Let’s set the scene: A woman walks into a bar in a tiny skirt and top that leave very little to the imagination. Every man’s eyes follow her across the room. Five seconds later, everyone goes back to what they were doing before. Except one guy. He approaches her table and offers to buy her a drink. She says she’s not interested. He says this is a bar and it’s just a drink. She thinks that’s a logical answer and agrees.
Hours later they’re walking out together when he thinks, Is one night worth it? He decides that it’s not. He asks if he can call her cab. She laughs, calling me names already? We’ve only just met. She assures him that she’ll be fine and walks away. He drives home, crawls into bed and kisses his wife goodnight.
• My question for you is: What if things had gone further? How much responsibility should the woman take for the temptation that this man was facing? Give it a think, revisualise the scene and make your case.
Here’s the most common argument I’ve heard. The woman is a temptress, look at the way she was dressed. She was clearly trying to lure a man. She was in bar on her own, maybe she was even a woman who walks the streets. No man can resist that kind of temptation, sex is too powerful.
You’ve probably heard this argument in another context, maybe in discussions about modesty, even debates about how to prevent rape. Women who dress inappropriately are the reason why men struggle with lust issues. Therefore if women dress appropriately, men’s lust issues will be eliminated. Had the woman come into the bar all covered up she wouldn’t have caught anyone’s attention, let alone a married man’s.
In fact, had she stayed home, all of this could have been averted.
In our scenario let’s assume that his lust was triggered by her dressing. There’s an important point to note here. His lust, her dressing. His lust. Her dressing. I’ll spell out my point clearly:
In this situation, he is responsible for his lust. She is responsible for her dressing NOT his lust.
Every woman knows what it feels like to be the object of a man’s lust. As soon as you begin to blossom into a woman, you notice the lascivious looks, they’re checking you out. Half the time I’m mystified at their fascination because I am looking pretty ordinary. Emphasis on ordinary, not pretty.
I want to take my cue from Jesus and talk to the men and not the women for once. Men, the root cause of your lust is not outward, it is inward:
"What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean’. For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery… All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean’." Mark 7: 20-23
There you have it. Is there room for talking about the way that women and men dress? Sure, but that’s not at issue here. The point is, any solution to a man’s (or any person’s) lust issues must begin with the inside, not the outside. Telling women to dress appropriately won’t deal with the problem, it just covers it up under high necklines and long skirts.
And hey, maybe if he’d stayed home, all of this could have been averted, wouldn’t you agree?
Thanks for reading.