Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Modesty: What are you selling?

Loved this one on modesty at MMB by Nicholeen Peck!

My favorite part:

. . .everyone is selling something. Each person you meet is selling ideas, morals, standards, agendas, and products.”

“Products?” she questioned.

“Sure! If you like a certain kind of phone and you buy it and use it you are advertising for that company. If you listen to a certain song with your friends you are encouraging them to like that song and maybe even go buy that CD. If you tell a lie and then laugh about it with your friends because you got out of a responsibility, then you are selling the idea that lying is okay as long as it serves you like you want it too. And, if you wear that shirt which shows a lot of your chest, your mother knows you are selling your body. You are advertising that you are happy to show what you have. Which leads boys to think you would also be willing to share some of it with them. Those boys would never treat you as respectfully as they treat another girl who shows that she values her body. They will treat her like a lady, and you like an object. Your mother doesn't want that for you. She wants you to have the best boys liking you and she wants them to treat you right. You should respect yourself. And you should respect your mother and go change your outfit.”


Adam and Elissa said...

loved it

Adam and Elissa said...

Love it

Tiffany Wacaser said...

This was certainly an interesting post. I've been thinking about modestly in terms of how modesty is interpreted and acted upon in the Muslim world, particularly in Saudi Arabia where an outward show modesty is expected of women by requiring them to wear the abaya. Refusal to do so brings harassment from the religious police, and could even result in imprisonment.

What I have found to be most interesting is that here, any woman who strays from the norm, is automatically labeled as a loose woman and men treat her terribly.

I suppose this is precisely the point the author was trying to make. But what bothers me about it is that especially in the Muslim world, men are not expected to treat women with respect or dignity, unless they follow all the rules. And even if women do follow all the rules, men frequently abuse that trust, treating women like objects, even when covered. I've read and heard of so many women feeling like they are treated like objects of lust even when properly covered.

Which brings me to the problem that I struggle with. . .

I believe in the principle of modesty out of respect for my body. I also appreciate that men tend to be visually stimulated and that modest clothing is respectful of them and their weaknesses. With that in mind, I believe that sometimes men use these little modesty rules to enable their bad behavior, to place blame on woman for their refusal to practice consistent control over their thoughts. While I certainly think that within the church, young men are taught that they need to control their thoughts and they should treat women and girls with dignity and respect, I do think there are enough young men and men who rationalize their bad behavior or thoughts to and about girls and women if a woman is dressed to their standards of modesty.

I don't suppose I am making sense. It's hard to articulate what I mean.

I don't know how to go about teaching modesty, while simultaneously teaching our youth that they must treat all people with dignity and respect regardless of clothing. And again, I appreciate the importance of the message of modesty. I'm just wondering if we are also concerned about teaching our youth that regardless of the dress or standards of others, those people should still be treated with dignity and respect.

Sorry for the rambling. . . .

Emily said...

Thanks for your comments, ladies! SwedeMom, I think I get what you're saying, and I guess I plan just to teach both -- control what we can, then hope the others will be respectful either way. Thanks for sharing the Saudi example and also applying the same concept to Westerners. I think that makes a lot of sense. Sad situation we're in.