Snark ahead. Girl and woman used interchangeably.
The shaming of the fairer sex by a Christian fundamentalist is on public display at Girl Defined: Getting Back to God’s Design. Today’s shaman is Beecher Proch. Part of a family singing group, 4 Proches, Proch has a blog and is part of Broch Productions, a Christian film company. You can also find Proch on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. He is a 2014 graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regents University and has written articles for several websites that cater to primarily a young female Evangelical Christian clientele, including Lies Young Women Believe and A Lovely Calling. I could find no articles by Proust on male focused sites, so it makes me wonder, with all the writing on female focused sites, if Proch is trolling for a covered up, hot Christian woman. Or, perhaps he is, oh, I don’t dare go there.
In today’s culture modesty is totally out of style. The phrase that I’d say best describes the current trend would be “less is more – show your skin.” Skin is everywhere: billboards, magazines, social media – everyone everywhere seems to be attempting to show off as much skin as possible and draw as much attention to themselves as they can.
The American culture is constantly putting the *wrong* message into girls’ heads. “If you don’t flaunt what you’ve got, guys are going to pass you over and move on to the skin-revealing, midriff-baring, hottie.”
Right away, Proch uses the word “modesty, a word he never defines other than to suggest immodest is showing too much flesh. How much flesh showing is too much? A little leg, a little cleavage, a little shapely form?
Proch assumes to know why women dress the way they do. In his mind, any woman who exceeds his modesty standard is trying to attract attention to themselves or is out to get a man. I will leave it to the women who read this blog to educate the young, unmarried, and I assume virginal Master Proch.
Proch buys into the notion that men are visual and women are not. While men certainly demonstrate their desire through a gaze, a look, or a creepy look, women are also visually attracted to men and other women. After Polly and I deconverted, we talked about this subject many times. I wanted to know what type of men, beside the stud muffin she is married to, Polly was attracted to. At first, fearing it would offend me, she didn’t want to say. Now, she freely gives her opinion on the male form. She really liked the movie Magic Mike, a psychological thriller about a man who does magic shows for children. I am always surprised at the type and look of men she likes. I’ll see an attractive actor on TV and I’ll ask, do you find him attractive? The man I think she will think is hot is rarely right.
Each of us process the visual world differently. Do men view the world differently from women? Sure. But, is this a genetic difference or the result of social conditioning, parental training, religious influence, education, and personal likes and dislikes? Again, I will leave it to female readers to educate Proch.
Before Proch launches into his version of slut shaming, he makes it clear that:
…men are 100% accountable for where they put their eyes, and what they do with what they see once it enters their mind…
And then he says BUT,
…But I also know this: it sure is a blessing and encouragement when a woman makes the effort to dress modestly.
A woman who doesn’t reveal as much skin as she can shows love and consideration for the men around her striving to pursue godliness…
In other words, if women really love and care for weak, pathetic, helpless, sex-crazed, vagina seeking Evangelical men, they will make sure they watch Little House on the Prairie and Little Women to learn how to dress. Either that or let Proch educate them on exactly what the Bible says about modesty. According to Prouch:
Modesty is Biblical! It shows that a woman understands who she is in Christ and that she knows she’s valued by God. A woman’s body is beautiful and amazing. There’s no embarrassment in how different the shape of a woman’s body is from a man’s.
Modesty doesn’t hide the difference, it clearly acknowledges it with the correct attitude and focus on God’s creative differences in body shape. Immodesty focuses on the body with the wrong attitudes of lust, pride, and self-focus.
Proch demands that Evangelical women and women everywhere adhere to his understanding of modesty. He even gives some rules he wishes women would abide by. Remember, these rules are derived from his interpretation of the Bible, so this means that these rules were given to Proch by God on Mount Sinai:
- Dress modestly! Cover up the cleavage, ditch the short shorts, and go for some fashionable, but modest, clothing. Convictions in this area will differ, but I think we can all agree that clothing which blatantly draws attention to certain parts of your body isn’t modest. Do the mirror check before heading out the door.
- Think twice before posting that photo to social media. Are you holding your photos on Facebook and Instagram to the same standards you yourself hold in real life? Could the photos you post cause others to stumble? Here’s a great post by Kristen about seductive selfies that will challenge your posting standards.
- Ask yourself this catchy little phrase: “Is it too high at the bottom, too low at the top, or too tight around the curves?” Then respond appropriately.
Proch goes even further by suggesting that a woman can cover herself up and still have an immodest spirit and attitude. This spirit and attitude is shown in how the woman carries herself, whatever that means. I suppose he can look in a woman’s eyes or watch her walk and discern that she has an immodest spirit and attitude?
Here’s the bottom line for Proch; women need to get right with God. According to him, immodest dress is a sign of a heart problem:
I Corinthians 6:20 tells us to “…glorify God in your body.” The next time you go to put on those shorts with the 2 inch inseam, or the shirt that reveals cleavage, ask yourself, “Is this really glorifying to God? Will it direct people’s thoughts towards God, or will it lead them somewhere else with their thoughts (and eyes)?” Remember your ultimate end is to honor God with every single thing you do.
I know, nothing new here. Just another screed by an Evangelical man who blames women for the moral (using the word moral as Evangelicals do) failing of weak, pathetic, sex-crazed, visually stimulated Evangelical men. Out here in the evil world of unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines, men are generally required to own their sexuality. It is up to me to choose how I sexually respond to others. I am a married man in a committed, monogamous relationship. This fact determines the parameters of my sexuality. That said, my wife doesn’t scold or chide me when I enjoy female beauty or comment on the female shape. She gives me a boys will be boys look and is quite glad I still look at her the same way. Beecher Proch needs to grow up and spend some time in a world that is not dominated by Christian fundamentalism. Perhaps then he can learn to not blame women for the sexual ills of males. His post is little more than another example of the slut shaming that is all too common in Evangelicalism. (please see my recent post Dear Kristen Welch, How to Make Sure Your Teen Age Son Can’t Handle His Sexuality and Rebecca Davis Worried About Her Lustful Four Year Old Ogling A Woman Wearing a Bikini and other post on human sexuality)