Yoga Pants and Freedom-To-Do-Whatever Debate

Video presentation of this article: part 1, and part 2

Responding to “What’s wrong with wearing yoga pants in public? Why not just let people live the way they want?”

Includes discussion on public dress, privileges of religious societies, privileges of non-religious societies, the grace of Jesus not being a do-whatever-you-want-clause, US dress vs Islamic nations dress, possible outcomes of accepting immodesty as a cultural norm.

The real question at stake here is “what is wrong with immodest clothing in general?” To that we could have a very lengthy conversation. I’ve written at some length on the subject on my website RichardsonStudies.com in the family section, subheading modesty.

I know of at least one university professor who says the moment he brings up the modesty epidemic in his classes, the students outrage and write bad reviews about him; aka literally his job is threatened when he does that, so he doesn’t do it anymore. Amazing! Let me just say that I am not alone in thinking that modesty issues are the basically number 1 manifestation of pride of the female members of the church – a flagrant disregarding of prophetic council.

There are a lot of potential issues with the “let people live the way they want to” idea…. But I’m not calling for a law banning yoga pants in public, I just think the degree to which they expose the body is indecent. Private institutions could ban yoga pants however, and that is a splendid idea! For example, it is against the BYU dress code to wear them. The basis of religious societies from the beginning of time is the idea that a group of people want to live with certain values, so they flee society as a whole where they can safely live those values in peace and prosperity. As far as our society is not a society governed by the laws of God, we will not push them to the standards of God. The only people who should be governed by the laws of God are people who voluntarily enter that governance, and of course even the laws of man should conform to some extent of the conscience.

I don’t think less of people who wear the stuff in public, I just don’t like it. Wearing a form fitting outfit in public means married men see you. You’re not a man so I don’t expect you to understand this, but when a man (or particularly an adolescent) sees a woman in something quite like underwear, he has a devil of a time not wanting to seduce that woman. He has a hard-enough time controlling himself around a beautiful woman dressed modestly. Yoga pants are often so extremely form fitting that it’s a kin to merely painting the nude body a different color and going in public. Further when an adolescent or child is exposed to a basically nude woman’s body, it triggers and or heightens hormones which weren’t supposed to activate until a slightly later age when he can better handle sexual arousal.

For good reason, the restored church of Jesus Christ has counseled against “tight or form fitting clothing.” I know you aren’t associated with the church at this time, but you can recognize that it is an institution generally in favor of family-based values. Basically, exposing the body to persons to whom you are not married to undermines the concept of marriage. Sexual exposure and sexual union are to be kept in marriage, otherwise marriage is disincentivized and the commitment aspect of marriage is undermined, the commitment aspect being fundamental when things are hard in a marriage, especially raising children. Without marriage, pregnant women are more likely to live in poverty, abandon their children or neglect or abuse them (or to abort), so marriage is critical for survival of the human race. Further a child may see a seminude woman and investigate full nudity since the seminude was such a pleasurable experience, which leads to pornography. Studies show pornography teaches inappropriate messages about human sexuality including animalistic misogyny and a total lack of commitment toward sexual partners. Without marriage/commitment to a sexual partner, society falls apart, children not having 2 parents etc., or the next generation of children never being born at all (childlessness/diminished childbearing being a critical issue right now in all nations except Africa, the repopulation quota being below the minimum amount (about 2.3 children per couple)).

Let it be known that I never said single or unmarried parents are evil people, I know plenty of them who are good people whom I love and respect. Difficult situations with international and national laws often make these issues complex. I merely said more problems are more likely to arise when there are parents without marriage, and that marriage is the ideal situation for adults, and parents.
I have no issue confessing that while it is not the woman’s fault if she is raped, she will be held accountable before God for how she dressed and acted in general, whether or not she happened to be raped. Seductive women are not blameless in the world. Anyone who denies this is a godless creature who knows nothing about the laws of the cosmos. Unfortunately immodest clothing is so engrained in our society that many women do it without realizing they are. We have a sexually obsessed climate in our public schools etc., which is one of the main reasons many parents homeschool their children.

I was asked by the same “where can you find a verse in the bible about dressing modestly?” in an attempt to down the argument. Though I could have pointed him to several passages, I responded this way: That’s the problem with Protestants, they always want a scripture for everything. As far as my religion goes, yes, we do have prophets who have spoken on standards for modesty: they’ve said that we should not wear tight or form-fitting clothing! You look too dead profits for all your instructions; they cannot clarify all of the issues that you will find in your life. If you reject the living prophets, you have only your conscience to guide you. The conscience is a powerful tool, but living in a society so steeped in sin, it is easy for even the best of people to make serious mistakes within their lifestyle choices. That is why the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is near; the fire will be similar to the flood. The reason for the flood was because things got so bad that people learn bad things from their parents to the point where there was no hope for the rising generation. The fire will come for a similar reason to spare the innocent and rising generation who have no resource for finding answers to their lifestyle choices, their fathers having rejected the prophets, and their conscience not having much of a chance from such evils surrounding them on every side. We have debated at length in the past this topic of the need for modern revelation and I will not seek to do so in more detail in this instance.

I was asked by a Protestant, “but doesn’t Jesus save us in our sins? Do you think Jesus can’t forgive?” He was suggesting that there should be no real requirement or expectation in regard to our actions because of the bounty of Christ. I said this: This will not be the first time we disagree theologically. Just because Jesus is graceful and forgives us of sins doesn’t mean he approves of sins; if the Bible doesn’t make that clear enough, The Book of Mormon says it in plain English that Jesus does not save us in our sins, but he saves us from our sins. The idea of Jesus saving us in our sins suggests that the need for repentance is not really pressing. Jesus saves us from, not in, our sins. Repentance is an absolute requirement to gain salvation. Repentance means confession and forsaking of sin. Sin is when people willfully rebel against God. If a person knows immodesty is bad, they are sinning when they do it. If they are ignorant, God will take that into account; but everyone has conscience which they must be accountable for.

The Protestant suggested that my views on modesty are similar to another country hinting at Islam, suggesting in a degrading tone that I should leave the USA and go live in an Islamic nation, which I knew he was doing, but I responded this way: Indeed Gods people are pilgrims and strangers in this land and we seek for a better! He then cornered me by specifically saying that perhaps I would rather live amongst an Islamic country where they dress to a higher standard of modesty; he seemed to approve of the way we live here in the US; I responded this way: When it comes to dress they do a lot of things better than we do; I don’t approve of everything they do but I can take my hat off to a lot of what they do as far as modesty goes. The way that Mormons dress in their temples suggests that we are way off in the USA; I don’t have any shame in admitting that in fact I’m embarrassed for people who approve of the way we dress here
In Islam of course the bad thing is that they force the women to dress that way and they hurt or kill them if they don’t; this is never God’s way; even an ancient Israel if someone was breaking one of the laws of God they had two choices: suffer the punishments written in the law book of Israel which is often death or get out of Dodge! In other words if you want to live in Israel you live like an Israelite and if you want to live like a pagan you live with the pagans and of course Israel will receive her award and the pagans will receive theirs; religious persons volunteer; in volunteerism you can’t be forced to do this, force was in fact was Satan’s plan – he wanted to force people to be good and that is the most evil thing ever, yes, the definition of evil! This is not to say that religion as a whole is evil, but that certain aspects of it if interpreted as a need to abuse or kill women are evil.
A woman said don’t you think that this is anti-woman? She said she was sorry for disagreeing but that she should stand up for her beliefs. She said that though I confessed it is not a woman’s fault when she gets raped, that my other comments diminished that, and so I responded this way: Indeed I respect you very highly for standing up for yours oftentimes I have more respect for people who stand up for a view contrary to mine then I do for people who have a few similar to mine who don’t stand up for it. I hope that in these series of messages I’ve expressed the idea that if a woman thinks she can dress however she wants, and it won’t affect anyone – I think that’s incorrect. Further I believe that the effect we have on other people will be a very important aspect of our discussion with Jesus Christ that at an upcoming date. It’s not that we can control other people’s feelings and actions but to say that our actions do not influence others is a very large and dangerous idea in my opinion.

This conversation reminds me of the great philosopher Thomas Moore’s book on Utopia, towards the very end says something like “their Utopia had its weaknesses and strengths, but you know what was the strangest thing about them was they didn’t wear any pants!”

When you raise boys of your own and see their struggles in these matters you may see this a little differently. Perhaps not. This is a more complex issue than a brief comment this size can manage, so forgive any aspects of it which may seem harsh at face value. My formal academic training in family science and my experiences have lead me to these conclusions. I recognize you may view this differently, and you can always expect kindness from me even amidst our disagreements.

For another article of a similar subject, read “Immodesty Does Lead To Rape: What the “Dress However” Advocates are Missing” (Click here)

Another interesting read is “The ‘Short Skin Girdle’ of Babylon VS the Beauty of Zion” (Click here)

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