Just because you’re shomer negiah, doesn’t mean you’re tznius

The other day when I wrote about the awkward shomer negiah moments in that proposal video one of the commenters posited that it was weird for the girl to be shomer negiah and wear such a short skirt. Granted her cute little pasty white knees were showing, but that doesn’t really qualify us to judge her on the choice of skirt and. It just so happens to be that her skirt probably covered her knees while standing and it was only by accident that her knees were shown to 25,000 people on you tube, I am quite sure that had she realized everyone was watching the video she would have covered her knees with bulletproof stockings, but then she wouldn’t have provided the unearthly pleasures of watching extreme awkward shomer negiah couples push the sexual tension into the back of their minds and there has to be a mitzvah in providing that joy.

Anyway, the commenter stated that being shomer negiah and dressing untzniusly (tznius is one of those sort of halachic items that is definitely relative and subjective) was wrong, that “she can’t have it both ways”. What’s that supposed to mean? Does that mean that girls who don’t dress to yours or anyone’s standards of tznius should break another halacha by touching guys? What does one have to do with the other? It seems that people have decided to mix tznius and shomer negiah into one halacha and despite the fact that they are somewhat related, they are not one and the same.

I myself have been bothered by the phenomena of shomer negiah cock teases in the frum community, I used to be deeply bothered by it (like why waste such goodness on saving it for marriage) but now I am only slightly bothered by it because I understand it a bit more. For those who don’t know what I am talking about, allow me to explain. I remember meeting these girls who wore skinny jeans and halter tops telling me they were shomer negiah and I became incensed, how could they be flaunting all that stuff, tempting us men with their goodies and then say they don’t touch us? That has go to be wrong right? I was convinced that they were putting a stumbling block in front of men because they had the power to do so, not because they actually wanted to follow halacha, wasn’t it worse to lead men down the wrong road, they should just put out and stop being such halachic cock teases.

Of course nowadays I understand that the anomaly of the shomer negiah tease is more like the woman who wear tank tops and hair covering, they have able to separate hilchos tznius and other halachos that seem similar but aren’t. Sure, I’m still bothered when a marginally tznius cute girl I’m into tells me she’s shomer negiah, but I actually commend them on it, because that’s one of those tough things to keep regardless of how you dress. I also find that a lot of time (I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this) girls will tell guys they are shomer negiah so they will leave them alone and not make it awkward for the girl to bluntly state (usually by text nowadays which takes the bluntness out of it) that they are shomer negiah. I remember a girl I was really into told me she was shomer and several months later I saw her locking tongue with this is other dude I knew and I’m sure plenty of people have experienced this usage of halacha as an excuse to avoid someone or something.

The message here is a powerful one, I’m really trying to say that just because you misstep in one halacha, doesn’t mean you can’t keep a similar one and it’s important to realize that not everyone is up to your standards when it comes to tznius.