Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dealing with immorality and lust

A few days ago, I first found out about the wonderful website called Guard Your Eyes. It was started with the idea of helping Jewish men overcome battles with lust, immorality and porn addiction. However, I believe that the advice distributed there can be helpful to any man and/or family struggling with these issues, Jewish or not.

It is so difficult for men to guard their eyes, and even religious men who have loving wives and a good family life ofter give in to porn addiction. Those who resist the temptation of easily available pornography still have to deal with women who put it all on display at work places or just walking down the street.

I'm not justifying infidelity or impure thoughts. Nothing can justify this. However, I believe it's important to approach the issue with compassion and see what men have to deal with. A typical man isn't geared emotionally like a typical woman. Handsome men don't trigger the same reaction in women as beautiful women do in men, especially when the women go practically uncovered.

If a man is married, lust addiction is subtly (or not so subtly) destroying his marriage and the close bond he might have with his wife. If a man is single, he is setting the foundation for harming his future marriage. Either way it's poisonous for men-women relationships.

Often, the blame is put on the woman: she did not pay enough attention to her appearance, she wasn't loving enough, she didn't display enough affection and attraction towards her husband. While the wife's attitude can certainly help, it is not all. No matter how nice-looking and loving a wife is, she cannot and is not supposed to compete with thousands and thousands of younger women whose bodies were not changed by pregnancies and births.

If you know someone who is struggling with this problem (and sadly, most of us probably do), or have to face it yourself, I encourage you to visit Guard Your Eyes, see the advice for getting rid of lust addiction, and read stories of former addicts. May our marriages be spared this plague.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that it's hard not to stare, sometimes even I (a woman) end up staring (non-lustfully) at cleavage just because it's RIGHT THERE in front of me. Yesterday I saw a man turn round and shout at a driver who was staring at his daughter. The fact that he let his 15/16 year old daughter out in denim hotpants didn't seem to occur to him.

Anna said...

Anna, thank you for not blaming this on the women. Everyone has the responsibility to keep their own heart pure, and while we can encourage our husbands, we certainly cannot make these decisions for them.

Persuaded said...

I once heard this illustration to help us gals understand how difficult it is for men to deal with visual temptations: imagine you were listening to a speaker and splashed across the wall behind were the words "DON'T READ THIS!" would you be able to *not* read those words? Probably not... it wouldn't even be an act of will, it would be a reflexive thing to read and process them. That is how it is for most men when they see a beautiful woman, or even a not-so-beautiful woman, lol. especially if she is scantily dressed.

Men are responsible for their own sin, but we women can help them both by dressing modestly and also by being compassionate towards them in their struggles.

I agree with you, Anna, this whole area, and p*rn in particular is a plague on marriages and as a result, on the whole of modern society.

TheRetroHousewife said...

I'm glad you posted this Anna. I have been married before but my marriage ended in divorce due to my ex husbands addiction to pornography which turned into physical cheating. I hope that site helps save other marriages!

His Wife and Their Mommy said...

I would love to have the link to that site. ive been looking for it and can't seem to find it.. and I agree with you 100 percent.. great post.

Sylvia said...

Anna,
I hope my post is relevant here. It is nothing to do with pornagraphy. But it is with respect to dressing modestly.
I come from a very conservative culture even though I am American now. I dress modestly by American standards. But certainly not by my native country's standards.My native country is not an Islamic country. It is a country of many religions. It is quite progressive especially the middle class. I was middle class so this is my experience growing up. Women drive their own car. Most go to college and are educated. They hold jobs, even professional jobs. But there is a massive problem. In my native country I used to travel by public transportation. Buses and trains. We had entire buses that were called Ladies specials during peak times and only women and children would be allowed in. Males upto 14 or 15 were allowed. After that they had to take regular buses where all sexes were allowed. Even those buses had both men and women sitting separately. Even in metro trains there were ladies compartments which were always full of ladies and standing room only even if the rest of the train was empty or half full especially during peak times. And it is because of this. Even though we wore an ethnic clothing that covered women up to the wrists, none of our legs were showing, not even our ankles and our breasts were covered by another cloth irrespective of our religion, young girls were always groped. I am sorry for being graphic. Anna, if I missed the ladies special bus, I was groped. Almost every time. By strangers. I used to have a huge file in front of me which contained nothing just as a protection for my breasts when I travel and have safety pins in my hand open to poke people and I am not joking. I have kicked men in sensitive areas so that they will release some part of me. This is done anonymously because the buses are so full and people are closely packed. I could not avoid this. It must be said that only a very tiny minority of perverts do this in my native country. But enough do that it is a problem. The only alternative was stay home and not be educated and I refused to let some pervert stop me from accomplishing my dreams or my potential. Some will ask why was I not homeschooled if this situation. Home schooling seems to be an American thing or a western thing and not prevalent in my native country. It is something I will not do even here to my children because of several reasons though I have nothing against people who chose to do so.
So what I am trying to say is this. A pervert is a pervert. Even in a culture where women go with every part covered. There are perverts even in Saudi Arabia where women go covered head to toe. All religions. Men must accept the consequences of their choices. A good man will never look at a woman dressed any which way. I am not anti-men. I have a loving husband who is very supportive. And I come from a culture which has shown this. Foreign women wear the shortest shorts in my native country. Good men turn their heads and look away. Perverts stare or grope. That has been my experience.

Hope my post was as kind as you are in yours.

Thank you Anna and God Bless you.

Lydia

Mrs. Anna T said...

His Wife and Their Mommy,

To visit the site, just click on the site's name in my post and a link will open.

Sylvia said...

Anna,

You may be wondering why my name is Lydia in my posts and Sylvia in my email ID. Well, my given name is Sylvia which I use in every day life.
My name at home and among friends is Lydia. Called so after a beloved Grandmother. I like your blog. A lot so I post here under Lydia, not Sylvia.
Hope that clears up any doubts you may have about my name.

Lydia

Mrs. Anna T said...

Lydia, thanks for the clarification about the name!

You said,

"A good man will never look at a woman dressed any which way."

It might be true in an ideal world, but not in ours.

My husband spent a few years in an area in Jerusalem where women dressed and behaved very modestly, and never had cause for embarrassment or temptation.

From there, he went straight to army full of girls in tight pants many of whom attempted to give him an "innocent" good morning kiss on the cheek each morning.

Can you guess in which scenario it was more difficult for him to resist temptation?? He resisted, but then again, he is truly a wonderful and very special man. Others might not be as strong.

Anonymous said...

You raise a very interesting and emotional topic here.

Ever notice that one of the first things those makeovers on TV magazines, or online do? Take a woman out of her "frumpy" modest clothes and put something tight and revealing on her to "show off her confidence". Here in the States, showing skin is seen as a statment that a woman has high self esteem, where modesty is seen as a lack of it! The next thing they usually do is cut and / or dye her hair.

I think being very understanding of mens' strong desires to gaze at other women is letting them off the hook too easily. I find that having high expectations of my husband gives him something to live up to. No, he doesn't always, and sometimes he disappoints me. But we should not show too much understanding of their "need" to "look". As I told my husband, I don't want him looking at p___n any more than he wants me comparing him to more successful or wealthier men. If I am respectful and considerate, I expect the same and more often than not, that is what I get! What I cannot understand are the wives who give up and view the garbage with their husbands!

Anonymous said...

"have to deal with women who put it all on display at work places or just walking down the street."

It is a woman's choice to dress exactly as she chooses - be it modestly or scantily. Good for those women for asserting their rights to "put it all on display". It has nothing to do with you. And nothing to do with those "religious" men who can't control their own impulses.

I am curious to hear what you have to say. I wonder if you will delete this post.

Jenna said...

Thank you for sharing this, Anna.

MarkyMark said...

Anna,

What makes porn appealing to men isn't so much the nice physical appearances of the women therein; it's the fact that they at least PRETEND to love and enjoy sex. To hear most women talk, they'd rather get a tooth pulled (without anesthetic!) than make love to their husbands. Even if a woman consents to having sex with her husband, but she does so with the attitude of "If I MUST...", well, no good guy is going to find that appealing; whatever desire he had just flew out the window!

Secondly, men look at porn because their wives don't satisfy them. Yeah, I said it! Seriously, why would a man look elsewhere? Theoretically speaking, he should be getting his needs met at home, right? Let me put it another way: happy, well fed cats don't stray. Neither do happy, satiated men. Think about it...

As for me, my sex drive is almost gone, so I don't care about this anymore-thank goodness! Like Socrates, I feel as if I've been released from the clutches of a terrible beast. This stuff is no longer a concern of mine. Have a good day, or evening, as the case may be...

MarkyMark

Mrs. Anna T said...

"It is a woman's choice to dress exactly as she chooses"

Of course. And attract predators. Certainly it's not "supposed" to happen, but I've known girls who were date raped and you know what? Now they wish with all their hearts they had played by the rules of the real world, not an imaginary perfect one. The rapists were punished but it will not help to heal their lives.

Religious (and even not-so-religious) men do control their impulses, but it takes a toll of temptation, discomfort, and subtle influence that can harm one's marriage.

There's a reason why we Jews ask the Almighty in our prayers, "Lord, do not test me!"

Anonymous said...

I enjoy sex with my well fed husband. He still looked at porn. Sometimes men just have a problem dealing with their own issues.

Mrs. Anna T said...

"To hear most women talk, they'd rather get a tooth pulled (without anesthetic!) than make love to their husbands."

Marky, *I* personally would rather give birth (without epidural!) ten times than get a tooth pulled. :o)

There is a grain of truth in what you say - women and men have a different sex drive, and it plays out differently in how we behave. It takes a great deal of adjustment on both sides to reach a compromise. Note that I said on BOTH sides, meaning that the husband would not feel deprived and the wife wouldn't feel neglected.

However, I have known married couples whose relationships were sadly plagued by pornography and "emotional infidelity" even though the wife never denied the husband, and I mean in love, and not the grinding-of-teeth-let-it-just-be-over thingy.

Sometimes, an 18-year-old girl in revealing clothing with her hair and makeup nicely done and not a care in the world (apparently) is simply more attractive than a tired, heavily pregnant woman with baby spit-up all over her shirt who was holding the fort all day with toddlers underfoot.

This is especially true, I think, in traditional societies where women are taught to be attractive to their men in very, shall we say, subtle ways. I remember when I was taking bridal classes with a wonderful rebbetzin, she told me it's a mitzvah (commandment) for women to be seductive towards their husbands. When I asked her what, in her opinion, is the best way to do this she told me, "put on some perfume". See what I mean?

Sylvia said...

Anna,


Your husband must be a good man. God gave him you as a wife after all. And I think you are a wonderful woman who is an example. I am christian, but I've always felt reading your posts that may be Mary the mother of Jesus might have had a life like you. A simple Jewish woman of immense faith but so very special of who she is.
As for your husband resisting temptation in the Israeli army, it made me respect him even more and reiterate that he is a good man who is special. Anna, I think it is easier to resist temptation when there is less to tempt you. The true test of temptation is when there is a lot of things around a person that should make a person make the wrong choice, but yet by force of will and God's grace and prayer, people resist.
That is what I was referring to in my native country. Anna, I was barely 21 when I came to America for post graduation. In my native country we do not date. Boys and girls don't mix freely. And it is common to all religions. We have all girl schools and colleges. And all boy school and colleges. I went to an all girls school and collage for my entire education in my native country. There are mixed colleges as well, but my parents never let me. As such it was easy to resist temptation when I was not really exposed to much. The true test came when I came to America. It was such a culture shock for me. I can relate to your husband and his experience of girls giving him a friendly kiss. Anna in America people hug a lot. And people touch each other a lot. Nothing sexual in most cases, but casual. That was something new for me as I come from a culture where people do not express much affection physically except to small children and babies.
As I became friends with people, even though i dressed modestly but in pants because in my culture modesty means not showing bare legs or ankles. I don't wear skirts that's why. I do not like panty hose. I makes me uncomfortable. I dress in pants with long and loose tops which I get specially made from fabric I buy and with different sleeve lengths. And that became fashion not so long ago in America Anna which I find so funny. But back to my story, I was asked on several dates. Did not go with anyone even coffee because it was against my parents teachings and culture. Anna I could have gone at least for coffee. No one would have known except me. Because my entire family was overseas. But I knew and God knew. So I prayed and resisted. And went back to my native country to have an arranged marriage. My husband also has my same story. Came to America for higher education, never dated and went back to have an arranged marriage. It is very common for people from my country to do so. I am not saying we are perfect. But it comes down to this IMO. Resisting Temptation even in the most difficult of circumstances. Who we are as a person and our background and upbringing and culture and mostly God's grace. People fail because we are human. People resist because of God's grace.

Thank you and God Bless you.

Lydia

MarkyMark said...

Anna,

Thanks for the enlightenment! I stand corrected. I guess that was my point: that BOTH SIDES have to work with one another to find a happy medium that works for both of them. I think most guys could live with that too. However, it seems that this is all too one sided.

You're right about another thing: no man will find a young woman unappealing-none. I know I certainly don't find them unappealing; they're nice to look at! I think God did that for a reason though; He wanted us to mate while we're young. I know you've posted about this, and I think it makes a lot of sense to marry young. For so many reasons, it makes sense.

With that, I shall wish you a good day, though I imagine you're in the middle of Shabbat right about now. Thanks for setting me straight in such a kind, gentle, yet direct way. Have a great day...

MarkyMark

Anonymous said...

It is human nature for men to continually seek out young, fertile women to breed with - its scientific fact. Deprivation makes the urge stronger. Its not a plague or a blight - its nature.

Sylvia comes from a religious country where women are groped on the bus - I live in the uk where men open doors for women. So I don't see how religion helps men to keep their hands to themselves.

It has been revealed that catholic priests and nuns have covered up systematic sexual abuse of children over decades.

This indicates that religion and sexual deprivation increase the likelihood of becomming a pervert.

Mrs. White said...

Regarding Modesty - I have a book that I adore. It is called "Modesty-An Adornment for Life" written by Rabbi Pesach Eliyahu Falk, published by Feldheim.
It is 700 pages long and quite a resource. I haven't picked it up in sometime, but thanks to your post, I thought of it. I plan to meditate on it, read, and research daily on this. It is so important for ladies, not only to realize how important it is to be modest, but to want to. Also, we need to DAILY be reminded and encouraged to dress like a modest lady, in this crazy world.
Blessings
Mrs. White

Deanna said...

Anna,
I blogged about Carry Nation.
You don't have to be Christian to understand that she was a defender of the home.
Wikipedia has more to say about her than I blogged.
My Dear, we worship the same Almighty God...just don't agree about the same Messiah. As a practicing Jew, yours hasn't come yet.

eli said...

[quoting Anna]
"When I asked her what, in her opinion, is the best way to do this she told me, "put on some perfume". See what I mean?"
----------------------------------

The above was most interesting to me, since in my research on Islam, it is considered a sin for a woman to use "perfume" in the presence of men who are considerd "non-maharem"[i.e. those in whose presence she would have to wear hijab(modest covering) which is compulsary in Islam]!!

Laura Ashley said...

Anna, I can't believe you allow markymark's comments. They are insulting to any woman that has ever had to deal with porn addiction in a relationship. His comments are aimed to hurt and demean women and wives everywhere.

-Laura

Sasha said...

eli,what is the connection between Anna T. and Islam?...

Mrs. Anna T said...

I think Eli is trying to point out a similarity between Islam and Judaism.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Laura Ashley,

I agree with you that Mark's comment was very blunt, to say the least. However, I chose to publish it because there *is* a grain of truth in what he said, in some cases, and I believe it needed to be addressed.

Mrs. Anna T said...

To anonymous who said sexual deprivation breeds perverts: you're right, sexual immortality thrives in the hotbed of sexual deprivation. That's why people should marry (in Judaism there's no concept of religious celibacy), and marry young.

Anonymous said...

I know a couple of men who look at porn quite often. They're not addicted, but they do 'indulge' frequently....and in both cases, the wives feel neglected sexually, and feel THEIR needs aren't being fulfilled. So I would have to absolutely disagree with Markymark. Men often look at porn because of their own issues. Just like other addictions (workacoholic, alcholic, gambler), the wife is usually not the one to blame. It's the guy and his own weakness.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Adam,

I'm sorry, but I felt I could not publish any of your 6 comments, because they were disrespectful, argumentative, and not to the point at all.

Just like with other sites I link to, I never said I agree with everything written on Guard Your Eyes. I'm not an author of the site, and I haven't read every bit of anything ever written there. It might be that some of the letters people wrote are infused with false ideas of feminism. However the general idea of getting rid of pornography has nothing to do with feminism or male-bashing.

I find the site a useful resource - useful enough to eat the fish and spit out the bones. I'm sorry you found this post insulting, it was certainly not my intention.

Analytical Adam said...

Mrs. Anna:

Respect is a two way street and this site shows no respect and shows no dignity towards men and is completely one-sided. They are openly promoting women to tell stories of their husbands sex addiction which is not something that would bring respect between a husband and wife. Do they do reverse. No they don't. The site clearly is based on an ideology of hate amd disrespect towards men. Feminist are very good at getting involved in this victim industry because they know that some will buy it.

Here are some of the letters that are written. The site shows no repsect towards men at all. This site is basically a one way street Mrs. Anna and I don't believe it has noble intentions. In America now under Obama feminists are promoting lies about men so women turn to the gov't more. Outrageous lies. Here are some of the lies.

What if you knew a bill had been introduced in Congress in which most of the findings were misleading, outdated, or simply false? Welcome to wonderful, wacky world of HR 739, the Security and Financial Empowerment Act (SAFE).

The bill contains 53 different claims. Only 4 of those claims can be verified as accurate, current, and truthful. As for the remaining 49 claims, whoever dreamed up this stuff has an incredible sense of humor!

The following bold-faced quotes come straight from the SAFE Act findings. They are followed by the actual facts. So get ready for some side-splitting humor:

"Violence against women has been reported to be the leading cause of physical injury to women."

Here's what the website of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows (http://mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa08/hstat/hi/pages/226i.html):


Under the graph the DHHS states, "All of the leading causes of injury in 2006 were unintentional." But domestic violence is an intentional cause of injury. In other words, DV is not even on the list of leading causes of injury.

"According to recent Government estimates, approximately 987,400 rapes occur annually in the United States"

Here's what the FBI really says: "In 2007, the estimated number of forcible rapes (90,427) decreased 2.5 percent from the 2006 estimate." http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/offenses/violent_crime/forcible_rape.html

So the SAFE number is off by about 900,000. We'll just call it a rounding error.

Now ready to have a real belly laugh? Check out RADAR's critique of the SAFE findings: http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/RADARanalysis-HR739Findings.pdf

After you see all the misleading claims, misrepresentations, and outright falsehoods, tell your Representative that people shouldn't be making a joke of domestic violence.

Here are some of the letters Mrs. Anna that are very disrespectful about men Mrs. A.

Just check this link out which is very much part of the blog. What site would tell women to mention outloud the addictions of their husband to IMPROVE the marriage. If you are going to do this allow men to say all the sins the women did. This is completely one sided and shows tremendous disrespect towards men.

Here is the link to the stories.

http://www.guardureyes.com/GUE/Stories/womStory.asp

In my view men that think women are always innocent and men are bad they themselves didn't provide for their family in a moral way because if they did they would see it is a struggle and from talking to women they would see some women are immoral as well and support immoral and unethical behavior just to benefit themselves. Men that are immoral in many area's don't share anything with women and tend to idealize them because they themselves are not REAL MEN.

Analytical Adam said...

I understand no site is perfect but I really feel this site overall is promoting hatred towards men. I also have to say from dating a lot of women today do care very much about appearence over anything else. They are obsessed with looks. I have dated women that are obsessed with looks. I'm sure not all women are like that. Both genders have certain people that are at a very low level. Some Rabbi's think women are BETTER then men. But some feel the opposite. Shlomo Hamelech felt it was much easier to find a righteous man then a righteous women. Of course part of this was he married more women then a king was allowed to and they turned his heart astray so he is blaming the women for his shortcomings. (Kohelet 7:28)Some Rabbi's have their reasons for puting down men but the tanach is clear that both genders can behave with goodness or evil and the torah makes no distinction between adultry committed by a man or adultry committed by a woman. Much of this site views men without any dignity and I find it overall very offensive and one sided.

eli said...

@Sasha,

As Anna explained, this is a similarity between Islam and Judaism.

One might find it amazing to know how very similar Islam and Judaism are, but this is what I have found out by doing extensive research on both.

Truly amazing

Anonymous said...

Interesting post!

It sounds as though Mrs. T is putting blame on women, though -- those women who don't meet Mrs. T's standards of modesty. The problem is that modesty standards are extremely relative. Even Mrs. T would be considered immodest in some places (such as Saudi Arabia). The fact is that men are going to think "impure" thoughts no matter how we women dress.

I think that an excessive emphasis on modesty actually makes people think more about sex than they might otherwise. It is similar to being on a diet. When you intentionally try to limit your food intake, you find yourself thinking about food more often.

My husband and I have a relaxed philosophy about this stuff. We both accept that the other is bound to have, and even indulge in, sexual thoughts about other people. I think trying to stifle those thoughts is far more likely to lead to sexual compulsions, such as porn addiction, than just going with the flow and not freaking out if you find someone in hot pants attractive.

-- Pendragon

Mrs. Anna T said...

Eli,

I don't find this surprising at all. Both Christianity and Islam are rooted in Judaism, so of course there will be similarity. Also, my husband once told me (not sure if it's true) that Mohammad used to be in close contact with Jews, and learn from them.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Pendragon,

I'm not "blaming" women. I'm simply stating a fact - that a display of flesh leads to temptation and sin.

You're right that standards of modesty are in a large way cultural. Yes, I would probably be considered immodest in places where women normally wear burqas. And that's why, if I ever find myself in Saudi Arabia, I *will* wear a burqa.

In Judaism, there is a concept of modesty called "minhag ha-makom", which means "custom of the place". There are strict halachic guidelines of modesty (such as neckline, sleeves, etc) but there are also blurry areas. Is showing one's toes modest, or immodest? What about flashy earrings? Well it depends. Strictly speaking, showing toes is not forbidden, so I wear sandals during the summer. But in areas where it is not customary, such as in certain neighbourhoods in Jerusalem or Bnei Brak, I'll wear socks or stockings.

You equal modesty to being on a diet. Well, I equal sexual immortality to gluttony: the more you eat, the bigger your appetite, and it's more difficult to stop so you continue, while doing grave damage to yourself.

Ever since we met, I have never had a sexual thought about anyone but my husband, and he would be terribly hurt if I did. And vice versa.

Buffy said...

What an interesting debate. I see that you are accused of being biased towards both men and women by different posters, depending on how they see things.

My own view is that women can never cover themselves up to the extent that they can guarantee that no man will look at them and desire them, nor should they feel they have to.

However, there is a big difference between dressing normally and dressing like a sex object. Unfortunately in many modern societies this is exactly how girls are now encouraged to dress. This wasn't happening in the 1930s or 1940s, but women weren't dressing in burqas either.

Mrs. Anna T said...

"My own view is that women can never cover themselves up to the extent that they can guarantee that no man will look at them and desire them, nor should they feel they have to."

Of course. But a sensible woman still knows that a certain type of dress attracts perverts. We can stomp our feet as long as we want to, saying "it's not fair, I should be able to dress the way I want with no consequences" - but once again, we don't live in an ideal world.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. T, The reason I thought you were blaming women was this line from the post: "Those who resist the temptation of easily available pornography still have to deal with women who put it all on display at work places or just walking down the street." I am glad to hear that was not your intent.

One poster above mentioned that readers have read this post as blaming men or blaming women, depending on the reader's point of view. I myself often think that discussions of modesty tend to be degrading to BOTH sexes. Women are blamed for too much bodily display and men are discussed as though they are beasts incapable of controlling their behavior.

-- Pendragon

eli said...

The human soul readily accepts stimulation. It is great error to think that the sexual desires of humanity are limited in extent and that after a certain point, are naturally satisfied. Just as the human being, man or woman, is never satiated with wealth or position and is continuously seeking more, in the area of sexual desires, it is the same. No man is ever naturally satisfied by beauty and no woman is ever naturally satisfied by a man's attention and the conquest of his heart. Clearly the desires of the heart are never satiated.

On the other hand, unlimited demands are never fulfilled and a sense of deprivation is continuously felt. Not achieving one's desires results in psychological illnesses and complexes. Why is it that in the West psychological illnesses have increased? The reason is freedom of sexual ethics and continuous sexual stimulation through the newspapers, magazines, cinemas, theaters and official and unofficial parties and even the streets and alleys.

The reason why the religious (Islamic, Christian, Jewish) command to cover is exclusive to women is because the desire to show off and display one's self is a particular trait of women. She is the hunter in the domination of the hearts of men and man is the prey, whereas man is the hunter in the domination of the body of women and she is the prey. A woman's desire to display herself comes from this essence of the hunter. It is the female instinct which, because of its particular nature, wishes to capture hearts and imprison the male. Thus, the deviation begins with the female instinct and therefore the command to cover was issued.

eli said...

Anna

my previous comment was taken out of a post I've done on Modesty on my blog entitled "“Love Poems” as a Clue to the Nature of Man’s/Woman’s sexual desires and the Importance of Modesty"

http://helpthetruth.blogspot.com/2009/06/love-poems-as-clue-to-nature-of.html

I would love to know your ideas on it as you are reaching a stage whre one can now call you a 'modesty specialist'! :-D

blessings
eli

Anonymous said...

I would have to disagree that a certain type of dress attracts perverts. On the contrary, many of them seem most attracted to innocence.
'Minhag hamakom' has the potential to escalate into severe restrictions. There will always be factions pushing for more and more restrictions. If everyone gives in, it becomes a 'minhag'/custom and whoever does otherwise becomes immodest.

I agree with those above who said it doesn't really matter how much women cover up, men will always find something which 'turns them on'. I actually think in modern western society, men have been desensitized by the overexposure of flesh, and a mere glimpse of ankle or elbow or collarbone certainly doesn't send them into euphoria.

I am all for some modesty because I don't think our sexuality needs to be our calling card...quiet waters run deeper. Plus, as mentioned above, it wouldn't hurt for our culture to rediscover the sensuality of body parts we ignore now because they are so overexposed.

But I am under no illusion that men will respect women more if they cover up. Or that they will feel less 'lustful thoughts'. Go to any seminar for ultra-orthodox men and hear what minutae is discussed as sexually stimulating. We have to live our lives and stop trying to desexualize ourselves for the male population, as it is mission impossible.
Tammy

MarkyMark said...

To anyone who thought I was demeaning women or being hateful in my previous comments, you might want to check out this CNN.com piece: Is Cheating Ever Deserved?. If you do, you'll note that it makes the same points that I did...

Analytical Adam said...

I don't know any person that is dealing with this issue although I do know of men in my own family who have been falsely accused of abuse for basically making a body movement that was enough to claim the person is mentally ill or something and abusive. I know this because the same person in the family tried to do it to me although I am not married.

Analytical Adam said...

Part 1:I also on reflection have this to say and I hope this is printed I really find this site "guard your eyes" is promoting emotional abuse and intimidation to young men. I mean one of the basics of Judaism is do unto others as you would like done to you. And the religion does not believe might makes right. IN fact this kind of hatred is exactly why Orthodox Judaism has a serious shortage of men because at a certain point men will not want to be part of a community that no matter what they do they are always viewed in the worst possible light .

What happened to reasoning with a child. When a boy hits puberty a healthy father would tell him that G-d created this drive so that a man would be attracted to a woman of child bearing age to help a woman at this stage of her life be able to find a man. But this drive is suppose to be used for the purpose of relations for the purpose of bringing new life into the world and not for one’s own pleasure. A man should be able to support a woman to some degree before he gets married. If a man has parents that reason with him in general and teach him ethical behavior I think this would be enough to help him deal with this. But to tell him that he is terrible for having these drives and controlling everything he does shows a tremendous amount of distrust and hate and teaches girls that boys and men are untrustworthy.

In fact the torah says YOU SHOULD NOT FOLLOW AFTER YOUR HEART AND EYES. It doesn’t say you should close your eyes. How can a man lead if he can’t control his desires and he has to be watched closely every second. And anyway if an older man is interested in a younger women and divorcing his older wife which of course is immoral and selfish is because he wants more children although if he was a moral man he would say to himself there are other Jewish men out there for this woman as I already have children. As both a man and woman age they appreciate each other for other things besides looks if they are normal caring people that don’t only think about themselves. It is true a man’s sexual drive is somewhat stronger but woman certainly care to a certain degree as well as when I was younger older women who were married liked to look at me but they were married and they weren’t going to divorce their husbands. Let us not go overboard here.

Analytical Adam said...

Part 2:And should we hate Jacob because he loved Rachel more then Leah mostly because she was more attractive. G-d rewarded Leah with more children to compensate for this so Jacob would love Leah because she brought him many children. Should we turn Jacob into a monster for this as it is what it is. Jacob took care of Leah but he loved Rachel more. It is interesting that in the bible that the Patriarchs didn’t really want Polygomy but it was still better then a woman being unmarried. The torah clearly views the ideal being one man and one woman (it was Adam and Eve not Adam with many different women) and you have these nutty sites that make Polygomy into an ideal which it was never an ideal and in a perfect world it would never be needed.



In fact even though I am not married I have had situations even a few month ago where I got a girls phone number and she was attractive she was in her early 20’s. I told her I was 35 and I told her that she is attractive and she should a good man and even if she wasn’t interested in me I tried looking at the bigger picture besides myself. Selfish men like to tell women that they are the ONLY GOOD MAN out there. There are fair ways to compete but don’t put down other men for no reason which I see a lot of so called religious men do and you know what in corporate America it benefits them as the companies have to engage in affirmative action for women although it angers other men in the trenches who wonder why religious men are kissing up to women who like everyone else have their good points and their bad points.

As in my prior post I know nobody who has this "addiction" and men who have this problem are not ADDICTED. They are very selfish and evil. To make this an illness is absurd. I don't like men who just kiss up to women for their own selfish reasons although women who believe a man WHO IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE usually have issues with men as well.

Anyway that is the end of my thoughts on this matter.