Isaiah 3 and female clothing/accessories

One biblical passage that stands out to me as a past crossdresser is Isaiah 3:16-26 –

The Lord says,
    “The women of Zion are haughty,
walking along with outstretched necks,
    flirting with their eyes,
strutting along with swaying hips,
    with ornaments jingling on their ankles.
17 Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion;
    the Lord will make their scalps bald.”

18 In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, 19 the earrings and bracelets and veils, 20 the headdresses and anklets and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, 21 the signet rings and nose rings, 22 the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses 23 and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls.

24 Instead of fragrance there will be a stench;
    instead of a sash, a rope;
instead of well-dressed hair, baldness;
    instead of fine clothing, sackcloth;
    instead of beauty, branding.
25 Your men will fall by the sword,
    your warriors in battle.
26 The gates of Zion will lament and mourn;
    destitute, she will sit on the ground.

I have a few reflections about this passage.

1.  It confirms to me that the stereotypes are generally true from culture to culture and throughout history about men and women.  What I am referring to is that it seems in almost all cultures and throughout the centuries it is the women of a society who do more with their looks, their appearance.  They wear the ornaments, the makeup, and try to look beautiful.  A lot of crossdressers and gender nonconformists today would love to see men having this same tendency.  While I would never say it is wrong for a man to have that same tendency to care more about his appearance, I think it is perhaps something innate to women that they are the sex that is more concerned with their beauty and ornamentation.  This is quite clear I think and something that both Christians could agree with, as well as atheists with an evolutionary perspective.

2. It shows us that being “too consumed” with appearance is not good, and can make someone vain and proud, whether they are men or women.  One of the ways we recovering crossdressers try to find balance and healing is to work on looking good as men, and enjoying making our wives more beautiful through buying them nice clothing.  But in both cases we must keep working against our infatuation so that we are not too obsessed with looks, or too vain.

3.  This passage shows that even in ancient Israel so many of the types of clothing or accessories that we would say today are for women, were also for women back then.  While men did wear more robe like clothing, which is obviously different from today, many of the differences in dress between the sexes that we have today were also differences in ancient Israel.

4.  This passage warns of God’s judgment.  We are all guilty of sin and all deserve the judgments mentioned.  Only in Christ can we be forgiven and saved from this judgment.  Put your trust in Christ.  Put away the vain obsession of crossdressing in front of a mirror, and turn to Jesus.

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10 comments on “Isaiah 3 and female clothing/accessories

  1. Michael29 says:

    Yes, I’ve seen this to be the case in my own walk that the female gender in their unique genetic and spiritual makeup appear to usually have a deeper personal attraction to appearance – in reference to adornment, that is – typically. This view would be further supported by the fact in the different roles that men have from women – and vice versa – that God has ordained for humanity, that being in a more “submissive” type role for women, there’s usually more occasions in daily life for women to concentrate on outer adornment – not to say that women certainly have to sacrifice time in which to adorn themselves, since any responsible woman still has plenty of responsibilities that would keep her busy through out your typical day(s). _ As for men with a more sacrificial role, typically if the man is responsible in his primary role(s), there simply isn’t as much time – or the time he has doesn’t tend to usually lend itself for relative ease for external adornment. Heck, the more I go through the process of sanctification & the more I spend more time in servitude to others – or with work and then work & activities outside of work – I simply find myself w/ no time to focus on adorning myself externally! Again, this isn’t to say that women don’t sacrifice and also servants to others – yes, very much so! But still, typically, I believe usually there’s less opportunity for most responsible men than responsible women to focus their attention on such things. Not to mention, men typically perspire at a significantly higher rate too, lol.

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  2. thorin25 says:

    True Michael, just don’t forget that these woman were going overboard (as do many in our own culture today). All men and all women are supposed to work hard for God’s glory and not get caught up in obsessing about adornment. But yes I agree with you, maybe because of the nature of different work for men and women (traditionally, maybe not so much today), men had more physical labor jobs, and women did a lot of housekeeping and taking care of children so were able to do more with adornment.

    In history men who were preoccupied with appearance were known as “dandies” right? I’m trying to remember. They were kind of looked down upon if I remember right because people thought only women should have that kind of interest in appearance. Again I’m not here to criticize men like us who might be different, just saying there is some truth to the stereotypes.

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  3. K says:

    Wow, how well do you know your wives, guys? I think they would find it ludicrous to say that women have more time for adornment than men. Why, we’ve proved that to be false ourselves when we spent valuable time adorning ourselves falsely in the wrong gender! And mothers especially, wow, their work is never done! Come on, show some respect to women here.

    Now I do think there is an EXPECTATION, on both the part of men and women, that women will be more concerned with their appearance, but that is not because they have more time.

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  4. thorin25 says:

    K that is why I said “traditionally”. What I meant is that in certain times and places where men did hard labor, and women were at home with the kids, the women were able to adorn themselves in a way that the men would not be able to. I’m not saying that the women had more time to. Just that they could do things like paint their nails, wear high heels, jewelry, etc, because they were not doing physical labor jobs that would spoil such adornment. Such is the reason why my wife doesn’t so much of such things, exactly because society is so different today and she works hard at a job where those things don’t make sense.

    Certainly agree with you that the expectations of our culture on women make them suffer needlessly and tremendously. The time isn’t there to do all the crap that we men expect them to do. That’s why I like this passage. It calls us out that all of that stuff about appearance shouldn’t be our goal, and if it is, it’s vanity.

    But I think it’s not offensive to say, and even common sense, to look at how boys and girls behave differently, and girls are far more interested in beauty and appearance, not only in themselves, but in all things. (on average stereotypically), and I think this is not just because of conditioning of the culture.

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  5. Michael29 says:

    My apologies K, if I gave the impression that women don’t work as much, or to say that they have more time then men to adorn themselves. As for how much work women do, I know many, many women who do so much work and continually sacrifice for their friends and/or family that it’s truly inspirational! One thing that came to my mind in your response reminded me of how – on average – in our current culture today, what I’ve seen more of is that in a typical marriage – or a couple that live together & have children out of marriage, I usually see women sacrifice and give up more of themselves right after marriage and during marriage then their husbands. Which is really a sad thing to see men do this. & I apologize again, because I didn’t make it very clear before, but when I was making a reference to adorning ones’ self, I was referring more so to an external fixing up of ones’ appearance, not necessarily adorning ones’ self where it turns to vanity. That’s not what I was trying to convey. — In general, I agree w/ Thorin on most things on this subject, particularly in reference to his reply to you.

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  6. K says:

    Thanks for the apologies and explanations, guys, makes me feel better.

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  7. CDwife says:

    Hi Thorin, I somehow thought you might have a view about Germaine Greer’s ideas about men wearing women’s clothing and changing sex but as she says will never be a true women.

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  8. thorin25 says:

    Do you have a link for me? I don’t know who that is. I do agree that men can never truly become women, no matter how much they might appear to be one on the outside.

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  9. thorin25 says:

    Unfortunately universities are becoming bastions of anti-freedom of thought and anti-freedom of speech these days. So I’m not surprised that they didn’t let her speak. Unfortunately we live in a really intolerant society (in the traditional meaning of the word intolerant) not how people use it today. See this post – https://healingcd.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/do-not-judge-or-you-too-will-be-judged/

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