"Hey! What about the men?!"
That was my first reaction when reading this piece on Marcel Lejune's Aggie Catholics blog. I thought, "Wow, I'm annoyed that this girl is hearing men say that they can't help thinking about women in their bras, just because they wore a white shirt. What about men?! What are they doing for us?!"
When I was swimming year-round, I was at my teenage, hormonal peak, surrounded by perfectly-toned, strong teenage boys in Speedos. Yes, it was nice. But I also got used to it to a point where I could go to the beach and look around as if everyone was walking around in sweatshirts instead of bare skin.
Today, however, after years of being around fully-clothed men, I notice when men are shirtless. I notice and I get a little sheepish about it, I can't lie.
When I considered what Paige and Katie were saying on Twitter a few days ago about how no one is calling for men to be more modest, I thought, "Yeah! Why do the guys get to tell us what to wear when they get to go shirtless and that's not considered immodest?"
I stewed over it and thought about other things that men could change in exchange for me not wearing a bikini.
They could stop looking so darn cute all of the time when they hang out with little kids! Seriously, stop it. Hey, beau! You could stop being so wonderful to me, please. It's ruining my emotional chastity because I want to pin wedding details all day, m'kay?
Then I remembered, again, that I'm a Christian during the annoying times, too.
I'm so drawn to the desire to wear a bikini, partially because I've lost weight in the last few years. In these last two months, I've been convinced by both camps (pro and anti-bikini) over and over again. Some of the pro-bikini points have actually convinced me to be anti-bikini and vice versa.
Why do I want the pro-bikini arguments to win over my mind? Because I want to be desired. It's so easy to say that we're in a different time and it's not a big deal to wear an appropriate bikini in an appropriate setting (i.e., pool or beach). It's so easy to wonder what "the other side" will do for ME if they are expecting me to avoid wearing something that makes me feel beautiful for them.
|This isn't marriage, but it's all Pinterest can find.|
True, I can't control if they continue to entertain those lustful thoughts, no matter what I wear. Men, that's on you.
Similarly, and this is something I will expand upon in a future post, there has been a call for men to be more manly. Men, be MEN, we say! We want to expect more of you. We want you to avoid teasing our emotionally-queued brains by flitting around with emotionally-charged language with no consideration for our hearts.
We can't do a virtue exchange.
It's not possible because no woman can truly know what it's like for a man to look up on a scantily-clad women (or for him to hear her speaking romantic to him). Likewise, it's not possible for a man to know what it's like for a woman to hear romantic words from a charming man (or for her to look upon a shirtless male chest). But we can err on the side of visual and emotional modesty, right?
This discussion isn't over. I still don't think my opinion has fully-formed and I may write from a more pro-bikini stance tomorrow. If you wish to formally participate and write a response, I'll post it. Email me here.