Last week my pastor was telling me about a comedian who was making fun of women for their naiveté about the male mind. The comedian claimed that if we really knew the thoughts that men have about women, then we would be slapping them about once a minute.
For a lot of women, the concept of lust is an abstract topic. When I see a guy running with his shirt off, I think one of two things: “Hm, he’s pretty cute,” or “He needs to put his shirt back on because no one wants to see that.” And that is the end of it.
For men, it is an entirely different matter. Yes, women have impure thoughts, but the degree to which we have them is so holey other than men that it is often hard for us to grasp. And because of this disconnect, we have frequently underestimated the importance of modesty. I know I always have.
Well that naiveté has recently come to a screeching halt. I heard a story on the radio a couple weeks ago that gave an incredibly insightful look into the male mind, so I want to share it with you here. The better we understand guys, the better we can care for them as our brothers in Christ, so while the story is a bit graphic, I think you’ll find it to be very helpful.
The story I heard was about a woman who decided to become a man. She had been a lesbian for years, but one day she realized that at her core, she was created to be a male. As a result of this epiphany, she took the medical steps necessary to change genders. One of these steps included testosterone injections, and the bulk of the story focused on the ways in which testosterone changed her/his thought life.
More specifically, the way in which this individual looked at women was profoundly altered. When reflecting on the way in which he thought about women prior to the injections, he said that he might have seen an attractive woman on the subway, and thought about how pretty she was, and how he might like to talk to her, what they might talk about, where they might go out on a date. etc. Innocent enough.
Following the injections, his thought process changed quite dramatically. The response was far more carnal and explicitly sexual. He would imagine, in detail, the nature of their sexual relationship. But even more disturbing to him was that he by no means desired to have such sexually charged thoughts. He felt like a jerk for thinking about women so erotically, but he was bombarded by the images on a constant basis, and he subsequently thought about sex all the time.
He went on to explain other ways in which his newly male thought life played out, and it was rather shocking. I won’t go into all of it here, but suffice it to say that I was blushing during some of the descriptions. Yet in spite of the graphic detail, it was striking to hear a woman recount her journey into the male mind, and it is no wonder that he was surprised by it. The way that men and women think about the opposite sex is TRULY different.
At one point during the story, he admitted that his thought life had been so tremendously altered that one of his female co-workers actually accused him of being a misogynist. Needless to say, the co-worker didn’t know that he used to be a woman, but the incident was a great indicator of how much he had changed. In becoming a man, he had to wrestle with the new thought life that ensued, and he was totally unprepared for it.
If you’re interested in hearing the entire story, you can download it here. I would highly recommend listening to the whole thing because it captures the visceral nature of his thoughts much better than I have here. It quite literally shocked me into being more modest.
In listening to this story, I felt as though my eyes had been opened to this huge difference between men and women. But more importantly, it convicted me about the importance of helping guys in this area. If this “man’s” story is any kind of reflection of the typical male struggle, then most men are going to wrestle greatly with the sin of lust, so we don’t need to be pushing them into it. Men do need to take some responsibility for their own thoughts lives, but we must not be so careless as to tempt them. Instead, we must guard our purity and pursue modesty. You may think that you look super cute in that tube top, but your guy friends might think otherwise, so honor their struggle by exercising discernment in the way you dress.
So as one sister to another, here is my parting advice: Put away the cleavage, pull up your low rise jeans, and don’t even think about wearing those microscopic shorts and skirts that look like glorified underwear. Dress like a lady, because you are a woman of God, not a piece of meat to be ogled. If the normal male mind is anything like this story described, you do NOT want to be ogled.
(And just so you know that I’m not a total Christian prude, here is a great article that just appeared in the Wall Street Journal about the effects that our casual sex culture has had on young women. Click here to read about it.)