I always feel very uncomfortable when it comes to giving young women advice when it comes to guys or modesty. I mean, it’s hard to know exactly what girls know and what they don’t, and whether people would listen to what I have to say about guys if it would help a young woman feel a little better about herself. As someone who happens to know a lot of young women, even if I’ve never considered myself particularly successful in my efforts at courtship, I have quite a few years of experience in dealing with young women as a friend at least. If I am not a very confident or experienced lover (which may not be a bad thing), at least I’m generally sympathetic to the issues that young women have to face.
Among the more uncomfortable issues a young woman has to deal with is modesty (I am assuming that the young woman in question is someone who wants to be viewed by others with respect). Most of the times I have heard a message on modesty, the burden is placed mainly on young women. So, before I talk about that aspect of it, I’d like to talk a bit to guys. There are a lot of girls who don’t have a lot of self-respect. Some of them do this out of ignorance (not knowing that wearing or acting in a certain way presents a false picture of themselves), and some of them do it out of insecurity (longing for attention and affection from guys and thinking they need to go to great efforts in order to achieve it). Some, of course, do it because that’s all they think that they are worth, which is a real shame. Whether a young woman knows how to respect herself or does so, a gentleman has the responsibility to protect a young woman whether she is able to believe it or not, or whether she understands it or not. Our responsibility does not depend on what other people do, but on what kind of people we are. Regardless of how a young woman comports herself, she is somebody’s daughter, probably somebody’s sister, and potentially somebody’s wife and mother someday. Do the world a favor and don’t give her any reason to think less of herself or to trust and respect others any less.
That said, women can make the job of men easier by showing some respect for themselves. I don’t think that many young women realize just how visually oriented men of all ages are, or how little they have to do to be attractive to a guy. Women think that they need to flaunt their sexiness to draw guys, when really, all they need is to show up and take care of themselves with grooming and clothes that fit. Ninety percent of attracting the attention of a guy for a girl is showing up, showing a smile and basic friendliness and interest. Most guys don’t need any help with their imagination, and many men prefer young women who show a bit of self respect for themselves, because that makes them less jealous that some other guy is enjoying the sight (or touch) of the young woman they are attracted to. A woman isn’t responsible for what a man does–no clothing choices excuse men from responsibility for their conduct with a young woman. Nevertheless, young women have to realize that the clothes they wear send men a message about who they are–whether that message is an accurate one or not, or whether it is a good message or not. A young woman might dress sexy because she is insecure and doesn’t realize just how lovely she is, not realizing that what she wears to attract one special guy or the eye of guys her own age will send messages of attractiveness and availability far outside of that range to guys that she might shudder to think of.
Between my experiences in public school, universities, and more than a dozen years of adult life in the work place and out and about, I have seen a lot of young women with a wide variety of personalities and modesty, and not ever having been a particularly attractive or popular fellow, I never imagined that girls dressed in a particular way to draw my attention, since I have generally assumed that they had someone else in mind when showing off. The young women who have most drawn my attention and infatuation were young women who were lovely but generally modest in personality, and full of warmth, friendliness, understanding, and tender affection. I’m not necessarily a hard person to please, as long as someone has the interest in doing so. Most of the guys I know aren’t particularly different–most of them value loyalty and steadiness and sweetness in those young women they wish to be with for the long-term. It’s a great shame when women don’t feel that they are worth that sort of respect, and it is also a great shame when the people who could be trying to build up the honor and self-image of young women instead take advantage of the insecure and the vulnerable. If a young woman is willing to take advice from an old guy like me, and can realize the message she sends to people she may have no idea she is sending messages to, and knows how little she has to do to gain the love and attention she seeks for good reasons, not only her physical attributes but also her mind and heart, her character and personality, then maybe she can attract the sort of people who would treat her with the respect that a decent woman ought to receive, and should want. It is simply up to the gentlemen at that point to respond in kind with respect and honorable conduct, and that is our responsibility as men regardless of how a woman acts or presents herself. That said, a woman can make our jobs easier on us, and that is always appreciated.