A Response to Toxic Advice (Part 1); ft. Girl Defined on the Paul and Morgan show

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: IMCisneros
There is a definitive rift between the religious, and non-religious. Especially in America. I have absolutely zero problem with those who do believe, but I do take issue to the inherently toxic message religion, when stemming from "holy" books, and those who interpret said "holy" book literally to the point where it actively harms human beings. As an ever evolving human, I hate that I even have to decide whether or not to enable, or disable, comments. However, until we learn why such things are harmful to our own well-being, this is how it simply must be (for now).

Submitted: June 15, 2019

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Submitted: June 15, 2019

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A Response to Toxic Advice (Part 1)

 

 

As someone who was formerly religious, I will be doing a written response to Paul and Morgan, and Girl Defined’s, collaboration with one another on their respective channels as I just don’t see myself as the type to be made for the camera. I will do my best to add time stamps, and even include scripture (feign a gasp on my behalf).

There are plenty of overlaps between both videos: purity, sexuality, and themes of fear, guilt, and shame. It’s not a surprise as this was what I went through for 19 years (before I turned 3!). I will be responding as mindfully as possible, but I am human, so please forgive any bias that will inevitably bleed through as I respond. Up first, we have Paul and Morgan collabing with Girl Defined on Paul and Morgan’s channel.

 

Christian Modesty- Unfair Standards For Girls? | ft. Girl Defined

Immediately, notice the title, and how all four are not just wearing T-shirts, but all have their shoulders covered. This is indicative of their beliefs. It’s not at all surprising that showing your shoulder is perceived as immodest in most Evangelical/Protestant religions. I’m truly surprised the women are even wearing pants, and not dresses, as some religions enforce.

  1. 2:30 – 3:42; In the first few minutes, Paul’s wife, Morgan, says, “Ladies, we need to stop looking at this situation of modesty in the world’s eyes. I think it’s so easy for our hearts to be immediately hardened to hear that our social media is pushing on “be yourself, show your body, love yourself”…”

It’s very clear that the “world’s eyes” POV is being painted as something we should not strived for, that this view is somehow bad. Being yourself is not bad, showing your body (if applicable to you, as an individual) is not, in and of itself, bad, especially when consent is involved. Above all, loving yourself is not bad either. Yet, these 3 things are painted as the “world’s eyes,” and something being pushed by social media. Is this to say that the world is also bad, and social media is only helping push something so awful… like loving yourself? Do your hear yourself Morgan?

  1. 4:07 – 4:30; “I have actually had this conversation a lot, because, when we were dating, and got married, this conversation came up because he was like, “Hey,” – there were certain things I would wear, and he’s like, “I don’t know. Like, as a guy, I see you in that, I look at this. It really points to certain parts, and it’s distracting.””

I could go on, but it’s clear to me, what is being insinuated. Boobs (and, later, curves). When you’re religious, body positivity is simply a smoke screen. It’s never said outright, but boobs must be covered, or you’re tempting men to do ungodly things, etc. It’s also never outright said, but men are painted to be horny, uncontrollable, men that can’t keep from sinning if you, as a woman (or how these Christians define a woman), simply cannot dress properly. The responsibility for men to not potentially sin (or, to an extreme, rape) fall on you, the woman. Not them. You. If you can’t see why this is toxic, then keep reading. They site Philippians 2:3-4 as justification for this, guilting anyone watching that “Hey. This magical being that made everything, knows everything, became a human, and died for you. The least you can do is cover up.” There’s a million and one reasons I left religion. This mindset is just one.

  1. 5:25 – 5:50;  “… and society has really pushed against this, society’s really said, “Men, women; there’s no differences,” like, “they’re the same, the roles are the same,” but I want to push back on that and say that God has made man and woman two different beings. I mean they’re different, and men have specific roles, according to the Bible, specific things that they carry, and women have specific roles…”

This is normal to find in Christianity – Biblical Gender Roles. Men “provide and protect,” while women are submissive, are silent, don’t teach, have children, and do house chores. I’ve heard it all my life growing up that, when I got married, I was to immediately submit to my husband, and start bearing children like a “godly woman.”

What’s the difference between men and women, besides genitalia? Sure, a biological woman has the capability of breast feeding. Anything else? Last I checked, my husband is not above doing dishes, laundry, sweeping, mopping, etc.; nor am I above doing yard work, learning how to do basic mechanical upkeep on my car, or teaching. We are equals in our marriage.

By the way, I only capitalize religious language if the person I’m quoting identifies as a believer. Otherwise, they don’t get capitalized. Let’s continue!

  1. 5:59 – 6:14; “… but, typically, men are going to be more visual. So, in this specific area, I would say that it is a little bit more of the responsibility of the woman to just watch how she dresses… be, even, perhaps sensitive of the men around her…”

We get it. This is specifically for Christians. But what about the non-religious? I’m sure they watch too. And, somehow, buy into what you’re saying.

Women are burdened with the entire responsibility to make sure men don’t sin. Or worse, be forced to rape a woman because she “dressed provocatively,” because that’s how religion works. It’s absolutely no secret men wrote the bible. No woman, who loves themselves, would take the blame for something that wasn’t even their fault. It’s absurd, not to mention abusive. To guilt, and shame, a woman into doing what you want is toxic, and abusive. I’ll say it again: no woman (according to these Christians), who loves, and respects, themselves, and their wellbeing would ever willingly be used as a means for men to do whatever they want to them, and then get away with all of it.

Also, “Brothers and Sisters in Christ” will be mentioned shortly after, and that has always made me uncomfortable, even when religious. But try not to take that too literally.

  1. 6:55 – 7:05; “… God has call women to dress modestly, men were called to protect, and provide… He hasn’t laid that role on us.”

No, you’re not going insane. Women were used as a means of bargaining, like property, to include being bought/sold. It is also made abundantly clear that women are to remain silent, not teach, and to submit to men. It’s very clear that women are simply not made equal to men. (1 Cor. 11:8-9; 1 Tim. 2:11-14, Eph. 5:22-24, 1 Cor. 14:34-35, HCSB version)

If a woman, in the bible, is raped, her rapist must pay the father, and this woman, that the bible treats as property, must spend the rest of her life with her rapist. (Deu. 22:28-29)

When Sodom and Gomorrah occurred, and angels were with Lot, and the mob outside was wanting in, Lot offered his virgin, betrothed daughters up instead of the angels. And then, after the city is destroyed, the daughters had no men around to carry on the legacy, so they got their own father drunk, and were impregnated by him. (Gen. 19:6-8; Gen. 19:30-38)

  1. 7:21 – 7: 31; “Yeah, I mean, men have a responsibility. There is ways that men can dress immodest, and, if you go on Instagram, and you search long enough, you’ll see that men are on there looking scandalous, and seductive, and that’s not good.”

I’ll admit, men and modesty was almost never addressed as an issue when I was growing up religious. Men simply could not be immodest. However, it didn’t stop men, who I knew identified as religious, that had premarital sex, and even bragged about it. I believe I was a tween when I found out that, the boy I had a crush on, premarital sex was happening (in the name of god, I’m sure). It was the first of many things that contradicted everything I had been taught, and what made me question things more (which was clearly a huge “no, no”).

Also, I love how Paul gives no real example of what “scandalous, and seductive,” looks like. Then again, talking about such “taboo” things is highly frowned upon. When you’re religious, you are to believe everything you’re told, no questions. This has clearly changed over the years, but, for some, the damage is irreversible, as people have taken their own lives from the guilt, fear, and shame are places religion operates from. And then he ends with “and that’s not good.” Well, duh. You’ve stated, before this point, that the responsibility is more on the woman than the man, but then you don’t even elaborate? And you want other men to follow your example?

In order to not be overly repetitive, I’ll skip the false equivalency fallacy Paul makes, after Paul allows his wife to elaborate where he would not on male immodesty.

  1. 8:31 – 8:34; “… for one, women have curves that men just don’t.”

Worst. Example. Ever. It’s once again, force women to talk all the responsibility, so that they can take all the blame later if men “sin.” Good job.

I’m barely halfway through, so I’ll try and skip the redundancy. I’m so sick of the toxic, manipulative, and abusive advice that they are advocating for. Notable mentions go to….

  1. Women being made to be beautiful.
  2. Modesty being for the woman’s “protection.”
  3. Women should be happy about the double standards, because god. God gave you boobs and curves after all.
  4. “Womanhood is all about us!” (Just kidding; it’s about god, and men. It’s all about pleasing them.)
  5. Women complaining about the double standard makes you “selfish” and “weak.”
  6. Also, a little sweat in hot weather won’t kill you (immediately), but it can put you at risk for heat stroke. Sure, you can wear a bikini, but you’re still covering up, forcing you to sacrifice your wellbeing for god, and your husband.

These four Christians claim to want an open dialogue, which is great to strive for if they didn’t suffer from confirmation bias in the echo chamber that is this first video. I haven’t even touched the second one. I may need to rest for a day or two before responding.

Let me make something abundantly clear about why I am so vehemently anti-religion: Religion, especially when based off the religion’s “holy” text, does not care about women. The more modern Christians, (I’d name the person, but do not yet have their permission)has a more kind, empathetic, compassionate view from the extremism I was brought up in. I love those with huge hearts like that of the underrated, Christian YouTuber; my friend, Patrick; and even my mother, and grandmother-in-law.

I also want to clarify that I did not leave religion solely because I was “hurt,” or because “I hate god.” It was at least half the reason (not the “hate god” part, as the entity must be proven to exist at all). The other was because it did not past the tests I laid out for it (using the scientific method). It contradicted itself out of validity, and existence, for me. But, what really made me kick the religious bucket, was therapy. When I started therapy, I learned about mindfulness (it’s not just meditation), as well as skills from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), but all that is a story for a different day.

Lastly, I am not here to de-convert, or to trash active believers. But I will absolutely destroy the messages these “holy” books teach, and I will absolutely call out those who take the bible as seriously as these four Christians do. My goal is to see humans live a happy, healthy life in every aspect.

Thank you to all who made it to the end. Please, keep in mind: we are humans, and we are never above change. We are ever evolving. Especially ordinary people like me.


© Copyright 2019 I M Cisneros. All rights reserved.

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