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If Rapists Rape Anyway, Why Be Modest?

The deadly gang MS-13 uses the slogan “Kill, Rape, Control.”

ISIS, a gang of terrorists that promotes murdering “unbelievers,” also helped itself to sex slaves.

In the war in Bosnia in the early ’90s, Muslim girls were taken as sex slaves en masse.

During the Holocaust, Jewish women were raped in the camps — gang-raped, their bodies ripped to shreds inside and out.

Rape happens to 12 year old girls in strict religious communities.

It also happens to totally sheltered boys.

It happens to homeless kids.

It happens to movie stars.

It happens to toddlers and it happens to infants. The FBI just rescued a 3 month old and a 5 year old  sold for sex for a total of $600.

Why do rapists rape? Lots of reasons, but the short answer is because they want to and they can.

They know their victims, and they do it over and over again.

Modesty does not deter them.

So why be modest, then?

Not to prevent rape.

For a Jew, modesty is part and parcel of our value system.

It’s about having a healthy relationship with yourself and with God. One where certain things are sacred, certain boundaries are kept, one where privacy is a sign of respect for yourself and for others.

Modesty means we see ourselves as “children of the most high God,” to quote Pastor Joel Osteen.

This is what it means when we read: “Walk modestly with your G‑d” (Micah 6:8) 

“The exact parameters of the requirement to dress modestly depend on the time and place. But the basic idea—for both men and women—is to wear self-respecting clothing, clothing that does not demean the person within by overly accentuating the body, as if it, rather than the soul and its character and qualities, is the primary element of personality.” –

As others have pointed out, it’s time to end that aspect of Jewish culture which openly or implicitly engages in “slut-shaming.”

Slut-shaming — even to the point of controlling what color lipstick they wear — is a way of keeping women in the position of victim, even if they haven’t yet been victimized, because the meta-message is that it is their responsibility to stop a predator when doing so is frequently impossible.

So let us be clear: It is the predator who is to blame for the sexual crimes they commit.

Not the victim, who so readily blames herself for failing to be sufficiently modest.


Copyright 2017 by Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal’s own. All rights reserved. Photo by voltamax via Pixabay (CC0 Creative Commons).

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