Modesty is more than covering your bosoms

“…the answer isn’t to try and outdo each other in modesty until we’re shuffling around in form-masking body suits made of brown paper bags”

I grew up in a southern Baptist church AND was homeschooled, so I have endured my share of lectures on dressing modestly. I even took some classes at a church that wouldn’t let women on their property if they were wearing pants. I have never experienced more wrath than when a homeschool mom yelled at me, her golden eyes sparking with hatred, because my shirt showed my tums when I raised my arms (Now, I find it hilarious and maybe a little ironic that I have been slut shamed). Granted, these examples stick out to me because they’re outliers.

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Stanley and I feel the same about immodesty being a female privilege.  (this was a still from a gif that wouldn’t show up on this page properly — please don’t sue me!)

But even so, we all know that a “modesty” talk will be directed exclusively toward women. And it will be about what they’re (ornot) wearing. Because you know, the thrill of being immodest is a female privilege.

Some of you may want to sit down for this one. Ready? Here it comes – Men can be immodest, too. Maybe they aren’t teasing with low cut v-necks, but they may hog the “air time” during a group discussion to showcase their exquisite insightfulness.

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This center giraffe is immodestly hogging the convo. Smh (pixabay really limits my options, y’all – worth with me!)

Or they may show breathtaking creativity in how many times they can oh-so-casually work their six-fig income into a conversation. Or they may plaster their social media with pics of them surrounded by village children in Haiti, to really drive home their compassion and sensitivity. All can be forms of immodesty, all achievable without ever showing the smallest amount of bosomery. Amazing!

 

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“To be holy, thou shalt look Amish.” said Jesus, NEVER (image from pixabay)

I’m not advocating for us to chuck propriety out the window. There IS a balance somewhere between looking Amish and frolicking around in nekidness. But rules like No Skirts Above Thigh Where Fingers Reach When Standing Straight With Arms Fully Extended don’t really get it… and the answer isn’t to try and outdo each other in modesty until we’re shuffling around in form-masking body suits made of brown paper bags.* Because really, immodesty is about drawing attention to yourself. Yes, showing some cleavage is a great way to get some attention** but

1) it’s just one of many ways to draw attention to yourself

2) men aren’t exempt from clamoring for attention

3) immodesty is a visible symptom to an insecurity that goes all the way to yer ticker.

This myopic focus on women’s bosoms and bootays when discussing modesty does a disservice to women AND men. Making up detailed rules to emphasize your rightness and expose the unrightness of others… 100% guaranteed to make all hearts involved worse off. Now, how to change the heart so that it doesn’t want or need validation from others? Hmm.. 😉 ***

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Consider Jesus’ sermon on the mount. One of the main themes was how the commandments all went way beyond a simple rule to the heart behind specific commandments… not a stricter rule. For example, Jesus didn’t say, “Hey – remember that rule about not murdering? I say, don’t even pinch a brother.” No, he said, “Remember that rule about not murdering? I say, don’t even be angry in the first place.” (paraphrase, Matt 5:21-22) This is frustrating, because it’s like.. “but, that’s internal! I can kinda control my actions, and barely control my thoughts on good days – but control my innermost desires?! Impossible!” And it’s like Jesus was like, “Bingo!” [cue Holy Spirit].

**So I’ve heard. *sniffs self-righteously*

***[cue Holy Spirit]

 

Women, does this picture make you feel effeminated?

The term “emasculate” is plum strange. It’s often used in the context of a woman outmanning the man in question. Like if Danielle pays for Daniel’s chipotle, Daniel may feel emasculated. If Betty Joe changes Billy Jim’s tires – emasculated. If Claire Bear benches more than T-Gainz – emasculated. But.. why? How? Shouldn’t masculinity be something within a man, that external forces cannot change?

This is especially confusing because there’s no equivalent term for women …

effeminated

The term “emasculate” is plum strange. It’s often used in the context of a woman outmanning the man in question. Like if Danielle pays for Daniel’s Chipotle, Daniel may feel emasculated. If Betty Joe changes Billy Jim’s tires – emasculated. If Claire Bear benches more than T-Gainz – emasculated. But.. why? How? Shouldn’t masculinity be something within a man, that external forces cannot change?

This is especially confusing because there’s no equivalent term for women (is there?). If Daniel can change a diaper more efficiently than Danielle, she won’t feel “effeminated.” No lady I know gets resentful when any Jo-Jo can style hair, cook well, talk a lot, dress fashionably – or whatever other qualities are stereotypically female. Au contraire, most women I know praise those sort of qualities in the men they know and love.

How can anyone’s degree of any one trait change how much someone else characterizes that trait? If a man just happened to be as good or better at all the “womanly” things I’m good at, I would probably not marry him — for the sake of symmetry and balance, of course – but I really doubt I would resent him. And if he generally tried to downplay my womanliness.. he might be a d-bag*, but my femininity would escape unscathed. Yes? Yes?!

So why does a woman doing stereotypically manly things subtract manliness from a man, but a man doing stereotypically womanly things does nothing to change the womanliness of a woman?

Galloswag wants to know.

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*I mean doo-doo bag. Simmer down.

FYI: one of my next few posts will also be about manliness because I’m strangely obsessed with the topic rn. But this is more of a ramble than an actual statement. STATEMENT TO COME.