Monday, October 13, 2008

Dress Properly - You're In Church

It is not only the women of Naivasha who are under siege for dressing in long trousers. Trouser wearing worshipers of Neno Evangelistic Church in Nairobi got a rude shock when they were turned away by ushers at the church gate yesterday.

That particular church aside, let’s look at the church dress code in general. It’s commonly expected that ladies be decently dressed not just in places of worship but everywhere. But what is decency? What parameters are we working by? Is anyone fit and qualified to judge the next person on account of dressing? Does anyone have the right to assume that you are right or wrong because of what they’re wearing? Where to draw the line? Some may argue that those wearing tight trousers and short skirts are a temptation to the brothers in church. But others may counter that and say that brothers should be strong enough in their faith to brush aside such temptations.

This is a touchy subject that has been discussed countless times in different platforms. I got lots of varied opinions on the net about it, some very strong. I only picked 4 different opinions and I quote:

  • Would you rather be in a congregation with decently dressed hypocrites?

  • God should be respected especially when you are in his house. Dress modestly in church. Go half naked outside, it’s your choice.

  • All this staring at other people and judgment is making me want to throw up. Go to church if you must but constant criticism of personal styles of other people who are really none of your business is really annoying. Who the hell are you to dictate what decency is?

  • It is not proper for a lady to dress indecently to church. It is also true that God looks at the heart, but we should not forget that our character, our looks and our words most times are a reflection of what is in our hearts because the bible says that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.

The church aside, the issue of whether women should wear what they want when they want is and has been a thorny one since time immemorial. In some cases, it is not even the church that is attempting to dictate dress code but the state. But should states ban certain clothing or should they cultivate in their male population a respect for women and the law? Can rape and other sexual crimes be wiped out by enforcing a certain dress code among women?

From the web: Miniskirts are here to stay. Get used to them.

From the past: Misbehaving Dads

21 Comments:

BP ONE said...

Shiko, What a wired world!!!! Though it is difficult controlling what a lady should wear in her house,the market or her work place, the church has all the right to dictate what kind of dress one should wear when coming to religious services.
I guess the church has no problem with the men so what is wrong with the ladies. If they can’t a adhere to the church’s teaching what is the point of them going there in the first place, let them stay at home, after all nobody is forcing them attend religious services.

Taabu said...

Ciku/BP1,
Interesting takes on this both MUNDANE and emotive issue on matters gab. Now just imagine for a minute wy nudity is often referred to as birthday suit. Why would somebody criticize your SUIT?

The bottom line is that we are living in a man's world-PARTRIACH and he shamelessly dictates the rules. Do you people know that in some cultures (religion too) a raped lady gets reprimanded and fined for inviting the evil act upon herself. Yes Pakis do that for example.

Back to kanisa, churches have been reduced to simple buildings with no commensurate reverence. People flock churches to showcase latest fashion starting from the pastor. And who foots te bill? You guess right PANDA LEO na UVUNE kesho.

We have simply instituionalized deception. People hide their insecurities under the church where pastors prey on the same. The dress code is mere gimmick of a pastors acting a religious mungiki. Washindwe.

31337 said...

its the churches' prerogative to introduce a dress code. its total bollocks to use the excuse of misleading brothers, are they that weak that they are swayed by ladies of shapely disposition wearing ill fitting clothing, i would actually construe that as an insult!

SisBigBones said...

I am an ardent believer in having the freedom to wear whatever the hell you want. As a woman, I don't think I should ever be penalized for wearing a mini-skirt, hot pants, or whatever.

That being said, there is such a thing as "dressing for the occassion". In the same way you wouldn't be caught dead wearing pajamas to a business meeting, one shouldn't dress as though they're going to the club when in church. While we can all agree on what constitutes pajamas, I doubt we can agree on what constitutes club-wear. Take a girl out of a club in NY and place her on the streets of Nai and she might be mistaken for a prostitute.

All in all, ladies, use your sense of judgement and dress appropriately for every occassion. The kind of dress I wear to church during summer in stato will simply not fly in my shagz...get my drift?

seinlife said...

we live in a patriachical society and men have always and will always try to control us in whatever 'name' they chose..in this case 'gods'.
Does god really care how you are dressed when doing your business? Essentially just like in all other religions e.g islam - women are told to cover themselves up because men have zero control over themselves!
How about instead of 'dress properly'... how about 'don't freaking look at me at church - concentrate on what brought u to church in the first place - darnit!'
grrrr...

Anonymous said...

Examples of dress codes for various churches
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (for all congregations)
"Sunday best," which may include suits, sport coats and ties for the men and dresses or skirts for the women. Children also typically dress up for Sunday.
Fellowship Baptist Church, Upper Marlboro, Md.
Slacks or jeans are preferred, with shorts being at least mid-thigh length.
Teens are discouraged from wearing chains, studded or leather bands, hats or T-shirts with advertisements.
Shirts should be long enough and jeans high enough that no skin can be seen between the neck and midthigh, even when raising arms and bending over.
Skirts and dresses should be knee length.
St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Wayne, Mich.
Women and girls must cover their heads. Chapel veils or mantillas are available for loan.
Skirts and dresses should cover the knee completely when sitting or standing. Women should avoid wearing slacks, shorts, sleeveless, tight or low-cut clothing.
Men and boys are to wear suit coats and ties, except in very hot weather.
Jeans, sports logos and other casual attire are inappropriate.

Muema said...

The idea of rape because someone is wearing a certain way is nonesence. i'm a grown guy and I see skimpily dressed girls in town but i've never raped any of them. rape and sexual crimes are a product of sick minds not the way women dress. we have heard of girls as young as 5 being raped. Pray what could a 5 year ols have worn that was so attractive to make one wanna have sex with her?

havin said that, I hate ladies who show their underwear and they're many. ladies underwear is better left to the imagination not out there!

Nice blog.

Peter Njenga said...

I do agree with anon above that social ills are products of the evil that resides in the minds of the perpetrators.
All the same, I still wonder why grown-up persons still insist on wearing very revealing clothing, claiming that is both fashionable and decent. It actually comes out as disgusting when we see inner-wear openly displayed, even in public places.
People, especially women, should be decently dressed - then and only then will they be accorded the respect that is commensurate with how they choose to dress.
God gave us free will, but this also comes with the burden of choice. Remember that freedom comes with responsibilities...http://www.peternjenga.com/2008/08/freedom-and-responsibility-wonderful.html

savvy said...

I am an SDA and we do not wear trousers to church! As if skirts are any more decent. But for me, sometimes it is easier to just conform than to risk being thrown out of the church! or enduring embarrasing stares!

Anonymous said...

I do not understand why we are having an argument over this. Religion is not something that imposed on you. I am not a religious person but I do not need a prophet to tell me that the true meaning of going to church is to establish a connection with the Almighty God and draw enough strength to carry on your activities. That short moment of connection with the light should not be hindered by any form of distraction. There is a need to be presentable inside and outside. Since we do not run around naked anymore, I do not see any reason why a woman should go to church with an outfit revealing 70% of her breast or tight pants clearly showing the contours of her tushy. I know someone will say you have no business loking at that but yes, a distraction is a distraction and should not be condoned, be it people playing their ipod and nodding their head,people reading magazines, or a woman in a skimpy outfit rolling her twins and land cruiser. Remember it called the house of God and not the house of boobs.

I understand if a woman wants to 'flaunt it' , sure you can flaunt it until it flops but the church/mosque/temple is definitely not the appropriate place to shake your 'braless' boobies and almost naked body. We need to look into our hearts and start telling our selves the truth. If your church discourages revealing outfit, you can either dress up or quit, no need to argue with them or suggest they 'lighten' up and admit the naked broads and the thong brigade. Simple. Nobody held a gun to your head and forced you to become a member. This world is full of hypocrites and by that I am including those women that go to Church half naked. 100% percent of the naked squad will tell you that their dress does not matter and God looks into the soul and not the boobs. You will shudder when you take glipmse at their twisted and distorted thought forms laced with amorous machinations. Deep down they know they are actually going there to 'flaunt' they asses. So much for Sunady worship. Before you call someone against your church fashion a hypocrite, kindly look in the mirror. To the men who huff and puff and tell us that we have no right to juge, next time a half naked woman sits close to you shifting her slender legs and with her boobs hanging out I hope you have fun communicating with your God. I forgot, you actually love that because with the eradication of the naked women, the 'spice' will be taken out of church and you will find it 'boring'.

Before you jump on me and call me 'preachy' I am not religious, haven't been to church in 6 years but that has not changed anything about me. I still have a sense of right and wrong. I maintain a strang connection with the Almighty Father and it feels good. I do not fool myself because I am in free world. I know when I am fitting a square peg in a round hole and I do not pretend. Let's take a look in our hearts and start telling ourselves the truth. What harm could befall a woman if for a few ours she wears something that is a little loose, knee length and does not reveal 80 % of her breasts?

Anonymous said...

Rapists are just criminals who need to be castrated. some rape women in the village who are wearing long skirts and shukas on top. even there was a case of an 80 year old grandma being raped. that has nothing to do with dressing.

Shiko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shiko-Msa said...

I hear you people. I hear you all loud and clear.

Taabu said...

Ciku,
Why are doing a Michuki (censor) on posts? Just curious ama wamevuka mpaka?

Shiko-Msa said...

Lol Taabu. No Michuki/censor yet. The deleted comment I'd duplicated by mistake so I deleted. Hakuna mpaka so far.

UrXlnc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
UrXlnc said...

at the end of the day its about the club/society and rules of membership

line up all the clubs/society/church etc and evaluate if the membership rules require you run around in birthday suit, and you are ok with it sawa otherwise move to the next club, if that one requires that you cover everything in sack cloth except for two holes for the eyes, if you're ok with it sawa, else next ..... if at the end of the queue of clubs you didn't find anything that tickles your fancy, you could either start again from the beginning and lower (or raise) your standards and repeat the process or get to teh end of the queue and create/register your own new club/society and set the rules for membership. if you can navigate through all other obstacles (social acceptability, laws of the land, etc etc) maybe you could just get your perfect social club. ama? oh well, at least for a while until members overwhelmingly decide on new rules then the cycle repeats itself at line up ...

of course you could always get into one of the clubs, move up the ladder and / or agitate for change from within to accommodate more diversity (also known an liberalism) some if it can be quite good, while some can totally destroy the club or members/values. i.e if you do not want to conform

Pink M said...

I'm against indecent dressing everywhere, not just in church. However, indecency is subject to interpretation, and I have mine which could be too liberal or conservative, but lets face it, there are societal standards of decency, and I believe these should be observed everywhere. Like someone said, dressing for occasion is an art to be learnt by everyone.

My beef with the church is this; is God only in the church? If I'm representing the body of Christ, should I represent it in church only then walk naked outside church? It's the high time church leaders realised and imparted on their congregation that Christianity is a way of life, not just a Sunday ritual. Why not preach decency all round? As the Church, we're supposed to attract the 'world'. When the world is attracted to the church, it will come as it is, and the church should accept this, then attempt to change the conscience of the world, by preaching Christ, not rules and regs. I'm ok with the church leaders and worship team having a dress code, but to dictate what the entire congregation wears?? Thats hypocrisy to me.

midnitepreacher said...

In regard to the on going dress code saga the church is to blame for all the mess and the inconvenience caused. If I am not wrong the dress evolution (transformation) was going on for the last centaury or more. We know for sure the ladies didn’t wake up and appeared one Sunday morning half naked at the church’s gate, am sure they were attending previously that particular church for religious services. Without doubt t the preacher knows these ladies by their fist names, surely one can fail to know his or her customers\ client. Then how comes the preachers are waking up now and denying the ladies entry to the church as if they know nothing about what kind of dress their followers wear out side the church. kwani they didn’t know that , all this time, the fashion designers were preaching a different kind of bible ? How comes they never preached against this issue before ama those verses that demand ladies to dress decently are\were not in the bible.
The main reason why the church has failed in the war against all sort of immorality, (including dressing indecently in side and outside the church.) is that the church has gone commercial and whole heartedly memorized the famous business dictum... “The customer is always right” thus provided the church goers can pay their sadaka they can do anything
that suites their feelings be it for or against the teachings of the bible.
To answer the question how decently a woman can dress .It all depends on how faithful she is to her creator, It is size of one’s Faith that dictates one’s living. Faith, faith alone , is the maker of the perfect citizen.

Anonymous said...

these preachers have no moral authority to tell their flock what to wear. in recent reports in the press these preachers have been exposed as money seekers. now they want our money and they also want to tell us what to wear? give us a break! are some sins more equal than others? some of these preachers are also known to sleep with the beautiful ladies in the church.

Shiko said...

urxlnc, PinkM, Midnight preacher and Anon I hear you loud and clear.

PinkM welcome to my space.