I deliberately put this post off until Miley Cyrus would be “old news.” I guess I’m not always one for jumping on the bandwagons. However, I came across an article that really made me think about how modesty has been taught in the LDS meetings that I have attended.
So many times, I hear young women (and us older ones, too) urged to be certain that we dress modestly and behave modestly so that we protect men, who have a much higher natural inclination to things of a sexual nature. As the culture around us becomes more and more sexualized, the pressure on women and young women increases. On one hand, we want to be good and to keep our brothers from temptation. On the other, we enjoy their attention, and the messages we receive are that we have to look good and appeal physically to men to receive their attention.
The article, A Response to Miley Cyrus: Where are the Men?, is actually pretty tough on guys. (Thankfully, it was written by a man.) He calls men to remember their roles as protectors, and not just providers. He encourages a shift in our perspectives to stop thinking of protecting women as viewing and treating them as if they were helpless and incapable. Instead, he redefines protecting as being responsible for setting up an environment in which women feel safe and encouraged to live up to their divine potential.
Carrying the Idea Further
I’d like to take that idea one step farther. I’d like to point out the non-example of Cain: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” He was trying to excuse himself and avoid detection for his own failings.
I challenge my readers to consider that yes, we are each a keeper of the brothers and sisters around us. Let’s step up to the challenge of creating a character in ourselves that will allow anyone who comes in contact with us to be their best.
Oh, and please take time to read the original article. It is very thoughtful and well-written. If you are looking for more on the subject, read “The Moral Force of Women,” a talk given by D. Todd Christofferson in the October 2013 General Conference.