A Singaporean pastor, Joanne Chow, has come under fire for suggesting that women lead men astray by how they dress.
In Christian youth-oriented website Thir.st , the 38-year-old pastor, who ministers to youth, appealed to girls to help guys avoid sin by dressing modestly.
“Can I also make a special appeal to the girls? Let’s help our brothers by not dressing in a revealing or provocative way. Of course you don’t have control over their lustful thoughts, and it may not be a sin to wear that skintight dress or post that bikini photo, but if we can help our brothers, why not?” read her Friday post.
In the post, the mother of two girls and a member of the Pasir Panjang Hill Brethren Church, recounted struggling with temptation after agreeing with her boyfriend-turn-husband that they would avoid premarital sex.
She also suggested that everyone unfollow explicit accounts on Instagram and TikTok, and activate explicit content filters for YouTube while also reaching out to other Christians with struggling with their sexual desires.
“Sounds extreme? That’s a small price to pay if we’re serious about protecting ourselves. It’s better to be inconvenienced occasionally than to leave ourselves open to temptation,” she wrote.
Shortly after her article was reposted on Instagram, many took offence with a particular paragraph that appeared to hint that a woman’s dressing is to blame for a man’s lustful thoughts.
“Excuse you, it’s not the women’s fault for wearing what they want. It’s these boys who [can’t] seem to understand what self control is and thinks it is okay to assault someone like that. Stop victim blaming and start calling people out for their mistakes instead,” one @Celestia_cq wrote on Instagram.
“It is already sad that girls got to dress less provocatively in order to look out for their own safety, and now this post is saying we gotta do it so we make the lives of the men easier?????” another named Arikenna said.
Ennchi wrote: “Oh come on. This reeks of victim blaming and how it’s “a responsibility to not dress provocatively” to avoid sexual assault. You know that mindset is harmful and frankly outdated.”
“Tell the boys to gourge out out their eyes instead! The Bible was clear on this!” Another wrote.
In response to the backlash, Thir.st said that the purpose of the article was to “offer practical advice on how Christians can avoid falling into sexual temptation”, due to a recent case of a global Christian leader being accused of sexual misconduct.