Re: Women wearing pants

Nechama Cox (nechama@borealis.com)
Thu, 2 Jan 1997 09:19:20 +0000

I appreciate Jerry's reply. Admittedly, his argument that I personally
ought to be training my inclinations rather than telling women what to
wear, would have more impact were I indeed male as he assumed.

>Why is it not also forbidden for a man to display the
>same areas? After all, women are subject to the same temptations or evil
>thoughts as men, so why does he not require men to also wear skirts.

Women are *not* subject to the same temptations. For most women, it takes
more than a pretty body to "turn them on." Which is not to say that women
are not aroused by what they see, but that it usually takes more. Yes, this
is not always the case, but it is the norm.

It is well accepted that there are differences between men and women. After
all, there are more clubs and bars which cater to showing men women's
bodies than vice versa. It is not just a matter of a double standard, it is
also a matter of what women prefer. In our capitalist society it is pretty
certain that if the demand was there, clubs and bars would rise to meet it.

In any case, while men's bodies do interest women, it is not the same as a
woman's body raising a man's interest. The Torah realised that.

>The question then comes down to who is blind - the person who can see a
>fundamental injustice or the person who will not see it?

Where is the "fundamental injustice"? There are differences between the
sexes. That is not just or unjust, it is a fact.

>Why is he not
>trying to perfect himself in this way? More importantly, why is he not
>trying to perfect himself -- he can start by teaching himself not to be
>attracted to the bifurcation. Or is it the idea of forbidden fruit? Or
>simply good ol' evil inclination?

Well, since I am a woman, this does not really make sense.

But in any case, the idea of "teaching not to be attracted" is not really
realistic. No matter how much a man trains himself, he is programmed to
respond to certain stimuli. Yes, he can repress his reaction, but he can
not train himself not to be attracted." That is just a denial of human
nature.

>As my spouse puts it: "Why should I suffer because he has impure thoughts?"

I don't consider dressing modestly to cause suffering. From my point of
view, I am dressing this way to cover up something that is special and to
retain its dignity. (In my mind, very similar to the covering over a Torah
scroll. It would be disrespectful to have the scroll uncovered when not in
use.)

But additionally, I have found that I am treated more as a person when I
dress modestly, which is more than enough reward for any discomfort.

Nechama Cox
nechama@borealis.com