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How Can Men Influence Morality in Fashion?

MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor writes on moral integrity especially for women and encourages appreciation for the men in their lives.

Morally-minded groups seem to suggest that the appearance of a modest ladylike image could foster pure thoughts within the people in the room. If her neckline is cut too low, if she exposes her belly button and reveals too much of her thighs through the gaping slit in her skirt, she may be responsible for the men's dirty thoughts. But is the female fashion totally responsible for setting the morality standard?

Each is responsible for his or her own morality.

Each is responsible for his or her own morality.

Revisiting some basic moral principles, we will find many opportunities for male influence. Not only is he responsible for maintaining his own moral standards, he can influence the woman's positively. Self-respect, respect for females, leadership and real manhood, are sub-topics under which we highlight male participation in the morality agenda as it pertains to fashion.

Self-Respect

Men are responsible for upholding their own moral standard.

People have always judged men, as they do women, by their appearance. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, set in the fourteenth and fifteenth century, Polonius advises his son that “the apparel oft proclaims the man.” His clothes reveal his self-respect—his social and moral self-image.

According to Gregory L. Jantz Ph.D. in Psychology Today (08/16/2016), other good traits which accompany self-respect include truthfulness, decisiveness and accountability. Qualities like these can empower morally-minded, well-dressed men in a project meeting to act the part for which they are dressed: the business on the agenda, not distraction by the scantily-dressed woman in the room.

In another Psychology Today article (04/13/2017) Robert Weiss Ph.D., MSW lists reasons that men might be distracted, but he states in his concluding paragraph, “A man always has choices that don’t involve degrading and potentially ruining his integrity.” The decision by a woman to dress inappropriately, does not make a man lower his expectation of how men and women should dress.

Respect for Females

Men can help females who are morally challenged.

Little girls who wear t-shirts marked “sassy and assy,” “no tits yet,” and “born to be wild” may not be established on the path to modesty, decency and privacy in their appearance. Later, when they begin to demonstrate the labels, their male friends who want to respect them may be less than impressed.

Cathy and Paula were high school best friends. They were both fifteen years old, as was Sam, Cathy’s boyfriend. Sam said that he loved Cathy, but he always seemed happier when he was chatting with Paula. Cathy confronted him. “What does Paula have that I don’t have?”

“I’m comfortable around Paula”, Sam told Cathy. "I like the way she dresses.”

Sam explained that he often found it difficult to look at Cathy without seeing her breasts. He also felt embarrassed that other male classmates were looking down her bosom. He wanted to respect her, to enjoy the friendship, to make memories which did not include regrets.

Young men who want to make a difference can voice their preferences to their female friends. If they compliment female fashion which makes them feel comfortable, that makes it easy to state what makes them feel less comfortable, and wise girls can take a hint.

Respect for Their Leadership Role

Men are capable leaders in fashion and in morality.

With male fashion designers outnumbering the females about 60%-40%(The Business of Fashion, 2019), males have the greater impact on what women wear. They understand fashion. They know what outfits are appropriate for what events. They know when glamor accommodates low-cut necklines, and when the low-cut turns from decent to desperate.

Men in authoritative roles become automatic leaders in morality, if they choose. Fathers, big-brothers, educators and other professionals teach some form of morality which generally include deportment. In the teaching of obedience, they teach other values like self-respect and respect for others. They include the importance of dressing for success. Nowhere is morality in dress more important than in the workplace.

Men in authority can advise women who would listen. The educated opinion of brothers, fathers, and any other male relatives can be a definite assets toward morality in fashion.

Photo by MabelAmber

Photo by MabelAmber

Real Men

Real men seek to understand and empower women.

Usually, it is when a boy has engaged in misconduct of some kind that someone will say, “Boys will be boys.” The statement excuses him on the grounds that whatever he did is something boys are expected to do—something like slapping a girl on her butt, protruding through a too-tight skirt.

“The truth is, boys are perfectly capable of respecting other people’s bodies, possessions, and space”, writes, Joanna Schroeder on the Good Men Project (6/23/2016), “But every time they hear us excuse their bad behavior as part of boy life, they learn that they are not only above the rules, but also that boys cannot control their impulses.”

But real men do learn to control their impulses. Respect for their personal value, and for the woman’s boosts their senses of responsibility and self-control.

Many girls who adopt a lifestyle of seducing men were initially seduced by male relatives, by trusted male authority figures who were family friends, by priests and pastors who robbed them of their innocence. The immorality they display in their dress, may be evidence of past abuse. Real men do not trample abused women.

While the real man protects the woman who keeps her clothes on, he can help the naked woman rebuild her dignity. He can offer her affirmation instead of condemnation, redirect her fashion taste from the myths and media idols that mislead her, and underscore the value that is left in her.

Patrick Henry’s opinion could be the commentary on real men. “The characteristic of the good or the great man is not that he has been exempt from the evils of life, but that he has surmounted them.” –Patrick Henry

Women who lost their way because lowlifes seduced them, may also find their way because real men affirm them. Such women will in turn promote praise and respect for the men who help them maintain their morality standards.

Male Concern Poll

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Dora Weithers

Comments

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 26, 2019:

Thanks, Patricia. Hope that you and your friends enjoy the discussion. Wish I could listen in.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on September 26, 2019:

Well said. Much food for thought here...am saving this to reread and to share with some friends. It will be an excellent topic to discuss.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 09, 2019:

Thank you, Dianna. I appreciate your kind comment. This topic has been on my mind for some time.

Dianna Mendez on September 09, 2019:

Always inspired by your writing, Dora. Very wise words shared in this article.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 01, 2019:

Thanks, Bill. Great supportive comment from a man. Hoping too that many others will hop on board.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on September 01, 2019:

Some very wise thoughts, Dora. I hope many men take it to heart.

Antonio50S on August 30, 2019:

To Dora & Yves.

I agree with both of you.

Just looking at the above picture of the female with the brown top & short Jeans, I can't Imagine who that would attract other than than the wrong people ? But it certainly won't attract Real Men.

Personally speaking, I think ALL women are beautiful in their own way, but the Spirituality in a woman "Outshines" the size of any Jeans "any day" and totally agree with you dora. "Real beauty inspires respect and admiration" it's in that context i sometimes give compliments. But not all women take it as such. I've had many women over the years complimenting me as well, but thought nothing of it, but not sure why the odd 1-2 women would take offence to it ? other than maybe their past experiences. I also know as "Marlene" said, No matter who we are, we all like compliments.

I know as a Man, i don't find the above picture attractive at all. ( Real Men ) INCLUDING the "fashion industry" ought to feel a responsobility for intilling morality by the clothes they produce, but as "loannis" rightly picked up on as well, it's not the exposure to certain parts of the body that's the problem. Not by itself that is.

The area where i live is quite a nice area, but come summer time, All the ladies come out wearing these dresses revealing a lot on the upper half, but in a respectful way. To me, as you say dora, that inspires admiration, SOME Men may think otherwise, but really that's that's their problem, NOT the problem of how the women is dressed.

Yves. I totally agree with what you say. Yes, i have met and do know a number of these women you describe as well, a number of these womem even tried it on with me in the past, some literally offering themselves. ( NOT ONCE ) to this very day did i ever take advantage of them. I even tried being a Moral support to some of them, but you know what i noticed ? A lot of them had other things going on in their minds. A bit like the ( Dirty Dancing ) movie. The girl assumed Patrick Swayze was taking advantage of women, but really it was the other way round. A lot of women out there know exactly what they want, ( While others need that moral guidance from parenting ) Something else i noticed about many women in society in general. "They have no interest at all in Morality or Spirituality issues" but noticed over the years some of these women have come to regret their former life, and even been told, I tought 1 or 2 of them a lesson by not taking advantage, but the price they had to pay, and STILL paying for, is because of using their "FREE WILL" in a wrong way. Men can be an Influence, but in a lot of cases it can be to late because of the choices some choose to make using that "Free Will". You can't always blame Men or Fashion either. If you read ( Romans 1 ) from verses 18 onwards to the end of the chapter. Women were just as responsible as Men were for abandoning their natural state. Not so much in what they were doing, but in the fact that women had the same choosing powers.

"Ioannis" is right. It's not the exposure of certain body parts that's the problem. ( Colossians 3:5 ) Applies to Both Men & Women Equally. Put to DEATH those desires, Especially "Sexual Immorality" putting to death those desires means killing them altogether. We can't always avoid seeing the way some Women or Men dress, but WE CAN put to death those desires from WITHIN by not "feeding them" When we can do that, we won't be thinking any thoughts other than "Real beauty Inspires respect and admiration" And beauty is not limited to the physical either, or to the size of Jeans. In fact, the size of Jeans can become a serious problem for us if that's the only reason that attracted us in the first place.

Regarding the ladies who had terrible things happen to them, i feel very sorry for them as well. I also feel very sorry for a lot of Men. They too have lost their way, they don't know what Moral guidance is or how to be it themselves.

A little like being in a boat, slowly drifting out to sea without even being aware. But that's what all the warnings in the N/T are all about. God could have created us without FREE WILL, but only HUMAN BEINGS have the power and ability to truly be Happy & Free by making the right choices via that "Free Will". Real FREEDOM comes from Conquering the enemy within. Not by chasing after our desires, which will never make us happy, but only lead to death.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 29, 2019:

Thanks, L.M. Hosler. Sure the movies and television screens have influenced our young women. Writers for these shows and movies also share the responsibility to influence morality. That's a true story in the article. I appreciate your input.

L.M. Hosler on August 29, 2019:

Hi Ms Dora Enjoyed another one of your great articles. Great topic and discussion. I think men and women are equally responsible for moral behavior. I like your mini story where the young man said he felt more comfortable talking to the girl who didn't dress as sexy as his girlfriend. I think that illustrates how men want to date the sexy girl but are more comfortable with the girl who doesn't show as much. I also blame movies & television for the immorality that they display especially in teen movies & shows.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 29, 2019:

Great topic and a few men do feel attractive. While others don't bother if fashion it isn't the same for all men.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 28, 2019:

Antonio and Yves, thanks for your input. Real men can be attracted (not distracted, not seduced) by real beauty. Real beauty inspires respect and admiration.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 28, 2019:

Venkatachari, thanks for your affirmation. Encouraging if men would come to terms with the fact that they are as responsible as women are for morality in every area of life.

Yves on August 28, 2019:

Antonio, you stated, "Real Men ought to be able to think with their minds, rather than being lead by unrestrained desires, and Real Men shouldn't just be attracted by the physical either. If they look a little closer they may be surprised in what they see as attractive"

Yes, of course! Certainly, I agree. Perhaps you have met too many women who, due to low self-esteem and a lack of guidance, have somehow come to the conclusion that their worth is tied up in their sexuality. I feel so very sorry for these ladies who may have had terrible things happen to them, or.....they might simply have lacked strong, supportive and loving parenting.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 28, 2019:

Thanks, Sean. I appreciate your input. Nudity affects different cultures differently. Perhaps I need to do some research on those minimal-clothing communities.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on August 28, 2019:

Dora, thanks for coming up with this most important topic of this current trends. You presented the case very intelligently here. Both men and women should digest this and come to some balance.

Antonio50S on August 28, 2019:

That's fair enough Yves, but that don't mean i agree with all loannis views either. Apart from leaning a lot from women, one lesson i leaned from them by pure observation, they think Just like Men. Sure, they're more sensitive, emotional, and feeling by nature, but most of them know exactly what they want as well, with different likes, dislikes and preferences.

Some of the BEST women in life i ever came across are the ones who said "you wouldn't be a man if you never noticed women" but a woman should NEVER assume a man sleeps around either just because he notices them. Real Men ought to be able to think with their minds, rather than being lead by unrestrained desires, and Real Men shouldn't just be attracted by the physical either. If they look a little closer they may be surprised in what they see as attractive. After all, isn't that what women want "as well" ? As well as their own self worth with or without a Man ?

As a man, I know exactly what loannis meant "I don't believe that the exposure to certain parts of the human body is the problem" I think that takes a lot of self reflection and maturity to come to that realization, but also wonder why some women react when men know who they are ? Why the put down ? Man or Woman, we're all products of the same environment, there's no "Us Vs Them" but saying that, I really am ashamed of "SOME" men in my past religious affiliations as well. They abandon their beliefs to go and have sex with as many women as possible, then when they see another earthquake or disaster, they go running back to their so called Truth to be saved. Armageddon, Armageddon is coming, bunch of sleazy hypocrites in my view, so yes, i see your point to some degree as well.

Every man, or woman claiming to be a christian should know the reality of this verse ( 1 Corinthians 6:18 ) "All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body" Theirs no real happiness in sex by itself "Only Addiction" and don't think we need to learn that the hard way to see the Wisdom in the above verse and emtiness of sex by itself. Giving compliments to a woman, for me at least, is done for other reasons, maybe a little ego as well, but it's good to feel like a Real Man, as long as it's not flirting or playing with the emotions of a woman.

Sorry dora. I did try to keep it short, but this is such a great subject that you do need to understand how "some" men think as well.

And Yes, I do think Men can Influence Morality in Fashion, but they need to be Moral themselves first, plus not all women value morality either. You have to be in the right place for that to be appreciated.

Yves on August 27, 2019:

Antonio.....rest assured, I have met some very nice men who are good communicators.

Antonio50S on August 27, 2019:

To Yves.

I was just about to give some "positive" feedback on this, till i read your comment.

PLEASE don't make this a battle of the sexes. PLEASE. Communication is the key to all misunderstandings.

Over the years i learned so much from women which i am "grateful" for, but one Trait I'v always disliked in "some" woman is a critical stereotype attitude towards ALL MEN. That hardly fosters good relations. And over the years i come across a handful of women who understood exactly how men think, I used to wonder why all women don't undertand men in the same way ? but i don't judge all women because they don't. Give us a chance please.

Yves on August 27, 2019:

With all due respect, we are not referring to distant tribes here, Ioannis.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on August 27, 2019:

Wise words, well written, my dear Sister! I think that the key is Self-respect, as you wrote. Is the start to learn to respect others and for happiness. I don't believe that the exposure of certain parts of the human body is the problem. There are so many tribes living in nature with minimal clothing. The problem is in the intention of using lower instincts for "trapping" others. Respect? Not at all! Misery? Yes, I think!

Thank you for another excellent hub, food for thought for my teenage sons!

Respect and gratitude!

Sean

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 27, 2019:

Thanks, Angel. I share your concern. Try to give your daughter a solid moral foundation at home, so that she does not surrender to outside influences Best to you and to her.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 27, 2019:

Thanks, Mary. You're right about them living by the standards they copy from people around them. Most people give men a free pass for the same reason they would scold a girl. No wonder the men think they're above the moral code.

Angel Guzman from Joliet, Illinois on August 27, 2019:

I have a daughter and I am very concerned about her growing up in a culture where everything can be overly sexualized.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on August 27, 2019:

Ms. Dora, I think you hit a point here that we have set different standards for boys. I noticed that even young boys choose girlfriends who are decent. Often, standards are set in the family or among peers depending on whom they hang out with. Sometimes, when it is strictly enforced in the family, some tend to rebel against this to establish their own identity.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 27, 2019:

Yves, you raised another good point. Why would fathers demand self-control from the men who date and marry their daughters if they thought that it was impossible? They all need to think seriously about consequences and they would learn soon enough.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 27, 2019:

Thanks, John. Yes, you were the first male to comment. I appreciate your affirmation. As I mentioned, men have been taught they do not have self-control. "Boys will be boys," is their motto, but they can learn and practice self-control from mothers, girlfriends and wives who demand it.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 27, 2019:

Bless you, Bill. Men raised like you need to let their light shine. Like you, they need to make their opinion count. Thank you very much.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 27, 2019:

What an interesting topic, Dora! I like mystery. I don't want the conclusion of a story to be given to me in the opening pages. I think that states my thoughts on fashion and morality. :) I was raised to respect a woman and not treat her like a slab of beef. Blessings to you always.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on August 27, 2019:

Hi MsDora, this is a great article. So far I am the only male to comment lol. I agree the responsibility lies on both sides...women dress both to attract men and to compete with other women (peer pressure especially with the young). Yves is right too, most men have very little self-control. As you say men do have a lot of say in female fashion as the majority of the designers are men (though a number of them are also gay).

Anyway, good job with this.

Yves on August 27, 2019:

Good point that "men need to know they share the responsibility..."

After all, you do have many male readers.

Also, when men become fathers, they have an excellent opportunity to teach their daughters the impact dress has upon boys and later, men.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 27, 2019:

Thanks, Liz. It's responsibility more than blame. Hooray to that young woman and others like her who put positive value on themselves. The older lady has more to learn.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 27, 2019:

Thanks, Yves. No hijacking here. We're on the same page. I've written before for the women, and they still have to carry the morality torch, but this here is an attempt to share the responsibility with the men. They need to know that they are more than spectators.

Liz Westwood from UK on August 27, 2019:

You have addressed this subject in a very balanced and helpful manner. I appreciate the way that you have sought not to judge or apportion blame in any way, but rather to come up with positive and helpful suggestions.

I have sometimes noticed that this is not only an issue with the young, but it spreads across older age groups too. I have even come across a situation of a middle aged woman encouraging a young lady to dress more provocatively. To her credit the younger lady ignored the advice.

Yves on August 26, 2019:

“A man always has choices that don’t involve degrading and potentially ruining his integrity.” He can decide to influence morality by his refusing to be distracted by immoral displays."

Sure, but 1% is a generous number to allow for men who are capable of that much self control. I am not being sexist. That is just the way it is. Men, in general, do not have that much self control.

That is why women have to maintain their values and recognize that their worth is not dependent solely upon their marketable sexuality.

Rather, our beauty and sexuality is a combination of our intelligence, our confidence in our self-worth, and our values. A truly worthwhile man will recognize that. A foolish man will not. Personally, I have no patience with foolish men.

Furthermore, no woman has to show "a bit of leg" if she doesn't want to. A woman who is confident in her self-worth as a human being is extremely sexy because of her intelligence, whether she shows some leg or not.

It all has to do with the art of subtlety. She can lead him in the right direction without dressing "cheap" like the women you describe. Yes indeed. She can be highly exciting and even more intriguing than the woman who has everything "hanging out."

As an example, do we ever see really attractive men wearing low cut shirts? Nope. We would find them beyond ridiculous.

Anyhoo....I didn't mean to hijack your article, Ms. Dora. By now, I hope you know that you are one of the women I respect the most here on HP. Besides which, we have a similar religious upbringing. ;)

Thank you for writing about an important topic. I wish that more of the music community, to include Hip Hop artists, actually cared about how much damage they are doing to young women by encouraging them to dress like sexual objects. I believe that may be a part of the gist of your article.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 26, 2019:

Thanks, Lori. Social media is another topic. So much nudity and obnoxious poses on there. Our young people are so far out.

Lori Colbo from United States on August 26, 2019:

One thing I've noticed with the big Women's movement is that the very women who want the respect of men wear revealing clothes. If they are actors or entertainers in some form, they wear sexy clothes, play sexy roles. It's kind of like Matt Damon speaking out for gun control then makes movies of guns and violence.

I feel so sad when I see my granddaughters wear low cut shirts with cleavage and posing sexy on social media.

I wish there were more moral men out there. They are just as responsible as women. The world tells girls and women that they must look and act sexy to be of value.

This is a great topic and I wish there were more like it. Well done, Dora.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 26, 2019:

Tim, you were fortunate to belong to a family that cared enough to support each other that way. Wish there were many more.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 26, 2019:

Thanks, Pam. Only when we see women making these mistakes do we realize how great the problem is. We, the older women have a lot to teach, if they will listen.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 26, 2019:

Thanks, Flourish. I did say "many" not "all." True, Some of them have had little or not training in responsible womanhood. They live by trial and error, until hopefully, they get it right.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on August 26, 2019:

"It is more respectful to engage her mind than to analyze her body." Wise words for men to remember, Ms. Dora. I liked having the option of engaging my imagination, if the relationship was going that way (before I met my wife). When women made their bodies displays, I felt sad for them, and would often suggest they come with me to church or some meeting with women who dressed conservatively and befriend them to help them.

You are right. Men can help young women find their way through fashion. Likewise, I'm pleased my sisters took an interest in telling me to dress professionally. Often, they would straighten a tie or direct me to polish my shoes. I did the same with them. Now, my wife enjoys selecting my clothes. Thanks for a great and very important article.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 26, 2019:

I think many young women dress in a provacative manner to boost their self esteem, and that is a very bad reason. I do not like to think women are choosing fashion to get man's attention. That is not the way a woman finds respect for herself or even women in general. I really like this article, and I think it is very relevant in this time.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 26, 2019:

I really like your observation regarding abuse and dressing promiscuously. It’s not always true but I have seen many times that it is a cry for attention because of not learning appropriate boundaries growing up.

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