by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser
This graphic perfectly illustrates the puritanical culture found in many Evangelical churches. Women are considered lust magnets, sure to attract weak, pathetic Christian men who have little control over their sexual desires. Starting with primary school age, females are taught to never, ever expose any of the sexual parts of their bodies–breasts, cleavage, bare shoulders, legs, and ass. In other words, girls and women are expected to dress similar to burka-wearing Muslims. The only difference is the head covering.
This kind of thinking robs Evangelical girls and women of any sense of self-worth. Like pornographers, modesty Nazis reduce females to commodities that must be protected and hidden until it is time to put them on the (marriage) market.
The most astounding fact about this picture is that it comes from Harding University — a Churches of Christ-affiliated institution. It is hard to imagine — in the twenty-first century — grown women willingly submitting themselves to this kind male-driven body control. Yet countless young women attend Evangelical colleges and universities that have rules which govern virtually every aspect of their lives. Such control would be impossible without women being indoctrinated as young children and teenagers by pastors, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, and parents.
Just remember girls. Regardless of what you think, IT’S THE RULES.
Uplift Camp Dress Code — Summer Youth Camp Held (and sponsored) at Harding University (Note that the majority of the rules apply only to women.)
Youth ministers and sponsors are responsible for their group (adults included) complying with the dress code for Uplift. You should have a meeting with all participants and make sure they understand the dress code BEFORE they pack for Uplift. The dress code will be enforced. If you have students or adults who are out of dress code, we will come to you or a sponsor to address the issue. If there are offenses while at Uplift, it will be your responsibility to see that all in your group meet dress code. You may need to take your campers to Walmart, Goodwill, etc. to find suitable clothing.
- All clothing must have sleeves (guys and girls). Sleeveless clothing is not allowed under any circumstances, even recreation time. This includes sundresses, tank tops, sleeveless blouses, athletic shirts, and cut-off T-shirts.
- No visible midriffs. Clothing that exposes any part of the mid-section when standing, sitting or bending over is not allowed. All tops should be long enough to be tucked in.
- Shorts must be fingertip length at least when standing straight, arms to the side. This is measured from the shortest part of the shorts. Nike-style running shorts are not allowed, even if they are long enough.
- Skirts and dresses must come down to the top of the knee.
- Skin-tight or otherwise revealing clothing is not allowed. Low-cut shirts, spandex, tight jeans, halter tops, etc. are not acceptable. Leggings do not count as pants. If your outfit is against dress code without leggings, it is against dress code with them.
Shocker!! Harding University has students who are gay. Students operate a site called HU Queer Press: The State of the Gay — “a self-published zine that aims to give voice to the experiences of gay and lesbian students at Harding.”
Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network member, Bruce Gerencser blogs at The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser He writes from the unique perspective of having been a pastor for many years and having seen it all in churches. His journey out of being a true believer and pastor has been an interesting and informative one. He is also a kind and compassionate man who seeks to help others understand how best to leave and recover from toxic belief.
Bruce Gerencser spent 25 years pastoring Independent Fundamental Baptist, Southern Baptist, and Christian Union churches in Ohio, Michigan, and Texas. Bruce attended Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan. He is a writer and operates The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser blog. Bruce lives in NW Ohio with his wife of 35 years. They have six children, and eleven grandchildren.
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