When I saw the post on Facebook, I nearly laughed out loud. A brilliantly written look at the modesty movement, turned around to focus on men for a change.
Then I saw the other related posts that FB always seems to serve up. I should have known better than to click on them. I should have known to avoid the things with titles like “The Day I Wore Yoga Pants: 5 Myths About Modesty” and “Why I Chose To No Longer Wear Leggings”. (I’ll give a link to the 5 Myths post at the end, since I do quote from it.)
So, I made the mistake of reading these things, and I was… well… baffled. I bounced uncomfortably between outrage, frustration, and pity as the author’s attitudes rekindled the years of shame ingrained in me by my ex-husband and the extremely conservative church we attended.
In the “5 Myths” article, the author talks about how women get upset when men look at them. She states, “In many cases, the very women offended by the negative attention of men are dressing in such a way as to earn it.”
Wait a minute. What? Hold up! So… a woman who wears tight pants, or a short skirt, or anything that a man finds attractive is asking for negative attention?
But wait, it gets better.
She goes on to say, “…the level of their lust is directly related to how much of our bodies is available to lust after. The less we advertise, the less opportunity we give them to covet our bodies.”
Please repeat the wait a minute refrain from above.
I could go on. The article, and in fact, her entire blog, are filled with things that basically say it’s a woman’s responsibility to hide herself from men and to not do anything to attract their attention.
This from a blogger who clearly wears makeup, has a hairstyle that obviously takes time and effort, wears heels, and posts pictures of herself and her hubby in physically affectionate embraces. Hey, they’re married, it’s OK, right?
But… if we’re supposed to avoid giving others things to lust after, shouldn’t we also be avoiding anything that implies an intimate relationship, lest it cause someone to lust?
If we really need to be so concerned with random strangers lusting after us as we walk down the street, let’s just all wear burqas and be done with it. That is the purpose of the burqa after all – to shield a woman from the prying eyes of someone who should not be looking (and lusting) after her beauty.
The problem is, who defines “modesty”? Why stop at yoga pants or short skirts?
Red lipstick? Nope, that’s a problem!
High heels? Do you know how they make your butt look?
Tank top? Why don’t you just wave a flag that says “look at my boobies?”
Sure, people are going to look at, and lust after, someone who is dressed attractively. In the Victorian era, a bared ankle could incite lust. No matter how much we cover up, those who are prone to lustful thoughts will think them.
And no matter how much we reveal, no matter how “enticing” the look, it’s not license to act on those lustful thoughts.
If you really want to read the “Myths” post – http://phyliciadelta.com/that-day-i-wore-yoga-pants-5-myths-about-modesty/