About That Viral Modesty Video, “Virtue”

As I watched the opening of this viral video, “Virtue,” I was excited.

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Why was I excited? Well, the opening lines go like this:

Dressing modest.
We know it’s rough.
When the world’s making it so tough.

It was all guys! Finally, an equal opportunity video with guys singing about their personal challenges adhering to proper modest standards! Yes, I’m against modesty standards being applied to guys just as I’m against them being applied to girls, but I’m still excited when I actually see them applied evenly! And then my excitement evaporated.

Don’t need short skirts.
Or low cut shirts.

Oh. It’s not about guys doing this modesty thing too. It’s about, yet again, guys telling girls how to dress.

If you watch the whole thing, you’ll find that the male singers tell women they better dress “modest,” or they don’t have “virtue” or “integrity.” My response? Gee, thanks. It’s good to know you’ll be thinking I’m an immoral slutty slut whore if I wear a skirt that’s not long enough for your liking. And this bit about respecting yourself—it’s funny, I have a lot more respect for myself now, when I dress as I please, than I did when I was young and insecure and followed the modesty standard to a T. And how’s about respecting women enough to leave their clothing choices up to them? Or, you know, not assuming that the length of a woman’s skirt tells you everything you need to know about her? Or is that too much to ask?

Seriously, though, I should have seen that coming. I think my time outside of the modesty bubble is making me increasingly naive.

If you want to know more about the video and who made it, see here.

You know, the irony of this is that the guys in the video spend a good bit of time gyrating their hips to the music, and you better believe that if they weren’t at least reasonably good looking, it wouldn’t have gone viral. It’s also clear from how they stand and move that they’re trying to be cool and hip and, yes, sexy. Whether you think they fail or succeed may be a matter of taste, but I do feel like we’re staring in the face of a bit of hypocrisy.

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.