Saturday, December 19, 2009

Can men defraud women?

This question was asked via e-mail: Can men defraud women?
Strictly speaking, yes. The definition of "defraud" would be different between men and women. Most ATI/QF believe that men and women respond to different stimulus. When the Duggar girls yell "NIKE", it's to alert their brothers to a female dressed inappropriately. This isn't a two way street. The boys wouldn't yell it out if they saw a man dressed in skimpy clothing. People like the Duggars believe that women are "defrauded" by suggestive words, touching, or contact with a man. They believe that women are "stimulated" by the heart and the body -and men are stimulated by the eyes and ears. The hard part for a girl is that this puts an insane amount of pressure and responsibility on her head. Boys could be defrauded by (this list is not a complete list, just based on my memories): flirtation (looks or speech), the way she acts around a man, the way she dresses, the words she uses (you don't talk about the body because it might make a man think about your body), and the way she carries herself physically. I was accused of defrauding a male in our circle because my dress got hitched on a fence and rose up. I was told that a real woman wouldn't even sit on the fence because the action could cause a man to think sinful thoughts. I am not kidding when I say I was told: "the man could think of himself as the fence with you sitting astride on top of him."

This really can get taken too far. I knew of girls who would do nothing in a male's presence, including sitting down at all. They would stand, legs firmly together, hands sweetly folded in front, for fear of their walk or position defrauding the men in the room. To be fair, I know of boys who would never be caught dead alone in a room with a girl or speaking to a girl.

The funnier aspect is that you can imagine how often people get tossed under the bus to save your reputation. You can always blame someone else for your impure thoughts. There's no personal responsibility and that is contrary to the alleged goals.


  1. Ruth,
    Your post does not suprise me, as even on the "outside" world, there are still people who hold women accountable for how a man behaves. Things are getting better, but people are quick to blame a woman's short skirt, clevage, or fliration for a man's rudeness, unwelcome sexual advances, fondling and yes even rape. For some people still the word "No" (to sex, to a kiss or to anything) does not mean "NO" if your skirt is short or you smiled at him or kissed him.

    Fortunately done of the guys I know think this way, but the attitude still exists. Perhaps one day soon, adults will be accountable for their own actions, rather than blaming the object of their desire for their "tempations".

    Thanks for writing.

  2. The fence example made me laugh - and want to cry. Don't these people have to have such filthy, fearful minds to come up with things like this? I was accused of sexual motives for everything as a teenager - getting cheap xmas gifts for my male friends (even when it was clear I had bought gifts for everyone I knew), wanting to sleep on the couch when we stayed over someone's house rather than inconvenience them by making the son give up his room... I was always stunned by the accusations because I'd been trained not to think about sex at all. Yet here was every 'righteous' adult I knew planting innuendo in my most innocent actions. Hypocrisy, thy name is fundamentalism.

  3. Worse, this reminds me of the Salem witch trials -- anything and everything that could possibly have gone wrong was blamed on the accused witch, from nightmares to impure thoughts to the old cow finally going dry.

    Ditto the Inquisition. If you confessed, then obviously you were guilty and tortured as punishment. If you didn't confess then you were guilty AND stubborn and tortured until you confessed. There's just no way to beat the system.

    -- tatortotcassie

  4. I want to live my best and make sure that nothing I did caused someone to stumble, but many times it's a matter of blame and a male not wanting to own up to his own sin, not the girl's fault at all. A lot of it matters on the person's heart and attitude. A woman can defraud a man even fully clothed if she is trying to, and a man can make himself lust because simply: he wants to. Everyone knows in their heart what they really are, blaming someone or not. I think it's sad that there is no proper balance: one crowd shifts the blame on the girl, another crowd shifts it all on the guy.
    The Girl in the Pink Dress

  5. Out of curiousity, what is your email? I'm thinking of using parts of your story in a short story I'm writing for a competition for my university, and I wanted to clear it with you first. I don't like giving out details like my school, name etc on public forums, and also I don't like hijacking such forums for my personal use, so I would be very grateful for the opportunity to discuss it one on one. Thank you very much.

  6. My experience is that often "defrauding" a women by touching or some other experience is more often considered "defrauding your future husband", so it's still really the girl's fault. If you (as a girl) get into a situation where there is any sexuality, you're no longer pure enough for your future husband and if you dress immodestly you are "defrauding" someone else's future husband. Now that I'm out of that world it makes me so unwilling to use the word "modesty"! :]

  7. Girl in the Pink Dress, I don't get what you're saying: in what case would a man be defrauded (of his virtue) against his will?

    People have control over their own actions. If someone is forced to do something against their will, they haven't lost any virtue because they didn't DO anything. But nobody can force you to sin.

  8. Ruth, years ago I tried to sort through all this garbagiola on lust, ala IBLP, and the more I thought, the more oppressed I began to feel. I know some of Gothard's teachings need to be pondered, and answered, but for me (just speaking for myself, not what you should do), the answer was to put it out of my mind.

    If I didn't do that, I kept on feeling as though I needed a bath.

    I believe now, years later, the reason is, is I can't be held responsible for the whole world. I am only responsible for my conduct. One thing people in ATI/IBLP do is WAY overthink, over talk, overdo everything on this matter. And that leads to a second, more subtle problem -- the more one thinks this way, the more one tends to be focused on sex. For me - a funny movie, baking something, gardening (as one man told me - "It's the one fantasy you can indulge in."), sports, ANYTHING but thinking about that.

    When I get dressed in the morning, I try to be modest. I make efforts to not cozy up to other men (I'm married). I try to stay sensitive to alarm bells and heed them. Beyond that, I just forget the subject. It's too oppressive for me. Your mileage may vary, but that is how I've come to see things.

  9. I only meant a woman can cause a man to lust if she is out to do it AND the man has that kind of attitude. If the man has the right attitude, he would do the right thing no matter what the woman does.
    I didn't mean it another way.
    The Girl in the Pink Dress

  10. As the mother of three sons, we (their father and I) have taught them that they are *SOLELY* responsible for any thoughts or "battles with lust" that they may have. There will be no blaming any female, and I don't care if she's dancing in the middle of the street in a bikini. We are human beings and we have the capacity to make our own choices, and we must be individually responsible for them.

    Now I quite realize that the patrio people would say I have a limited understanding of the "way a man's mind works", but we don't buy that nonsense. Men do not get a free pass and get to blame their problems on women just because they are supposedly "more visual" than women (which I honestly think is nonsense, too).

    I was raised in a church that had a lot of these beliefs. As a 12-year-old girl, it seemed ridiculously stupid that I could be responsible for "making" some guy sin by playing softball or wearing a button-down shirt or whatever other incredible nonsense was fed to us. Needless to say, I haven't changed my opinion on the matter.

    These people need to grow up and accept responsibility for their own actions and thoughts. If sitting on a fence, playing softball, or eating strawberries (as I read on another blog) is going to cause a guy to sin, I really don't have any sympathy for his sick mind, and the problem for him obviously goes way deeper than what I or any other woman is wearing.


  11. As a former Muslim I understand this mentality so well. I remember being so wound up and stressed out about my ankles showing, a wrist showing, how I was walking, if a piece of hair is slipping out, if my laugh is too loud, if I looked at the guy's face I would be seen as coming on to him, and so on. UGH!!!!

  12. What really shows how much religion does not understand sexuality is the idea of a man thinking of a another woman while married makes it a sin like actually followed through.
    if there is a sexual relationship between a married couple for more then a few years I bet it is a 100% chance the man has thought of other women while having sex his wife.
    this is perfectly natural and has always happened. but it something else to feel guilty about and screwup a persons life.
    religion has always been about placing blame on someone or gods shoulders.

  13. Wow,
    I just found your blog, linked from one of my yahoo groups.
    I am impressed with your articulation. Dealing with coming out of ATI into the real world can be traumatic.
    Your posts have helped me explain some of my experiences to a friend.

    I wish you well in your journey to normality. Tell your therapist thank seems having the blog is helping you, and I know as a new reader it is helping others.

  14. I read this post a few days ago since I stumbled into this blog as my point of beginning and have since gone back to the start to get the whole picture. However this post about the fence post and skirt was just horribly disturbing (although I laughed at first). It has popped into my mind a couple of times, since it mirrors the chidings that I had received. Ironic that something innocent like finding a place to sit and a skirt gets stuck, turns into blame for you and they paint such a vivid picture of a sexual position. I wonder who truly has the issue?? How is it that is we (especially as girls) were to remain pure and not think of or have discussions about sex, while they are able to be sooo hypocritical and cause you to think about sex when you were just being innocent. If there was someone defrauded - I would say that it was you! No wonder there are so many issues around sex in QF!

  15. These concepts are very similar to what I've read about Islam and the control of women.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.