, though willing, on the stand to testify. Till he had a deal, he accused both my sister & myself of lying. It gets better. we were told he was changing, see? wasn’t he a wonderful person? He lured my sister over to his house & at the very least, attempted to rape her. It destroyed her. She had overcome so much, but that coupled with the person she looked to most for support & wisdom blaming HER was more than she could cope with. Straight A student, aiming to become a lawyer, & with a brilliant mind equal to the task, she became a dug addict, & she drank to blackouts, whatever she could do to erase the memories that caused her horrific nightmares. she woke up screaming in the middle of the night. & SHE was forced to carry the burden of responsibility. It was HER fault!
      This is what I remember was said about her, I don’t know what horror she was told to her face. of course he denied it. & she was stuck alone with him for a couple of hours after it all transpired, he had plenty of time to make her afraid. “you know your sister, she probably felt he owed her, they probably had an arrangement, & it got out of hand. She probably got in over her head” She told me, & maintained that he had told her we were all over there for the Holiday, & she flew in expecting we’d be there. Can you see the level of blame placed on her? THAT really happened, in fact it still happens to other people. I HOPE that is not PC! It destroyed her, the memories she had before were hard to live with, but this was too much.
      When she died, the process started over again… with me. He would say vile things. I didn’t know how to cope with it either. I tried to hang up sometimes, I put him on speaker phone, so my husband could hear. He didn’t know what to do either & was pretty disgusted. sometimes i left the phone somewhere & walked off. When I brought up that some of his words were disturbing to say the least. I was told “you’re a big girl now, you can deal with it.” “he NEEDS you! he’s losing his mind!” & many other excuses for his behavior, & it was assumed it was my job to put up with it, I COULDN’T. I have been told I “over reacted, it was a misunderstanding over computer stuff” I have been blamed for his behavior. for real. This isn’t some PC thing, this is real life!
      I never had a real father. The man I thought of as my father died when I was 2. & what I was taught confirmed that all men were like my pedophile father. That they were all somehow perverts. Nothing I heard in my education gave me anything different to work with, I knew individual men I respected & thought were awesome, but the messages I was hearing were still that somehow everything female provokes males & it is a shame to be female. Thing is, if you are christian you aren’t supposed to dress like a guy either, it’s like you have to wear a dunce cap that distinguishes you clearly as the OTHER gender. you know?
      I no longer fear all men, nor look at them like they are all waiting to behave like my father did, because of articles like this, written by men calling other men to be the kind of men God created them to be. Because of good men speaking up, & telling me it wasn’t my fault, it was HIS. & treating me with respect, even though I am “damaged goods”. They treated me like I was a valuable child of God as well, & slowly, that weight has gotten a bit lighter.
      & because I wasn’t responsible anymore. I started to forgive myself for what was done to me, I severed all connections with this man & those that support & defend his behavior & attack me. I am happy & free in ways I thought I wasn’t allowed to be! I will protect not just myself, but my children as well. I am not even a human being to this guy, so why would my children be assigned enough value not to be abused if he had the opportunity? I sincerely hope this isn’t PC. because if it is, we lived in a really sick world.
      I do NOT mean to demean men, but lets face it, the way I was raised, was very demeaning, to me, & to men, & that is why when people try to put all the blame on women, I cringe, it’s not just for the burden that a woman can’t carry, what no other human being can carry of another, but it IS demeaning to men. It’s like saying they are all pedophiles & rapists, at least at heart, that they can’t help it, & it’s all MY fault. I do NOT believe that, but it is not even close to a stretch to say that is what I was taught! & that is how I was taught to view them. I’m not saying that was the intent of those that gave me this horrible education! Their intent was to make me “responsible” but it had the effect of making me see all men as the ones I had known, untrustworthy, & perverted & I even thought all things concerning sex was perverted, I wanted nothing to do with it! I wanted to be gender NEUTRAL!
      The only glimmer of hope I had was the wonderful man that died when I was 2. He was kind & gentle & honest. I shouldn’t be able to remember, him but I do, & God used him to plant this seed of hope, & to give people a chance.
      Every other message contributed to my already twisted world view, & if you were horrifically abused the way I was as a child, & isolated, & told the things I was told & taught all growing up… most people would be shocked to understand the depth of it & see I’m NOT a hater. 🙂
      I’m sorry I can’t write well enough for you to understand what I’m trying so hard to say! I have a lot of bad in my head I’ve had to process & overcome, but yeah, when men are given authority & then deny responsibility, they are given natural strength, above what I have, & use that to authority & strength to destroy me & tell me it’s my fault, & that is the loudest message I am consistently hearing… I hope you can understand why I would tend to think poorly of men. I have been blessed to see what real leaders look like. They are servants. & I’ve come to have a new found respect for men, as I’ve come to understand a little of the truth. Much remains an enigma to me. I don’t have all the answers, nor do I presume to, only that there is a very twisted message out there, & I got what should have been a lethal dose of it Articles like this give people like me new perspective, & hope, & make me SEE for myself there are strong men out there that I would be honored to know.

      • You replied to my comment but I don’t think you meant to did you, it’s hard to tell on this blog. You said I missed your point but I’ve never had dialogue with you or seen your posts, sorry, maybe you’re trying to reply to someone else?

      • @Blue, this is an amazing and powerful comment. You touched on a lot of very good points. Thank you for sharing although I appreciate it meant opening old wounds.

  59. I like to walk through the streets of LA (nightclub) with a bag of money spilling over (sexy garb)… then blame the thugs (men) for pursuing me (treating me like meat).

  60. From your replies to comments, I can see that you are Christian. I thank you for writing this without any religious content, so it can not be dismissed as irrelevant to those of different, or no faith.

  61. Thanks, John, for writing this article that seems so obvious. Reading the comments, however, just shows how completely necessary it was and that even having people like yourself trying to explain gender equality and personal responsibility, there is so much ignorance in the world that it still falls on deaf ears.

    Keep it up and keep fighting the good fight!

    • Thanks so much for the kind words, Katherine!

      Definitely realizing that what I thought was a “no-brainer”, is far less than a given. Lots of work to do out there, for sure.

      Appreciate the encouragement!

  62. I can whole heartedly agree with this, breaking that plane is a no no…..however if you put it out there to be seen by all don’t get butthurt if people look.
    I always have a knee jerk reaction when reading these but I see where he is coming from.

  63. Pingback: Guy-nocology: The Fallout From A Man, Challenging Men To Be Men | john pavlovitz

  64. In this day of Political Correctness we tend to tell people “it is not your fault”. I believe we are making it more dangerous & difficult for people when we give them that crutch.
    Sure I believe that boys/men need to be accountable & responsible for their actions but (you probably did not see that coming) girls/women need to also hold the same accountability and responsibility.
    As the saying goes, “it takes two to tangle” and if we do not let girls/women know that they way the present themselves have an affect on those around them. This is not only good when we are talking about sex but it is also good when we talk about life.
    If you want to display yourself in a sexual way, go ahead but do not be surprised when you may have some unwanted advances. This is reality. Boys/Men look and want signals from girls/women to know whether or not the girl/woman is wanting advances from others m(and vice-versa). The way the girl/woman presents yourself is a signal for others.
    I talked with a friend of mine who was complaining about how men start at her breasts. I asked her what she was wearing and the response was a form-fitting sweater. I mentioned that if you are wearing clothes that accentuate your body, why would you be surprised when people look. I also asked the question, “would you want Monty (a friend in the group who takes care of his body) to walk around with or without a shirt”. Her response was “of course I prefer him without a shirt”. Then I asked her what the difference was. She had no good response.

    Sorry for the long-winded response.
    The short of it, we need to not only tell the males but also tell the females that they need to be responsible & accountable how they present themselves. Don’t use the crutch that “it is not their fault” (And Why It’s Not The Girl’s Problem).

    • Signal or no signal, that doesn’t justify anything a man does.

      Personal responsibility is the point, and yes, the way a man behaves is on the man himself, not any woman.

      • Yes, it is on the man
        if you are excusing any action she does, that is a dangerous game. You are telling any woman that they hold no accountability or responsibility for their own actions.

        That is part of the problem with today’s society. Appears to also be a problem with some of the crimes that happen at schools. We tell the children that their are no winners or losers, no consequences to your action or inaction and then expect them to hit reality and not be confused.

        If a person punches me in the face, they should expect a reaction. If a woman wears suggestive clothing, they should expect a reaction.

        Do you really want a man to not react when punched in the face? Would that not cause more issues?

        • Never said women have no responsibility. They’re just not responsible for men.

          Pretty simple concept: You’re not getting punched in the face; you’re interacting with a woman. If you can’t see the difference, I’m sorry.

  65. wow. grown-up, covering-up, rub-up?? I think you need to learn how to write first. as for the content, Freud can help you realise something about women. there are men who have a problem resisting the urge but not all men do that, which is more than obvious. I must say that I disagree with you, strongly.

    • Of course, not all men do that. This post addresses those who have such issues.

      I don’t need Freud to show me anything. I have eyes and 17 years of experience working with teenagers.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  66. I at first thought your article was absolutely awesome and bouncing off the walls at its amazingness until I read the words, “it’s not typical hip hop song fodder”. Do you have any idea how damaging it is to use those words? Or how much it alienates an entire group of ppl from your most important main point?

    Here, I’ll tell you the reasons why:

    1. There are more sickeningly misogynistic lyrics in country songs. Country music is so ridiculously inundated with sexism, “ownership” (the very same ownership idea that you discussed in said article” and objectification of women and misogyny – hell even rape, than any and all hip hop songs out together. And country music has been around for DECADES!

    2. This is really a part of number 1, but considering the above mentioned information, trying to insinuate that hip hop is “typical” of misogyny, etc etc, perpetuates this notion – especially with the prevalent racism that the culture and communities most commonly associated with hip hop culture that, these cultures in broad context view and treat their women like that. That is false. And misleading. And racist (even if you didn’t mean it like that).

    3. Clearly, your catalogue and knowledge of hip hop isn’t extensive. Because it is not “typical” of hip hop to have rape or demeaning or misogynistic lyrics. See number 1. and country music -.-

    When you make such a grand sweeping allusion, it is in part an accusation that all (as per your “typical”) or most of hip hop music is like that. That is simply not the case. Most importantly, it demeans an entire culture and community of ppl that is most commonly associated with hip hop music. And that’s wrong. And severely damaging/ignorant/racist – EVEN IF that wasn’t your intention.

    Other than that point of contention, I really liked your article overall.

    • Prisca, the music reference, was part of a bigger point, that this kind of respect toward women doesn’t get a lot of play in pop culture.

      Of course there are misogynistic lyrics in all sorts of music, however, I will still contend that the more aggressive lyrics and more blatant images of women as a commodity, are absolutely in the hip hop genre.

      Anyway, I’m glad that we agree on the balance of the post; that guys need to own their stuff, and that women aren’t the cause of men acting improperly.

      Thanks very much for reading, and for the thoughtful comments. Greatly appreciate it.

  67. Pingback: Young Men, Sex, and Urge Ownership (And Why It’s Not The Girl’s Problem) | My Because Blog

  68. Good article, but here’s something else that needs to be said: women are also visual! As a straight woman, I have always been fascinated by a handsome male face and muscular body. It’s time we stopped denying this fact. Men don’t want to hear this because men don’t want to be the object of observation. Women are sick of being in the male gaze all the time. We are sick of being the observed object. Men need to realize the women get an intense amount of pleasure from looking at handsome men. Yes, men, sometimes, many times, you are the object being observed solely for your looks. Should we blame you for tempting us or continue our discrete observations?

    • Sorry. My phone decided I was done typing before I was. The answer is to ask guys to be more modest. The problem is that the request tends to be made of guys who are constantly asking women to be more modest and they think “they are just trying to take the focus off of themselves”. I tell my youth group all the time that I have extremely strict standards for modesty, and they apply equally to girls and guys. The reality is, we live in a culture that is telling everyone “if you don’t dress in this way, you suck”. Every time I have this discussion with a girl I say “it doesn’t matter what my standards are. You need to determine your own standard.” One of the girls in my YG finally bought knee length shorts because she was tired of being told her legs are sexy. Until someone realizes they have the power to make their own standards, all we can do is ask them to be more considerate of others.

  69. I had to reblog it, too; it was too good not to share (even though my blog is new and I have no readership yet LOL).

    Thank you for saying what needed to be said.

  70. After reading this entire thread, I think there are some distinctions that could be helpful to the discussion.

    There is a lot of talk about women having a “responsibility” to dress modestly. Innocent comments suggesting that girls need to be taught that clothing is a form of communication can end up sounding an awful lot like “if a girl gets raped, it’s partly her fault”.

    When people say, “Women have a responsibility too…” that could mean a lot of different things. There is a big difference between the following three statements:

    1. Women have a responsibility TO GOD (because God has instructed it) to help their brothers in the quest to avoid lustful thoughts, but men are still 100% responsible for their thoughts and actions.

    2. Women have a responsibility TO MEN (because men aren’t capable) to help them in their quest to avoid lustful thoughts. So men are only 50% responsible for their own thoughts and actions.

    3. Women have a responsibility FOR WHAT MEN DO, (because men can’t help themselves.) So a woman who dressed provocatively deserves whatever she gets, including violence, injury, and even death.

    Men get raped too. Nobody asks what they were wearing.

    I think the point of the original post is to try to teach young men something that all people need to be taught. When two year olds see something they want, they reach out and take it. We all need to be taught the reasons not to do this as we mature. Because we have a lot of mixed messages about sexuality in our culture, some of us never learn the reasons not to reach out and take what we want sexually.

    In human relationships, there are reasons not to touch someone sexually without their consent. The original post posits that these reasons are:

    1. Other people’s bodies don’t belong to us.
    2. Other people and their bodies are priceless. (Beyond “valuable”.)

    The original poster got some flack for the money analogy, because of course human beings are more than valuable. He used the word priceless. I think he was trying to say, “Take the reverence and respect you feel for money, and try to see women that way, but multiply it by infinity.”

    I think when trying to lead a reader through some ah-ha moments, it’s good to start with something they can understand. It is a step up to go from seeing a person as an object to seeing them as a valuable object. I think the step up from “valuable object” to “human being” has to include a third reason that we don’t touch people without their consent – because it hurts them.

    When we touch without consent, we take away a person’s right to choose who touches them. Taking away someone’s right to choose who touches the most sensitive and private places on their body can be anywhere from unpleasant to profoundly painful to traumatic.

    It’s obvious to some but not to others, that when we forcefully take control of someone’s body, especially sexually, it usually physically injures them, and very often gives them nightmares, flashbacks, and debilitating anxiety for life.

    I think this article intends to talk to young men about their thoughts and about being physically aggressive and groping women, and not so much rape, but it’s all on the same spectrum and has the same roots of misunderstanding.

    I think part of the blind spot about how injurious it can be to someone to have control over their sexual experience taken away from them is part of the larger problem of the de-valuing of sex itself. In our modern culture it is most often viewed as just a physical act. Conservative people value it being a physical act that you share with someone you love. Religious people value it being a physical act that should be done in accordance with God’s instructions. But the biologically, spiritually, and energetically powerful nature of sex seems almost entirely unknown. If sex is just a personal massage, then it’s harder to see just how hurtful it can be to force sexual touch on someone. It’s quite a bit different than a mad masseuse tying you up and trying out his new hot-rocks technique on you and burning you all over without realizing he’s injuring you. That’s torture. Sexual torture is worse, and I don’t think a lot of people get why. But that’s a subject for a book, not a blog comment…..

  71. Okay then. The next time a woman has *any* problem, be it from needing a ride somewhere, help lifting an object, to being raped before my eyes – it’s now *her* problem. I have to go take care of my own problems.

    • The fact that you have resorted to such an exaggerated response, especially one that uses the example of rape, illustrates that you’re exactly who I wanted to reach with this blog. Glad you found it.

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  73. As a young woman who grew up in what some would consider an extremely strict environment and was homeschooled during middle and high school, the only people I was able to socialize with were other homeschoolers and their parents. These parents, and often their children usually also held “strict” beliefs. And among those, was usually a strong belief that women were the complete issue when concerning men’s desires. If one of us was seen wearing a skirt “too short,” we were immediately singled out as being a hinderance to all of the male members that could see us. In that environment, I was generally treated by boys with respect. But, there were also some boys that I felt would have treated me disrespectfully even if I were dressed and behaving as a nun. At those times, it seemed exceedingly unfair to be responsible for a man’s sexual responses–because I was doing everything to avoid them. and for that reason, I am very happy to see an article like this one.

    However, I would not go so far as to say that women are not, in part, responsible for a man’s desires. I agree that a man’s actions and his thoughts are both things he should control, but I don’t think men should be chastised for seeing a woman who is dressing or acting sexual and becoming aroused unintentionally. Even I, as a straight female, have felt aroused by women behaving in that manner, without intention or desire to feel that way. I’m not sure if that’s what you meant by “it” in your phrase “And How It’s Not Women’s Fault.” What I’m saying is, if that is what you meant, then I do not agree with you, but if it isn’t what you meant, please be more careful about how your words are phrased. Because, I feel that women could read this article and feel justified in behaving overly sexual without any consideration.

    I agree that men should control what they do in such a situation, but I don’t think it helps to single them out as the only ones who should be considerate and responsible.

  74. Reblogged this on Something to Stu (stew) Over and commented:
    This is well written and truthful. I do believe that woman should dress modestly but if she does not then I have no right to lustfully look at her. I loved these quotes:

    “Our bodies ultimately do, only what our brains tell them to do.”

    “Sometimes, doing what’s right toward someone, even needs to transcend their attitude about themselves. If a girl you know shows too much, advertises too much, and offers too much, it doesn’t mean you can take too much, because it’s about the value you assign to her, and to yourself.”

    Seriously guys….it is on us to control ourselves!

  75. Just a reminder, friends:

    Profanity, vulgarity, and direct attacks on other readers will not be allowed here.

    I welcome passionate, honest discussion, but anything less than decency to others will not be tolerated.

    Thanks for reading and sharing in the conversation.

  76. Great article! I run a non profit that seeks to end sex trafficking in Costa Rica. If ONLY…this could truly be understood globally. Thank you for taking a stand. As a woman, it is nice to be off the hook. Honestly, I’ve bought and repackaged the lie that it is up to us (women) to keep men from lusting. LUDICROUS!

  77. No offense but who are you talking to? You make it seem like men are running around groping- read: sexually assaulting, women. There may be an extreme minority that do this- and they have committed a serious crime of sexual assault and should face the harsh legal penalties for it. But 99%+ of men have never done such things.

    This just is one giant strawman against men, and gives many women a mental excuse to have a victim mindframe when they are not true victims.

    • It’s about far more than physical, sexual contact. Obviously in a few hundred words you can’t express the nuances and facets of these things, but for me, it’s about men not expecting women to just “cover-up”, as a solution to any issues involving men and women.

      It’s not an attack on men. (I am one, and consider many to be good friends:).

      I would say it’s the opposite; that in our society many men have been allowed to say they are “victims” of women; that if a women dresses a certain way, that they can’t help themselves.

      I am asking guys to be stronger than that, and to be responsible for what they see and what they nurture in their minds, before ever acting.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Yeah that’s the problem I ran into. As a man I’ve NEVER experienced any men talk, act or even have these beliefs, and I’ve worked with blue collar through millionaires.

      Turns out it’s not all men, only those who go to his church. I never go to church and never experience it, so it’s the church not men which is the constant here.

      Maybe the article should be updated to reflect this, ie. Rather then directing it towards men, it should be towards ‘Men of Church XYZ’, or indeed an article more about what’s going wrong with the moral role church is trying to play…

      And to be blunt, if that’s the kind of culture you experience there why go there, it doesn’t sound very christian!!

      • I’ve lived for 45 years in the world. It’s far bigger than my church, or a church, or Christians.

        It’s pervasive in humanity. The outpouring of people from around the world to this post, is proof of that.

        There are often times when our anecdotal experience skews our perspective, but I’m confident that is not true in this case.

        If it’s not a problem for you, awesome. But more many men, it is.

        • If it were pervasive throughout society whole I would experience it too, it’s therefore pervasive only in YOUR circles.

          If I post a blog saying ‘I love George Bush’, it would have outpourings too but again only from other people who love George Bush too, it doesn’t mean the world does indeed I can assure there is a much larger majority who don’t but they’d never post. It’s the same in this case but for your argument.

          I don’t think anecdotal evidence is skewing your view, I think it’s the only thing it’s based on and as you said yourself you experience it mainly at church, so you’re making issues caused by the church be one about men in general.

          • I disagree. Church is a part of life, but it is not my life. I work at a gym, I hang out with people, I share life with nonbelievers, so I think you’re limiting in your mind how a Christian lives and just how much of the world they are a part of.

            And hundreds of thousands of people, still represent enough lives to make these sentiments worth sharing.

            Getting ready to head to London for 10 days, so my commenting time will be severely limited, though I will share comments as they come in.

            Thanks again.

      • As a woman, these are the places where I’ve been sexually harassed over the last ten years (during daylight unless otherwise specified):

        southern small town high school
        restaurants and bars in the same southern small town
        church parking lot at night in southern medium-sized city
        Madrid at night
        wealthy suburb of Paris
        train between suburb and Paris
        Paris at night
        city park in a medium-sized city in France
        wealthy suburb of Manhattan at night
        large department store where I was working

        These are the circumstances under which I was sexually assaulted:

        age 12, at home
        age 22, with friends, daylight, streets of Paris
        age 22, with friends (one of them was also sexually assaulted), after leaving a club in Paris
        age 23, with a friend (who was also sexually assaulted), on the metro, at night (wearing knee-length winter coats, btw)

        And the number of men who stood by and watched me being sexually harassed? The number of men who told me my experiences with sexual assault “don’t count” or were “my fault”?

        Countless.

        So while it’s great that you’ve never encountered misogynistic men, I can assure you, they are widespread and worldwide. For the record, men stopped sexually harassing me when I started dating my husband and thus he was with me most of the time I was in public.

        • Actually I have experienced very misogynistic men. I come from Scotland where in rougher areas it’s quite ingrained.

          You’ve never really seen it in action until you’ve seen some drunk hard nut punch a woman in the face really hard.

          But again a tiny minority.

          I’m not trying to take away from any ones personal experiences but one persons is just that. You can’t comment for anything of a ‘worldwide scale’, only personal, as can I.

          I could find a young boy who has experienced ongoing pedophilia in the various church’s be has been involved in, it wouldn’t mean every church buggers little boys.

          Some men are murderers, it doesn’t mean all are. Some men are pedophiles, it doesn’t mean all are.

          Some men are sexist pigs, it doesn’t mean all are, and to tar all with the same brush seems as guilty a sin as the one you’re campaigning against.

          Neil.

          • I highly recommend you spend some time on Twitter and read the hashtag #YesAllWomen.

            The point is less to “tar all with the same brush,” but rather to emphasize that a woman can’t tell just by looking at man if he’s a rapist or not. (Google Schrodinger’s Rapist for more on that concept).

            I was replying to your comment that seemed to indicate this blog post was pointless because “99%” of men already know this. Studies indicate about 6% of men are rapists, so I would beg to differ. Rape is just the extreme side of the spectrum of misogyny.* How many more men preach from the pulpit that wives must submit to their husbands, and domestic violence is caused by a lack of female submission? How many more men sexually harass women? How many more men ask rape victims what they were wearing and what they did to provoke their rapist?

            This blog post is necessary because it addresses a widespread, global problem. You’re correct that I am only one person, but I have also become the person that women confide in about their experiences with rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. Over the last three years, seven women have told me about being raped, one woman told me about fighting off her rapist, and dozens more told me about suffering “lesser” forms of sexual assault or sexual harassment.

            *Rape is not always a result of misogyny, considering the problems with child rape and male rape. But a man choosing to rape a woman is misogyny, and the actions of men against women is the topic at hand.

          • “As a man I’ve NEVER experienced any men talk, act or even have these beliefs, and I’ve worked with blue collar through millionaires.”

            “Actually I have experienced very misogynistic men. I come from Scotland where in rougher areas it’s quite ingrained.”

            Also these statements quite contradict themselves.

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  79. Hey John, I have no views on the church that way, I’m simply responding to the point you made yourself about how you experience this, quoting: “especially in the Church”.

    I struggled to relate to the article because as a man I have never experienced this and with the factor added that I never go to church, this seemed to be the dividing line.

    There are hundreds of thousands who would post that they love George Bush too, but he’s still one of the most hated men on the planet so I’m afraid that logic will never add up. Billions would respond if the opposite were offered!

    I’d be more interested to see if is perhaps a national culture thing – If you experience it in London I’d like to hear about it as perhaps it’s more of an American thing! Church and America don’t seem to go too well in these kinds of areas, so maybe that’s where the type of men you describe are most concentrated and hence why you experience it so much and me so little.

    In short it would still seem more helpful to target this to the sub-set of men guilty of this, blanket brushing all men seems as blunt and inappropriate as saying all women who wear short skirts are sluts and asking for it. Ie. I can’t see how disrespecting men encourages them to respect women.

    Cheers, Neil.

  80. I have been reading these comments avidly and have thought about this post a lot. I thank John again for writing it, for providing a space for a discussion and for not making it overtly Christian.

    Both men and women are the subject of unfair gender socialisation and sexism. And I can see that a post about women is needed to counter-balance this one. However, this post is very important because of the extra difference in biology; men have to make MORE of an effort because they have to temper natural sex urges. Not doing so can result in physically and psychologically harming women.

    After Elliot Rodger went on his murderous rampage, a woman started the #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter. The intent was for women to use it to share their experiences of sexism, sexual harassment and violence. The first week was really awesome, heart-breaking, inspiring and tragic. It got a lot of press coverage and about one million tweets in the first week.

    In the following weeks, a lot of anti-feminist men and women joined in, JUST to pick arguments with women using the hashtag (saying they deserved the rape, were ugly, were a feminazi, were exaggerating or lying). They also co-opted the hashtag and used it with disparaging comments about women (such as, “3/10 get raped? Let’s make it 100%”). Many men have created anonymous accounts JUST to harass women using the #YesAllWomen hashtag.

    I have dipped in and out of the hashtag for the last 6 weeks, trying to support women being attacked for recounting their experiences, and trying to counter anti-female comments (women are bad as dogs, women are just good for sex, women are stupid, women always lie, women only want men for their money, women have cheated men out of jobs, women don’t have it any worse than men, sex is something that men do to women and finally, “shut up and stop whining”).

    I have heard listened to all these things in the context of my own experience and my psychology degree. I have come to a conclusion: if we are to make significant changes in gender bias, we need to start talking to our children differently. The rest of us, we can make small dents but it’s too late.

    From the moment we’re born, we are told, taught and trained what is expected of us because of our gender. The first compliment “ooh, what a pretty girl” (to a baby dressed in pink) or “what a strong boy!” (to a baby dressed in blue) is the first of constant gender socialisation. Girls get skirts and dresses (impractical for playing), boys get trousers. Girls get toys of dolls, kitchen sets, make-up kits, jewellery kits. Boys get toys of guns, soldiers, cars, construction, puzzles.

    As we grow up, we are bombarded DAILY with messaging that girls are pretty and that boys and strong – from what people say, adverts, posters, films, TV, the people we see around us. We also reaffirm and pass these gender roles to others. The resulting gender roles are NOT innate, they are conditioned. And we are ALL complicit in perpetuating them.

    Girls are taught from a very young age that they are valued on their looks. They are expected, encouraged and reminded to pluck, shave, wax (even though it hurts, takes time, costs money), wear make-up, show cleavage, wear skirts (some secondary schools with uniforms forbid girls to wear trousers), show skin. They are praised, seen and rewarded for their looks.

    Girls as young as 10 on Instagram, are making selfies using sexualised poses they have seen on TV. They don’t know what it means but they do know that such as thing is valued in society. They have already found and chosen their role models of what it means to be a successful woman.

    As teenagers and adults, women think that they freely make these decisions about plucking their eyebrows, say, or wearing make-up. But, because the relentless conditioning started from before they could even speak, they have had little actual choice in the matter. This is also true of Muslim women who cover their hair or wear burqas – because they WANT to.

    The same forces that make women want to cover their bodies in burqas are THE SAME forces that make Western women wear make-up and wear revealing clothes. We must take some responsibility of what we have done to girls. It’s too late to say to someone wearing provocative clothes to “be modest”. The damage is already done. And you’re competing with ongoing messaging that being immodest is valued.

    Similarly, boys are conditioned to conform to their own gender roles (be strong, don’t cry, be brave, be the initiator of sex, don’t be vain). Yes, men and women have both been conditioned with gender roles (gender is cultural). The unfairness doesn’t result in equivalent harm. Every day, women are being attacked, raped and murdered just because of their gender.

    The impact of women’s gender role is that they are seen as sexual prey, as intellectually limited (lower pay for same job), not mathematical or scientific (passed over for less qualified men). They are also denied combat roles and are considered the better parent for custody by default (both unfair to men).

    So that’s why we need to talk to the next generation differently. Tell BOTH girls and boys that they are strong, clever, handsome, brave. Give them toys that will help them grow as people who can contribute fully to society, regardless of their gender. Don’t limit them by saying what they should or shouldn’t do because of their gender.

    As adults, we’ve all been contaminated by conditioning. We can’t tell men “not to rape” or women not to dress indecently because it’s too late. Women are conditioned throughout their lives to make themselves attractive to men. You can’t compete with decades of conditioning.

    With regard to the post’s negative comments, I posted earlier about Red Pill ideology. There is also Mens Right Activism (MRA) and Pick-Up Artistry (PUA). PUA teaches young men skills to get women to “put out” – women are only seen as providers of sex, they have no further use. These men don’t want a relationship; they think that love is for “niceguys” (whom they disparage). They seem to be completely unaware that sex can be a collaboration and not just something that a man does to a woman, after he has manipulated her into it.

    The Internet (for all its awesomeness) has made it easy for young men to find these anti-women communities. The forums are full of posts that confirm their way of thinking. The online communities act as echo chambers; the same misinformation goes round and round, reaffirming itself in the readers mind.

    If there is a battle to be fought (and I think that there is), joining these forums to counter the misinformation would be one thing we could do. However, you would need thick skin, nerves of steel and the patience of a saint. If not, the population of disenfranchised, angry young men is just going to grow. And then they will become dysfunctional boyfriends, husbands and fathers.

    If you’d like to join the battle on Twitter, I am using my @PootDibou account for #YesAllWomen discussions.

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  83. Odd, but not unreasonable, that you would place the onus on men, coming from a Christian background- there has always been something of sex and sensuality denial in christian thought (look what Origen did to his private parts, or St. Paul’s thoughts on sexuality,) not to mention the long-standing tradition of celibate mystics and clergy. I do not come from a Christian background, but I quite enjoyed your emphasis on personal responsibility. I do have one question though- why is it okay for a woman to practice the sin of pride through the display of her adornments, so to speak? Are they also not responsible for the message they send to the world, or are they inherently incapable of being responsible? Perhaps I need to share more inborn assumptions and cultural memes with you to get what you are really talking about.

    • Thanks for the response.

      It’s actually very simple. I didn’t and don’t give women freedom from responsibility. They are responsible for their actions. They just aren’t responsible for men’s actions.

      • “They just aren’t responsible for men’s actions.”

        are they responsible for taking actions that have a documented, clear, higher probability in yielding undesirable actions from others (namely men) ?

  84. Another pandering article. Write what women want to hear, to get in their pants I imagine…

    I’m writing my own article filled with truths on how this is a JOINT problem, and yes, that means women are COMPLICIT as well. But let’s go to this point of yours:

    “If I’m in a grocery store, and a woman’s standing next to me with a wide-open bag, filled with money; bills practically spilling-out onto the floor, is it OK to reach out and take any of it?”

    Of course not, now let’s say your brother, sister, or anyone you know went into a grocery store DELIBERATELY opened their bag, letting their money DELIBERATELY spill out, and then OH MY GOD someone robbed them. Now if they recounted the story to you, wouldn’t one of your thoughts be, “err uhh why did you walk in with an open bag with money spilling out all over the place? Do you really think that was the smartest action to take?”

    Yes of course that doesn’t JUSTIFY or give anyone the right to steal it, but lets face it, there are actions that person CAN take to MITIGATE a robbery… correct?

    This goes to a larger point, if anyone equates say “a guy attacks and rapes a random woman” and “a college girl, dressing provocatively, going to a party, getting drunk, flirting with a hot guy, going back to his room, making out with him, then all of a sudden putting up a less than clear resistance when his d%&k is about to enter her” as the same kind of rape, then quite frankly their being dishonest and delusional. Why, because in the latter, there were clear actions the woman could take to MITIGATE the chances of any wrong doing.

    • Yes, as I happily married man of 18 years, I wrote this blog to “get in women’s pants”. That’s it.

      I hope you realize you said everything with that sentence, (and everything following it, really). These sentiments are exactly why this blog needed to be written in the first place.

      Thanks.

  85. I also hope you realize articles like this (that shift the blame on men completely, and completely absolve women) amount to exactly squat, sorry to say. They get a bunch of women to say “Amen to That!” and “Great article!” and then what? it dies down and things continue on as they are. Ever wonder why ?

    Unless you address the “Be a man!” macho, bravado, take action and don’t ever complain about anything culture that puts a huge, inordinate, unrealistic amount of pressure on men to be strong, bold, achieving, rich, sensitive, spiritual, athletic and stylish – nothing will change, here’s a documentary film that is aiming to do just that:

    Maybe you write an article on that ?

    • He didn’t, but I did in my long comment (although I could only do it from my own perspective as a woman) which I enhanced and blogged at http://pootability.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/yesallwomen/

      Thank you for posting that video. It is awesome. Btw, it was made by a feminist film-maker. She had previously made “Miss Representation” about women.
      http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/03/feminist-film-maker-taking-on-hollywood

      John’s post specifically talks to young men. It’s not unreasonable to address them. His post does not imply that boys are irrelevant. I think he’s just making a matter-of-fact statement that a man’s sex urges is ULTIMATELY the responsibility of the man, in whether he chooses to act on them or not.

      My main concern (as yours seems to be) is what happens to kids growing up. Things are worse nowadays and will continue to become much worse because the Internet has fundamentally changed our communication reach. There is a level playing field. Young, old, socially-immature, emotionally intelligent, mentally ill, clear-headed, male, female, activist, political, kind, angry – anyone with a smartphone can make their voice heard. People don’t make their agenda clear. The unreasonable and irrational ones with too much time on their hands tend to be the loudest (which is why feminism gets such a bad rap nowadays, because of the vocal radical extremists).

      Shouting at griefers never, ever worked on the Internet. Young boys and young men have access to harmful ideas, images, videos and posts that reaffirm that they’re not strong enough, not macho enough, not brave enough, not hard enough, not Alpha (we’ve even seen beta-shaming in these comments). They also have access to porn, teaching boys that sex is the thing that men do to women, that women are mere vessels. When the “you’re not a man!” criticism comes from their peers – and parents don’t know and seem unaware – the boys can become lost to a world of disrespect. (Respect, in my opinion, is the foundation of a healthy relationship, ANY relationship.)

      I agree with you. It’s a tragedy happening every day for boys (be a man) and for girls (be pretty for the man).

      Would you like to write a guest post on my blog about the male perspective? I’m very findable – google my name or paolability.

      Respect.

  86. I don’t disagree with any of this, but i would like to point something out. A lot of this circles around basic decency and all of the “keep your hands to yourself” lessons we were all taught as children. But here is my question…do women really WANT men that aren’t aggressive and make them feel chased by showing their physical interest? Obviously no one wants to be groped, but the women i’ve come across have a strong urge to feel “desired,” and it directly correlates with physical advances. Again, nothing that is inappropriate, but a hand on their back, a hug, a (non-creepy) comment about how sexy they look in their new dress. It’s all well and good to say “it’s on us” etc etc…but many of the women i know aren’t interested in kind, polite, ‘decent’ men…and that may come up for debate, but in my experience, women say that’s what they want, then they still date the biggest asshole they can find because he’s ‘exciting’, or ‘a project…’

    This isn’t a ‘nice guys finish last’ speech by the way, if you’re nice and you finish last, you’re doing it wrong! Just speaking in generalities from my experience.

    This falls along the same lines as women claiming they want “equality.” They don’t really want equality as far as I can tell, they want respect. Equality would mean that next time there’s a draft, we take the young women right along with the young men….ladies, i don’t think you want to be the same, you just want to be respected individuals for who you are within a society, and you have every right to want that and deserve to have it.

    Please don’t take these comments as misogyny, that is not my intent at all, I’m simply making observations based on what i’ve personally experienced. Great read, thanks for posting!

  87. If I saw someone that careless with their money i would definitely take it from a man too, not just a woman. That’s just being an opportunist.

    • It’s just your truth; one clearly shaded with resentment toward women.

      This will be my last response to you.

      Why don’t you write a blog and send me the link.

  88. Wow!
    The so-maniest uninformed, simplistic and utterly unnecessary view on this particular top.
    Thanks!
    Vlijmen

  89. Thanks for this article. The only thing I wanted to discuss was the often used analogy of a woman’s body being considered property, whether we are talking about it being stolen or belonging to herself. I wish a woman’s body would be considered something higher than a house to break into or a bag of money as they are often compared to when speaking about assault and autonomy. I realize that they are very convenient metaphors, but still. I know those who would say if you leave your home unlocked, you deserve to be robbed. I believe with my whole heart that my body is worth more than any other material possession. I just wish we had a different vocabulary to talk about it is all.

    • I totally agree, Megan. That’s why I describe them as “priceless”.

      For me, the bottom line is seeing a person’s intrinsic value, especially when they are viewed as less than that. All images and language fail, ultimately.

      People are not property.

  90. IMPORTANT NOTE: I will be out of the country f0r 10 days beginning tomorrow, and will most likely only have time to approve comments, not comment back, so please do not complain about a lack of response.

    Also: Any comments with profanity, vulgarity, personal attacks on myself or other posters, will not be approved, so know that going in.

    Thanks for reading, commenting, sharing, and pondering these issues.

    Stay classy!

  91. Thanks so much for posting this! I also must echo what other women have said. Most of my formative years where spent teaching us gals how we tempt men and we have to ‘not tempt them’ and retain our purity. In fact, it was taught that ‘we don’t have a choice’ and we were taught that rape was a woman’s fault…by other women in our church!! I have since left that group and surrounded myself with like-minded individuals who have left archaic ideas in the past, seeing men and women as equals. This post should be required reading in schools 🙂

  92. This was a good article, especially including the point of “value women even if they don’t value themselves” which is a really important aspect that some people don’t understand. I, personally, think modesty is important in women’s attire, because it gives off a vibe of “I respect me, so you should respect me too”. But that’s just me. If others feel comfortable dressing with maximum skin showing and feel respectful of themselves, then that’s their thing. It’s not mine. Modesty isn’t for men, ladies, it’s for you. The day men and women wear shorts and shirts of the same length- then I’ll stop thinking it’s devaluing. But thats not the argument here.

    ANYWAY. Good article, men need to be responsible for their actions regardless of their own desires. I’ve only ever met a few that would do that- I married one of them.

  93. Good morning! I believe this is one be most well-written and thought out presentations to the young men of today. As far as those who believe as marq57? Those sorts of people are what is wrong with this world. Women in Arab countries as well as other cultures “cover everything” except their eyes, and in some cases, those as well. This does NOT stop sexual assault in those countries, nor does it stop it here in ours. I have been privileged to raise a man in America who is one of the “good ones”, I have also raised a beautiful, intelligent and respectful daughter who didn’t “run around half-dressed”. I appreciate your presentation and I will pass it on.

  94. When I saw the title of this article, I thought it was going to be about what goes on in our minds. Upon further reading (article and responses) I get the impression that this is directed towards men who do not respect the physical boundaries of the opposite sex. However, I would urge my fellow men to do more than just “not act out” your urges; strive to kill them at the root! I understand how difficult it is to keep your mind pure when you see an attractive woman (regardless of what they are wearing) but it is possible. In Colossians 3 Paul tells us to take off the old self and put on the new self. Our “new self” is Christ. We will not be perfect until he returns, but until then, we can overcome any obstacle if we keep our eyes focused on things above. Before, we were slaves to our urges and desires, but with Christ we are free to chose righteousness! So be in the Word daily and pray without ceasing and you will find even the way you think (read “urge”) can change.

  95. Yes! Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes. One of the most ridiculous hypocrises we have going on in America right now is that we poo-poo countries that force women to cover up in order to “not tempt men” — not getting that a good chunk of that mindset is normalized in our own country. It’s to the point that we have police officers and judges asking what the women were wearing.

    And your stealing analogy is spot on. I tried to explain to someone who couldn’t understand why something like Steubenville could be considered assault, and I likened it to someone taking NyQuil and going to bed before turning on their ADT system — and then someone, noticing you feel asleep without turning on the alarm system, goes into your house and takes very valuable things. It doesn’t matter if the person wasn’t on 100% high alert; that’s against the law and something you need to be punished for, not shaming the homeowner for taking NyQuil before turning on the ADT system.

  96. I agree with what you say. I also would like to add this verse.
    “You have heard that it was said, you shall not commit adultery. BUT I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28
    This implies the thought of Sinning is sin. What we harbor in our minds eventually come out as character. In other words..we become what we think. So what are we thinking? Only we know our intent unless we share truthfully. Then the reverse can be said about Women. Why do you wear what you wear? Is it to attract attention to yourself. What areas on you body do you expose and why? The adulteress mentioned in proverbs is someone whom takes advantage of the weak minded men. She attracts attention to herself on purpose. Proverbs 7.
    Here is something to think about. Romans 14:13. Paul is saying we should put stumbling blocks in front of each other. Like you mentioned from Matthew 5 where if your eye CAUSES you to sin pluck it out. You can also say if what you do cause one to stumble stop what you are doing.
    2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the truth.”
    How do we present ourselves? What message are we sending to other by what we do and what we say? Think about it. Fathers, would you what your daughters to expose as much as possible in public? Knowing what guys think, would you still allow it? I’m sure you would not want your sons to get involved with loose women and vise versa.
    Those who are a part of the Lord’s Church/ His body, should be working together understanding one another’s weaknesses. The body works together to survive. The same concept is applied to God’s children.
    2 Peter 1:5-10 states the characteristic we should have. Virtue, knowledge, self control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. Something both sexes should have. How can we love one another if we don’t understand the other side. Just understanding but actually helping each other to lead a life of righteousness.
    (To understand what love is read 1 Corinthians 13:1-7…not the only place to look of course). I’m not condemning anyone. We all have different struggles. So why Gamble your life, when we have a guide to a better life.
    Just presenting thoughts to consider.
    If there is anything I said that I missed, or contradicts the Word, please let me know. I’m still learning myself and thoughts will be appreciated. If you have any questions, I shall do my best to answer to the best of my ablility.

    • I’ve been 6ft tall since I was 12. It was also when I was 12 that I got creepy hit on for the first time. I didn’t even know what was happening, and when I didn’t respond to him in the way that he wanted, he got frustrated. This escalated until he finally threw a cabbage at me. Hit hit me square in the face and cause my nose to bleed. The worst part was that he worked for my parents at their restaurant, this happened *at* their place of business, and they *didn’t* fire him. I don’t know what they could have said to themselves to justify such a thing, but it definitely made me feel like I was worthless, and not worth defending. So I never asked them for any assistance in defending myself again. I either avoided things, or defended myself. The damage done can be deep.

  97. I really like your article, however I would really like to see something like this that was geared toward married/committed men. There are a lot of articles and videos out right now about rape culture and respect toward women (which is wonderful) but it seems they are all geared to single men/women.

    As a woman married for 10 years I have experienced having a husband who feels that it is my responsibility to fulfill his intimate desires and that if I don’t I am not being loving toward him. The manipulation and pressure I feel has turned me almost entirely off sex, as I have come to realize over the last couple years that as a person my needs are equally as valuable as his.

    I love my husband and he is very wonderful in many ways but he has not yet had the experience of a man (or anyone other than me) telling him that his wife’s body is not designed simply for his pleasure.

    Thank-you for your post.

    • You said: “As a woman married for 10 years I have experienced having a husband who feels that it is my responsibility to fulfill his intimate desires and that if I don’t I am not being loving toward him. The manipulation and pressure I feel has turned me almost entirely off sex, as I have come to realize over the last couple years that as a person my needs are equally as valuable as his.”

      I described exactly this possible scenario in an earlier comment. I am sad for your situation.

      I’m a lapsed Catholic who didn’t read the Bible. What is current the position on masturbation? It is acceptable for a man (or woman) to relieve their sexual frustration alone?

      • Hi Paola,
        I’m not sure about the current Catholic position on masturbation. We aren’t morally against it. He does partake in it when I outright refuse, but only after much pressure and asking, as he prefers to have me do it for him. He was brought up in a very conservative/religious home where the man was expected to get everything he wanted, and although he has swayed from this in many ways, his deepest nature is still unaware of the effects of men’s sexual expectations on women. He unfortunately is one of those men who will say “women like that shouldn’t dress in those kinds of things” as though all women are dressing with the intent of pleasing men.

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  99. I agree whole heartedly, but in knowing that we as humans have issues with our self control (I’m not making excuses nor justifying any actions made by anyone), wouldn’t it make sense to dress in a way that isn’t as provocative? Continuing the example that the author used; Knowing that your money is valuable, you don’t carry it out in the open because you know there are people who might want to take it. You hide it so that no one knows whether you have a lot or a little or where you keep it either. We all know people have wallets and purses, but in keep them close and closed, you can reduce that temptation of taking it. Same goes for your “valuables”. And I knooooow summer gets hot, but I dont go around in booty shorts and a tube top (mainly cuz I won’t look as good as half of yall), cuz I wear a loose fitting shirt and loose basketball shorts if I’m really uncomfortable, which most girls don’t do for the simple fact that they won’t look cute or hot or whatever the fuck. So, as man, I know my role over my body, but I also know how hard girls these days make it to control that animal instinct inside us. It’s like me getting up in someone’s face, hurling insults and vulgarities and expecting to not get punched, but when I do I blame it on them for punching me. Nuff said

    • You said: “And I knooooow summer gets hot, but I dont go around in booty shorts and a tube top (mainly cuz I won’t look as good as half of yall), cuz I wear a loose fitting shirt and loose basketball shorts if I’m really uncomfortable, which most girls don’t do for the simple fact that they won’t look cute or hot or whatever the fuck.”

      and “As man, I know my role over my body, but I also know how hard girls these days make it to control that animal instinct inside us.”

      People need to understand that girls and women don’t wear skimpy clothing because of some innate attribute or because they want to tease and frustrate men.

      The do it because, from the moment they are born, they are told (girls, not their brothers) that they are pretty and beautiful. They are dressed in pink and put in skirts and dresses rather than practical clothes to run around in. They are given dolls, dolls houses and make-up kits. TV reminds them that, even under the microscope, their hair or skin looks bad, and that they will be judged on it. They are ridiculed for natural facial or body hair – pressured into waxing, plucking and shaving.

      These aren’t their choices when they are young. These choices are made for them because it starts the moment they are born. But they grow up thinking that it’s normal and right. When they have daughters, they’ll teach them the same.

      Gender differences aren’t natural. They’re mostly cultural. The biological don’t account for the gender differences we have today.

      A girl’s looks is seen as a source of validation and sexual power. That’s what’s been drummed into them. So, of course, girls feel more comfortable dressing in a way that conforms to the stereotype and brings praise.

      To change things, we need to start from the moment they’re born. Trying to break the conditioning of 10+ years will be almost nearly impossible.

  100. love it-something i really needed to see and something i truly appreciate, thank you John for writing. also thank to all the men who also appreciate the blog and agree with it, its refreshing to see.

    yes some girls behavior could be better-i’ve known some girls who do like to flaunt what they have maybe a little too much for my taste atleast. and i know some who like to cover up more, and some in between. but that wasn’t what this was all about.

  101. I agree with everything that the author is saying, and I love the call to action for men to “own” HOW they respond to what may be visually attractive and see the person standing there.

    However, as others have mentioned in some of the comments above (I haven’t read all the comments), I also feel it is a woman’s job not to flaunt what she has and then lay the blame elsewhere. Using the same analogy as the author, how many times can the woman go through the grocery store with a bag overflowing with cash before she simply expects someone to take advantage of the situation?

    Has the author written a letter to females as well?

  102. I don’t know if i can agree to this. If we look at Adam and Eve, is it Adam or Eve’s fault for rebelling against God? Both equally disobeyed God. Self-Control is something both men and women need to work on, because we all have our temptations. This article points at men as the main problem, but Romans 3:23 clearly points that every one is a sinner, and no one is a bigger sinner then the next.
    Its even more demeaning to women to say that they do not have control of their own urges. If a boyfriend tries to pressure his girlfriend into sex, how is it only the boy’s fault? The girl has a mind and will of her own, men have no control over their decisions. Back to Adam and Eve, this article looks like the chapter in Genesis when Eve blames the serpent for tempting her. Temptation is everywhere, and there is no specific gender or anything else to point to other than the one who is tempted.

    Forgive me for sounding a bit too strong, but as a male I cannot be alone to take the blame for the failure of abstinence, and as a Christ follower, it makes me cringe to hear the blame game of sin.
    5 mins · Like

    • I dont know if you’ve read comments the author wrote to others thinking like you. The author, as a man, wanted to encourage and help men. He was not writing to women, and when he sees the need to write to women about their issues, he’ll do that. Yes, it always takes 2 to tango. He isn’t condemning all men calling them rapists, he is adressing an issue that many men believe it is solely a woman’s responsibility to keep men pure. The mentality that it is always a woman’s fault takes off all responsibility for men to exercise self-control, and God clearly wants men and women to have self-control. The focus of this is men. There are a bajillion articles adressed to women, as well.

  103. Reblogged this on Insights, Laughs, Tears… and commented:
    Pretty amazing. I’m a woman, but I can still really appreciate this. I grew up being taught that we women had to cover ourselves and be careful and not too nice and whatever, because those things would cause a man to lust after us. And it would be our fault. Now that I’m older, I know that was a load of crap. There is something to say for modesty, and not just in dress but also in actions. But as a woman I am NOT responsible for the way a man conducts himself. So appreciated reading this <3

  104. this entire article is just offensive. the assumption that all men are rapists waiting to happen is apparently one shared by entirely too many online writers, and here’s the real stinker, none of the men that actually have any of the viewpoints presupposed by your article would stop and read this fu%^ing thing.

  105. There has been so much talk of Scripture and God throughout the comment section, and while it has been a scintillating read, I don’t directly see how it is relevant to the article.

    I loved the article. It really strikes to the heart of the issue. Men are responsible for their actions. It’s that simple.

    And for the peanut gallery harrumphing about taking women “off the hook:”
    Men are responsible for their actions.
    Women are responsible for their actions.
    But neither men, nor women, are responsible for how others REACT to their actions.

    Saying that they are brings us completely back to square one, and if you believe it to be true, then I suggest you reread the original article.

  106. Oh , no doubt a wonderful article and a gift to our future and present generation. I am going to use it and share it with my students

  107. As the author commented towards the beginning: Matt. 5:29: “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away…”. When addressing lust specifically, Jesus places the responsibility on the man who looks. At the same time, I still don’t buy the argument that girls are free of all duty to keep our brothers from stumbling. I don’t get why Christian feminists find it so offensive to “make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” (Rom. 14:13) There is no biblical argument for women to be free and dress however they want–is there? Sure, we aren’t bound by the law, “But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, ***SERVE one another HUMBLY in love***.” (Gal. 5:13) I don’t see this attitude at all among women who are fighting against modesty. It certainly is the men’s role to flee sin, and I would say that this is the primary responsibility in the whole issue of lust (which is not the emphasis I usually encounter in teachings about modesty/lust), but that doesn’t mean women are off the hook or free to do whatever they feel like doing.

    • What I don’t understand is why you can’t just take responsibility for yourself. This article was written as a challenge for men, not women. Yes, women should dress modestly, but this article is NOT about women. It is about helping men realize that they have a responsibility as well. Don’t bring women into an argument to excuse your own responsibility. I don’t get mad about some men’s lack of self control when I am challenged to be modest. I take mental note and make sure I don’t wear immodest clothes. When you are challenged to exercise self control, don’t get mad at immodest women. Take responsibility for yourself, please. That is what this article is about, being responsible for yourself.

    • Good response brittanyolson! We need more mature women like you to speak out since our culture tells us if you’re not black, woman or whatever then you have no business speaking to those issues.

      These are shallow minded people who use this type of reasoning to silence those who have a right to speak the truth in love, regardless of their pigmentation or genitalia.

  108. I am surprised something like this needs to be said. The very essence of maturity is self control. Without that we really couldn’t have a civilization to speak of.

  109. While I totally agree with this article, I think women should also still have care how they dress, act and speak. Partly because it is glorifying to God. But also because it is not fair in the slightest to make the men do all the work while we do whatever. It goes both ways, if we expect them to be respectful, the least we can do as women is help them to stay up right as well. It’s a teamwork.

  110. Thank you for sharing this. I am a Christian and was raised in a Christian home. I have dressed modestly pretty much all of my life. I am not attractive in any way by society’s standards. I was not flirtatious, and I was by all accounts “antisocial.”

    Yet I was raped.

    Every time I was raped, I was wearing baggy clothing, wasn’t wearing a bit of makeup, hadn’t flirted at all, and was basically just doing my own thing before being accosted (walking down the street, reading, sleeping).

    I was also molested for the first time when I was four years old. Even then, I was dressed modestly, but it didn’t stop my abuser. It never did.

    Modesty is a good thing, but it should never be used a a cudgel. If a person means to sexually assault another being (man, woman, etc), all the modesty and layers of the clothing in the world won’t make a difference. It comes down to the person doing the assaulting thinking that they have the right to do whatever they please to the person they are assaulting.

    If human thinking is changed to reflect Christ’s love rather than human beings’ desire for power, control, and instant gratification, and all people take ownership for their own thoughts and actions rather than blaming others, we would live in a much better world.

    Given some of the responses I’ve seen here, though, we’re in for a long wait. The Second Coming is likely to happen first.

  111. This article is disturbing. I think that the author is projecting his own issues of lust and self-control problems onto others, and without much critical thinking involved. All too often, those who pound the morality drum the loudest are doing to in order to preach to themselves.

    To the extent that writing such a piece helps the author work through his lust demons, then that is fine. But for most of us, the attitudes he attributes to other don’t really exist, but are caricatures of some mens’ attitudes.

    The moralizing, the hand-wringing, and the admonitions that women are “precious” reflects the mind of a man who worships the female. This is observable because men like this author never, never, never write about the value of men. Unless, of course they do so in order to encourage them to provide value to women.

    There is always balance, and this author exhibits no balance. There is no balancing view that women are to act with modesty, as the Bible directs (for secular people, disregard).

    I could deliver a stinging counter-example, but I do not think it would even be understood:

    “I have many things to tell you, but you cannot yet bear them.”

    In the end, this is just another tired version of the “man-up” rant, with the usual slightly creepy talk about women’s bodies, lust, groping, and sex.

    Here’s hoping the “post-as-self-therapy” works soon, so that we need not be wearied by such strawman wars in the future.

    As a born-again spirit-filled Christian washed in the blood of Christ, I’m calling you out, John.

    You have it almost completely wrong, and you lack both the age and wisdom to be dispensing such directives to men.

    You need prayer and humility to correct your error here.

    Or else you will end up just like this guy:

    http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/the-saddest-man-up-rant-ever/

  112. As a husband and father of two daughters, I’m in total agreement with your premise. However, the metaphor of the person with a bag of money is ridiculous. What moron is walking around with a bag of money? Sure, I don’t have to be the guy who steals the money, but somebody probably is. If the person with the money were a friend or family member, you’d beg her to hide it, put it away, take it to the bank immediately, for heaven’s sake don’t walk around with it! What kind of fool does such a thing?! Yet I’m supposed to follow that the moron money person is a metaphor for an attractive woman? Yeah, you lose me there.

  113. Moderated, huh. Just another coward preening on a stage of his own manufacture.

    You know nothing of which you speak, and you are unqualified to serve as an adviser to Christians. You’re just another clanging cymbal, as Paul would say.

    You, and those like you are unwittingly destroying the Church and undermining truth. With good intentions and boundless ignorance, you take a man and make him twice the son of hell he was beforehand.

    Know why the Church is weak? Because of men like you. Know why the Church can no longer defend marriage or moral social behavior? Because of men like you.

    You are a female-worshiper masquerading yourself as a Christ worshiper.

    May the Lord help you find a way out of your idolatry.

  114. This Lesson needs to be taught to young men and women. As a father of two daughters, I was worried about the boys, when they were young. As they matured, much sooner than the boys, I quickly learned that it was the boys that should have been afraid. Young ladies today are maturing earlier and they are aggressive, and in some cases, sexual bullies.

  115. John, in Prov. 2,5,6,7, the Sage (writer of Proverbs) addresses the enticing situations with women men encounter. In every instance Proverbs holds the man accountable for his actions. No matter how the woman dresses or acts (and in ch.7 it is anything but discreet and modest), the warning to behave properly is still directed toward the man.

    Good post.

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  117. Hey Everyone,

    Been away on a 10-day serving trip to London, and was unable to respond personally to any comments. I apologize for that.

    I will attempt to catch-up this week, but please know that I appreciate your contributions, and your passionate but civil dialogue here.

    Thanks!

  118. Pingback: Young Men, Sex, and Urge Ownership (And Why It’s Not The Girl’s Problem) | robinsnest212

  119. It is the man that has to have self control and discipline I totally agree. However I think as a society of men we should try to seek the help of woman to stay strong. Yes it is our bodies, yes it is our minds. We should let them know What is to be sexy and hot, a good Heart that is and amazing personality those things are greater then sexy or hot they are beautiful and beautiful lasts a lot longer then hot. What also is an old school concept is modesty he should write an article about that. Because I doubt less then half the United States knows what that means and they definately don’t apply it. I know it’s our bodies but I would be grateful to women if they would respect and have confidence enough to dress modestly. It definately would help the both of us.

    • For one, modesty is intensely subjective–what’s modest to me might not be what’s modest to you, and holding anyone up to your own standards is unfair and self-centered. I dress in a way that makes me feel happy and confident–modesty doesn’t even come into my thought process. Secondly, even if a woman is walking down the street naked, your response to her is YOUR problem. Not hers. Not anyone else’s. Yours. There is no inherent shame in the naked body, nor in the healthy sexual urges it can produce. But if that woman doesn’t agree to be your sex partner, then you have no claim or right to her body–and you have also no right to say she should have dressed more conservatively so as not to stir up said sexual urges.

      There’s no reason I should have to dress in a way YOU deem modest if it doesn’t fit in with my belief system and worldview.

  120. Thank you so much for writing this. I can not tell you how many times I’ve hated being told how to dress so that I wouldn’t tempt some man. I finally realized in recent years that if I’m dressing to be comfortable and as an expression of who I am and it tempts a man, then it’s his problem, not mine.

    I’ve read some of the comments and for those who think women should be more covered than a two piece bathing suit, may I suggest you read Genesis 3 and the Song of Solomon. I would also remind you that clothing was not God’s idea. He did not force us to wear clothing. In Genesis 3 we read that AFTER Adam & Eve ate of the fruit from the tree of knowledge they knew they were naked and were ASHAMED (emphasis mine). They made coverings out of fig leaves, which God later replaced. Modesty is more about attitude. If I’m wearing skimpy clothing with the intent to entice or tempt a man, then I’m in the wrong. If I’m doing so because that’s how I’m most comfortably dressed and I like how I look, then I’m okay. A woman can be covered from head to toe and still find ways to seduce and tempt men.

    I appreciate the men who realized that truly mature men can control themselves. To you I say, “Thank You!”

  121. Pingback: Young Men, Sex, and Urge Ownership (And Why It’s Not The Girl’s Problem) | Church and Sex

  122. Reblogged this on The Bishop Dr. and commented:
    I don’t advocate “hooking up” with any girls, like the author of this article does. But, what he says is very applicable to the church. Job said “I have made a covenant with mine eyes.” (Job 31:1) We ought to do the same.

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  125. John – I’m with you on about 97% of this. Many guys absolutely do need to hear this message. And yes, it is our responsibility to learn to control our eyes and our thoughts, and submit all our thoughts and actions to the lordship of Christ. We need to own our urges; it IS on us. Thank you for addressing this.

    … but I believe the other 3% is pretty big. (And we may not even disagree; it may just be a word choice and how I took it. You may not have given it much thought; it certainly isn’t the main point of your blog.)

    My problem is with the word “problem.” Our God-given sex drive is a problem? God had no positive purpose in creating us guys this way? That isn’t how I see things. The way many guys misuse their sex drive is the problem.

    To me, this is all about the difference between teaching kids “No, no, no,” when it comes to sex, as opposed to “Wait, wait, wait” (the better message). Is the idea that sex, in the right context, is a great gift from a marvelous and creative God? Or is it something our culture has hijacked and made shameful and sinful because of all the ways it is misused?

    If it’s true that God had a positive reason for creating men this way, why perpetuate this notion that we are somehow flawed because a vast majority of us have a high sex drive and are visual?

  126. Ah good point. But I must address this 1 Corinthians 8:12-13 where Paul clearly states do not do anything that causes your brother to stumble. In a sense this article is saying it’s okay for women to dress unlike a daughter of Jesus Christ, and we men should except that and control our urges. While yes we as men should have better self control but what it boils down to is that it’s a two way street when it comes to Sex, Lust and a Mans Mind. That being said women especially in the Church of all places should not dress or act in a way that tempts her brother in Christ and causes him to stumble.

    • Nick, I’d encourage you to go back to the passage in 1 Corinthians and re-read the context surrounding these verses and think about what Paul meant IN that context. I’ve heard this passage used to pressure congregations to abstain from drinking alcohol or swearing or any behavior deemed “unsavory.” Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians was a worship issue and a personal conscience issue. If we follow the logic you’ve given here (that is very common in many churches) then I should not eat in front of a glutton and should not talk in front of a gossip lest I make them stumble in their weakness. Taken to the extreme, this is the exact thinking that justifies making women wear Burqas. What John is saying is that we are all responsible for our actions and resisting temptation no matter who we are or what the situation. Men are not excluded in the case of lust, no matter what temptation presents itself. LOVE, not rule following, is the absolute best motivation for obedience…love for God and love for women…even and especially women and girls who, for what ever reason, may be looking for love in all the wrong places in the ways they’ve been conditioned to. There are no shortage of boys and men who will line up to take advantage of that. Perhaps John is trying to whittle down the numbers of those trolling in for an easy fix. I really wish the boy who backed up behind me in a crowd in junior high and fondled my very modestly covered rear end had heard this message. I was terrified, humiliated and violated.

    • Concerning causing brothers to fall because of our actions.
      The subject of this blog has nothing to do with brother (or sister) causing a brother to sin. The subject of this blog concern sin.
      The Bible is as clear about men’s lust as it is on women’s modesty.
      If you want men to be chaste you have require women to be modest.
      You cannot let the women off the hook without letting men of the hook.
      Men sin when they lust
      Women sin when they are not modest.
      The problem with this blog it is unbalanced. What it says about men is correct. How it relieves women of their responsibility is irresponsible.

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  128. Men are RESPONSIBLE for where your hands, eyes and thoughts go.
    Males have a sex drive that is fueled by sight as much as any other factor.
    Women who do not recognize both facts create problems.
    Women who do not believe men can control their sexual impulses add to the problem of men Not controlling their sex drive.
    Women who do not take into consideration of the power the sex drive has on men are on dangerous ground. The vast majority of do not control their sex drive so if a woman dresses or acts in a manner that (intentional or not) excites the sex drive they are not thinking well.
    A woman dressing and acting provocatively should expect men to provoked.
    The mystery to the idea that women are not responsible for how the act or look but the man is responsible for how he reacts is beyond me.
    A man is asked to resist an essential urge designed to ensure there is another generation so a woman unlimited options on how they dress or act.
    Good idea but it hasn’t worked and won’t work.
    To use a trite old phrase, “Don’t spit in the wind if you don’t want to be spit in the face”.

  129. Thank you for your boldness in speaking out about this! I know you have and you will continue to get a lot of backlash from men who will do anything to place the blame on women instead of owning their lust. It’s the holier-than-thou type of man who cares only about his self-righteousness and nothing for the degradation that women face every day at their hands.

  130. Thank you so much for this. You took thoughts that I struggle with as a mom to a 5yr old daughter and the teacher to 12 pre-teen boys (at an urban christian school). I want my daughter to be proud of the woman that God has made her…something that I was constantly shamed for as a child, learning to hide everything including my inner self because that is what girls should do (this lead to lots of spiritual bondage that I am now becoming free from). But I also teacher my students that they need to be responsible for their actions and thoughts. Once again, thank you.

  131. Great article. Lots of truth here.

    But i have to ask…

    What about the girls that are visual? I have friends that look at a guy in a tank top just a man would look at a girl with tight pants on. There is lots of truth in this article, but it is a lie to say that it’s completely one genders “fault”. The fact is we both have to work hard at keeping our minds pure and trying be pure in our lives. When one gender thinks that the other gender should change or be aware of the other is when things get sideways such as the bad outcomes stated in the article.

    Good article, just need to look at the picture

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