Another BYU Modesty Note: The Toxicity of Shame in LDS Culture

Let me preface this post by stating that I am a devout Mormon, an active and proud BYU student, and for the most part, greatly appreciative of the LDS culture that is characteristic of Utah Valley.  I have never been happier than I have been for the last two years which I spent in Provo.  That being said, there are certain aspects of Mormon culture that manifest themselves particularly nastily at BYU, and often target young women such as myself.


This is a note I received sitting in the periodicals section of the BYU library.  It reads:

                Dear Cute Girl,

                I have seen you at the Library before and (first off I’m not trying to be creepy, Just a nice friend) you where [sic] that Blue Shirt a lot (which By the way the color looks really good) however I notice that its [sic] a little low cut.  The guy sitting in front of you a table away keeps Looking (Just thought I would warn you).  I hope you take care and help the boys around Here out in the future. So they don’t have the temptation.

Sincerly [sic], a friend looking out for you and the Boys


It was delivered to me quietly by a young woman I had never seen before.  I don’t know if she wrote the note herself or was delivering it for a friend. While I certainly appreciate her subtlety, (she didn’t make eye contact and sat down immediately after) I felt my heart sink as I saw the folded paper before me.  Everybody at BYU knows what a library note from girl to girl means.  I felt humiliated and sat in shamed shock as I read and reread the accusation packed among compliments and faux-concern: I was causing this young man to sin.  The shirt in question was a long sleeved t-shirt with a V-neck, one which had been given to me by my conservative mother and which I had worn to church in the past.  It was flattering, yes, but by no means inappropriate.

I looked up at the man who had been staring, and held eye contact, my eyebrows raised in a clear expression of disapproval.  He faltered, embarrassed at having been caught, quickly packed his backpack and left.  (That’s my preferred method for dealing with oglers, all women should take note, it’s very effective!)

                The man was gone, but I was left in a shallow pit of shame, embarrassed that the shirt my mother had bought me for my birthday was the star of a classic library controversy.  My shame melted into disgust, however, as I dissected the note further.

                Why had my BYU classmate written the note to me? The man who was staring was the active perpetrator, engaging in lustful behavior and thoughts; I was simply the object.  (Although as far as I know he had been spaced out with his eyes unfortunately aimed towards my chest.  I guess we’ll never know).  If this modesty vigilante had been so concerned with this man’s mental chastity, a much more appropriate note would have read: Dear Creepy Guy, I can see you openly staring at that young lady’s chest.  I just want to help you out by reminding you to keep your thoughts pure.  I hope you take care to help yourself out in the future by avoiding viewing women inappropriately, so you don’t have any temptations.  Sincerely, a friend looking out for you and the girls around you.

                Unfortunately, the blame fell to me.  I was causing this man to stare, never mind the fact that it was the silent section of the library, kept quiet to minimalize distractions so that students could focus on their studies.  This man apparently was so weak-minded that he was forced by the celestial power of my breasts to neglect his schoolwork and zero in on the one aspect of humanity that gives women power over men.  I was the slinky vixen, hell-bent on singlehandedly corroding the virtue of the poor, unsuspecting male population of Provo.

                Except not.  I put on a comfortable, cute T-shirt that flattered my body and was weather-appropriate, with no devilish, corrosive agenda.  Leading young men astray or drawing attention towards my breasts had been the last thing on my mind.  I can think of two possible solutions to remedy the situation I’ve described: I (and other women in the library) could have taken 25 minutes to go home and change, OR, this man could have simply refocused his attention to his schoolwork.  Which one seems more fair to ask?  Which one offers a long-term solution to his problem of being distracted by women’s bodies?  I was being asked to modify my clothing, when this man could have been asked to modify his behavior.

                If he was so jarred by the sight of the skin beneath my collarbone, can this poor ‘immodesty victim’ function outside of Provo?  I shudder to think of the moral decay he would experience on a beach in my native New York.  He can’t honestly expect each woman he encounters to completely obscure even the shape of her breasts.  His outlook on female modesty needed an adjustment, not my outfit.

                The letter I received warned me about “men’s temptations.”  Temptations to do WHAT, may I ask?  Touch my body inappropriately?  Have sex with me?  I can wholeheartedly promise that I would NOT allow that to happen.  The vagueness surrounding such “temptations” is frustrating.

Ignoring the fact that breasts have no sexual function and in many cultures are considered completely normal and unexciting body parts, my shirt was by no means overtly revealing, and I will continue to wear it without guilt.  It is downright dangerous to blame women for the thoughts of their antagonists.  Thoughts lead to words lead to actions lead to character.  I refuse to take responsibility for a man’s actions.  The selling point of our Heavenly Father’s Plan of Salvation was agency.  Men are blessed with a choice to entertain impure thoughts or not, regardless of their surroundings.  Heavenly Father has promised that He will never present us with temptation we cannot overcome.  The young man in the library exercised his agency.  I was completely outside of his decision to ogle me.

Instead of shaming women anonymously for wearing comfortable, practical clothing, it’s time we hold men accountable for their own thoughts and actions.  Men are not subject to carnal cravings; portraying them as such is insulting to men and dangerous for women.  While I appreciate the concern from my library “friend,” I am scared for the future if this modesty policing continues.

Some thoughts:

I have heard over and over and over again in church that “men are visual creatures.  Your physical appearance has a huge influence on men.”  Am I the only one who thinks that humans in general are visual creatures?  Maybe women just express their visually-driven nature in a more appropriate way.

The power a woman’s breasts have over men is highlighted consistently in YW lessons.  Perhaps the idea of women having power over men is terribly threatening, and that is what drives the LDS obsession with female modesty.

Has any man ever in the history of BYU ever received a note ever telling him that his clothing was ever tempting a woman ever?  Ever?  If women are expected to conduct themselves appropriately regardless of the physical appearance of those around them, so should men.

Sexual impurity (even in thought) seems to be the only sin for which someone else can be blamed.  If you’re able to turn down a friend who pressures you to drink alcohol, or disappoint a classmate who wants help cheating on an exam, you should be able to apply that same willpower to sexual sins. 

MEN: You have your agency.  You don’t have to stare if you don’t want to.  Please don’t play the victim here.  You’re better than that.

To the author/deliverer of that note: While I think your concern was misplaced, I sincerely appreciate the sweet compliments you gave me, and your discretion.


This is the shirt in question.  Sexy?  Maybe.  Provocative to the point of taking away male agency?  Hahahahahaha!  Nope.


684 thoughts on “Another BYU Modesty Note: The Toxicity of Shame in LDS Culture

  1. If Mormon men can’t learn to keep their minds on their school work when faced with a woman dressed in the pictured shirt they don’t belong in the workforce. Little boys need to grow up and learn to control themselves. If this is what goes on in their heads I’m glad there are no Mormon men where I work.

    • I think you are mistaken with this comment. LDS or Mormon Men are not all like this. Just because one boy (because he doesn’t sound like a man) acted this way makes everyone in that religion just like him. LDS members graduating from BYU usually have a easy time getting into graduate school or landing a job due to the reputation of honest, hardworking and family oriented people. So I believe this is a unfair comment if you haven’t experienced working with people of this faith.

      • Nan Trott’s comment is actually quite fair given the fact that the most pornography subscriptions are in Utah. Mormon men are clearly unprepared for the provocative world and the modern workplace is replete with immodesty and although there are no employability problems for graduates; there are definitely instances of lust and perversion.

      • You have large breasts. Your shirt is low cut. It is revealing cleavage AND quite see through to the point we can see your yellow bra .
        Your lds, on campus and people can see through your shirt…what did you expect? Lol. I agree there is accountability on both sides. Maybe you could ask your mom to get you a “shade” or “mod bod” tank for Christmas 😉

  2. I live in Utah Valley but don’t attend BYU. I never knew about the whole note thing that women send to each other. Kinda shocking. Btw, you should wear that shirt EVERY SINGLE DAY! Sounds like that poor girl need to get off her high horse.

  3. I totally agree with you and the shirt is very cute. It was the young man that should have received the note not you. This is exactly why I moved away from Utah. You keep wearing this shirt! I live in NC and love it here. I have an amazing ward and know that if that happened here the young man would get the note, never you! He will not be able to go out in public if he is distracted by a t-shirt like that, he should try working at my work. I work in a call center and some of the girls dress like the are going out to a club. Good luck with school.

  4. This just made me laugh. I have seen worsts blouses in my singles ward on Sundays than what you were wearing and I’m from Salt Lake.

  5. Sister Missionaries get hit on all the time and, believe me, they are not wearing anything provocative. I agree that the note should have gone to the guy.

  6. I LOVE this! Why do the girls get blamed for the guys’ problems? Especially when that shirt is better than most of the shirts that some of the women wear in my ward!
    This is like the problem we had a BYU when I was there (14 years ago) with the backpacks that only had one strap. They would go right across the chest and there was an uproar from the ‘men’ saying that we shouldn’t use them because they were drawing attention to our chests and making them have impure thoughts. MAKING them. HA! My choice in backpack is MAKING you have impure thoughts. Well, maybe you should learn to control your own thoughts and stop blaming me (and other girls).

  7. I hate how guys do that, and they are basically raised to judge women by that. Aside from the fact that Lds women, especially [the surplus] young moms, also taught to marry wayyyy too young, have a huge tendency to manipulate their garments to allow for “immodesty” and manipulate the whole wear whatever when you exercise. Yet, they would never pass a note like that in a gym, or a young mom with her baby with her, it’s solely criticism of single women. It’s ridiculous. And open to personal discretion, your definition of immodest will be different from mine (just had that convo about that and about sinning). I agree with you, grow up and learn to respect yourself enough to not judge, and to control yourself as well. Good for you for not banishing the shirt. Also, of he was such a friend, why sign as anything other than his name, obviously he knew it was wrong enough to not take responsibility for his actions.

  8. I liked the article, and I think it is an issue that needs to be addressed. However, as a male BYU student, I don’t think this accurately describes every male student on campus. I’m from Texas, so I’ve definitely seen the world outside Utah and have experienced some of the stereotypes associated with it, but you must understand that his opinions don’t reflect every lds guy nor the church. There is a lot of fun, outgoing gents that would have no problem whatsoever in taking you out without judgement or reserve because of a “low cut shirt”. Don’t mind those who don’t matter, because those who matter don’t mind. So don’t give up hope on the rest of us!
    the other side of BYU

  9. The fact that this is even a discussion is pretty ridiculous. People in general are visual and it’s ok to notice the opposite sex. Staring is a little weird but the shirt looks great. The church is plagued with over sensitivity. Who cares if someone looks. It doesn’t mean the guy was a creep or a rapist. It means he saw an attractive woman and if he was thinking about sex, here’s a news flash for you, So is every other man, all the freaking time. This is an example of why people think Mormons are weird, and they are justified in thinking so in this case. That girl that passed the note is probably 28 years old on her third degree and single… Still. Don’t get me wrong Byu is a different place and it should be, but that is just outrageous. People keep talking about controlling your thoughts. How about keeping them to yourself. The last thing Byu needs is another normal girl with good values feeling shamed because she is attractive. Keep wearing the shirt, looks great.

  10. I laughed out loud when I saw your shirt. I’m a firm believer in modesty, but men in the church need to be taught to look away and not entertain inappropriate thoughts just as much as girls need to be taught modesty. I recently read another article that said we shouldn’t dress modestly to please men, (or anyone else for that matter) we dress modestly to please Heavenly Father and show respect for ourselves. There is also a quote from Elder Holland in this same article where he basically says women should NOT be blamed for men’s thoughts or actions. There. We heard it straight from an apostle of The Lord. I know it makes it harder for guys, but you’re so right when you say God won’t give us any temptation we can’t handle. I get inappropriate comments from guys even though I dress modestly. Guys can’t control the fact that there are going to be girls out there that dress immodestly, so they need to learn to look away or think of something else.

    • So… You’re saying that you’re staring at her boobs?

      THIS right here is one of the biggest problems. the catiness between the LDS women. I hate that you even felt you had to post a pic of your shirt, as if your feeling that it was modest wasn’t enough! Why is it always measuring, measuring each other?

      • I think seeing the bra through the shirt is fine. Even a fashion statement, maybe. sexy? cool. I mean, some people feel like they have to wear their bra over their garments – yet another one of those CRAZY mormon things…

  11. Lame notes from total douche bags aside, am I the only one who is even MORE concerned about the fact that this college-level male is unable to write a legible, properly spelled note?! Yikes, BYU. You let this guy in. (Don’t give this idiot another thought, N.Y.I.U. You look great).

    • You haven’t been paying attention or you didn’t read the original post…

      The man didn’t write it, the woman did…

      You would have no problems with this ensemble, if she were wearing a flesh tone brassiere? Or are you reading your own morality into it…. Oh my, I can see her brassiere! It must be of the devil!!!!

      • No, a guy wrote it, and had a woman deliver it. The author only slightly alluded to the idea that it may have been written by a catty woman, but that was mostly in jest. Besides, that is NOT a girls handwriting.

  12. While I wholeheartedly agree with most of what you say, I do disagree in one aspect. Though you may not have gotten dressed with the intention to “take away men’s agency,” what you were wearing was obviously distracting to at least two people. And maybe not because the shirt itself was immodest, but perhaps because you weren’t completely conscious of the way you may have been leaning forward or something. So I do think you need to take some responsibility instead of acting like it’s completely men’s fault for looking. In every situation like this, there is fault on both ends, so people need to stop saying it’s ALL men’s fault or ALL women’s fault. Women need to be very aware of how they’re presenting themselves, and men need to choose to use the willpower that they are definitely capable of.

    • I think it is important for all of us to realize, whilst we are struggling to be more Christlike ourselves, that we cannot grow our testimony by spending our time trying to figure out what another saint ‘intends’ or what they are doing unintentionally that may affect others in intended/unintended ways. This is described as ‘crazy making behavior’–because that’s what it does to a person, makes them crazy. And most importantly, it focuses our attention away from Christ.
      At University, students begin making tentative steps into the ‘real’ adult world. A place where nothing is ever black & white and where adults have no time to figure out what some saint may or may not have intended or done unintentionally and still honor your covenants to God, take care of your family, do your job and lead a bountiful life with the rewards the HF and Holy Spirit provide us.
      Looking to attach ‘blame’ to anyone is entirely counter-productive. Victim blaming only puts distance between ourselves and our fellow saints and victimizes/demonizes people that have nothing to be blamed for. The Lord did not say to us, “Go forth and judge, as ye be judged.” He sent us forth to be blessed by keeping his covenants and caring for one another.
      I don’t recall anywhere it says in the BoM or the Bible we are responsible for the actions–either intentional or not–or that our salvation is dependent upon individual saints living up to our specifications. Let go and let God…

      As an aside, enjoy your time in university. It’s the last real time of innocence and the last real opportunity for you to have someone else carry the freight. I encourage you to get as much education as you can. Being in school, although professors might be a hassle, is much better than working for a living. I started going to school in 1961 and didn’t stop until they drug me, kicking and screaming to the steps of university in 1998. I’d go back in a heartbeat…LOL

    • Oh my gosh!!! Who cares?? So what she was wearing a lower cut top? And so what that someone noticed her beauty? What’s so wrong with that? Why does it have to be a sin to notice someone who is attractive?? We are sexual beings! If our minds “go there” for a few seconds or minutes- so what? Acknowledge it- and let it go!!! By the way- I’m a mormon woman.

  13. As a man, I found this post to be very ‘thought’ provoking. I think it is absolutely absurd that you would be counselled on what is or is not appropriate to wear as a student at BYU you are well aware of the dress code and that shirt was not in violation of it. In scripture we are taught to achieve and maintain self mastery to include where our eyes focus and wander and to maintain our thoughts. This is ones own responsibility and it would have been fantastic had the ogler been delivered that note. I would have paid to see his reaction. Could make for a great YouTube video. In short, everyone is responsible for their own actions and sins, not those of another. Sure a woman could dress provocatively, will I notice? Yes. Do I have to leer and have inappropriate thoughts about her? That’s up to me, but personally I’ll do my best not to, and I’m not going to blame her for chosen attire. The Gospel provides us a way to live in the world, we don’t have to be of the world to enjoy ourselves.

  14. The picture of you in that shirt I think cunningly disguises what could have actually happened in the library that day. The picture is straight on, your shoulders pulled back to reveal minimal cleavage. Now let’s go to the library. Most people lean forward while studying to read their textbook, shoulders forward a bit, for at least some of the time. Add to that that this guy was likely taller than you, and you can reasonably infer that anybody in his position could see a couple inches of your cleavage. Any man would have looked! Your ignorance about how the male brain works is apparent if you don’t think most men’s gazes would not have lingered. Of course he should have looked away, but don’t pawn this off exclusively on him. You are both equally culpable, but for different sins. I’m sick of girls sacrificing modesty in the name of “cuteness”. Fact: that shirt is low cut by Mormon standards and the honor code. Fact: breasts are very much a sexualized body part in our culture. Fact: he should not stare at your breasts. Fact: your decision to wear that shirt as is will cause any but a gay man to be tempted, even if for a second. You both should have gotten a note. You look like you have a nice body and were blessed with big breasts. Good for you. Don’t marginalize that boy and control what you can control.

    • I have a good amount of self-awareness; I wouldn’t sit in a way that was inappropriate. From about 5 yards away the man’s height shouldn’t influence what he saw. I don’t think I’m ignorant of how the male brain works (and I’m pretty sure that there is no physiological difference between male and female brains). A man checking me out politely is fine, happens everyday. But he was gaping lecherously with his mouth hanging open and his eyes entranced. Besides Mormonism, besides feminism, staring is just rude.
      I don’t think we are equally culpable. I was sitting in the library, reading about Art History and not thinking about my body or “cuteness,” just about my upcoming quiz. And honestly, if he can’t focus because I’m wearing a V neck, how does he operate when he drives by billboards and window displays which reveal a lot more than I was showing? Dude needs to get a grip. Humiliating me for wearing a normal, BYU-approved outfit was uncalled for and that’s why I wrote this post (almost 6 months ago).

      • Not to be pedantic, but there are significant differences in brain physiology in males and females. For one thing, men respond to visual stimuli more than most women. Some times visual stimuli is all that it is necessary

      • You can see your bra significantly, you can see your cleavage = immodest. Solution = wear a cami, wear a different shirt. Maybe that guy was just trying to figure out your bra color. All I’m saying is that people, especially men, at BYU should have a reasonable expectation, based on the Honor Code, to not have to see this. Is that idealistic? Of course. Is that unrealistic, sadly, yes. The fact is you probably would not be able to wear that shirt with garments, and that appears to be the standard implicit in the Honor Code, whether you’re endowed or not. Men are exposed to that “stuff”, as you mentioned, everywhere else in the world. A bubble? Yes, and why not? I don’t understand why that is a bad thing for a couple of years. It’s like people are disparaging the higher standard that does and should prevail there. Why are we ashamed of that? It is not boasting, or a holier than thou attitude, or self-righteousness. (Alma 26) Why should we be ashamed to espouse and aspire to a higher standard? I don’t know, I’ve been “out in the world” for a few years no, so maybe things at BYU have changed. No hate, just outside observation and a differing opinion.

      • NYIU the comments of the past week have proven your title is exactly on. It’s been a week of toxic shaming from people claiming moral superiority. Which is more serious sin not choosing to someone else’s ideas of modest dress, or dressing to attract attention or rudely violating the privacy of a stranger with your moral judgements or entertaining purient thoughts of a stranger or is it assuming that superficial differences mean sin or is it piling on the victim of the day or is it criticizing that sister you have no intention or ability to uplift?
        You called it right, it’s a toxic society of conform or suffer cannibals. Keep thinking for yourself, you know righteousness is not what others think but recognition of your own worth.

      • First, I agree with Ben and NicoleAshley.
        Your shirt is a bit low. Even straight on, I can see the top of the breasts. And if you’re leaning forward at a table, then, yes, you’re giving people an eyeful.
        Secondly, “breasts have no sexual function.” Ummm . . you’d better do some homework on that. You’re completely wrong. That’s the ONLY reason breasts on homo sapiens are bigger. Sexual selection.
        “Maybe women just express their visually-driven nature in a more appropriate way.” Ouch, again, do some homework on this.

      • Not sure what you mean by that last comment.
        I have not been active LDS my whole life; I was very sexually active before coming to BYU and know a thing or two about sex. Breasts have no inherent reproductive function. They are as sexual as mouths, ears or legs in that they might have erotic value but are not requisite to intercourse, e.g. gay men, women who have had mastectomies can still have sex unimpeded.

      • No, they’re not involved in sexual reproduction, aside from being an erogenous zone. But they are a product of sexual selection, as is height in males.
        And my last comment is that males are more visual than females. That’s fact. Women are no more appropriate in expressing their visual orientation than men are at controlling their emotions. Different impulse strength.

      • In the “by controlling emotions” comment, I mean that women express their emotions more than men, or are more emotional. But we certainly wouldn’t say men are “more appropriate” about their emotions.

    • We know that women have no sexual desire themselves so there is no need for men to change their dress and it would be absurd to ask them to wear some kind of eye wear to disrupt their view, but we do know that women are walking sexual beings and society needs to understand that men have little to no control over their sexual urges.

      The real solution is for women to wear a burqa in public. Women should ideally avoid eye contact with men and blushing in public, and should never bend over to pick up something in case a young helpless man sees her shapely bum and totally lose control of himself. We women are not only responsible for our own sin, but the reverence of men and boys around us. It is not important that a woman is focusing on her studies so that she can become an educated member of our society, she should be focusing on how studying too hard can cause a centimeter of breast tissue to be revealed if someone happens to be standing near by, above her, and innocently staring down her shirt.

      All of this embarrassment and shaming and guilt and feeling unintentionally/unwelcomingly sexualized can be totally avoided if the woman never leaves her home. What is she doing at a university anyhow?

      New Yorker in Utah – thank you so for your post. I grew up in Utah (SLC Valley), but non-Mormon. I got a lot of unwanted and humiliating attention/comments growing up and I always dressed “modestly.” It really means a lot that a woman inside the Mormon community is speaking out because you are also speaking on behalf of women and girls outside of the LDS community, but who don’t necessary feel they have “credibility” to speak on the subject because they “don’t share the same belief systems.”

      • I agree with the above comment and New Yorker in Utah. I am sorry any girl with breasts, which is all women, when they are sitting and slightly bent over studying, walking, or moving for crying out loud will show a centimes maybe of cleavage unless they wear a turtle neck every day which is crazy. I am from CA and also going to school at BYU and have experienced a similar situation myself. I think that people here spend way to much time thinking about what other people are doing and if someone is doing something that they think is wrong. People need to worry about themselves and learn not to be so judgmental. We are in this UT Valley bubble for a few yrs, hopefully haha. I mean your t-shirt was fine! It was in no way or form provocative and you know maybe that guy just thought you looked really cute cause I am sure you are. He may not have even been staring at your breasts ,and if he was he would have been staring at them no matter what shirt you were wearing. The modesty thing really bothers me women do not dress modestly for men! We choose to dress modestly as a way to respect ourselves and our bodies. If I feel covered and modest than who are you to tell me differently it is my life not yours that girl was out of line. Haters are going to hate and have a rude awakening when they enter the real world.

  15. “Is there any reason why Latter-day Saints, nearly three million strong, have to go around like sheep, following the disgusting fashions of the world? Why should Latter-day Saint women and girls expose themselves by immodest dress, either in short skirts or tight blouses or however else you want to mention it.
    I tell you, ladies, you are not made lovely by short skirts; when you stoop over or when you sit down, especially, are you not made lovely by short skirts. It is a very serious matter. Many a boy who has lost his virtue has confessed to me that short skirts and other exposures gave him the temptation that started him on his way down. No woman — certainly no Latter-day Saint woman — has the right to tempt any young man. You don’t have the right; and if you tempt others by exposing yourself, God will hold you to account for it…

    We are told in no uncertain terms in The Book of Mormon that sex sin is next to murder in the category of crime. These are things that we need to talk about in our homes with our children, and we strongly recommend that as Latter-day Saints we keep faith with our families and preserve the ideals and the standards and the faith that the Lord has given us through the restoration of the gospel in these last days.”
    Elder Mark E. Peterson of the Council of the 12, delivered at RS Conference, Hyde Park Chapel, London, England, May 27, 1967:

    Now I don’t personally think that particular shirt was immodest and I think the note was uncalled for but the principle is correct based on the statement above. There are many more statements by prophets and apostles the earliest of which I can’t find anymore but was Brigham Young who said something to the affect of If women understood what immodest dress did to a male they would never dress immodestly again. Keep in mind the kind of dress that would have been worn during Brigham Youngs day much more modest than anything we would see today.

    Now on a different note these statements do not excuse Men from their impure thoughts or actions they are still accountable, just not exclusively a small part of the blame does go to the immodestly dressed female. In the book of Mormon in Alma 39 Verse 4 Alma is talking to his son Corianton 4: Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my son. Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith tho wast entrusted. We see here that although Isabel was a Harlot and obviously dressing very immodestly (which she will be judged for) Corianton is still held accountable.

    So please when playing the blame game look at all the facts and doctrine available and do not rely on your opinion to determine what you think is right or wrong seek the Spirit and the scriptures which will tell you the truth of all things. And please don’t think you know better than Prophets and Apostles. Heavenly Father says in D&C 1 38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same. (by servants he means Prophets and Apostles)

      • Speakeasy25,

        I am not sure what your comment is supposed to mean but I am moderately certain you are trying to insinuate that I am wrong. Perhaps I was not clear in the previous post, the vast majority of blame in a circumstance such as this falls to the male for not keeping his mind pure, however if there were no cleavage in his face to begin with he would not have had to even try. There is a small amount of blame and the women who dress immodestly are held accountable for the choices they make in dress. Perhaps you are a person who thinks that this is outdated doctrine but remember that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God is an unchanging being and just because society says to lighten up does not mean Heavenly Father will say yeah ya know what I have been uptight its not a big deal anymore. There is a reason why we are given garments in the Temple to show us what is appropriate to cover. Now keep in mind also the pendulum swings both ways men need to dress modestly also and would certainly be held accountable if they were tempting a woman to have impure thoughts. This is not a Man VS Woman issue this is a Right VS Wrong issue. Perhaps it would do you well to look at the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and see why Heavenly Father destroyed them sexual transgression was a major and perhaps the biggest contributing factor to their destruction. You are a daughter of God I am a son of God and as such we are expected to hold high standards in every aspect of our lives, including dress.

  16. As a guy at BYU, I absolutely agree. Should girls be modest? Yes. But whether they are modest or not does not excuse any man from having inappropriate thoughts. It makes me mad when I hear guys say something like that- as if it’s taken their agency away. That’s absurd-. That being said, let’s not generalize and think all guys or all Mormon guys do this as some have suggested. It’s stereotypes like this that show lack of understanding.

  17. Brian, I’m sending back to old and new testament class, you slept through those part and just flunked the final. The destruction of Sodom did not come due to sexual sin it came because of the hardness of the citizen’s hearts for the plight of strangers.
    Your have bought into the toxic myth that sex is impure. What did Christ say when asked to judge a woman who wasn’t just thinking sexually she was acting out? He said “neither do I accuse you. Go and sin no more”
    This is the gospel of redemption not accusation, shunning, hairsplitting or taboos.

    • Charlie, I’ll say it… you are mostly wrong.
      Sexual Impurity was ONE of the MANY reasons Sodom was destroyed.
      Christ never EXCUSED anyone’s sins, but told them, “sin no more”.
      Repentance is a process of seeking forgiveness and “sinning no more”.
      And we know, via the Scriptures and Modern Prophets, sexual sins are serious sins – NOT to be taken lightly.

      Brian is very correct in his opinion. If you don’t think so, take his opinion with you into your next meeting with your Bishop and ask HIS opinion…

  18. This makes me think of a time at girls camp when a nonmember who was invited by a member was yelled at because she wrapped a towel around herself (with her modest one piece swimsuit on underneath) as she was walking from the lake to her cabin. The camp leader who yelled at her said that she should put her shorts and shirt on over her swim suit because her shoulders were showing and there are Priesthood holders in camp. It was very embarrassing to the young lady who refused to return to camp another year and a complete insult to any Priesthood holder who was there. Not only did she not return to girls camp but she stopped going to church with her friend because of it.

    • Thank you! What if I were a nonmember who was unaccustomed to the LDS clothing police? What if I were a 17 year old who graduated early? I was a 17 year old college student and a letter like that would have been so inappropriate to a minor.

    • What’s with this swimming suited girl falling to an adult? What does that have to do with priesthood holders in Camp?

      God ordained us with the power of the Priesthood. However, it was not necessary to give, at least to me, the ability to know that all women are not sex objects. I think I was born knowing this, so it must be something Heavenly Father put in my head as I passed into this life.

      Does an adult yelling at a child about something the child knows nothing about promote the Gospel? Make people want to come to church or have the missionaries come talk Is this really the light of Christ shinning through us, allowing us to be more Christ like?

      • By feeling like you have to protect priesthood holders from seeing things they supposedly can’t handle infantilizes the priesthood. It almost turns the priesthood on its head.

        I forgot to mention, I am 56 years old. At some point in your lives, you won’t have time to worry about things like this. You’ll be too busy with the life you live–the Church, callings, your wife & kids, a job and about a million other things.

        This happened to me the first time I got a full time job and started buying things on time…

  19. Dear.
    Sometimes I think people living un Salt lake área live in a bubble and that they área not aware of what is going on in the rest of the world. Even the most pure and priestful man in the planet would look at a beautiful lady like you, if not he is probably not a good prospect to marry cause he is not going to give you kids. Those feelings are normal de just have ti control them. The people with the real problem are the one too concern about others and everything they can see with their eyes witch most of the time tell us wrong about others. Tolerance is not just a word it is a way of living. I’m married to a wonderful woman. She was not a member and she used to wear sleeveless and big cleavege tshirt but her heart was so innocent and pure she stole my heart. We hace three kids and de are sealed in the temple. I love the church but i understand that some mormons think they must look good people instead of being a good people with common sense. Love from Chile.

  20. You seem like a sweeheart but i need to be frank: you are badly ignorent of mens brains if you think that that is a appropriate clothes to wear to a MORMAN COLLEGE! im not even morman and i know its bad. especially if you are leaning over a desk!!! of course he looked and he shouldt have to look down your cleavage when he is just trying to study at a school where he was promised he wouldn’t have to see cleavage!!!! byu has an HONOR CODE, did you not know that when you came?? if you want to wear breasty shirts you should go to a different college!! im a very nice man so im going to explain to you that modest clothes are for YOUR OWN PROTECTION
    would you waer that shirt to JOB INTERVIEW?? PORBABLY NOT!
    girls can’t complain about the dress code because tey have so many clothes options at the store but men dont? if you have big boobies like you have you need to COVER THEM!!! what would your HUSBAND think? oh yea no REAL man wants to marry a girl like you

  21. 1 There no sexual act in the library.
    2 God made man and woman to be sexual.
    3 Adultery and marriage achieved by deception are serious sin because they involve covenant breaking.
    4 Unmarried sexual activity is dangerous becase it puts a divine calling to shame and is deception by misdirection. Those are two serioysly sinful things.
    5 We are a covw nant people: we do all things by covenant. When break them or knowingly refuse them, that is the essense of sin.
    6 Who told you I wasn’t a bishop?
    7 As a teacher I recommend you do some scripture study of difference between sin and transgression. First hint, sin is not rule breaking or disobedience, something else is required.

  22. I have a question for men wh go to
    BYU-I am LDS, but I dididnt go to BYU. It seems that more and more BYU Grads. and RMs dont like LDS women anymore, and are only interested in marrying hot babes outside if the temple. My question is why dont you like virtuous women anymore? I understand sometimes you meet the right woman and you cant get married in the temple right away. I am talking about men who want to marry women who look like playboy models. If you do that, fine. Practice what you preach and dont go on a mission and go to BYU. FYI-No I am not an ugly jealous woman. I just hate hypocrites.

  23. I have a question for men who go to BYU-I am LDS, but I didnt go to BYU. It seems that more and more BYU Grads. and RMs dont like LDS women anymore, and are only interested in marrying hot babes outside of the temple. My question is why dont you like virtuous women anymore? I understand sometimes you meet the right woman and you cant get married in the temple right away. I am talking about men who want to marry women who look like playboy models. If you do that, fine. Practice what you preach and dont go on a mission and go to BYU. FYI-No I am not an ugly jealous woman. I just hate hypocrites.

    • Pornography illusions the male mind into thinking a “playboy model” girl is easy to have. To me that gives a pretty good explanation.

      • What world do you live in? Go to church, look at the couples. See many porn-star looking wives? See many men who are disappointed that their wives don’t look like porn stars? Men and women have sex drives, they do not suppress that sex drive while waiting for a ‘playboy’ model to show up. Men, actually, marry women they love; not just for what they look like. Your statement make it sound like men are incredibly shallow and will abandon everything just to get a porn ster-oid in bed.

        You are LDS, how do you know what porn conditions people to do? LOL

  24. I agree Brian. But why do guys, LDS INCLUDED, look only at girls that dress immodestly? I saw this at singles wards many times. Instead of looking at girls who dress modestly who have great personalities, you chase anything with a phony personality and a short skirt, then complain about those type of people. NEWSFLASH-Stop flirting with those kinds of girls and they will stop real fast. They only dress like that because they know its what you like.

    • Probably because males respond to visual stimuli. This is neuroscience, not morality.

      How do you know all these women have phony personalities? What is a phony personality, anyway?

  25. Pingback: Do the Scriptures Teach That Women Should Avoid Skin-Exposing Fashion?

  26. Hello NYIU girl,

    I really appreciated this post. I was referred to it by a friend after complaining about a similar problem I have had. I actually was told by a close friend’s mom that I could not hang out with her anymore because I wore inappropriate clothing and because of that I was a bad influence. Lets keep in mind that at the time, I was 15, it was in the middle of August and I had been coming to her house straight from cheer leading practice. Were my shorts knee-length? No, but she had no right to say I was a bad influence for wearing them.

    Many years later, I have looked back and continue to stand by my decision to not let my peers tell me what I can and can’t wear. I have been a member of the church my whole life and was always taught modesty, but the judgmental environment often fostered at BYU or other church institutions should not be acceptable. I chose to leave Idaho and go to school in a different area so that I would not have to face things like what you have. What has this actually given me as I am about to graduate, four years later?

    I have learned that yes, the standards given to us for modesty have a purpose. They show us women to respect ourselves. Much of the reason I stay relatively modest is basically to follow the law of chastity, which I believe is broken when we reveal too much. However, I completely agree with you. Unfortunately, the culture of this Mormon environment has made student overly sensitive to everything. A guy that sees a girl with a “low cut” shirt in the library at BYU, is unfortunately just as stimulated as an underwear model wearing lingerie at any other college. To someone like you or me, this is very frustrating, cause like you said, you had no intentions of “tempting” any guy when you put on that shirt.

    To anyone criticizing this claim, I would like you to step into my, or NYIU girl’s shoes. When I get dressed in the morning, I choose clothing that 1. I think is beautiful, 2. Is flattering to my body (meaning highlights the fact that I am a healthy, fit girl) and 3. Is appropriate for whatever function I am attending, or the task of the day. Think about how you would feel following that criteria and then receiving that note. I would feel ashamed and humiliated, but then I would just feel angry. Angry that now I am perceived as the “BYU Harlot” when that very morning, I looked in the mirror and felt like a beautiful daughter of God.

    Thank you for writing this message NYIU girl. It is important to make these personal moments bigger than yourself. As a devout LDS woman, I look up to you for standing up and saying something.

    • Why do you care so much about what other people think? Your grooming/dress standards are very good. Then you let something some neanderthal says make you feel ashamed and humiliated.

      You’re still dressed to your own standards. Why would you care what some GIRL (it was a girl who wrote the note) thinks about how you dress?

  27. I have not read any of the other comments, and this is just my opinion, but sometimes sex is such a shameful topic in the Church frankly, I think it shames men and makes the problem worse. I can imagine that young man, raised with a moral standard, and seeing your chest, and immediately feeling shameful. It’s unfortunate that we cannot enjoy beauty where beauty is. Even as I write this, I feel like many will read into what I’m saying, but as a man, I think the female body is beautiful. I don’t see such a big deal if a woman chooses to advertise it a little. For me, the problem comes when a young man looks, and feel’s he has sinned. It’s not true. God created us in his image, and he did a FANTASTIC job. I feel that if that young man had had the opportunity to look, and appreciate, perhaps he would have thought to himself, “Wow, she’s very attractive”. Is this not how a man and woman meet? Certainly it’s not by passing shame notes through another female friend. Lol!

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve been shamed many times over looking and admiring. I don’t think I’m creepy. Far from it actually.

    When I go running this weekend, I plan on wearing my short shorts. Haha, I appologize if this makes any girls have unclean thoughts. Actually, I would be very flattered if they did. That’s where it ends though. I’ve been happily married for 15 years, and I’m not planning on changing that.

  28. This whole situation is just sad.
    I feel sorry for the girl who passed the note. She was raised to think that way, to judge others and ‘help’ others. So she is acting self righteously and that doesn’t do good for anyone.
    I feel sorry for the guy who was ooogling. He was taught to not masterbate or have sex so he can’t help himself when any woman is around because he is so backed up. And everybody shames him! He shames himself! So sad
    I feel sorry for the girl who got the note. She was shamed for noooo reason!!!!!
    I feel sorry for Mormons in general. The real world is waiting for you. Do your research and trust your gut when you feel theirs issues in the church. Just open the door to being free from captivity of the mind.

  29. Thank you for sharing your feelings about this. I am an LDS woman in her early twenties, single, and a college graduate. I don’t think it is empowering to be modest, and I don’t think it is empowering to be immodest, because acting out of shame for the opposite gender is not empowering or beautiful. We are born with beauty. It’s a shame that beauty is hardly a subject when it comes to modesty. Instead the natural state of woman is portrayed as objectifying her for men and her need to “cover-up”. I personally don’t wear a bra, partially because I am an anti-conformist, and partially because I feel healthier and more beautiful in my natural state. I also wear bakinis when I go swimming, because I don’t like the feeling of all the tight material from a one-piece suffocating my skin. So I relax, enjoy my beauty, and let whoever wants to judge live in their world of misjudgment.

  30. Wow. I am also a New Yorker in Utah, moved to the Salt Lake valley a little over a year ago. However, I am not LDS. It has been very difficult.
    This culture is very strange, to say the least. Some of these posts display that strangeness perfectly. I am a Catholic, a very proud Catholic, and since moving here I now have a terrifying understanding of what it means to be a minority.
    This woman’s shirt is far from “immodest.” For those of you, LDS or not, who believe it is, I ask you to ponder this; Mormon youth have some of the highest suicide rates in the country. Your religion has what it calls an overwhelming problem with pornography. I personally have never met more self-righteous and judgemental people in my entire life. Jesus Christ is not worried about this shirt. He is definitely worried about all that judgement, He is worried about how Mormon’s treat others not of their own faith, He is worried about all of these people who try hard to live up to these so-called “standards” and feel they can’t take it anymore, He is worried about all of these people feeling that they have to publicly squash their natural, God given sexual curiosity while committing “sins” behind closed doors. Wake up LDS church and BYU…teach a course to empower thinking for ones self, making the right choices for your own life. Jesus wants very little from us, all He asks is for us to love one another, live honestly and serve. Leave the judgement to Him, you have no right.

      • That was really good. I agree with a lot of what you said. I want to say though that by stating an entire group of people are like that sounds just as judgmental. I think the point would have been stronger had you left it open that not every Mormon is like this. It would have sounded less judgmental and thereby would have solidified your argument to… not judge.

        That being said though, we Mormons can often be appallingly judgmental and not even realize it, I myself have been guilty of this. I’d like to join with you in calling many to examine the way you look at others and and then ask yourself how God thinks about them.

      • You would be right if I was not going on personal experience. So in reality I am not judging, but stating the facts as I know them to be. Myself, and most especially my children in the incredibly inadequate school system here in Utah, have experienced unbelievable judgment. Unbelievable. My children are of course singled out because they do not attend “seminary”, which truly belongs absolutely no where in a public school system. It makes me want to scream. There is so much wrong in this very young religion, and it needs to take note or it will fail.
        However I should also note that I am married to a Mormon, who is the greatest man I have ever met. Sadly, he can not practice the faith he loves because he married an “outsider”. An outsider who is very committed to and loves her own faith and will never be a Mormon. It’s sad, because it doesn’t bother us at all. We both respect and love the other all the more for having that faith.
        Because it meant so much to my husband, I always had a special place in my heart for the LDS faith. Until I moved here to Utah. My husband’s son was married at the Salt Lake temple last June, my husband was not allowed to see his son get married because he had the nerve to marry me. I’m sorry, but Jesus would never sanction a house in His name that did not welcome EVERYONE! All people. Jesus would tell the LDS higher ups how wrong they are to think they can “recommend” any human being to enter His house. I am appalled by this. That any of these children are raised to do anything less then respect people of other faiths is horrifying. My kids are Catholic, part of a religion that feeds, clothes, houses, and educates more people every day than any other charitable organization on earth. Yet they can’t make friends at school because of this. Absurd.
        The LDS church is very young and fairly small. It seems to me that without a certain respect for much larger, much older and wiser, and far more followed religions, this church is doomed. Outside of Utah it is a very small population of people who practice this faith. Christ loves us all. He wants us to live good lives and treat each other well. We may not necessarily agree with each others beliefs, but that is okay. There needs to be mutual respect, and even admiration. Faith in a higher power is a beautiful thing that should unite us in its wonder. The only “right” is Christ. Here we are all just winging it! As long as we love, we are winging it well…..

  31. To me, the girl who gave the note sounded like a creepy lesbian (Not all lesbians are creepy, just this one) who gets her fix off of saying stuff like that. When I was a on a mission, there was a member who would say similar stuff to sisters, even when there was no problem at all. I don’t know why he did it, but the way he did it was a lot like this. This is an example of someone being a creep and a jerk, which is a lot more widespread than just a “BYU” problem.

    • What’s a “creepy lesbian?”

      It is not polite to make generalizations about groups of people, regardless of who they are. Do you see President Monson making these kinds of judgments? Christ’s teachings have made me realize that Jesus taught acceptance. Not intolerance and bigotry.

      On the up side, you will, eventually, grow up and find better things to do with you time than worry about what people do in their bedrooms. Like make a living and loving your family.

  32. Feminism. The idea of it is superficially valuable, but in reality without meaning. Feminism is about valuing women as equal to men. That in and of itself is true, and as it should be. However, women will never find equality seeking it from without, because their value comes from within. However, feminists seem to have no idea what true value really is nor where to find it. They seek after things of lesser value in order to ascertain a higher value. This doesn’t work. It is not in seeking lower value things that you find greater value. It is in recognizing your own value independent of others that allows you to be an equal. You are an equal because you see yourself as an equal. That’s all that matters. To say it is unequal for women to have to abide by the standards of modesty in order to be chaste because if they would not, then they would fuel the lustful passions of men is absurd. Modesty is cherished because it helps you to recognize your value. The female body is beautiful. Especially in the eyes of men. They crave it. However, a woman is more than her body. The whole of her being is greater than her visibile form. She is not her curves. She is not her cleavage. She is not slenderness and seductiveness. Those are parts of her, but she is oh so much more. To not recognize this would be harmful or diminishing to the value of women. Thus, to aspire to imodesty believing that it breeds equality is rubbish. If you aspire to imodesty because you belive that it will bring about equality. Go for it. Be imodest. Show your curves. Show your cleavage. Wear pants that reveal your form so perfectly as to show whats truly there. But where will that get you? You will have embraced a lower level of yourself. You will have embraced the superficial parts of you, those parts that are without meaning or real and lasting value. And you will make them everything to you. You will try to make them everything to everyone else as well. So now what happens when age diminishes your physique? When your form is no longer as curvacious or seductive, as appealing and beautiful. What then? Is your value therefore diminished? Are you a lesser being? Do you have less to offer? I think not. And the reason is simple, you are not as you appear. So don’t derive your value from it. Don’t seek equality in it. You will never find happiness this way. You can gain all of the freedom and “equality” that you seek. But you will be left with nothing. Because that which you aspire to isn’t truly equality. That which you aspire to isn’t truly freedom. You are aspiring to a lesser end, a fairytale that doesn’t end happily ever after. BECAUSE YOUR VALUE IS NOT IN YOUR APPEARNCE—IT IS IN YOUR BEING.

    • Here’s the prob: my “being” is not impacted by my appearance. Wearing a V-neck doesn’t take away the interesting things about me, nor does it even hide them. I am just as complex and nuanced a person on a swimsuit as I am in a turtleneck.
      Also, as you said, appearance is fleeting and insignificant in the long run. So my clothing isn’t really something that needs to be critiqued, especially by strangers. Get it?

      • Nick, I can see it must be frustrating to understand women. You told women that who they are the inside is what you value, not the external and you are told you “could not be more condescending”??

        I appreciate what you said. Don’t give up. Some young women do actually think beyond the “I have a right to walk down street naked and not be raped” mantra. There are women willing to look at their insides and what drives and motivates them, and how that plays out in behavior and need for and expression of their feminine power.

    • Rereading your response is actually making me pretty frustrated. You, as a man, understand the value of a woman and need to explain it to me? Could you be any more condescending? There are SO many flaws in your argument I don’t even have the energy to address them. You are hugely sexist and I hope, for the sake of the women in your life, that you are able to correct this.

    • Nick, I can see it must be frustrating to understand women. You told women that who they are the inside is what you value, not the external and you are told you “could not be more condescending”??

      I appreciate what you said. Don’t give up. Some young women do actually think beyond the “I have a right to walk down street naked and not be raped” mantra. There are women willing to look at their insides and what drives and motivates them, and how that plays out in behavior and need for and expression of their feminine power.

      • Nowhere in this article did I use the words ‘naked’ or ‘rape.’ I do think beyond that mantra, though. I speak fluent Spanish, have a solid and comprehensive understanding of genetic anthropology/evolution, and have a background in dance and cheer. I think about more than just my right to not be raped, thankyouverymuch.

  33. //LIKE// You called it right: condescension and presumption.

    Rewrite his post substituting “man” for “woman” “he” for “she” and other male descriptives for the female used in the original and it become clear what a superficial argument this is

    Patriarchalism. The idea of it is superficially valuable, but in reality without meaning. Patriarchy is about valuing men as equal to women. That in and of itself is true, and as it should be. However, men will never find equality seeking it from without, because their value comes from within. However, patriarchalists seem to have no idea what true value really is nor where to find it. …

    Equality not the same as justice. It is not a zero sum game in which your equality requires reduction of someone else’s. I have enough experience with feminism to know it is not a simplistic counting of mine and yours, its a change in attitude that value or worth can’t be assessed based on one’s prejudices, stereotype and classifications. It takes time and effort to understand the value of a person. If you don’t have the time, then assume that the person is a child of God as all of us are, do not devalue.

    Your concept of modesty and mine probably differ but that is of no consequence since you do not need to be modest to please me and I do not to please you. But I do know this: modesty is not clothes or mode of dress, it is the attitude each takes of feelings of the other. Modesty is letting others come to their own conclusions by your actions rather than persona. One cannot be modest with someone she does not know, neither can she be immodest.

    Stay strong, I hope this school year was better than last.

  34. ahh the fun of the modesty topic and people that you may encounter at BYU.. or UVSC for that matter…or down South… it’s not necessarily indicative of an entire campus or state. But it is fun to share the crazy stories isn’t it? I loved my BYU experience and hated it sometimes too. It’s college people are still learning, some come from very very sheltered lives and are trying their best. I try and think they’re just really sheltered people who don’t come from places of maliciousness. From your description of how they did it I’m guessing that’s the case.

    Separately, I am most certain I was the object of much conversation. My guy friends always pointed out that more women oogled me than men. I’m very amply endowed. i.e when I’m pregnant my “breasts,” as one commenter pointed out yours were showing (laugh), touch my collar bone. Yep I’d literally have to be in a turtleneck to be modest. They still show quite a bit with my garments.. all of the styles…long/large chested, round to square. The rambling point I’m trying to make is that I think there’s been a great dialogue about what modesty is and really why it’s so important– which is great to take it to a level that really will impact future generations as they make clothing decisions versus tying it to either extreme. I’m pretty sure you’ve seen Beauty Redefined or

    • This isn’t about clothing choices–and I’m sorry you can’t see that. It is about autonomy–pure and simple. No one has the right to tell you what to do with your body. Period.

      • I didn’t miss any point. She’s at BYU and signed an honor code saying she would dress to certain standards. She chose to agree to a certain modesty. That’s going to BYU. The woman who handed her the note obviously thought she was in violation. As have a few commenters. I think all of that is extremist and she’s definitely not in violation of anything she agreed to with BYU. The larger issue this brings up is the belief that as women we are responsible for all good or bad and that modesty is tied to many other things than something personal. That she was some how responsible for gross guy…the links I shared take a different viewpoint on conventional Utah modesty and responsibilities.

  35. I’ve grown up with sisters all my life and I can understand how hard it can be for women to find modest clothes. I’m grateful that they try their best to follow the standards. I’m a firm believer in modesty and that girls should help the young men out and vice versa (Yes I believe that guys can be immodest too). Yes it seems unfair that LDS women/girls should be treated this way if they’re trying their best to be modest. However I believe that this is a two way argument. I believe that girls should dress modestly as to avoid having other people (especially men) to have inappropriate thoughts about them BUT I also believe that Alma was right in the Book of Mormon when he was talking to his sons Shiblon and Corianton: “…see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love….” “Now my son, I would that ye should repent and forsake your sins and go no more after the lusts of your eyes, but cross yourself in all these things; for except ye do this ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Oh, remember and cross yourself in all these things.” (Alma 38:12 & Alma 39:9). Yes it’s the guy’s fault that he was looking when he shouldn’t have. Sadly we don’t have control over other people’s agency. So I believe that the author is right. If she is trying her very best to be modest then she isn’t in the wrong. If she was wearing an immodest shirt (which she wasn’t in this case) then she would be drawing attention to that part of her body and it would be both parties fault.

  36. I don’t believe that women should be “responsible” for men’s thoughts. But I do have to say that your bra showing through your shirt is well, tacky and yes, I’m sorry, but you can see cleavage, you shouldn’t be wearing a shirt that low cut. As member’s we are taught to dress modestly. Pretty color though, maybe something else in that shade of blue.

  37. I am a woman and not a Mormon, but I have a close Mormon friend, so I have been trying to understand her beliefs. Reading your post though kind of shocked me. You could just as easily be speaking about Islamic culture or Hasidic Jews, or in general, men who say women are asking for it if they show any body part that is suggestive. So the woman is responsible for the mans thoughts and urges?!
    Biologically men think about sex a lot more than any woman could imagine, and by their nature they look at womens body parts- whether women are wearing school marm clothes to low cut alike. Its not even personal. A culture that shames men for their natural thoughts and women for just being in front of a man to stimulate thise natural thoughts seems distorted and unkind to me.

  38. Get a grip on reality, people! Where did this obsession with thoughts come from in the first place? How do my thoughts have anything to do with a woman’s choice of clothing? My thoughts are private and no one else’s business. I think this dude deserves the benefit of the doubt. He was probably worried about a term paper and he was spacing out. I’ve been mistakenly accused of staring a breasts too in the same predicament. Also, what if he was looking? No need to shame him for goodness sake! I’ve been in the library and I know for a fact that women are just as guilty of ogling at unmentionable body parts when they think no one’s looking. Its really funny. The only difference is guys don’t make a big deal about it.

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