I want to take a moment on behalf of all men to personally thank the virtuous women who dress modestly so that we can keep our thoughts pure and clean. I am so grateful for the virtuous women throughout my life that dressed modestly so I wouldn’t have bad thoughts. Those righteous girls I dated in high school and college helped me stay worthy and pure so that I could serve a mission. In fact, my wife would like to personally “thank you for helping me remain worthy to fulfill my priesthood duty to serve an honorable mission, marry in the temple and be a worthy father” (Elaine Dalton, “Be Not Moved!”, General Conference, April 2013 – italics added by me).
Now, to all those women that helped me become the person I am today, and to all other virtuous, modest women everywhere, I have just a couple of favors to ask:
- First, I am now a father of four boys and I’m really going to need your help again. I need you to raise your daughters to help my boys be worthy priesthood holders so one day they can serve missions and marry in the temple. Please teach your daughters to cover their shoulders, wear long shorts, and please tell them to avoid tight-fitting clothing (as instructed in the “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet). Thank you so much! I know by doing this you will help my boys stay pure, clean and on the right path.
- Apparently BYU did not get the modesty memo about helping young men like my sons keep their thoughts clean and pure. I thought BYU was the Church’s school! What happened to the honor code? Didn’t our Prophet and the Quorum of the Twelve write the honor code? My second favor is actually not exclusive to the virtuous and modest women, but is a call to action for everyone. I would like to start a letter-writing campaign to BYU to stop immodesty! What will my boys think when they see the young women at BYU dressed immodestly? One should “never lower your standards of dress… or use a special occasion as an excuse to be immodest” (For the Strength of Youth) – like a sporting event for example! Don’t they know “that the principle of modesty is a protection” (Elaine Dalton, “Love Her Mother,” Ensign, October 2011)? “Your personal purity is one of your greatest sources of power” (Elaine Dalton, “Be Not Moved!”, General Conference, April 2013). This is an excerpt from the BYU honor code: “Clothing is inappropriate when it is sleeveless, strapless, backless, or revealing; has slits above the knee; or is form fitting. Dresses, skirts, and shorts must be knee-length or longer” (BYU Honor Code). You tell me if the examples below are in violation:
How are my precious sons going to deal with all this “walking pornography” on campus? Don’t they know that women are “magnifying this problem by becoming pornography” (Elder Oaks, “Pornography,” Ensign, May 2005 p. 90)? How are they supposed to have pure thoughts with this going on on campus?? We need to stop it immediately! Please help me in this campaign.
I know you just can’t wait to start writing your letters, so I’ll stop writing and give you the address. Please address and send all letters to:
44 CONTROL YOUR OWN THOUGHTS
MODESTY CITY, OUT OF CONTROL 84601
WHAT IS WRONG WITH US? Seriously, when did this spin out of control? Something has gotten a hold of our Mormon culture and the Pharisees have taken over! Why are we ultra-focused on modesty, specifically with holding our women responsible for men’s thoughts? Just last month Elder Robbins of the Seventy spoke at a BYU devotional claiming that if a woman dresses immodestly that the fault lies with the woman for arousing the young men. Can we not see the issues here?
Why do we hyper-focus on rules and hemlines? Why? Well, because it’s the easy, measurable way to teach modesty. So is counting the steps I take on Sunday so I make sure I keep the Sabbath. But holding women responsible for men’s thoughts is even more STUPID, DUMB, IRRESPONSIBLE, UNHEALTHY, DAMAGING, AND DANGEROUS. STOP IT. SERIOUSLY STOP IT. Dangerous you ask? When we tell women that they are responsible for men’s thoughts, where does this leave the men? We cultivate the rape culture with this type of teaching: “I couldn’t control myself – did you see that skirt she was wearing? She was asking for it!” STOP IT NOW.
If we were really serious about this concept of women being responsible for men’s thoughts then all of these women athletes would be covered up. There would be no swim team, dive team, or gymnastics for crying out loud. Women in bathing suits – can you imagine?!?! Yes, you can because it happens EVERY DAY!
So, women, you are not responsible for men’s thoughts. Men are responsible for men’s thoughts. I am responsible for my thoughts. I am responsible for me and I will teach my four boys the same. If you are on the soccer team, go ahead and wear short shorts because that is appropriate attire for soccer. If you are on the tennis team, go ahead and wear what tennis players wear because that’s what is appropriate for the activity.
Here are some concluding thoughts: Wear what is appropriate for the activity or event; boys, you are not animals – you can control your thoughts and actions! How’s that? Are we done now? Thank you BYU athletes for showing us how to dress appropriately when playing a sport. Go Cougars!