Addressing the Dress

Google image depicting a woman wearing a yellow dress with a cobalt blue cardigan.
Google image depicting a woman wearing a yellow dress with a cobalt blue cardigan.

By Nicole Veldink

In the last twenty years, the hyper-sexualization of men and women has grown to almost unbearable heights. Although men are hyper-sexualized as well as women, women usually take the spotlight in this department. Everywhere we look, there is evidence of this: TV shows, movies, commercials, billboards, books, etc.

Because of the effects of hyper-sexualization, it is crucial for women’s safety that they are aware of the attention that their clothing draws. Women have to be conscious of what they wear each day in order to prevent sexual assault, harassment, and even rape.

Most of us as members of society are likely desensitized to this, so it does not seemingly have an impact on our daily lives. Recently, a rape case that occurred at Stanford sparked an interesting yet troubling conversation between a friend and me. My friend argued that the rape victim was possibly dressed inappropriately. Her argument is one that is commonly held regarding rape cases. Regardless, it would be inexcusable. Rape is never okay, even if someone is dressed promiscuously.

This is not to say that women should walk around naked and hope for the best. Clothes were instituted for not only women’s safety but men’s as well. Human beings are not sexual objects. God provided clothes in Genesis 3 because He knew that Adam and Eve were ashamed of their nakedness. The further we get from Genesis 3, the less it seems humans feel the need to have clothes. Although women empowerment is important, has it lead to its own type of hyper-sexualizaton? Women are told to be proud of their bodies, which is true, but does that mean we women should be flaunting it however we see fit?

This is not to be taken as a sermon about “modest is hottest”. Believe me, modest is “hottest” when it is 100 degrees outside and women are expected to wear a burka in order to prevent sexual temptation. Although there is not a simple fix to any of these problems, we as men and women can start somewhere: respect. Respect for ourselves and for each other.

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