A Brief Argument For Christian Teachings on Dress
Not that long ago every young girl's father stood guard for the dreaded camel toe1. And when it arrived they rushed their little darlings down to the department store in search of new, larger pants.
Leggings2 have put an end to that dread. Fathers are now powerless to fight this fashion trend that promises to make even the homeliest of girls popular, intermittently. Some mothers do put their foot down gently, "Now this is not ladylike." (When's the last time you heard that phrase?) But with the popularity of the fashion no one seems to want to be "lady like".
In an effort to keep the focus on education in middle and high school, schools have established rules prohibiting the wearing of leggings with tops uncovered. But amazingly parents of some girls have challenged such rules when enforced.
In Illinois Kevin Bond, a high school teacher and his wife, Juliet Bond a professor at Columbia College wrote an open a letter to the principal of Haven Middle School in Evanston which reads in part, [The] policy clearly shifts the blame for boy's behavior or lack of academic concentration, directly onto the girls. We are frankly shocked at this antiquated and warped message that is being sent to the kids. Under no circumstances should girls be told that their clothing is responsible for boy's bad behaviors. This kind of message lands itself squarely on a continuum that blames girls and women for assault by men. It also sends the message to boys that their behaviours are excusable, or understandable given what the girls are wearing. And if the sight of a girl's leg is too much for boys at Haven to handle, then your school has a much bigger problem to deal with.
We really hope that you will consider the impact of these policies and how they contribute to rape culture. Girls should be able to feel safe and unashamed about what they wear. And boys need to be corrected and taught when they harass girls.
Boys do have a responsibility to behave properly. But these parents have conveniently forgotten God's admonition to dress modestly.3 And their girls have never understood or been taught the application.
Churches are miserably failing our youth here, our girls and boys. This is an area where the churches should be training our boys and girls so that as they reach adolescence they are not shocked by what is allowed in the world and what Christ has required of us.
Teachings on appropriate dress and conduct should be the meat4 of midweek service - - a series of midweek services. This cannot be entrusted to our schools, unless they are Christian schools. Appropriate dress and conduct which can be gleaned from the Scriptures needs to be taught in a community of like minded persons where the Scriptures alone rule what is acceptable.
This is just another reminder that we are a people set apart by God for the benefit of the rest of the world. We must not despise our calling5. And we must prepare for it.
1. The outline of a vulva as sometimes seen when a woman is wearing tight pants. Origin of cameltoe, in reference to the shape, which resembles a camel's hoof
2. an extra outer covering for the lower legs 2. close-fitting trousers worn by women and children
3. 1 Timothy 2:8-10 (NIV) 8 I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. 9 I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
4. 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 (KJV) 1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
5. Matthew 5:13-16 (KJV) 13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.