Many people talk about women’s modesty. How much she must be careful, protect, overcome and forego to remain modest; how much the entire home depends on her and many other points related to women and modesty. There are women who don’t understand why it’s specifically their obligation to watch themselves and why it’s so important? On the other hand, why can’t a woman be in a controlling role in high profile jobs and places? Is control something only for men? Why is it that people look askance at a woman that doesn’t watch herself whereas for a man it’s fine and he’s forgiven for it? Why are women always lowered and blamed for everything? Where’s the respect for women and their status? If I’m not dressed modestly don’t look at me! Just because of men I need to dress modestly? Can’t they control themselves? Aren’t men responsible for their own actions? These are all good questions that I want to address.
The reason you’re upset at the ‘poor treatment’ you’re getting is because you don’t really understand the prominence of women in Judaism and their value. Let me ask you: Did you ever buy an expensive garment? You paid a small fortune for it, right? Would you ever wear it to work? After an evening out would you throw it on a chair? Would you let anyone touch it with dirty hands? Clearly the answer to all these is a big “NO!” You’ll wear it only for special occasions and carefully hang it up afterward. You’d never let anyone touch it.
This is the same with a diamond or a princess. No matter how modern the world is the princess will always project dignity and prominence. How do you feel when your husband says “you are my princess”? You feel special. Why? What’s so special about a princess in modern times? A princess is of nobility, someone refined and protected. How can you be a princess if everyone can touch you? If you’re open and revealing and everyone can get what they want, how can you be a princess?
Something precious is kept in a safe. Don’t compromise your status just because the world has gone mad! Treat yourself with the respect you deserve. You’re a princess! You must watch yourself and be modest. Just as a man must watch his eyes and not let them stray, the woman must live with modesty. If you’re modest and a man still looks at you that’s his sin and his problem, but your job is to be modest.
Part of being modest is not to stand out and not to be in situations where your modesty can be compromised. So why do you feel it’s belittling? You are precious and you can lead from a high position just not around men or around immodest situations that will affect you and your home.
A woman is a diamond, a rose in a field of thorns! She’s G-d’s ornament in this world. Every in one of your tears goes straight to G-d’s throne on high. A man who is coarse isn’t looked at askance nearly as much as a coarse woman is. Without making comparisons for every Jew is precious, but what hurts more when you lose costume jewelry or a solid gold necklace? Everyone must do their own repentance but many people make a mistake about what the Torah thinks of women.
The Torah values the woman greatly. The Torah says that women’s innate nature is to be closer to the Creator. A woman has innate wisdom man doesn’t have. ‘A woman can build and a woman can destroy’ and women have power. Her power is through wisdom and not through force as some women mistakenly believe.
Understand that the way you conduct yourself when single and to the extent you try to strive for the right things, that’s how your married life will look. A man is cerebral and a woman emotional and she has a deep understanding. You build your household in your single life by building yourself and your personality. If you treat yourself with respect now, your husband and children will respect you. It may be difficult for a few years but the happiness afterwards is forever in this world and the next. Isn’t it worth it? Don’t cry about the past take advantage of the present which is full of opportunities to repair what you can. Just get started from the beginning.
With much love,