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Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 3.58.14 AM“…When I think about my clothing choices in college it simultaneously convicts me of immodesty and helps me understand the struggle girls face trying to be modest. I wasn’t trying to be inappropriate. I just wanted to look good. I was single. I wanted to be attractive to girls and I wanted to be affirmed by other guys. For me to be modest I would have needed to wear looser shirts that I didn’t think looked as good on me. That would have been tough. And making that tough decision would have made me much more appreciative and considerate of my sisters in Christ….”

Several years ago, godly men decided to conduct a godly test of godly young men dealing with the topic of godly women, godly fashions and ungodly lust.  The results were so convoluted, so strange, and so weird, all links to it have been deleted.  Thanks to Wayback Machine, we can view those strangely perverse results.

A little fashion background.  The world changed in the late 1700s.  First was that little rebellion across the Pond, then there was the unpleasantness in France, followed by a short Corsican with delusions of grandeur.  Each can be tracked by fashion.  In many ways, fashion caused the problems.  In England luxury taxes became so obscene that even the wealthiest of peers could not afford the powdered wigs and extravagant silks and satins of the high Georgian years.  The reason for the high taxes, which nearly destroyed a country was because a bunch of bust-headed anti-tax libertarians across the Pond felt that they should not be required to pay taxes for the upkeep of their growing little colony.  Ironically, the same bust- headed anti-tax libertarians who are also the backbone of the Christian Reconstruction movement are their step-children.

In order to avoid paying high taxes, and, even more importantly, to emulate the French, women in England dumped the wigs, the panniers, and the absurdities of the previous fifty years and went along with the flow.  Women in France, in order not to be identified with the outgoing royal headless, had drastically begin changing what they wore, beginning around 1790 or so, with the chemise dress.  By 1796 or so, they had dumped the corset, petticoats, panniers, and everything else, so that they could wear extremely sheer high-waisted gowns that were usually short-sleeved, and cut, very low.  They were cut so low that what was once worn inside a corset was now worn on the outside, for all to see.  There were holes cut in the rear, on the sides and other places.  In England, where they were wearing sheer white muslin, someone had the bright idea of dampening the fabric, so that it would be transparent.  Once again, nothing was worn under the gowns except for stockings that came up to the knee.  Napoleon liked the way Josephine looked, so much, that the new fashions were called Empire.  In England, they were known as Regency.

That was nice.  Then, one day, around 1816 or so, a big, bad, volcano erupted.  The planet experienced climate change to the point where there were several years without summers.  It was cold.  The Brits were still paying very high taxes on the glass in their windows (which they had removed), so women decided they would wear fancified versions of men’s underwear.  This, for the very first time in history, women began wearing underwear.  Necklines, were much higher.  Short sleeves disappeared.  Then, the waist grew longer.  Skirts became fuller to the point where the hoops needed to support the skirts could make the most embarrassing movements.  Long underwear – for women, became required.  Besides, baby, it was cold outside!  Modern fashion sensibilities were born.

No, modesty had nothing to do with it.

But – today, our ignorant culture, made even more woefully ignorant by the brainwashing of of Gothad’s ATI, well, it’s all about modesty. So, young men are taught that a woman’s body is evil.  It causes him to lust.  They aren’t taught that lust is normal and that normal men control that lust.  They are taught that lusting after a woman’s body is evil, ergo a woman’s body is evil.  In the dark and perverted world of Bill Gothard, a woman’s smile is enough for her to have consented to have sex with these godly men.

The modesty survey was conducted during a 20 day period in January 2007.  1,600 Christian ‘guys’ submitted 150,000 answers including 25,00 text responses.  The survey was endorsed by:  Shaunti Feldhahn, Nancy leigh DeMoss, Albert Mohler, Shannon Ethridge, and C. J. Mahaney.    Thanks to WayBach Machine, you can even view the survey results:  I have been locating comments from the survey.  NOTE:  Comments from the survey have been taken from different sources.  The original is no longer available.

  • I have to avert my eyes so often nowadays because of the clothing they wear. It is such a relief to be able to not have to turn my face away when I see a girl dressed modestly.
  • I am looking for a wife. Modesty is a big thing in my search. If a girl dresses modestly, it shows me that she is leaving it to God to choose her husband for her, so therefore there is no need to ‘advertise’. If a girl dresses immodestly, however, then that shows me that she has not given everything to God, and is trying to attract guys to her in order to find a husband that way. OK, so I might be wrong, but that is how it is interpreted to me.
  • Time and time again I will be talking to some guy friends and I will see their eyes lock onto something, I turn around and there is a girl in immodest clothing. So, yes, more often than not, sadly guys notice the immodestly dressed. I have tried to notice and compliment those who dress modestly, but honestly, it is hard to find people to compliment.
  • Whether consciously or unconsciously, clothes send messages and people pick them up. Modesty in dress strongly affects how men and women treat each other and the kind of interactions they have.
  • Especially, or particularly Christian guys who are trying to follow God. They appreciate it. There will be guys who think less of a girl for dressing what they may perceive as ‘plainly’, but quite frankly, that attitude would betray them as shallow and a girl shouldn’t worry about that opinion. You don’t have a duty to show other people your body.
  • For those who values modesty, a girl dressed that way is nice and rare. For those who don’t, she look frumpy and common. But in both case, guys will notice her because she is different from mainstream.
  • If a girl is going around half-naked there’s no way I’d ever marry her. Period. If it’s been advertised to everybody else why do I want it?
  • I want to marry a woman who has come to the conviction that she should guard and save her body for her husband – not one who will share it with every man who sees her.
  • If she cannot respect her own body, how can she respect me? If she is immodest she is not worth it because fleeing from sin is far more important. I refuse to date anyone who wears a 2-piece swimsuit. No exceptions! I will only consider dating a girl who has noble character.
  • I don’t know how I can say this strongly enough. I don’t want to marry someone who looks like they have tried to sell themselves to every guy they have ever met!
  • I believe modesty is one way for a woman to show that she is committing herself to her husband. She is saying that he is the only one who is going to have the opportunity to enjoy her physical beauty. That would mean a lot to me.
  • A girl who is immodest seems like she is trying to get attention whereas modestly dressed girls are nice to be around and I don’t have to struggle with any bad thoughts around them.
  • Depends on if they are Christian or not. A non-Christian I don’t expect a high standard of modesty, but as for a Christian girl, I do.
  • When a girl who claims to be a Christian is dressing immodestly she has automatically lost most of my respect. I think that she either has not read the scriptures and seen that God requires modesty, or does not care, or has found a way to rationalize her clothing. She is also either clueless about how her clothing affects men or does not care. This may sound harsh, but I have very little respect for a woman who is any of the above. (As a parenthetical remark, for a new believer I give a hair of grace. But the longer she waits to change her dressing habits, the less respect I have for her.) Conversely, I have great respect for a woman that dresses modestly; she is obeying her LORD, showing love to her brothers, and standing against the wickedness in our culture.
  • I have a hard time respecting a girl who is showing herself off, but a girl who is dressed to cover and save herself immediately gains my respect – these girls are more noble and feminine in my opinion.
  • Do I really have to explain this? A modest girl shows respect for herself in that she doesn’t have to try and bait me into pursuing her by activating the visual response system in my male brain AND shows respect for me so I don’t have to fight off devouring her sexually in my mind. If the girls even knew what goes on in the men’s mind around them….Also, a woman who is secure enough that she doesn’t need to try and bait me with her body and depends on her personality and natural beauty is typically going to be a stronger individual.
  • My respect for a girl doesn’t change based on her dress or her morality; but I am definitely less attracted to an immodest girl.This mostly depends on the attitude that I can see behind the appearance.
  • Immodest appearance can range from bad timing, to lack of understanding, to blatant disrespect.
  • This is not to say I pronounce judgement on an immodest girl. On the contrary, my heart breaks for a girl who feels that she must be immodest to find affirmation and “love” from men. However, I do feel that I am being less respectful to the girl when I begin to think impure thoughts about her. The definition of the word respect is important here. I respect the person, but I am acting disrespectfully with my thoughts.
  • Yes I do have less respect for a girl who is immodestly dressed. When one is dressed immodestly it says, “I have low standards, and not much in the way of character.” When one is dressed modestly it says, “I have higher standards, and I know how you guys think, so I’m being careful not only for myself, but for you too.
  • “I have less respect for a person who has less respect for herself.
  • I would try to be equally respectful, understanding how strong society’s influence is. Nevertheless, I have greater natural respect for modest girls.
  • When we went to the Dominican for our honeymoon, we didn’t know it was a topless beach until we got there. Ordinarily, I would’ve avoided that kind of situation, but what could I do then? I prayed and asked God for strength and managed to make it the entire week without allowing my eyes to wander. I had to take responsibility for myself in that situation because I couldn’t rely on the women around me to care about my purity. It’s all about personal responsibility.
  • 75.6% of guys say that they have less respect for an immodest girl than for a modest one.
  • “Depends upon how heavy the bag is. If the strap pushes on the shirt such that the breasts are separated as one looks down, it’s immodest.”
  • “Playing with hair is not a stumbling block.” 61% agree!
  • “Not in of itself, but if you spend a lot of time playing with your hair it makes a guy wonder if you aren’t trying to attract attention.”
  • “It is a stumbling block to see a girl lying down, even if she’s just hanging out on the floor or on a couch with her friends.” (22% agreed.)
  • Seeing a girl’s chest bounce when she is walking or running is a stumbling block.
  • “The lines of undergarments, visible under clothing, cause guys to stumble.” (72% Agree or Strongly Agree).
  • “Seeing a girl take off a pullover (i.e. a shirt that must be pulled over the head) is a stumbling block, even if she is wearing a modest shirt underneath.”
  • I think she probably doesn’t have the best relationship with God, she probably isn’t that smart, and she needs guys to look at her, which has a whole different set of meanings attached to it. If she’s pretty, it’s hard not to look. I’m not perfect. I try not to linger and let my thoughts progress to lust.
  • I wonder if her parents have any control over her.
  • A young lady, regardless of your relation to her, can be a stumbling block/temptation to a young man. Sort of a disgusting thought, but men, if not walking in the Spirit everyday, can be wolves.
  • A girl is a girl. My sisters look like girls, and therefore they are potentially a temptation. Just because I have a relationship with them does not mean that their womanliness physically can not stir up wrong thoughts.
  • It may be less of a problem, but it is still a problem. Family members are not completely unattractive to us; if they were, God would not have needed to explicitly ban incest.
  • Even my Mom can attract my attention if she isn’t careful.
  • Family is a part of a person. When someone in my family does something honorable or dishonorable, part of this, good or bad, is conferred upon me as well.

Years later, one of the people involved in the survey, wrote about how it never should have happened. There is a bottom line. The whole ‘modesty’ industry is male oriented, with a bunch of self-righteous women trying to tell the rest of us how to live and dress. They take their cues from a man’s version of how women should dress – 2000 years ago. I wonder if they take into consideration that, at that time, women did not wear anything under their gowns. Do we go around without bras and panties because they had not been conceptualized during the time of St. Paul?

  • gimpi1

    Yikes! Taking off a pullover, wearing a shoulder-bag, “bouncing” i.e. having visible breasts, panty-lines, what doesn’t turn these fellows on? And the fellows talking about how their mothers and sisters have to be “careful” to avoid attracting their attention, I would strongly suggest counseling.

    Really, the whole problem goes away if one simply decides that natural attraction isn’t anything to worry about. That whole “adultery in your heart” meme is nothing but trouble.

  • sjreidhead

    The implication is that they find what their family members are wearing are too lewd? Why would they notice? Isn’t that a little sick in itself?

  • gimpi1

    Yeah, it is. The idea of a young man complaining that he finds his mom’s work-out togs too skimpy is pretty weird.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Um, by “… there were holes cut in the rear, on the sides and other places…” were you referring to this illustration?

    It’s a satire by Isaac Cruikshank, exaggerating the “immodesty” of Regency fashions. It gives the appearance of cutouts in the petticoats, but it actually reflects the scandalous fact that a few layers of white muslin could allow people to see far more of a woman’s shape- and sometimes even *gasp* the a hint of skintone! This appalled Culture Warriors of the time.

    Here’s the source- you have to scroll down past the midpoint to see the fashion satires. There’s lots of good info in the article.

    Most women wore less revealing versions of the Regency style than the fashion leaders.

  • sjreidhead

    While satire, the ‘tabloid’ illustrations do depict the scandalous Regency costumes, exaggerated, of course. The Pemberly site is more a fan site than a history site. There’s a fascinating book, Napoleon & the Empire of Fashion by Christina Barreto. The Regency era was a very scandalous period, extremely.

    We cannot use the books by Jane Austen as a guide for what actually went on in England during the Regency Period. For one thing, Austen was a closeted lesbian who lived a life completely removed from the realities of the world around her. I love her work, but it’s like reading Nancy Drew and thinking you have a realistic version of the American teen. The reality of the period is far more fascinating than the fantasy.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Thank you for the info. I agree with your incisive analysis on most things, I’m just questioning two things 1) that women actually cut holes in their petticoats to reveal their butts and other parts more plainly, because I haven’t encountered THAT bit of trivia before, and 2) the percentage of women who actually wore the most extreme styles.

    I’m not questioning that fashions which would be considered horribly shocking to modest dress proponents were fully accepted in polite society at the time. What’s “proper” to wear is in the mind of the beholder- and as you point out, it always has been.

  • sjreidhead

    My problem is the fact that there was so much contemporary satire of the fashions that something had to have been going on with the upper upper echelons of the Ton during mid to late Georgian into official Regency period. So much was satire, but where there is satire, there is a spark of ‘truth’. The body of editorial cartooning from the era is massive. It makes me wonder. I have a couple books on the morality of the period, how, because of the books of Austen, we completely gloss over the raunchiness of the time. Just haven’t had time to thoroughly dig into them, beyond superficial scanning.

    I know the dampening was rarely done. From what I gather it led to ‘inflammation’ of the lungs due to the coldness of the era, which brings up another thing. There are very few references to a ‘little’ season from Nov until right before Christmas, but this was when there are references to women dampening the petticoats and becoming deathly ill – so there must have been something to the ‘little’ season.

    I love the era. That’s when our modern culture was truly born. Like today, Lady Gaga could get away with a few sequins and some superglue, but normal people aren’t going to try it. From what I gather, the Duchess of Bedford was one of them who tried. The cartoonists were merciless with her. Sally Jersey’s mother-in-law ( a royal mistress) managed to get away with things her dau-in-law condemned in others. But then again the 2nd Sally Jersey was something of a cit upstart who had all the money, and the banking connections, which is how she was able to buy her way into and control society. Fascinating because you never see caricatures or nasty cartoons of her.

    I found a fascinating little insight to the actual sensibilities of the age with custom and use of the Bourdaloue. Check the comments regarding the last cartoon.

    I’m trying to locate an antique Bourdaloue for a gift for my mother – who has ‘everything’. I noticed the photo of the silver one. I collect antique Victorian sterling & crystal dressing table jars. I WANT ONE for the collection!

    I wish I could attach a photo. The other day I found a photo of three exquisite era gowns. They were lace, magnificent – but the lace was just that, just lace. Surely something went under it. I know they wore body stockings. Just the lace dresses, themselves have tremendous implications about the actual body image and total lack of ‘modesty’ of the era, compared to about 20 years later. Then again, the very concept of the hoop skirt required layers of underwear because of the possibilities of a fashion malfunction.

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