Part II: The Pathetically Ignorant Anti-Woman Modesty “Movement”


Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 7.41.30 PMJ. D. Greear wrote about modesty. I don’t disagree with his comment that modesty will always change, by golly it has. Western women are being pushed into a far more restrictive climate when it comes to views of modesty than they have been – in centuries. I know. I’m writing a book on the subject. Where I disagree with him is that we have a responsibility to dress property to maintain a person’s holiness. That’s a pile of BS!

The cartoon comes from around 1803, out of England.  Modesty?  I don’t think so.  One of the things about the modesty movement and the idiotic individuals who promote it is their abject ignorance when it comes to the history of fashion.

Only recently, since around 1840 – 1910 or so were women trussed up in heavy duty corsets, underwear, bustles, hoops, and everything else miserable known to man woman.  There were, in history, periods where women’s bodies were completely covered, but it was more about climate than anything else. Modesty was never much of a big deal, except for certain factions within the Church. Neither was marriage.  Until the beginnings of a middle class, in England, in the early 1700s, most people never bothered even being married.  It was something one did, if there was property to go to a legitimate heir.

As for the history of swimming suits, they did not exist until around 1810 or so, and then only sporadically until the Victorian age.  None were needed.  Men and women swam together, sans clothing, since the beginning of time.  One of my favorite Jane Austen stories is how she and a very dear female friend of hers would spend several months at a time, each summer, at the shore.  It was a location where the genders mixed, without bathing costume.

In other words – up until about 200 years ago, men and women swam, together, in the nude. So much for modesty.  Oh, and those early Christians?  Baptism was done at sunrise on Easter morning.  Those being baptized were totally and completely naked N-A-K-E-D as in nude. Too bad, people don’t know their fashion history.

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“…Certainly it is most important that we cultivate a culture in which women are not viewed as objects and in which they are modest in heart. And yes, the “lines” of modesty will always change, so that what one age sees as modest another sees as scandalous–and thus we should never declare our convictions to be the standards of God.

But I doubt that I will get to a stage (in this life) where I could spend time with naked women and say, “Well, I can do this because I don’t see them as objects, and they have modest hearts, so everything’s fine here. Nothing to see here.” Before our resurrection, we still need limits for ourselves, and, as an act of love for others, I can sacrifice what is “lawful” for me to wear for what is expedient for my brothers’ and sisters’ holiness.

So when it comes to modesty, we need to adjust attitudes. But let’s not throw the swimsuit out with the bathwater: wardrobe still matters….”

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Greear wrote about a reference to swimsuits by Jessica Rey. They are allegedly ‘modest’. My comment about them is that they are beautiful swimsuits. Who cares about the fact that they are ‘modest’. They are classy, classic and a throw-back to the beautiful lines of the 1930s & 1940s.

Rey Swim Ware
Rey Swim Ware

These are beautiful, classic suits that will hid a multitude of sins! They are flattering and pretty. What is so funny, is that there are freaks who are raising “godly” children who think that her suits are too immodest.

Instead, THIS is what they want women wearing. What kind of stupid, fool woman would turn her daughters into something to be ridiculed and laughed at, wearing this shit?

Simply Modest
Simply Modest

The designer wrote:

“…I choose to cover up because I want to glorify God with my body and to save myself for my future husband if I one day marry. I believe that how a person dresses is a personal choice, and that they should do what they know is right before the Lord.

The Bible encourages women to dress in “modest apparel” and also says that “it is good for a man not to touch a woman”. We all know that men are mainly stimulated by sight, and women by touch. I believe that these guidelines are given to us by God for our own protection. Our sexuality is something that is very special and was given to us by God to share with our spouse. I know that our culture would not agree with this, but I do not speak for our culture. This is what I believe to be true from God’s Holy Inspired Word, the Bible. But God has also given us free wills. We can choose to treasure and save our bodies, or to expose ourselves for anyone to see.

The Bible doesn’t give exact guidelines as to what type of garment is modest and what is not, so we need to use common sense and ask the Lord for discretion. Would this outfit stimulate a man in a way that we wouldn’t wish? A man should also use discretion in how he treats a woman so that he doesn’t produce feelings in her which may not be right. Because modesty is a personal choice, and something that we each should prayerfully consider, our purpose at Modest Swimwear Solutions is not to make some kind of “rule” about what style of swimsuit is modest. I only wish to make another option available for ladies who appreciate modesty or are looking for sun protection….”

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In this country, many of the photos we see from great art have been doctored just a little, so they won’t expose things they shouldn’t.  No place else in the civilized world is Roman art censored the way it is here.  In this painting of Glorianna, she is seen to be almost topless.  There’s a good reason for that.  She preferred dressing that way – yes, QEI went around with her boobs hanging out, and her nipples exposed.  It was a modest climate for women?

During the past, here in this country, there have been times when men have damned women for what they wore, but not like what is going on now, within the male enforced modesty movement.  It really isn’t about modesty at all.  It is about men trying to dictate to women what they want them to wear.  The strangest thing is, the men who are the worst about it, don’t appear to like women who are attractive.  They also hate gays.  I know what I think – they are he-man, woman-hating, scared little white men who need Viagra, and may really like men but are afraid to come out of the closet.

What started The Pink Flamingo off on my rant and rave was a blog post out of Canada by a holy mom, and housewife, Lisa Jacobson. This is just a total pile of you know what.

Time Warp Wife
Time Warp Wife

I may have done a tweet about it, and mentioned that she needed to teach her son to respect women and not objectify them. Evidently my comment about the fact that she was turning her son into someone who had no respect for women and was a potential Viagra popping rapist didn’t go over well.Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 7.49.57 PM

This is one of the stupid comments. I have a theory about women who don’t show much cleavage. They don’t have any to show. My personal philosophy on the subject is if you got it, flaunt it. And yes – everything I wear is low cut. I may have a crappy figure, and am not thin, but by golly I have cleavage. I’m just thankful that my flat-chested sister did not restrict and harass her daughters (who take after their aunt) from not flaunting it, either.

“…“heat exhaustion”? That’s a little dramatic, don’t you think? I don’t think the only alternatives are to either die of heat exhaustion or dress provocatively. I don’t do either. Nor do my girls. Frankly, when I garden, I wear long sleeves (light color, light weight material, button down the front) because it protects me from sunburn, and is no “hotter” than short sleeves when the sun is beating on you. No one has to teach a young man what a woman’s body is for. If it’s bared, then he knows. The fact is, a man’s response is not the deciding factor in our dress (nor should it be). It’s simply good to know the Christian male perspective. My dress standards are based on God’s word, and I don’t see anywhere that says I can’t wear green. HOWEVER, if I knew for a fact that I would be around someone who was Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 7.55.30 PMunnaturally attracted to the color green, I would NOT choose to wear it around them. What people may think that I’m unaware of is not an issue, as only a very silly person would try to say that every person’s thoughts are my responsibility in that case. Obviously, I am not responsible for every thought of every person. But the Bible does seem to indicate that the breasts and thighs in particular are considered personal and intimate, and not to be revealed. If you cover those sufficiently, then I suppose modesty is fulfilled. Then there is the issue of femininity. God’s word compares us as women to the Holy Spirit, whose form is never exactly declared. He is represented as flowing, as water, as wind, etc. Graceful clothing that doesn’t reveal the exact line of our bodies would seem to fit that. I don’t need it to be a command, I just like the beautiful comparison. Clothing that flows rather than clings is much cooler in summer, is feminine, and is modest. I taught my boy to look away if a woman showed enough to cause him to sin, or showed enough to dishonor the body God gave her (he may not lust after a 95 year old woman, but that doesn’t mean her breasts should be showing!)…”Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 8.25.10 PM

Up until the past fifty years or so, pedophilia was something that basically did not exist.  If it did, communities, especially in the Wild West, would take care of those kind of things.  Let’s just say the pedophile would go out riding somewhere and never return – alive.  Incest was something that was fairly common in the rural South, but was quite rare in New England.  In the English speaking world of the US, Canada, and Great Britain, it was something spoken of in hushed terms – ‘one of those families’. One of the most famous cases you won’t hear about was Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  Robert Browning literally saved her.

No one ever discussed modesty when it came to daughters.  Girls were the mirror image of adults.  They would not pass scrutiny today, in the modest world where there’s a pervert around every corner, and they are probably members of the local modest congregation.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 9.03.58 PMSomeone sent me this link, and I think it is great: Imperfect Homemaking!

“…It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.And lastly, it paves the way for victim blaming and rape culture. Victim blaming is the act of accusing a woman of somehow bringing about the violent crimes committed against her. Rape culture is a society where prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone rape. When one in four women will be sexual assaulted by the time she finishes college and nobody talks about it?

That is rape culture. Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 7.50.48 PM

…By telling young women that wearing certain clothing causes men to lust after them we are setting them up to believe that their actions can cause violence and sexual assault against them. As much as it sickens me to even type these words, we are grooming them to be good complacent victims. And what message are we sending to our sons? That they are untamable animals, subject to their bodies desires? We ask them to grow up to be godly men, the whole time saying oh, boys will be boys.

Don’t we want freedom for our sons too? freedom that doesn’t depend on what the girl next door is wearing? I was at a church once where a teenage girl was asked to change the way she dressed because some of the older men in the congregation were being tempted by her sweet summery dresses. The young lady was both livid and ashamed. There is something wrong when the young woman in that scenario is shamed and asked to change but the older men aren’t called to repentance, accountability and self control.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 8.25.58 PMBottom line? You are not responsible for another person’s choice to violate you; whether with his mind or his eyes or his heart or his hands. None of it is your fault. Ever. …And son, I want you to know that ultimately lust stems from the human heart, not a woman’s body.

You are responsible for where your eyes go,where your mind goes, what your heart chases after. But also that you are capable. The world is trying to brand you as simple and weak, but that is not who you were made to be. You are not a hopeless pawn in a world saturated with sexual desire but are able and equipped in the strength of the holy spirit to see your mind renewed. …”

No one ever told women from the past centuries that, if you wore something immodest you were asking to be raped because men couldn’t control themselves.  Everyone expected men not to control themselves – with women of the street, tavern women, lose women – but lose control with a woman of quality and they might never be able to do that sort of thing – again.  That’s one reason duels were fought.  Society had a tendency of eliminating men like that, both here and in England.

Imperfect Homemaking
Imperfect Homemaking

Evidently this is a very sore subject, with certain women thinking that women are to blame because men are NORMAL and look upon women with lust. I have news for some of these stupid, women look upon men with lust, too.

While we’re at it, you see this photo from Club 31 Women?

Club 31 Women
Club 31 Women

This is NOT how little girls dressed during the frontier days, of yesterday. It’s the Hollywood version that was created for Hollywood. There is no REALITY here. I have hundreds of photos for my book on fashion and NOT one kid looks like this. People need to get a dose of reality.

The Pink Flamingo will NEVER be considered a modest woman – thank heaven!

“… You don’t hear the word modesty often today, at least not in a positive sense. It conjures up images of a dour, frumpy schoolmarm. But that’s a misconception. A woman’s greatest loveliness comes through a modest heart that expresses itself in modest behavior, dress, and attitudes. Modest comes from a Greek word, aidos, which means propriety, decency.

The word also hints at a proper sense of shame. For example, a modest woman would be ashamed if anything about her attitude or appearance dishonored Christ, distracted other believers, or caused men to sin.

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A modest woman is disinclined to call attention to herself. There’s nothing wrong with having an outgoing personality, but a modest woman does not try to get people to notice her. In her speech, dress, and behavior, she is free from showiness or ostentation.

Here are some questions to help you assess your level of modesty:
• Do I have a humble view of myself? NOPE
• Do I have a high view of God? Of course
• Am I grieved at the thought of offending God or causing someone else to sin? Because I wear low cut blouses. I guess I do. If you got it, flaunt it!
• Do I wear clothing that is neat, decent, and doesn’t cause distraction or temptation to others? NOPE
• Am I guilty of promoting myself? DURN RIGHT I AM
• Do I come across as controlling, bossy, or domineering? DURN RIGHT I AM
• Do I talk too much? Scripture says, “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking” I HAVE A MIND AND A MOUTH…”

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If a man tried raping a woman like this, in 1810, let’s just say if he survived the duel (which was illegal) it was entirely possible, if he were still living in England, that he might not be able to rape another woman.  Also – someone who attempted something like this, with a ‘lady’ was basically banished from polite society.  Men were expected to control themselves.

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Yes, the fashions were transparent.  In order to get that lift and separate look, it was called a “Divorce Corset”.  Fichus were worn around the neck, in order to prevent the bare bosom from being exposed during the day time.  At night, well, whatever…!

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Women wore beautiful sheer cotton fabrics in light colors.  Their arms were bare, as were much of their bosoms.  They wore NOTHING under their gowns but stockings.  Fact is, until about the winter of 1818 or so, (the year without the summer) no self-respecting lady on either side of the Pond wore any form of underwear.  Women never wore pantalettes until Princess Caroline made them popular the winter before she died in childbirth.

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This is my all time favorite fashion image.  When I would go to the MOMA, I would make it a point to do a pilgrimage to see it, just standing there, looking at the stunning image.  Victorian women were very well covered.  For the first time in history women wore pants.  They were so darn much under their gowns they would frequently pass out due to the heat.

No – it was NOT about modesty.

It was all about fashion.  If Queen Victoria, who herself had a tendency to paint portraits of handsome young men – nude, had decided to wear nothing but a smile, every other women in England and the US would do the same thing.  Victoria had a thing about a good looking, handsome, nude man, BTW.  So did Albert.  That’s another story.

It’s called – fashion.

Modesty has – or until recently – had absolutely NOTHING to do with it.




One thought on “Part II: The Pathetically Ignorant Anti-Woman Modesty “Movement”

  1. I grew up being lectured about “modesty” a lot as a teenage girl in the Assemblies of God church, so I have a lot of opinions on the subject. I remember a youth pastor who told me to stop wearing the bright and patterned tights I loved (with loose, knee-length baby doll dresses) because they drew too much attention to my legs. I was simply trying to look cute and dress to my figure’s best advantage. My aunt, thankfully, told him I looked fine and that she wondered about *him* if he was going to say things like that.

    I found this quote disturbing: ” No one has to teach a young man what a woman’s body is for. If it’s bared, then he knows.”

    Uh, WHAT?! What her body is “for” is whatever she wishes it to be “for”, just like a man’s! If she wants her body to be “for” swimming or playing tennis or just relaxing with her friends on a beautiful but hot day, and is dressed accordingly, she is not asking for sex or presenting herself as a sexual object! It’s OK to acknowledge that the result may be aesthetically pleasing without deciding that she is marketing her body to you or anyone else, just as it is when men take off their shirts to play basketball.

    My heart broke for that little girl in the “modest” swimsuit that covers everything, too. Like you said, they’re setting up kids to be laughed at when they just want to be like all the other girls. I also felt bad for the boy who said there was nowhere to “avert his eyes.” He’s learning that women are sexual objects. I remember when my kid brother said something about how “there are so many babes at this pool!”, our mother told him to grow up, because they were there to swim and cool off just like he was, not for him to ogle. These boys are being taught that every girl who isn’t sufficiently chaste and covered *is* for them, which can only lead to disaster.

    And of course, when you’re a growing girl, sometimes last month’s t-shirt gets tighter or skirt gets shorter or you don’t quite realize that your cute new sundress shows a lot when you’re out in blazing daylight. I’d like to think a girl can wear a slightly shrunken tank top without a boy’s mother telling him, “She’s presenting herself as a sexual object! Danger! Turn your head!” That kind of thing only leads to “pink elephant” syndrome. (Someone says, “Don’t think of a pink elephant,” and that becomes all you can think about.)

    Basically, all of us can only ever be responsible for ourselves. It is entirely possible for anyone, even a teenage boy, to be appreciative of beauty and master his own response. Even if a girl or woman is dressing to attract, that doesn’t absolve boys or men. After all, the Apple Store presents its wares to be enticing to potential buyers, but that doesn’t mean they “asked for it” if someone does a smash-and-grab to get their hands on an iPad. If that smash-and-grab does happen, the person held responsible is the thief–nobody says the store manager needs to hide everything away from here on in and that all the other store managers in the area need to do the same.

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