Charisma Editor: Stop Tempting Me With Cleavage! OH THE HUMANITY!

Charisma News, an online news resource for “passionate, Spirit-filled Christians,” recently published an article about how women need to stop tempting men in church with their cleavage:

Here’s Shawn A. Akers:

“Any man who says he isn’t at least slightly affected by a scantily dressed woman… is either a eunuch, gay or someone who isn’t telling the truth.”

Victim blaming? Check.

I think that we can all agree that, no matter which way people choose to dress, it in no way requires them to be responsible for any dirty thoughts they might inspire. However, it is this very ideology that is taught in many religious doctrines and continues to be pervasive in society as a whole.

One of the reasons why the feminism and skepticism crowds overlap is because they both fight against this sort of backwards thinking that a woman who dares to show some skin is, to quote Akers, “like drinking alcohol in front of an alcoholic or taking a man who has trouble with pornography or is struggling in his marriage out to lunch at Hooters.”

Even if women were to be more “modest” at church, does anyone really think Akers would stop there? Next thing you know, he’ll be upset about women who wear makeup. Or women who wear their hair down. Or women who make eye contact with him.

At some point, Akers needs to look at himself and other men and tell them to just control their urges if they can’t deal with the way women dress. They may be able to pass modesty rules within the church, but at some point, they have to step outside the bubble.

About Lauren Lane

Lauren Lane is the co-founder of Skepticon, the Midwest's largest skeptic student-run conference and remains a lead organizer today. She has not one, but TWO fancy art degrees and is not afraid to use them.

  • 3lemenope

    And the true purpose of cross necklaces is revealed!

    • Spuddie

      Like its been some kind of secret?

      • 3lemenope

        Apparently it was to the Charisma editor.

  • Stev84

    Affected how? You just think “Mhh, nice boobs” and go on with your life.

    Of course the problem is their teaching that merely having sexual thoughts is a Very Bad Thing.

    • http://be.net/mattcoddington matt

      It’s one of the very few things Jesus explicitly says is bad. He was too busy sending people to hell for thinking about boobs to address abortion, homosexuality, etc etc I guess.

  • Michael Mock

    You know, ever since I took that Life Drawing class back in college, I’ve thought that the Modesty Movement folks have it exactly backwards. You keep covering things up, then anything that is showing can trigger temptation… whereas it took all of maybe two minutes in the same room as a nude model for my brain to click over to, “Oh, right, that’s just a person who happens to be naked, now let’s work on actually drawing her.” No big deal at all.

    • sane37

      same works on a nude/topless beach

      • the moother

        The best part of it though is when I finally get my prudish friends out on the beach in the buff they really take no time at all to realise it…

        And then we all go eat dinner together and all is awesome… and the newcomers are always the first to ask when we’re going back…

        See, it takes no effort at all.., just take your clothes off and act normal and then everyone realises that they (and everyone else) are normal…

    • Michael Harrison

      Exactly! Which, while I have no problem with women who choose for themselves to wear a burqa, is why I think they have it backwards. In three words: sexy nun outfit.

      • The Other Weirdo

        Except the women who wear those outfits aren’t actually nuns.

        • CelticWhisper

          Injecting reality into this flight of fancy? We’ll have nun of that.

          • http://atheistlutheran.blogspot.com/ MargueriteF

            Watch out for fantasizing about those sexy nun outfits. You wouldn’t want to get into the habit.

            • Hat Stealer

              If I hear another lame pun like that then I will most certainly parish.

              • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                *groan*

                • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

                  If don’t want to hear puns you should cloister yourself away from the comments.

                • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

                  all these nun puns make me whimple.

        • Michael Harrison

          My point is this approach to modesty has been attempted, and this attempt has been sexualized. However, I will grant that I haven’t seen many attempts to sexualize Amish dress.

          • MD

            Then you haven’t seen that Harrison Ford movie, Witness.

          • J. J. Ramsey

            I’m reminded of a scene in Weird Al’s Amish Paradise video where two Amish boys are hiding in a barn and looking at a supposed Amish version of Playboy, where the centerfold is showing a bare ankle.

          • Anna

            Rule 34 strikes again!

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              No Exceptions!

          • The Other Weirdo

            Dude, almost everything can be–and has been–sexualized. That’s not an argument for or against it.

            • 65snake

              Well, it does highlight the plain fact that covering it up certainly does not make it free from sexualization.

            • Michael Harrison

              I’m just saying the nun’s habit has defeated its own purpose. Covering up is counterproductive.

    • Olive Markus

      Exactly!
      I’ve always said that everybody should be required to take figure drawing classes. You learn to look at the body in entirely different, non-sexual ways. As a woman with body image issues, it helped a lot in that area.
      Yes, nudist beaches do wonders on that front, as well. The only people obsessed by other people’s bodies and “sexual temptation” are the ones who are utterly and unnaturally suppressed.

    • MrChris

      So we shouldn’t wear any clothes then? Doesn’t sound very practical. Your point is bunk.

      • 65snake

        Certainly, it is usually more practical to wear clothes, but it doesn’t need to be mandatory.

      • Michael Harrison

        There are good reasons to wear clothes. Protection from cold; preventing sunburn; and I hear those cloaks Bedouins wear generate air flow, cooling them down. Offending moral sensibilities is not a good reason.

      • Michael Mock

        How did you get from “Covering up people’s bodies doesn’t actually help with ‘temptation’ or ‘lustful thoughts’ if you have issues with those,” to “We shouldn’t wear any clothes”? The two topics seem only obliquely related, and that certainly wasn’t the argument I was making.

    • 65snake

      I think it actually may make it worse….the whole “forbidden fruit” thing, ya know.

  • the moother

    How about men just grow the fuck up? Easy, innit…

    • 3lemenope

      Are you a man? Your opinion on how easy it might be may be affected…

      EDIT: Well, that was taken entirely more seriously than it was meant. And entirely more negatively.

      • CelticWhisper

        Speaking as a man, I’m not sure if this was meant as a slight or not, but I’m going to choose not to be offended.

        To set the record straight…growing up is easy. Really easy. Easy enough that my mind boggles at the possibility that anyone (well, anyone who’s not mentally handicapped) could have trouble doing it. It’s one of the few things in life that really are literally “just a matter of putting your mind to it.”

        If a person (not man, any person) is unwilling to make the decision to look at and interact with the world through an adult perspective, then that’s their own damn problem and they can and should suffer the blowback from it.

        The rest of us can go on living, realizing that a person’s choice in clothing is their own damn business and really, we all have much bigger problems to worry about. I have enough stress in my life, I don’t need to get up-in-arms about what some other generic humanoid carbon unit wants to wrap around themselves. Or not, as the case may be.

        Scanty clothing? Shit, I don’t even notice anymore.

        • the moother

          Of course it was meant as a slight… All the time I see men acting like assholes… and, just because I’m the proud owner of a penis, I get lumped with assholes that have no idea how to act in public…

          We can blame them or blame their parents or blame society or blame Obama or blame the tooth fairy.

          But penis bearers everywhere need to:
          a) Sort their shit out and
          b) Call idiots on their caveman-like behaviour every single time they see it

          amirite?

          • CelticWhisper

            A: Blame them. A person is responsible for themselves and nobody else. They acted inappropriately, they get to deal with the repercussions.
            B: No, not “penis bearers everywhere.” Rather, “SOME penis bearers.”

            I have my shit sorted out, thank you very much, and if anything I’m in the same boat you are – unfairly lumped in with individuals who are acting in a crass and discourteous manner toward their fellow human beings.

            Also: “I get lumped with assholes that have no idea how to act in public…”

            You realize that, by saying “penis bearers everywhere” you’re doing the same thing you’re expressing upset about here, right?

            • the moother

              Right…, But unfortunately I also lump myself with the assholes as I see them as my responsibility…

              Imagine you were living in a very racist place but were not racist yourself… would you not be “part of the problem” up ’til and including when the problem was solved?

              I don’t like to think of myself as being part of the problem but rather as part of the solution. but I don’t blame others for thinking of me that way without knowing me.

              In a nutshell: I don’t blame other’s for thinking I’m part of the problem even though I’m not…

              Talk me through this… It might make me feel a little better…

              • CelticWhisper

                I wouldn’t say you’re part of the problem merely due to you incidentally living in a region populated by racists. As I said, a person owns their actions and is responsible for them. You’re not responsible for anyone else and nobody else is responsible for you.

                Wanting to be part of the solution is admirable, to be sure. However, if someone wants to regard you as part of a problem (e.g. racism) when you have done nothing to contribute to that problem, then they are in error.

                Granted, you may be neutral and be neither boon nor bane to the situation at hand, but stereotyping you as a racist just because of the misdeeds of those around you is as logically fallacious as any other stereotype.

                • the moother

                  I can almost forgive women for saying that all men are assholes or blacks if they said that all honkies are racist…

                  As wrong as those assertions are, we need to take history and privilege into consideration.

                  I keep trying.

          • Tainda

            Am I an asshole, as a woman that likes to look at breasts? Though it’s much easier for me as all I have to do is look down :P

            • the moother

              Looking at breasts ain’t ever been a problem… Doing stupid things that harm other people because looking at breasts makes your knees wobble is always a problem…

      • the moother

        I’m a hot-blooded man… what’s it to ya?

      • Fred

        Good choice to not defend it and just let it lay there like an unexploded bomb.
        Anything else would result in Ka-Boom. :)

    • Tel

      See, these views about female modesty aren’t just horrid to women. They also say that men are wild beasts who can’t control themselves. Which isn’t true.

  • Len

    Would they stop being so anti-skin if we reminded them that there’s already a religion that requires women to cover themselves head-to-toe?

    • Frank Mitchell

      IIRC a Muslim cleric once suggested, in all seriousness, that a woman in a burqa revealing TWO eyes was enticing men to sin. In his mind any woman who revealed more than one eye was a harlot.

      • Len

        She should dress as a pirate?

        • CelticWhisper

          Aye, she be needin’ to cover that…eye. Aye. …Arrrrrrrr…

          • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

            Strike yer colors, ye brazen wench, no need to expose yer superstructure!

            Best line in the ride.

  • sam

    Even a gay man can appreciate a nice pair of boobies on purely aesthetic grounds.
    What possible chance do atheists & fundies have of finding common ground & living in peace if we can’t even agree that boobies, covered or uncovered, are fantastic?

    • The Other Weirdo

      “Honey, please! No one is that gay!” Ray about Lana on Archer.

    • Tainda

      You’re on to something. That should be everyone’s goal! We should all <3 boobies! I know I do.

  • baal

    Oddly enough, I don’t get aroused by nudity unless there is some accompanying sexuality going on. I might find the gym locker room (I’m bi) a problem otherwise. This isn’t to say I don’t appreciate naked folks (i do). But the solution (it’s a problem?) to let folks dress as little as they like and message the people with control issues (mostly men) to quit being jerks. The is a world of difference between “at least slightly affected” and being rude.

    • rg57

      So people should dress like they do in the locker room, for, say, city council?

      • baal

        I certainly hope they would!

        However, the normalization of the human body in society could happen without that. My central point is that increasing ‘modesty’ and adding more obscuring clothes is counter productive to solving the problem at hand (distraction from cleavage).

    • Agrajag

      Few people do. What’s arousing and what’s not is 95% in the context. A body-part in a medical textbook is unlikely to be arousing, the same body-part revealed slowly by someone you desire, is quite different.

      The odd thing is how many don’t know this, because they had scant opportunity to experience it. Nudity is pretty irrelevant if the context is non-erotic.

  • BrandonUB

    Victim blaming? Check.

    I don’t see a victim here. What am I missing? Someone being looked at doesn’t really seem victimized to me.

    • Art_Vandelay

      The dude who is offended by having to see women’s skin in church is making himself a victim and he’s blaming the women for their wardrobe choice.

      • BrandonUB

        That seems more like making up a victim than blaming a victim (in either case).

        • Art_Vandelay

          Oh, I see. Yes, I hadn’t read that Wikipedia link. By that definition, this wouldn’t apply. You’re correct.

    • CelticWhisper

      I’m right there with you. If someone were to shove their breasts in someone else’ face, then they’d be sexually assaulting that person and the recipient of the face-boob-shove would be a victim.

      If someone were to make some sort of uninvited sexual advance against the person with breasts on display, then the breast-bearer would be a victim.

      Simply having boobs on display is…relatively neutral from where I’m standing. Maybe I have no sense of…whatever the hell you’d have to have a sense of to be titillated every time you see boobs, but boobs just are. I would feel neither victimized nor fortunate for having looked at someone who’s showing boob.

      My finacee is the exception to this, needless to say, but that has more to do with our bodies (along with the rest of us) having special meaning to one another than with any inherent aspect of the common boob. Fiancee boobs are special, but boobs in and of themselves? Not really.

      This Akers guy needs to pop a benzo and chill for a while, methinks. There comes a point where you’re just looking for something, ANYTHING, to get outraged about. Oh, no, you can see boob. ‘Scuse me while I go be horrified for a minute. …Aaaahh. Aaaahh. Boobs. Oh no. I am scandalized. You guys, seriously, there’s scandaliz…ify…alating going on here. By boobs.

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      It’s more “shifting the blame”. He’s asking women to cover everything up because he likes looking at them. For every one like this guy there are a lot who’d like him to shut up because they like what they are seeing.

    • Whirlwitch

      The rationale that female bodies are like uncovered meat to a lion or somesuch lovely metaphor, and that no real guy can help his reaction is the setup to victim blaming any woman who is assaulted or harrassed, though. It’s pre-emptive victim blaming. Maybe this was what was meant, I’m not sure though.

    • Morva Ádám

      Don’t try to see logic in feminist propaganda Brandon. It’s fucking dumb.

  • The Other Weirdo

    You know, with cleavage like that, she’s welcome to tempt me any time she wants. Still not going get rapey or be damned to hell.

  • Tel

    Stop fucking tempting women into body-consciousness and shame and suppression and obsession and inadequacy.

    • The Other Weirdo

      Well, you know, that sort of thing is too good to not be spread around.

  • Soop

    Victim blaming? Women aren’t victimized when men look at their cleavage and have sexual thoughts. Nobody is harmed by it.

  • Art_Vandelay

    I’m just gonna leave this here…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmnxF_WTOgg

  • Soop

    from the article:

    “I do want our women readers to know that I am not putting the blame completely on them.”

    progress?

    • Len

      Not completely. Just around 99.99%

      • Miss_Beara

        We are not completely blaming you…

        but we are.

    • RobMcCune

      I suppose, in the same way people have started qualifying racist statements with “I’m not racist.”

  • Femguy

    Men who look at cleavage are disgusting pigs. This makes me ashamed to be a guy. When a lady decides to wear something partially revealing her chest, she is not inviting you to sexualize her. Your dirty thoughts are being done without consent of the subject of your sick ideas and you should be ashamed.

    • Frank

      Why expose cleavage if you don’t want people to look at it?

      • Femguy

        So any woman exposing cleavage is therefore asking you to rape her with your mind? You are sick.

        • baal

          What?!
          I think Frank is wrong and making a bad argument but it’s big step from there to sick mind rape.

          • Frank Mitchell

            The other Frank isn’t far wrong. Granted, there are women whose … assets resist any attempt to disguise or minimize them. There are also (mostly young) women with no awareness of how certain clothes make them look. Most women, though, know that wearing a flimsy T-shirt or low-cut top will attract attention and are perfectly happy with that.

            As I said above, every person is responsible for his or her own behavior, but thoughts and even surreptitious looks do no harm.

            • Femguy

              The way you can tell those thoughts you’re having are wrong is by thinking what it would be like if you were to verbally communicate the thoughts your having. That lady you’re sexualizing in your mind without her consent deserves to be treated better than that.

              • Frank Mitchell

                Hey, I thought Andrea Dworkin passed away some time ago.

              • C.L. Honeycutt

                Thoughts are not actions.

                You just argued that masturbation is evil and harmful to other people. Might wanna work on that.

              • The Other Weirdo

                Screw that bullshit. My thoughts are my own, and they stay inside my head. What they are is none of your business, and you don’t get to tell me what thoughts I am allowed to think. My thoughts are also not actions.

              • katiehippie

                So you are going to walk up to a woman and say ‘excuse me, may I have lustful thought whilst I ogle your boobs’ to get consent? Yeah, that is waaaaayyyyy less creepy.

              • Sids

                The problem you seem to be having is equating the construct of a person created by an observers mind, with the real person. They are not the same thing. What the mental construct does or has done to them is completely independent of the real person.

                Would you be happier if the imaginary figure gave consent? Indeed, it’s simple enough for the mental construct to give permission (or not) and it doesn’t change the permission obtained in the real world. The reason for this is that the imaginary figure is not equivalent to the real one.

                If they were the same, then getting permission from the mental construct would make it open season on the real person. Obviously this isn’t the case.

                Conflating imagination with reality causes far too many problems for the world.

            • Michael Harrison

              “Granted, there are women whose … assets resist any attempt to disguise or minimize them.”

              Reminds me of bustygirlcomics.com. Okay–not what it sounds like. Actually, a comic to poke fun at the difficulty of going through life with such . . . assets. Part commiseration, part celebration.

              • Frank Mitchell

                I actually worked with such a woman: a pretty good software developer and a great project lead, but quite often I found myself staring at her ample chest. (It didn’t help that her chest was at eye level when I was sitting in my cubicle and she was standing next to it.) Eventually, I noticed, she started talking to me over the cubicle wall. Problem solved, I guess.

                No, I’m not proud that my eyes kept gravitating downward, but I’m not ashamed either. All in all I kept our interactions as professional as possible, even during happy hour. If she had complained I would have found some inanimate object to focus on (still rude, but safe), but she often declared her cubicle and herself an “HR-free” zone. I’m not going to stress about involuntary reactions and stray thoughts; that way lies madness.

                • Michael Harrison

                  Well, there’s some “guys being inappropriate,” but it’s mostly “can’t find nice clothes that fit” or “they get in the way while eating.” (I like it because it allows me to get my armchair sociology on. Believe it or not.)

                  Personally, I have a “look, but don’t ogle or touch without permission” policy. (And it goes without saying that there are severe restrictions on when I consider asking permission to be permissible.)

              • Whirlwitch

                Thanks for that. I have ample mammaries myself, and there are indeed some issues. Like when my boobs operate my phone or keyboard for me.

        • CelticWhisper

          I’m assuming this is a troll, but you realize that “looking” basically constitutes “aligning your eyes to capture photons reflecting off of a certain object”, that object being, in this case, the chest of a human being.

          Granted there are social implications surrounding prolonged staring, but equating merely looking at someone with “mind rape” is, as baal said, a huge leap.

          What if I’m scanning a room for someone and my eyes happen to pass across a person showing cleavage? Am I guilty of mind-raping them? What if there are multiple such people in the room? Does that make me a serial mind-rapist?

          Our society has enough hangups about the human body as it is. Making wild associations between innocuous actions and gross violations of bodily sovereignty is doing NOTHING to enlighten it.

          • Femguy

            Just happening to have the light reflecting off of skin hit your retina isn’t the problem.

            • CelticWhisper

              What, then, is the problem?

              • Femguy

                the rapey thoughts in your head you have when you look at a lady’s clevage. You are having those ideas without her consent. That is rape. Mind rape is still rape and all rape is wrong. It’s disgusting that people here on this blog are trying to justify and defend rape.

                • CelticWhisper

                  I’m not having this discussion with you. You lost my respect and my willingness to converse the instant you insinuated that I have ever contemplated raping a person.

                  Looking at a person is not raping a person. Having sexual thoughts about a person is not raping a person. Plenty of people have had sexual thoughts about me, without my express consent, and I do not feel the slightest bit violated by it. That intellectually-dishonest bullshit may fly in Tumblr social “justice” echo chambers but nowhere else.

                  If you’re trolling, the jig is up. If you’re serious, then you’re mentally ill and need to seek help.

                  Either way, I’m done with you.

                • Sarah

                  This is 100% a troll. Do not feed.

                • CelticWhisper

                  Oh shit, I’m seeing double.

                  I think I need to have a bit of a lie-down now.

                  EDIT: I swear that previously read “Femguy -> Femguy” and not “Sarah -> Femguy”. Either Disqus is glitching or I’m WAY the fuck overdue for a vacation.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Discus gets confused on long threads and puts wrong names in. A refresh usually resolves that.

                • smrnda

                  You know that be equating *looking at some cleavage for a few seconds and then moving on* with rape you’re trivializing rape?

                  I’m sure guys look at me on occasion. If I can’t tell, I don’t care. I mean, I’m a writer; occasionally I model characters after people I meet and I do this totally without their informed consent – should they be able to sue me?

        • The Other Weirdo

          What are we, Christians? Let’s leave the thought-crimes to those whose gods get angry at the first sign of an original thought.

          • Femguy

            Sure, why don’t we all just be pedophiles then and think about savagely destroying children all day long? Heck, it’s just in our minds so there’s nothing wrong with that.

            • The Other Weirdo

              Oh, just take a pair of scissors to your Internet connection cable, the one that runs into your cable modem. Trust me, it’ll improve your ability to communicate. I know it’ll improve my mood.

            • Hat Stealer

              There is nothing objectively wrong with imagining having sex with children. Once you start to act on those thoughts, that’s when it becomes morally wrong.

              The problem with pedophiles is that they have no legitimate ways to act on their urges. This is how it should be- children cannot consent, for good reason. But this makes the fact that pedophiles exist even worse. If you’re born a pedophile (or for whatever reason you become one) then you’re pretty much screwed. It’s a shame that Christianity has given sex conversion therapy such an awful name, because it would be entirely worth it in my mind to invest in research to change sexual orientation. It would make love more about personhood then it would gender, and it would save a group of people from leading terrible lives and hurting people simply because of a disorder they were born with or developed.

              Sorry. Mini-rant.

            • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

              and the truth is revealed.

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

          Nice! The trolls are trolling each other.

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

          Most healthy people tend to be moderate in their beliefs, yours are extreme. I suspect you have been traumatised possibly worse and have yet to seek therapy or counsel. My advice to you is seek out therapy. Your desire to hold onto these feelings will only cause you further trauma. Thoughts like these have a nasty tendency to manifest in real physical ways. Like oesophageal cancer from heartburn. Heart disease from hypertension. And self abuse/mutilation from neurological ticks.

      • Noelle

        Frank, I see ya got some down votes, but I’m going to assume your question is sincere. Different women have different shapes and sizes. Some fit better and prefer the look of the low or v-shaped neckline. Others are built for other styles. If you are truly curious, you may ask how a woman decides what to wear that day. The top clothing qualifiers are:
        1. It was clean and did not need mending or ironing or anything else done to it prior to putting it on
        2. It fits.
        3. It is comfortable both to wear and appropriate for all temperature conditions foreseen for the coming day.
        4. It is appropriate wear for whatever she’s doing that day.

        Women dress mostly for themselves. Women rarely dress for men. Sure, she wants to look nice. And maybe if she’s going on a date she’ll want to look nice both for herself and the date. But mostly she wants to look good for herself.

    • Michael Harrison

      I take it you’re trying to show the absurdity of blaming the women by demonstrating how ridiculous it sounds to hold those who look to similar standards?

    • Frank Mitchell

      In short, “DON’T LOOK ETHEL!” But it was too late …

      Sheesh.

      Granted, you’re responsible for your behavior, but what happens in your skull stays in your skull. As long as you’re not blatantly gawking and drooling, or otherwise making the girl uncomfortable, take a good look.

    • RobMcCune

      Fempoe, 1. Sex isn’t dirty, neither is thinking about sex. 2. this is an atheist blog, we don’t believe in Mat 5:28.

      • Femguy

        sex without consent is wrong no matter how you try to spin it, Rob.

        • RobMcCune

          Where did I say otherwise?

          • Femguy

            you’re trying to justify rape. Sexual thoughts about a lady whom has given you no consent to have those thoughts is raping with your mind. Consent is always #1 priority in my book.

            • RobMcCune

              Matthew 5:28 is bullshit FemPoe. Every person has a right to autonomy of their body and mind, thoughts about consensual sex with another person are the right of the person thinking those thoughts just as the person being thought about has a right to consent or refuse sex.

              • Femguy

                I don’t even know what that passage you are referencing is. You are inserting ideas on me that are not mine, and I would ask you to stop doing such a thing if I actually believed you cared about people other than yourself.

                • RobMcCune

                  Since you can’t google it apparently

                  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[a] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

                  That’s your position, looking at boobs = mind rape.

                • Femguy

                  Is it? thank for telling me. I really had no idea that was my position, but I now I know it is because a man has asserted it onto me. Thank you kind sir. Please tell me what to think and do now because obviously I have not the capacity to do so without a man like you.

                • Hat Stealer

                  See, you have two options here. You can clarify your stance, and clear up whatever misapprehensions you think we have, or you can act sarcastic and whiny. You’ve opted for the second option, which really hasn’t helped your case any, and hasn’t moved the discussion forward at all.

                • Femguy

                  Yes sir, I appologize for being whiny. how am I supposed to behave? I need a man to tell me what to do after another man has given me a position.

                • Hat Stealer

                  Preferably you could start by acting more intelligently, and dropping the whole “I’m being victimized by ruthless menfolk!” routine.

                • Femguy

                  Preferably you could be polite instead of insisting that the person you’re talking is a caricature of everything you hate and thus dehumanizing them.

                • RobMcCune

                  You happen to be the caricature of everything I believe by the people I hate. Where does that stand?

                • ks

                  Stop acting like a caricature then. Seriously, thinking dirty, sexy thoughts about someone is in no way, shape, or form even remotely in the same general area as raping someone. Thinking is NOT doing. Doing, without consent, is rape. Thinking is just thinking.

                • RobMcCune

                  You are having those ideas without her consent. That is rape.

                  In your own words FemPoe.

                • Femguy

                  ideas are not the same as looking, RapistRob. Mmm name calling is so fun. Feels like we’re in 6th grade again.

                • RobMcCune

                  Who are you kidding, you never left the sixth grade.

                • Femguy

                  ohhh burn.

                • Hat Stealer

                  And while this is true if you’re sneaking a peak at the great Naga’shogguth, the Eternal Mother with One Thousand Eyes on her Chest, it is not for anyone else.

            • Tainda

              OH PALEASE! I’m a woman and I have no problem with a man having sexual thoughts! It’s human nature and I personally like my thoughts about people I find attractive.

              As long as they keep their thoughts in their head and don’t act on them, it’s all good.

              • Noelle

                FemGuy doesn’t seem to care that more than 1 woman here thinks he’s wrong. You’d think a man who really wanted to be a feminist would use this as a learning opportunity to stop and ask questions. Learn if the previously held view wasn’t quite right.

              • Agrajag

                It’s even perfectly OK to act on the thoughts, assuming it’s done in a respectful and appropriate way. It’s not as if it’s a bad thing to (say) attempt to get a date with a person you find attractive. Just as long as you treat them with respect while trying, and cut it out if they indicate noninterest.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          So, are you trolling or ill? Because you cannot be neither and yet claim that sexual attraction equals sex.

          • RobMcCune

            Between Ashley Paramore and this I figure this guy is full of MRAge and trolling to get revenge for people telling him objectification is wrong.

            • Femguy

              Defending women from rape = MRAge

              guffaw.

              • RobMcCune

                If that’s what you were actually doing I wouldn’t have a problem. But your poe personality doesn’t understand either objectification or rape.

    • Sven2547

      Men who look at cleavage are disgusting pigs.

      If you’re ogling someone in-person, yes, you’re quite possibly venturing into “creep” territory. If it’s an image on a printed page, it doesn’t mean he’s a pig, it means he’s a heterosexual.

    • Fred

      WOW, zero to OMGWTFBBQSAUCE!!11!!eleventy in just one post.

      Obvious troll is obvious.

    • Noelle

      As a wise man once said, “Looking at cleavage is like looking at the sun. You don’t stare at it. It’s too risky. You get a sense of it and then you look away.” (Best read with Seinfeld’s voice and inflection in your head.)

      Seeing a person as he or she is, well that’s a good thing. Boobs are merely a body part. You don’t have to pretend there’s something dirty there and avert your eyes at all costs. Having sexual thoughts about someone is not rape. Rape is rape.

      • Miss_Beara

        Having sexual thoughts about someone is not rape. Rape is rape.

        I am shocked that this even has to be explained to someone.

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

      Got thought police?

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

      If you saw a pair of watermelons at the grocery store and just happened to think they remind you of women’s breasts, have you just mentally raped the poor watermelons?

      • Miss_Beara

        I lol’d.

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

      Got denial? Of trauma?

    • baal

      “Your dirty thoughts are being done without consent of the subject of your sick ideas and you should be ashamed.”

      The problem with the charisma editor is his inability to deal with
      sexuality in a healthy way. Your shaming people for “dirty thoughts” and “sick ideas” isn’t much better.

  • JWH

    IMO, one should dress appropriately for church (or for a fancy or formal dinner, for that matter). It’s not about cleavage or evil thoughts. It’s about showing respect for the place you are in and the people around you.

    • Wren

      The issue is who gets to decide what is appropriate. Obviously, the women in question think they are ok, but he doesn’t.

      • JWH

        It’s an issue that doesn’t have a good answer.

        Not long ago, a female friend of mine ended up having to take aside a younger colleague who was showing a bit too much cleavage at the office, enough that it was making the men in the office uncomfortable, and give the younger woman pointers on appropriate office attire.

        I’m not sure who’s entirely right and who’s entirely wrong in that scenario. Whether male or female, you should dress professionally at work and appropriately in a house of worship, if for no other reason than to show respect for the people around you.

        That said, Akers makes me vaguely ill. The world does not need men parroting Bible verses at women over clothing that feeds his carnal desires.

  • Anna

    At some point, Akers needs to look at himself and other men and tell them to just control their urges if they can’t deal with the way women dress.

    The whole problem is that these Christians think urges need to be controlled. Sexual attraction and desire is normal and natural. There’s nothing with wrong with being aroused by someone, and there’s nothing wrong with fantasizing about that person.

    • baal

      I also find it a lot easier to control where my hands are and what my mouth is saying than whatever thoughts are floating around in my head.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Please go easy on Shawn A. Akers. He just turned thirteen and his body is going through some drastic changes. Right now, everything ” affects” him. He even gets “affected” by the sentence “Please go easy on Shawn A. Akers.”

    • Leigha7

      Xander, from Buffy: “I’m seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex.”

  • Free

    The issue must seem odd to the atheist mind where concepts like sin, temptation, flesh vs. spirit, and holiness are all but strange theological and religious constructs. The reality is that the retail industry, as an example, has sought to use clothing to entice to buy. They utilize the reality of the laws of attraction etc.. to create designs that will illicit a particular response to the advantage of the buyer and for those who pay attention to buyer. There is no secret to Victoria’s Secret. The believer will acknowledge the bent and reality of lust. An honest believer will not blame anyone for their choice but is also not blind to their weakness toward desire. The teaching in the church is that this is not a morally legal issue but an issue of love and service to one another. A woman should dress in ways that are benefiting other women, younger women and of course men who are their spiritual brothers. Christianity involves giving up some rights to serve the greater good of others. It is not as offended if it does not exercise it’s own right. It is more powerful to exercise self control and seeking the best interest of another that to demand ones own way. That is far to easy. The article is pointing out this distinction and asking women to remember who they are first to please and that is God and not themselves.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      It is this thought process that is the base problem. It is this idea that women and sex are somehow inherently evil, which is wrong. And that it is this thought process that make it some how the woman’s job to prevent men’s ‘evil’ thoughts, and by extension men’s evil actions. This thought process frames women as objects and not as people. This is one of the main roots of rape culture.

      • Free

        “It is this thought process that is the base problem. It is this idea that women and sex are somehow inherently evil.” Not sure where you arrive at this conclusion. God waited last to create woman. The chief of his creation. Sex is the most truest physical expression of love and in his plan very acceptable and encouraged. No man can blame a woman for his sinful heart. A woman can however conduct herself in a manner to use her sexuality to persuade a man. The issue is care for one another. A woman should not seek to prey on any mans weakness if he as most men have nor should a man do the same or blame her and use her inpropriety to justify himself. God delights in sex and is not ashamed of the bodies he created. He has however given us guidelines that address our relationships and sexuality.

        • freemage

          You see, Sam, your posts contain the subtext right there. You’re assuming that a woman who wears cleavage-exposing outfits is seeking to ‘prey on a man’s weakness’, rather than, say, wearing clothing that makes her feel comfortable. It’s that kind of line that reveals the truth behind the purity-movements that crop up in religion.

          • Free

            Sam? Not necessarily. See God looks at the heart of each individual. We like to judge by the outward. If in a woman’s heart she is seeking to use her feminine whiles to entice men, then yes, she may be preying on a man’s weakness to lust. This is subjective however. She may be within a realm of modesty and loves the dress she just acquired. This really is a heart matter. One man may look away, another not notice and another be drawn in. For these men it is also a matter of the heart. This is what God sees. Not the outward religion of it. A woman knows her motives and so does the man. However, loving one another seeks to be honest with oneself and do what is best for others whether man or woman regardless of the situation.

            • katiehippie

              “A woman should dress in ways that are benefiting other women, younger women and of course men who are their spiritual brothers”

              You don’t get to tell me what to do.

              • Free

                No I don’t but the reference was teaching in the church not my command or demand. Relax.

                • katiehippie

                  You’re saying I should dress for other people’s benefit. What about my benefit?

            • Miss_Beara

              You should stand outside churches and hand out potato sacks for those Christian jezebels. How dare they show any part of their bodies! Women showing their ankles used to be scandalous. We best cover up those too. And our shoulders. And hair.

              Apparently men just cannot control their animal urges at the slightest hint of any type of skin and yet it is the fault of women for their “stumbling.” Disgusting.

              • Free

                You miss the point all together. You fail to read the central point and insist this is about men and their lust. The point I made is that for men and women to serve each other and seek to care for the needs of one another. It is a heart issue and does not make sense without an understanding of biblical love.

                • smrnda

                  I don’t really think a few moments of noticing another person’s body being attractive is anything worth making a huge deal about.

                  Part of non-Christian non-Biblical love is not holding people to absurd standards they can’t meet. I’m a lesbian, but if I wasn’t, wouldn’t freak out if I was with a guy who happened to notice other women. Why should I be, what’s the huge deal?

                  I do agree that it’s possible to treat people as sexual objects, but I think one can feel attraction without doing so.

    • freemage

      It doesn’t seem ‘odd’. It seems ‘broken’. Tell us, Sam–do you demand similar modesty of men? The same antiquated “laws of attraction” you cite also state that women are drawn to symbols of status and wealth. I trust, therefore, that you feel that Christian men should live ‘modestly’ by spending only on the basic necessities and giving the rest to the poor, lest they inspire lust and greed in women? Or are only vagina-owners (I suspect that the notion of trans* women is a bit beyond you, so I’ll play along with that false binary) expected to kowtow to your collection of Iron Age shepherd stories?

      • Free

        I wish your response was lucid and helpful to those reading here. Yes, if a man committed to a woman held status and wealth and it was her weakness, then he would be right to live more modestly to serve her. The same law of love applies to all. I was seeking to stay on subject. Human nature, just like the laws of nature are realities. How we perceive and respond is where subjective reasoning comes in. Men, historically are more affected through the eye gate. Our marketing culture gets it. Do you? Women are Historically affected through relationship and frankly deeper heart matters. Our marketing culture gets that as well. Everyone is different to degrees but the nature is at work.

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

          Women are Historically affected through relationship and frankly deeper heart matters

          You obviously know very little about the nature of women, for that matter natural phenomena at all. But what am I to expect from a person who promotes theistic arguments. I suggest you brush up on your Anthro and SocBio.

          • Free

            Ok sorry to stereotype. No problem with stereotyping the men however. Figures. The point was not to belittle women or pigeon hole them. Simple point is we are different in many respects. Jeez. Focus on the point.

        • Tainda

          “Women are historically affected through relationship and frankly deeper heart matters”

          That’s a load of bull and another thing that people say to make women seem weak (even though it’s not weak to be sensitive). It’s also something some women say about themselves to please men.

          I do not do relationships and my heart is pretty much cold except when it comes to my family. I also know I’m not the only woman like this.

          EVERYONE is different. There are no stereotypical anything. We’re all beautiful snowflakes… (gag)

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

      Christianity involves giving up some rights to serve the greater good of others.

      You do us a world of service when you promote idea’s such as that. As always Free your arguments for religion give an insightful contrast of freethinking verses paternalism.

  • http://atheistlutheran.blogspot.com/ MargueriteF

    “Even if women were to be more ‘modest’ at church, does anyone really think Akers would stop there? Next thing you know, he’ll be upset about women who wear makeup. Or women who wear their hair down. Or women who make eye contact with him.”

    To quote Cole Porter: “In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking.” If women began covering up every hint of cleavage, some other body part would be found to be inappropriately lust-inducing by people like this.

    • CelticWhisper

      Christian demagogues never stop as long as there are power grabs to be made.

    • # zbowman

      Where was it again where a religious leader attempted to ban ‘tempting eyes’ on women who already wore burqa by cultural edict? I forget, and Google’s not cooperating very well. But it’s exactly the same: a man who’ll look at a woman in a bikini and think ‘meat’ will think the same thing when looking at a woman in full dress.

      Modesty codes are enforced by men who simply cannot handle the thought that it might actually be their own fault that the sight of a woman automatically triggers ‘sinful’ sexual fantasy in them. When the modesty law fails to stop these fantasies happening, they get more restrictive about it because of that same lack of accountability to themselves. It can’t be them, it’s got to be something the women are doing that they haven’t banned yet!

      Chumps, to a man. Every one of them.

  • Tainda

    Different people have different things they find sexy also.

    I love seeing a man in jeans and a white shirt, don’t ask me why, but I do. So should men be banned from wearing jeans and white shirts? I also have a big thing for tattoos. Some think they are disgusting but I think they are sexy!

  • Olive Markus

    My bet is that these same people will be the first to criticize a woman for having a body they don’t consider especially attractive. Damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

  • Savoy47

    Talking about nice pairs, the Ultra Orthodox Jewish men have a nice pair of glasses that distort and blur the vision for just such an occasion. This guy should contact technical support at his local Intelligent Designer’s Outlet. Until then he can use a low tech work around and rotate his neck to the right or left to adjust the field of vision until the unwanted input disappears.

  • A3Kr0n

    If you’re strong in spirit, and truly walking with the Lord, those thoughts shouldn’t even enter your mind since it’s completely filled with Him. I don’t think this guy is a very good Christian by the way it sounds. Maybe he should pray more often.

  • Oranje

    The Hooters to Porn correlation tells me someone doesn’t watch much porn…

  • http://knottiesniche.com/ Knottie

    All I have to say to that is… (yes they’re mine)

    • Guest

      Thanks a whole lot! Now I have a craving for “Ben and Jerry’s” and can’t fulfil that urge due to my bank balance being $0.01.

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

      Deleted comment ‘cus I really can’t think of anything that would not be creepy.

      • http://knottiesniche.com/ Knottie

        creepier than men telling women not to be women and to cover up to control their urges for them?

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

          My original comment was something to the effect of having a craving for icecream after seeing your picture, but then I thought that would have been in bad taste.

    • Hat Stealer

      Harlot! Tempt us not with your wares of Satan!

      • http://knottiesniche.com/ Knottie

        I hope you’re kidding..

        • MD

          Yes, he is.

          • http://knottiesniche.com/ Knottie

            I thought so but a part of me hoped not so I could totally mess with him

            • Artor

              Mess with him anyway. It could be fun!

      • JWH

        May I interest you in the wares of Stan?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2ok14ao5FY

      • CelticWhisper

        The Pirate Bay would like to tempt you with some W4R3Z of Satan…

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I can’t speak for all the gays, but many of us like to see a little cleavage too! I can’t explain that, but we do. None of that has anything to do with anything. There was a time when men got excited when a woman let her ankles show. If you’re young and horny it really doesn’t take that much.

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

      I’m betting it is because of their function, that all humans have an innate attraction to breasts simply because of the instinct to breast feed triggered at birth. This is certainly not hard science since many babies do not immediately seek out their mothers mammaries but a couple million years of breast feeding probably has had some impact on our innate urges.

      • JohnnieCanuck

        Desmond Morris’ book, The Naked Ape had a hypothesis that breasts were selected to protrude because males were programmed to respond to buttocks but male/female interactions were becoming more face to face as verbal communication became important.

        It was a very controversial book when it came out. Very evo-psych and subject to the same criticism.

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

          Desmond Morris’ book, The Naked Ape, sits within reach of my hand. Right next to Quotations from Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book and Alice In Wonderland.

          • smrnda

            What a great selection. I would upvote like, a million times if I could.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Hey, that was a good book!

        • allein

          Tim Minchin worked that into a song :)

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Yeap, he did :). And it is, indeed, a very dumb hypothesis!

  • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

    Caveat: This is just my guess.

    I’m betting the real issue here is not the bearing of breasts or cleavage but that (mostly) all humans have an innate and infantile desire to be breast fed. These paternalists can’t deal with the (emasculating) feelings of their infantile urges. The deep seated memories of mom’s mammaries coupled with innate sexual impulses to breed (with a healthy female) drives the shame and guilt these men feel (having been subjugated by religion’s false premise of modesty) and in turn they deny these urges by attempting to enforce their paternalistic decree’s. (It’s circular on purpose.) As for the xian women, I’m betting that their support for this ideal is more seated in avoiding sexual competition verses any real sense of modesty.

  • Atheistiana

    It’s not until I read something like this that I realize… I didn’t know I had that much power. Go BOOBS!

    • Roxie Deaton

      You do know they cause earthquakes.

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    Akers says “I can’t pretend to think like a woman or know what is in their hearts. However, I will say this, and I’m going to be as transparent as I possibly can in this forum: I’m not sure that many women understand or even think about the consequences of the way they dress in church (or on the street, for that matter) as it pertains to the men of their congregation. I’m not sure that they understand that lust of the eyes is something we men struggle with every day, all the time.”

    Translation: Ladies, let me introduce you to the burka. Burka, ladies. Why don’t you both get together and we’ll see you in church.

    • allein

      Also implied: women obviously don’t ever look at attractive men. If they did they just might understand.

  • Brandon Brown

    I think everyone (atheists included I hope) would agree that the degradation of women is a bad thing and there seems to be one way atheists want to solve this problem, by telling women they can wear whatever they want, but telling men to just not have dirty thoughts. What in the heck is wrong with doing both? Why can’t women dress modest but men do whatever it takes to not think dirty thoughts about women? What’s wrong with that. Akers isn’t going to say that women should not wear make up or that they shouldn’t make eye contact, there’s nothing wrong with that.

    In general all men should treat all women like sisters unless they are genuinely interested in her. But I don’t think it’s too much to ask a woman to dress modestly. She’s disrespecting herself in not dressing modestly. A man should love the soul of a woman, not just her looks (even if you’re an atheist, you can believe that a human has a soul).

    • smrnda

      The reason why I don’t buy into the modestly crap is that it’s possible to be both sexually attracted to someone and to respect them at the same time. I don’t think in terms of ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ thoughts, however, because I don’t think a sexual thought is necessarily dirty. It’s perfectly possible to both appreciate someone’s looks and also respect them as a human being. I mean, I think it’s possible for people to have casual sex and still respect each other, because I know people who do this and it hasn’t caused any major problems.

      However, when I read this modesty stuff, I think it’s written for a guy who thinks of me as a sexual object alone, and who can’t possibly avoid this unless I jump through a ton of hoops to fit some ‘modest’ standard.

    • Anna

      Being sexually attracted to someone is not degradation. There is nothing wrong with being aroused by another person. “Dirty thoughts” are perfectly normal and natural. It does not matter what a person thinks. It matters how a person acts. A man can be sexually attracted to a woman and still treat her with respect, and vice versa.

      Your viewpoint is hideously sexist. There is nothing wrong with a woman dressing however she likes. She is not “disrespecting herself” anymore than a man is disrespecting himself when he wears clothing that he likes and that other people find attractive.

      (even if you’re an atheist, you can believe that a human has a soul).

      Uh, no, that’s kind of the point. Atheists don’t believe in gods, but we also don’t believe in other supernatural things like souls, spirits, devils, etc.

    • Beutelratti

      “But I don’t think it’s too much to ask a woman to dress modestly. She’s disrespecting herself in not dressing modestly.”

      No, no and more no. The minute you think there should be a difference in what women and men should and should not wear, you are degrading women. You are saying that women are not sexual beings and that women do not get aroused as men do and that only women should only ever be the ones watching out for what the other gender might think of them and that only women should be the ones dressing “modestly”. Why are men not required to dress “modestly”? Shouldn’t men be required to stay away from tight jeans because women might feel the urge to pinch their butts?

  • Mitch

    “The last thing we need is to walk into church—a place where we have come to worship God freely and love Him with all of our hearts—and to have our attention diverted by the way some women are dressed.”

    Pardon my heathen-self for asking, but… If you claim to be so “on fire” for god, how can a pair of semi-exposed breasts draw you away so easily?

    Remember, god never tempts people beyond what they can handle and all that nonsense. Chin (and eyes) up!

    • Spuddie

      Now you are just teasing them! =)

      Of course the eyes of no red blooded heterosexual man can resist being naturally drawn to a pair of semi-exposed breasts. The power of cleavage compels you.

      God put the women on Earth, and gave men the urge to look and have such lustful thoughts. He made her, he made you. It would be sacreligious not to glance in that direction. It would be a devotion to God’s great work!

  • Brian

    Guess it’s time for Christians to take a page out of the Koran and require Hijabs be worn.

    • Roxie Deaton

      or men could just stay indoors and wait for their woman to come home.

      • Brian

        Your suggestion of logic has no place in Christianity, heathen.

        • Roxie Deaton

          Honesty prevents my taking credit. The concept is attributed to Golda Meir when she heard the suggested solution to an increase in the incidence of rape.was a curfew for women.

          • Brian

            Yeah, pretty sure a curfew on men would dramatically reduce murder rates as well.

  • Sids

    What about those who are attracted to a nice personality? Should Christians all act like arseholes to ensure that they give no reason for anyone to find them attractive?

    That may actually explain a lot.

  • TristanVick

    Boobquake aftershocks! I feel them coming on already!

  • Morva Ádám

    @Lauren Lane
    Jesus fucking christ. Victim Blaming? Really? You linked a wiki article without even bloody reading it? Who’s the victim here? A victim of what?

    It seems to me the victim is us. The victim of your poor writing and feminist ideology fueled bullshit.

    When you say skepticism and feminism overlap you are worse than those kids who think skepticism or science and religion overlap.

    • RowanVT

      “What were you wearing the night you were raped?”

      Declaring women need to be more modest to prevent men from experiencing lust in turn declares that if only the woman had been more modest she wouldn’t have been assaulted. It removes all responsibility from the assaulter and puts it squarely on the victim.

      • Sids

        To be fair, this particular article isn’t about women being raped. It’s just guys having “dirty thoughts”. This doesn’t really make the women ‘victims’. Victims of what?

        **If you were really determined to find a victim, the only ones in this case would actually be the men who experience shame over their actions. In this sense, Laura has actually performed the victim blaming.**

        *Note: I don’t actually think there is a problem at all, and thus no victims.

        Edit – I put ‘Hemant’ instead of ‘Laura’.

        • lovesalot

          I believe Rowan/VT was explaining in general terms the concept of how “blame the victim” thinking operates.

      • UWIR

        “It removes all responsibility from the assaulter and puts it squarely on the victim.”
        This statement indicates a disturbing lack of critical thinking. Claiming that the victim could have prevented the act may be factually wrong. It may inappropriately convey that blame rests with the victim. But it does not remove responsibility from the assaulter.

  • ANONY

    Xtians rail against Islam, yet Islamic culture is this exact sentiment taken to its logical end.

  • Femguy

    I dare all you woman haters to actually tell a woman next time you look at her lustfully and tell her you’re thinking sexually about her whether she wants you to or not. You’ll get a bitch slap well deserved.

    • CelticWhisper

      And she would get an assault-and-battery indictment that was even more well-deserved.

      Physical violence is not an acceptable response to offensive speech.

  • MrChris

    Responsibility comes in degrees. We all need to take the right amount of responsibility for the things we do. It’s not a simple case of either being responsible or not being responsible. That’s too simple and naive.

    If I force my 21 year old daughter, who is a model, to walk through an an army base wearing only her sexy lingerie then I would be partially responsible if she were raped. (Just as she would be partially responsible if she decided to do it herself.) Exactly how responsible is up for debate. The soldier(s) who raped her would obviously be the most responsible and should be punished. But for me to take no responsibility at all would be wrong.

    There is a debate to be had, and the debate involves the ideas of dignity, respect and also human nature.

    As an aside, if the soldier is suffering a mental breakdown and suffering from PTSD, then maybe the full responsibility for the event needs to be spread around even more?

    • Spuddie

      OMG, the “she dressed slutty and brought it on herself argument” is still alive and well!

      No. That is bullshit. We live in a society which has basic rules and laws concerning conduct with fellow human beings. Any reasonable adult functioning in our society has enough self-control not to be a rapist because they were “tempted by provocative clothing”.

      By your logic, every beach and public pool in the world is just a seething cauldron of rapine because of all the skin on display.

      • MrChris

        So are you saying that I would bear none of the responsibility if my daughter got raped after I forced her to walk naked through an army camp?

        I am genuinely interested in your response to this specific scenario.

        • Spuddie

          Yes. Exactly so.

          There is no excuse for rape having anything to do with how a woman is dressed. We live in a society which expects guys not to forcibly assault women based on their personal urges under any circumstances.

          Never heard of nudists? Never seen or heard of people pose naked for professional shoots in public places?

          Are people supposed to cover up nude statues because of the feelings of lust they may inspire in guys?

          There is no expectation of being raped simply for dressing skimpy or being nude in public, ever.

        • katiehippie

          You’re a dick to even think up a scenario like that.

          • MrChris

            Then whatever you do katie, don’t read any moral philosophy. It really will upset you.

          • MrChris

            Grow up. It’s a hypothetical situation. I don’t even have a daughter.

            • katiehippie

              Let’s hope you never do. People that talk about philosophy forget sometimes that real people are involved with these things. Yes, as a woman I will take precautions about how I dress, but it’s because there are men like you out there that think there are scenarios where a woman is culpable in her own rape. That is despicable. The rapist is responsible for his crime.

              • MrChris

                Let me just set the record straight: Women are never culpable in rape. Never blameworthy. I resent that you twist my words that way.

                I do agree that the rapist is responsible for his crime. I never said otherwise.

                It’s unfortunate that you’re unable to have an adult conversation and have to resort to calling me a dick for inventing purely hypothetical situations.

                • katiehippie

                  “As an aside, if the soldier is suffering a mental breakdown and
                  suffering from PTSD, then maybe the full responsibility for the event
                  needs to be spread around even more?”

                  Your words say you are trying to find a way to blame someone other than the rapist. You did say otherwise.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Keep reading, It Gets Worse

      • MrChris

        It is sad that you are completely unwilling to discuss the idea that people need to be responsible.

        If your head, saying that a person needs to be responsible is the same as saying that they deserve what they get or bring it on themselves if they aren’t responsible. They are different issues.

        Let me be clear. I am saying that my daughter needs to be responsible. I am NOT saying that if she gets raped that she would have deserved it because she had brought it on herself.

        • Spuddie

          The only one ducking the issue of responsibility is you. You are under the impression that one has to expect men to be irresponsible animals in the presence of female pulchritude. They are not different issues, you are just unwilling to accept the full expression of the view expressed.

          You were pretty clear a measure of responsibility in getting raped lies in the manner of dress a woman has. Your own words

          “If I force my 21 year old daughter, who is a model, to walk through an an army base wearing only her sexy lingerie then I would be partially responsible if she were raped. (Just as she would be partially responsible if she decided to do it herself.)”

          You could not be more clear on the issue if you tried.

          • MrChris

            “You are under the impression that one has to expect men to be irresponsible animals in the presence of female pulchritude.”

            It’s a practical matter. Some men ARE irresponsible animals in the presence of female pulchritude. It’s not good that they are, it’s not morally right in any way. It’s not a good situation to be in. But we are here, in this situation. Therefore, isn’t it only sensible that people take precautions in this environment and not behave irresponsibly?

            Do you believe that I would shoulder any of the responsibility if my daughter were raped after I forcibly sent her into an army camp wearing nothing but sexy lingerie? What is your answer to this?

            • Spuddie

              Some people are psychotic and have no connection to reality, are we supposed to act accordingly not to upset them? No. It is ridiculously unreasonable.

              What you are telling me is that people have legitimate excuses for assault based on the dress of others. That is utter bullshit.

              People who cannot control their urges to harm others are entirely responsible for their actions. If they are simply inspired by such a sight, then it would not take much of anything to incite such behavior. It would be unreasonable to think you could ever find a way around such easily excitable people. We do not. We are human beings, not starving rabid hyenas.

              Your responsibility would come in the form of committing child abuse by abandoning your daughter naked anywhere. It wouldn’t matter so much of the manner of her dress or undress but that you stranded her in a situation where she would suffer exposure.

              • UWIR

                “Some people are psychotic and have no connection to reality, are we supposed to act accordingly not to upset them?”
                If you’re working in a psychiatric hospital, then it is a good idea to take precautions. The idea that one should not modify one’s behavior at all in recognition that psychotics pose is absurd.

                “What you are telling me is that people have legitimate excuses for assault based on the dress of others.”
                No, he’s not. He quite clearly stated that the rapist is responsible.

                • Spuddie

                  An Army base is a psychiatric hospital? How about a zoo? Instead of walking onto an army base he is placing his daughter in a cage full of hyenas. Can you try to change the facts more to suit his point. One does not expect to be surrounded by psychotics unless one is in either a psych ward or a family reunion.

                  His own words were:
                  If I force my 21 year old daughter, who is a model, to walk through an an army base wearing only her sexy lingerie then I would be partially responsible if she were raped. (Just as she would be partially
                  responsible if she decided to do it herself.)”

                  He clearly stated he and his daughter would be partially responsible.

                • UWIR

                  “Can you try to change the facts more to suit his point. ”
                  You’re the one who introduced the subject of psychotics, not me. I really don’t appreciate your insinuations that I am arguing in bad faith. If anyone is doing so, it’s you.

                • Spuddie

                  Not really. My point is one does not prepare for the most depraved behavior out of people as he suggested.

                  A guy who would rape a woman based on her state of dress is clearly depraved or psychotic.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              No. The responsibility is 100% on those who chose to commit rape.

              • MrChris

                What about if the rapist had a gun to his head?
                What if the rapist had been himself raped every day of his childhood?
                What if the rapist had suddenly developed a massive brain tumour in the hours before the rape?
                What about if he’d been raised by his parents to believe that rape was acceptable?

                To say that the rapist is 100% percent responsible in all of these conditions is to deny basic facts of the human condition.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  None of that eliminates the fact that the rapist has a choice, and if he chooses to rape, that’s all on him. Now stop being ridiculous.

                • CelticWhisper

                  Childhood experiences, excepting (completely unrealistic) scenarios wherein the rapist was completely isolated from any and all influences other than parental, are still no excuse because it’s not hard to learn that society regards rape as a serious offense against another human being.

                  In the (also ridiculously unlikely, but I’ll humor you anyway for some cokehead reason) case of a person being directly and seriously threatened with murder if they do not rape another person, and wherein the rapist had already expressed refusal and made all reasonable attempts to escape or disarm the gunperson, I would have to concede that the person holding the gun was to blame. Nuremberg determined that direct threats of lethal force against oneself or one’s family can excuse the commission of atrocities, but also that that’s about the ONLY thing that does. Anything less than “do this or I kill you, right here, right now”, with a demonstrated intent and ability to follow through on the threat, does not exonerate one of culpability for one’s wrongdoing.

                  In the case of a tumor, legal and moral responsibility is murky but also arguably a moot point. We’ve crossed the border into severe mental impairment and a person’s detachment from reality, and at a minimum (assuming the tumor doesn’t turn out to be fatal in its own right) the rapist would be placed in a maximum-security psychiatric facility.

                  Yes, statistically-outlying scenarios may exist, and may warrant special consideration, but they also constitute an infinitesimally-small minority of instances of rape. When we’re talking about common cases, whether they be perpetrated by romantic partners or family members, or whether they be “legitimate rape” (fuck you forever, Todd Akin), common rules of decency, responsibility, and ethics DO apply and a person IS responsible for their own actions.

  • rg57

    “feminism and skepticism crowds overlap”? I think you meant atheism. There is no overlap between feminism and skepticism.

    How is it “victim blaming” when there are NO victims in the quote you refer to?

    Look, I’m gay, so I don’t really get female breast sexiness. But there’s undeniable similarity to male butts, and I do like butts. I wouldn’t go to any place I expected to be showing respect, with butt cleavage hanging out. Indeed, I wouldn’t go with my own minimal chest cleavage showing.

    if you don’t think clothing (or lack thereof) is a means of communication, you’re simply denying the obvious. While I don’t support censorship, I do support shaming, and people who send certain messages in certain places should be shamed.

    “does anyone really think Akers would stop there?” I don’t know. Let’s stick to the facts, shall we? “he’ll be upset about women who wear makeup.”. Unlikely. That’s a feminist thing. Conservatives like a clear difference between their men and their women, and makeup ensures that there is one, no matter what they look like underneath.

    • Nikita

      This is the root of victim blaming. “She was asking for it.” usually starts with how she was dressed. It is a mindset that is pervasive in our culture.

  • Georgina

    We could ban all burkers and run around nekkid – if we just forced all men to wear blindfolds!
    See, we can make stupid arguments too.

    • baal

      Far from stupid, that sounds like it’d be a fun event to host sometime.

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    No mention of how these “proper Christians” so readily expose their ankles? Shameful.

  • Carl Wong

    I think that their prohibition against masturbation (as a sin) just makes all this situation worse.


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