Quick Hits: Modesty, LGBTQ, and “Honoring” Women

A North Carolina pastor’s anti-gay tirade has gone viral on youtube. He proposes sending all non-heterosexuals to concentration camps, where they will die off because “they can’t reproduce!!1eleven11!!1″ In other words, he’s the guy Jonathan Swift could only pretend to be.

NC Pastor Gives Sermon on Killing Off Homosexuals
Members Stand Behind Pastor’s Anti-Gay Sermon

Melissa’s partner Haley writes about her experience as a transgender woman raised as a fundamentalist man:

When You Are Everything You Were Taught to Hate

Darcy responds to the Christian fundamentalist claim that strict gender roles exist to “respect” and “honor” women:

“You’re Not Being Insulted, You’re Being Honored!”


School’s Religious Policy Makes Boys Forfeit Baseball Championship Because of One Girl on The Opposing Team
Litzman in Hot Water for Refusing Minister’s Hand (On Orthodox Judaism preventing a man from shaking a woman’s hand)
Woman Matters – Opinion Piece by Reem M. Assad
 (On driving, modesty and respect for Saudi women; excerpt below)

In Saudi, the most important aspect of woman participation in public life and economic sphere remains to be … modesty. Her modesty determines whether she is a “fit” Saudi woman or a “model Saudi woman” (i.e. representative of her fellow Saudi women). So if her picture appears in the news, she is judged by the level of coverage on her face. On a scale from completely veiled (face unseen) to bare head — with many variations in between — a woman’s appearance in commented on and therefore the woman gets “labeled” or socially stratified based on the level of modesty.
In fairness, a woman is judged on her looks everywhere in the world, and modesty is a key part of professional appearance yet ranking it as the most critical feature of an achieving woman who serves her community is nothing but ridiculous.
Modesty-Virtue (from All About God; excerpt below)
There are several definitions for modesty in most dictionaries; it is most often rendered as humility, shyness, or simplicity. In today’s society any of these definitions of modesty may be seen as negative since we often focus on self; self esteem, self respect, and self expression.
My note: The above article implicitly conflates self-esteem and self-respect with arrogance and vanity. They are not the same thing. You can (and should!) be humble and also have self-respect.
Curtis says, “I want a girl who I can respect and who will respect the fact that I want to guard my eyes against lusting after her body before we are married.”
These reminders of modesty also apply to men like no other time in history. 
As you get dressed, evaluate what you plan to wear. Wear items that will make it easier for guys to treat you with dignity and respect.
My note: If your respect for a woman depends on your own approval of her clothing choices, you do not respect her as a person even when you “respect” her modesty.

What my feminism is, and why I’m not okay with “mansplaining”
Activism fatigue and the work of changing minds
Activism fatigue and the work of changing minds
What my feminism is, and why I’m not okay with “mansplaining”
  • Meggie

    Ah Sierra, everytime I read one of your post, here or elsewhere, I just want to give you a big cheer. Always so clever. Always so funny – if it wasn’t also sad.

    I’m puzzled about the “concentration camp for LGBT”. I have quite a few gay friends and the most obvious part of their relationship is – they can’t reproduce. Not sure how locking them up is going to do anything more than biology already has. (Actually, my first thought was they are all locked up. They all work in the theatre. There aren’t too many of us working here who are straight.) I would laugh if I didn’t already know how much my friends have suffered through their own biology. All of them have had a rough trip through their teens accepting their sexuality and finding a part of society that will accept them.

    As for modesty, I read ANOTHER discussion yesterday “I saw a fundy family…”. I read this so often. They are always doing something inappropriate. In this case it was swimming at the beach in polos+jeans (boys) and blouses+jumpers (girls). This was not what the discussion was about but isn’t it interesting that the fundy idea of modesty fails so badly on the rest of us. When I look at a fundy family I don’t say “look how godly” or “look at that girls countenance”, I say “Why are those idiots dressed so inappropriately?”.

    • http://nonprophetmessage.wordpress.com Sierra

      Aww, thanks, Meggie. :)
      I am planning to write a post about spotting fundies in shopping venues. They’re always traveling in packs, presumably to “guard” their “purity” against… mascara? Thongs?

      Another ridiculous part of the anti-gay pastor’s tirade is that plenty of gay and lesbian people are able to have children through surrogacy and IVF. If they really want to, some of them can do both and have each of two children be genetically related to each of them. I’m sure he’d say something about “the devil’s handiwork,” but really, let’s not pretend we live in a world where it’s impossible.

      • http://shadowspring-lovelearningliberty.blogspot.com/2012/05/spiritual-bullying.html shadowspring

        I know why they travel in packs: so that there is no way that can strike up a conversation with a normally dressed person and find out they are kind, decent individuals, maybe even also virgins with similar attitudes about sex before marriage. By travelling in packs, no one individual will ever get to talk to an openly gay person and find out that they are not scary or trying to “recruit” anyone to be like them. It’s just more milieu control.

        It’s very successful. If an outsider does find the courage to speak to any one person out of the group, you can be sure the “leader” of the pack will be the one to answer. At least, that’s my guess. I have a new social experiment to try out now! Health food store, here I come!