Questioning the Pearls – Modesty is Everyone’s Issue

Questioning the Pearls – Modesty is Everyone’s Issue June 25, 2017

QuestioningthePearlsThis may well be another of those faux Pearl letters just written to make a point. The letter writer says that if a man has lust problems, that they are his problems. A ‘ministry supporter’ claims that it’s everyone elses responsibility to make sure men aren’t tempted with the penis-demon.

For well over a year we’ve been running a second Answering ‘Preparing To Be A Help Meet’ on Sundays, filled with questions by young ladies trying to get ready for marriage. Since we’ve run through many of the questions on their site it’s time to shift Sundays to something else, like perhaps examining the cornucopia of probably fake emails and questions that Michael and Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy post on their website and the possibly poisonous answers they give.

Question and answer here.

Dear Debi,

I have truly enjoyed your book Created to Be His Help Meet. It has been a blessing to me and many of my friends. I have given it to many ladies, and some have questions about the way you put things. Some ladies take exception to the story of the lady who wears the tight skirt and the man’s reaction. They say, “She makes it sound like Lydia (Bathsheba) is responsible for his actions. Why didn’t the young man go for counselling? I don’t believe a normal young man has a constant, day to day sexual struggle against visual temptation. They don’t have to regardless of how a girl is dressed. This sounds too much like, “If you dress like that, you are just asking to be raped.”

and the answer supposedly written not by Michael or Debi Pearl but by ‘a friend of the ministry’ that sounds suspiciously like Debi:

I tell my boys about the dangers of a woman who dresses like “Lydia.” My son, 6 years old, sees women in public and observes how they dress. “Daddy, is that a ‘strange lady’?” He’s referring to the “strange woman” of Proverbs 7. I answer, “I don’t know if she is, but she certainly dresses like one.” And we have seen them at “church.” Do you want my son to look at you and think of you as a “strange lady”? How about your daughter, would my sons think she is strange? My sons won’t marry a woman who doesn’t respect a man’s propensity to visual temptation. They’ll marry a woman who reveals herself to them and them only.

My daughters won’t dress like a strange woman either. Mine, at only 9 years old, knows that she should keep her body from a man’s eyes, reserving it for her future husband. In the grocery store one day, when my daughter was wearing a skirt that flowed around her ankles, she heard another little girl (dressed in shorts) point to my daughter and comment to her own mother, “Look, Mom, she’s beautiful!” Why not dress beautifully rather than like a slut? You should get out of your ignorance before your dinner guest looks at you or your daughter then visits the bathroom. Well, that’s probably already happened.

So charming that a so-called Christian is calling women who do not dress to their standard a ‘slut’. I would love to see that word made as socially unacceptable as the ‘n’ word.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Nea

    So the way to raise kids right includes teaching prepubescent ones to judge all females of any age sexually according to their clothing. All righty then.

  • Thanks4AllTheFish

    Who can’t appreciate a focused effort on the part of those divinely exalted men anointed with the loving Holy Spirit to teach those impressionable little ones under their charge on the importance of objectification toward those sinful sluts strange ladies? This evil secular world is so lucky to have these few divinely exalted men to point out to the rest of us how these temptresses use their feminine wiles to lure us into sinful acts contrary to God’s Holy Commandments. If only God had given these divinely exalted men the ability to resist temptation and take responsibility for their own actions (like mature adults do), perhaps they could view women as equal partners instead of baby mills, cooks, cleaners, punching bags, and sex objects.

  • The Jack of Sandwich

    My sons won’t marry a woman who doesn’t respect a man’s propensity to visual temptation.

    Good, because I don’t want my daughter to marry a man who has so little self control.

  • lady_black

    “Why not dress beautifully rather than like a slut? You should get out of your ignorance before your dinner guest looks at you or your daughter then visits the bathroom. Well, that’s probably already happened.”
    FIRST: I’ve read this someplace else before. Are they all taking their talking points from one place now?
    SECOND: That is DISGUSTING. If I catch you masturbating in my bathroom, creep, you are HISTORY, and if you tell me it’s to my little daughter, I might just report you to law enforcement!

  • lady_black

    That wasn’t Debi Pearl who wrote that disgusting bit of tripe. It sounds like a male pedophile.

  • Finding Home

    When my girls were little (maybe 4-8 years old) they were occasionally baby-sat by their teenage cousin, who told one of my daughters that she was going to hell because she wore shorts. Can you imagine a teenager thinking that this was an acceptable thing to tell a small child? But in their church, that was not only normal, it was a caring thing to do.

  • SAO

    “You should get out of your ignorance before your dinner guest looks at you or your daughter then visits the bathroom. Well, that’s probably already happened.”

    Any guy who can’t control his lust at a dinner party, but has to head to the bathroom to jerk off, has a serious problem — one that should be treated by professionals. But, more likely, he can control his lust, he’s just been told he doesn’t have to try, by people like the Pearls.

  • Specky

    Do they have any “real” letters? Or friends?

  • Anonyme

    Er, have the Pearls even READ the Biblical account of David and Bathsheba? God puts the responsibility solely on David for his (David’s) sins and even punishes him. Big time.

  • bekabot

    Do you want my son to look at you and think of you as a ‘strange lady’?

    “Because what my (underage?) son thinks about women he doesn’t know, may never know, and to whom he hasn’t been and may never be introduced should be the most important thing in their lives. Naturally.”

    How about your daughter, would my sons think she is strange?

    “Because what my peculiarly-raised sons think of your daughter(s) is going to determine her/their position in this life and the next. Of course.”

    My sons won’t marry a woman who doesn’t respect a man’s propensity to visual temptation.

    “And that would be a tragedy.

    They’ll marry a woman who reveals herself to them and them only.

    “Although I will have a lot to say about it one way or another, you can pretty much count on that.”

    You should get out of your ignorance before your dinner guest looks at you or your daughter then visits the bathroom.

    “Yes, I do mean what you think I mean. I’m a righteous woman but that’s no guarantee I’m a decent one.”

    Well, that’s probably already happened.

    “I’m a righteous woman but that doesn’t signify that I should ever have to turn down an opportunity to be nasty. These opportunities fall out of the lap of God, and God is prolific as Heck. Oh, and if any you guys are still muddling around in danger of forgetting that each and every last one of you is responsible for each and every last thing each and every last male creature within a ten-mile radius of you may even think of doing, I’ll always be here to remind you…you can pretty much count on that too. Aren’t you grateful? Aren’t you glad? What’s wrong with you? Why am I surrounded by people who never appreciate me as they ought to?…why?

  • zenlike

    She is using the moniker “slut” in relation to 9 year olds. Let that sink in for a minute. Then try not to drink too much brain bleach.

  • paganheart

    No and no.

  • The Jack of Sandwich

    “Do you want my son to look at you and think of you as a ‘strange lady’?”

    Why would her son think of that woman as a “strange lady”? Because this awful woman has TOLD him that she is a strange lady. This is ONLY a problem because SHE has made it a problem.

    Dress like I want, or I’ll tell my son you’re a bad person!

  • The Jack of Sandwich

    I thought God punished David’s son instead.

  • AFo

    Reducing women to nothing but the physical yet again, while claiming that they have the most respect for women of anyone. Automatically writing a woman off as a slut because she wears pants in public is not respect, and does not make you better than anyone else, it just makes you a bitter asshole.

  • RetroPam

    For people who love to prate about “personal responsibility,” there is a consistent pattern of expecting everyone around them to please them, accommodate them, make way for them, step aside for them, and see to it that anything that they encounter in daily life won’t disturb their delicate sensibilities lead them into temptation.

    It’s not their responsibility to control themselves; it’s our responsibility not to elicit any “sinful” thought. It’s not up to them to raise their children and prepare them for the world; it’s our job to help keep their world a germ-free bubble – whether it’s “family friendly libraries” or censoring TV and cable content down to the lowest common denominator.

    The Taliban also tried to make it sound as if their oppressive ways had only the best interests of women and girls at heart. But as is the case with our own form of the Taliban, in the end it’s all about them and our supposed duty to behave properly in the king’s court.

  • smrnda

    My son, 6 years old, sees women in public and observes how they dress. “Daddy, is that a ‘strange lady’?” He’s referring to the “strange woman” of Proverbs 7.

    So, your husband has taught 6 year old boys to slut shame adult women? this is an accomplishment?

  • Nightshade

    Both really:

    2 Samuel 12:15: And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill. 16: David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17: So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 18: Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died.

    God punished David by striking his son with sickness, allowed the infant to suffer for seven days, and then killed him. So we have child abuse (deliberately making the kid sick), causing needless suffering (if God simply wanted to take the child to heaven why didn’t he just get it done and end his pain?), punishing a child for the misdeeds of his father, allowing a mother to suffer for a sin for which she was not held responsible-I’m sure it broke Bathsheba’s heart to see her child become ill, suffer, and die. And people say the Bible is the source of all morality…?

  • Nea

    Apparently it is. And yes, that’s EXACTLY what they’re teaching very little children to do to total strangers at first sight.

  • Nea

    It’s always been my experience that the people who howl loudest about personal responsibility are the very last to accept theirs.

  • Friend

    A “caring” thing to do, only because that church equates caring with dehumanizing.

    It’s also bad manners to tell someone they are improperly dressed. That might seem like a smaller matter, but a lot of oppressive churches teach bad manners: in the urgent quest to save souls, it is just fine to offend and cause hurt.

  • B.A.

    Pathetic.

  • B.A.

    ^This!!!

  • lady_black

    Personally, I wouldn’t give two shits and a damn what his rugrat thinks.

  • lady_black

    I would have knocked his block off.

  • Melody

    Ugh, how they think about men is horrible.

    And how they think about women with agency and/or other clothing choices too.

    Also the kids are not raised to be ordinary in any way, as the word strange generally means something different to begin with. On top of that they teach the kids to be judgemental and to be far too aware of (adult) sexuality far too young. In some ways, that could be seen as abuse too.

    A nine year old teaching how to cover herself up, a seven year old learning how to judge others.

    It makes me think of this kid in our church who used negative words for this young couple that lived together unmarried. He was very judgemental about it: it clearly showed that he was just parrotting his parents because why should kids even care about such things in the first place? They learn to care about it because their parents do – they learn to please their parents – as do all kids – for survival reasons and love too.

  • Melody

    Very much so. The quest is more important at all times so manners or boundaries simply do not count – not as heavily, and sometimes not at all.

  • Melody

    “Do you want my son to look at you and think of you as a ‘strange lady’?”

    Yeah, that caught my eye too. Why should I care what your son thinks at all? I don’t know him; he’s nothing to do with me.

    Of course, that’s not how they see it. He possesses the male gaze and that makes him Lord over All or some such. Especially over all women everywhere and their clothing choices. He sure has his work cut out for him! /s

    What makes me the most angry though is besides teaching her boy to be a dick, they are also almost teaching him to be a rapist. And that worries me.

    They do think it is inevitable/OK to go to the bathroom when a girl or women dresses too seductively (in their eyes) and it might a short jump from that to rape itself.

    Surely ‘strange women’ don’t need to be respected…? (Just typing that makes me uneasy)

  • AFo

    Seriously. I know masturbation is the boogeyman in Pearlworld, but out in the real world men don’t glance at a woman and then immediately get hard/start jacking it, and they definitely don’t make it so obvious.

  • kilda

    “might?”

  • kilda

    when I was about 12 my friend who was part of a fundie family told me this story and said “wasn’t that so merciful of God, to let them live and just punish the baby?” I still remember looking at her and thinking wtf.

    There is some SERIOUSLY messed up stuff in the Bible.

  • Melody

    But they are against abortion…..

    Unless God does it, that is.

  • The Jack of Sandwich

    Well punishing innocents for the sins of others is kind of a central idea to their religion.

  • lady_black

    Well, it’s technically not a crime. However, that individual bears watching.

  • gimpi1

    Oh, heavens, that’s sick. Worrying about a nine-year-old wearing a skirt above her ankles? Blaming women for men’s thoughts? Teaching your sons to regard women dressing normally in this culture as “strange” and therefore – what? OK to abuse? And the closing “dinner party” reference… just gross. Mrs. Pearl manages a total gross-out.

  • gimpi1

    Yeah, I need some brain-bleach for that. I usually don’t indulge this early in the morning, but the Pearls constitute special circumstances.

  • bekabot

    He sure has his work cut out for him!
    He does. He’s being trained to be his mother’s deputy.

  • Nightshade

    Right. Like punishing the child of (presumably) loving parents is merciful.

  • zizania

    That little girl may have thought the writer’s daughter looked “beautiful” in her flowing skirt in the grocery store but, if she had seen her dressed that way trying to play softball or climb a tree, I’m sure she just would have thought her odd or felt sorry for her.