Neckties are arrows that point to the male genitalia. Why are they considered “priesthood attire” in the LDS community? In some congregations otherwise worthy men are not allowed to participate in priesthood ordinances unless wearing a white shirt and necktie. The male missionary uniform is a white shirt and conservative necktie, symbols of orthodoxy in the LDS Church. Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Kirby recently noted,
Neckties are so important to Mormons that it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing them airbrushed onto young men in church publications.
Oh, the horror! Before such a perilous day dawns, I must sound a warning. Neckties are leading women far from the iron rod of righteousness into the shadowy mists of lust. The influence of the necktie is subtle and pernicious and has infiltrated every level of Church leadership. The white shirt and necktie are ubiquitous symbols for male professional conformity and power, but some Christians contend that a man in a suit is too much temptation for the modern Christian sister.
Justin Timberlake and Jay Z acknowledge the power of the well dressed man in the song Suit and Tie. Brother Timberlake croons in the chorus,
And as long as I got my suit and tie, Ima leave it all on the floor tonight.
You are mistaken in hoping Brother Timberlake took off his suit and tie to put on his pajamas,
Stop, let me get a good look at it, Oh, so thick, now I know why they call it a fatty.
In the accompanying video Brother Timberlake sings these seductive lyrics without wearing a necktie. But there must be neckties in the video of the man that brought sexy back. The video cuts to men in neckties dancing provocatively and women in bikinis getting wet. The equivalency is obvious: suit and necktie is to man as bikini is to woman.
Yes, suits are very sexy. But, let us focus on harm reduction. Small measured steps we can take to increase the pure thoughts of our congregation. For now let us imagine the buttoned suit jacket as a protective shield. I have rarely witnessed a General Authority or other prominent Church leader with a necktie nakedly exposed by an open jacket. (It does happen. Google at your own risk.) Instead, a neatly buttoned armor covers the pointy end of the necktie, diminishing the downward gaze towards the Telestial Kingdom. Modesty restored and lustful gaze averted.
The general male membership of the Church is not so noble. They blatantly display their phallic pointers with seductively unbuttoned jackets or no jacket at all. Few are the modest Mormon men that wear a bow tie, vest, or thick sweater to cover the pointy end of the necktie. I say a little prayer of gratitude for each of them when they pass me the sacrament in a modest bow tie. In these latter days of rampant wickedness upon the earth, can we afford to ignore these frivolous fabric phallic pointers and their devastating impact on women and homosexual men? Images of early Church leaders depict virile bearded men that had many wives and much progeny. Although they followed the fashion of their day, the cravat or bow-tie maintains the viewers gaze upward towards celestial glory and the face (where one can observe the light of Christ). Early Church leaders didn’t wear a fabric phallic phallus pointer. A cravat or bow tie was good enough.
In contrast modern leaders walk a fine line: following the winds of fashion by donning the necktie, but diminishing the lust inducing power of Lucifer’s Lust Pointer by keeping their suit jackets closed. To those humble men desiring after righteousness and sincerely asking: How can I help to strengthen the daughters (and gay sons) in the Kingdom of God? I offer simple advice:
- Wear an opaque white shirt and no necktie.
- If you feel you must wear a necktie then follow Elder Uchtdorf’s example: wear a white tie that blends in with your shirt and keep your suit jacket buttoned.
- Avoid the appearance of evil and wear a bow tie.
- Wear a vest or sweater (where weather permits) but do not think it is sufficient to don a thin sweater through which the necktie is still clearly visible.
Perhaps some of you are thinking that the necktie as phallic phallus pointer is a limited problem. Maybe Cruelest Month is the only woman in the world having lustful thoughts? Sociology professor Lisa Wade PhD has written about how the purchasing power of lusty women is driving the rise in “hunkvertising” She warns that female desire should not be underestimated, stating,
It’s funny to us to think of women being lustful because we don’t really take women’s sexuality very seriously….we don’t really believe that women are the way we imagine men to be.
In the age of battery operated boyfriends and “mommy porn” can we continue to promote the phallic necktie as modest “priesthood attire”? We are putting the rising generation at risk with our reckless participation in dangerous haberdashery.
In the book What do Women Want: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire, author Daniel Bergner notes that women are just as sexually driven as men, although perhaps “even less well-suited for monogamy than men.” The fairy tale about women not craving raw and varied sex? Turns out that the female sex engine is “not for the most part, sparked or sustained by emotional intimacy and safety.” Women are just as lusty as men, although perhaps thanks to biology, not as obvious in making that lust known. Erotic romance sales continue to rise as women snap up erotica sometimes dubbed “mommy porn.”You might be surprised to learn how many sisters of Relief Society and Young Women are reading erotica on their tablet or smartphone before flipping on the vibrator.
OK, so ladies are lustier than we thought. Are neckties really sending a message to think about the male sex organ? Late night (after the Holy Ghost is sleeping) television host Craig Ferguson thinks so… ÈB; As does Vittorio J ( a fine purveyor of handmade neckties) in this advertising campaign featuring a kinky necktie knot tutorial. Does this objectified and bound Marilyn-Monroe-type image disturb you? It should! Visually this perfectly captures what happens to children of God when the sight of an exposed necktie leads them through the mists of darkness to the great and spacious building of worldly sin.
Neckties as tools of lust are not a new problem, but they are getting harder to ignore. We must take seriously the spiritual gauntlet women face as they attend church in a sea of phallic pointers. The time has come to speak of the modesty of men and stop promoting neckties as a symbol of orthodoxy.
What does it mean to be a modest man? The convicted sodomite Oscar Wilde stated in the play A Woman of No Importance,
A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.
Truly. The first step in leading women (and gay men) astray and the first tender step in a path that does not take female sexuality seriously. A mindset that values a necktie above the pure thoughts of others is selfish and prideful. Modesty conveys simplicity, decency, humility, and propriety. A modest man cares enough about daughters of God to not come to church wearing a giant arrow that points to his member.
Men, we’re not asking you to suffer discomfort. A scarf will keep your neck warmer than a necktie, a bow tie can symbolize wealth and class or match a prom dress, a bib can keep your shirt clean, a nice sweater or vest can cover your buttons (if you are a man that suffers from button shame). A tie is utterly frivolous. What purpose does it serve other than to point our gaze to your phallus?
Engage in a brief exercise of empathy and imagine something more radical than women wearing pants to church. What if women started wearing bikinis to church? How about giant arrows that point to their breasts and vagina? What if we only let sisters teach and pray in church if they were wearing a bikini or accessorized in a breast/vagina pointer? Well, church attendance would probably increase, but not for the right reasons! Pure thoughts would wither and fail. Yet this is what the women and gay men of our community must endure each day of worship.
Show your compassion by banning the necktie from public spaces, especially church. Save it for the privacy of your bedroom. Something special for just your spouse to look upon. Women, it is not up to the men alone to correct this wrong. Stop buying neckties for the men in your life. Stop it. Admit you are part of the problem, bringing temptation down upon your sisters and gay brothers with each necktie you gift.
Men, it is truly not your fault that some look down to your sex organ with lustful thoughts. But think when you praise motherhood, how you influence us to covet the mother making powers of your genitalia. It is not penis envy. Our ovaries just want your sperm. Your magic wand is what turns us into mothers.
Finally, ponder on a portion of the Word of Wisdom,
A principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints.
As you dress for church on Sunday, think of the weakest of all saints. Those who struggle to meet your gaze and look into your eyes instead of at that place in your pants. Those who try to think on a hymn but only recall the primary song I have Two Little Hands. Think of the weak among us. Just as you abstain from tea, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, and drugs to make life easier for the addicts, set aside your neckties. Adapt to the capacity of the weakest saints suffering from necktie induced lust addiction. Choose modesty and leave the necktie in the bedroom.