Women at the Honor Academy are constantly taught that they should not wear anything that might cause their brother to “stumble” (i.e. – have lustful thoughts.) Unfortunately, once again, Teen Mania takes a seemingly good piece of advice and distorts it into an unhealthy burden that eventually destroys relationships between men and women.
Allow me to explain.
First off, I think its a given that men are visual creatures and that women should be aware of that. It would not be wise or prudent for a Christian woman to flaunt her body. I’m not advocating we all walk around in mini-skirts and mid-riffs, k?
However, women at the Honor Academy are under ridiculous pressure when it comes to having a modest wardrobe and are routinely confronted over ridiculously minor issues. One woman had an ankle length skirt with a slit to the knee. Her CA told her that it was inappropriate and she had to change before going to church. Female interns have been told not wear their purse across their chest because it emphasizes their breasts too much. Front hugs are taboo and even eye contact is discouraged. These kinds of rules are ABSURD!
When women are confronted over these minor issues and told that it “will cause their brothers to stumble” they begin to believe that all men think about is sex. If you can’t even wear an ankle length skirt with a slit to the knee without worrying that the men around you see you as a sex object, then how can you relate to any of them? How can you trust them or hope to build even a friendship with them? No wonder so many alumni have relationships with the opposite sex are so strained and filled with fear.
Another blogger from a legalistic tradition described it this way:
This teaching put me in bondage. The more I heard this kind of teaching the more suspicious I became of men. I couldn’t trust any of them.
As time went on, I learned from him that we could no longer hug a friend of the opposite gender. A hug might cause him to stumble and want more than hug. I was taught that we could not look into a man’s eyes for more than a simple hello, because the eyes can lead to temptation in their thoughts. All these rules heightened our suspicions of the men in the church.
Here is the bottom line: at the Honor Academy, many women are made to feel that they are responsible for the men’s lust issues. They are told, whether directly or indirectly, that they are the CAUSE of a man’s lust problem.
This is just plain wrong.
Women are not responsible for the thought lives of men. Period.
As Sister Lisa said in the post referenced above:
I am a woman and I have a word for all you men who think we need to cover up in order to protect you from falling into sin.
We aren’t Jesus Christ!
If a woman wearing a purse across her chest sends you into a spiral of sex-fueled fantasies, the problem is with YOU, not with her.