Quoting Quiverfull: Modesty is Mutual?

Quoting Quiverfull: Modesty is Mutual? August 2, 2013

by Brett Harris of The Rebelution – The Other Side of Modesty

This is strange. Women may be shedding clothes this time of year, but so are men. Why are we only talking about female modesty? If modesty is important then it is important for all Christians. If it isn’t important for men, then why all the fuss about women? If it is important for women, why the silence about men?

Is it because guys can’t be immodest?

Nope. I’m pretty sure the existence of speedos rules out that possibility.

Is it because girls don’t struggle with physical lust?

Nope. Pretty sure Potiphar’s wife wasn’t the last woman to “cast her eyes” on a guy and lust after his “handsome form and appearance” (Gen. 39:6-7).

But by our silence we send the message that modesty is a female issue and lust is a male issue. Guys sit around the pool wearing low-rise trunks and tanning their abs and pecs while wishing the girls would cover up. And girls are left wondering what people will think if they admit to struggling with lust.

I have to confess, I wasn’t modest in college. I got into working out my freshman year and enjoyed showing off the fruits of my labor. My Christian school had a dress code that didn’t allow guys to walk around shirtless, but I probably pushed the limits of what was permissible. It wasn’t always conscious, but I wanted people to see my arms. I wanted my shirts tight enough to show my muscles. I wanted people to see my shape. The only difference between me and the immodest girls on campus was that I had a male shape and they had a female shape.

So what was going on? I felt fit and confident in my body and wanted to show it off. This is exactly what my sisters in Christ have been carefully instructed not to do. So was I doing something wrong? If I’m going to be consistent, yes I was.

Comments open below

Tell us what you think. Are they leveling the modesty playing field or putting both sexes in bondage?


QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

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


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • mayarend

    It was going SO well. Except the conclusion is THE OTHER WAY AROUND. If women are able to “lust over” them and not go nuts and have sex with, you know, everything, then maybe, just maybe, men can control themselves too…
    Was it wrong for him to do that? No it wasn’t. And it isn’t wrong for women either.

  • teaisbetterthanthis

    On one hand, yes. If you’re going to expect “modesty” from women and girls, it’s fair to expect the same from men and boys.

    On the other, we all have self-control and can be trusted to dress appropriately for the weather and other environmental factors and the situation. If it’s 90+ degrees outside, I’m wearing shorts, end of story.

  • Joy

    The comments on his post are quite interesting. Maybe guys in those circles where modesty is a big deal will get their eyes opened as to how it feels to have your clothes and posture constantly criticized by the other gender.

    I hope it opens up the conversation. I don’t know if it will result in both sexes ending up in bondage or if it will result in levelling the modesty playing field.

  • So he posted this to let us know that he had a hot body when he was in college? 😉

    Seriously, I agree with mayarend. He could have reached a different conclusion, one that left everyone with more freedom, not less.

  • persephone

    Blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada, same old, same old, silk purse, sow’s ear, lipstick on a pig

  • Nightshade

    He is at least considering women as people who are capable of (gasp!) feeling something, not just temptresses to drag him away to hell. Is it enough? No, but I agree, it is a starting point.

  • gimpi1

    Personally, I give him 6 points out of 10 for consistency, minus 4 points for shaming people (both men and women) for having natural pride in their appearance and any sort of sexual thoughts – for a total of 2 out of 10.

    Not too good, not too bad, either. Some bloggers (Mr. Ohlman, I’m thinking of you) have been in minus numbers. Double-digit minus numbers.

  • Saraquill

    He totally wanted to brag about his hotness.

  • Saraquill

    The way he was describing skimpy male bathing suits and men gently toasting their perfectly toned bodies makes me wonder if there’s something he’s not telling himself.

  • Madame

    My dh’s muscles got my attention when I first met him. He was playing lots of soccer and running. His abs, arms and legs were a sight worth seeing.

    Dh was attracted to my shape in a form-fitted sweater and flowing skirt. He loves it when I dress like that, and I love it when he dresses in such a way that I can see his shape.
    I guess we tempted each other and dragged each other down the wrong path… or, alternatively, we were attracted to each other, started a relationship, and ended up marrying and having children.

  • Madame

    I don’t like speedos, and I wear swim shorts. It’s my personal preference because *I* feel like I’m running around in my underwear and am afraid my bum likes to escape bikinis and swimming suits. Cheeky bum!
    I personally don’t like to see all that much of a man’s genital area. I find swimming trunks a lot more attractive.

    I don’t think I’m any more modest than a woman wearing a bikini. My shape is visible, and my swim shorts and tankini top leave very little to the imagination, but I can swim and that’s what counts!

  • teaisbetterthanthis

    Oh, sure. But speedos have their use, just like bike shorts — they’re used for a particular type of swimming. Not day-at-the-beach wear.

    I also don’t actually own a bathing suit of any kind, more because I don’t have the money to buy one. My last beach trip? I wore loose, capri-length pants and a tank top. It was comfortable and helped to minimize sunburn.

  • newcomer

    The way that I see it, if ‘modesty’ becomes applied equally across genders, instead of being about what women are wearing. doing, and being, then the odds are good that the standards are suddenly going to ease up. A LOT. Because keeping skin covered in hot weather is massively uncomfortable, because too much fabric in all of the wrong places impedes your ability to do things, because the ‘modesty’ standards that women are held to are frequently a giant pain in the neck and when and if men ever become held to those same standards they are likely to change them very very quickly. When it comes to men, society tends to set limits on how much we can demand from them.

  • Madame

    Look at FLDS men. Working outside all day, wearing long underwear and long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

  • Madame

    Men around here wear speedos to public swimming pools and the beach. I don’t think it’s a pretty sight.

    Swimmers, of course, have to wear whatever is most comfortable and functional for their sport.