Is This Modest?

by Calulu

Yesterday afternoon I was doing a ramble around the interwebs when I ran across this article by Jezebel.com. It was titled “Batshit Ridiculous Modesty Website Reminds You Women Just Can’t Win” and was about a modesty website.

After I read it I started thinking I’d seen the site they referenced Is This Modest? and the name of the site owner Minthegap here and realized that Minthegap had been one of the commenters saying that No Longer Quivering founder Vyckie Garrison had an urban legend in her article posted here “Taking Her Myself” A New Trend in Quiverfull Courtship/Betrothal. Which I personally find very hard to believe, knowing Vyckie over the course of years and having her stay in my home and hang out with in the DC area. She’s very determined to portray Quiverfull in an honest and reflective manner as she recovers from the spiritual abuse she suffered and many of the readers here have suffered.

This is what Jezebel had to say about Is This Modest? -

“Is This Modest” is a website that claims to promote an open and practical dialog about modesty, but it’s actually a male-gazey compendium of creepshots of high schoolers and misogynist rants about too-tight t-shirts. Is it possible to have a sane discussion about modesty? Not if modesty means, as it does on this site, that it’s a woman’s responsibility to prevent men from thinking impure thoughts.

Their description jogged my memory of seeing Is This Modest and dismissing it as Christian Man Porn under the guise of ‘tuu-tuu’, sort of an ecclesiastical slut-shaming combined with masturbatory materials. Very not helpful to the dialogue on modesty and how it affects both men and women.

This type of mindset that men are beasts that cannot control their sexual urges therefore it is every women’s responsibility to keep men from lusting is insulting and belittling to both men and women. It takes any sense of responsibility from men and, per usual in fundamentalism, makes the woman always the guilty party.  It reduces men to less than human, to no better than a fancy animal.

There are others who’ve written on this subject with much more passion, intellect and discernment than I possess so I’m going to simply list those here instead of trying to spell out what some of NLQ’s Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network Members have already spoken of.

One good thing the Jezebel article did besides pointing out that it’s creepy for a grown man to have all those photos of high school aged girls posted. Shortly after they published his web address the site went down. Now it’s listed as ‘under construction’.

So what do you think? Is it really possible to have a sane and rational discussion about modesty or is it too contentious of an issue to ever be discussed?

Libby Anne of Love, Joy, Feminism -

The Patriarchal Utility of the Threat of Rape

How Modesty Doctrine Fuels Rape Culture

Purity Rings: From Two to One’s Culture

Worthwhile Reads: Modesty Flashbacks

On Modesty & Peer Pressure

Sierra of  the phoenix and the olive branch

Prospect.org: Purity Culture is Rape Culture

Modesty,  Body Policing and Rape Culture: Connecting the Dots

How the Modesty Doctrine Hurts Men Too

How Modesty Made Me Fat

 

Comments open below

Read everything by Calulu!

Calulu lives near Washington DC , was raised Catholic in South Louisiana before falling in with a bunch of fallen Catholics whom had formed their own part Fundamentalist, part Evangelical church. After fifteen uncomfortable years drinking that Koolaid she left nearly 6 years ago. Her blog is Calulu – Roadkill on the Internet Superhighway

The Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce

 

About Suzanne Calulu
  • Mary

    Sure it’s possible to have that discussion. It goes like this: You think that women are responsible for men’s actions or thoughts? Nice knowing you. Hope your life goes well.

    You think that modesty is just dressing in a culturally appropriate way and policing the image we send? Ok, let’s talk! Should we wear bikinis to the opera? Mmmm…probably not. At the beach? Sure! Should we cover neck-to-knees for funerals? Not a requirement, but I’m a fan….should we cover neck-to-knees at the beach? NO. It;s impractical, draws way more attention than we want, and makes us look REALLY weird. Should we dress in a way that our culture would define as “ho” or “prostitute” if we aren’t? Only if we’re conducting anthropological experiments, and then carefully. Should we talk about what clothes send what message in what subculture? Sure, that’s fun! Does God have a dress code for the holy, and should we shame those who choose to portray a different image than the one we’d choose for ourselves? Yeah…. probably not. Once again- besides being completely unchristian and unnecessary, it makes us look REALLY weird. (sarcasm intended :) )

  • http://www.spiritualsoundingboard.com Julie Anne

    This whole thing has been quite an eye-opener for me. I wrote a modesty post months ago on my blog and came across IsThisModest.com site. I found it disturbing along with so much of the modesty/purity teachings. It wasn’t until a friend, Emily, tweeted that this guy was using photos of minors without permission that I was enraged. I am the mother of 2 beautiful young ladies who spend time on the internet posting pictures of themselves. It is NOT appropriate for a 36-year old father to seek out pictures of minors and dress them down. My blood started boiling and I, too, did a blog post and tweeted about it linking the twitter account “IsThisModest”. I then received a direct message from “@IsThisModest”, but was unable to access it. Shortly thereafter, the site went down. In my blog post I told the owner to remove the review section and turn the site over to his wife. No man should be in the business (yes, the site was a business site with ads and a modesty store) of overseeing the modesty of women.

  • Liz

    As an addition, the Is This Modest appears to have shut down its Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook presences. The Google cache is still available for now, I wonder if the website founder will ask Google to remove that too soon. I wonder why the scrubbing is occurring.

  • Lucreza Borgia

    Mental modesty should be discussed. Clothing modesty? Nooooo

  • Nightshade

    So this guy goes looking for pictures of high schoolers that wouldn’t bring sex to most people’s minds, and makes sure that sex IS the dominant thought by the time he’s done? Congratulations, MInTheGap, you’ve convinced everyone how essential modesty is!…no, wait…all you’ve done is demonstrate how a deviant, perverted mind can see sexual allure everywhere.

  • Phatchick

    The site is under construction; the need to take down the underage girl pics. {snark mode off}

  • Sarah F.

    I used to subscribe to that blog… until I realized that the reviewer was looking at pictures of girls that were completely modest, at least by my standards, and finding fault with every little thing. Then I realized that it was a man doing this and it made it even worse!!!!

  • http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/ Retha

    I will guess it is because Jezebel.com, or the previous Nolongerquivering post on which MintheGap commented, pointed out that he repost and discuss pictures of minors, or even because a commenter (can’t remember if it was that site or here) guessed that he probably have child pornography on his computer too.

    Any way, that site is, right now, giving him a reputation as a creep. I think he realised that and want to save face. (Or perhaps even avoid prosecution.)

  • http://belljaimie@ymail.com Jaimie

    I saw the Jezebel article and thought that a married man spending time looking for underage teens was super creepy. Men like that are so gross. It’s pretty obvious to those on the outside that he is just another type of sicko voyeur, hiding under the umbrella of godly.

  • Stacey B.

    I’ve noticed how those involved in the purity culture are practically encouraging a recipe for pedophlilia. First let’s look at the purity balls and rings. A young girl pledges her virginity to her father. The father is the safeguard of the girl’s purity. Next, let’s look at modesty thing, where people like MintheGap comment on a young girl’s immodest dress. Secondly, young women are reminded not to dress in way that attract lust (that is, sexual thoughts) from men. Young men in turn are reminded never to have sexual thoughts about women. So what does this create? It creates a culture where everyone is thinking about sex, 24/7. Girls think about it when they get dressed every morning. Boys think about it when they’re walking around in the supermarket and see a girl. Fathers think about men who would want to have sex with their daughters. The irony of this all is that Quiverfull Fundamentalists always talk about staying away from the big, bad, secular, world. The world, they say is dirty and unclean.The world, they say, runs on immodest thoughts and innapropriate sexual desires. But in fact, the Quiverfull Fundamentalists create a more sex-saturated environment than any “worldly” culture. In fact, it seems as though the entire Quiverfull belief system is based, one way or another, on having sex, or not having sex. And as a result, those Quiverfull children grow up in that sex-saturated culture. As a result, Quiverfull daughters will grow up thinking that they will have to provide loads of children and sex for their father-approved husbands. Quiverfull Sons will think of women as sexual temprtresses, made only to lead men into lust. And the fathers, like MinTheGap? What about them? While, as the result of the purity balls and dedicating of the daughter’s virginity, the father might stray into the incest with the daughter. And since his wife is submissive and behaves like a robot, he might try to find sexual satisfaction in the daughter. The same might go for a Quiverfull mother and her son. The Quiverfull and Modesty/Purity believers might claim to be the chosen ones of the Lord, but in reality their belief system is creating a new generation of sex addicts. (I’m looking at you, MintheGap!)

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  • ThinkingandPraying

    I just found your blogs tonight and I am interstec in the topics you discuss here. I don’t think it is apporpriate for a grown man to be finding and posting pictures of young girls he finds onthe internet on any website. However, I do believe that modesty is important. Not as a way to avoid being raped , that’s ridiculous. However, I don’t think that I need to dress immodestly to prove a point to anyone. Dressing modestly, in my opinion, shows that I have respect for myself as a woman.


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