Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Taking back our dignity...really?

One of the nun blogs to which I subscribe linked to a website called, "Demand Your Dignity," in honor of today's feast day, which is the feast day of a virgin martyr. FYI, in the Catholic Church, a feast day is the anniversary of the date a saint died.

On the one hand, I think it's totally cool for a nun to link to a somewhat edgy site like this. That ups her coolness and realness to me. I do appreciate that it's a site created by "real men," trying to get the message out there that not all men care about how a woman looks or whether or not she is sexually desirable. They encourage women to demand respect and equality from men in relationships. I have only read a couple articles on the site, but I did enjoyr the "Pressure Against Virgins" article, which argues against the idea that virgins should "downplay their virginity" in relationships. They also link to unknown clothing designers who donate part of their profits to needy organizations and design cute, modest clothes, such as Christa Taylor.

The modesty argument doesn't sit well with me 100% however. I agree that how you dress affects how people see you. Everyone should think about how they dress and what image they want to present to the world. If I'm on a job interview, I shouldn't wear jeans, a t-shirt and gym shoes. If I go to a formal party, I probably shouldn't wear jeans to that either. Different situations call for different "uniforms." I also agree that if you don't want men to look at your large chest, your probably shouldn't wear tight, low-cut clothes. If you don't want men to stare at your butt all night, don't wear tight pants.

However, men need to get their acts together too and learn to control their eyes. I shouldn't have to walk around in a burka all day just because some man can't help staring at me. I've gone to the laundromat in jogging pants and a t-shirt and STILL had men try to flirt with me. No joke. I've been completely covered in a winter coat and men have still said, "Hey baby," to me. It's not just that women are being "too revealing" in their clothing choices. Really, either way, whether I'm dressing like a hoochie to get male attention or dressing like a missionary to avoid their attention, I'm worrying about what men think. So the problem still remains.

It's also one of the things people say to women girls to help them avoid getting raped, i.e. "If you dress like a ho, you have a higher chance of being raped."

Perhaps these men who created demand your dignity dot com also need to make a website for their fellow men telling them, "It doesn't matter what a woman is wearing. You have NO right to stare at her."


  1. Hi, I just happened to stumble upon this page in my daily research of who's looking at the site and what they are saying, and wanted to comment on what you wrote.

    We totally agree that men should respect a women no matter what she is wearing (even naked), but unfortunately, as a society we aren't there yet. Worse, the influences around us pull men in the opposite direction - to vice instead of virtue. Now this in no way takes the responsibility to be respectful away from men, not at all. it's just that on demandyourdignity, the original intent for that section was to make sure women understand just how bad it is. There are men out there who just don't care and will treat women like meat. And worse, many women out there believe the lie that it's "ok" or "cool" to be lusted after. Clearly, this is an awful trap.

    As for the men though, you are 100% right. And I hope you are pleased to learn that we do have a guy's site :) www.battleforlove.com. There's not much there at the moment, as we're still trying to get it really rolling, but the idea is to catalyze other good men out there to promote virtue both within themselves and the world. I would also encourage you to check out www.thekingsmen.us and www.theporneffect.com. Like battleforlove, these great sites are all about men promoting true respect and virtue in other men.

    In the future though, we will change the wording of the modesty section in demandyourdignity to reassure viewers that the responsibility is not totally on the women. We never meant it to sound that way :)

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Thanks for clarifying that Kelsey. Once again, I am happy to see that there are "real men" out there who are willing to put up a website that says not all men care about looks. Also, I appreciate that you will change the wording of the modesty section and I look forward to checking out your other sites in the future (perhaps after there is more on them ;-) ). It's good that you recognize the need for real men to not just speak to women, but other less virtuous men as well.