Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Feminist Fallacy: Slut Walks and Infant Clothing

While in Utah for my brother's wedding, we payed a visit to the outlet mall in Park city. I saw two articles of clothing that really got me going.

The first one was in the toddler boys' section:
It says, "Lock up your daughters." (Sorry for what my phone did to the pic.)
The second was in the infant girls' section:
0-3 months bikini - (pardon the weird thing my phone did to the coloring)
And just because I'm feeling sassy, I want to add that these posters irk me every time I see them for the same reason the t-shirt and bikini do.

Why do these clothes, the poster, and their messages irk me so much? Because, (IMO), they all perpetuate and even glorify shirking personal responsibility AND the devastating "It's all about me!" ideology.

By dressing our boys in t-shirts like this one, we are teaching our sons (and subliminally teaching everyone else) that they cannot be held accountable for their actions. (One interpretation is) That we must "Lock up our daughters" lest they do something to them that we'd rather not have them experience.

While at the same time, by dressing our infant daughters in bikinis we are simultaneously making the path to pornography addiction just that much easier for our sons, as our girls become their visual fodder.

But wait, aren't those statements about those articles of clothing contradictory? Shouldn't girls be able to wear whatever they like, and boys just take responsibility for and control their own actions? That's the message being spread by the Slut Walks. I first heard about them from this article by Mona Gable on blogher.com.  Let me make it absolutely clear: I believe it is completely wrong to rape another person - no matter what the victim was wearing. But regardless of this conviction, I've been struggling with the campaign ever since I heard about it because I believe those who support it are fighting a losing battle. If they want fewer women to be raped, they should be advocating and living for ideals that actually help the cause of women - they we all need to be fighting for our families.

Let's see more walks that carefully consider how all our decisions affect one another. Let's rally against the point where our modern day Feminist movement seriously got it wrong: The point that it isn't all about ME! WE belong to families, WE have children, WE live in communities. And contrary to popular belief, what happens between two consenting adults always affects many more than just the two involved! Yet, the obsession is continually all. about. "ME!" The mantra I find over and over again in many of the modern feminist ideals is that, "My bad, immoral, immodest, lewd, suggestive, selfish, (fill in the blank), behavior should be readily accepted and embraced - because such behavior is more readily and unfairly! accepted when committed by a man." Why are so many women fighting this battle so adamantly when they could be making helpful progress elsewhere?

Shouldn't we (and by we, I also mean men) instead be fighting for our marriages? Finding ways to give more of our time to our children?  Should we not be taking back the responsibility to educate our children about right and wrong? Fighting for modesty and chastity as a virtue for all, as well as total personal responsibility for both sexes? Should we not fight for common sense and respect for others as well as ourselves?

"Jami, calm down. It's just a cute little swimsuit for baby girls." Sure, it's really cute. . . until our girls start developing and we want them to cover up a bit more. But when exactly does that time start? If we don't teach modesty from the start, how will it ever become important? Some think it never should, but I in my old-fashioned ways heartily disagree. Modesty (in dress and action) is still a virtue worth incorporating in our daily lives and throughout our lives. (Though, modesty in dress in our bedrooms with our spouses is of course, one important exception. ;) ) But, I'm getting off track here. Let's get back to the discussion. The truth is, men are visually stimulated. That is how they are wired. Covering up a bit, might very well be one important key to assisting men remain virtuous, even if only in their thoughts. Our virtue can be a help - instead of a stumbling block - to their virtue.

But, so much more than that I would bet my life that investing much more time ("How dare you suggest this!" Sorry, I'm suggesting it anyways) in our children personally will yield a larger crop of happy, productive, well-adjusted, law-abiding, children and adults - and ultimately many fewer rapists even if,  it means having less *gasp!* stuff and *even bigger gasp* personal freedom.

To protect our girls from our ever souring young men, we need not lock them up - nor should we have them parade around in their bras and panties. To protect our girls, we should freely choose to spend more time with our families, with our sons, with our daughters. We (men and women as united partners) need to make more sacrifices of ourselves, of our own personal desires and ambitions, for a season - if we really want to see positive change for women, and for all. Because fighting for selfish self-centered causes (in "slutty" clothing no less) will only yield rotten fruit. Of that, I am certain.

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