by SJ Reidhead cross posted from her blog The Pink Flamingo
So-called ‘Christian’ Modesty is a strange critter, at best. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any group implementing a dress code. Feeling like a rank hypocrite and jerk, where I was once dead set against school uniforms (when I was in school) I now think they are the only answer to any number of problems schools and students face. If a church or sect, or cult wants to have their plain dress, head pieces, or sailor suits of a Hubbard rear admiral or something, that’s fine. It is still a somewhat free country where we should be somewhat free to practice what ever form or religion, or no religion, as long as we don’t harm ourselves or others (snake handlers included).
Forcing a dress code on membership and people can be problematic, at best. When it is enforced out of authority, cult, or just plain nastiness, bad things happen. Any parent who even wants to enter into such an arrangement should have the common sense to comprehend that forcing your kid to wear puke avocado green, with hot pink tassels is going to get them bullied, beat-up, and generally make their lives a living hell. It is not character building, it is character destroying. While some kids will go along with the agenda, there are going to be numerous individuals – that is the key word – individual, who refuse to do something that makes them look like a fool. These are the kids who are going to rebel, run away, and may not come back. They will turn against their parents and, from what I know about life in the fast religious lane, never look back.
Living up to one’s beliefs is important. It is important to have standards. It is important to incorporate those standards into one’s daily life. Reasonable men and women employ reasonable and judicial tactics in daily life. They understand that you can ruin a child, destroy their lives, and cause trauma from which may never recover. Loving parents will always the benefits to their children against the detriments. Unless they have been sucked into such a cult that they can’t think – rationally. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. In many ways, you wonder about karma. How many of the children turned their backs on their parents, breaking their hearts, then have their children turn their backs on them, thereby breaking their hearts? Like the say, karma’s a bitch.
Family dynamics aside, the very real problem with so-called ‘Christian’ modesty is the fact that no one has a right to force their religious values on any culture, no matter how well meaning, or which culture. The other fact, as I have repeatedly stated, is the fact that so-called ‘modesty’ of culturally and historically relevant. In other words, what is today’s version of modest might be yesterday’s version of high-fashion. As I have repeatedly stated, I loath historical and cultural ignorance. No one single group of individuals in this country, day and age, I swear, are more historically and culturally ignorant than the religious right. No, I’m not talking about normal conservative ‘Christians’. I’m talking about the brainwashed, former Vision Forum, ATI, Gothard sycophants, who are all an off-shoot of Christian Reconstruction, and their followers. They excel in historical revisionism, to the point where they no longer even know what is fact and what is fiction.
People have a right to live and dress as they please, as long as they don’t harm others. I add to this that the caveat is the fact that there are specific decency laws designed to protect minors. If you don’t approve of nude beaches, don’t patronize them. If you don’t like topless women on a beach, to to another one. What religious types seem to forget is that other people have the same rights they do. The problem, today, is that the religious ATI brainwashed right has become so politically powerful, they think they are on a Blues Brothers’ style Mission from God, to shove every American woman in a burka, and force her to bake cookies and have a dozen or so kids. If that is what they want, fine, but they don’t have the right to ruin everyone else’s life in the process.
There are so many roots to the new ‘puritanism’ that it is difficult to go back and state them all. Unfortunately, today’s normal right was has been pounded – since 1980, with the fact that our society is falling apart. We’ve been subjected to fear, paranoia, a war on Christianity, and ever encroaching theonomy. When you start going back to literally chart the growth of the far right, the usual sources are all there – from day one, with R. J. Rushdoony: Larry Pratt, Tim & Beverly LeHay, Phyllis ‘Senile Old Bat’ Schlafly. The religious take-over, which is now in full effect, was planned, decades ago. It is their will that we conform, never question, and express no individuality. From day one, feminism, and the bra-burning women libbers were to be feared, hated, and forced to submit.
Fashion is a subjective creature, ever evolving. Today, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a ‘power suit’. I owned one, once, when I was doing the lobbyist thing, but soon discovered that only low-level women in DC wore suits. I always wore a matching skirt and blouse, and a jacket. I love jackets. I wore Ferragamo Tuxedo Pumps. My blouses weren’t all that low-cut, but they would not be considered modest. Today, forget it. With me you get a low-cut gauze blouse, prairie skirt, or a long circle skirt. I like skirts, and I like things long. I’m a klutz. The longer the better. Forget stockings. Eight months out of the year I’m in sandals. Nothing I wear would be considered ‘modest’, from my jewelry to make-up, or hand-bags.
“...Yes, we know about incestual rape. Victims are never responsible for the sexual perversions of family members. But I suspect that in most Christian families where modesty is an obsession, the males are not worried about being tempted to rape a sister or daughter. Instead, they are trying to compensate for their insecurities.
Female sexuality has become a lightning rod for male insecurity thanks to the obsessive over-sexualization of the female body in purity culture. As if that weren’t enough, men are taught to fear and be ashamed of their natural desires….”
Why should I be required to submit to some pathetic little man’s version of what he thinks a godly woman should wear? Please, answer that. Please tell me how my low-cut blouses are a trap for him. Maybe, instead of my wearing something more circumspect, the little jerk should get his mind out of the gutter. Why should I be required to do what they want, when they are nothing but ignorant, self-righteous, narrow-minded fools? I don’t subscribe to their cult. Reasonable men and women understand that people have a freedom of expression and dress. That’s why we don’t consider the ultra religious conservative cultures of Middle Eastern Islam to be so unreasonable. We’re not dealing with reasonable, adult men, but men who are infantile, immature, and have not matured, psychologically.One young woman wrote:
“...If you are unsure about some of the clothing in your closet, please seek some godly counsel. When I was in high school I asked my brother if he thought my choices were modest by asking him if he would want his future wife to wear it in front of other guys. If the answer was no, I threw it out. My Momma also taught me what it meant to be a modest lady through her clothing choices and thoughtful advice. Even though I had the godly advice and practice of many years of dressing modestly, I still sometimes struggle when the cutest clothing out there seems to be a little too tight or too low or too short. But I know that a cute outfit in no way compares to the blessings of dressing modestly….”
None of it is about modesty. It is about controlling women. It is about men who are terrified of women. They are so terrified of women, they have changed the very meaning of the Bible. The young woman went on to write that there are no real modesty guidelines of the the Bible says about fashion, other than God requires godly women to dress modestly and decently. This is the response from a reasonable man.
“…Recently, one Modesty Lifeguard and widely quoted blogger wrote that when a man lusts after a woman, the woman is also committing adultery with the man. Just to make sure women know how abhorrent a woman’s beauty is in God’s eyes, the message has been manipulated to this: immodesty is adultery. Sadly, the message continues to shift more and more away from honoring women. First, women were denied personhood and redefined as powerfully sexual beings, as objects. Now, according to the argument set forth by this blogger, women are adulterous objects….”
It is a given that men and women both objectify one another. Heck, two of my favorite fictional men have made a career out of objectifying women: James T. Kirk and James Bond. Does it bother me? Nope, not at all, In fact, I don’t mind admitting that the original James T. Kirk is my ultimate fantasy man. Is that lust, lewd, and objectifying someone? He’s a fictional character. Deal with it.
That’s the problem. They are hyper-normal archetype men. They are the ‘real’ men, afraid of nothing but perhaps their own inner feelings. Women don’t bother them, not at all. They have no problems with their own masculinity. They don’t rape, either. Their objectification of women is more of a love of women. That’s the difference. The modesty culture today is made up of men who don’t really like women. It is a rape culture, where women are demeaned, objectified, and belittled. We laugh at the original Bond movies, with the empty-headed Bond Girls, but they were not belittled. Many of them had glamorous careers, and were independent women, who were ‘made whole’ by giving in to the uber male – sigh – oh James! The same thing holds true with James T. Kirk. No dimwits for him (well, not that many). His women had careers and lives. They just tumbled into his orbit, and like they say, James Kirk is no boy scout. Instead, he went girl scouting!
We’re dealing with men who are so insecure and so unsure of their own sexuality that, not only must they hate women, and demean them, but they also hate homosexuals. We could do a heck of a lot of commentary here. My late friend Leroy always swore that the men who hated gays the most were the ones deepest in the closet. They pass their fear and hatred of women down to their sons, turning them into fearful, pathetic creatures who are terrified, not only of their own sexuality, but of women, in general.
In Part B, I deleted several links and screen shots. They were pertaining to very strange modesty survey which will be featured in tomorrow’s post. Just think about the fact that the pathetic little men who demean women the most, demanding them be so modest are so full of fear and hatred of women they will do just about anything to dominate them. You get the idea that they just plain old don’t like women, have no use for them, other than cooking, cleaning, having children, and well, you can guess the rest of it.
So, let’s try this one more time. Today’s version of modest is not in keeping with historic modesty. I love the Regency period, for culture and fashion. It is rather fascinating the way today’s version of Regency costume is almost censored. The original costumes, the original fashions were so racy, they were literally banned from early Hollywood.
Please visit SJ Reidhead’s blog The Pink Flamingo