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Friday, June 21, 2013

Modesty

There has been a lot of interest surrounding a topic that I have very strong feelings about of late. This is the topic of modesty. Many people have been stating that if a woman is a true "follower of Christ", she will abstain from the wearing of "immodest clothing" on account of what it will "do to the men". I have also seen a woman who is selling her own line of clothing (beware of any information given by someone who stands to gain financially), stating that only those with lowered standards would wear a bikini. I was raised with this thinking. "You just don't know what that type of clothing does to a boy", or my favorite, "Don't you think we as women have a greater responsibility than the men to keep their minds' pure?" were favorite lines of my parents and youth leaders. While I understand that they were truly trying to assist me in my learning and growth, as I went from girl to woman this thought process became damaging to me. I found myself in situations where I was taken advantage of by men, sometimes violently, and I felt the weight of the responsibility and shame of these situations as I had apparently "done something" to these men to "make them" behave in the way they had. My femininity was obviously to blame for the actions of the men, as my body "made them" think and act in ways that they could not control. "Boys will be boys...." My first child was a son. As I began to raise him, I realized that he is an amazing little human, with a kind of "old-soul" presence. He is very logical and intelligent. As he is now a teenager, I am grateful for the realization that he is not, in fact, some sex-crazed maniac. I worked in the field of Ob/Gyn for a number of years, and as I am comfortable with the topic, sexuality has not been a shameful subject in our home. My son has spoken with me very candidly about his sexual feelings and any questions. I refuse to believe that my son lacks the capacity to pull it together, and control his thoughts and actions! I refuse to teach any of my children that their thoughts are not their own. Sexual thoughts, feelings, and impulses are good and natural, however, it is not the person who is being thought about who is at fault for any fantasy. We can have influence over other people, however, we are not responsible for their thoughts and actions. I, for one, will not degrade my son by teaching him he is nothing more than raging hormones within a sack of skin. He is an intelligent human who is responsible for his actions. The second part of the problem with the way that we are teaching modesty, is that we are once again teaching women that they are nothing if they are not beautiful in some form or another. My value is NOT is the way I appear to other people! This is NOT my only contribution to society! I am saddened by the countless ladies that feel their only power is in their sexuality. If you are comfortable in an article of clothing, you should feel free to wear it, however, it is reasonable to assess the reasons for your clothing choices. If you are wearing something because it speaks to the world about who you are as a person, feel free to wear it. However, of you feel that you need to wear something that does nothing but get you sexual attention, you are part of that problem telling everyone that we as women are nothing more than our bodies...and our bodies are only useful as sexual objects. You are perpetuating the idea that once you are no longer sexually attractive, you have lost your place in our society. Ladies, let us re-train everyone to see us as human beings! Dress in a way that shows the world who you really are! The more we state that certain items of clothing are "overly sexual", the more we train our society in an almost pavlovian way that the items in question are sexual, therefore, handing people the thoughts that we are so concerned with. PLEASE evaluate why you are making the clothing choices you are. Do not let society dictate who you are, and DO NOT buy in to the notion that you are only a body! Dress in a way that is not an advertisement for a moment of sexual gratification for another person, rather, dress in a way that helps people understand who you are as a human. I refuse to teach my son that he is just an animal, and I refuse to teach my daughters they are just a body! I refuse to teach any of my children that there are "bad" parts of their bodies! I refuse to refer to sexual acts as "dirty" or "filthy"! I want my children to think of sex in a positive light, and I want them to feel that they are in control of their lives! Ladies, let's show everyone that we are worth more than just our sexuality! Let us make clothing choices that are not tainted with society's rules. Let us show the world our wit and wisdom!

1 comments:

AnnMarie said...

Well said Dena, well said! Kuddos to you. I have a book that says basically the same thing and I couldn't agree more. It's called "And They Were Not Ashames, Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment" The first chapter is called The Good Girl Syndrome and talks about how society, mom/dad, church has done exactly what you have stated. While trying to protect us (as girls/women) they have done the opposite.