Somehow, it seems appropriate that a self-proclaimed shameless hussy should write a response to Veronica Partridge, the focus of the leggings-post-heard-round the world.
Ad Hominem: Latin. Literally: “To the man.” It refers to responding to an argument by attacking a person’s character, rather than to the content of the argument itself.
I disagree with virtually every aspect of Mrs. Partridge’s stance on leggings and yogapants. But the decision by some who share my dissent to name-call and launch such a venomous attack on her for her beliefs and opinions….well, welcome to the internet. Playground for the cowards and passive-aggressives. I can’t imagine how it must feel to face that much hatred from so many people she has never met for a 523 word post that, given her background and the overall message of her blog, should surprise no one. Shame on us.
I say “virtually” because I believe she has a right to hold and express this opinion, as she states in the first paragraph that this was a decision she made for herself. At that point, Mrs. Partridge and I part ways.
In truth, the claim that the pants in question can make a man “have lustful thoughts” and look at another woman “in a way that he should only look at his wife,” are not my concern – I’m not about to try to tell anyone what kind of lustful thoughts he or she should be having. My issue is not with her decision, nor the theology behind it, or even her decision to post about it and hurl herself into the pit of trolls. Had she left it at that, I wouldn’t have had a response. I wouldn’t have even read her piece. Because who cares what God told her to wear?
However, her response to the same post, that was published two days ago contains some objectionable content, in the guise of further explanation. You can read that post here.
“Responsible sexuality should be led by both men and women.” Indeed it should, although our definitions of both words differ – but that is not what she is saying. She is holding women responsible for the potential actions others – those who are affected by what she is wearing. “And I might not realize the effect I have on the bus driver who may be fighting through his own battle with sex addiction.” I am very uncomfortable with the implications of that statement. Do you have the same concerns for people drinking in public without knowing the effect they are having on a nearby, unknown alcoholic? People eating in front of those battling eating disorders? And if we have some accountability for the reactions of that bus driver, then it is implicit that we have some responsibility for the actions that follow.
From there, it is a short leap over a bottomless pit to blaming victims for their own sexual assault.
I understand that making unwise decisions can lead to tragic consequences, sometimes at the hands of someone who is already prone toward hurtful or violent behavior, and I understand that we have to protect ourselves. But when we do not have the foresight or the wisdom or luxury to do that, we do not assume responsibility for the actions of others.
To perpetuate the notion that a certain type of legwear can incite lustful thoughts in our “brethren” and cause them to “stumble,” and imply that we are even partially responsible for their actions is profoundly irresponsible.
Mrs. Partridge has expressed that she and her husband will be adding more thoughts to the post as they arise.
I would respectfully suggest that they both reconsider.