I was talking with a person I am not too acquainted with but who I realized was in need of an ear. I knew from the manner of speaking that she did not have friends with whom she could confide in and I suppose it is always more comfortable to talk with a stranger. I listened to her and upon leaving at the end of the night, I just felt sorry. Perhaps from other lips, I would have argued a point more deftly but I knew that my defense would have landed on deaf ears.
I respect people’s beliefs because I feel I have no right to dictate my own value over someone else’s in a lording manner. Yet, I find that more often than not, those of a religious persuasion do not share my opinion.
This particular instance, I was not hounded but I did feel that wicked lash of machisimo creep in. It is said that machismo is not instilled by men but by women and I happen to believe it. She told me that there was a young woman at the church who wore short skirts and tangas, which she described with an abundance of detail. What was troubling was her explanation of why she shouldn’t wear these things.
Her explanation is that men are approached by the devil when women wear short skirts.
I pondered over this statement and came to the conclusion that if such were true, would it not be more productive to help men stave off the devil by controlling themselves and their perception of a woman in a skirt? In this fashion, they can “stave off the devil” in any situation, and not just in church.
But all she heard was the sound of her own words. She is pious and pleaded to God to help the person she would speak with to accept her words when she asks them to dress down.
She did not ask God to help her hear others.
And as she told me of a certain gentleman caller, someone who had been courting her for several years and whom she categorically rejected advances because of the same “devil” of the short skirts, mentioned above.
The irony was not lost on me. She had been so successful at “protecting” her girls at church that “protected” herself as well. To the point of never living enough to love a man ever again.