Fellow Examiner Ashley Zelk argued recently in an article that women should wear modest clothing. She argues that God cares what you wear and that he desires women to dress modestly.
Zelk bases her argument from multiple Bible verses (1Timothy 2:9-10, 1 Peter 3:3-5, Proverbs 11:22, and Proverbs 31:21-22). But the argument goes deeper than just citing scripture. Her reasoning is based on the concept that lust is a sin and that men who see immodestly dressed women will necessarily have impure thoughts and will be tortured for all eternity in Hell.
There are of course Bible verses which support her claim. Zelk uses two verses in particular, (1 Corinthians 8:9 and Romans 14:12-13) to make her case. However, she could have also used Matthew 5:29 in which Jesus warns that if a man’s eye causes him to sin, it is better to pluck it out then to have committed the sin of lust and be tortured for all eternity.
As a humanistic atheist, I have two big problems with Ashley Zelk’s argument. The first is that she seems to be arguing that women ought to be denied the right to dress as they please; because if just one woman were to dress immodestly, then every guy would be at risk of eternal torture. This, by the way, is the argument used in Muslim countries to force women to wear burqas. It puts all the responsibly the women and none on the men.
This brings me to the second problem with her article. Her argument shows that she has a very disrespectful view of men too. Her article implies that men are not capable of controlling their sexual desires and that any guy who sees an immodestly dressed woman will instantly drool all over himself with lust.
I don’t think it is moral to force women to take responsibility for the desires of men and I don’t think it is moral to restrict the freedom of women or men to dress as they please. On a side note, I don’t think lust is necessarily a bad thing nor do I have a problem with nudity, immodest clothing, sexuality, or sex. One thing is for sure, I certainly don’t view women as property the way the Bible does.
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